Azerbaijan Interviews: Sanam Hasanova
8 June 1999
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?