My Way Home

07.03.2024
Repat Story
Anahide’s Journey: A New Beginning in Armenia (Part Two)
Anahide’s Journey: A New Beginning in Armenia (Part Two)
 
In the first part of our series, we introduced Anahide Pilibossian, who, in July 2022, made the bold decision to relocate with her family from the UK to Armenia. Anahide's deep-rooted Armenian identity, education, and professional experiences set the stage for this transformative journey.
 

Offering the Best of Both Worlds

 
For Anahide, the decision to move to Armenia was about offering her children what she calls the best of both worlds. She enrolled them in the French school, the Lycée Français Anatole France, to ensure a well-rounded education while also relishing the warmth and nurturing atmosphere of Armenia. The country's caring and family-oriented culture has been a cornerstone of their lives in Armenia.
 
Additionally, Anahide acknowledged the importance of her children's linguistic diversity and the privileges associated with their British and French passports. She explained, "We want them to have every opportunity in the future, and their multilingualism and international connections ensure they remain connected to the wider world, and embrace the richness of Armenian culture at the same time."
 
Their decision to relocate unfolded alongside a wave of Russian expatriates arriving in Armenia, creating a surge in demand for administrative processes and adaptation to new systems. Their journey was not without its bureaucratic and real-estate challenges.
 
Initial apprehensions about securing meaningful employment in Armenia were quickly quelled when Anahide fortuitously crossed paths with Lara Setrakian, the President of APRI Armenia. With APRI Armenia, she discerned a unique opportunity to harness her strategic communication expertise, policy acumen, and stakeholder engagement skills. Her goal was clear since her job interviews: to contribute to transforming APRI Armenia into a world-class think tank. APRI Armenia, the Applied Policy Research Institute of Armenia, is a non-partisan and independent think tank founded by AGBU. Through strategic convening, targeted policy research and authoritative communications, the think tank aims to shift Armenia's trajectory towards a more stable and prosperous future.
 
In the 15 months she has served as APRI Armenia’s Vice President of Strategy and Development, Anahide has set her sights on cultivating an organizational culture characterized by constructive risk-taking and a solutions-oriented approach. She underscores the necessity for a fundamental shift in how many individuals and sectors in Armenia perceive and respond to feedback and decision-making processes. Anahide aspires to facilitate the growth and development of a more dynamic and forward-thinking Armenia through her and her organization’s contributions. 
 
She is also thoroughly convinced that her professional achievements as APRI Armenia's Vice President surpass those from her previous roles. Yet, she acknowledges that these accomplishments might not have been attainable without her overseas experience. "The Armenian landscape offers unique opportunities to leverage the skills I honed abroad in ways I couldn't have imagined,” she explains. 
 

Coming Home

 
Anahide candidly recounts the challenges her family encountered during their transition to Armenia. From the intricacies of time management to the complexities of adapting to a distinct professional landscape, they faced many hurdles. Yet, their unshakable family bond and the warm embrace of Armenian society served as pillars of strength, making the transition smoother for the entire family.
 
But it's not just about overcoming challenges; it's also about seizing opportunities. Anahide firmly believes that Armenians, especially those in the diaspora who can consider relocation, should pursue the possibility of moving to Armenia in realistic terms. She encourages them to take that leap and test the waters, and to see if it's the right fit for them. For Anahide, it's about living a life without regrets: "It's better to try and fail–with the possibility to relocate if it doesn't work out–than to live a life filled with regret for not trying."
 
Anahide's journey from Paris and London to Armenia is a powerful source of inspiration for those considering a comparable path. Her decision to repatriate and her dedicated work with APRI Armenia underscore the significance of leveraging one's skills and experiences to bolster Armenia and the Armenian cause. During this trying time for the Armenian nation, she extends a heartfelt call to the Armenian diaspora: "It's time for Armenians to be united, to get together rather than be separated... [We must] strengthen ourselves and raise awareness in our own countries, but we should also come to Armenia, fortify it, and try to make a difference here.”
 
Anahide Pilibossian's extraordinary journey embodies the belief that Armenia's future rests in the capable hands of individuals determined to make a difference. Her story is a reminder that the Armenian diaspora retains a deep connection to its roots and stands poised to play an active role in shaping Armenia's future.

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