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“We went back to the Catholic Church. All the rooms had been occupied within a few days, and only one room was available. We were lucky and stayed there for a year and a half. It was calm, clean, we were given three meals a day, and in the morning I would go to work, returning in the evening. Once I managed to stand on my own feet, I rented an apartment.”

While Salbi and George are now on their own, Caritas has not forgotten them.

“They know I am in need and always try to help,” she says. “They invite me to training courses. Most importantly, they donated household appliances — refrigerator, oven, meat grinder, blender — and now I am able to cook tasty Syrian dishes and sell them.” The budding entrepreneur is excited about the expositions organized by Caritas, “which are usually very successful,” she says. “They’re a good platform to find new customers.”

There are many difficulties and challenges. But Ms. Brutyan is confident. She believes the worst is behind her and asserts that if some Syrian Armenians consider returning to Syria, she will not be one of them. Armenia is now her home.

Salbi’s journey — and the struggles she has faced — are familiar to most of those who have fled the turmoil of Syria for the relative calm of Armenia. They have all followed a similar path.

And it has not been easy for any of them.

Syria’s once-strong community of around 150,000 Armenians was largely formed in the aftermath of the genocide of the Ottoman Empire’s Christian communities, especially its Armenian, Assyro-Chaldean and Greek minorities. About a million Armenians, driven from their homes throughout Asia Minor in 1915, managed to survive the harsh climate of the desert and found refuge in the multicultural cities of Aleppo, Baghdad, Beirut, Damascus as well as smaller towns, such as Kessab, Qamishli and Latakia. According to various estimations, some 90,000 Armenians eventually left Syria for the West after the initial crisis subsided and Syria achieved some measure of independence in 1920.

Prior to the war that, since it began in 2011, has destroyed much of Syria, Armenians played a substantial role in the cultural, economic and social life of Syria — especially Aleppo, where they dominated the arts and trade professions. According to the statistics of the former Ministry of Diaspora of Armenia, up to 24,000 Syrian Armenians have moved to Armenia during the war years; a few thousand have either returned to Syria or moved to another country. It is thought that around 17,000 Syrian Armenians remain in Armenia.

The influx of Syrian Armenians from 2012 has impressed new challenges upon a nation already struggling with economic and political instability. The government has managed to come up with relevant regulations that have helped integrate Syrian Armenians, most of whom arrive with education and skills. To encourage the refugees to settle, the government has eased the burdens of acquiring driving licenses and property. Projects to address health care issues and education for children are also in progress.

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