I call myself an Armenian. Why? Because there is tiny country in Southwestern Asia, with the area of 29,743 sq km, slightly larger than Haiti and slightly smaller than Belgium, called Armenia. A country with more than 8000 years of history, torn apart by continuous wars and struggle for survival. There live people who call themselves Armenian, with a glorious past, constant struggle, and an uncertain future. There live families with fathers and sons, with mothers and daughters. One can feel the loss of sleep and distress in the eyes of the mothers who worry for their sons’ lives in the army protecting the borders. Calling myself an Armenian is not merely my ethnic identity. It is more of a responsibility toward everyone who lives in Armenia. These are few of the reasons why I feel dedication toward Armenia and the Diaspora abroad.
After a brutal war with Azerbaijan, Armenia became an independent republic twenty years ago, with a collapsed economy, closed borders and a disputed Nagorno-Kharabakh/Artsakh territory. My past was constantly impacted by political choices of freedom over continuous instability which influenced my interest in politics. This was partly the reason why I applied for the Armenian National Committee-Western Region Summer Internship Program (ANCA-WR IP). Interning in Armenia in the Ministry of Diaspora and Armenian United Nations Association (AUNA) also made me realize the myriad opportunities I have in the United States to influence change in the Armenian community. ANCA-WR IP seemed like the perfect opportunity for me to learn and contribute to issues regarding Armenians in the Diaspora and Armenia. I am enthusiastically looking forward to working alongside a diverse group of intelligent interns and talented staff.