The Survival of Syria’s Armenian Community

A destroyed neighborhood in Aleppo


YEREVAN (Armenpress)—Despite numerous social and economic difficulties caused by the war, the Armenian community of Syria continues to live and to work. Armenpress presents an interview with editor-in-chief of Aleppo’s Gandzasar weekly Zarmik Boghikian about issues concerning the Armenians of Syria.

ARMENPRESS: What are some issues facing the Armenian community of Syria? What kind of difficulties have they encountered during this period?

ZARMIK BOGHIKIAN: As part of the Syrian people, the Armenian community has suffered the effects of anxiety over these three years. Being a minority, we endured much more damages – in the form of destruction of national structures, in the psychological sense, a large number of people left Syria, we had many losses. Syrian-Armenians tried to survive with all this. Our main task now is coming out of this war with the least amount of loss possible, because we do not favor any political force and have no connection with the war. From the very beginning the Armenian community of Syria tried to back all the efforts directing the country to democracy.

A.P.: Is there any official data on the number of victims and material losses?

Z.B.: There are official numbers: we have had 100 victims killed up to today and 106 kidnapped and missing people. We have 1,700 damaged apartments and national structures. The community’s population has been reduced by 50 percent; a part of them have emigrated to Armenia – about 12,000 people – the other part to Lebanon; and some of them have left for the countries of Western Europe. Our wish is that Syrian-Armenians settle in the homeland, as they can at least preserve their national identity there.

A.P.: Can we say that the population of Armenians in Syria is 30,000?

Z.B.: With a bit of hesitation – yes, because there are no exact numbers. In addition to external migration, internal displacement also took place. The majority emigrated from Aleppo, as it is the most dangerous place and people live there in difficult conditions.

A.P.: What would you say about the cultural life of the Armenian community of Syria?

Z.B.: Our community leaders and religious leaders do everything possible to keep our schools working. The academic year has begun and we hope that we will go through the year with minimal harm and will not see any more losses.

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4 Comments

  1. zarkim said:

    LOOK WHAT THEY HAVE DONE TO ALEPPO.
    ISIS exists because of Americans and their allies. ISIS’s stronghold/nest is in Turkey.
    .
    Turkey has recently made a DEAL with the TERRORISTS during their FAKE hostage negotiations. Hours after this DEAL strange things happen: 1)) ISIS threatens Russia, Canada, etc.. and 2)) hundreds of thousands of Kurds run towards Turkish borders. Who else ENTERS or EXITS Turkey is the question???? Then, Der Zor is destroyed….
    The Turkish DEAL with ISIS:
    Turkey has promised ISIS a SAFE passage to turkey and exit to any location they like. AND Turkey has promised ISIS a SAFE HAVEN for their STOLEN assets made from OIL, MONEY and property stolen from looting and ransoms, etc..
    .
    This new development is an act to CONFUSE the rest of the world and an attempt to cover-up ISIS’s movements in Syria, Iraq and Turkey areas.
    .
    AMERICA IS CERTAINLY INVOLVED and this is why they are WAITING before their PRETEND attack on ISIS.
    http://asbarez.com/121807/young-kessab-armenian-killed-by-rebels/
    http://asbarez.com/126987/us-knew-turkey-aided-al-qaeda-but-did-nothing-to-stop-it/
    http://asbarez.com/126858/turkey-goes-against-us-in-campaign-against-isis/
    http://rt.com/news/al-qaeda-west-cahoot-syria-177/
    Etchmiadzin, Cilicia Denounce Destruction of Memorial Church by ISIS
    Members of Congress Express Outrage Over Der Zor Destruction
    .
    Mr Obama until now APPEARS to have NO BLOOD in his hands. But now, HE IS VERY MUCH INVOLVED.
    If the DEAL is to forgive ISIS and let them go by living a big gate open for them, then, this is the best cover-up plan. Only future will show the truth. May be this is the safest solution?
    .
    TURKEY, using ISIS, has made plenty of money from these lootings (Syria and Iraq). Turkey is able to look after all these displaced Kurds for at least ten years using this STOLEN money. NO ONE SHOULD HELP TURKEY. THEY have stolen and looted their neighbours for years.
    .
    Russia is happy because Turkey SHARES these stolen assets by spending with them.
    Americans are happy because Turkey spends with them and lets them into their land and waterways.
    .
    This juggling act by Turkey has been going on for a long time. Bubble is going to burst. When??
    .
    Der Zor memorial church has been destroyed by Turkish thugs. ISIS is Turkey.
    .
    Americans try to blame PUTIN for all bad things that happen. This one is certainly America’s DOING.
    .
    Mr Obama has promised that he will get all ISIS terrorists. There is no where they can hide from him. However, Mr Obama only mentions the ISIS in Iraq and Syria. Somehow, he overlooks the ones in TURKEY… ISIS is very active in Turkey.
    .
    The recent American and allies’s effort in Syria is good news. If Mr Obama patiently continues these operations, we will see the end of evil. THEN, Syria will return to what it was BEFORE.
    .
    Syria has been a SANCTUARY to millions of ETHNIC minorities for centuries. Why does anyone want to destroy it? Learn from Syria about MULTICULTURISM. Syria should be congratulated.
    Even ISRAELIS used Syria as a safe-heaven.
    LOOK WHAT THEY HAVE DONE TO ALEPPO.

  2. Vaga said:

    Why are the 30,000 still there? The walls are falling around them, the ground is shaking, but they get up in the morning and go to work, go to school. Send your children to Armenia!

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