Business investors from Armenia’s far-flung diaspora, a key engine for the South Caucasus country’s sluggish economy, increasingly are expressing frustration with what they describe as Armenia’s corrupt judicial system and state bureaucracy. The government, for its part, asserts that it promotes favorable conditions for diaspora investors.
Many ethnic Armenians are disgruntled after fleeing the embattled Syrian city of Aleppo for the safety of Armenia. They say they have been left to fend for themselves in the country they view as their ethnic homeland. Armenian government officials, meanwhile, insist they are doing what they can to accommodate diaspora members.
Now that the Los Angeles Lakers have been bumped from the National Basketball Association playoffs, Kobe Bryant, the team’s star, faces an off-the-court challenge. This winter, Bryant alienated a large segment of the Lakers’ fan base, members of California’s large Diaspora Armenian community, with a decision to endorse Turkish Airlines.
Armenian diaspora leaders in the United States are responding with cautious optimism to an initiative by Armenian President Serzh Sargsyan’s administration to create a second chamber of parliament, one that would give Armenians abroad more say in the shaping of public policy.
Armenia’s diaspora is renowned for maintaining strong ties to the Motherland. But members of at least one diaspora group who have returned to Armenia – Iranian-Armenians – say they are encountering difficulty in gaining acceptance in Yerevan.