The Avakian family has its roots in western Armenia in the city of Ayntab. Due to the Turkish pogroms that targeted Armenians in 1896 in this region, Hagops’ grandfather, Hagop Avakian, immigrated to Aleppo, Syria. Once established in Aleppo, his grandfather went into the business of manufacturing hand-made oriental carpets based on their vast experience in antique oriental pieces handed down by Hagops’ great grand- father. Dikran Avakian was born in Aleppo, and quickly became an apprentice to his father, learning the trade and the ways of the oriental carpet business. In 1929 Dikran Avakian, and his brothers, decided to move to Beirut, Lebanon.
Hagop Avakian is a fourth generation expert in the business of oriental carpets. When Hagop first opened his eyes, they were filled with the magic of colors and esoteric designs that comprise the unique oriental carpets his family have been selling and trading since 1870. As a precarious young boy growing up in the orient, he was an appendage to his father, attached to him in his every move. As his father travelled and roamed the souks and bazaars looking for the rarest of pieces and negotiated their prices, Hagop listened, watched, and learned. To reward his focused attention his father would offer Hagop his favorite dessert: ice cream. On these endless trips Hagop honed his skills, from restoring ancient carpets, to buying them, and trading them.
At the tender age of thirteen, Hagop, like all young boys of this age, wanted a bicycle. One day two traders were arguing over the origin of a carpet. One trader claimed it was a Gordez, and the other argued that it was a Kaysari. They decided to call on Hagops’ father Dikran to arbitrate the issue. As always Hagop was at his fathers’ side. On hearing the argument, Hagop, who had noticed that the carpet comprised strands of velour, quickly jumped in indicating that this carpet is neither Gordez nor Kaysari, it is a Bandarma! At this,Hagops’ father was so proud and fullfilled that he kissed Hagop and bought him a bicycle. To Hagop this day still feels as if it only happened yesterday. Hagop at a very tender age was forced to take over the family business due to the passing of his father. His many experiences at the hand of his father instilled in Hagop the courage and maturity to easily take over the family business.
In 1976, due to the crisis in Lebanon, again the Avakian family were forced to immigrate. Part of the family moved to London, England, and Hagop went to Geneva. Thanks be to God, Geneva, Hagops adopted city, proved to be an excellent choice for Hagop, as Geneva’s international character imperceptibly blended with Hagops multi-cultural personality. Hagops store situated at 18, Rue Des Alpes, is located in the center of Geneva. Today Avakian Tapis D’Orient is recognized as the leading authority in unique oriental carpets.