Hak village sits in the northernmost part of Artsakh’s Kashatagh region. Although area Armenians suffered brutal ethnic cleansing by Azeris up until the 1920s, a wealth of churches and other monuments attest to the region’s longstanding Armenian heritage.
For example, Hak’s historic St. Minas Church bears an inscription that dates the church back to at least 1675. During Karabagh’s occupation during the Soviet period, the church was pillaged and later used as a barn. Many of Kashatagh’s churches suffered similar desecration, while others were simply abandoned and left to rot.
The Foundation, with partnership support from Ms. Virginia Davies of New York, launched several new initiatives in Hak, beginning in 2009. The overall goal has been to highlight the village’s historic Armenian character and to raise the standard of living of families resettling in this area.
To fulfill the first goal, the Saint Minas church was restored and reconsecrated, thereby renewing public attention toward a site of cultural and historical interest while providing spiritual nourishment for nearby villagers. In performing the renovation works, we ensured that the structure of the church remained intact by restoring its roof, altar, windows, door, and earthen floor.
While the church renovation carried great symbolic value, the current living standards of the village required equal, if not greater, attention. While spring water is abundant in the area, the main water pipe to the village was damaged and water was not reaching the houses. In 2009-10, the Foundation did the necessary repair work and expanded the network of water pipes so that water would reach each village household. The families were very thankful that they no longer have to walk miles to the spring and back, carrying heavy pails of water.
Ms. Davies’ support of these efforts is provided in loving memory of her grandmother, Vergine Mouradian. Ms. Mouradian and her brother were the only two members of their family to survive the 1915 Genocide.