Deep attachment to Armenian identity
Armenian culture has always been a part of my life and upbringing. Armenian is my second mother tongue, and I have been part of the Armenian community since I was born. As I grew up, I understood the significance of aiding Armenia, my second homeland. Through my studies, I found myself deeply interested in Armenia's geopolitics and the 44-day war. Participating in Birthright was the natural next step, an opportunity to have hands-on experience of working and living in Armenia. I wanted to come to Armenia to gain a better understanding of the political and legal aspects of the conflict, a conflict that is rarely discussed in Western countries.
Through the program, I had the chance to work at the Center for Truth and Justice, an NGO founded in 2020 that focuses on the ongoing legal classification of the Artsakh conflict. I volunteered once a week at the Femlibrary as well, the only feminist library in the country. I also had the opportunity to participate in a forum for Armenians of diaspora, which allowed me to understand how important and significant our role as Armenian diaspora members is for the country and its international presence. This allowed me to align my commitments and values with my interests and goals. Thus, my work experiences gave me a deeper grasp of the values that were so important to me when I was younger, both professionally and personally, prior to coming to Armenia.
Birthright: The Journey of Self-Discovery and Commitments
Embarking on the Birthright journey to Armenia allowed me to experience what it means to live in Armenia. I explored various parts of the country, enriched my culture and Armenian identity, and met Armenians from all around the world. The program also helped me learn more about myself and my connection to Armenia.
Personally, I didn't find my place in Armenia. I speak Western Armenian, so I often felt misunderstood and rejected by the locals. In addition, as a European, I also became aware of the differences in mindset and way of life between the two countries. Therefore, Birthright made me realize how important my Armenian heritage and Armenia are to me, but I feel my place is within the diaspora, where I intend to continue enriching my Armenian identity.