The killing of four ethnic Armenians on the Aleppo airport road, the several killings by snipers in the Armenian neighborhoods and the army casualties from one side, and the escalation of the conflict in these neighborhoods from the other, brings the Armenian community into an unprecedented security situation. Not only the fate of the Aleppine Armenians is concerned, but also the whole of the Armenian communities in the Middle East, starting from Aleppo, passing to the other Syrian-Armenian communities in Kessab, Qamishlo and Damascus, passing to Lebanon, Turkey, Jordan, Palestine, already devastated Iraqi communities and finally reaching Iran, Georgia and Armenia proper itself.
In other words, the Aleppo community is now in the delicate position of being the castle, that if it is fallen, the Armenian existence throughout Middle East and Caucasus will be threatened. This is not only because of certain strategic position that the Aleppo Community enjoys, neither because of the financial or human resources that it provides, but because its current conditions, and the incapacity of the Armenians to provide the necessary support it needs.
This reveals the deep structural and ideological weaknesses that the Armenians as communities suffer from. This fact is surfaced under the inability of the Armenians to act and organize to support the Aleppo community: There is a clear ideological bankruptcy of at least showing any position regarding the fate of the community.
The influx of the refugees to the neighboring Lebanon and the Republic of Armenia, was too poorly organized – if any organized at all – that many of the refugees prefer going back to Aleppo, despite the horrible conditions there, which means that they are either not received well, or they are left alone in places that supposedly should have been able to receive them. Apparently, the mythical representation of Armenian solidarity was proven to be nothing more than nominal emotional condition associated with so and so sentiments.
It is now a fact that the Armenian communities of the developed world are incapable to guarantee the well-being of the Armenian communities of the Middle East, starting from the Iraqi, and now the Syrian. The lobbying mechanisms that are well developed proved to be for the sole purpose of the genocide recognition, and useless under other conditions. This puts the whole national strategy of concentrating on one sole issue under serious consideration.
Although there are attempts of fund raising in the United States, but till now no tangible contribution or project is developed, same as the Republic of Armenia tried to develop several policies concerning the issue, but all of them deemed to be irrational and impossible to implement. The policy of honoring the choreographer from Aleppo during the Dance Festival of the Ministry of Diaspora, is nothing but a farce when the streets in Aleppo are cut from internet, telephone, electricity and water.
The circumstances and developments of Aleppo events are in escalation. Currently the Emergency Central Body is still able to distribute emergency packages to the economically most deprived. The AGBU and the Evangelical Church have additional package programs, but as the crisis continues and the lower strata of the community widens, these organizations will be unable to continue with their programs, especially that their resources remain local, and their budgets are not in important figures.
Another reality is that the nucleus families themselves are being partitioned, as the households are deciding to split, with usually the elder male sons and the fathers staying in Aleppo to protect the properties, while the children and women are taking refuge out of the country: the demographic effects of a prolonged mass separation will be devastating with no doubt, just to mention a single problem.
The absence of proper leadership in Aleppo, and the sour reality that most of those personalities that were considered to be of leadership positions have left the country brings the hopes of proper organization to an end. Collective leadership and authority strength is also recording its absence. The two most important power centers of the Middle East Armenians, the Holy See of Cilicia and the Armenian Revolutionary Federation both have decided that it is best for the Armenians to help themselves inside Syria. This actual and moral abandonment from both religious and political authorities clears the path for the Aleppo Armenians to develop the feelings of not belonging.
Both authorities are under the impression that if the community is weakened their respective seats will be weakened, because historically Aleppo has been providing the most important Western-Armenian speaking youth masses, but the reality is that if the current conditions continue, both authorities will not only loose their standings in Aleppo, but their whole existence in the Middle East will be futile. The denial of the mentioned two authorities that the crisis is too deep to be neglected, and their self-centered ideology-oriented positioning, rather than pragmatic decision-making endangers the Syrian-Armenian communities. The mentioned authorities are in front of serious responsibility for the lost souls, property and any unfortunate events that the community might face in the near future.
Nor Kyugh is the first domino, that if falls, the last domino might fall on the flag of the clock-tower of the Republic Square. The Armenian nation as whole is under the threat of losing its reliability in the eyes of its constituencies forever. In existential times like these, Aleppo might become a point of no return for the nation.