Every morning, we wake up, knowing that we will shape our future in the Homeland

Despite the growing rate of emigration, fortunately, we see young Armenian families of the Armenian Diaspora resettling in Armenia and Artsakh. Each of them attaches great importance to shaping its future, raising children in the homeland and making even a modest contribution to the advancement of the country. Unfortunately, there are fewer people like that than there are people emigrating, but they instill hope and set an example for those who, for this or that reason, think twice about returning to the homeland.

Harut and Lilia Adamyans are one of those examples.

In 2014, they and their three children settled in Artsakh.

Harut was born in the Armenian-populated Bourj-Hammoud District of Lebanon. His mother is from Zeytun, and his father is from Kharberd. Harut graduated from the Cilician School. During his teenage years, he had many preferences, but his greatest preference was martial arts, which later provided him with the opportunity to move to Artsakh and finally settle there.

In 1985, Harut started attending the Armenian Black Belts Academy of Lebanon and received his black belt in 1995.

“Martial arts became a major part of my life. It provided me with education and physical education and helped me find spiritual harmony,” Harut mentions.

During those years, he was working as a coach. In 1997, Garo Kebabjian suggested that he travel to Artsakh for a year to teach martial arts, and he took his friend’s advice.

A year later, he already had more than 20 branches with over 3,500 students. After that, Harut Aghamyan became irreplaceable and decided to stay another year in Artsakh.

“That’s how I got connected to Artsakh, its land and water and didn’t want to go back to Lebanon,” says Harut and goes on to confess the following: “Everything is different here. I feel freer. I feel as free as a person does at home.”

It was in Artsakh where he met his future wife, Lilia, who was one of Harut’s students. “I liked Lilia right when I met her. She was one of my most active students and immediately stood out from the rest. In 1999, I proposed to her. We got married in Shushi, organized a big Armenian wedding in Artsakh and invited all my friends from different parts of the world,” says Harut, taking a glance at his wife.

They stayed in Karabakh until 2005. During their stay, they trained 12 coaches who continued their work in Artsakh. They would visit Artsakh on every occasion during their years in Lebanon.

“Instead of spending our summer vacations in different countries, we would visit Artsakh to spend our vacation with our friends and relatives,” says Lilia.

The war in Syria had a negative impact on Lebanon. As Harut says, the Armenian-populated Bourj Hammoud District was no longer in peace. Kurds and Arabs were destroying the Armenian environment, and that served as the reason for the move to Artsakh.

“Every morning, we woke up, knowing that we were going to shape our future in the homeland and that one day we would move to Artsakh, but the children were still in school. So, we thought about moving after they graduated, but we returned sooner than we thought,” says Lilia.

“During our years in Lebanon, I realized that everyone respected and accepted the Armenians. They shared the Armenians’ joy and pain. On Armenian holidays and our days of mourning, the Arabs would close their shops as a sign of respect, something you don’t see in Armenia or Artsakh,” says Lilia.

Lilia is a journalist. She was a teacher at an Armenian school in Lebanon.

After moving to Artsakh, Harut continued working as a coach. For the past couple of months, he has also been working in the Armed Forces of the Nagorno-Karabakh Republic as a contractual soldier as he trains soldiers.

“I teach martial arts not only to help my students stay physically healthy, but spiritually healthy. That’s why I attach importance to the teaching of martial arts in the army. Armenians are always proud and have high spirits since this land and the historical riches are ours. We must be physically and spiritually strong as a nation,” says Harut.

Talking about the hardships and obstacles in Artsakh, Harut says even though there are problems with employment and the level of education, those same problems and difficulties exist in any country. You can find a job and earn a lot of money abroad, but you also have a lot of expenses and education isn’t free.

When asked if he and his family might move to Lebanon someday, Adamyan said: “We have decided to settle in Artsakh for good, and nothing can change our decision. If anything changed our decision, we wouldn’t have moved,” says Harut, adding: “When we moved to Artsakh, we didn’t rely on the government. We had a house, and I had a job as a coach. We only asked for help for teaching in the army, but nothing else, and we won’t be asking anyone for help…We get by with a little. We’re not complaining about anything. We have hope and faith in the future. Of course, there are many Diaspora Armenians who would also like to return to the homeland, if they had jobs in Artsakh. I think efforts are being made, and I hope many people return soon.”

Harut and Lilia have three children, including their two sons, Aram and Gabriel, as well as 4-year-old Sarin. Aram and Gabriel like their father’s preferences and profession to a certain extent, but they like the performing arts more.

The elder son, Aram, got accepted to one of the top schools in Yerevan this year.

Little Sarin attends a music school and loves to sing. She never misses the opportunity to present her “art” to the family’s guests, and the editors of “Aparazh” were no exception. We listened to the little singer perform the songs that she had composed.

Today, the Black Belts Academy of Artsakh, which was founded by Harut, has achieved great success in the international arena. Today, the Academy has world champions and leading players in Europe. When asked what the guarantee for the unprecedented success of the athletes of Artsakh in martial arts is, Harut said

“The teens and youth of Artsakh are the most capable teens and youth I have ever met. They understand everything very quickly, be it arts, culture or sports. They are responsible and persistent. They just need good guidance, and they can achieve great heights in a very short period of time.”

Talking about the flaws, Harut said he regretted the fact that the 20 branches of the Black Belts Academy of Artsakh no longer exist in Artsakh. He says the reason is because of lack of financial assistance.

“Today, it’s very important for us to have branches in the bordering villages since there is already a lot to do in Stepanakert. The teens and youth living in the bordering villages have the right to be more active and to be physically and spiritually strong,” said Harut.

Lusine Tevosyan


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