Wave of Fossil Fuel Dislike amongst the Young

Further to our Demand May Top Out Before Supply Does, here is an interesting article on the side-lines of one of the Oil Industry’s concerns as elaborated on this report of the IBT on the recently held 22nd World Petroleum Congress – Istanbul, 2017 where it was a question of how age and gender could obviously affect the industry to survive this wave of fossil fuel dislike amongst the young.  The unleashing of a frenzy amongst today’s youth as Fossil Free is a growing international divestment movement calling for organisations, institutions and individuals to demonstrate climate leadership and end their financial support for the fossil fuel industry.

No industry for old men: Why ‘Big Oil’ needs to woo younger, female workforce

Energy industry’s lack of appeal for women and the young remains a major cause for concern.

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Further to our Demand May Top Out Before Supply Does, here is an interesting article on the side-lines of one of the Oil Industry’s main concerns as elaborated on this report of the IBT on the recently held 22nd World Petroleum Congress – Istanbul, 2017 where it was a question of how age and gender could obviously affect the industry to survive this wave of fossil fuel dislike amongst the young.  The unleashing of a frenzy amongst today’s youth as Fossil Free is a growing international divestment movement calling for organisations, institutions and individuals to demonstrate climate leadership and end their financial support for the fossil fuel industry.

No industry for old men: Why ‘Big Oil’ needs to woo younger, female workforce

WPC 2017

Energy industry’s lack of appeal for women and the young remains a major cause for concern.

By Gaurav Sharma in Istanbul, Turkey

Updated on July 14, 2017 20:22 BST

It may not be as pressing an issue for the World Petroleum Congress (WPC) as the crude oil price slump, but had you asked around the oil and gas industry’s recently concluded triennial jamboree held in Istanbul, Turkey, plenty of high profile people would point to a lack of female executives as a major concern.

Furthermore, equally concerning is the perceived loss of the industry’s appeal for young professionals choosing a career pathway. To his credit, Dr Jozsef Toth, President of World Petroleum Council, which has been organising the congress since 1933, acknowledged the problem in his very first quip of the event.

“Oil and gas will play a role in the energy mix for decades to come. Yet, at the same time the number of people joining the energy industry is declining.”

Much more needs to be done when it comes addressing the gender balance in the business, he added. “We are committed to changing this, as well as showcasing the talent of female industry executives to inspire.”

That’s all well and good; but a cursory look around the WPC plenary halls, auditoriums and corridors by your correspondent found an overwhelming number of delegates of the male and middle-aged variety, regardless of which country they were travelling from.

Of course, there was a young professionals’ floor and youth congress, and events such as a youth night and a ‘Women in Energy’ breakfast.

Despite being well-intentioned objectives aimed at promoting dialogue, to many participants interviewed by IBTimes UK they seemed to be perfunctory box-ticking exercises being conducted because a mega industry event of the WPC’s size could not possibly, not have them. The previous Congress in Doha (2011) and Moscow (2014) had the very same events.

Hope is that the hard work in attracting young recruits and tackling the gender imbalance will finally begin in earnest once WPC’s 6,000-odd delegates, 500 CEOs, 50 Ministers and heads of state go home and ponder about it.

For that to happen, it is worth getting a deeper understanding of the problem first, according to Deborah Byers, US Oil & Gas Practice leader at global consultancy EY. A recent polling exercise in the US by Byers’ colleagues found that most of the younger generation perceive oil and gas jobs as a bit too blue collar and dangerous.

“That’s generation Z – or post-Millennials – typically born in the mid-1990s to early 2000s to you and me. We also find a disconnect between what oil and gas executives think young people want from a career and what they actually want. There’s a general lack of awareness about the industry and the careers that power it, and a substantial gender gap.”

When EY asked which three considerations are the most important in selecting a future career, both Millennials and Generation Z, as a whole, prioritised salary (56%), good work-life balance (49%), job stability (37%) and on-the-job happiness (37%).”

However, oil and gas executives polled expected the leading career drivers for young people to be salary (72%), technology (43%), good work-life balance (38%), and the opportunity to try new roles (28%). The study also found that only 24% of women in the 16-35 age group find oil and gas jobs appealing, while 54% of men in the same age range find them appealing.

