The Crisis Facing Syrian-Armenians: The Urgency of Providing Assistance

Syrian Armenian Relief Fund

BY GARO BEDROSSIAN

Our beloved Syrian-Armenians are facing a serious crisis.

The widespread civil war, the slaying of hundreds, often on a daily basis the destruction and collapse of buildings, fires, gunfire, abductions, sabotage events everywhere, widespread unemployment as an obvious consequence, involuntary “imprisonment” of families in their own homes several days at a time, lack of bread and water, the skyrocketing food prices, price gouging, anxiety and fear, etc.

Because of the conflict, within the Armenian-populated districts of Aleppo, Kamishli, Der Zor, Damascus, Homs, Latakia, Kessab, etc., our brothers and sisters are being subjected to relative losses and evilness.

For weeks, Syria’s largest city, Aleppo, has been under fire with modern destructive weapons, frightful street fighting, destruction and fires. People confined to their homes, they do not speak of going to work, or even getting close to their own shops. Everyone fells consoled upon finding out that their shop is still standing, is neither destroyed, nor looted.

After a century following the Genocide of the Armenian people and the deadly deportations,    Aleppo was considered as the first shelter for the survivors. Once again, due to the ensuing conditions, for refugees Aleppo became a hard to cross bridge to Beirut, Jordan, Iraq, Ethiopia, Europe, North and South Americas, Canada, etc.

Superhuman efforts were necessitated to rebuild the community for the survival of the nation with churches, schools, social and cultural institutions, print media, and in time, distinguished secondary schools, of course with the brotherly and generous contributions of Diaspora donors.

Following 30 to 40 years of excellent efforts, the vigorous community in Aleppo became a center for providing human capital for intellectual, cultural and social realms for other Diaspora communities, in not only Syria, but also Lebanon, Jordan, Cyprus, Iraq, Ethiopia, Europe, North and South Americas, Canada and elsewhere. Furthermore, their contributions were not limited to just providing intellectual human capital, but also monetary assistance, along with human and material resources as the needs arose, such as assistance to Lebanon during the years of civil war, assistance to Armenia following the devastating earthquake, assistance to Artsakh (Karabakh) liberation struggle, assistance to rebuild the newly independent Armenia, etc.

Remembering all these and refreshing our memories of the recent past of our “dream” and beloved Aleppo and generally the promising lives of the greater Syrian-Armenian community, and thinking about the unexpected, bloody and gloomy situation created by the present day “Arab Spring” movement, there is no doubt that we will feel deeply saddened for the predicament that has overwhelmed the outstanding community and the hosting country considered as a second fatherland.

Everyone’s heartfelt wish will be for reestablishment of peace and normalcy.

Nevertheless, it is vital that expression of support by each person and family include a monetary contribution involving all Armenians in California including Churches, Political Parties, Humanitarian Organizations and Cultural, social and compatriotic unions to the Executive Committee of the SYRIAN ARMENIAN RELIEF FUND, which has already released a call to action to the media through the press and the TV stations.

We are convinced that the urgent need to assist this cause will not only provide needed funds to the numerous families, but also strengthen the moral spirit of the community, confirming that the all Armenians in the Diaspora and the homeland care about each of its members.

RELIEF efforts are always considered highly during difficult times of need.

Garo Bedrossian is a retired teacher.

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9 Comments

  1. Albert said:

    The purchase of an unoccupied Greek Island for the resettlement of Syrian-Armenians would be ideal. The Greeks are in very poor economic shape and are willing to sell Greek Islands. Greek Islands are close to Syria and the movement of Syrian Armenians to this Island would be possible. If you don’t believe me you can check out websites like http://www.privateislandsonline.com/areas/greece and The Guardian newspaper also had an article about Greek Islands for sale.http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2010/jun/24/greece-islands-sale-save-economy. Wealthy Armenians such as the Gulbenkian foundation should get together behind this great cause.
    This is why we need a second Armenia , a Cilician Republic of Armenia based on an unoccupied Greek Island. Greek Islands are for sale. The Cilician republic of Armenia could joint the Republic of Armenia and form the Armenian Union.The Cilician Republic of Armenia and the Republic of Armenia would have a Inter-armenian parliament which would allow for the diaspora to influence the corrupt politicians of the Republic of Armenia.

  2. Albert said:

    The idea of an Armenian Union has it’s advantages because it would allow the republic of Armenia and the proposed Cilician republic of Armenia to be have their autonomy but they could cooperate economically , militarily and in other spheres.The Republic of Armenia could potentially face a catastrophic earthquake and the formation of a Cilician Republic of Armenia could help the in the relief efforts and would be a site for the storage of emergency supplies. In case of war, the Cilician Republic could provide military assistance to Armenia.

  3. Hratch said:

    Albert,what are you smoking?? Just because some Greek islands are for sale does not mean that the Greek government is abandoning its territorial rights. It’s just a piece of property up for sale. It is still under the jurisdiction of the Greek Republic. Asbarez editor, for heaven’s sake please remove Albert’s comments. It is embarrassing to think that others might read and interpret this as an Armenian agenda!

  4. Albert said:

    Why would Greece have the right to hold on to territorial control over Islands it wants to sell. An island is not the property of the Greek government if the Greek government sells it. Greece is in such a mess that it will sell islands. There is massive unemployment and poverty. This is not a joke. This is the worst Greek economic disaster since the Nazi takeover of Greece.
    People like Hratch have caveman mentality. They lack imagination and abstract thinking ability. .This so-called Hayastan government is run by a bunch of Hayastansi/Karabagh thugs and criminals who are only interested in their personal wealth. If the government were run by non-hyastansis and non-Hratch like people, then the country could have a chance of prospering but being landlocked still creates tremendous problems . The Russians have an interest in keeping Hayastan weak so that they can control the government and keep Hayastan as a vassal state.

    • Hratch said:

      Albert, stick to the subject. The Greeks, just like any other people, will fight tooth and nail to protect every inch of their national territory. The Greek government is NOT selling their country. These are merely private islands up for sale. If what you’re saying is true, do you really think the Greek government would use a website to sell their county? Why not you Ebay or craigslist? You are a moron and will remain a moron.

  5. Movses said:

    I hope Garo Bedrossian (the writer) wasn’t an english teacher! I wonder how the armenians in syria truely feel about the current government and whether they welcome the revolution. From what I have witnessed as a child, who visited syria back in the days, there is widespread corruption and injustice. Just to go through the syrian border from Labanon, the driver had to bribe the guards with bread and toilet paper (I’m not kidding). If there is shortage of basic supplies like bread and toilet paper in a country, that tells you something about the government and how they treat their own people. I hope Armenians in Syria can successfuly stay neutral throughout this ordeal.

  6. Albert said:

    A Cilician republic of Armenia (based on Greek Island bought from Greece) could be a vehicle to assist the development of the Republic of Armenia. Sadly our Hayastansi brothers are being ruled by a bunch of thugs who are controlled by Russia . The foundation of the Cilician republic would not only save the lives of Syrian Armenians who could emigrate there but it could also create a new nation. Unfortunately this horrible civil war in Syria will keep dragging on.

  7. Albert said:

    The landlocked nature of the Republic of Armenia make it’s opportunity for economic growth limited. Sadly enough the Russians want to keep Armenia weak so that they can keep it as a vassal state They know that if Armenia gains it’s freedom that it will attempt to join the EU. This is why we need a Cilician Republic of Armenia.based on an Island that has access to the open ocean. Israel is a successful nation not only because Jews are smart but because it has access to the ocean. If Israel were landlocked,it would not be a prosperous state.

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