top of page

Celebrating inspirational women: Insights from an ANSEF scholar Naira Sahakyan

Updated: Mar 12

As we celebrate the International Day of Women, it's a privilege to spotlight the remarkable #FARWomenInFocus who've overcome hurdles in science, technology, business, and entrepreneurship, smashing stereotypes and igniting inspiration for the next wave.

Meet Naira Sahakyan, 36, an Assistant Professor at the American University of Armenia and the inaugural ANSEF grant recipient. Her mission is to shed light on the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict through the rhetoric of state leaders.

Thanks to FAR’s Armenian National Science and Education Fund (ANSEF) after Yervant Terzian, Naira is delving into her research on the Azerbaijan-Turkey-Armenia Triangle: Transformations of War Narratives through State Leaders' Speeches, 1991-2002.

"The urgency of the topic escalated following the 2020 Artsakh war, prompted my exploration into the speeches and rhetoric of the three countries. The research aims to provide a deeper understanding of the factors leading to the 44-day war, analyze historical speculations surrounding the conflict, and assess our progress thus far," explains Naira, whose previous studies focused on Muslim reformers and Bolsheviks.

Originally from Tsaghkahovit village of Armenia, Naira pursued Arabic studies and later earned her MA in Middle Eastern and Islamic Studies. In 2021, she obtained her Doctorate in Philosophy in Humanities from the University of Amsterdam. Currently, she imparts knowledge on Armenian history, comparative genocide, and world civilizations at AUA and Yerevan State University.

"In Amsterdam, I learned invaluable research strategies, how to deal with primary sources, and how to analyze them. Now, I try to use these researcher's skills in class as well. Combining research and teaching is also about engaging with students continuously, fostering trust, and credibility" Naira shares, emphasizing the importance of this approach within ANSEF grant, as well, as a team lead. 

"Being a woman scholar comes with challenges, not just here in Armenia but everywhere. Unfortunately, stereotypes still exist, like how men and women are treated differently, even at big conferences. Women often feel they need to dress up more formally to be taken seriously, unlike men. It's all about making sure your ideas are heard and accepted. This isn't just in academia; it's the same in politics too," she said with a smile, emphasizing the importance of women and young people chasing their dreams no matter what.

We, at FAR, salute women on this significant day and are proud to champion their endeavors! 

Join us in backing their endeavors by making a donation to FAR today. Together, let's empower these incredible women to become self-reliant leaders in their respective fields!”

Stay tuned for more empowering #FARWomenInFocus stories.


bottom of page