Iraqi Armenians after the toppling of Saddam Hussein: emigration or repatriation?

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dc.contributor.advisor Ayvazyan, Armen
dc.contributor.author Bezhanyan, Anush
dc.date.accessioned 2014-07-22T12:51:23Z
dc.date.available 2014-07-22T12:51:23Z
dc.date.created 2008-02
dc.date.issued 2014-07-22
dc.identifier.uri http://hdl.handle.net/123456789/420
dc.description.abstract Armenians settled in Iraq mainly after the Genocide of 1898-1922. The community had a self-governing Central National Authority, cultural and educational institutions. However, with the advent of Baath party and Saddam Hussein, the role of Armenian institutions diminished and shrunk followed by the nationalization of Armenian schools. The continuing violence and instability since 2003 followed by radical transformations in Iraq has forced several Iraqi Armenians to resettle in other less dangerous regions of the country, to look for shelter worldwide or to return to Armenia, their homeland. Iraqi Armenians perceive that the future of Armenians in Iraq is overwhelmed by glumness, and consider that the community will disappear. The influx of Iraqi Armenians to Armenia started in 2003, but took larger dimension in 2006 and 2007. According to the Migration Agency of the Ministry of Territorial Administration of Armenia 804 Iraqi Armenians were registered as temporary asylum seekers. Others (357 people) did not apply for temporary asylum seeker status and have gained special residency status between 2003 and 2007. The study is based on sources, observations and interviews with 30 Iraqi Armenian households settled in Armenia. It finds that fear of war, lack of security and the current political situation of Iraq are the overriding reasons for Iraqi Armenians to leave Iraq and settle permanently in Armenia. Conversely, some Iraqi Armenians leave Armenia to another country especially because of generous welfare benefits received in the West. The reason that Armenia is their homeland dominates the motives of Iraqi Armenians to come to Armenia. Many Iraqi Armenians have been found holding strong Armenian identity and wishing to acquire dual citizenship and stay in Armenia permanently. While all Iraqi Armenians feel physically secure in Armenia, their permanent settlement in homeland is believed to be connected with housing and employment possibilities, as well as the success of their personal experience of integration. Iraqi Armenians reported problems at secondary schools, medical institutions and higher education establishments. Lack of jobs as well as normal working conditions and decent employment opportunities are the main source of disillusionment and frustration. The majority of Iraqi Armenians claimed that Armenia has not any particular policy or comprehensive government program towards Iraqi Armenians, and does not take measures to satisfy their basic needs. As for the repatriation of Iraqi Armenians to Armenia they opined that Armenian Government should make of it a priority issue to be solved. Moreover, Armenian Government should encourage the full integration of Iraqi Armenians into Armenian society. The solutions offered were evaluated in the following order: pension to elderly and handicapped, tax cut for small and medium businesses, Armenian language courses, trainings and degree programs, free land provision near Yerevan, dwellings for needy people, fine businesses for discrimination, free housing in other cities and towns of Armenia, free land for housing and agriculture in rural areas and free livelihood opportunities in Artsakh. en_US
dc.language.iso en_US en_US
dc.subject Iraq en_US
dc.subject Saddam Hussein en_US
dc.subject Armenian diaspora en_US
dc.subject Emigration en_US
dc.subject Repatriation en_US
dc.title Iraqi Armenians after the toppling of Saddam Hussein: emigration or repatriation? en_US
dc.type Thesis en_US
dc.academic.department Political Science and International Affairs Program (MPSIA)

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