Hranush Hakobyan: “Syrian-Armenians have adapted to Armenia’s conditions and become integrated”

Minister of Diaspora of the Republic of Armenia Hranush Hakobyan believes the prevailing majority of the Syrian-Armenians having taken shelter in Armenia due to the Syrian crisis will continue to live in Armenia. The Minister states that the Syrian-Armenians have become the décor of Armenia with their activities, diligence and friendly attitude.

In an interview with Armenpress, Hranush Hakobyan emphasized that Syrian-Armenian businessmen start from scratch in Armenia, which goes to show that they think, work hard, make attempts and mainly succeed. “I talk to many Syrian-Armenians. Most of them don’t want to leave, but you know, it’s life, nobody can say that their approaches will always be the same or that their approaches are final. Our dear, modest, smart, organized, hard-working and literate Syrian-Armenians left their homes, businesses, cars, history and historical and cultural heritage in Syria and moved to Armenia. This is a fact. What is also a fact is that they always look towards Syria. One day, they must go to receive the final evaluation of their belongings, sell them, see and take what has been left of their belongings. These questions still remain unanswered. So, they are still not psychologically at ease. I think this will happen when peace is finally established in Syria once and for all. Currently, the situation is relatively calm. I pray to God that it stays that way, but as long as a peace treaty has not been signed, there will be tension, and the Syrian-Armenians will be in tension,” Hranush Hakobyan emphasized.

The Minister noted that one of the topics of the 6th Armenia-Diaspora Pan-Armenian Conference was devoted to the Syrian-Armenians and reminded that a similar discussion was held during the 5th Armenia-Diaspora Pan-Armenian Conference in 2014. “You know, those discussions were essentially different from each other. Whereas in 2014 the participants were tense, stated claims and complained that this or that issue had not been solved, during this conference, everything was calm because six planes carrying humanitarian assistance had been sent to Syria under the auspices of the President of Armenia, and we are sponsoring the orphanage and nursing home in Syria and are trying to do our best to help the Syrian-Armenians. The Syrian-Armenians in Armenia have adapted and become integrated. Whereas they used to demand a Syrian school and a Syrian curriculum, today, they are achieving great heights at schools in Armenia. They are also achieving great heights in the spheres of culture, economy and business. Now there is almost no Syrian-Armenian whose problems remain unsolved,” Hakobyan emphasized.

She stated that, of course, there are problems, complications and difficulties for Syrian-Armenians in Armenia since they don’t earn as much as they used to in Syria and don’t have the same living standard that they did in Syria, but Hranush Hakobyan noted that the Syrian-Armenians have already understand and have adapted to the conditions in Armenia and work hard.

The conflict between Syria’s government forces and the opposition began in March 2011 and turned into large-scale military operations that engaged various terrorist groupings. As a result of the bombardments that took place in the Armenian-populated city of Aleppo caused by the Syrian crisis, several Syrian-Armenians left Syria. Some of them (about 20,000) settled in Armenia.



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