Roubi Nalbandian
Here I always feel some kind of happiness, that I can’t explain

Roubi Nalbandian was born and raised in Tripoli, Lebanon. She studied at university, got her masters degree in biology and worked as a biology teacher there.

Soon, she got married and moved to Syria for a couple of years. August of 2012 was the year Roubi and her family moved to Armenia escaping the newly started war in Syria. 

As Roubi loves to mention, Armenia was the place where she finally felt at home.

‘’Here I always feel some kind of happiness, that I can’t explain. I’m not a stranger and I’m not the only Armenian in my classroom or in my workplace. I’m just like everyone else’’. 

Leaving everything behind and starting all over again is quite challenging for everyone. 
It wasn’t easy for Roubi either. Her professional experience was no longer relevant for her in Armenia because of the language barrier, so she had to come up with an idea to earn her living from. 

While studying at the university, one of her favorite subjects was nutrition class. She was always attracted to healthy food and lifestyle. As a vegetarian, her passion for cooking motivated her to create different dishes and come up with new recipes. 

Thus, she decided to dedicate this new chapter of her life to food and cuisine.

But first, education. She took cooking and cake designing classes, even took classes at YSMU receiving the certificate of a dental technician. She worked in different fields including in some restaurants as a cook. 

However, the desire to represent Middle Eastern cuisine in Armenia was stronger. 

‘’Once I went to ‘’Our Village’’ restaurant, which is a truly authentic place. I was fascinated with the design, traditional Armenian dishes and most of all, with the owners of the restaurant who are repatriates too. Immediately, the thought of having my input here and representing Middle Eastern vegetarian cuisine right in this traditional Armenian place came to me. Soon I went there again and offered my experience. I was the happiest person feeling the trust of the owners and interest in my culture. That was it. Now I work here, in one of the unique restaurants in Yerevan surrounded by supportive staff and good people. Moreover, now I’m learning Armenian and Georgian cuisine from my colleagues’’.

Roubi and other repatriates bring their own say to Armenia. ’’We bring and get the love. I’m safe in Armenia and this is what I want to tell everyone-I’m safe, I’m at home’’

 
Posted byRima Yeghiazarian
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