Somewhere Over the Rainbow: Reconstruction and Rehabilitation of War-Damaged Areas in Azerbaijan
(UNDP; 1998). Text by Rebecca Ponton. 20 pgs.

The Long Walk Home . . .

War creates vivid memories. Images are burned into the mind's eye like the freeze-frame of a camera. Every survivor has a mental picture that will be with him forever. For Khagani Jafarov, now Deputy of Fizuli Region Executive Committee (EXCOM), that picture is of his six-year old daughter, running toward him, screaming, "Father!" when she learned he was not dead.

"Because she did not have shoes, she was wearing her mother's and, as she ran toward me, crying, she tripped," he says somberly. "I cannot forget this scene."

Jafarov and his family lived just three kilometers from what eventually became the front-line in the conflict with Armenia, which began in 1988. The invasion was swift and far-reaching: 22 villages were occupied in the initial advance. Jafarov's wife had previously suggested that they have some belongings ready in case they had to leave their home. But, he explains, there were eight families living in the house at that time.

"I couldn't take anything because who would help these people?" he asks, without expecting an answer . . .

Copyright 1998 Rebecca Ponton. No part of this text may be reproduced without the express written consent of the author. | copyright 2008 All Rights Reserved