The findings were based on a survey of 1,204 US consumers and 109 industry executives conducted earlier this year. In the wider scheme of things, the consultancy’s findings offer only a glimpse into the thinking of female and young people hunting career prospects. However, what it also does is flag up the enormity of the task ahead.

“In an era of lower for longer, some say lower forever oil prices, the industry has a call to action to solve this perception problem for the sake of their future workforce and their success,” Byers concludes.

Dr Jozsef Toth, President of World Petroleum Council, says the industry must improve its appeal to younger recruits and female aspirants.Gaurav Sharma / IB Times UK

Paradoxically, Eithne Treanor, a seasoned energy sector broadcaster and conference moderator based in Dubai, feels it’s the low price environment that is putting people off.

“Oil and gas companies aren’t in hiring mode in any case to begin with, as opportunities from geology to engineering, management to on-site operations dwindle. Furthermore, young people and suitable female candidates ask themselves should I really choose a future in an industry that’s in decline or at least appears to be.”

While the oil price environment is a relatively recent development, Treanor said the industry’s problem of attracting fewer qualified female professionals and its lack of appeal to youngsters also has to do with historical reputational problems.

“The industry has been quite poor at engaging with young people, something I feel it is attempting to rectify. When the idea is to catch them young, leaving it till they are at university is a bit too late; I’d say go all the way lower to junior school.

“For example – a programme started by a science professor in Lebanon called ‘The Young Engineer’ has been running for 10 years and piques the interest of kids when they are 5-6 years old.”

Specifically on the subject of attracting female talent, Trainer said: “Look around the WPC, majority of the panel discussions and deliberations have mostly male speakers. The lack of diversity is visible. Some women have risen through the industry ranks and have become role models, and are indeed here, but there are not that many.”

Positive discrimination is needed, she added, including perhaps an introduction of the Norwegian model of mandatory quotas for women to be on corporate boards and in positions of authority.

iStock

Time is running out, and the industry needs to act fast, according Aleek Datta, Managing Director at consultancy Accenture.

“In 2011, around $590bn (£455bn) was spent on petrotechnical workforce development, which rose to a commendable $760bn in 2014. However, oil price slump hit and spending on talent fell to $570bn in 2015, and has been in decline ever since.

“If we assume oil demand will increase, yet spending on talent continues at its current level, the global industry will have 30% deficit of petrotechnical professionals as early as 2020.

“The oil and gas industry is losing the fight for top millennial talent, as young professionals prefer other industries, like the technology industry. Only 2% of US graduates, according our research, consider oil and gas as a primary career choice.”

To some it might seem counterintuitive to invest in attracting and training young professionals and wooing more women to the industry when the oil price is down, but the risk of not doing so could be even more dire.

 

Oman’s Miraah Project uses Solar Energy

In order to keep ourselves abreast of our recently published article on solar power development, we propose this article of a Gulf daily, the Times of Oman.  It does elaborate on an exceptional project not only by its size but also because of its ground-breaking technology utilisation. 
The Oman’s Miraah project uses solar energy to produce steam to tap into the country’s heavy oil reserves.

In order to keep ourselves abreast of our recently published article on solar power development, we propose this article of a Gulf daily, the Times of Oman.  It does elaborate on an exceptional project not only by its size but also because of its ground-breaking technology utilisation. The Oman’s Miraah project uses solar energy to produce steam to tap into the country’s heavy oil reserves.
Below are excerpts of this article together with links to the original document site. 
Enjoy! Thank you for your readership!

Oman technology: Is this the world’s biggest greenhouse?

July 12, 2017 | 4:47 PM


Muscat: One of the world’s largest solar steam plants is being built in Oman, and it’s about to complete phase 1, according to GlassPoint, the developers.

The $600 million 1GW Miraah project is expected to generate 6,000 tonnes of steam to tap into heavy oil reserves of the country. The “enclosed trough” technology used by GlassPoint to harness solar energy, is ripe for industrial and commercial use, said an official of GlassPoint.

The technology uses curved mirrors to concentrate sunlight onto a pipe filled with water. Heat from the sunlight boils the water to create steam that is of same quality, temperature and pressure as steam produced by burning natural gas steam. The steam in turn is fed directly to the oilfield’s existing steam distribution network. A greenhouse protects the solar array from harsh oilfield conditions like wind and dust storms.

