In the period of 25th October to 1st November 2019 three Bulgarian girls and I took park in an Erasmus+ project in Yereven, the Armenian capital. The project was a training course, which was entitled “Face 2 Faith”. That was my 3rd Erasmus project (2nd training course) so I was kind of prepared what to expect from the program. At the same time I was interested to experience how and what a non-European country project will be like. I was very excited about the topic too – interreligious dialogue, which is a very delicate and complex one.
I was pleased of the fact that there was such a good balance between the indoor and outdoor activities. The main idea of non-formal learning is just this – to learn through your own experience and reflection. One of the places that we visited was Khor Virap which is situated in the so famous Ararat plain. It is a monastery extremely important for the Armenian Apostolic church and Christianity because a whole as it is just the place where Christianity was adopted for the first time as a state religion. I, as not such a devoted believer, think that everyone should go and feel the holy atmosphere, see the stunning view to the Ararat Mountain and enjoy the unique architecture of the Armenian church.
Another very special and sacred place for the Armenians that I had the pleasure to visit was the so called Armenian Vatican – Etchmiadzin. There we met Archbishop Nathan Hovhanissyan, who spoke about human values such as tolerance, kindness, willingness to help to your family, friends and every “brother” etc. This meeting was incredibly knowledgeable and perfectly suitable for our topic of interreligious dialogue as the Archbishop in his missions has been to so many places around the world.
One morning we had the chance to meet the Chairwoman of the commission for Human rights in the National Assembly of Armenia – Naira Zohrabyan. She welcomed us and talked about the different religious and ethnic groups in Armenia as well as we / the participants/ shared how the situations in our counties are.
Due to the fact that we had plenty of free time, we had the opportunity to explore Yerevan. We have been to many places around the city and saw so much of it. Every day I enjoyed the walks around as the atmosphere was incredible, the people were very hospitable and the architecture was specific.
As a conclusion, I am grateful to Alternativi International for the opportunity to be part of this project in such a wonderful country. I now have a lot more friends from around Europe, a lot of memories and photos, and the most important of everything – new knowledge to share on interreligious dialogue. At the end I think that Yerevan and Armenia as a whole should be in everyone’s travel wish list.