“Hello Armenia”: Story of Repatriation

Around 16 years ago SyrianArmenian Artsiv Kirazyan was a successful photographer in Aleppo; however after visiting Armenia in 2000, he immediately decided to relocate.

He was very famous in both Syria and Lebanon, he photographed everything, and he even photographed the opening ceremony of the Armenian Church in Deir Ezzor. However the photography business was not developed in Armenia during those times. In 2003 he had to change his profession.

Along with his wife Manushak, he noticed that there are no specialized diners in Armenia. They decided to open a small restaurant and serve such authentic Armenian dishes, which were long forgotten. His wife said cooking was her hobby in Syria, not a profession. “We are very happy that now people are ordering by differentiating, for example the kebab of Urfa, or the Kebab of Tigranakert. We have found recipes of such old Armenian dishes that only a handful of people know in the whole world”, Artsiv said. Artsiv said before the clashes began, in early 2000s, it was obvious that war in unavoidable. He wanted his children to grow up in safety.

“I adapted easily in my new home, because I came without hesitation”, he says. He even had offers to work in photography business in Russia, but he wished to stay in Armenia. Artsiv expressed regret that many Armenian leave to work abroad. He says irrespective of the work, it is better to do it in your homeland and serve your people. “As a result many Armenians visit Armenia only in their final years of life. Even if they don’t, their sons do, “he said.

“The Government must create favorable conditions for Syrian-Armenians, so each and everyone works in his sphere and helps develop the country, not leave for another one. Of course we want to live a careless life; however we want to live in our homeland. I will not leave Armenia, no matter what”, Artsiv said as a conclusion.

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