The Armenian Community in the US – One of the Largest Diasporas

Holy Trinity Armenian Church (c)

Armenian Diaspora is one of the largest Diasporas in the world. The first famous Armenian who started living in the US was a man named Martin who arrived in Jamestown (Virginia) in 1618. It is said that Martin was invited for silkworm breeding.

However, the Armenians began to move most actively to the United States in the 1920s. Most of the immigrants were refugees from the Ottoman Empire. The second wave of immigration began after the Second World War, when those Armenians, who did not want to return to the Soviet Union, moved to the United States.

Later on, there was still an influx of Armenians in the United States from the Middle East, particularly Lebanon, Syria, and Iran. After the collapse of the Soviet Union, Armenians in the United States became much more in number, Barev. today writes.

Most Armenians compactly live in the suburbs of Los Angeles, Glendale. This area is called “Little Armenia”.

The city broadcasts Armenian TV channels; newspapers and magazines are published in the Armenian language, and dozens of churches and government MPs officially represent the Armenian Diaspora.

In Glendale, there are more than 150 thousand Armenians, representing more than 70% of the population.

Armenians are involved in virtually all sectors of life – be it politics, medicine, culture, or cuisine.

In “Little Armenia” there are all conditions provided for the citizens not to feel like in a foreign country. There are Armenian schools periodically organizing various cultural events, sporting events, etc.

It was in 1881 that the first Armenian family settled in sunny California. European brothers, immigrants from Mush (Western Armenia), were traders of expensive carpets and came to America with the English merchants. Already in 1883, the brothers opened a trading store in Fresno. The business developed so successfully that the brothers soon expanded it to the entire state.

In 1901, a well-known lawyer Harutyun Dzhenenyan founded the first organization of the Armenian community in the United States. Californian Council of Armenians was officially registered on May 27, 1901, in Los Angeles. In 1912, the Armenian entrepreneur Baghdasar Simonyan donated 3,000 dollars to the construction of the Armenian Church in Fresno, which today is called “The Armenian Apostolic Church of the Holy Trinity,” Time to Analyze reports.

Fresno is a special city, where many world-famous Armenians lived. The military leader, and national hero of Armenia and Bulgaria – Andranik Ozanyan, for example, was born in Fresno. On 232, Park House Street lived Armenian avenger Soghomon Tehliryan, who shot the chief organizer of the Armenian Genocide Talaat Pasha.

In addition, in the Armenian quarter, Armenian poet and writer William Saroyan was born, who devoted several works to the history of the Armenian community. Moreover, in Fresno’s nearby Visalia Armenian national heroes philanthropist Kirk Kerkorian and a member of A.S.A.L.A. (Armenian Secret Army for the Liberation of Armenia), commander, hero of Artsakh war, Monte Melkonyan were born.

It should also be noted that the institutions “Komitas”, “Zorian”, and the Armenian National Institute have an important contribution to the development of Armenian studies in the US. They have conducted some precious scientific research on the history of Armenia. They also published a lot of monographs, anthologies, and periodicals which are also of great scientific value.


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