05 November 2014, 16:50
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This Guy Posted on Facebook About His Move to Armenia and the Responses he Received Will Amaze You

To say that we are connected in the Internet age is an understatement. In fact, we are so well connected, it’s almost safe to say we’re overwhelmed. Thus, it’s not uncommon on Facebook to find oneself a member of a group whose notifications have rapidly become a nuisance rather than a notifier. We’re all familiar with the annoyed feeling of receiving a notification from one of these groups, which we swiftly and without regret pass over, having deemed it irrelevant and a waste of time. This, however, is not the case with a group called “Armenian Repatriates Network.”

Several years ago, an organization named Repat Armenia created the closed group on Facebook and it now enjoys almost 1800 members. It has become a very special place on the Internet, not just because it’s full of Armenians from other countries who have made the bold move to repatriate to this developing country, but because of the incredible enthusiasm and responsiveness of the group’s members.

“Armenian Repatriates Network” is a place where questions posted on the message board, no matter how mundane they may be, get answers – usually within minutes. Furthermore, the responses are filled with empathy, genuine compassion, concern, and best of all, personality. That is why we at ImYerevan felt the need to provide a demonstration of this amazing network in action, when a diasporan Armenian from Canada made the decision to move to Yerevan. In preparation of his move, he posted to the Facebook group. Here is the original post:

It’s been 16 hours and 50 likes since the post hit the group’s Facebook wall and we were floored by the amazing variety of responses in the 30+ comments from the group’s enthusiastic members. Some were heartfelt, some were humorous, some sarcastic, and some, downright negative, but all came from a shared collective understanding that this is a big step and it’s one that more and more are deciding to make.

There were some patterns we noticed in the content of the comments. Many commenters hoped to protect the traveler from immediate dangers, such as getting ripped off on the taxi ride from Zvartnots airport to the city center (Note: jan is a term of endearment Armenians add at the end of a person’s name, literally translating to ‘dear’ in English):

Others hoped to prepare the young traveler for realistic expectations of Armenia.

Some acted as a friendly warning and a welcome:

...While others were borderline pessimistic: 

But our favorite comment came from this individual who, we thought, was the best representation of this small, but growing diasporan community living in Armenia today. It contained sentiments from the comments we’ve already presented, but it was so incredibly detailed, helpful, and at times, almost philosophical. It really made an impression on us, and so we wanted to share it with you.

A seemingly ordinary request from someone many had never even met resulted in this smorgasbord of personality and warmth. Of course, we were left with big grins on our faces, ear to ear, here at ImYerevan. But the most important lesson we learned from all of this… Don’t EVER pay more than 5000 AMD for a taxi ride from the airport.

 

For more on the cab culture in Yerevan, click here.

*Editor's note: The original version of this article contained the identity of the individual who posted the original comment, but several hours after posting, we were asked to remove and censor it, to protect the individual's privacy. We apologize for this inconsistency.

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