This story is very personal but I decided to share it so that everyone who read it can understand where our project has emerged of and where we are heading to. I am sorry for the big size of the text. I tried to place as much important information as I could in it and … a piece of my soul.
Then we rented a room in a flat of an old alcoholic who has just been released from jail. (Hello, uncle Tolya, you’ve been really kind to us). It may sound quite strange but the idea of the online Armenian lessons was born there.
While my husband was working all day long to pull us out from the hole I was sitting in our room in an absolute stupor and depression. Those who have gone through a moving to St. Petersburg will understand me. This city has the quality of immersing the newcomer into the bottom of its dark essence. I could understand with my brain that I had to move somewhere, do something, but in practice I could hardly make myself go out to buy some food. The only link I had with the world was my netbook, and I spent days surfing the internet, just looking thoughtlessly at the screen and opening new pages. That’s why it was hard for me to answer to my husband’s evening question: “How was the day? What have you been doing?”
That’s how I came across a web site where people were offering their services to teach anything from languages to embroidery. I thought that among the visitors of the site there could be Armenians from diaspora who have lost the knowledge of their mother tongue but wanted to stick to the roots. I don’t quite remember how I registered there and what I wrote. I don’t’ even remember the URL of the web site. I just remember my heartbeat when the first potential student contacted me. He wasn’t Armenian. 85 year-old Adelgicio was a professor of psychiatry from Brazil, a highly educated person who was trying to keep his mind busy by learning languages. I had that heartbeat every time before and during the lesson. Everything was new for me. I had to search for materials, try to present everything in a comprehensive manner. I have never done that before.
Then I had the second student, Kyle from New Zealand. I was astonished to see that people with no Armenian roots who were interested in learning Armenian. Then my son was born and I didn’t have enough time for online lessons. But the idea lived in my head and grew into something bigger.
Recently, I found the first letter I got from my Brazilian student. It is dated back to 14-th February 2011. More than 4 years have passed since that day. Today, thanks to the support of my family, the idea has grown into a project. My husband has always been very supportive to my initiative, my son is my inspiration in life and my mother helps me around providing some time for work.
I would also like to mention several people without whom the project wouldn’t exist. First, it is Armine Yegiazaryan, my university friend who has become a relative by the will of fate (we are married to two brothers). One of the best students of our course, she started teaching English successfully several years ago. I infected her with the idea of teaching Armenian online and now she is giving lessons to our first student!
The second person who has joined the project as a teacher was my husband’s childhood friend. Karen Shmavonyan is one of those who are the first at obtaining new knowledge and then share it with great talent and enthusiasm.
Several other high-level professionals and brilliant linguists also joined our project. Lucine Galstyan, Naira Tandilyan, Mamikon Yavrumyan, Siranush Khandanyan, and the surge of fresh energy is still ongoing. Honestly, I am proud of the team that has been formed in the framework of our project. I am proud of the mission that we have taken. I am proud of our determination to start and develop something absolutely new having an aim to spread the knowledge of our mother tongue. In all modesty, I am also I little bit proud of myself too as I was able to collect all my courage to give this idea a bigger scope and create such a wonderful team. And I am proud that somewhere in faraway Brazil there lives a 90-year-old professor (I am sure he is in good health!), who can say in Armenian: “Բարեւ, ես Ադելն եմ: Ես խոսում եմ հայերեն”: (“Hello, I am Adel. I speak Armenian”).
And I will also be honest, we need support very much! We need the support of our friends and their friends and all those people who would like to give a start in life to a worthy project. The information about us should be spread over so that those who need us can find it. Anyone who would consider that necessary can help us in that. Please, like and share this story forward if you like the idea of the project and wish us success! Thank you!
Founder and CEO of the project