The Call of the Homeland or From Los Angeles to Meghrashat
Meghrashat village of Amasia consolidated community, Shirak marz, has become a favorite place of "Birthright Armenia" Foundation volunteers.
Cheesemakers of Meghrashat
In addition to rural life that interests young people, the "Hyusisi Panir" cooperative of chechil cheese producers in the village is also essential. "Assisting the Rural Community Development in Meghrashat" project implemented by "Shen" NGO with the support of UMCOR Armenia charitable foundation significantly contributed to the registration and success of this cooperative during 2020-2021.
The daily activities of the cooperative and the creation of goods in a border village are extremely attractive for the young people from Armenian Diaspora. In 2022, two groups of young people volunteered in the cooperative. Naomi Amarkarian also arrived from Los Angeles for that purpose in November. Her sister, Ariel, had been in one of the previous volunteer groups.
Naomi is a professional chef who has worked in big restaurants in Los Angeles. Ariel studied world culture at university. The positive impressions and opinions of the girls also brought their mother to Meghrashat. She came to Armenia to taste the chechil cheese produced by the cooperative, to be hosted by the family of the cooperative's president Armine Adamyan and to enjoy the amazing sunsets and dawns of the Armenian village.
With a dream of return
At the end of March, when Naomi's volunteering period was coming to an end, she was passing the Gyumri-Meghrashat way with a sad look. "These scenes - the mountains, the fields - give me peace. I don't like Los Angeles..." said the girl born and raised in the USA, but speaking and thinking in Armenian, cut off from her homeland, but not torn from her roots.
Naomi will return to the USA but believes that this "return" will be temporary because her dream is to return to her homeland permanently. Naomi dreams of having a farm in Meghrashat; indeed, she has no reason to worry about who will buy the milk from her farm.