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Syrian-Armenian Women Participate in Exhibitions with Great Pleasure

Our interlocutors are Ani Artinyan and Ani Terteryan. We met them at the Festival of Rural Life and Traditions, and event that many Syrian-Armenians attended.

 

Ani Artinyan participated at the festival together with her son Arto Kafagyan.

 

“I came to Armenia 3 years ago with my husband and three sons. In Aleppo, I was busy with the making of bead embroidery. Then, I attended cooking classes in Gaza, which helped me to make some profit by baking and selling delicious sweets. My husband is a welder, and once we moved to Armenia he found a job. Thanks to the skills I have acquired, I try to support my husband and to ease the burden of our family. I always participate in exhibition-sales with great pleasure and my sons are always there to help me. I dedicate most of my time to bead embroidery and I sell my handmade work in Vernisazh. I can never complain because I receive many orders from my costumers’’ she says and adds that the organisaiton of such events is a big support and assistance to Syrians. Ani Artinyan wants her sons to achieve all their goals; if not in higher education, they can at least perform well in the field of crafts. She does not want to go back to Syria, she does not even think about it, – “We were born there, grew up, but we will die here”.

Our long-time friends Yoland and Raffi Rshtunis, whose booth smelled with delicious and juicy delicacies, also attended the festival. There was a wide range of handmade works and jewelries, as well as sweets in the stand of the 20-year- old Ani Terteryan who was wearing an embroidered national costume. Ani has been studying the embroidery of Marash in Syria. Ani’s mother, together with her daughters, sews the national costumes of Marash. During the festival, the sisters were also wearing the national costumes.

Ani along with studying at the Physiotherapy Department of the Armenian State Institute of Physical Culture, together with her sisters also helps her mother to bake cakes. Ani is very busy during the day; however, she always finds time to also make jewelleries. There is a high demand for tasteful cookies, soft toys, necklaces, bracelets, and it encourages Ani to work even harder.

‘’My family has decided to create handmade production and in my turn I will make jewelleries so that I can support my family’’, – says Ani. The participation in this festival would be impossible without the support by UNHCR and a number of local orgniasations.

“These festivals are organised as a result of joint efforts made by different organisations to provide assistance to displaced Syrians” – says Mrs. Anahit Hayrapetyan, External Relations Associate at UNHCR and adds, – “It is worth to mention that Syrians actively participate in a variety of festivals and exhibition-sales. They get excited when they notice some progress in their work… the smiles say enough. We are very happy to be able to contribute to this festival. In Armenia there is a competition which was missing in Syria, and it raises awareness on the knowledge of legislation and market demand. Therefore, owing to participation in festivals and exhibition-sales, displaced Syrians improve the quality of their productions, their designs and try to fit it with the local market. UNHCR and its partners are ready to support and promote Syrians in their initiatives.”

 

Anush Nersisyan

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