We spoke to author and scriptwriter Manuel Keşişian about the situation of Armenian community in Aleppo, which has been affected by the attacks of the last week.
30, Syrian army declared that they ended the ceasefire and started to
attack eastern regions of Aleppo, controlled by the opposition. And
the bombardment by the opposition, which had been stopped for a
while, started again. Along with all the neighborhoods
along the border of the eastern region, the neighborhoods densely
populated by Armenians have also been bombarded. We spoke to author
and scriptwriter Manuel Keşişian about the situation of Armenian
community in Aleppo, which has been affected by the attacks of the
Can you talk about what is happening in Aleppo since September 30?
It should be noted that not only Armenian neighborhoods, which are easy targets for the attacks by the opposition, but all the neighborhoods in the clash zones are affected by the rocket attacks.
In the recent attacks, 8 Armenians have been killed. On October 5, Kaspar Şatoyan and Movses Movsesyan were killed. Both were around 30; they had been friends since their childhoods, they were comrades and guards of the Armenian neighborhoods. Mosik (Movses) was supposed to get married next week. Two Armenians were injured in this attack.
How many Armenians are there in Aleppo? If it is possible to give such an estimate of course...
Given that there are around 2000 students in Armenian schools in Aleppo, we can say that there are around 8,000-10,000 Armenians living in the city. 1000 of them are above 70. There are 30 elder Armenians in the Armenian nursing home. 14-15 children in Azkayin Badısbaran (national shelter) have been settled with different families. For about a week, all Armenian schools have been closed. All the events of our community have been canceled. There will only be the launch of the book by Levon Şaroyan.
What is the current condition of Armenian community in Aleppo?
They are mourning. Sometimes we feel hopeful, thinking that the state will take the whole city soon and the bombardment will end. However, we suddenly start to feel desperate again and think that there will be no room for us in Aleppo or Syria in future.
There has been no running water for a week. We supply electricity from the generators, which is expensive. The community went really poor, they live penuriously with the aid from different institutions.
To be honest, our community is in a daze. However, there is one thing certain: we cannot abandon the community for good. The ones who want to leave Aleppo should be supported; at least they should be helped to settle in Armenia. We all agree on this, though some thinks that everyone should leave and some thinks that we have to stay in Aleppo no matter what.