Berkaber is one of the oldest villages in Tavush. At the beginning of the 19th Century, the Tbilisi Yerevan postal route cut through the village which saw many travelers stop in Berkaber including the Russian writer Alexandre Griboyedov. It was the only village in the area to have been built according to a specific building project in the 19th Century. In 1978, the village was renamed Berkaber meaning “bountiful” thanks to its rich history of agriculture. Over the years it has been called Joghaz, Chokhaz, Papis and Pipis.
Berkaber is located 161km from Yerevan and less than 800m from the Azeri border. Of the 2,965 acres of communal arable land, over 2,225 is under Azeri control. The village, in its entirely, is under direct sniper fire seeing frequent fire from the strategically located Azeri snipers.
The Joghaz reservoir, completed in 1980, serves as a natural demarcation line, provided irrigation to over 24,710 acres of land during Soviet times. The scenic view of the area is enhanced by the remnants of an Armenian fortress and chapel on the eastern side of the 200m tall Gavazan boulder located close to the village.
At 700m above sea level the village has mild weather during most of the year and an approximate population of 500. The village has a school, one of the oldest museums of agricultural and historic significance in the area as well as the recently completed St Gevorg Church. The infrastructure leading to and within the village are wholly inadequate. The kindergarten and community center are not in use due to their dilapidated state. The village does not have central gas lines.
The main source of income in the village is agriculture (persimmons and figs), beekeeping and greenhouses.
Sahman began various projects in Berkaber in 2012 including greenhouse cultivation, beekeeping, cultural events as well as educational projects and exchange programs. During the last 5 years, almost all of the families have benefited from and taken part in various Sahman project leading to an unprecedented socially active community.