Our Repats: Hayk Hovakimyan
27 December 2019
After living in St. Petersburg for most of his life, Hayk Hovakimyan was determined to move from Russia. While he initially never considered Armenia as an option, everything changed for him following the Velvet Revolution: “it was very impulsive . . . I saw a great opportunity for the country and people living here. I thought that I could make an impact.” Met with mixed support and skepticism from friends and family, after one month he had packed up his entire life and moved to Yerevan.
For Hayk, “making an impact” meant one thing, specifically: sharing information. Frustrated at the lack of direct exposure Diasporans have to Armenia, the former docuseries producer decided to start his own Youtube channel, aptly titled “Repat Riarch,” in order to provide a window into what it is like to live in this country. His goal isn’t to sugar-coat reality, but instead to be “as objective as possible” while still showcasing the opportunities available here. Though his channel is barely over a year old, Hayk’s vlogs have reached close to a million and a half views and garnered nearly 15,000 subscribers.
The growth came unexpected, at first. But even after a couple viral videos, Hayk’s objective has not wavered: he wants to see 6 million people living in Armenia in 20 years.“The primary message that I tell every Armenian is that this is our country, and we have a responsibility for it. It doesn’t matter whether you live in St. Petersburg, or Chicago, or anywhere else. Just don’t forget that the country is here, and that you can make your own impact.”
Curious to see Armenia through Hayk’s lens? Follow his page, Repat Riarch / Айк Овакимян , or connect with him directly!