From Moscow to a Border Village: the Ordyans have started a family business in Aygedzor

“I would like my daughters to grow up in an Armenian environment and commit their future to Armenia.” Levon Ordyan

The population of Aygedzor, a small border village in the Tavush region, has increased by a family of four. Levon Ordyan, 43, who lived in Moscow with his wife and two daughters for the past 22 years, has recently moved from the Russian capital to Armenia and finally settled down in his home village.

“We have had high hopes for the arrival of this new government. These changes in the country and our great desire to live in the homeland have brought us back,” says Ordyan.

When Levon returned home after military service in Artsakh back in 1997, he left for Moscow seeking a better life there. He started working in trading business in the Russian capital, where he settled, bought an apartment and married Anna, starting a family with her.

Levon admits that although living in Moscow was expensive, there was nothing to complain of; they lived in a comfortable apartment and earned enough for living. Their two daughters – Lilit, 15 and Ani, 10, attended a Russian school in Moscow combining their studies at an Armenian Sunday school. Now they experience language difficulties at the rural school, but Levon believes that his daughters will eventually win through.

“They work really hard and they study all day to get high grades,” he said, adding there was another reason for their return to Armenia.

“I would like my daughters to grow up in an Armenian environment and commit their future to Armenia,” he said.

The village of Aygedzor, where Levon was born, is 75 km away from the central town of Ijevan in the Tavush region, but is only a few kilometers away from the state border. When the Ordyans moved to Aygedzor, they had to give up their comfortable life in Moscow in exchange for a life full of troubles and even danger facing a small border village. Their house is situated right at the outskirts of the village, only a few kilometers away from the state border with Azerbaijan.

“Returning to Armenia was difficult for us. True, we used to come here every summer, but after living in Moscow for many years, it was hard to leave the life in the capital behind and move into a border village, where your life could be at risk,” said Levon Ordyan.

He plans to start poultry production in Aygedzor with the support from the UN Migration Agency - International Organization for Migration. While the farm building is practically ready, the organization will provide the family with a small turkey flock to start with.

“I have built a farm, it’s 99 percent ready, and we can start the poultry production soon. My farm is built right on the border with Azerbaijan and we took a great risk by venturing so far, but we are already halfway through the business. Besides, nothing ventured, nothing gained. We have chosen to start with turkey production, because turkey meat is healthy and it’s mainly imported to Armenia,” said Ordyan, who doesn’t mind being referred to as a repatriate. He says he is happy to be back in the family home built on his native land.