3120) Diaspora And Democracy The Diaspora’s Response To National Movements In Armenia

© This content Mirrored From  http://armenians-1915.blogspot.com Paper presented to the Second Annual PFA Forum on Armenia-Diaspora Relations
February 28 – March 2, 2010, Washington D.C.

Henry Dumanian, BA Candidate
Hunter College of the City University of New York

The Diaspora of the Armenians is arguably the only one of its kind. In the first place, it has existed for a millennium.

Secondly, Diaspora Armenians, especially their commerce and European education, played an instrumental role in what we today consider to be the Armenian national liberation movement(s) of the 19th and 20th centuries. It has also undergone great transformations; the Spyurk is not merely a collection of dispersed communities -- “it is an entity in its own right,” and it has its own history.1 Ultimately, however, the most important and unique feature related to the Diaspora has nothing to do with it. While the Jewish Diaspora is older and arguably more (often exclusively) relevant to Jewish and Israeli history, it has not had a traditional ‘homeland’ continuously populated by co-ethnics. Indeed, there has been an uninterrupted Armenian presence in the Caucasus and Anatolia since at least the 6th century B.C., and themes of exile have been a dominant aspect of the Armenian narrative since the Mongol invasions of the 11th and 12th centuries.



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