Gohar Harutyunyan: “I was born under a lucky star”

On 7 April, the Armenian Holy Apostolic Church celebrates the Annunciation to the Virgin Mary, which is also Motherhood and Beauty Day, the day dedicated to our sacred and divine mothers.

On this occasion, Hayern Aysor’s correspondent sat down for an interview with Miss Armenia-1998, Miss CIS-1999 and Miss Globe-2009, mother of three, Gohar Harutyunyan who, with her delicacy and tenderness and infinite dedication to her family, shows once again that Armenian women are endowed with the unique ability to sacrifice themselves for their husbands and children.

Hayern Aysor: Gohar, you have been married for ten years. You are loved and have a nice family. How have you managed to maintain peace within your family?

Gohar Harutyunyan: You are right. My husband and I will be celebrating our tenth wedding anniversary in June. Looking back, there have been difficulties, but I have overcome them. Overall, I have experienced wonderful moments throughout the years. I have tried to make my life perfect, even though it is almost impossible to achieve perfection when you are raising three children. However, I also haven’t forgotten to enjoy the good things in life.

I have experienced many happy moments. After all, I have experienced the joy of becoming a mother, and it is a feeling that makes any woman feel proud and obliged.

Hayern Aysor: I see that you have preferred family over your career. Are you only busy with taking care of the family, or are you busy with other activities as well? After all, it is accepted that beauties of all countries are involved in community service.

Gohar Harutyunyan: I was involved in community service even before I got married. I have been an active member of various organizations during my five-year stay in the United States. Later, I have run a family business and done my best to help my husband.

When I moved to Armenia after getting married in Moscow, I had many offers to get involved in community service. For instance, I was offered to participate in an election campaign, but I declined the offer since I believe that women with my status should stay away from that field. Over time, I stopped being involved in community service and preferred to spend all my time with my family.

Hayern Aysor: Is it easy to hold the title of a beauty and always look after yourself? Isn’t it boring for you?

Gohar Harutyunyan: When I was living in the United States, I felt freer since I had adapted to the American lifestyle. Of course, being in the center of attention causes some tension.

In general, I pay attention to public opinion. When you win a beauty pageant and become the number one beauty in your country and gain recognition, you are obliged to look attractive and behave as a woman should behave.

This is still how people view women who have won beauty pageants and invite them to participate in various events and projects, and whether we beauties want to or not, we have to be able to maintain the title that we have earned.

People also recognize me without makeup and say nice things to me, and of course, it is flattering. I would advise women to always keep their natural look. I always try to maintain my image of a mother. This is the real beauty of a woman. A woman can cover all flaws with a smile.

Hayern Aysor: Whom do you consider a beautiful woman?

Gohar Harutyunyan: For me, a beautiful woman is a woman who is loved and satisfied. It so happened that the people around me helped raise my self-esteem. For many years, I had had complexities, and I was amazed when I was declared the winner of beauty pageants. There is a story behind this. When I was in school, the boys of our class would not consider me a beautiful girl and would never pay attention to me because of my height. I have never been able to appreciate my real beauty the right way. I have not been self-confident during the competitions that I have participated in with interest. When I would see how daring other girls were, I would feel depressed, but over time, everything went on track.

Hayern Aysor: Is there an image of a woman that has an impact on you?

Gohar Harutyunyan: I like kind women who spend their time and make efforts to help people. I know many kind women like that, and one of them is founding president of Armenian Mothers NGO Narine Manukyan, whose activities deserve appraisal.

Hayern Aysor: You are a well-known woman and a beauty, who has always been in the center of attention and has heard many love confessions. How did you realize that your future husband wasn’t guided by that “principle”, but simply chose a woman with whom he wanted to spend the rest of his life?

Gohar Harutyunyan: I have always felt that from the men who have liked me. My husband, Mnatsakan knew I was a beauty. I think many men wouldn’t dare to get married to a famous woman, especially a beauty. Armenian men prefer women who are under the shade.

Mnatsakan is a strong man, and he believed I deserved to be by his side. It was his audacity that attracted me. He took the step with persistence and willingness and treated me equally. Now, it is safe to say that I have a successful marriage since we both took that decision when we were mature. Even after a decade, we are certain that we made the right choice.

Hayern Aysor: How did Mnatsakan find his beauty?

Gohar Harutyunyan: My future husband was a Russia-based Armenian businessman who would regularly visit Armenia due to his job. His ancestors were witnesses of the Armenian Genocide, and he had sworn to his friends that he would definitely get married to an Armenian woman in order to keep the memory of his ancestors alive.

People had tried to introduce him to different girls in Armenia. One day, they showed him a photo of me with another girl.  They wanted to introduce him to the latter since they thought I was so “unreachable” that it would barely work out (laughing-ed.).

However, Mnatsakan was stubborn and chose me, and we met through a common friend during an event. Our family has never been split up. True, my husband’s business is based in Moscow, but he has always made arrangements to make sure we always spend time together and he is mostly in Armenia. He has always supported me and stood by my side.

He is an ideal father and very connected to his children. This year, our children spent their spring vacation with their father and aunt in Dubai. Due to circumstances, I wasn’t able to be with them.

In my interviews, I have stated several times that we are ready to have our fourth and even fifth child. The purpose is in no way to praise my family and be in the center of attention. I am trying to set an example for Armenian women to have many children. If you want to help Armenia overcome its challenges, you have to think about the growth of the population first. I could have stopped having children, but I considered it my duty to move forward and implement the ideology of our family.

Hayern Aysor: How does your family celebrate the month of women?

Gohar Harutyunyan: What makes me very happy is attending my children’s festive ceremonies during which I listen to them sing and recite poems. In general, I don’t wait for special holidays to spend an interesting day.

I remember how my sister and I would make every effort to turn the day into a day of celebration for our mother. We would buy gifts and flowers and make colorful postcards, and that would put a smile on our dear mother’s face.

Hayern Aysor: And my last question. Did you ever feel that this would be your destiny?

Gohar Harutyunyan: I never thought this is how my life would turn out and that I would undergo major changes in my personal life and business. It is as if I am living like Cinderella. I would dream of many things, and the next thing I knew, my dreams would come true. At the time, I didn’t understand what was happening to me, but as I take a look back, I realize that I was truly born under a lucky star.

There have been moments in my life when I would easily become tempted and take a devious path. At the age of 17, I took informed and morally right steps. I have never taken wrong steps and have always found the strength and had the faith to resist trials and tribulations.

I am certain that my father has been with me and talked to me from the heavens above (Gohar was 10 when her father passed away-ed.). I have achieved my successes and victories with honesty.

Interview by Gevorg Chichyan

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