The current situation and challenges of the Armenians of Jezire.

  • by Western Armenia, May 31, 2024 in Society

Ras ul-Ain is a rural town located in the northern region of Hasicheh province, bordering Western Armenia occupied by Turkey. After the genocide against the Armenians in 1915, it became one of the refuges of the Armenian people, like Der Zor. Azg Hahatakats preschool was operating there, as well as the Armenian church, St. Hakob, whose guardianship was taken over by the church under the leadership of Dr. Hovhannes Saatjian.

Before the Syrian war, in 2011, the number of Armenian families reached about 14, who settled there after the genocide and led a peaceful life, some as artisans, some engaged in farming, and some engaged in repairing electrical tools.

Women were housewives. They were engaged in the Armenian upbringing of their children. Some were teaching at the National College. A pharmacist named Srbun prepared prescriptions using various plants. Ras ul-Ain S. Hakob Church had its own priest in the past, but as the population decreased, the church had its own visiting priest, S. Hasiche. The spiritual pastor of Hovhannes Church, Ter Mesrop A. Petrosyan, who visited that church to take care of the spiritual needs of the residents.

Later, due to his father's ill health, he was succeeded by the spiritual pastor of Gamishli, Father Tsak Perperyan, again as a visiting priest. During the Syrian war, armed terrorist groups attacked and captured the city twice, and from the first capture, all Armenian families desperately fled Ras ul-Ain, settling in various regions of Jezire. some later abroad.

Fortunately, after the first capture and liberation of the city, we had the opportunity to go there and examine the situation. we visited the National College, the walls of which bore traces of bullets. Thank the Lord that the damage was somehow bearable. They also saw the surroundings of the church, near the entrance of which we saw a hole filled with pebbles: apparently a mine or a bomb had exploded.

Unfortunately, after a short time, Ras ul-Ain was again occupied by Turkish terrorists, in October 2019 and remains occupied until today.  Currently, there is no Armenian resident there except Mr. Revenge of Keshishyan, who is selflessly and willingly living there, despite his wife and children moving to Hasiche. He insisted that he cannot live outside his birthplace. He supervises the church and the National School, he is in constant contact with the vicar of Jezire, Fr. With Levon Yeghiayan and the officials of the school.