Carolena Sabah was born on August 15th 1974, the second child to her mother, Juliet Gevorkoff, and her father, Robert Golian. Carolena, of Armenian heritage, was born in Iran where her mother, a scholar of International Communications, was a prominent travel guide catering to the rich and famous touring the historical wonders of the former Persian Empire. Jackie O, Toni Curtis, Elizabeth Taylor to name a few. Notably, her mother worked closely with the King and Queen of Iran, Reza Shah Pahlavi and Farah Pahlavi, single-handedly arranging all of their diplomatic as well as vacation travel needs. Her father was a brilliant scientific mind, in fact, an aerospace engineer, and a devoted family man.
Shortly after Carolena’s and her Sister Pauline’s birth, their father made one of the most pivotal decisions of their lifetimes, he decided that the family had to escape their beloved country. A violent revolution had ensued and the welfare of the people of Iran was in jeopardy. Non-Muslim families were particularly threatened by the burgeoning fundamentalist regime taking root in Iran. The family immigrated to Greece, with hopes of eventually finding their way to the United States. After four years in beautiful Greece, the Golian’s made their final relocation to Los Angeles, California.
The multitude of talents and abilities that Carolena has been graced with were evident from very early on. Carolena was nominated to be included in a prestigious annual publication, “Who’s Who Among American High School Students”. She achieved this honor through exemplary achievements in her high school Debate Team, and for her showmanship in such arenas as gymnastics, swimming, and particularly in drama and dance. Carolena also placed as First Runner Up in the American Coed Pageant’s Talent Competition for her performance on the piano. She was the only Armenian to participate in this prestigious pageant of over 200 contestants.
With both talent and passion for the arts, including music, dance, acting and writing, Carolena thought it important to achieve a professional degree to ensure that she would have the resources to pursue her dreams more vigorously. Armenian families, tending to be more pragmatic by nature, often insist their children abandon lofty hopes of success in the world of the arts to achieve more traditional measures of success. Unfortunately, this traditional mentality often results in the abandonment of such dreams for children of immigrant families. Carolena Sabah, true to her vision and driven personality, was determined to achieve her dreams on her own. She did obtain a professional degree, and did it true to form, amongst the best of the best. In college she was Speaker of the House, an esteemed award, graced the Dean’s Honor List, was invited to be a member of the Alpha Gamma Sigma Honor Society, and graduated at the top of her class. Being a licensed Dental Hygienist afforded Carolena the independence, confidence and freedom to pursue the other aspirations she never abandoned. The financial independence she achieved professionally allowed Carolena to try her hand in business and real estate and she has been impressively successful in these ventures as well.
Carolena’s unquenchable thirst for exploration, travel and adventure has taken her throughout Europe, including Italy, France, England and Greece. In early 1999, she made an important journey to her ancestral mother land, Armenia where she soaked up the rich history of her people. Carolena’s unyielding zest for life culminated in a life- changing journey in November of 1999 when this courageous, adventurous free spirit set off to India....alone. Carolena embarked upon what she has called a “spiritual journey” where she sought to discover truth, God, and the essence of life. Backpacking through Calcutta, Goa, Delhi, Mumbai and Varanassi, where she studied yoga and Tabla, she found a level of enlightenment she had never before imagined. There were times when this trip was short of blissful, where she found herself praying for her life in this poverty stricken country, but each experience led to the enlightenment for which she had set out. In April of 2000, she visited Tehran, Iran, her birth-land, seeking her “roots” but found the oppression of women in the fundamentalist Islamic society to be intolerable.
Carolena has always been an entertainer. She has often found herself “Center-Stage” whether hoisted up there by doting and loving friends, family and fans, or climbing up there herself. She is no stranger to the spotlight. The passion and zeal this lady possesses for life, for art and for people radiates through her smoldering eyes. If she is on screen in one of the few student and independent films she has been featured in thus far, or whether in print in one of the enchanting photos in which she has been a lucky photographer’s subject, she radiates a certain glow. She is ethnic and American. She is silly and she is sexy. She is conventionally beautiful but her beauty could be exotic and curious as well. No matter how the viewer experiences Carolena, there is no doubt that they will experience her. The effect Carolena has is entirely visceral…one cannot be indifferent to her.
Fueled by her love for cinema, and inspired by the glamorous productions and stellar actors of Hollywood’s Golden Era, Carolena has embarked upon cultivating her talents. In 2001, she enrolled at the Stella Adler Conservatory in Hollywood as a student of the craft of Acting. Carolena has recently completed a short film which she wrote, produced and starred in titled ‘Don’t Gag Me!” For Carolena Sabah, a poet, a dreamer, a determined and disciplined scholar, and a budding talent, we all have Great Expectations!
Written by: Rose Kistorian.
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