Refuge in the ‘homeland’
The Syrians in Armenia
in Aid to Armenia
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This chapter looks at the contemporary case of Syrian Armenians taking refuge/migrating to Armenia as a result of the current conflict in Syria. It looks at the different local, national and international actors involved in dealing with the Syrian humanitarian crisis in Armenia, engaging with their discourse, narratives, policies and practice, and crucially how these are being played out on the ground. The chapter is based on field research in Armenia in November 2016. It looks at how international organisations like the UNHCR as well as diaspora institutions like the AGBU are tackling the Syrian refugee crisis in Armenia. It also situates these activities in relation to how the Armenian government is dealing with the Syrians. In addition, the chapter examines the crucial role played by local civil society groups set up by Syrian Armenians in Armenia. The Syrian Armenians are the latest significant wave of diasporan Armenians seeking refuge from troubled homes. While it is yet unclear how many of these refugees will stay in Armenia in the long-term, this chapter addresses the problematic concepts and realities of diasporan ‘home’, ‘homeland’ and ‘return’, within the Armenian state and society.

Aid to Armenia

Humanitarianism and intervention from the 1890s to the present

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