20 Things You Need To Know About Armenia
The Kardashian sisters visited their ancestral homeland last week to draw attention to the 100th anniversary of the But the country has plenty going on, even when it's not being graced by some of the most famous members of its diaspora. Armenian Genocide.
First things first: Armenia is a small, mountainous country in the South Caucasus.
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It borders Turkey, Iran, Azerbaijan and Georgia. (No, not that Georgia —
Before gaining independence in 1991, Armenians lived under Ottoman and Russian rule, and the country was part of the Soviet Union.
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The Soviet-era Mother Armenia statue that looks over Yerevan, the capital, symbolizes peace through strength, according to Armenian
The Kardashian sisters visited to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the Armenian Genocide, a defining event in Armenian history and identity.
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On Friday, Kim, Khloe and Kanye visited the memorial to the 1915 massacre of more than a million Armenians under the Ottoman Empire. Turkey does not acknowledge the tragedy as
genocide. Also, the U.S. has yet to publicly commemorate the event.
They aren't the only famous diaspora Armenians to stop by.
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Cher, whose dad was Armenian-American, traveled to Armenia in
Armenia has a chilly relationship with some of its neighbors.
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Armenia and Turkey aren't on good terms, given the whole not-recognizing-the-genocide thing. Armenia and Azerbaijan fought a bloody war after the breakup of the Soviet Union, and both sides claim rights to Nagorno-Karabakh, an Armenian-controlled enclave that technically lies within Azerbaijan. Foreign policy experts call this a "frozen conflict," but skirmishes on the border continue to claim
It was the first country in the world to officially adopt Christianity back in 301 AD.
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Pope Francis recognized the genocide in
remarks Sunday, prompting Turkey to recall its ambassador to the Vatican.
It has some beautiful centuries-old churches.
Like this gorgeous old monastery.
Not too shabby, right?
But Armenia can do modern, too. Anyone who's been there knows its public fountain game is on point.
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In case Kanye wants to take another
Armenians are REALLY into chess.
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It's a required subject in the elementary schools, and tiny Armenia has more
grandmasters per capita than most other countries.
They've also got a super cool alphabet.
So cool there's an actual monument dedicated to it...
...and they put it on their bread.
Armenia is well known throughout the region for its cognac...
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Free idea for the Armenian business community: someone better get a branded Kanye-ak deal out of this trip.
...and its traditional flatbread, called lavash.
diaspora stretches across the globe.