PARIS – In 2018, the first edition of Little Armenias was published in French. It’s like a Lonely Planet travel guide book, but for the Armenian Diaspora. One by one, the book presents Armenian communities in 101 countries with history, geography and facts about every single church, cultural center, restaurant and market. Why is it so unique? Because it’s exhaustive. It’s up-to-date, thanks to a large network of collaborators. Also, because the author has visited most of the places himself.
The French edition was presented in more than 20 Armenian cultural centers in France, Belgium, Switzerland and Canada. After a meeting with the author in Lisbon in 2019, Dr. Razmik Panossian, director of the Armenian Communities Department at the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation, suggested to have the book available in English too. The Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation offered its generous assistance to translate and publish Little Armenias in English. Entirely updated for the 2020 edition, the book is now available in English. A book tour in Europe and the US will be organized soon.
The Armenian Diaspora as a Travel Destination
The mission of the Armenian Communities Department is to create a viable future for the Armenian people in which its culture and language are preserved and valued. Little Armenias is a tool. It can be used to learn about Armenians in other countries, but more than anything, it’s a tool to value our presence in the diaspora with a tourism approach. Our neighborhoods, our monuments, our subcultures, our territories all over the world are part of Armenia. Our diaspora is also our land, and it can be visited, as any other travel destination.
About the Author
Robin Koulaksezian (firstname.lastname@example.org) is a French Armenian traveler born in Paris. He graduated from Sorbonne University and ESSEC Business School and worked for the French government. He lived in Syria and Russia and speaks eight languages. After visiting over 100 countries and collecting information from hundreds of locals, he decided to publish a travel guide dedicated to the Armenian Diaspora.