Mariam Andreasyan: “It was a day to remember because I presented my small sculpture to the Minister of Diaspora”

Every time I interview a participant of the “Ari Tun” Program, I become convinced that most of them have a longing for the Homeland deep down inside, that they have been waiting to be in the Homeland for the first time or to visit again, that they see their future in Armenia, that Armenian is the most splendid and the most beautiful language in the world for them, that they have felt a unique warmth in Armenia and that for most of them, the “Ari Tun” Program has helped them not only become familiar with historic and cultural monuments of the Homeland and enrich their Armenian vocabulary through Armenian language courses, but also establish contacts with their peers from different countries around the world and make new friends. Another one of my interviews was with 16-year-old Israeli-Armenian Mariam Andreasyan and her mother, Liana Haroyan, who shared their impressions during the closing ceremony of the seventh stage of the “Ari Tun” Program.

Mariam Andreasyan, 16, Modini, Israel

“I was born in Yerevan and was only six years old when my family and I moved to Israel. My sister is also participated in the program. My father heard about the “Ari Tun” Program and told us about it, and my sister and I said we wanted to participate. We have gone sightseeing in Armenia a lot, but it was also interesting for us to visit those places with our peers from different countries around the world. Today is a day to remember because I presented the Minister of Diaspora of the Republic of Armenia with the sculpture that I had made during the interesting sculpting course that I took at the “Ari Tun” Camp. This is my fourth visit to Armenia. We have many relatives here and are spending wonderful days with our relatives. What I liked the most about the program was the Armenian language course that helped me enrich my vocabulary. I must say that my family is conventional and that Armenian is our household language. The days at the camp are more interesting. I would love for Armenian singers, dance groups and theater companies to perform more abroad.”

Liana Haroyan, Modini, Israel, mother of Mariam Andreasyan

“My family and I have been living in Israel for a decade. My husband’s grandmother lives in Israel. My husband, Serob and I are skiers (there is practically no snow in Israel, the weather is not favorable for that sport), but we don’t work by our profession. Armenia is our home that we often visit and see our friends, relatives and acquaintances. We never became detached from the Homeland after we left. We live in a small city of Israel where there are no Armenians and the locals don’t know the Armenians, but we try to introduce them to Armenia and Armenians. We don’t live in Armenia, but our children speak Armenian because Armenian is our household language. I am happy that there is such a program that our two daughters are participating in. I would like for the participants to be accompanied by guides at the museums and for the guides to speak in Armenian slowly and clearly. There are many Diaspora Armenian children who don’t understand Armenian well. So, it would be right for the explanations to be given in English. Mariam was charmed when she returned from the Museum of History, but the explanations were given in strictly literal Armenian, and many hadn’t understood the words. The camping event is very well organized. My husband and I would stay at the nearby hotel and see our children almost every day and get better acquainted with the daily activities. We thank the organizers!”

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