An Armenian from Syria Hrayr Akilyan returned to Armenia from Aleppo when it seemed that the civil war would not end. After the war, he chose Armenia to provide his family with a more peaceful and tranquil life.
In the first years of his life in Armenia, Hrayr financed the construction of 3 16-storey houses in Davtashen, where 244 families currently live, 75% of whose residents are Diaspora Armenians. Over the years, he also did a great job, representing Armenia to his close friends in the diaspora, who also decided to live in their homeland.
However, his repatriation did not go without problems. Hrayr had to adapt to a new way of doing business, a completely new way of life, and language barriers. In his words, he began to understand that this is no longer the Armenian community of Syria, but a real country, all of whose inhabitants are Armenians. “In the diaspora, we bear a great responsibility for preserving the Armenian identity, for being active in society, for living in such a way that the residents of a foreign country respect us. Here, in Armenia, we do not have such internal pressure ”. Hrayr considers the Diaspora to be the greatest strength of the Armenian people. “As a nation, we are like a rock. Many difficulties come and go like waves. Water leaves a mark on the rock, but does not destroy it. ” Every country faces challenges. Therefore, Hrayr believes that those who decide to move to Armenia should come without any expectations.
When asked why the Armenians of the Diaspora should think about repatriation, he answers. “This is Armenia, no one can tell me to leave for my country. “I’m already here.”
Hrayr Akilyan is the new owner of the “Laziz” fast food restaurant in the center of Yerevan, which is currently at the stage of reconstruction of the premises.
Office of the Chief Commissioner for Diaspora Affairs of the RA
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