The scenes and photographs which overwhelmed TV and other mass media are heartbreaking. The sight of the frozen bodies of drowned children, of the desperate people who tried to flee from the war by risking their own and their children’s lives in order to seek a better life in peace is breathtaking.
Deportation and forced emigration are well known to us Armenians. We have lived and we still are living with the pain caused by events such as the deportation of the Armenians of Nakhijevan and Vaspurakan by Safavid Shah Abas and mainly by the Armenian Genocide of 1915, organized and executed by the Ottoman Turks, and –more recently- the continuing emigration of our people away from the Republic of Armenia.
During the Armenian Genocide our grandparents marched and died in those same areas of the Middle East, Syria and Iraq, particularly in Aleppo, where the vandalism, hatred and destruction has reigned again. We have not forgotten the Arab people who offered asylum to our people during the Genocide, nor that they made it possible for us to live and prosper. Many Armenian emigrants reached Greece and France during the Genocide. Among the offsprings of those emigrants are the famous singer Charles Aznavour, filmmaker Henri Verneuil and many others.
Today the Arab people are being deported and they need our help.
We, the Assembly of Armenians of Europe, call upon all Armenians living in Europe and all European Armenian organizations to help the emigrants and do everything in their power to avert racism and religious hatred.
The Assembly of Armenians of Europe is preparing a relevant project on the new wave regarding the new wave of refugees.
We cannot and should not forget that we are the descendants of emigrants and that some of us are already emigrants ourselves.
The Assembly of Armenians of Europe
September 17th, 2015