Armenians in Jordan

There are an estimated 3,000 Armenians living in Jordan today. An estimated 2,500 of these are members of the Armenian Apostolic Church, and predominantly speak the Western dialect of the Armenian language. They make up the majority of non-Arab Christians in the country.

There were about 6000 Armenians in Jordan during the period 1930-1946. After the war of 1948 a new wave of immigrants coming from Palestine brought the number of to about 10,000. Jordan witnessed the emigration of a large number of Armenians to Australia, Canada, and the United States during the 1960s and 1970s reducing the numbers of Armenians to about 3,000.

The majority of these Armenians are the ancestors of survivors from the Armenian Genocide during World War I who fled to Jordan on foot from Ottoman Anatolia to the north. The early Armenian refugees in Jordan mainly resided in Ma’an, Shobak, Karak, Madaba and Ruseifah. Nowadays, the majority of the Armenians lives in the capital Amman, with a few families in Irbid, Aqaba, Madaba and Zarqa.

Armenians worked in agriculture, and excelled in professions such as photography, sewing, mechanics, drafting and business.

All Armenian organizations and schools and the church are located in Amman Jabal Al-Ashrafieh, called the Armenian Neighbourhood.

The first Armenian school was in Ruseifa in the early 1930s to teach the Armenian alphabet to children orphaned during WWI. In 1933 their own private school with a little chapel came to exist.

In 1960 the Armenian bishop of Jerusalem made generous contributions to build the current church called (Sorp Tatyos, meaning St Tatyos. The head of the Armenian Church is the Archbishop Vahan Topalian.

The school is called Yuzbeshian-Gyulbenkian consisting of an elementary school and a Kindergarten. The number of students is about 140 and admits children from KG up to the 6th grade after which students are transferred to other non-Armenian schools. The school teaches Armenian, English and Arabic. The AGBU school teach Armenian literature, Armenian History and Christianity in Armenian in to addition to the school curriculum set by the Ministry of Education. Sahak Mesrob is a Catholic School based in Asharfieh Amman.

The Armenian Homenetmen Club was founded in 1945, with club’s current headquarters is located in Al-Ashrafieh since 1967.

The Armenian Relief Society in Jordan was founded in 1965, according to the General Federation of Charities in Jordan, though the association`s history in the country dates back to 1947. The headquarters are located in Al-Ashrafieh.

The Watany Sporting Club {Ազգային Մարզական Միութիւն}  was founded in 1955, with the club’s current headquarters located in Al-Ashrafieh since 1974.

There are 2 different dance groups: Araz Dance Group organized by the Armenian Relief Society and Spitak Armenian folklore Dance Group by the Watany Sporting Club.

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