climate of the world through their artistic vision.
It is fortunate that the community, with residents from near and
far, have the chance to celebrate art, culture and social
Among the diverse entries is a 90-minute documentary called
"Armenians of Lebanon." The title is misleading, because the
documentary not only discusses the history of the diasporan Armenians
of Lebanon, it also expands to include the diasporans of other
countries in Western Asia, including Syria, Jordan, Turkey, Iran and
This documentary is a comprehensive history lesson with black and
white footage of the Armenian Genocide. It is narrated in Arabic,
some Armenian and French with English subtitles.
The various interviews conducted by the filmmakers indicate
clearly that Armenians throughout Western Asia are attempting to
understand their identity. It's as though many are conflicted when it
comes to identifying with their Armenian heritage and the cultures
they have assimilated into as diasporans.
After watching this documentary, I pondered: How does one define
themselves as Armenian? What makes someone an Armenian? What does it
mean to be Armenian?
Is it the language one speaks? Do people identify themselves as
Armenians because of the stories they were told about their Armenian
ancestors? Is one considered an Armenian if they socialize with what
is known as the Armenian culture or integrate themselves into the
There are many more questions that can be asked when it comes to
finding one's cultural identity.
The documentary attempts to explore the identity of the Armenians.
During interviews, Armenians in Syria, for example are asked what
they know about their Armenian heritage.
One Syrian-Armenian woman, who speaks Arabic and no Armenian,
holds in her hand a picture of her grandmother who died during the
genocide. The woman, who is also dressed in traditional Syrian garb,
says she knows her grandmother's name and where she lived before she
Her husband also reveals his Armenian heritage by telling the