Syrian-Armenian family says the hardest thing is to start from scratch

Aleppo-Armenian jeweler Arman Chirishian has his pavilion at the Vernisazh market. He and his wife, Lousin Barsoumian came to Armenia with their three-year-old daughter and had their second child here. Like many Armenian families of Aleppo, this family also lived the good life in Aleppo before the war that broke out in Syria.

Arman Chirishian had his own store where he would sell his pearls, as well as his gold and diamond jewels, while Lousin would give beading lessons, even though she’s an accountant by profession. Lousin Barsoumian started helping her husband in the first week of their arrival in Armenia.

“I never had free time before we came to Yerevan. I worked every minute, even before I got married. When I received my university degree, I already had a job. I started participating in exhibitions and sold my accessories during our first week in Armenia. I slowly began receiving orders. My children are still little. When they go to kindergarten, I’ll start acquiring more skills in accounting,” says Lousin Barsoumian.

Arman Chirishian started studying the Armenian market and becoming familiar with the tastes of the locals. He sold his jewels at the Gold Market for a while, after which he moved to the Vernisazh market and specialized in selling silverware. “I slowly became familiar with people’s preferences and received more and more customers. Now there are people who come to Vernisazh to see me. My wife doesn’t miss any fair or exhibition, and I encourage her to work. It’s not a shame,” says Arman.

The hardest thing for this family in Armenia is to start from scratch. “We left everything behind in Aleppo. When we came here, we didn’t know how we were going to earn a living and how we were going to open a store. We got tired. Then, everything worked out and we started receiving customers. We haven’t had any problems with the locals. They don’t look at us as foreigners a lot. We’ve adapted to the environment, and the locals have adapted to us,” says Lousin Barsoumian.

Marianna Ghahramanyan

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