Yerevan /Mediamax/. President of Support Center for Displaced Persons and Refugees NGO Naira Minasyan-Yedigaryan spent 10 days in Syria, where she studied the issues of Armenians living in Lattakia and Kessab. “I saw many Armenians in Lattakia and Kessab, who came from Aleppo, choosing to stay in the country, and wanted to return to their homes when possible. Armenians in Aleppo are very optimistic, and that is why they managed to stay and fight for the past six years,” Naira Minasyan-Yedigaryan told the press today.
According to her, Syrian Armenians in Lebanon pay residential rent five times higher than in Armenia, face problems with education, residence and work rights, but they don’t want to come to Armenia as they are scared to be left living in the street. In the Center President’s opinion, this is a result of misinformation.
“In Armenia, there is a state approach to resettlement of Syrian Armenians, international organizations and NGOs, which regulate the matters of settlement, healthcare and education. There is a state program in Armenia, which provides six-month rent,” Naira Minasyan-Yedigaryan said.
She noted that the main reason why Armenians in Aleppo don’t want to come to Armenia is the main problem of Armenians within the country:
“Jobs aren’t paid adequately. Armenians in Aleppo are used to a lifestyle above middle-class.”
Mediamax asked Naira Minasyan-Yedigaryan what political and spiritual agencies of Aleppo think about evacuation of Armenians to Armenia.
“The Apostolic Church and community structures encourage Armenians in Aleppo to move to Armenia. The most active members of the local Armenian community want them to go to Armenia, realizing that coming back to Syria after the war will be much easier from Armenia than other countries. The Syrian Government has a mixed approach to this issue, but the citizens are free to choose,” she said.
Touching upon evacuation, President of Modus Vivendi Ara Papian said that it should be understood clearly that this concerns only the people who want to come to Armenia on their own accord.
“Nobody’s forcing them, but we should provide the opportunity of evacuation. Of course, our country isn’t able to provide prosperous life, unfortunately, but for many people in Syria it’s a life or death situation,” he said.