From Stepanakert To Baghramyan: Maria’s new toys and old games

Three-year-old Maria from Stepanakert has found herself a bit “lost” in time and space, but she remembers one address well: the village of Hatsik. In the aftermath of being displaced from Artsakh in September, Maria’s family found a new home in the village of Baghramyan in the Armavir province. Twice a week, accompanied by her father, she visits COAF’s Child and Family Center in Hatsik and attends gatherings at the Child Development Corner.


At the center, she communicates with friends, blending the Artsakh dialect with the formal Armenian she has learned. Rubina, a psychologist from the Child Development Corner, playfully notes that Maria converses with them in a “simplified dialect.” It’s widely known; she always has her own opinions and observations, expressing them with ease.


“If someone in the group suddenly feels down, Maria consistently approaches and attempts to lift their spirits,” shares Rubina.

Maria shares photos from her birthday in Stepanakert, naming all her friends.

Despite being aware of the miraculous abilities of the “goldfish,” she still prefers pink fish.

The three-year-old from Artsakh may occasionally sound “Russian” to her peers’ friends, but games erase all language barriers.

Maria mentions she has a scooter, although she doesn’t have it now as it remained in Artsakh, along with most of her toys. She has gotten a bit lost in the “world of grown-ups.”

Maria’s trusted teammates and “accomplices” are her older brothers.

“Breathe, breathe less now (exhale)”: This is how Maria “listens” to her father’s heart several times a day.

Maria gets upset and informs her mother that Masha the doll has fallen ill again, prompting her to take drastic measures and give the doll an injection.

The princess and her loyal knights.

Author: Knar Babayan

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