My Road

14.08.2023
Repat Story
A man who found his way home
A man who found his way home
 

About the move

 
I will tell you a story that started back in the 19th century. My great-great-grandfather, Agop, was born in 1859 in the Ottoman Empire, in Constantinople. In the early twentieth century, he fled the Armenian Genocide and found refuge on the other side of the Black Sea in what is now Krasnodar Krai. The next three generations built their lives far away from Armenia, but they always kept the memory of their roots and passed this knowledge on to the young.
 
I have always been interested in the history and culture of Armenia, but the decision to come here and see everything with my own eyes came gradually.
 
Like many young people, I had a higher education and a busy career. I had the opportunity to participate in various international projects - I have unique experience in organizing events together with UNESCO, WWF (World Wildlife Fund), and the US Embassy in Moscow.
 
In 2020, I established my own media, Quadrum Press, about culture and travel. I am a journalist, a member of the Union of Journalists of Russia, and the International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) in Brussels. While creating authors’ projects about traveling, I had an idea to make such a project about Armenia.
 
I was familiarizing myself with this topic when one day I came across the work of the Repat Armenia Foundation. After reading articles about repatriates, I seriously thought about the possibility of repatriation to Armenia. At the end of 2021, I started collecting documents to apply for RA citizenship.
 
When I had some organizational questions while submitting the documents, I turned to the Repat Armenia Foundation. The staff of the Foundation provided me with all the necessary informational support. In the spring of 2022, I submitted the documents to the Consulate General of the Republic of Armenia in Sochi.
 
Then the days of waiting began. In order not to waste time, my publication presented the author's project "Armenia - a Corner of the Soul". I started to get acquainted with the ancient culture of Armenia and decided to give my readers an opportunity to feel a connection with the incredibly rich culture and look at the centuries-old history.
 
In 2023, I received a passport from the Republic of Armenia, and a new chapter in my life began. I realized that I needed to see Armenia with my own eyes and show it to my sons. In June, my family and I arrived in Armenia, but not in the capital but instead in the city of Gavar.
 
 

About integration

 
We received a very warm and friendly welcome. Taking into account our experiences working with young people, my wife and I were invited to the Gavar Youth House to conduct classes with children. To date, we have organized a "Russian language" Speaking Club. Classes based on our methodology are held for one month; in the process, we create a board economic game "Business - Gavar". We are actively preparing for the summer camp, which will be held in August; we have started training courses for counselors. These projects are organized by me as part of my volunteer work, which allows me and my family to integrate into society, learn the language, and see the real Armenia with my own eyes, and through a tourist’s.  (1st article, 2nd article).
 
 

About life and plans

 
My plans are to finish my projects in Gavar and move to Yerevan in September. My eldest son Daniel is passionate about art, at the age of 9 he had a solo exhibition of watercolor painting, and now he is making his first attempts in oil paint - in his first painting, the young artist depicted the Sevanavank Monastery. He needs to enroll to study at an art school. My youngest son David is professionally engaged in playing the dhol, is a member of the exemplary art ensemble "Sounds of the South", and has been on stage since the age of 6. The young drummer's dream was to meet the master of dhol playing - Sergey Efo Khachatryan. Within the framework of the project "Armenia - Corner of the Soul" he kindly agreed to the meeting and in the process of the interview invited my son to continue his studies in "Efo Drum Studio". This is a great honor for us!
 
 
Armenia is a part of my personal history, a part of me. I want to know this history and build the future of Armenia.
 
Dmitry Zavrazhnov

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