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Niary GorjianAzad-Hye Special

Niary Gorjian, PhD, is the founder of TransitionToArmenia.com The website is an interactive site that offers the opportunity for discussions between Armenians interested in relocating to Armenia, and those who have already relocated.

Niary has lived in the United States since the age of five, where she obtained her PhD in consulting psychology. She has been active in varies Armenian organizations, to include the Land and Culture Organization, and Armenian Students Association, in California. In 2007, she served as a Visiting Assistant Professor of Management, at the American University of Armenia, School of Business and Management, in Yerevan.

We had the opportunity to conduct the following interview with Niary Gorjian (Website: http://www.transitiontoarmenia.com/):

How did the idea of the website come through, was it easy to transfer the idea into reality?
The idea of the website was born from my personal experiences in two regards; one, visiting Armenia in 2007 and two, the experiences encountered after my return to the US. When I was in Armenia, I longed to meet Armenians who had relocated to Armenia (known as Repatriates) to hear about their experiences, but had no means of finding such people. The few Repatriates I had the privilege of meeting, were friends of friends, who spoke very positively about their experiences, with one young woman sharing her deep feelings by saying “Russia was just a living place. Armenia is my home.” Also, when in Armenia, I realized that Repatriates have formed their own circles. For example, those who have relocated from Iran stick together while those from the US have formed their own group. I questioned why they do not interact.

When I came back to the US, many Diaspora Armenians had hundreds of questions for me. For example, what were the Repatriates experiences, regarding living in Armenia? Is it difficult to establish a business in Armenia? I was left with no concrete answers for them.

All the above experiences, ignited my life-long dream of all Diaspora Armenians relocating to Armenia; the passion lead to building TransitionToArmenia.com 

There are several Armenian website dealing with relocation in Armenia, what is unique in this website?
TransitionToArmenia.com has two unique factors, which include the elements of "interaction" and "personalization." While there are many websites with useful information on the topic of relocation to Armenia, neither allow for interaction. People value adequate information plus the opportunity to learn from others experiences. TransitionToArmenia.com offers both. The second unique element of TransitionToArmenia.com is “personalization,” the opportunity to ask personally important questions. For example, Is there a good gym in Armenia? What are the women like in Armenia?

Is the website more useful for people who have already relocated than those who are planning to relocate?
The website is designed to be equally useful for both groups of people. For people who have relocated, they have the opportunity to meet other people who have also relocated, and to assist one another. For people who are planning to relocate, the website offers them the opportunity to meet people who have already relocated, in order to ask questions and learn from their experiences. Also, those interested in relocation, have the opportunity to meet and collaborate with Armenians around the world, interested in relocating. 

Do the members exchange views only through blogs or forums or do they have the chance to meet face in face?
Yes, members exchange views and experiences via blogs and forums, along with replying to and engaging in discussions, about posted “articles of interest.” If discussions lead to a point where two members would like to meet one another, they may use the private messaging feature to exchange personal contact information, to coordinate a face-to-face meeting.

Do you think that Middle Eastern Armenians have more inclination to relocate into Armenia than Armenians from other communities?
Absolutely! Based on my experiences, I believe Middle Eastern Armenians feel the passionate call to return back to homeland Armenia, stronger than other communities do.

What are the main challenges that you will face in attracting people into your website?
Initially the main challenge is investing time and energy into advertising the website. Once a large number of people are aware of the website and they experience the value gained from the website, I am certain the membership will grow by word of mouth.

Has the idea of the website was inspired your profession in consulting psychology?
My consulting psychology degree has provided me with a background in both psychology and business, allowing me to become skilled in identifying people’s needs.

How do you plan to you make the website be known to Armenians worldwide?
I am in the process of sending press releases to Armenian media around the world, to include both press and news stations.

What professional qualifications are required to consider a smooth relocation into Armenia? Are there some guidelines or tips in your website in order to deal with the sensitive and important decision of relocation?
Per discussions taken place between members on the website, some have offered the following tips: bring money to live with for a year, as you look for work; make sure you are willing to handle the cold winter season; and have an understanding of Armenia’s market structure and culture. The last tip is an example of the type of information that members can gather from the Repatriates, on the website.

Where should you be living in order to manage this website? (Does living inside Armenia necessary to develop the website properly?)
Thanks to the Internet, I can manage the website equally effectively, from anywhere in the world.


ADDITIONAL READING

About the website Transit to Armenia http://www.transitiontoarmenia.com/

The GOAL of TRANSITION TO ARMENIA is to provide a means for Repatriates and Diaspora Armenians to connect and communicate. Repatriates and Business owners, you have successfully walked the road of transition, back to Armenia.

Join the community to share your experiences and interact with Diaspora Armenians interested in making the transition. When you join the community you will be able to:

1. Create a personal profile
2. Submit and reply to forum topics
3. Start a personal blog and reply to other blogs
4. Send private messages to other members

DEFINITION of terms used on the site:

DIASPORA Armenians:
Armenians who currently live in a country outside of Armenia. (Examples: United States, Russia, etc.)

REPATRIATE:
Armenians from the Diaspora who have returned to their country of origin, Armenia, where their ancestors are from. (Note: Does not mean you must have been born in Armenia. Includes Armenian’s born in any country, who have moved to Armenia.)

NATIVE Armenians:
Armenians who have always or mainly lived in Armenia.


Posted on Tuesday, June 17, 2008 (8093 reads), comments: 0
 
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