Siddiqa Al Lawati, Project Development Analyst at GlassPoint says this is the right time to deploy solar to secure availability of scarce resources in the future.

“We are currently building Miraah, which uses thermal energy to extract heavy oil. Previously we achieved excellent results from the pilot project. We are studying other heavy oil fields in Oman and there is a huge potential. It is a groundbreaking technology that can be used for many other applications in the oilfield, like produced water treatment.”

The first phase of the Miraah project located at Amal West oil field will begin production of steam this year to replace gas generated steam saving Oman’s natural gas, reducing carbon emissions and increasing renewable footprint in the country. The process increases the amount of oil that can ultimately be recovered. The Amal oilfield can produce oil for the next 25 years using Solar EOR.

“Our aim here is to not use energy to produce energy but rather innovate to produce energy and use our resources for generating revenues,” Al Lawati said.

“Due to this, we can use lightweight and inexpensive components inside the greenhouse,” Al Lawati explained.

“GlassPoint also identifies the scarcity of water and uses it very efficiently. Every barrel of oil is produced, is extracted with nine barrels of water. We use this water to produce steam for EOR purposes. Water used to wash the greenhouse is also recyclable,” Al Lawati said. With more than 50 per cent Omanisation and many materials used processed locally, the Miraah project is also a huge job driver. According to a study conducted by Ernst Young in 2014, over the next decade, Oman can have thousands of direct, indirect and induced jobs created in the renewable energy sector.

Nearly 40 percent of Oman’s reserves are of heavy oil, which is both expensive and harder to extract due to its viscosity. Due to its high cost of extraction, estimates show that only 2 per cent of these reserves have been tapped into thereby creating a huge market for it in Oman, the largest non-OPEC oil producer in the Middle East.

Written by Syyied Haitham Hasan / haitham@timesofoman.com

Demand May Top Out Before Supply Does

France, Norway, Sweden headquartered Volvo are all about to do away with the use of anything to do with fossil oil. Such momentous decisions amongst others tend to vulgarise as it were all renewable forms of energy.  Meanwhile, there has been over the years so much talk and speculation about oil peaking this or that year, that up to recently, scepticism prevailing, everyone went about one’s business fairly insouciant that as put by Javier Blas, writer of the proposed article of Bloomberg; “Some Big Oil executives expect demand for the commodity to shrink faster than anticipated, with dire consequences for Middle East producers.”  Would It then matter as and when demand may top out before supply does or is it perhaps the other way around.

France, Norway, Sweden headquartered Volvo are all about to do away with the use of anything to do with fossil oil. Such momentous decisions amongst others tend to vulgarise as it were all renewable forms of energy.  Meanwhile, there has been over the years so much talk and speculation about oil peaking this or that year, that up to recently, scepticism prevailing, everyone went about one’s business fairly insouciant that as put by Javier Blas, writer of the proposed article of Bloomberg; “Some Big Oil executives expect demand for the commodity to shrink faster than anticipated, with dire consequences for Middle East producers.”  Would It then matter as and when demand may top out before supply does or is it perhaps the other way around.
Here is a Middle East related excerpt of that article with our due compliments to the author and thanks to the publisher.
Demand May Top Out Before Supply Does: Bloomberg

Remember Peak Oil? Demand May Top Out Before Supply Does

. . .  .

For Middle East nations that sit on huge hydrocarbon reserves, peak demand is more of an existential threat. “If you have 100 years’ worth of oil reserves, then 25 years looks like a very short time frame,” says Martijn Rats, a Morgan Stanley oil analyst in London. Saudi Arabia and Kuwait depend on oil for as much as 90 percent of their income. They and other Middle East nations have used their oil wealth to provide their populations with well-paid employment in the public sector and generous handouts—a tacit social contract underpinning their absolute petromonarchies.

The current bout of low prices offers clues about how these countries would handle a permanent drop-off in demand. With oil revenues sharply down, Middle East producers are dipping into their foreign exchange reserves—Saudi Arabia has drawn almost $250 billion since mid-2014. They’re also borrowing more. The combined public debt of Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi, and the United Arab Emirates is set to jump to almost $800 billion by 2020, more than double its 2015 level, according to the International Institute of Finance, a group representing large banks. The situation is direst in such places as Nigeria and Venezuela, where corruption and mismanagement have drained state coffers.

