After the death of Alexander the Great, his general Seleuces Nicator was unable to conquer Armenia under King Yervant. Seleuces and his heirs are known for the building of nearly 70 cities, one of which was Edessa, founde in 302 BC. The city was named in honour of the Macedonian Edessa, but the original settlement was actually called Urhai or today’s Urfa in Turkey. The older name was in constant use, especially in Medieval Armenia. Taking into account the fact that the ethnic roots of the Armenians originated from the territory of ancient Mitanni, where Urhai is located, it is plausible to assume that Armenians lived in the area long before the foundation of Seleuce’s city.
Notable Armenian settlements in Pakistan can be found in the cities of Karachi, Lahore and in the capital Islamabad. These Armenians are mostly rich and well-settled.
There was a fairly large Armenian colony in Lahore as early as the 16th century, in the time of the Mughul Empire. Armenians prospered there, and while most were general merchants, members of the community were also noted as owners of breweries.
In 1711, there was a Bishop of the Armenian Church in Lahore. However, many Armenians, including twenty merchants with their families, fled from the city after a Mughul governor threatened them. The community of the 17th and 18th centuries was greatly reduced, but with the arrival of British India, an Armenian presence continued in this part of the South Asia until the early 20th century. In 1907, the remaining Armenians in Lahore were visited by Armenian Archbishop Sahak Ayvadian, a primate of the Indo-Iranian Diocese in Calcutta.
The numbers of Armenians in Pakistan are much lower than they once were, but there is still an Armenian presence in Karachi. They have further been bolstered by newer Armenian migrants from have arrived from neighboring Iran and Afghanistan and exact figures are uncertain due to census irregularities. Currently Armenians make up one of the largest christian Minority groups in Pakistan.
- visually document issues of importance in the region; and
- provide training and support to photographers from the region.
The deadline for applying is May 10, 2012 at 5pm EST. The grant will begin in November 2012 and end in June 2013.
The Armenians in Singapore, who numbered around 100 families at their peak in the 1880s, have now moved on or become part of the wider Singapore community. The Armenian Apostolic Church of St Gregory the Illuminator on Armenian Street, the first church ever built in Singapore, remains today.
By the 18th century, Armenian communities had established themselves in India (particularly Kolkata) Myanmar, the Malay Peninsula (particularly Penang and Malacca), and Java. Armenian trading firms such as the Aristarkies Sarkies Company (1820-1841), Apcar & Stephens Company (1826-1845) and Mackertich M. Moses Company (1821-1845) were prominent in Singapore’s economy. By the 1830s, Armenian merchants began investing in land. Built in 1835, in March 1836 the Church of St Gregory the Illuminator was consecrated, making it the first church in Singapore.
The 1931 census showed 81 Armenians. Many of the Armenians, as British loyalists, were interned during World War II. By the 1950s, much of the local Armenian community had emigrated to Australia or become part of the larger communities in Singapore. However, during the Feast of the Epiphany, the flags of Singapore and the Republic of Armenia are raised at the Armenian church.
Catchick Moses (Movessian) (1812-1895), was a co-founder of the Straits Times, which was to become the national English newspaper, in 1845. He sold the paper a year later because it was unprofitable. Catchik Moses died in 1895.
The Sarkies brothers (Martin, Arshak, Aviet and Tigran) founded the Raffles Hotel and several other hotels in Southeast Asia
Agnes Joaquim was born in Singapore, on 7th April 1854. As the eldest daughter in her family, Agnes helped her mother raise her 10 siblings after her father died. She never married, dividing her time between the Armenian Church of St Gregory on Hill Street, and her horticulture work in her garden in Tanjong Pagar. In 1899 at a flower show, Agnes unveiled the Vanda Miss Joaquim for the first time, and won the $12 first prize for her flower. As she was suffering from cancer at that time, Agnes died 3 months later at the same year, at the age of 44. In 1981, the Vanda Miss Joaquim was designated Singapore’s national flower. Her tombstone stands in the Armenian Church in Singapore and reads: In loving memory of Agnes, eldest Daughter of the late Parsick Joaquim, Born 7th April 1854 – Died 2nd July 1899,’Let her own works praise her. Nothing in my hand I bring, Simply to Thy Cross I cling’
Armenian expatriates in Singapore include Ashot Nadanian, who has coached the Singapore National Chess Team since 2005 and Gevorg Sargsyan, conductor of Singapore Camerata Chamber Orchestra and Tanglewood Music School since 2008.