Lexington, MA, USA
As an Armenian, I grew up surrounded by a family filled with pride in their Armenianess. That pride was instilled in me from an early age and in my experience, that same pride is shared among all Armenians. We are proud of the strength and resilience our culture and ancestors have proven that they possess. So, I came to Armenia to see where I personally fit in on the Armenian Spectrum and I came back to the United States with a stronger sense of self based on my experiences in Birthright Armenia.
Months ago I had no idea that my life would lead me to an experience of a lifetime. All I knew was that I had graduated and needed to move on to the next phase in my life. Applying to the program occurred due to a split second decision that was based on my desire to leave my hometown in Arizona. I had never thought about the Birthright Armenia Program, in fact, until that moment when the driver picked me up from Zvarnots Airport, I still felt unsure of the program. However, I can assure you every moment of time devoted to this program was a building block to construct my own Armenian identity. I went to some of the most beautiful and tranquil places that I had ever seen. Experienced many firsts and went on adventures that I would never even consider doing in the United States. Most of all, I made friendships with like-minded individuals from all over the globe and I hope to hold on to those friendships for the rest of my life.
Living in Armenia required a leap of faith for me. I had to trust my instincts and leave the safety net I had built around myself. I experienced so much and became a stronger person because of my time in Armenia and I hope that other comrade Armenians will take that leap. I hope they will learn that the country is still full of strong, resilient Armenians. I hope they are able to contribute even the smallest amount of aid toward this building this national identity because that is what Armenia is about. We stand for one another and support one another. No matter whether we are living in Hayastan or showing our support from afar. Armenia is one single entity. A community.