Tense Calm in Armenian Areas As Israel Continues to Pound Lebanon

BEIRUT–YEREVAN (Aztag–Armenpress)–A tense calm was reported in Armenian areas of Lebanon–as the Israeli attack on Lebanon entered its sixth day. At press time–Aztag Daily reported no significant damage or disturbance in the Armenian areas of the country.

Sources at Aztag told Asbarez that the community is weathering this crisis as bravely as possible–although citizens are naturally concerned about Lebanon’s fate.

In an editorial appeal–Aztag has urged the Lebanese-Armenian community to confront this recent crisis with patience and courage.

"In this situation–Armenian Revolutionary Federation community centers are making all necessary preparations to provide emergency assistance and to create the mechanisms to provide for the needs of the community," stated the Aztag editorial appeal.

In the event of further escalation of the current situation and a more severe impact on Armenian areas of Lebanon–the newspaper urged community members to go to their neighborhood centers and come together "to overcome–once again–another stage of war."

Armenia’s foreign ministry announced that around 70 Armenian citizens will be transported from Lebanon to Syria from where they will be flown to Armenia–reported the Armenpress news agency.

Officials from the Armenian embassy in Lebanon will meet them on the Syrian-Lebanese border and ensure their safe transportation to Aleppo.

Third secretary of the embassy Arsen Arakelian told Armenpress that Armenian citizens living in Lebanon were informed about the evacuation and in all likelihood–there are no Armenian citizens left in Beirut.

"The evacuation is taking place on their own volition. If there are people who want to stay here until the end of the crisis–it will on their own will. The embassy will try to help with everything," he said.

The secretary said that the embassy will continue its daily operation.

In a related story–Aztag newspaper reported that the Hamazkayine "Sevan" Dance Ensemble of Australia was touring Lebanon and was stuck in Beirut on the day of its members departure.

"Our final stop over was Beirut and after another magnificent performance in front of a sold out crowd–we were ready to head home for Sydney. That was until we woke on the day of our departure to the news that the runways at Beirut airport had been bombed. We were told by the Australian Embassy in Lebanon that it was safest to stay at our hotel until further notice," wrote Levon Demirian a member of the dance troupe.

"Phone calls from concerned parents in Australia have not stopped–but rest assured we’re in an excellent hotel in the safest area in the outskirts of Beirut and have plenty of food and drink. Some of the kids are running out of spending money–but parents are able to send it through Western Union or the Australian Embassy in case our stay is lengthened," added Demirian.

"The most frustrating and stressful thing at the moment is the uncertainty. No one is able to tell us when and how we can leave. Everyone is looking out for each other and sticking close by," concluded Demirian.

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