“You have to learn the language of the country you are living in and realize that you need to start a life here so you can move forward!”
Our first contact with Ms. Azia Mizroyan was at SolidarityNow’s Blue Refugee Center in Thessaloniki, where she works as a cultural mediator for the kurmanji language. Ms Azia is 65 years old and comes from Tbilisi, Georgia. She has been living in Greece for the last 26 years with her children.
She has studied and worked as an engineer in Georgia. The economic crisis in her country forced her, and other members of her family, to leave Tbilisi and seek a new life in another country. She chose Greece, while her brothers, Russia and France. She arrived alone in Kallikratia, Halkidiki. “I didn’t know the language, the only word I knew in Greek was ‘work'”. She changed many jobs. She worked in cotton fields, something that was very difficult for her because she hadn’t done a similar job in the past; she worked as a housekeeper as well.
Despite life’s difficulties and obstacles, she managed to build a home here. She talks to us warmly about the help and support she has received from other Greek women, but also about the importance of speaking the language. “When you know the language, you know a person’s culture, you get to know the country; language is a big deal,” she stresses.
We ask her if she would like to send a special message to all these people who are starting a new life in a new country. “You have to learn the language of the country you are living in and realize that you need to start a life here, so you can move forward!” she tells us.
* Blue Refugee Center is supported by UNHCR and funded by the E.U.