SOAR - Grenoble Chapter

Grenoble joined the SOAR family in March 2016. Armenians in France are ethnic Armenians living within the modern republic of France. Like much of the Armenian Diaspora, most Armenians immigrated to France after the Armenian Genocide of 1915. After the end of the First World War, many survivors, including orphans, lived in the French-occupied part of the Ottoman Empire, Cilicia, and the future French Mandate territories of Syria and Lebanon. When French troops retreated in 1921 behind the present-day Turkish-Syrian border, most Cilician Armenians fled and resettled in refugee camps in Alexandria, Aleppo, Ainjar, and Beirut. From there, entire families fled to France. The Armenian refugees and orphans crammed into Turkey, Egypt and Lebanon, arrived by the boatloads to Marseille and journeyed to the mines and factories around Marseille, Valence, Grenoble, Lyon, and Paris. There, a quarter of a million Armenians settled into tight little communities of between 2,000 and 4,000 people. The foundations of the Armenian community in France had been set. Today, Armenian classes are organized in many localities with full bilingual kindergartens and primary schools near Paris and Marseille attended by several thousand children and youths.

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Board of Directors:

Lena Kocharyan

In Armenia Lena studied at the Russian-Armenian Slave University in Faculty of Tourisme. She moved to France at the age of 18. Currently Lena is studying Clinical Psychology at the University Grenoble Alpes 3. She has a passion for children and singing and sings with the Grenoble Gospel Singers. Being very very attached to her roots, Lena volunteers at the Armenian Cultural Center in Grenoble and is responsible for the youth group there. Lena strives to establish links with Armenian cultural centers in Europe and with the Ministry of Diaspora.

Silva Sahakian

Silva was born in Russia, and moved to France when she was 6 years old. She is currently finishing her Bachelor's Degree in Law in order to continue on with her Master's Degree in International and European Law and an Erasmus year in Berlin, Germany . Silva also speaks Armenian, French, English, German, and Italian . She is happy to join SOAR and do something to help her motherland.

Anna Torossian

Anna is from Aleppo, Syria. She came to France in 2014 and is now studying the french language to continue her education. She has a bachelor degree in Marketing. Anna volunteered in various Armenian and other organizations in Aleppo. She enjoys helping out wherever she can. She speaks Armenian, French, English, Arabic, Turkish.