Sisters Narine and Gasia Berberian, second-year students of the Siamanto Academy, recently interviewed teacher Sosy Mishoyan Dabbaghian. In the interview, Mrs. Mishoyan Dabbaghian discusses her career and choices, and the importance of her vocation.
Where were you born, and where did you spend your childhood?
I was born in Aleppo Syria. For most of my life (from childhood until maturity) I spent there. I studied there and I married there. I have been an Armenian teacher, working with various Armenian groups. So that it was in Aleppo that I was molded and formed into who I am today.
What did you study?
Initially I studied English language and literature in Aleppo State University, Afterwards, I attended Hamazkayin’s four-year Armenian studies program. I really wanted to deepen my Armenian studies, so in 2014, as soon as my family moved to Armenia, I attended Yerevan’s Khachadoor Apovian’s pedagogical university for a master’s degree in Armenian language and literature. Currently, I am preparing my Ph.D. thesis, which is focused on village dialects used in Diasporic Armenian literature.
Why did you pick literature and language?
During my school years it was already obvious that my interest was going toward letters and literature. I didn’t enjoy scientific subjects, particularly math classes which were unbearable for me. I had the opposite reaction to my literature and language classes (whether they were in Arabic, English or Armenian). I loved to read literary works and analyze them (as much as we could at that age), I particularly enjoyed writing compositions. As a result, during my baccalaureate I enrolled in the literary department of the school, where I also studied philosophy, which I also enjoyed a lot. It was clear to me that I would happily continue in this vein of study at the university.
How were you introduced to Siamanto Academy?
My teaching career, as I mentioned, started in Aleppo. Initially, I taught at the Haigazian National school, then, at Karen Jeppe Armenian College. As a result of the Syrian war, when my family moved to Armenia, this time I created my private courses and tutoring (westernarmenian.me), and I had and have many Armenian and non-Armenian students from various places around the world. After five years of experience online, I immediately accepted the invitation from the Eastern Prelacy of the Armenian Apostolic church. So again, I taught online for the students attending the Siamanto weekly classes, most of whom attend from New York, Boston, Michigan and various American regions. I am very happy that this is the second year I am with all of you.
What makes you happy about teaching?
I feel lucky that I can do what I love. Not everyone has the privilege of working in what they love. Teaching is about giving, right? But it is also about receiving at the same time. I am very happy when I teach new things. When I encounter someone who is very eager to learn, I give it my all to teach them more. When language is related to other languages, such nuances appear that make one think about them. I love this experience and I do my job happily.