“The American University of Armenia saved me twice”-touching speech by Syrian-Armenian student

The commencement ceremony for the alumni of the American University of Armenia became a day to remember thanks to the touching speech by Syrian-Armenian alumnus Setrag Hovsepian.

“I am Setrag Hovsepian, a diasporan Armenian from Damascus.

I am speaking today for all of us, all 287 graduates, and to begin by thanking our families and our instructors, without any of you we wouldn’t be here on this stage. Today is the day that I’ve waited for, for so long. It is the very first time I am actually celebrating a graduation.

I`m going to tell two stories about myself. You see, back in 2000, I finished elementary school, but the former Syrian president died and the graduation ceremony was canceled.

In 2003, I finished secondary school and it was the Iraqi war and we couldn’t celebrate our graduation.

In 2006, I finished high school and there was war in Lebanon and unfortunately again, all celebrations were canceled.

In 2013, I got my BA from Damascus University and this time, the war was at its peak in Syria and we couldn’t celebrate.

So, today is a special celebration for me, because I am actually celebrating my graduation in the presence of my parents and in my Motherland.

The second story is about AUA and me. AUA saved me twice, first in the summer of 2014 when I received an email saying that I was accepted in the MA TEFL program and I ran into another room to tell my mother about it when a mortar fell in the room where I had been, so AUA literally saved my life.

The second time is today, when I will finally receive a master’s degree, that will open doors wider than I ever imagined and will allow me to build a life here in Armenia.”

Source: http://champord.am/

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