YEREVAN (Azg)–The chairman of the Central Board of the National Authority of the Armenian Community in Iraq Vahak Mesrobian–revealed that the most updated information about Iraq’s Armenia’s is from March 30–and though they reveal no casualties from the Armenian community–there is no way to tell if there are civilian casualties. "Presently we have no information about what is going on there at this moment–and we cannot say if there are civilian casualties among our compatriots," Mesrobian told Azg.
Mesrobian stayed in Baghdad until March 10–then traveled to Armenia.
"Though this war turned out to be more terrible than the previous one–there is no panic among local Armenia’s. Until the bombardmen’s–the community lived life as usual," he said.
The National Authority of the Armenian Community in Iraq is a body acting under the aegis of the Armenian Church–and is composed of seven members elected for a period of four years under the patronage of the state.
The Baghdad Armenian community runs five cultural and athletic centers. The Armenian school was closed back in 1973 and nationalized; since then–though children of varying nationalities attend–Armenian language and religion classes are taught twice a week.
Mesrobian said there are many Armenia’s churches across Iraq; in Baghdad alone there are three acting churches. The oldest–the Church of Virgin built in 1639–is the first Christian church built in Baghdad–and actually prompted the formation of the Armenian community.
The local diocese is headquartered at the Saint Gregory Church and publishes the monthly "Lrakagh," and a quarterly "Gantegh." Mesrobian said Armenia’s in Iraq will need humanitarian aid after the war–and in future–will need assistance on formulating education programs.
"It is difficult to say at this point what we are going to face after the end of the war. Current authorities have been loyal to the community in both national and religious terms–and we have never faced any problems," Mesrobian said.