About my life in Armenia, about being a mom and an activist, working for women's rights.
The challenges and benefits of raising a family in a post-soviet republic.
Finding a place, my place and calling it HOME.

15.1.17

Activism and Motherhood

In front of government build. for green spaces 
Growing up in an Armenian diasporan community in the Middle East, one learns very early in life that activism and volunteerism is an important part of your life and your identity. I learned it from my grand-parents, and later on from my parents, that I followed once or more a week to community center meetings, fairs, demonstrations for the recognition of the Armenian Genocide, Cultural and awareness events at the Armenian church, theaters and dances, emergency fundraising for Armenia during the earthquake and the war. And then I experienced it first hand while attending scouting groups as a participant first then as a cub leader, volunteering for youth clubs, church bazars, and Armenian school events over the years. The first lesson most families teach their children in the Armenian diaspora is to always give back to the community and volunteer, volunteer, volunteer after, work, school or University.  

7.1.17

Vienna trip: A lesson in Equality and Diversity

While living in Armenia and raising kids here can be very empowering and enriching, it also comes with its part of challenges; the main one for me being the lack of equality and diversity that they witness or encounter in their everyday life and more specifically in dealing with different institutions and services available to the public; transport, schools, hospital, public spaces, entertainment centers… This lack of equality is demonstrated in many forms; comments, attitudes, stereotypes, annoying constant staring from others, unsolicited derogatory comments, peer-pressure, lack of accessibility/opportunities for some.  So while you try to teach your kids, as part of your family values, to be who they want to be and respect and treat equally everyone else regardless the way they look, what they wear, the way they walk or talk, who they love or attracted to, if they have disabilities or not, it seems that once outside of the home they are constantly bombarded by opposite messages from school teachers, taxi drivers, grocery store workers, doctors(sometimes), TV, pop singers, art school teachers and many people they encounter outside their home. 

5.1.17

Bratislava, We love You!

During this trip, we had also the chance to visit the neighboring country, Slovakia. The train ride to Bratislava was 1 hour and we decided it was worth it to see another place with the kids. So we took the metro (U-Bahn) to the Vienna central station. There was a train leaving every hour to Bratislava, so we bought the tickets from there and took the next one. The train tickets were quite affordable (12 Euro return for adults and 6 Euro for kids under 15).

2.1.17

New Year's Adventure in Magical Vienna, Day 3-4: Celebrations!

After staying two days in the city center, near the old town, we prepared to move to our next location where we would be staying for the new year's eve and the next day. This was another small apartment but this time further away from the city center, in the 10th district. We found this place at the last minute, while booking online 2 weeks before our departure. Since most of the good deals were taken and the apartments for rent left near the city were really expensive and out of our budget, we decided to rent a place outside the city center. Finally we found this apartment somewhere on Troststra├če street.
We woke up early morning, ate our breakfast, prepared our luggage and headed to the tramway station in front of our building.