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Philadelphia Community Raises over $13,000 for Syrian-Armenian Relief

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Old 06 Jan 16, 15:05   #1 (permalink)
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Post Philadelphia Community Raises over $13,000 for Syrian-Armenian Relief

By Roupen Yaramian

On Dec. 18, 2015, a crowd of almost 100 Philadelphia community members gathered in the St. Gregorys Church Founders Hall. The Philadelphia Homenetmen prepared a traditional kebab and pilaf dinner, but that week the delicious food was not the centerpiece of the evening. The Syrian Armenian Relief Fund and the ARF had arranged a presentation on the current living conditions of Armenians in Aleppo, Syria.

Through generous donations, the community raised over $13,000 for the Armenians in Syria

This most recent story of Armenian hardship is discouragingly familiar to those acquainted with our history. The latest humanitarian crisis is in war-torn Syria, this time taking place in the diaspora. Before the beginning of the Syrian conflict in 2012, there were an estimated 100,000 Armenians in Syria. More than 60,000 of them had settled in Aleppo, with smaller communities in Kessab, Qamishli, Yacubiyah, Kobane, and Damascus. However, the most recent estimate claims that only 15,000 Armenians remain within Syrias borders, as the rest have left for Lebanon, Canada, Armenia, or other welcoming countries around the globe. Though we often hear about the Armenians who have fled Syria for refuge elsewhere, news regarding those who have chosen to stay in their homes is scarce.

In November 2015, one of those Armenians who chose to stayNerses Sarkisianbegan a tour of the eastern United States to educate and motivate communities to support those Armenians still in Syria. Sarkisian, a member of the Armenian Revolutionary Federation (ARF) Central Committee in Syria, as well as the Syrian Armenian Committee for Urgent Relief and Rehabilitation, met with members of the Philadelphia community to give them an up-close look at the present living conditions in Syria. As part of the presentation, he played a 15-minute video that shows how the Armenians in Syria live day-to-day amidst the gunfire, explosions, and rubble of an ongoing civil war.

The most inspiring segments of the film showed the resilience of the Syrian-Armenian community, which is determined to maintain its culture in spite of the surrounding destruction. A strong tent pole of that resolve is the brave ARF members of Syria who have chosen to stay and defend their towns. The video depicts armed ungers and hamagirs standing guard over their sacred churches, their schools, their homes, and most importantly, their fellow Armenians.

Sarkisians words exhilarated the crowd in Philadelphia to take action and to lend its support.

While Syrias Armenians work, sleep, or go to school, the ungers of the community have set up round-the-clock shifts to stand watch, ready to provide aid in their bullet-riddled ambulances. Despite the bombings and the resultant mass emigration, the schools, churches, and even the Armenian community center in Aleppo remain open. The ungers explained that they stand ready to serve their community and help anyone in need, Armenian or not, Christian or Muslim. These ungers have lived up to and beyond their ARF oath.

Sarkisians words exhilarated the crowd in Philadelphia to take action and to lend its support. Through generous donations, the community raised over $13,000 for the Armenians in Syria, adding to the thousands provided by Armenians in other major cities across the eastern region. The event once again demonstrated Armenians steadfast resolve to help one another in times of greatest need. The conflict in Syria rages on, but in this dark time we hope our communitys generosity can be a small beacon of hope to our brothers and sisters halfway around the globe.

Donations can still be made online by visiting www.arseastusa.org/donate.


By Roupen Yaramian On Dec. 18, 2015, a crowd of almost 100 Philadelphia community members gathered in the St. Gregorys Church Founders Hall. The Philadelphia Homenetmen prepared a traditional kebab and pilaf dinner, but that week the delicious food was not the centerpiece of the evening. The Syrian Armenian Relief Fund and the ARF had arranged a presentation on the current living conditions of Armenians in Aleppo, Syria. Through generous donations, the community raised over $13,000 for the Armenians in Syria This most recent story of Armenian hardship is discouragingly familiar to those acquainted with our history. The latest humanitarian crisis is in war-torn Syria, this time taking place in the diaspora. Before the beginning of the Syrian conflict in 2012, there were an estimated 100,000 Armenians in Syria. More than 60,000 of them had settled in Aleppo, with smaller communities in Kessab, Qamishli, Yacubiyah, Kobane, and Damascus. However, the most recent estimate claims that only 15,000 Armenians remain within Syrias borders, as the rest have left for Lebanon, Canada, Armenia, or other welcoming countries around the globe. Though we often hear about the Armenians who have fled Syria for refuge elsewhere, news regarding those who have chosen to stay [...]
By Roupen Yaramian On Dec. 18, 2015, a crowd of almost 100 Philadelphia community members gathered in the St. Gregorys Church Founders Hall. The Philadelphia Homenetmen prepared a traditional kebab and pilaf dinner, but that week the delicious food was not the centerpiece of the evening. The Syrian Armenian Relief Fund and the ARF had arranged a presentation on the current living conditions of Armenians in Aleppo, Syria. Through generous donations, the community raised over $13,000 for the Armenians in Syria This most recent story of Armenian hardship is discouragingly familiar to those acquainted with our history. The latest humanitarian crisis is in war-torn Syria, this time taking place in the diaspora. Before the beginning of the Syrian conflict in 2012, there were an estimated 100,000 Armenians in Syria. More than 60,000 of them had settled in Aleppo, with smaller communities in Kessab, Qamishli, Yacubiyah, Kobane, and Damascus. However, the most recent estimate claims that only 15,000 Armenians remain within Syrias borders, as the rest have left for Lebanon, Canada, Armenia, or other welcoming countries around the globe. Though we often hear about the Armenians who have fled Syria for refuge elsewhere, news regarding those who have chosen to stay [...]
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