In Solidarity with the Armenians of Lebanon

(Photo: Facebook/ARS Feed Lebanon)

My community in Lebanon needs me. It needs you, it needs us. 

Lebanon’s imminent economic collapse and increasingly deepening political crisis have had an insurmountable toll on the Armenian community. To add insult to injury, in the last two days the community has faced anti-Armenian protests and other acts of racism instigated by groups loyal to the Turkish government. 

All this is too much to bear even for an old, proud and strong community like Lebanon’s.

These past few days I keep reliving experiences growing up in this community and so many of these early life memories are about giving. Like the time we donated clothes and money to a drive to support the victims of the 1988 earthquake. I was five years-old. 

Or that time when I was a member of the AYF Nigol Aghpalian juniors varchoutyoun and we started what has now become a long-standing tradition of creating handmade Christmas decorations and selling them door to door. That first year, after a lot of blood, sweat and tears, we made a net profit of $500 USD. We were very proud to donate the entire sum to the Lebanon-based Artsakh Fund. The kids in Artsakh needed that money more than we did.

From piggy banks at our schools to major community-wide fundraisers for vulnerable community members, for Armenia and Artsakh, growing up in the Armenian community of Lebanon I learned the importance of giving back to our nation and to our cause. 

Throughout Lebanon’s neverending economic ordeals and political crises, including 15 years of civil war, this community has relentlessly been a beacon of light for advocacy, intellectual discourse and leadership for Armenian communities worldwide.

Generations of Lebanese Armenians have become community leaders, teachers and Hai Tahd advocates, shaping our cause, our communities and our nation’s trajectory across the globe. 

Many community members have sacrificed their lives for the freedom of Artsakh, for attracting worldwide attention to and demanding accountability for the Armenian Genocide.

Last but not least, the community has tended with open arms to the plight of Armenian refugees fleeing from war-torn communities such as those of Iraq and Syria. 

Now this community needs our support – our unequivocal financial and moral support. 

In recent weeks many donation drives have been set up to support the community. The Armenian Relief Society’s Feed Lebanon is one as well as Aztag Daily—the official publication of the Armenian Revolutionary Federation in Lebanon. There are also similar campaigns for the Armenian community of Anjar and the Melankton and Haig Arslanian Djemaran. Give to one, give to all. Times are hard everywhere, but in the example set so many times by the Armenian community of Lebanon, give despite how tough it is at the moment, because they need it more. 

Alongside financial assistance, the Armenian community of Lebanon also needs our moral support and advocacy, particularly in light of the recent Armenophobic attacks against the community. 

It is time to give back and stand in solidarity with the Armenians of Lebanon. 

avatar

Houry Mayissian

Houry Mayissian is a communications professional with journalism and public relations experiences in Dubai, Beirut, and Sydney. She has studied European politics and society at the University of Oxford, specializing on the democratic reform process in Armenia as part of its European integration. She is currently based in Yerevan.
avatar

Latest posts by Houry Mayissian (see all)

9 Comments

  1. When she says Armenophobic actions; what exactly is she talking about? Pogroms? retaliation? Murders? What? This is serious stuff.

    • Sireli yev Harkeli Baron Peter Boyajian,

      By Armenophobic actions she means demonstrating protestors shouting that Armenians deserved to be murdered in 1915 and that they will slaughter Armenians in Bourj Hammoud. Read more in MassisPost news story Lebanes Armenians Under Attack.

      This is what Armenians get for playing it safe by being neutral. Utter contempt by the Maronite Christians and ongoing threats of extermination by Muslims. When it comes to political imbecility, no one, absolutely no one excels us. Now we will continue wasting precious community resources trying to save the Armenians of Lebanon just like we tried to save the Armenians of Iraq and Syria. Wake up, people! They cannot be saved. Better to utilize community resources to resettle them in Armenia and Artsakh.

  2. As they destroyed Iraq and Syria, Lebanon will be destroyed too. We are waisting our time and money on Lebanon. Its much smarter and wise to start an emigration to Armenia and Artsakh. Help the Armenians of Lebanon to go to Armenia.
    If the Catholicos of Cilicia has any brains he would start telling the Armenians of Lebanon to go to Armenia and Artsakh to strengthen our own country and fight for our own country instead of dying in a civil war that’s not even ours.I would suggest the Armenian political parties to start an emigration of Armenians into Armenia. And get rid of the Catholicosate of Cilicia ,or keep it as an independent Patriarchate.

    • Richard,
      I am in total agreement with you with regard to getting the Lebanese Armenians settled in Armenia and Artzakh. Of course the Cilicia Catholicosate will not encourage emmigration to anywhere, as that will deem their post redundant in Lebanon. We do not need two Catholicosates. Armenia is not behind the iron curtain anymore; it is easily accessible from most Middle Eastern cities, not to mention Beirut. We have been and we will be a thorn in the eyes of the Christian Maronites in Lebanon, even though in the past we sided with them during the invasion and take-over of Naba’a and Sin-el-Fil areas which could not have been done without the Armenian volunteer fighters. And, as a Christian nation, what hope there is for us with Hizbollah coming into power sooner or later. Armenia should be enticing the Lebanese Armenians to emigrate without delay to the Fatherland. A huge ‘marketing’ must be under way to implant this idea into the minds of our people in Lebanon. But, alas, will the ‘system’ in the Armenian community sanction such exodus to Armenia…..?

  3. There is no future for Armenians in Lebanon. The country is in full disintegration mode while its proverbially corrupt politicians are busy picking up the last economic resources left after the orgy of looting by the ruling class since the end of the civil war in 1990. The Armenian political parties as well as the Catholicosate in Antelias are out to lunch while the ship of state is sinking.Can you imagine what would happen if a Jewish community faced a similar calamity in a foreign country? Every Jewish agency would mobilize to evacuate the last remaining Jew in that land. It is sad to note that Armenians do not have the same sixth sense and organizational skill to anticipate the looming disaster and decisively act to escape the onrushing tide. Our out-dated political parties and Church institutions are more interested in preserving their momentary privileges; as a result the common Armenian citizenry end up incurring the wrath of the ignorant locals.This is the time to undertake a total evacuation from Lebanon to our ancestral land Armenia. Armenians were instrumental in the development and progress of Lebanon since the first wave of Genocide refugees arrived in that country in 1915 and onward. Our community distinguished itself with great honour in 1975 by staying neutral in the bloody civil war that ravaged Lebanon till 1990. Instead of being appreciated, the ignorant locals both Christians and Muslims continue to marginalize and heap scorn on Lebanese Armenians. We are not welcome in these Middle Eastern banana republics and the sooner we act and remove ourselves from these toxic environments the better we will fare as a nation.

  4. As I said on other web sites they should broadcast the movie “Lawerence of Arabia” , a true movie how the Turks treated the Arabs. Oh what’s the word for dirt in Turkish? And the Turks are motivating the Lebanese.

  5. I have no dog in this fight. My grandparents settled in France, not Lebanon or Syria. But from my perspective, this quote doesn’t resonate with me, ” Throughout Lebanon’s neverending economic ordeals and political crises, including 15 years of civil war, this community has relentlessly been a beacon of light for advocacy, intellectual discourse and leadership for Armenian communities worldwide.” As an Armenian American, I have not experience leadership, excellence or advocacy from Lebanon. Perhaps Lebanese Armenians think that they provide leadership to Armenian Americans, but I have not felt the positive effects of it. Armenian Americans have given a lot of money to Lebanon over the decades. I hope they benefited from it.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.


*