Understanding The Armenian Diaspora Of The USA

  • Politics - 21 October 2016, 12:11
Co-authoring Eduard Enfiajyan and Garegin Nalbandian, Geopolitical Club - Los Angeles (USA)- The single most difficult and unresolved issue for the Armenians was, is,and may remain the issue of uniting the Armenian Diaspora. There are many reasons that prevent the unification of our Diaspora. Those reasons are both internal and external. The external reasons are that there are many agents of foreign countries among us, who do everything to prevent our unity. They speak Armenian and they have Armenians names to disguise as Armenians. Their Armenian identity is questionable; however, we can't force them to take a DNA test, and they will not take the test because who they are. Some of the internal reasons are that Armenians are people who value the individual accomplishments and not the group accomplishments. Although, Armenians are great team players if they are given individual tasks to accomplish for the benefit of the team. It is not a secret that Armenians shine with their work as individuals. People say that it is difficult to unite the Armenians because we lived in the Armenian Highlands, which had difficult to pass through terrain that separated the Armenian settlements from one another, and that factor developed a character in our gene. Another internal reason is that we are spread throughout the world...

Yes, we are spread throughout the world; however, we, Armenians live in Armenian communities. Even in our communities or in the same apartment building, it is difficult to unite the Armenians.  In order to conquer the beast, we need to understand the beast.

Understanding of the Armenian Diaspora, particularly, the Armenian Diaspora of the USA will be today's topic for analysis.

Believe it or not, the Armenian Diaspora of the USA is very diverse. Despite the fact that our Armenian Diaspora consists of Armenians from many countries throughout the world, those Armenians, including us, moved to the Land of the Free (USA) at different times and as a result of different geopolitical events. Those migrations can be placed in different categories in order to make it easier to understand who the targeted representatives of those categories are, what they can give and what do they want. Those categories are the pre-WWI (World War I), WWI and Genocide, pre-World War II (World War II), WWII, pre-collapse of the USSR, post-collapse of the USSR, current, and new.

1) The pre-WWI wave of Armenian immigrants were merchants, who came and stayed in the USA. They are now dead. Their generations are Americanized.

Most of them can't even speak Armenian. Their image of Armenia is a romantic utopia of a country that their ancestors spoke very highly about. These are financially secure people, who are mostly concerned about events concerning the USA, than events concerning Armenia.

2) The post-WWI and Genocide era wave of survivors who were taken by the American missionaries, have a different idea about Armenia. They think of Armenia as the homeland that they lost. They are mostly dead. Their generations are Americanized and probably can't speak Armenian. These are financially stable people, who are regular donors for Armenian and Armenia related fundraising events.

3) The pre-WWII wave of Armenian immigrants are the Genocide survivors who found refuge in the countries neighboring Turkey and later moved to the USA. These are financially stable people, who are only concerned about the recognition of the Armenian Genocide and they only donate for Genocide oriented activities and organizations. For this group the Declaration of the Armenian Genocide is the one most important goal and they want every USA President to repeatedly confirm the Armenian Genocide was real because they heard the stories of the Genocide survivors and they feel obligated to their ancestors who became victims of the Genocide. This group has been the political leadership of the Armenian Diaspora throughout the world. If Turkey would recognize the Armenian Diaspora today, this group will be politically unemployed tomorrow because they would no longer be able to yell "Genocide Never Again and 1915 Never Again" and although many of them are honest warriors of the Genocide recognition, many of them make a living by using the Armenian Genocide as their source of income. This group is easily controlled by Russia and by pro-Russia propagandists because they see Russia as the savior of the Armenians, when in fact, Russia and Turkey planned and executed the Armenian Genocide in order to split the region, the same way that presently Russia and Turkey are bartering on Armenian interests. Yes, there were a few other countries who were involved in the process of eliminating Armenians; however, Russia and Turkey were the only countries that benefited from it.

4) The WWII wave of immigrants were mostly individuals and families from Europe and other areas that were affected by the WWII. This group represents the inventors and the producers, the hard working and the never quitting, the kind that every country needs more of. They are the parents of the what America calls - The Baby Boomers' generation. Some of them may still be alive and some of them may be dead. This group may not be first to initiate a conversation; however, they will talk about their personal experiences and are ready to share their knowledge. It is hard to change their minds because they think they are more experienced than the younger generations; therefore, they are right no matter what and that's the way it is.

5) The pre-collapse of the USSR wave of immigrants were people, who escaped the Communist and the KGB dictatorship of the USSR. This group represents The Baby Boomers generation, whose fathers won the war. Even though they wanted to escape the USSR, they still thought that the USSR was the hero of the WWII and the rest of the allies were just supporters of the USSR and followers under the Soviet leadership. They are the sons and the daughters of those Genocide survivors who repatriated from the refuge countries into Armenia because they realized the need to rebuild Armenia and to make it better and stronger. This group saw the injustices of the political elite in Armenia and decided to leave the country in search of a better life. This group is eager to make positive changes and is teamwork oriented.  

6) The post-collapse of the USSR wave of immigrants are opportunity seekers. Many of them escaped from the dictatorship regime of Armenia. They are against the dictator regime of Armenia; however, they are Armenia oriented. This group is politically savvy and somewhat experienced. This group is very active in their communities of the Armenian Diaspora.

7) The current wave of immigrants are immigrants come from all walks of life. They come from Armenia, Russia, and the Middle East, and they come for different reasons. This group may go through a process of fitting into the above stated groups or may form its own group, depending upon their views and interests.

8) New waves of immigrants will come in the future due to different geopolitical events.

The above stated groups have different views and different interests. Despite all the internal and external reasons disallowing to unite the Armenian Diaspora, we also need to understand how diverse the Armenian Diaspora is. Hence, the above analysis, which will help strategize our goal for uniting the Armenian Diaspora in our local communities and, through the network of those communities, throughout the USA.

It is currently a challenge to unite people with different views and interests; however, it is not impossible. If there is a will, there is a way, and we know the way.