BP’s Dudley and his counterparts at Total and Shell acknowledge that their forecasts hinge on many variables and could easily turn out to be wrong. And even if they’re right, oil consumption wouldn’t suddenly plunge; it might plateau for several years or begin a slow decline.

This view isn’t universal inside the industry. The International Energy Agency, which advises rich countries on policy, sees consumption growing steadily at least through 2040, the cutoff date for its long-term outlook. That’s also the view at Exxon. And Saudi Arabia and Russia, the world’s two largest oil exporters, don’t see a peak until 2050 at the earliest.

Others point out that a few years ago all the talk was of a peak in supply. Then new technologies unlocked fresh production, notably from shale formations in the U.S. “I’m very skeptical about peak oil demand,” says Bob McNally, a former White House energy expert and founder of Rapidan Group, a consulting firm. “The next big surprise is when we reach the peak of  ‘peak demand’ talk and people realize that consumption continues to rise.”

Short-term trends back the view that peak oil consumption is a long way off. Last year global demand growth was 1.6 million barrels a day, above the 10-year average of 1.1 million.

Still, oil companies need only to look at the electricity sector for clues about how quickly technology can disrupt an industry. The U.K., for instance, marked a significant milestone this year: a 24-hour period in which not a single power plant burned coal, a first  in 200 years. Despite its famously rainy weather, Britain at times gets 10 percent to 20 percent of its electricity from solar photovoltaic panels. Technology, some executives say, is the wild card. “The pace at which electric cars will be adopted could be surprising,” says Francesco Starace, CEO of Enel SpA, one of the largest utilities in Europe.

Philip Verleger, an energy consultant, thinks oil majors and oil-exporting countries are confronting a similar situation to the likes of Kodak, Polaroid, and Encyclopedia Britannica. “Sadly, these seem destined to make the same mistakes,” he says. —With assistance from Jack Farchy

 

$1 billion project of Dubai’s Largest Indoor Theme Park

Of all the achievements that Dubai could claim to have realised since or after the formation of the United Arab Emirates, is this semi-loony $1 billion project of Dubai’s Largest Indoor Theme Park that is not really such a loony one.  It may however seem so at first glance but at a closer look, the city has dramatically changed since dredging of what is called its “creek”, that is a finger of the Gulf sea water coming into the desert shore land.  What followed after that is a succession of more and more amazing developments as decidedly helped by the unprecedentedly ginormous inflow of petrodollars and the accompanying expatriates to service them. 

It would be interesting to follow up on the current Qatar crisis as intimated in our Qatar crisis impacts on the rest of the MENA region and its direct effect on such a project.

Of all the achievements that Dubai could claim to have realised since or after the formation of the United Arab Emirates, is this semi-loony $1 billion project of Dubai’s Largest Indoor Theme Park that is not really such a loony one.  It may however seem so at first glance but at a closer look, the city has dramatically changed since dredging of what is called its “creek”, that is a finger of the Gulf sea water coming into the desert shore land.  What followed after that is a succession of more and more amazing developments as decidedly helped by the unprecedentedly ginormous inflow of petrodollars and the accompanying expatriates to service them. 
It would be interesting to follow up on the current Qatar crisis as intimated in our Qatar crisis impacts on the rest of the MENA region and its direct effect on such a project.
We feature this article of India Times written by Anjali Bisaria and published on July 8, 2017. 

Dubai’s Largest Indoor Theme Park Costs $1 Billion & Is As Big As 28 American Football Fields

When it comes to building the world’s ‘firsts’ buildings, hotels, or artificial islands, trust Dubai to be ahead of the game, all the damn time!

For Dubai is now home to the globe’s first largest indoor theme park – IMG Worlds of Adventure. Sprawled across 1.5 million square feet with a capacity to hold 30,000 visitors at a time, the $1 billion theme park threw open its doors on August 31, 2016, reports The Independent.  

