Ethnic minorities in Armenia
Young Yezidies tempt their fate in foreign countries
Young Yezidies tempt their fate in foreign countries Representatives of more than 50 nationalities live in Armenia nowadays. At the same time Armenia is considered a mono-ethnic country, as Armenians make 97% of population. If in 1988 the ethnic minorities made 6.7% of population, today, according to census data of 2001 their number is decreased to 4% (the total number of population is 3,2million). The leader of Armenia’s Yezidi Community Aziz Tamoyan claims that the number of Yezidies in Armenia is about 50.000 and among them the youth is few. In Yezidi families the average number of children is reduced from 8 to 3 in recent years because of poor social life. The representatives of ethnic minorities live separately in the country. There is no region which is completely inhabited only by representatives of certain ethnic minority. In separate inhabited places they make either a part or majority of mixed population. The leader of Yezidi Community is preoccupied about emigration problem. ”After leaving school the youth is out of work. As in Armenian regions they can not find any work they go abroad and then move their family too”. Yezidies consider this a serious problem as their cultural center is Armenia. Leaving the country they become separated from community. The same problem bothers the leader of Armenia’s Greek community Frontik Nicholaids who assures that the community consisting of 12000 people is decreased. The Greek youth also leaves the country after receiving education. The framework Convention for the Protection of National Minorities signed by the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe was adopted by Armenia in 2007 and there it is underlined that tolerant atmosphere towards ethnic minorities prevails in Armenia. Olya who is an Assyrian studies at Yerevan State University in the faculty of Russian Philology. She mentions that though her worldview differs from that of Armenians she has never felt discrimination towards herself. However after graduating from university she is going to leave the country. There are no privileges for ethnic minorities when entering higher educational institutions but during the studies they are supported and tuition fee discounts are applicable for them too, mentions the head of Educational-methodological department of Yerevan State University Hrant Jamharyan. . There are no counteractions towards the ethnic minorities who are teaching their native language. But all of them have problem of both specialists and educational programs. Russian community is an exception as they receive materials from Russia where also the specialists are trained. In the case of more conservative ethnic minorities like Kurds and Yezidies education is of less importance. The laws of RA such as “On Language”, “On Television and Radio” involve terms about the rights of ethnic minorities. However Mister Tamoyan says that Armenian television doesn’t give them airtime through which they can realize a “unifying” activity.