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Djanna Babayan

The day was windy and cool. But the atmosphere in the old people’s home was rather warm, and the “inhabitants” pleasantly agreed to tell us about their lives. There we met different people full of grief and happiness, both tears and smile in their eyes.

The woman I first met there was Djanna Babayan. She was sitting and watching her mother who was suffering from the flu. Djanna was born in 1940. She was one year old when the war (1941-45) began. Her father was called to the Soviet Army and soon was killed in the war.

She was the only child in their family. She lived in Baku with her mother. Djanna went to Russian school, as there was no Armenian school in Baku. After finishing school she went to a technical college and later on worked as a secretary at the Railway station office. Djanna worked there for 25 years. She didn’t marry. They had an apartment in a good neighborhood. She earned enough money to sustain her mum and herself.

But after the collapse of the Soviet Union, when the Azeris started the ethnic cleansing in Baku terrible events happened and the only way to survive was to leave Baku. In 1990 they barely escaped. They left for Russia, Krasnodar, where they lived with their relatives. As Djanna’s mother was old and sick, and she had to take care of her mother, none of them could work and they stayed hungry for days. Then in September, 1992 they moved to Yerevan, Armenia. The Committee of Refugees sent them to the Gyumri Nursing House. Now her mother is in bed (she is 90) and Djanna is looking after her. Both of them are pleased with the director of the old people’s home. They are happy that they are in their motherland, in Armenia.





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