February 2008

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Steve Cisler

Abe Waldstein sent a few comments:

"1. The Armenian diaspora began well before 1915. By the 1500s and
1600s there were major Armenian communities in Amsterdam and in Venice, for example. Byron - the Armenians will tell you - studied Armenian language and literature at some Armenian monastery in the Venice complex in the early 1800s. 1915 at best represents a surge -please forgive the word - in Armenian departures. But even there the 1915 surge was
preceded bya major wave of Armenian emigration from the Ottoman Empire in the 1890s after a first round of official massacres and ethnic cleansing.

2. I rarely use the word "race" any more. It has been so abused that it is hard to know what it means.

3. I doubt the Armenians would characterise Georgia as a friendly
neighbor. Relations between the two countries are correct albethey
periodically strained. This week, for example, the main pipeline that carries natural gas through Georgia here from Russia has broken down and people here are raising questions about how it could have happened, why it would happen now and why it's taking so long to repair. The frontier is open, however, as opposed to the Turkish or the Azerbaijani frontiers.
But the Georgians and Armenians don't really trust each other. The
Armenians, for example, are lining up more closely with the Russians in the Russians' current contest with the Georgians. The Armenians have looked primarily to the Russians as protectors from one enemy or another for nearly 200 years now."

Laurie Merchant

I am considering a trip to Armenia, partially because my grandparents immigrated to the US before the massacre and Armenia has always held a fascination for me. Interesting , nice, straightforward, report. Thank you!

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