By Artsvi Bakhchinyan
Special to the Mirror-Spectator
YEREVAN/GENEVA — Peggy Hinaekian is an artist and author living in the US (Florida and California) and Switzerland. Born and raised in Egypt, she immigrated to Canada with her first husband and then went on to the United States, where she pursued a career in fashion design and fine arts. After her divorce, she moved to Geneva, and continued her career as an artist. She has exhibited extensively in galleries and art fairs worldwide. Hinaekian’s works figure in numerous private and corporate collections, notably in various financial institutions and pharmaceutical companies in Switzerland. Her paintings are also in three museums. She exhibits frequently in Switzerland and in the United States.
Dear Peggy, you come from Armenian community of Egypt during its now-passed prosperous times. What was it like for an Armenian child to be raised in the Egyptian-Armenian community?
Life was wonderful in Egypt. The Armenians, like other ethnic minorities, had their own schools, social clubs, sporting clubs and churches. My paternal grandfather came to Egypt as a tobacco merchant from Yerzenga (now in Turkey). He died when my father was 1; therefore neither of us knew him. My maternal grandfather came to Egypt from Lancashire, England, where he had a textile firm and was exporting cotton from Egypt for his cotton mill. His ancestors had moved to England during the first Turkish massacres. He died during the Second World War and I never met him either. My paternal grandmother also came from Yerzenga. As for my maternal grandmother, her family had escaped the Turkish massacres and gone to Greece, and then to Egypt. Both of my parents were born in Egypt. I went to Armenian Elementary school at first, where we were taught four languages, then continued my education in an English school.
Do you continue your journal that you began at the age of 12?