Systems may change, but people stay.
His Holiness Aram I, who has been following the situation in Syria with the community leadership in Syria for the past year, expressed his solidarity with his people, making the following statement:
I have been monitoring the situation in Syria with the Executive Council of the Catholicosate of Cilicia, and we urge the Armenian community to remain united in these difficult times.
We have directed the church authorities to assist needy families. The leadership of the community should help families living in dangerous neighborhoods move to safety.
Armenians in Syria and in the diaspora should not forget that the Syrian people welcomed the survivors of the Armenian Genocide by the Turks and accepted them as co-citizens. Systems may change, but people stay.
It is important to remind all parties that the Armenian community in Syria will remain loyal to the country and is aware of its responsibilities and rights.
Having been informed of the difficulties of the Armenian Schools in Syria, I instructed the dioceses under the jurisdiction of the Catholicosate of Cilicia to assist the schools.
Catholicos Aram I concluded his statement by saying that he was pleased Armenians were not fleeing the country. He assured the Armenian community in Syria of his determination and that of the National Executive Council to continue monitoring the situation and responding to the changing needs of the people.
Source: The Catholicosate of Cilicia website, 21 July 2012
Catholicos Aram I: We must respond to the humanitarian needs of our community in Syria
(Source: The Catholicosate of Cilicia website, 28 July 2012)
His Holiness Aram I has once again called upon the Armenian community in Syria to stay unified under these difficult circumstances, as the community in Lebanon has done in difficult times.
From the beginning of the unrest, His Holiness has been monitoring the humanitarian needs of the community and the Catholicosate of Cilicia has recently provided financial aid for needy families in Aleppo through the Prelacy.
The Catholicos has asked the dioceses to help the Armenian schools in Syria and is imploring Syrian Armenians living abroad to do the same.