The Promise Institute for Human Rights at UCLA School of Law

Interculturalism and the integration of Syrian-Armenian refugees to Montreal, Quebec

A lecture by Gabriella Djerrahian (Concordia University, Montreal)

In the wake of the civil war in Syria, over a thousand Syrian-Armenians arrived to Montreal, Quebec as refugees privately sponsored by Hay Doun, a non-for profit founded by volunteers from the local Armenian community. As the latest wave of arrivals weaved into the tapestry of Montreal’s long-established Armenian community, religious and cultural organizations as well as two Armenian schools mobilized their efforts to answer the needs of Syrian-Armenian newcomers. In this talk, anthropologist Gabriella Djerrahian provides an overview of the sponsorship program and explores some of the challenges concerning the arrival, settlement and integration of Syrian-Armenians to the city. Unlike immigrants who choose to live in other Canadian provinces where English is the main language, integration to Quebec requires learning French and becoming familiar with its history and political struggles. By tracing the intercultural, social and relational premise of a French learning program devised for these refugees, Djerrahian explores how Syrian-Armenians are making their way in Québécois society and the local Armenian community we well.


Cost : Free and open to the public

Sponsors: Center for Near Eastern Studies; The Promise Institute for Human Rights; The Richard G. Hovannisian Chair in Modern Armenian History