Apo Sahagian is a singer and works in different artistic related projects in Jerusalem. He is also the host of the podcast 'Apo and the city'. He grew up in the old city of Jerusalem in the Armenian quarter. His family came to Jerusalem in the 1920s when many Armenians fled from the genocide committed by the Ottoman empire.
In this episode Apo gives us more insight into the Armenian community in Palestine. The Armenians came in three waves. As the first Christian nation in the world, King Tiridates III adopted Christianity as state religion in 301 AD, they have a long history of connection to Jerusalem. The first Crusaders married Armenian princesses and there are several Crusader Queens of Jerusalem that were of Armenian descent, such as the famous queen Melisande. So the first wave dates back from that time, the 12th century AD. These Armenians have integrated into the Palestinians society and even though they cherish their heritage they are much more assimilated than the second wave.
The second wave is the result of displacement during the Ottoman time and these Armenians are still much more connected to the homeland and as diaspora Armenians they are trying to preserve their culture and heritage and they have stronger connections to Armenia.
The third wave consists of Armenians who came to Israel in the time that many Russians were accepted as Jews to the live in Israel. Some of these Armenians are not even really Jewish but they took the opportunity to try have a better economic life. They have been given Israeli citizenship and they are trying to stay out of politics and just live their life.
Apo talks about the Armenian quarter with its convent and the Armenian churches and about what Armenians brought to Palestine in general and Jerusalem in particular.
If you want to listen to Apo's podcast 'Apo and the City' find him here:
If you want to listen to his music you can search for Apo & the Apostles
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On Wednesday 23 November 2022 Spafford Children's Center organizes a fundraiser in aid of disadvantaged children and families in East Jerusalem.