The New Year in Gapanly
Gapanly frontline village is celebrating the New Year. Baku marked this day with a roaring salute, whereas the residents of Gapanly have been rejoicing over silence. Locals say, shooting is halted on holidays on a tacit agreement between the military.
Gapanly is a village located in Terter district, Azerbaijan. During the Karabakh conflict in the early 90s, the village was a fierce battleground and it eventually fell under Azerbaijan’s control. However, the village is just 5 km. away from the contact line of the Azerbaijani- Armenian troops and therefore, despite a ‘formal truce’, it is subjected to shelling every now and then.
The village was seriously affected as a result of shooting attacks during the so-called ‘April war’ in 2016. Most of the houses were destroyed by shells. The residents are now grateful to the government for housing- new houses have been built for them. Soil ramparts are being erected to protect the villagers from shelling. However, it’s still insecure to live here, since ramparts cannot fully protect the village from bullets.
The Bayramov family is also happy about a new housing. Since the father and the son are both master craftsmen, they asked only to build the walls and requested money for the interior décor, so that they could do the repair works to their own taste. They have repaired only one room so far, and that’s where they live now: Mubariz Bayramov and his wife, Almaz, their son and daughter. Another daughter is married in Baku.
The men do the painting job, while the women, as usual, are busy with the household chores. The Bayramovs keep livestock and, like the majority of villagers, bake the bread themselves. On holidays they don’t usually have the dishes that are customary to the Bakuvians: a traditional ‘Stolichny’(Olivier) salad and various ‘luxury’ stuff from a supermarket. On the other hand, they have home-made pickled food, barbeques from just-slaughtered turkey and the fresh bread.
And their dreams about the life in the next year are also different from those of the city people. They say, they would like to live with no fear of going outside, to peacefully cultivate the land and take a respite from the sound of bullets they have been so sick and tired of over the past 23 years.
- The armed conflict between Azerbaijan and Armenia over Nagorno-Karabakh took place in 1991-1994.
- Nagorno-Karabakh Republic is not recognized by any country in the world, including Armenia.
- Azerbaijan considers Karabakh and the adjacent areas, acquired during the war, as occupied territories and demands their return.
- In 2016, the escalation of tension in the conflict zone lasted from April 2 till April 5. On April 5 the parties agreed to a ceasefire, but the firefight continues on a smaller scale.
- Azerbaijan and Armenia blame each other for a violation of the agreement.
The opinions, expressed in the article, convey the author’s terminology and views and do not necessarily reflect the position of the editorial staff