Young Diaspora Armenian found his love in Artsakh

Each and every repatriate who has moved to Armenia has a story to tell. The stories are unique and different, just like the Armenians who were born and raised in different countries around the world and who took paths to Armenia that are similar and different at the same time.

The hero of the story presented by Hayern Aysor is the story of Jordanian-Armenian Garo Serpekian.

I had always been thinking about returning to Armenia…

In Jordan, Garo Serpekian worked as an accountant for ten years. He was also a member of a jazz band and carried out different kinds of activities at a recording studio.

Garo was born and raised far away from the homeland, but the return to Armenia was always on his mind. Later, he dreamed of returning and did his best to turn his dream into a reality.

In 2007, he visited Armenia for the first time as a tourist for two weeks. In 2014, he was lucky to visit Armenia again to attend his friend’s wedding.

Before repatriating, he had been searching for jobs online since he had decided to start his own business and make investments in Armenia.

Of course, there were hardships on the road. After all, Armenia was an unfamiliar country for him. He wasn’t familiar with the people’s mindset and didn’t know the legislation and the business field, but he didn’t lose hope…

It was the program of Birthright Armenia/Depi Hayk Foundation that led him to Armenia.

He participated in the program with the hope to be able to establish a connection with Armenia, gain work and professional experience, make new friends and stand firmly on the native land. During Depi Hayk’s six-month volunteer program, he worked in Yerevan and Artsakh.

My father was convincing me to return during the whole trip to the airport…

Garo’s family and friends thought he was “crazy” and courageous to think about repatriating. He was mainly encouraged by his two sisters. His mother left it up to God’s will, and his father said Garo had to the live his life the way he wanted to live. However, throughout the whole trip to the airport, he had tried to convince him to return, but Garo did not give up.

“I could somehow understand my parents’ concern. I had a job and was successful in Jordan and was suddenly leaving everything behind to start a new life in Armenia,” Garo said, adding that he listened to the voice in his soul and God paved the way to Armenia. He had a feeling that everything was going to be fine.

I fell in love with Artsakh immediately…

Garo’s plan was to live in either Yerevan or Dilijan, but he changed his mind when he visited Artsakh through Depi Hayk’s four-week volunteer program.

The young Diaspora Armenian had never been to Artsakh. He immediately agreed to go, but it would never have crossed his mind that he would settle there.

Garo really liked Karabakh. He was in such a spiritual and familiar environment that he thought of doing something in Artsakh.

On the way back to Yerevan, he met one of his friends, tour guide Naira Israelyan at a wine bar. They started talking and decided to open a café in Artsakh.

The opening of “Muklimandil” café was a hissing slap to the Azerbaijanis…

In the dialect of the people of Karabakh, “Muklimandil” means “spider web”. We want to create a special network between the Armenians of Armenia, Artsakh and the Diaspora so that people come and spend their vacation in an exotic corner of the beautiful Stepanakert. The café is also open for foreigners, providing them with the opportunity to become more familiar with Artsakh.

The café hosts several kinds of events, including book presentations, dance courses, discussions, lectures, film screenings, etc.

The opening of the café was scheduled for April last year, but due to the events that took place, it was held on May 16th. As Garo said, contrary to the overwhelming situation in Artsakh following the Four-Day Artsakh War, they were moved by the surprisingly cordial reception of the people.

“The opening of the café was also a hissing slap to the Azerbaijanis. We wanted to show that the enemy can’t bring us down to our knees. No matter how much it tries to make provocations on the border, we will remain united as one so that we can empower Armenia and Artsakh,” Garo stated.

Repatriation gave me the greatest gift-I found my love in the Mother Homeland…

Garo speaks with infinite joy about the greatest gift that he received after repatriating (he found his love in the Mother Homeland).

It was an ordinary day (he even remembers that it was a Wednesday) when tour guide Syuzanna Shahnazaryan came to the café with a group of tourists from Yerevan.

After getting acquainted, they started talking and playing music and having a good time with a group of young people sitting near the tables next to them. The encounter stirred emotions in them.

“Syuzanna is a cardiologist, and she managed to “steal my heart” (laughs-ed.). Ten days later, I came to Yerevan, remembered what Syuzanna had told me and called her…” Garo said, smiling.

Garo and Syuzanna are originally from Karabakh, and perhaps it was the call of the blood and providence that brought them to Karabakh so that they would fall in love, get married and start a beautiful family.

Let us mention that the young couple recently got engaged and will get married in the summer.

After meeting Garo, I refused to leave Armenia

“Garo simply didn’t give me a second option. He confessed his love to me and told me that he would wait for my answer as long as necessary. Of course, he also attracted my attention with his actions and other human attributes. His proposal was very beautiful and romantic (they look at each other and laugh-ed.).

Due to my job, I interact with Diaspora Armenians on a regular basis and have a special attitude towards them. I have always admired their patriotism and great manifestation of national belonging.

When I met Garo, I refused to leave Armenia. I had received different job offers from abroad, but Garo opened my eyes and told me, ��?Don’t go! Stay in Armenia and appreciate what you have!’” Syuzanna said.

For me, Armenia is worth a million countries like the United States

To those leaving Armenia, Garo suggests thinking with a sober mind and ask themselves if they are doing the right thing before taking that step.

Of course, there are hardships in Armenia, but, as Garo suggests, one needs to understand that he will face the same hardships wherever he goes.

He has won a Green Card, visited the United States several times and lived the life of luxury, but now, he doesn’t think twice and says that Armenia is worth a million countries like the USA with its advantages and disadvantages. According to him, you won’t find the clean air, tasty food and sweet-tasting fruits in the United States

“The new generation of Armenians is very smart and well-organized. We can definitely rely on them. Thanks to our young people, Armenia will have a bright future. Let’s stay and empower Armenia,” Garo Serpekian concluded with optimism.

Gevorg Chichyan

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