By Edmond Y. Azadian
Armenian history has been a procession of losses; loss of territory, loss of leadership, loss of blood and loss of population. If Armenians were left in their historic homeland, they would now have numbered at least 20 million, like the Kurds who — despite all repressions — were not eradicated from their habitat. Therefore, any new loss of life needs to rightfully alarm Armenian communities worldwide.
We cannot afford any more losses than we have sustained thus far. Mass acculturation and alienation from identity are already taking their toll.
Armenians who still have the blood of their ancestors in their veins were alarmed when calamity befell the Syrian-Armenian community, one of the oldest diaspora communities upholding its traditions, culture and language. The 60,000-strong Armenian community is mostly concentrated in Aleppo. Smaller communities are scattered in the capital city of Damascus, Kessab, Latakia and Kamishli.
Aleppo was the closest major city to Der Zor; thus Armenians who survived their march through the desert first settled there, and they were received with open arms by the indigenous population. They became law-abiding and creative citizens, contributing tremendously to the local industry, economy and technology. They were afforded a comfortable and peaceful life, contrary to the demonization and brainwashing in the Western press.
The transplanted opposition today is blaming Armenians for sitting on the fence or supporting outright the Assad regime, which has been extremely beneficial to the Armenians and the minorities in general.