Ten years ago, Aleen Karakashian and Wadie Hashweh decided to leave Jordan, their home country, and settle in the United States. The married couple only knew two people in Georgia, both of whom lived in Lilburn.
A decade later, they proudly call Lilburn home and love raising their toddlers - Lucene Noor, 6, and Joseph Amir, 3 - in the community.
“I love being part of this community. I feel connected with each new person, each new business owner, dog walker, etc., Aleen Karakashian said. “This community has kind, generous, loving people.
Hashweh, her husband, is a realtor who’s passionate about the profession as well as music. He plays the drums. Karakashian turned her photography hobby into a business after their daughter was born. She captures images of mothers, families and children.
“My desire is to see mothers of all ages step into the photo more often,” Karakashian said. “When our children look back at their memories, they need to see their mother in those images. We can’t go back in time, but we can, somehow, relive a memory. That’s where photography comes in.”
During the genocide, Karakashian’s grandparents fled Armenia and settled in Jordan. She was born and raised in Amman, Jordan, and speaks three languages.
Where possible, she wants to help overcome language barriers in the community. And that’s why Karakashian is our April Citizen of the Month.
“We live in such a time where we can’t let language barriers be a big issue,” she said. “I can help in that area with the languages I speak – Western Armenian, Arabic and English.
“I have often interpreted over the phone for an Arabic-speaking lady who needed help communicating with her physician,” she continued. I may not be an expert, but I want to help make others feel heard and included. Not all of us were born in Lilburn, but we get to call it home.”
Contact info: www.aleenkarakashian.com; firstname.lastname@example.org