DiasPROա: a video project that promotes Diaspora Armenians
The DiasPROա video project was launched by the High Commissioner for Diaspora Affairs and aims to promote Diaspora Armenians, the reasons why they come to Armenia, to showcase that Armenia is a place to develop and a place where you can grow and develop yourself. The videos are posted every week on Linkedin where repats answer different questions within 2-3 minutes.
“We live in a world where being a digital nomad is viable, so bring your resources from all around the world to Armenia” says Armen Kherlopian, one of the guests of the project. Armen is polyvalent and currently works as a Professor and a Researcher at American University of Armenia, a Founding Partner at BAJ Accelerator, a Scientific Advisory Board Member at NASA. Dr. Kherlopian came to Armenia because for him it’s a fantastic environment, specifically in the Technology industry, where research and development in rising start-up unicorns are taking place.
So far, 20 episodes have been filmed. The production team includes a repat from France, Alan Torossian, and a repat from Lebanon, Meghri Shammassian (on the main picture). They are from the Media team of the Office of the High Commissioner for Diaspora Affairs. Every week they choose guests, interview them and then edit videos. Guests are selected from different areas — public sector, journalism, business, marketing and others.
“You will feel truly fulfilled even on hard days. There is so much love, humanity, and creativity. This is the best kind of life that you can hope for yourself and your family.” says Haikouhi Oroudjian, the guest of the project’s recent episode.
Haikouhi was born in Armenia and raised in the US and France. She holds a double Master's degree in Clinical and Forensic Psychology and worked in the field for ten years in France. Haikouhi moved to Armenia during the war to help for three months but ultimately decided to stay because of the warmth of the Armenian people and now she is the COO and the Co-Founder of Oqni. Oqni’s mission is to develop advanced mental health solutions and bionics to empower the amputee community. They are driven by a holistic approach focusing on both psychological and physical empowerment; while also providing a public service by training and educating students, veterans, and amputees.
“Living in Armenia generates different emotions like feeling welcomed, loved and safe, and I am happy that I am able to speak my own language.” says Haig Arslanian, another participant of the project. He started his journey back to the Motherland 10 months ago from Belgium. Haig holds a Master’s degree in Business Engineering and now he is working as a Director at Sparkers, a Belgian company for which he was the main lead in the opening of the company’s branch in Armenia. Haig thinks that Armenia has all the potential to be the next destination for the IT field in terms of workforce, knowledge and opportunities and that’s why he pitched this massive project to the company.
“The idea of the project was born long ago, I wanted to show life in Armenia through the eyes of the Diaspora” says Alan Torossian. He believes that it is very important to show examples of people who have moved to Armenia, live and have a social impact. “It seems that making a 2-3 minute video is pretty easy, but in fact it is a whole process that requires effort and time. The selection of guests takes place in different ways, we usually call potential candidates, sometimes we ask colleagues or friends with whom we can make an interview.”
“Then comes the day of filming, with some of the participants, it's fast, with some it's slower" noted Meghri Shammassian. "But we try to approach the work with enthusiasm, constantly coming up with new ideas. After that, the next step is the editing of the video and then, we finally publish it. It is very important to keep the right pace of work in order to publish episodes every week. We have received a lot of positive feedback, some people wrote that they were inspired by our videos and also want to repatriate and participate in different programs.”
Follow the weekly posts of the diasPROա project on the High Commissioner for Diaspora Affairs LinkedIn’s page, come to Armenia and become a participant of this project.