These include the United States, France, Argentina, and the Levant among others. On estimate there are roughly 8 to 10 million Armenians around the world today.
On the international scale, “Armenian” has come to be the primary identifier of this group and was first put into use by its neighboring countries. However, according to census information released by the National Statistical Service of Armenia (2001), Armenians call themselves Hay, in testament to Haik, the mythic founder of the Armanian nation.
The Armenians as a group have shown remarkable tenacity in the face of tremendous adversity. One of the more tragic events to grace the pages of world history during the latter part of the 19th and the early 20th century was the ethnic cleansing of the Armenian people which commenced while the Ottoman Empire was in its waning years. Widely considered as a systematic genocide, According to Bournoutian (1994) ”it claimed an estimated 1.5 Armenian lives starting with an incessant wave of persecution in 1894-1896 that culminated in the events of the Armenian Genocide in 1915-1916.”( p. 81) With World War I underway, the Ottoman Turks unjustly accused the mostly Christian Armenians of conspiring with Imperial Russia, and used this as justification for making the Armenians official enemies of the empire. In contemporary times Turkish governments have consistently denied involvement in the genocide, alluding this to purely wartime collateral damage.
In terms of worldwide distribution the Armenian diaspora has been in existence for centuries, with communities existing outside the country for centuries. According to TheHolyLand.org (1997) “ an Armenian community has existed for over a millennium in the Holy Land, and one of the four quarters of the old walled city of Jerusalem had been called the Armenian Quarter” (n.p.) There are