IMG WORLDS OF ADVENTURE

The size of the theme park equals 28 American football fields which also houses a 12-screen cinema complex with IMAX screen. Its opulence is Dubai’s yet another promise of becoming the country’s entertainment capital.

And by 2019, IMG Worlds of Adventures is expected to see a rise in its revenues by 78% to $837 million!

IMG WORLDS OF ADVENTURE

The park is divided into four zones – MARVEL, Cartoon Network, Lost Valley – Dinosaur Adventure, and IMG Boulevard. There are 22 rides and attractions including the Velociraptor roller-coaster that speeds up to 100 km/h in 2.5 seconds.

IMG WORLDS OF ADVENTURE

IMG WORLDS OF ADVENTURE

Apart from this, visitors can check out 25 shops and 28 restaurants and bars with prices soaring through the sky. Imagine buying a pen worth 115,000 dirhams, i.e., $31,300!

A land that also sees soaring temperatures, this indoor theme park is both a respite and a delight.

 ANJALI BISARIA

JULY 08, 2017

More Plastic than Fish in the Sea by 2050

According to The Guardian, there will be “More plastic than fish in the sea by 2050, per Ellen MacArthur who elaborating, adds that “One refuse truck’s-worth of plastic is dumped into the sea every minute, and the situation is getting worse.”

More than a year later on, The Telegraph  published on May 16, 2017 this article on the nocive spread of plastic material debris in its widest range that are the drinking bottle and the shopping bag.  The paper wondered in this article (excerpted below). . .

Why a tiny British island in the Pacific has 38 million pieces of plastic rubbish on its beaches

When researchers travelled to a tiny, uninhabited island in the middle of the Pacific Ocean, they were astonished to find an estimated 38 million pieces of trash washed up on the beaches.

Almost all of the garbage they found on Henderson

According to The Guardian, there will be More Plastic than Fish in the Sea by 2050 per Ellen MacArthur who elaborating, adds that “One refuse truck’s-worth of plastic is dumped into the sea every minute, and the situation is getting worse.”
More than a year later on, The Telegraph  published on May 16, 2017 this article on the nocive spread of plastic material debris in its widest range that are the drinking bottle and the shopping bag.  The paper wondered in this article (excerpted below). . .

Why a tiny British island in the Pacific has 38 million pieces of plastic rubbish on its beaches

When researchers travelled to a tiny, uninhabited island in the middle of the Pacific Ocean, they were astonished to find an estimated 38 million pieces of trash washed up on the beaches.

Almost all of the garbage they found on Henderson Island was made from plastic. There were toy soldiers, dominos, toothbrushes and hundreds of hardhats of every shape, size and color.

The researchers say the density of trash was the highest recorded anywhere in the world, despite Henderson Island’s extreme remoteness. The island is located about halfway between New Zealand and Chile and is recognised as a UNESCO world heritage site.

Jennifer Lavers, a research scientist at Australia’s University of Tasmania, was lead author of the report, which was published Tuesday in “Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.”  Read more on the original document.
Meanwhile, thousands of miles away from any sea, ocean shore, a man took on the job to re-use some of the freely handed-out and empty water bottles.  This article of Huffington Post Maghreb was published in French on June 27, 2017; a translated excerpt is proposed together with some pictures.

In the Sahara, a refugee built houses from plastic bottles

HuffPost  |  Par Sarah Ruiz-Grossman

Publication: 26/06/2017 16h33 CEST Mis à jour: 27/06/2017 13h13 CEST

In a refugee camp in the Sahara desert, a man makes more sustainable homes in the face of difficult weather conditions. To do this, he uses garbage.

Tateh Lehbib Breica, a Sahrawi refugee living in a camp in Tindouf, Algeria, builds houses for other refugees from plastic bottles filled with sand, as we can see in this video posted on Facebook by the High Commissioner of the United Nations (UNHCR). Read more on the original document.

 

Video published by WEF (https://youtu.be/gg_BeXeBXV4)

Solar Power Plants for North Africa

After Morocco’s ambitious but almost wholly concretised plan of a vast Solar Power Plant predicted at the time to be a Hard Act for Africa to follow, here is Tunisia coming onto the scene with its rather modest plan so as to reinforce the Solar Power Plants for North Africa

An article of Renewablesnow published this piece of information that was believed worth republishing on this site.

