500 Syrian-Armenians Have Arrived in Armenia Over The Past Months
500 Syrian-Armenians Have Arrived in Armenia Over The Past Months –
Syrian Armenians arrive at Yerevan airport (photo by Karen Minasyan)
Armenpress – More and more Syrian-Armenians have been moving to Armenia his summer. Classes ended in Syria on May 12, and several families moved to Armenia, other countries or any safe area in Syria after the examinations.
This is what Chief of Staff of the RA Ministry of Diaspora Firdus Zakarian said in an interview with “Armenpress”. “Currently, there are more and more people leaving Syria. Of course, not everyone moves to Armenia, but 500 Syrian-Armenians have arrived in Armenia over the past 11 and-a-half months. That’s a large number compared to the previous months,” Firdus Zakarian said.
Zakarian mentioned that there are at least 12,500 Syrian-Armenians in Armenia. Touching upon the steps that are being taken to provide accommodations for the Syrian-Armenians having arrived in Armenia recently, Firdus Zakarian said: “The RA Ministry of Diaspora is providing the same accommodations as it has provided for the other Syrian-Armenians. If the Syrian-Armenian has a place to stay, fine. If he or she has a problem with paying the rent, we cover the expenses, that is, of course, until he or she finds a job. We tell Syrian-Armenians that they have privileges. We tell them that healthcare is free, students’ tuition is paid, children are admitted to kindergartens out-of-turn and that we solve their problems with visas.”
Firdus Zakarian said he couldn’t say how many of the 500 Syrian-Armenians in Armenia would settle in the country, but he did say that only 20 percent of Syrian-Armenians have moved to Armenia. “There used to be 60-80,000 Armenians living in Syria. Now, there are only 17,000. Less than half of them live in Aleppo, and the rest of them are based in Latakia, Kessab and Qamishli. The people of Syria move from one city to the next. They move from Aleppo to other parts of the country that are safer,” the official added. As for the difficulties that Syrian-Armenian businessmen face in Armenia, Firdus Zakarian mentioned that the RA Ministry of Diaspora was aware of those difficulties. “I don’t agree with those who are disappointed. They were the people who participated in the two-month seminar that helped them become familiar with the business climate in Armenia and receive loans at low interest rates. They are nearly 70 Syrian-Armenian businessmen, of which 50 have already achieved success. Some of them managed to use their money wisely,” the Chief of Staff of the RA Ministry of Diaspora said. According to him, the Syrian-Armenians can manage their businesses better than the locals since they are enterprising and have the mindset of businessmen. Despite that, some of them failed. “If we give the same amounts of money to the locals and the Syrian-Armenians, the Syrian-Armenians would win since they’re psychologically ready to do business. Many failed in managing their money. I believe they also have to blame themselves and not just say that the business climate is bad. If so, how is it that some Syrian-Armenians succeeded? They had to take all the risks into consideration,” Firdus Zakarian added.
As a result of the four-year Syrian conflict, 220,000 people have been killed, 12 million are in need of humanitarian assistance, 4 million have become refugees, and another 7.6 million have been internally displaced. This is what the UN Secretary General’s Deputy for Humanitarian Affairs reported in his speech at the UN Security Council on April 24. The war has taken the lives of more than 100 Syrian-Armenians. Prior to the war, there were nearly 100,000 Armenians living in Syria, and 70,000 of them were based in Aleppo.