I loved the life I had back in Lebanon, and I never thought I would ever choose to live someplace different. Every time my friends brought up living abroad (especially in Armenia) I always told them that the life we have in Lebanon was awesome. The situation changed, and the country went into a freefall collapse, and my career was destroyed because of the situation. So, I finally decided to leave and try to build a new career in a new country. When I called my friends and asked them about living in Armenia, at first, they thought I was joking. When they finally realized I was serious, everyone advised me to try the Birthright Armenia program so that I will have the chance to go back to Lebanon if it does not work out for me. Then, I filled out the application, came to Armenia, and fell in love with the country. Now I am trying to build a future here in Armenia and hoping I can succeed and stay here for a long time.
It's all about the people, the network!
Honestly, being part of the Birthright Armenia program did not help me become more Armenian, and it did not help me improve my Armenian speaking skills (I was already feeling Armenian and I spoke Armenian, too). What the program gave me is the opportunity to meet people from all over the world with different backgrounds. It gave me the chance to see how life was in a different country not via social media, but through people sharing with you their personal experiences in these countries and how their personal lives were there. In addition, I got to meet the amazing employees of the organization, and now I am extremely lucky to call them my friends.
In conclusion, I want to reassure that the volunteering and internship experience is always important, but the people I met and the stories I heard were the pinnacles of my time in the program. I surely advise anyone to come and join the Birthright Armenia program. I have hope for a better future here in Armenia.
Watch Public TV's Report about Vitaly