While in Greece, before starting my trip through the Middle East, I posed a question that would guide me, my thoughts and my experiences while living in this unexplored region (for me). The question was: what does it mean for a person being an Arab? Do people actually identify with that or is it something that westerners use to refer to many people and countries from a really big region where they share a common language and religion? Much like being “latino”.
Being in between these geographical boundaries artificially imposed by governments in this region where Turkey, Iran, Iraq, Syria, and Armenia stand today, many previously unknown factors come to the front as a part of my perception. To begin with, to experience face to face the fact that there are thousands of ethnic groups that inhabit the Earth. There are Russians, Turks, Iranians, Syrians, Germans, French, Armenians etc. Armenia was one of the first countries I visited during this trip. The Armenian dynasty’s roots can be traced back to over 3000 years ago and are apparently one of the most ancient cultures that we know today.
Armenians are spread throughout the world. Most of them live in Russia, the US, France, Armenia, and Iran. That’s why it is said that Armenia is one of the clearest representatives of the phenomenon known as a diaspora. The language spoken in Armenia today is different from that taught in Armenian schools and in other countries. This is because the language underwent several changes during the rule of the Soviet Union, while the exiled Armenians kept the older, more traditional language. The location of the country is also a very interesting aspect. It is located in a geographical area called “The Caucasus”, an area of connection between Europe and Asia, of great importance for the history of international politics and the current aspect of the world map.