Lebanese Armenians Strive for Armenia

Siranuysh Papyan
Story from Lragir.am News:

Published: 15:10:10 - 24/08/2012

Shahan Gandaharyan, interview with the editor-in-chief of Azdak
Newspaper based in Lebanon

Shahan, there is a panic in Lebanon. Most people don't rule out the
repetition of the Syrian events in Lebanon. Are these events related to the
Syrian events somehow?

Tensions in Northern Lebanon continue. There is cautious silence at this
moment. Shooting has stopped but it is a very fragile ceasefire. Certainly,
the developments are influenced by the Syrian events. At the same time,
there are different approaches to prevention of large-scale developments.
For this purpose, the ministry of justice sent a letter to the secretariat
of the National Assembly demanding to remove the immunity of a member of
parliament for provoking inter-community tensions. The army is trying to
keep the situation under control.

What are the possible developments?

I don't think there will be such escalation as in Syria because the foreign
political centers are focused on Syria and I don't think the same
developments will happen in Lebanon. But at the same time, I think the
clashes in Northern Lebanon are influenced by the Syrian developments.
Yesterday there were casualties. The region has appeared at the center of
attention of geopolitical centers. I don't rule out limited clashes in
Lebanon but it is also possible that they will continue. There are Armenian
schools and churches in Northern Lebanon but Armenians have had no human or
material losses.

Is a new wave of immigration from Lebanon possible?

The interest of Armenians of Lebanon in Armenia is increasing. The number
of requests for citizenship has increased. Two flights a week are operated
from Beirut to Yerevan. The flights are terribly expensive.

Emigration rates are high in Armenia. Does this circumstance worry
Armenians of Lebanon?

Of course, they are concerned. I think, the imperfection of the legal
framework, corruption worry Armenians living in and out of Armenia. But the
Armenians of Lebanon, like anyone else, are happy and proud of any positive
phenomenon relating to our homeland.

What could attract the Armenians of Diaspora in Armenia?

Legal, socially, politically and economically fair Armenia.