There is no future outside of Armenia

Armenia has always received repatriates with open arms. They come from different corners of the globe with the desire to settle, start families and help the country flourish. The participants of the 2015 “Diaspora” Summer School Program of the RA Ministry of Diaspora had a chance to meet and talk with some repatriates in Armenia.

Executive Director and co-founder of Repat Armenia Foundation Vardan Marashlyan, who supports repatriates, helps them settle in the homeland, establish contacts and carry out their activities, mentioned that 1,000-500 Diaspora Armenians return to Armenia and settle in the country every year. This number doesn’t include Syrian-Armenians, who clearly repatriate due to the war in Syria. “Although Armenian economy is not wonderful, there are fields that are developing, such as tourism and information technologies. These are the fields that mainly attract repatriates,” Vardan Marashlyan mentioned. He also noted that many Armenian businessmen want to hire repatriates who have lived abroad for many years, have experience in working abroad and know the rules and demands of the market. “Our Foundation’s first objective is to present the issues of repatriation correctly, help repatriates integrate and finally reach the point where repatriation becomes an issue on the agenda,” the director of Repat Armenia Foundation said, adding that there are repatriates from various countries, including Syria, the USA, the Russian Federation, Lebanon, Iran and other countries.

One of the participants of the meeting was Artyom Tadevosyan, who has repatriated from Russia. He works in the field of agriculture and introduces new technologies in the production of dried fruits. Diana Hovhannisyan is also from the Russian Federation, but hasn’t only come for business purposes. She couldn’t imagine her children’s future in Moscow. Coming to Armenia, she started a family and already has two children. Tamara, who came from Canada, says she feels safe and secure in the homeland and she wouldn’t trade that with the successes that she has achieved and the achievements that she has made in Canada. Aramazd, who has returned from the USA, mentions that besides being a patriot, he is also a humanist and tries to live for the interests of mankind, sharing his knowledge and investing his potential for Armenians. “We have fought for the country for so many years, but we sell our brains and potential to foreigners. That’s wrong,” Raffi, who has repatriated from Canada, noted. All the participating repatriates affirmed that many think living abroad is like a fairy tale, but not everything is like a fairy tale.

The young repatriates work in different fields, and each of them has different goals and dreams connected with the homeland. Aramazd wants to see the development of eco-tourism and agro-tourism in Armenia, which will help the country and nature since nature protection will be of everyone’s interest.

During the meeting, the participants also asked the repatriates their questions that were mainly related to the difficulties that they faced when they returned, how they took their first steps and if they haven’t regretted moving to Armenia.

All the young repatriates gave the same answer: “There are difficulties everywhere. One needs to have the desire and willpower. We can’t regret coming to Armenia because there is no future outside of Armenia.”

Amalya Karapetyan

4th year student of the Faculty of Journalism of Yerevan State University

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