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Taline Malians
13 Oct, 2022

"I am home," Taline Malians from France

1 min read

Taline Malians is a participant of BirthrightArmenia from Paris, France, who stayed to volunteer in her homeland for a whole year. She came to immerse herself in Armenian society and wanted to stay permanently when the program finished. How does Taline feel about her one-year-long journey with Birthright Armenia? What made her leave her job in Paris and move to Yerevan?

One-year-long volunteering journey with Birthright Armenia

Taline was born in Lyon, her parents are originally from Iran, but her family has been living in Lyon most of their lives. With nearly all her relatives abroad and not knowing the French language, Taline would resort to speaking Armenian to stay in touch and communicate with them. She attended an Armenian school until the age of 12, where she studied the Armenian language, history, literature, and music. As a student, Taline would also attend a summer camp, hosted by AGBU and Kapuyt Khach.

She moved to Paris at the age of 21 and studied Accounting and Finance for three years. Taline worked in this field for three more years, until she decided to travel to Armenia thanks to the Birthright Armenia program.

- Why have you chosen to do an internship in Armenia?

- Because I am Armenian!

Sevan, the Director of Birthright Armenia, told me don’t wait for the perfect moment, just come! And I said ok! I sent my application at midnight and the next day I told my parents I was going to Armenia. They were not shocked but instead proud and supported my decision.” Initially, she was supposed to work as a volunteer for four months. Still, Taline realized she wanted to experience every season and all important holidays in Armenia, so she extended her stay for a year.

Taline worked the first four months at Art Studio Terracotta and at FAR children's center. She then started working at Grant Thornton Armenia. Talin believes that Armenia is very affordable when it comes to traveling, therefore she didn’t miss a chance to visit all the historical and cultural sites. The trips are one of the main reasons she has developed such a strong bond with Armenia.

“Here I’m home,” says Taline.

In general, she is satisfied with her last year's experience and she is still looking forward to exploring more of Armenia all while contributing to the country. An aspect she finds unique is how quickly Armenia is progressing. The country has its own established culture and beauty and yet is not trying to mimic any other European country. Taline sees the importance of preserving Armenian culture while the country continues to modernize itself.

Article prepared by Iona Aroyan


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