Scholars and educators convened at Haigazian University from December 6 to 7 where a conference on “Armenians of the Arab Gulf States” was held.
The conference was organized by the Armenian Diaspora Research Center, supported by the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation, and comprised of the following seven working sessions: Armenians in the Arab Gulf States, Armenians in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Armenians in Qatar, Language and Identity, Armenians and the Gulf Media, Interstate relations.
ADRC Director Dr. Antranig Dakessian opened the conference by offering a welcoming word, after which Haigazian University president Rev. Dr. Paul Haidostian gave his opening remarks.
During the two-day conference, 26 papers were presented in both Armenian and English. The panelists came from the U.S., Lebanon, Syria, Poland, Armenia, the United Arab Emirates, and Kuwait. Of these, nine were presented online and 16 in person, and they touched upon the sociopolitical and economic history of the region; Saudi Arabia’s Constitution and Expatriates; Kuwait’s and the United Arab Emirates’ Constitutions and expatriates in those countries; Armenian temporary migrant social life in Saudi Arabia and GCC from the 1970s to the 1990s; Armenians of the Republic of Armenia in the Arab Gulf States; the formation of the Armenian communities in Kuwait and Qatar; Armenian presence in Yemen in the 14th century; the assistance of the Syrian Armenian community to the Kuwaiti Armenians after the invasion of Kuwait by Iraq; intergenerational construction of ethnic identity among the Armenian community of Kuwait and the UAE; the UAE online Radio Ayk; the Armenian Church and schools; the business profile of the Armenians in Kuwait; Key Armenian Тopics in the Gulf Мedia (2016-2022); Armenian Community life in Qatar and Integration; Interstate Relations between the Republic of Armenia and the Arab Gulf States; and a presentation on the archives of the Committee of Cultural Relations with the Armenian Diaspora and the Armenians of the Arab Gulf states.
Participants and the titles of the work they shared at the conference included:
- Dr. Joseph AlAgha (Guest speaker), “The Arab Gulf States: Economic Development, Oil, and Guest Workers (1960-2020)”;
- H. G. Bishop Mesrob Sarkissian, “The Armenian Church in the Arab Gulf States”;
- Dr. Tsolag Basmadjian, “The Armenian Communities in the Arab Gulf States”;
- Dr. Hagop Cholakian, “The Formation of the Armenian Community in Kuwait”;
- Father Bedros Manuelian, “The Two Pillars of the Armenian Community of Kuwait”;
- Vartan Narinian, “The Business Profile of the Armenians in Kuwait”;
- Dr. Annie Joukoulian, “A Sociolinguistic Study of the Languages Armenians Use in the Arab Gulf States”;
- Dr. Arda Boynerian-Jebejian, “Intergenerational Construction of Ethnic Identity among the Armenian Community of Kuwait”;
- Christina Yepremian-Tossounian, “Mobility, Complexity and Translation: Armenians in the UAE”;
- Zaven Khanjian, “My Expat Years in Saudi Arabia between 1973 and 1979”;
- Harut Dertavitian, “Social Life in Saudi Arabia: Sports, Music and Philanthropy (1977-89)”;
- Dr. Hasmig Baran, “Armenian Temporary Migrants in Saudi Arabia from 1970s-1990s”;
- Dr. Eliz Gevorkyan, “Citizens of the RA in the Arab Gulf States (UAE, Kuwait, Qatar, Bahrain, Saudi Arabia)”;
- Shake Mangasarian-Grogan, “The UAE Internet Radio Ayk”;
- Dr. Arax Pashayan, “Кey Armenian Тopics in the Gulf Мedia (2016-2022)”;
- Dr. Ara Sayegh/Shake M.-Grogan, “The UAE Multilingual Media Coverage of the Armenian Community of the UAE”;
- Suzy Tavlian, “Our Life Experience in Abu Dhabi (1975-1990)”;
- Dr. Syuzanna Barseghyan, “Armenians of the Republic of Armenia in the UAE: Economic Migrants and Integration in the Local Armenian Community”;
- Prof. Jon Armajani, “Kuwait’s and the United Arab Emirates’ Constitutions, and Expatriates in those Countries”;
- Prof. Jon Armajani, “Saudi Arabia’s Constitution and Expatriates”;
- Dr. Ani Fishenkjian, “The Assistance of the Syrian Armenian Community to the Kuwaiti Armenians after the Invasion of Kuwait by Iraq”;
- Dr. Antranik Dakessian, “Armenians in Yemen in the 14th century? The Rasulid Hexaglot”;
- Dr. Sona Nersisyan, “The Formation of the Qatar Armenian Community and Its Lessons”;
- Dr. Lusine Tanajyan, “The Armenian Community of Qatar: Communal Life and Integration”;
- Dr. Hratsin Vardanyan, “The Committee of Cultural Relations with the Armenian Diaspora and the Armenians of the Arab Gulf States”;
- Drs. Sona Tonikyan/E. Gevorkyan, “Relations between the Republic of Armenia and the Arab Gulf States.”
Dr. Arda Ekmekji, Dr. Armen Urneshlian, Dr. Joseph AlAgha, Dr. Annie Joukoulian, Dr. Shaghig Hudaverdian, Dr. Hagop Cholakian, and Dr. Antranik Dakessian. acted as co-moderators at the conference.