A Year After Catastrophe | Noor Lima Boudakian | Economics and Global Studies

Noor Lima Boudakian (they/them), Economics and Global Studies

Noor is standing outdoors, looking to the right. The bottom half of brown hair is pink, wearing a light blue tank top and multiple necklaces.

Project Description
In March of 2022, I travelled to Yerevan, Armenia to conduct a series of interviews with college students about the ongoing social and economic impacts on their everyday lives from a tragic war that happened between Armenia and Azerbaijan in late 2020. Based on the data, my final report has taken a focus on the food crisis that has emerged from this war, which has come to light even further now that Ukraine and Russia are at war. The parallels between these two conflicts, and simultaneous juxtaposition in media coverage has given rise to questions about how conversation about conflict may impact those who are experiencing it.

What Form will your Final Project Take?

Who was supporting you in with work?
Ying Chen Assistant Professor, Economics; Director of Undergraduate Studies and Departmental Faculty Advisor, Economics

How has this project has been impactful or transformative — for you personally or for those this work has impacted:
This project has given me the opportunity to reflect on the ways that territory and land are non-permanent. It allowed me to continue a connection with my family and its history, and to create a solid understanding of what I am interested in researching.

A memory I continue going back to is the feeling of completing my first interview in Armenia. After having had to reschedule the trip due to Omicron, and then re-route my flights (which had originally been over Moscow) less than a week before leaving, it felt incredibly relieving to know that this project was finally underway. In addition to the more concrete academic things that I have been able to explore, it sharpened my Armenian language skills, and allowed me to build connections in universities abroad.

What would you do differently? How would you advise a student who is going to do something similar?
This is something seemingly small, but that I found as being important during my time actually in Armenia– the culture around planning and scheduling. It was my inclination to schedule interviews weeks in advance, and I tried to do that, but most of them ended up being scheduled only a couple of days before they actually happened. I would advise them to be cognizant of the culture surrounding these things!

Are you going to publish or print your work? If so, where?
I want to but I don’t know how or where.


Read the paper here.

A monument stone at the Armenian-Russian University, dedicated to the multiple students there who were killed in the war.

Short summary
I traveled to Yerevan, the capital of Armenia, for a week in March 2022. There, I conducted a number of interviews with college students, asking primarily about the changes in their everyday lives, both social and economic, from before to after the war. While many of the students I spoke to began by talking about how they feel they will never be able to return to life as it was before the war, another common thread was that every person I interviewed brought up the rise in food prices since the conflict.

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