Meeting with our house after 27 years, drying fount, souvenir lamp - REPORTAGE - PHOTOS
- 23 February 2021
I have been dreaming of going to my homeland since the day when Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev announced that Zangilan was liberated from enemy occupation on October 20, 2020. Of course, I did not know what I will see there. For years, I waited for this moment, but I had a hard time figuring out how to react. Will I cry, will I kiss my homeland, will crawl or will I just watch? I have no idea.
I could not believe my ears when I heard that I was going to Zangilan.
The next day we left at 03.00.
I don't know what to do with the excitement, I still don't believe I will see our house. I have so many mixed thoughts in my brain that...
We arrive in Horadiz post. From here, on our first step, we are already facing traces of occupation. Along the way,, there are destroyed houses and ruined villages. How was it possible to turn a region with this beautiful nature into a ruin? How did the people live among these ruins? Have you occupied this paradise to turn it into hell? Along the way, only these questions run through my mind. Of course, I can't find answers to my questions.
We have arrived in Zangilan, my excitement increases by tenfold. We pass through Uchuncu Aghali village and near the center of the district. Our village is almost there. And a few minutes later we see the board Girag Mushlan on the side of the road…
I think it is a dream, it can not be real. I want to shout in the car, but I can control myself and say, "Our village, our village."
At the entrance to the village, I am looking for a spring whose age no one knows for years, I am searching, I can see neither the spring nor its location.
The spring existed before the foundation of our village was laid. In other words, our ancestors built the village near the spring. Has the thousand-year-old spring dried up for 27 years? We approach our home. Just like the places liberated from occupation, everywhere in our village - roads, gardens, yards - are covered with reeds, weeds, everything seems to be wild.
No matter how much I say in advance, "I will find our house blindfolded," I have a mixed doubt with excitement: “I fear I will fail to find our house.”
But finding our home is not that difficult. Here I am at home after 27 years and 6 months of longing.
Feelings of surprise, excitement, joy, disappointment have mixed each other. I got off the car and entered the house. Our gate has been removed and the cell of our bar has been destroyed. Although the ceiling of our house has been destroyed, then part of it has been re-slated. Our beautiful house has been turned into a hut.
I do not know where to look, to search firstly. I am frozen. Finally, I walk to our house, our garden. There were two big walnut trees in our garden, now there is not anything. Maybe, they have been cut off, but I could not even find stumps.
At this moment, the houses of neighbors took my attention, there is nothing except a fly-ripped wall. The house of Uncle Həmzə on my left, Uncle Bəhlul on my right, and Uncle Mustafa's house a little away from it...
After that, I begin to search with the hope of finding any things belonging to us. But I could not find anything. This time, our guide shows us the lamp at the top of a column. Yes, I recall, it belongs to us.
Inside of our house has been completely destroyed, sheets written in Armenian were scattered on the ground. It seems that Armenians who have lived here for 27 years as a real owner of this house, have been forced to run away, and they could not take many of their things.
I understand that because they had difficulty heating the house, they divided our large rooms into several parts and turned them into smaller rooms. My heart is pounding inside, things are scattered in the middle - old iron beds, clothes, toys. I throw myself out of the house. Many of our trees are in their places, some of them shoot, some even bloomed. Even a flower that managed to climb among the stones in our yard bloomed.
Pond and gutter at the entrance of our garden are like before. They have turned our kitchen in the garden into a bath. They have thrown whatever they could get their hands on.
I want to engrave everything that I saw and observe to my mind, I try not to overlook even the smallest detail.
Sprouting of dead hope
I can stay there for hours, but our guide reminds us that we have less time. It is time for leaving our home.
The last time I left Zangilan was on August 20, 1993. A year before it I entered Gazi University in Ankara at the exams held in Turkish universities. After a one-year training course in Ankara, I returned to Azerbaijan for a summer holiday. After the holiday I went to Ankara. That time I did not imagine that I saw last time Zangilan, my native land.
I received the news of Zangilan's occupation in Ankara. Turkish TV disseminated information about the occupation of our district by Armenians. My roommates in Sabanci dormitory what I experienced that day. I was shocked, I could not get news about my home, family. I did not know who was alive, who I lost. After several days I could get news from Baku, everyone was alive in our family. Of course, I was very happy about this news, I could not talk from crying on the other side of the phone. However, I could not accept the reality that I was not able to return to our home again.
As years pass my hope about returning to those places decreased. However, after 27 years our this dream came true, we returned to our lands.
Thanks to our martyrs, Supreme Commander-in-Chief, our Army, our veterans…