Meet our repats: Anais and Nairi Zadikian

16 May 2020

Though many people have asked “when did you realize you wanted to move to Armenia?”, for São Paulo-born sisters Anais and Nairi Zadikian the question never fully resonated. Even from afar, they had always considered Armenia to be home. Moving was a matter of when, not if.

The pair, along with their sister Ani, are second-generation Repats - following in the footsteps of their grandparents who had moved to Armenia from Lebanon and Greece while the nation was still part of the Soviet Union. That said, adjusting to their new environment, “being Armenian in Armenia,” has taken time. Everything is new as much as it was familiar.

Anais falls back on something her father told her before moving: “when you are good to Armenia, Armenia is good to you.” Though romanticized, the sentiment has held up. As a Graphic Design student at the Yerevan State Academy of Fine Arts, she is inspired by this energy and hope reflected back through her peers.

For Civil Engineer Nairi, the biggest paradigm shift was the realization that while “you can do many things for Armenia, it can do much more for you.” This was reinforced after spending a month away visiting family and friends in Brazil. Upon returning to work, her colleagues were perplexed why she would ever come back from “paradise.” “They think that this country will never be a good country to live in, but I didn’t identify my essence, my soul, in Brazil. When I look around here, I feel that everything is mine.”

Through the good and the bad, Nairi finds solidarity with all others working towards the betterment of the country - and this is only amplified amidst the Coronavirus pandemic. While doing their best to keep busy and maintain some semblance of normalcy, like all of us the sisters have missed “Yerevan’s fresh air, beautiful streets, and cozy cafes” while in quarantine. Though a number of restrictions have recently been lifted, they resolve to stay diligent and do everything in their power to help curb the spread of the disease.

Սփյուռքի Գլխավոր Հանձնակատարի Գրասենյակ Diaspora High Commissioner's Office