Armenia is known for having a high emigration rate, caused mainly by labor migrants heading to Russia and elsewhere in the former Soviet Union in search of work. Now, a private initiative is striving to mitigate the effects of the steady outflow of human capital by enticing ethnic Armenians living abroad, particularly those living settled lives in the West, to resettle in the “homeland.”
The project, largely an online media campaign started by those who have already made the move, is being framed in Peace Corps-like terms and aims to appeal to idealistic impulses in the diaspora. Its leading advocates -- drawing on a deeply held
Diaspora concept that Armenia’s survival depends on a strong defensive
capability -- exhibit a missionary zeal when discussing the allure of repatriation.
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Liana Aghajanian is a freelance writer based in Los Angeles.