FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail

Syria: an Armenian Story

by REEM HADDAD

She had lost a lot of weight and her eyes had a haunted look about them. She had lost her house and everything in it. In that she was like many Syrians, who had suffered the same fate. Her house was in Jobar ( one of the hot spots of Damascus countryside) and in the beginning she had seen the armed men a street away from her house brazenly walking around brandishing guns. She had informed the checkpoint also around the corner of her house, but they told her it wasn’t their business to interfere! When a bullet just missed her brother , who was standing in his bedroom, they decided to leave the house until the area was a bit safer. At that point she never thought that she wouldn’t sleep another night in her house.

Days later a soldier from the same checkpoint called her to tell her that armed men had entered her house and robbed it ! They had stolen everything worth stealing. The accumulation of years of toil and hard work. The house it seemed was lost even though the Syrian army helped her retain some of her belongings. A fortnight later she heard that  her house was being used  as headquarters. Now nothing remains of what was – no memories, no comfort and no place to call home.

What makes this story particularly poignant is that the ancestors of this women in question had fled to Syria seeking sanctuary. They had been pursued and massacred by the Turks and had walked for endless days over mountainous terrain until they reached Syrian soil. Syria opened its arms wide for them and they were accepted and indeed became an integral part of the Syrian mosaic.

They are the Armenians of Syria and the women in question is Yerado Krikorian, a Syrian of Armenian origin, who works for Syrian Arab Television. The Armenians had long suffered under Ottoman rule and it was because of the Armenian massacre, systematically denied by Turkey, that the Armenians fled to neighboring Syria.

The many Armenians who live in Syria, live in close knit societies. They are known to be hard working and professional and they all carry the scars of what happened to them by the Turks deep inside. Another Armenian – Syrian Armenian – Jack, who was a university professor at Damascus University, was never taught his language by his father, for fear that his language, Armenian, would awaken national pride in him and possibly a thirst for revenge. The scars left by the Turks ran too deep for Jack’s father to take such a gamble.

And now the Armenians find themselves in a similar situation having to flee from the country that has long hosted and loved them. Targeted by armed groups some have little choice but to escape to Armenia. They do so with heavy heart and all our hopeful that they will return to Syria and soon – to the extent that the Armenian government has made an exception for those Armenian children fleeing from the armed groups in Syria and has allowed them to study the Syrian curriculum in Armenian schools. They carried their Syrian textbooks from Syria to Armenia so desperate are they not to fall behind in their school schedule when they return to Syria. There is no “ if “ here – for they want to return.

Hopefully , they will return and return soon to enrich once again the Syrian mosaic and who knows, perhaps Yerado too, one day will return to her house in Jobar with its blackened walls and its shattered windows! And Jack also, will feel safe enough as the shadow of menacing Turkey diminishes, to teach his children Armenian.

Reem Haddad can be reached at reem.haddad@gmail.com

 

More articles by:

CounterPunch Magazine

minimag-edit

bernie-the-sandernistas-cover-344x550

zen economics

January 23, 2017
John Wight
Trump’s Inauguration: Hail Caesar!
Patrick Cockburn
The Rise of Trump and Isis Have More in Common Than You Might Think
Binoy Kampmark
Ignored Ironies: Women, Protest and Donald Trump
Gregory Barrett
Flag, Cap and Screen: Hollywood’s Propaganda Machine
Gareth Porter
US Intervention in Syria? Not Under Trump
L. Ali Khan
Trump’s Holy War against Islam
Gary Leupp
An Al-Qaeda Attack in Mali:  Just Another Ripple of the Endless, Bogus “War on Terror”
Norman Pollack
America: Banana Republic? Far Worse
Bob Fitrakis - Harvey Wasserman
We Mourn, But We March!
Kim Nicolini
Trump Dump: One Woman March and Personal Shit as Political
William Hawes
We Are on Our Own Now
Martin Billheimer
Last Tango in Moscow
Colin Todhunter
Development and India: Why GM Mustard Really Matters
Mel Gurtov
Trump’s America—and Ours
David Mattson
Fog of Science II: Apples, Oranges and Grizzly Bear Numbers
Clancy Sigal
Who’s Up for This Long War?
Weekend Edition
January 20, 2017
Friday - Sunday
Paul Street
Divide and Rule: Class, Hate, and the 2016 Election
Andrew Levine
When Was America Great?
Jeffrey St. Clair
Roaming Charges: This Ain’t a Dream No More, It’s the Real Thing
Yoav Litvin
Making Israel Greater Again: Justice for Palestinians in the Age of Trump
Linda Pentz Gunter
Nuclear Fiddling While the Planet Burns
Ruth Fowler
Standing With Standing Rock: Of Pipelines and Protests
David Green
Why Trump Won: the 50 Percenters Have Spoken
Dave Lindorff
Imagining a Sanders Presidency Beginning on Jan. 20
Pete Dolack
Eight People Own as Much as Half the World
Roger Harris
Too Many People in the World: Names Named
Steve Horn
Under Tillerson, Exxon Maintained Ties with Saudi Arabia, Despite Dismal Human Rights Record
John Berger
The Nature of Mass Demonstrations
Stephen Zielinski
It’s the End of the World as We Know It
David Swanson
Six Things We Should Do Better As Everything Gets Worse
Alci Rengifo
Trump Rex: Ancient Rome’s Shadow Over the Oval Office
Brian Cloughley
What Money Can Buy: the Quiet British-Israeli Scandal
Mel Gurtov
Donald Trump’s Lies And Team Trump’s Headaches
Kent Paterson
Mexico’s Great Winter of Discontent
Norman Solomon
Trump, the Democrats and the Logan Act
David Macaray
Attention, Feminists
Yves Engler
Demanding More From Our Media
James A Haught
Religious Madness in Ulster
Dean Baker
The Economics of the Affordable Care Act
Patrick Bond
Tripping Up Trumpism Through Global Boycott Divestment Sanctions
Robert Fisk
How a Trump Presidency Could Have Been Avoided
Robert Fantina
Trump: What Changes and What Remains the Same
David Rosen
Globalization vs. Empire: Can Trump Contain the Growing Split?
Elliot Sperber
Dystopia
Dan Bacher
New CA Carbon Trading Legislation Answers Big Oil’s Call to Continue Business As Usual
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail