George Vanesian: “I have come to stay. I have come to finally live in my Homeland”

Repatriation is also a historic phenomenon and a movement that is sometimes sudden and imposed, based on the geopolitical events and large-scale military operations that take place in a person’s residence or birthplace. Fortunately, there are also many cases when a person repatriates by his own decision and with the purpose of fulfilling his or her dream. Syrian-Armenian musician, singer and dental technician George Vanesian came to Armenia with that dream and settled in the Zovuni village of Kotayk Province. During my interview with George at the editorial office of Hayern Aysor electronic newspaper, I learned about his concerns and problems, his preferences and future plans, as well as his thoughts and the dreams that remain unfulfilled.

“I was born and raised in Aleppo. My father is Armenian, and my mother is an Arab. I lived in Aleppo until I turned 17. I wanted to become a clergyman. For that purpose, I studied at the Saint Vardan Armenian Catholic Church, but in 1993, I moved to Lebanon so that I could study music. I graduated from the local conservatory, learned Oriental music and sang and played ud for a while. I lived in Lebanon for 20 years and then returned to Aleppo during the war. Every year, Marakesh would host festivals featuring performances by music bands, singers and musicians from different countries around the world. I have sung twice in Damascus. I took private lessons to become a dental technician and am involved in prosthesis. I specialized in Syria and Lebanon. I thought I would find a job with all my professions in Armenia, but unfortunately, I have difficulties and have been unemployed for the past two months. I came to Armenia so that I could learn Armenian and Armenian songs. I have been living in Armenia for a year. It’s obvious that one faces quite a lot of difficulties when moving from one country to the next and needs time to overcome the difficulties. I could have stayed in Lebanon where I could sing, play music and do my job as a prosthesis specialist, but I preferred to move to the Homeland. I am currently looking for a job. I would like to sing or play in a band. I am renting an apartment near Zakaria store in Zovuni and perform prosthesis at home, but upon a client’s desire, I can go to his house, take measures, prepare the prosthesis for his tooth, go back, place them and, if necessary, make corrections. I must also say that the material for the tooth prosthesis that I place (I place metal inside so that it stays for a long time) is not made in China, but in Italy and Germany. I wait for clients every day and never feel desperate. Even though I don’t have work to do, I never regret moving to Armenia. Soul food is also very important for me, and I get it through song and music. On September 26, I will be performing the Armenian songs “Bingyol”, “Im Anush Tavigh” and “Martiki Yerge” at the Song Day event to be held on the sidelines of the “My Armenia” Pan-Armenian Festival organized by the RA Ministry of Diaspora. I have come to stay. I have come to finally live in my Homeland and feel the air of Armenia.”

Karine Avagyan

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