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Why did I decide to go to Armenia this year?

My Armenian grandfather, Aram, immigrated to the United States in the early 1920’s. He eventually settled in Minnesota and he and I were very close.

However, he did not share his Armenian heritage with his family, but was very supportive of local and Armenian causes. Since I did not understand my own Armenian background, I was very curious about it, especially in my late twenties. Since then I have discovered and fallen in love with the Armenian church, its people, and its culture.

I am on the Parish Council of the only Armenian Apostolic church in Minnesota, and I am active in the Women’s Guild. I have delved into Genocide readings and lectures, researched Armenia online and through publications, and talked with Armenians from Armenia as well as diasporan communities. When someone visits Armenia, whether it be for the Peace Corps, or to help build homes, or to provide support to relief agencies, they all say one is changed forever. I hear it is the trip of a lifetime and I am very much looking forward to it.

Amy Samelian – YP 2009


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