“Take me to America” demanded Babo Arina

Arina, an 88 years old Armenian lady whose husband died due to a heart attack following the scenery he'd seen after Azerbaijan air forces struck Nagorno Karabakh during 44 days of the war in 2020.
She doesn't get to see her step-children either she said on Thursday, Jan 28, 2021. (VX Photo/ Vudi Xhymshiti)

During our conversation, she repeatedly said: “….take me to America.” She lives in a halfway house that needs renovation. The bomb that struck her house devastated its structure, she now lives in its rubbles.

She said she is from Sumgait, (Sumqayit), which is the third-largest city in Azerbaijan, located near the Caspian Sea, about 31 kilometres away from the capital, Baku. She said that she fled Sumqayit following an organised attack targeting the Armenian population of the seaside town of Sumgait in the then Azerbaijan Soviet Socialist Republic in late February 1988.

Being forced to flee Sumgait she and her husband lived in Yerevan and later sometime in 1994 they started a new life in Stepanakert, following the Armenian occupation of Nagorno Karabakh region. 26 years later her house is struck by an Azerbaijani airstrike in Stepanakert, the capital city of the Self-proclaimed Republic of Artsakh.

(Buy this VX Story/ Vudi Xhymshiti)


VX Pictures is a London based storytelling photo agency founded to counter the current trend in the photography business of mass-produced commercial imagery rather than singular, quality editorial photography. VXP is small and photographer-owned. Our work is seen at The New York Times, TIME Magazine, Le Monde, Paris Match, Der Spiegel, Stern, The Guardian, The Times, Vanity Fair, La Republica, Al Jazeera, Deutsche Welle and Balkan Investigative Reporting Network. We also wire news pictures for the UK based Daily Mail Media Group and its 10 newsgathering outlets such as Daily Mail, Weekend, The Mail Online, LIVE, The Irish Mail, Evening Standard, ES Magazine, Metro etc. Also, our work is often seen with News UK Ltd Newspapers such as The Times, the Sun and the Sunday Times of London.