2 December 2019
On November 24, Robin Koulaksezian was in Brussels to give a presentation of his traveling guide to Diaspora, “Little Armenias”, at the Hay Doun – Armenian Center in Laeken. Covering 94 countries, Koulaksezian’s book compiles information on the Armenian heritage and the various Armenian communities in more than a hundred cities visited by the author.
In his presentation, Robin explained how he first connected with his Armenian origins as a young adult, particularly through his traveling and his discovery of Armenia. Born in France of an Armenian father and a French mother, Robin did not grow up in an Armenian environment. He learned Armenian as well as many other languages as an autodidact. In his talk, Robin was keen to express how much of an added value his Armenian identity represents for him. He highlighted some of his discoveries and experiences which convinced him of this reality. He tried to show that preserving our Armenian identity is not only a way for Armenians to stay alive as a global nation, but that it also opens doors on the outside world, on many levels: socially, economically and culturally.
Sliding through his photographs on a large screen, Robin took the public on a trip around the world, from Buenos Aires and Los Angeles to Aleppo and Singapore. In all the countries that he visited, not only did Robin bonded with thousands of fellow Armenians, but these connections actually helped him save money and gave him access to the local cultures of all the places he visited. Because everywhere he went, the Armenians that he met were 100% Armenians and 100% Russian, Argentinian, Greek, Syrian, Dutch, etc.
People in the public seemed very impressed by the work that Robin has accomplished and they were also very enthusiastic and supportive regarding the further development of his project. Robin mentioned that he will pursue his project thanks to the award received from the AGBU Noubar Nazarian YP Innovators’ Fund. His intention is to publish an online version of Little Armenias, which would include the online catalog with an interactive search dimension that will enable the users to tap into a one-stop resource for maps, landmarks, churches, guided tours, restaurant offers, and other points of interest in each community, along with videos and photo albums.
The discussion with the public continued after the presentation as many still looked to find out more about his astonishing project.