Book Chapter

Refuge in the 'homeland' – the Syrians in Armenia


Kasbarian S (2020) Refuge in the 'homeland' – the Syrians in Armenia. In: Laycock J & Piana F (eds.) Aid to Armenia: Humanitarianism and intervention from the 1890s to the present. Humanitarianism: Key Debates and New Approaches. Manchester: Manchester University Press, pp. 164-180.

First paragraph: The Syrian civil war has resulted in the worst humanitarian disaster since the Second World War, causing widespread devastation, deaths and the creation of Syrian refugees now numbering in excess of 6.3 million. Of these, an estimated 24,000 Syrians of Armenian origin have arrived in the Republic of Armenia since 2011. UNHCR estimates those who have stayed to number around 15,000. In 2016 the departures from Armenia of Syrians exceeded the new arrivals. However, there are Syrians still arriving in Armenia every month, indicating that this is very much a fluid situation. This suggests that Syrian Armenians’ encounter with Armenia is a process of negotiation – Armenia is simultaneously a site of refuge, a historic or potential homeland, and a temporary transit zone in which to recover, recuperate and regroup. Local, diasporan and international actors all play a role in this process. Alongside this convergence of different actors –– and their remits and agendas – is situated the refugee, not (just) as a victim of external forces, but as an active agent in negotiating his/her trajectory.

FundersUniversity of Manchester
Title of seriesHumanitarianism: Key Debates and New Approaches
Publication date31/12/2020
Publication date online31/10/2020
PublisherManchester University Press
Publisher URL
Place of publicationManchester