Tunisia sets two deadlines for 210 MW renewable energy tender

June 22 (Renewables Now) – Tunisia’s Ministry for Energy, Mines and Renewable energies has issued a calendar with two deadlines for a tender calling for the supply of 210 MW of electricity generation capacity from wind and solar photovoltaics.

Bidders are expected to submit offers by noon on November 15, 2017, at the latest for 140 MW of the capacity . . . . .

After Morocco’s ambitious but almost wholly concretised plan of a vast Solar Power Plant predicted at the time to be a Hard Act for Africa to follow, here is Tunisia coming onto the scene with its rather modest plan so as to reinforce the Solar Power Plants for North Africa
An article of Renewablesnow published this piece of information that was believed worth republishing on this site.

Tunisia sets two deadlines for 210 MW renewable energy tender

June 22 (Renewables Now) – Tunisia’s Ministry for Energy, Mines and Renewable energies has issued a calendar with two deadlines for a tender calling for the supply of 210 MW of electricity generation capacity from wind and solar photovoltaics.

Bidders are expected to submit offers by noon on November 15, 2017, at the latest for 140 MW of the capacity.

Wind capacity bids will be accepted in two batches. The first batch will seek bids with a total capacity of up to 60 MW and up to 30 MW per project. The second batch will seek smaller bids of up to 10 MW in capacity (up to 5 per project).

Wind bids for up to 70 MW will be tendered by November and another 70 MW will be tendered by August 15, 2018.

In photovoltaics, bids split into two batches as well. Both with a deadline on November 15, 2017. Again, the first batch will gather bids for up to 60 MW in capacity with 10 MW max capacity per project. The second batch will tender up to 10 MW with a 1 MW cap per project.

More information about the tender can be obtained via e-mail to ipper.autorisation@energy-mines.gov.tn .

A couple of months ago, Reuters reported that Algeria as per its Minister of Energy will invite bids to build three solar power plants.

It plans indeed to invite bids for the construction of three photo-voltaic solar power plants with a total capacity of about 4,000 MW.  The bids have yet to be made public; knowing that a new government has just been sworn into office and that any action would presumably take longer than first planned.  The former government said in a statement days before its unpredicted departure that the ministry would issue tenders for the three projects, without giving a specific timeline.

The three plants would help meet Algeria’s domestic demand for power and allow for exports of power to neighbouring countries, a source at the Energy Ministry told Reuters.

Several financial institutions, including the French Agency for Development and the African Bank for Development, have shown interest in funding the project, according to the Energy Ministry, calling it a “multi-billion dollar” project.

Sonatrach, Algeria’s giant state oil and gas firm, would fund about 50 percent of the cost of the three plants, a Sonatrach official said.

Last year, Italy’s ENI signed a deal with SONATRACH to develop renewable projects in Algeria.

U.S. firm General Electric had also shown interest in the solar plants with planned capacity of 4,000 MW, the Energy Ministry sources said.

Hit by a crash in revenues due to lower global oil prices, Algeria has been doubling efforts to increase gas exports after several years of stagnant production. Several new gas fields have come on stream in the past year.

According to Clean Technica, Algeria has set a long-term target to have 13,500 megawatts of solar PV power capacity by 2030. Thus, additional solar power tenders can be expected in the future. The North African country also plans to set up 5,000 megawatts of wind energy and 2,000 megawatts of concentrated solar power capacity by 2030.

Meanwhile, Dutch trains now run entirely on renewable energy these last days whilst Germany broke renewables record with coal and nuclear power responsible for only 15% of its total energy requirements.  And a plan to power Europe via massive solar arrays in the North African desert is more than a mirage but less than a reality reported by Lisa Friedman, ClimateWire on June 20, 2011 on Scientific American .

 

 

Armenia and Turkey 2 neighbouring countries of the MENA

Robert Fisk once said in The Independent  of Tuesday March 9, 2010 the following:  Jemal Pasha, one of the architects of the 1915 genocide, and – alas – Turkey’s first feminist, Halide Edip Adivar, helped to run this orphanage of terror in which Armenian children were systematically deprived of their Armenian identity and given new Turkish names, forced to become Muslims and beaten savagely if they were heard to speak Armenian. The Antoura Lazarist college priests have recorded how its original Lazarist teachers were expelled by the Turks and how Jemal Pasha presented himself at the front door with his German bodyguard after a muezzin began calling for Muslim prayers once the statue of the Virgin Mary had been taken from the belfry. Nowadays, would both Armenia and Turkey 2 neighbouring countries of the MENA live side by side and transcend the past.

