When the Blade Hits the Bone: The Misrepresentation of the Plight of the Syrian Armenians in their Homeland

When the Lebanese Armenians were forced to flee their country because of a similar war, no one was there to help them. You don’t hear of the Armenian Syrian population providing them with homes and jobs. They went through enough trials to last a few lifetimes, but they survived and prospered. When the Iraqi Armenians fled for similar reasons, they were also faced with a lack of helping hands as well. Yet Armenia was always there, albeit not always giving enough, albeit stingy with its budget, but there nonetheless. The Lebanese didn’t even have that option.

This mentality of being greeted like royalty, simply because you arrive in your own homeland, is utterly absurd. We all know what Armenia is like. We know that the people in the country wallow in poverty. Yet, those currently arriving there from Syria do receive stipends, albeit not very sizeable. There are multiple streams of help flowing to them. However, the only thing we are shown is those who think they are too good to be treated thus and who believe they deserve better.

When you are fleeing for your life, be grateful you have a homeland who accepts you with open arms. If there is a problem, fix it or become a part of the solution. Money doesn’t grow on trees and if anyone believes that any other country will give the same welcome found in Armenia, he/she is sorely mistaken. The whole of the diaspora has mobilized to help the Syrian Armenians as best we can. Enough is enough on the complaints! Beggars cannot be choosers….

When it comes to Armenians and Armenia, we have tongues long enough to span the world. However, when it comes to anything else, we are sheep that refuse to raise bowed heads… It is a rather disgusting situation. We should learn something from the Jews and actually care about our own people for once, instead of constantly shooting ourselves down.

I’m not generalizing to all Syrian Armenians here, but the “news” that’s presented to the outside world is that of disgruntlement and unnecessarily demeaning remarks. The Syrian population is shown as spoiled and ungrateful, while Armenia is presented as a place that is both unwelcoming and repulsive… “My cousin, her husband and children actually left all they had here (home, job, family) and went to Armenia to live there. The next thing we knew is that they both have a decent job (hence her, for example, having the job of a school’s principal). Your CV is another thing you should think about,” said a friend of mine. There are many families like this who have integrated well into the system but they are never shown on the media.

The motherland requires an influx of educated Armenians who love their country and wish to see it prosper. This war has brought in many who fit this category. It will be a difficult journey, but the end of the tunnel is bright and beautiful. Swimming against the grimy current is all that is required to rebuild the paradise lost long ago. It’s not an easy trek, but not at all impossible either. Instead of focussing on the negatives of our homeland and people, perhaps it would be wise to consider the positives and build upon those. Երբ չի մնում ելք ու ճար, խենթերն են գտնում հնար…

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