4/24/2005

In Remembrance

Armenian Syrians today mark the 90th anniversary of the mass deportations and killings of Armenians in Ottoman Asia Minor in 1915. Hundreds of thousands of Armenians then sought refuge in Syria to escape the killings, famine and economic difficulties. Today, they constitute an integral part of the Syrian society. 75 percent live in the northern city of Aleppo and nearly 20 percent in Damascus. The rest are scattered in other Syrian cities and towns. Throughout the years, Syrian Armenians were able to maintain their traditions and customs, and to preserve their culture and language. Most belong to the Armenian Orthodox Church. The picture shows a memorial stone in the Armenian Church in Damascus:

"In Memory of Our Martyrs. 24 April 1915".

Addendum: Read about Aleppo's observance of the anniversary at Aleppo Post

13 comments:

Anonymous said...

We remember this dark period of history, and share the mourning of armenians.

It is sush a shame from the international community not to recognize their killing as a genocide.
However, don't you find it ironic that France, one of the few countries that recognized their genocide, is the one responsible for giving the Ottomans the Liwa' Iskandaroun region?
What happened to armenians is of no less magnitude of the World War 2 genocide, the Rwanda genocide, etc.(I recommend you watch a movie, that relates to this issue, called Mayrig, with Omar el Sharif, amazing)

And just thinking that the coalition forces now in Iraq, with a quarter of their power, cost and size, could have prevented other genocides from happening, like the Darfour one in Sudan makes me feel disgusted.

The main issue we are facing now is to stay united just like our parents and grand parents were, Christians and Muslims, Orthodox and Catholics, Sunnis and Kurds, etc. With all the pressure on Syrians now, both from the outside as well as the inside, one is tempted to fold on him/herself and side with those radical movements that rise.

SYRIANS WERE, ARE and it is up to us to KEEP THEM UNITED.

God Bless Syria.

Rami said...

Very well said Anonymous...
Thank you Ayman for the post.

Fadi said...

Hats off Ayman and well said anonymous.
It is due to pay our respect to Armenians for their dead. Not only because they are integral part of our society, but also as part of a larger humanity.
This tragic event, in fact, was the prologue for the WW2 genocide by Hitler who once quoted saying: "After all, who remembers the annihilation of the Armenians?". Unfortunately, it is not yet recognized as real genocide.
Anyway, by marking such events, I think we gain better insight into, and reflect better on our pain and deeds, both bad and good.

Omar said...

Thanks for your post Ayman and Rami, I knew of what happend to the Armenians, but I didn't know that's it's not recognized as a genocide. It amazes me how such horrible events can just be ignored.

Anonymous said...

another massacre of ottamans is not recognized, it's the massacre of alawites, a lot of people don't know about it. but the turkish authorites killed so many alawites in the 19th century in both turkey and syria. However, I do believe that it's part of the history of an imperialist country and if turkey appologized to armenian, this won't deceive turkey, it's gonna make her look like a modern and open minded nation.

Jonathan Edelstein said...

Thanks for this. I'm collecting memorial events from throughout the world and will link to this post.

Amr Faham said...

My father always tells me success stories of the first Armenian refugees; they came only with their cloths, but after that they worked harder and improved themselves in every domain.
The society accepted them, and then respected them. Damascene Muslims and Christians "as I heard from people" raised money to build them churches and shelters.
Now they are owners of factories and shops and leaders in many fields.

Erika said...

a big SALUD to Syria for recognizing this tragedy and giving refuge to the Armenians. The US talks a good line about compassion, but do we practice what we preach here, even with our own? Not a chance.

salaam - see you soon, Ayman, in Syria!!

Anonymous said...

Let’s not exaggerate with the genocide story. We have to listen to both sides stories, then we judge (just for being fair).

Anonymous said...

we have to understand that so many nations descriminated certain groups and minorities to expand or maintain influence and power, millions of native americans were killed in north and south america by french, british, portoguese, and spanish, germans descriminated jews, and so many other examples including arabs themselves. a good protective mechanism would be to have an educated and innovative society that gets the enemy's respect.

End racism said...

Thank you for this entry.

And yes, Mayrig is a must-see movie.

Anonymous said...

I glanced all your pictures in this site, Ayman...and I am moved by your portraial of my place of birth...Syria Aleppo, Tadmor and Damascus...and prowd as allways to be a Syrian such as yourself...because I know Syria has wonderful talented and multycultured people...Keep up the good work Ayman, expolring and showing the WORLD what a treasured architecture and history Syria has to offer in the Middle East...As an Armenian I am so touched by your depiction of the 1915 memorial statue from Damascus church...I salute your open-mindedness...I wish I was there to see it myself...I miss HOME...I miss Aleppo...Oh Ya Sham...I miss Abu-Kamal...Greeting to all my Arab frinds from College...Peace! We shalll meet again...

brian McKinlay said...

I came across this site for the first time today,and was pleased to be able to get a picture of Damascus. I live in Australia and much comment on Syria is negative. This is a great site and I will read it regulary now. It looks a most interesting city too