At the foot of the Caucasus Mountains in Quba, a district in north-east Azerbaijan, Anar runs a small company that collects rocks and gravel for use in concrete. Like him, most of his 16 workers are exiles from Nagorno-Karabakh, a region of south-west Azerbaijan that has been administered by neighbouring Armenia since the two countries fought a brutal war over who should control it from the late 1980s to the mid-1990s.
Anar, now in his mid-thirties, left Nagorno-Karabakh as a child, moving with his father to Baku, the capital of Azerbaijan. After studying international relations, he briefly lived in Russia, where he married and had a child, before returning to Azerbaijan to take over his father’s gravel-making business. For accommodation, his workers use shipping containers; those who have families see them at most once a month.
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