From Farming in Artsakh to Owning a Beauty Salon in Goris

Satineh Dallakyan used to live in Ishkhanadzor, a village in Artsakh’s Kashatagh district.

Following the 2020 war, Kashatagh, and much of the former Republic of Artsakh, is now controlled by Azerbaijan.

The 29-year-old woman now runs a beauty salon in Goris, a town in Armenia’s Syunik province.

Each night, before going to sleep, Satineh searches for pictures of her former home in the pages of TikTok, the Azerbaijani version. She usually finds something, mostly images taken from afar.

Satineh says she feels sad when remembering what was left behind in Ishkhanadzor.

“I get teary eyed and sad. What else is there?” she tells me and finds more village photos. “Here’s one of the river, where they are catching fish. Here’s another where my husband worked.”

You’ll find many others displaced by the war in Goris. They all have similar stories to tell.

Satineh was born in Tegh, a village in Armenia not far from Goris on the road to Artsakh. She was six when the family moved to the Kashatagh village of Getamej. They built a house, tended the fields, and raised livestock.

Satineh studied to become a hairdresser in Goris and studied at the local university. She taught for a year in Kashatagh but decided that she wasn’t cut out for teaching.

Satineh married Harutyun, a man from Verishen, a village outside Goris. The couple moved to Ishkhanadzor in 2018, built a house, grew wheat and raised livestock.

She would also travel to various Artsakh villages and sell clothes from the trunk of her car. She had racked up four million drams in accounts payable, money that her customers refused to pay after the war. Life was hard, they told her.

“My two kids grew up in that car, on the road,” Satineh says, referring her twin daughters

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