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Aravot: Belgian Armenians face challenge of integration and preserving national identity

July 27, 2012

YEREVAN. – Aravot daily asked Armenia’s Ambassador to Belgium, Avet Adonts, about the local Armenian community. 

“He noted that around 30,000 Armenians live in Belgium, whose 5-6 thousand are those Armenians who were living and working there even before the collapse of the Soviet Union. Several waves of Armenians came to this country after 1991; the community was complemented with Turkish Armenians and Iraqi Armenians.  

The other ‘level’ is those who came from Armenia. Many moved here because, until recently, Belgium was the sole remaining EU-member country which kept relatively liberal migration systems.  

Speaking about the quantitative element of the local Armenian community, the Ambassador specifically pointed to the Armenians from Armenia many of whom, sadly, do not even have those simple rights that are mandatory to live in Belgium

In Mr. Adonts’ words, there is a matter of integrating into the Belgian reality and a matter of preserving [national] identity. The latter is important in terms of preserving the generations as Armenians and educating [them] as Armenians,” Aravot writes.


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