Sven-Erik Rise English version “Hayastan – Why I Love Armenia”

Oslo – Oslo based Sven-Erik Rise, a Norwegian friend of Armenia, who calls himself “Armenian-by-choice” and has even picked an Armenian name for him Tigran Van, has published the English version of his praised book “Hayastan – Why I love Armenia”, a love confession of a kind to this beautiful country and its people.


Sven-Erik is an Armenia expert who has written articles and op-eds about the country, and the Armenian genocide in national and local newspapers. He has led many public lectures about Armenia for different audiences. He has also been a tour leader for numerous tour groups from Norway to Armenia. Sven-Erik Rise proudly calls himself an “Armenian-by-choice” and dreams of having an Armenian passport.

One cold Norwegian December evening in 2016, after he had visited Armenia and spend a lot of time there, he came up with the idea to write down the feelings and stories from Armenia that overwhelmed him. He had previously been studying the Genocide and the denial thereof, and has for many years gone to lectures, studies documents, read lots of books and interviewed genocide scholars all over the world in several foreign languages. After only 2 short months, but many long nights he submitted his Norwegian language first-ever book to the publisher in Oslo. The book was warmly accepted inside and outside Norway, and after many letters of interest from non-Norwegian speakers, the book was translated into English and available now for purchase online. It has been translated by an authorized translator with English as his mother-tongue. 

When an honest-to-goodness Activist for Armenia, Armenian by Choice, and Guy-Who-Left-His-Heart-in-Armenia writes a book about his overriding passion, it becomes nearly impossible to stay within the confines of traditional literary genres. The content and message of this book draw upon a combination of years of reading and studying, as well as real-life interactions with peoples, cultures, and languages.

 The book is a breathtaking story of Svennie’s love to a country and its people, presented in a most intimate, humoristic and personal manner. In the book, the author takes the reader on a tour in Armenia, where he and his Turkish friend explore the country, meet many exciting people who have many good stories to share. Among other things, the author also discusses the Armenian Genocide, compares it with the Jewish Holocaust, analyses the denialist industry and discusses the Artsakh conflict (Nagorno Karabakh conflict). This book is a good mix of a novel and a well researched and argumented work, which makes it easy to read and gives the reader a fascinating and exciting reading experience. It also contains nice photos and maps.

 The introduction of the book is written by author and veteran journalist of the state broadcaster NRK, Jahn Otto Johansen.

 The book has got many good reviews.

 “Riveting, and brimming with knowledge. In this book, Sven-Erik Rise takes you on a journey you won't want to end—and that you will never forget.”
Stein-Morten Lier, author and TV personality