Many ethnic Armenians are disgruntled after fleeing the embattled Syrian city of Aleppo for the safety of Armenia. They say they have been left to fend for themselves in the country they view as their ethnic homeland. Armenian government officials, meanwhile, insist they are doing what they can to accommodate diaspora members.
Roughly 100,000 ethnic Armenians, descendants of the survivors of Ottoman Turkey’s World-War-I-era massacre of ethnic Armenians, are estimated to live in Syria, most of them in Aleppo. A tiny sliver of that number – 6,248 individuals, based on Armenian visa and passport applications from Syrian citizens – appear to have left for Armenia since January 2012, according to Armenian government data.
As one of the first Diaspora groups to form after the massacre, the Aleppo community is among the strongest of Armenia’s far-flung Diaspora networks.
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Marianna Grigoryan is a freelance reporter in Yerevan and the editor of MediaLab.am.