Yes, I attended an Armenian school. I also attended the Armenian Seminary in Lebanon. I read and write six languages fluently. Armenian is my primary language. The other languages I speak are Arabic, English, French, Spanish, and Turkish.
Are you acquainted with Armenian literature? Do you have favorite authors?
I am a huge fan of Hagop Baronian, Levon Shant, Silva Kaputikiyan, Gevork Emin, Anahit Sahinyan and Vahram Sahakian.
I am impressed. And what about Armenian dances?
Although I am very familiar with Armenian dances, I never had the opportunity to learn them properly. I can participate or I can follow someone. I would love to learn more about the various types of Armenian dances.
You have participated in a film with an unusual part. How was that experience?
I participated in the film directed by Tina Bastajian, called “Pinched Cheeks and Slurs in a Language That Avoids Her,” because it was an Armenian short movie depicting a woman of color who is Armenian. Tina is extremely avant-garde and always ahead of her time. The role was exciting and difficult because I had to play the opposite gender. Capturing the true essence of a woman is impossible for a man; however, I interviewed several Armenian women in my community and I sought advice. I wanted to deliver a genuine and authentic experience through the screen.
Are you in touch with Armenians in the US?
Of course, I have a lot of Armenian friends. A lot of my friends from Lebanon have moved to the US and we have all reconnected. I have also met new friends who have taught me more about the Western Armenian culture.
Your younger brother is DJ Raffy…
Yes, my brother is a DJ. He’s located in San Francisco. He is very popular and he does a lot of Armenian and Middle Eastern events.
What do you like in Armenian culture?
I appreciate the rich history of Armenia. I love the fact that it was the first nation to accept Christianity around of 301 AD. In my opinion, Armenians are the most resilient people on this planet. Despite all adversities over the years, Armenians keep prospering and gaining cognition, which has been long due. Armenian food is heavenly. I can eat so much. I am so glad that my grandmother passed on all the traditional recipes to me. I enjoy manti, vospov kofte, chikofte, and lahmajoun.
Have you ever been in Armenia?
Unfortunately, not yet. I would love to visit sometime. It is my dream to see where my ancestors came from. I understand Armenia is a beautiful country. I want to see mount- Ararat and I want to experience Khor Virab. Also, I heard that life is amazing in Armenia.
Growing up in Lebanon during the civil war and being Armenian had its pros and cons. I often wondered why everyone did not speak the Armenian. Life was not easy, but it taught me invaluable lessons of cultural appreciation and values that are unique to the Armenian culture. I take pride of my heritage and culture. To me, being Armenian means being victorious and honorable. We are one of the chosen people by God. We survive, thrive, and prosper no matter what we go through…