Suren Sherik: “The most important thing for me is the solution to issues raised and implementation of proposals made during the 6th Armenia-Diaspora Pan-Armenian Conference

Most of the participants of the 6th Armenia-Diaspora Pan-Armenian Conference are still in Armenia. Some of them are staying to participate in the events dedicated to the anniversary of Yerevan and to enjoy autumn in Yerevan. One of them, Dr. Suren Sherik from Alfortville, gave an interview to me, and I present it to Hayern Aysor’s readers.

Karine Avagyan: Welcome to the homeland! I know you had come to participate in the 6th Armenia-Diaspora Pan-Armenian Conference. So, I would like to ask you to share your impressions.

Suren Sherik: I came to Armenia to not only participate in the conference, but also to enjoy the autumn in Yerevan and participate in the events dedicated to the city’s birthday. My wife, Margo and I usually visit Armenia every year, and we particularly select mid-September to early October because those months are the months of ‘golden’ autumn in Armenia. The conference was very well organized. A tremendous amount of work had been done, and for this I would like to express gratitude to the Minister of Diaspora of the Republic of Armenia and all the employees of the Ministry of Diaspora. For me, the most important thing is to solve the issues raised, consider the concerns and implement the proposals. It is necessary to take action. This is what I mainly expect from the conference. The important thing is the outcome.

Karine Avagyan: Mr. Sherik, do you think this conference will lead to any progress in Armenia’s development and further strengthening of bonds and cooperation between Armenia and the Diaspora?

Suren Sherik: That is quite an interesting question. I will gladly and frankly answer that question because it is what I think about and is close to my heart. I don’t have great expectations from the conference. I only have hopes. I think it is necessary to stop giving speeches, take action, set certain time limits for the solutions to the issues raised and see the outcomes, as well as demand a list of the investments that are made. Of course, the conferences can’t help achieve immediate results.

Karine Avagyan: Regardless of the conference, as a patriotic Armenian, what do you think is important for Armenia’s development and the strengthening of bonds and cooperation between Armenia and the Diaspora at this moment?

Suren Sherik: I have an interesting question-are Armenia and the Diaspora really on the same path? I consider enhancement of closer collaboration between Armenia and the Diaspora a priority issue.

Karine Avagyan: Which of the speeches and several proposals was the closest to your heart?

Suren Sherik: I liked the speeches devoted to defense. I attach great importance to preservation of the Armenian identity, language and schools. It is necessary to have the top specialized Armenian language teachers in the Diaspora.

Karine Avagyan: Mr. Sherik, what is your profession and what do you currently do in France for the benefit of Armenians?

Suren Sherik: I am a chemical engineer by profession and am ranked an academician/doctor. I dropped out of the university and started pursuing a career in kauchuk production after specializing in the field. I was born in Istanbul. Forty years ago, my family and I migrated to France where I worked in the field of chemical science for 40 consecutive years, but I retired ten years ago and have been involved in cultural activities and community service ever since. I have prepared and continue to prepare series of shows on Radio AYB. My first series was entitled “The Old and the New”, followed by the series “What Do We Know?’. The third series was called “A Fable” during which I would present an Armenian fable, interpret it and elaborate on it. The fourth series was referred to as “Our Language”. For the past six months, I have been broadcasting another series entitled “Contemporary Western Armenian Literature”. These are all my shows.

Karine Avagyan: So, you prepare and host literary and artistic shows and recite poems, even though you are not a philologist or linguist. How is it that you have that gift?

Suren Sherik: I was obsessed with math and loved the exact sciences in school, but at the same time, I was in the world of literature with soul. I would always hold math books and a fiction book in my hand.

Karine Avagyan: The anniversary of Yerevan is just around the corner. What would you wish our old and eternal, yet young and rosy capital city that is about to mark its 3,000th anniversary?

Suren Sherik: I wish that the city looks nicer and cleaner and that urban development becomes close to what Tamanyan was dreaming about. I wish that the panorama of the city doesn’t change through the construction of in-style structures and buildings that show no features of conventional Armenian architecture and are no surprise for visiting tourists. May Yerevan be eternal!

Interview by Karine Avagyan

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