Azerbaijan Interviews: Sanam Hasanova

IDP Woman Living in a Train Wagon Imishli, Azerbaijan. From an interview conducted in April 1999
  • 46 years old
  • Used to live in Nagorno Kharabagh, fled in June 1993
  • Has been living in a train wagon in Imishli, Azerbaijan for 6 years with her mother
  • Works as a school teacher in the local school
  • When she lived in Nagorno Kharabagh she had her own house with 8 rooms, a yard for animals, and she worked as a teacher Can you describe the day that you had to leave Nagorno Kharabagh? People had no opportunity to pick up their bags. They weren't informed that the Armenian army was going to occupy the territory. It was a really big tragedy. Some family had cars - they could move to other districts. When they moved they didn't know where to go. They went to their neighbors, some people stayed on holidays, it also depended on their possibilities - some one of them stayed here, in comparison with others they had no opportunity to move. Nobody expected they would live in such conditions for such a long time. Can you describe the conditions where you live? During 2 years I was jobless. It was difficult to find a job, but we received money from the government and humanitarian aid. Now I am working as a teacher. I have a job, and compared with other families, they live in worse conditions then I. Also the humanitarian aid people receive is not enough. If they get 5 kilos of flour once a month, this is not enough. The people here are trying to survive by themselves, trying to find jobs, they help each other, some of them have relatives - that's the way they survive. How does it feel to be living for such a long time in a situation which many think is temporary? Of course everybody who lives here would like to return. It is like a stigma to be a refugee. Sometimes the refugee population do not live very peacefully together with the local people. Many people don't have anything. Some of the refugees had a lot and right now they have nothing ... How many years will they live here and have a useless life?