The Armenians in Lebanon (Political Representation,Education,Media)
By Dr John Ahmaranian
According to the traditional Lebanese confessional representation in the Lebanese Parliament, a certain number of seats have been reserved for Armenian candidates according to their confession. Presently the Lebanese-Armenians are represented in the 128-seat Lebanese Parliament with 6 guaranteed seats (5 Armenian Orthodox and 1 Armenian Catholic) as follows:
- 1 Armenian Orthodox and 1 Armenian Catholic seat in the Beirut I electoral district
- 2 Armenian Orthodox seats in the Beirut II electoral district
- 1 Armenian Orthodox seat in the Matn District
- 1 Armenian Orthodox seat in Zahle District
As many Protestants in Lebanon are ethnic Armenians, the sole parliamentary slot for Evangelical (Protestant) community has at times been filled by an Armenian, making for a total of 7 Armenian representatives in the Lebanese Parliament. Lebanese Armenians have been represented in government by at least one government minister in the formations of Lebanese governments.
Lebanon is the location of the only Armenian university outside Armenia, Haigazian University. Founded in 1955, Haigazian is a liberal arts Armenian institution of higher learning, which uses English as the language of instruction.
Most Armenian schools are run by the three Armenian Christian denominations (Orthodox, Catholic and Evangelical). Others are run by cultural associations like Hamazkayin and Armenian General Benevolent Union (AGBU).
Other famous schools:
Hrepsimiants High school for Girls
Taruhi Hagopian High School
Djemaran High School
Mesrobian High School in Bourj Hammoud
There are three Armenian daily newspapers published in Beirut all mouthpieces of the traditional Armenian political parties.
- Aztag, a daily newspaper that speaks on behalf of the Armenian Revolutionary Federation – Tashnag and was established in 1927. It also published an online English version and an online Arabic supplement.
- Ararad, a daily newspaper published by the Social Democrat Hunchakian Party – Hunchag Party
- Zartonk, daily newspaper is published by Armenian Democratic Liberal Party – Ramgavar and was established in 1937.
Weekly and Periodicals
Lebanon has kept throughout a strong tradition in periodicals and weekly newspapers in the Armenian language, so obviously it is impossible to cover all. But from the notable long-running publications, special mention could be made for the religious periodicals:
- Hasg, official publication of the Catholicosate of the Great House of Cilicia (Armenian Apostolic)
- Avedik, official publication of the Armenian Catholic Church
- Badanegan Artsakank Armenian Evangelical / Youth publication
“Voice of Van” and “Radio Sevan”
The Armenians do not own a television channel, but Lebanese private stations and state-owned Tele-Liban have consecrated occasionally television programming in Armenian on certain occasions. Al Mustaqbal Television (also known as Future Television) and OTV broadcast daily 30-minutes news and comments in Armenian in their regular programming schedule.