Always on the same subject, The Economist of June 26, 2017 published this article on possibly one of the most dramatically lived trauma that the Middle East ever experienced and did never since then get over it.  Amongst all that is currently going on in this part of the world, it is worth mentioning that after all happy ending such as Reverse diaspora does exist and this is the story with our compliments to the author and thanks to the publisher.

Robert Fisk once said in The Independent  of Tuesday March 9, 2010 the following:  Jemal Pasha, one of the architects of the 1915 genocide, and – alas – Turkey’s first feminist, Halide Edip Adivar, helped to run this orphanage of terror in which Armenian children were systematically deprived of their Armenian identity and given new Turkish names, forced to become Muslims and beaten savagely if they were heard to speak Armenian. The Antoura Lazarist college priests have recorded how its original Lazarist teachers were expelled by the Turks and how Jemal Pasha presented himself at the front door with his German bodyguard after a muezzin began calling for Muslim prayers once the statue of the Virgin Mary had been taken from the belfry. Nowadays, would both Armenia and Turkey 2 neighbouring countries of the MENA live side by side and transcend the past.
Always on the same subject, The Economist of June 26, 2017 published this article on possibly one of the most dramatically lived trauma that the Middle East ever experienced and did never since then get over it.  Amongst all that is currently going on in this part of the world, it is worth mentioning that after all happy ending such as Reverse diaspora does exist and this is the story with our compliments to the author and thanks to the publisher.

Syria’s Armenians are fleeing to their ancestral homeland

The war may bring an end to a Christian minority’s century-long story

Europe

WHEN war broke out in Syria in 2011, some of the wealthier families from the country’s Christian Armenian minority decamped to Yerevan, the Armenian capital, where they rented luxury flats on the city’s Northern Avenue. It felt, some would later say, as though they were on holiday. The government allotted them space in a local school, where Syrian teachers who had fled as refugees continued to instruct their children using the Syrian curriculum. It took some time for it to dawn on them that they might never go home.

Syria’s six-year-old civil war has forced more than 5m of its citizens to seek refuge outside their country. In 2015-16 hundreds of thousands trekked through the Balkans, seeking safety in Europe. But hardly any of Syria’s Armenian minority took this route. Instead, many went to Armenia. With its own population shrunken by emigration (falling from 3.6m in 1991 to 3m today), Armenia was happy to welcome as many Syrian Armenians—most of them educated, middle class and entrepreneurial—as would come.

Before the war some 90,000 ethnic Armenians lived in Syria, two-thirds of them in Aleppo. Many were descended from ancestors who had fled their homeland in 1915, escaping systematic Ottoman massacres and ethnic cleansing. For most of them, the civil war has put an end to a century-long story. Hrair Aguilan, a 61-year-old businessman, invested his life savings in a furniture factory in Aleppo just before the war, only to see it destroyed. Now he is in Yerevan to stay. “It lasted a hundred years. It is finished,” says Mr Aguilan. “There is no future for Christians in the Middle East.”

No more than 30,000 Syrian Armenians are believed to remain in Syria. Many dispersed to Lebanon, Canada, Turkey, the Persian Gulf states and elsewhere. The rest, up to 30,000, went to what they regard as the motherland. (Some have since moved on to other countries.) The wealthy, who found it easy to move, came first. Others tried to wait out the war in Syria, fleeing only once their means were exhausted. They arrived in Armenia with nothing.

Vartan Oskanian, a former foreign minister of Armenia who was born in Aleppo, says many of the refugees have started small businesses. In Syria, members of the Armenian minority tended to be skilled professionals or artisans; they were known as jewellers, doctors, engineers and industrialists. Native Armenians are delighted by the restaurants opened by the newcomers, who have brought their much spicier cuisine to a country where food (and almost everything else) has long been influenced by the bland flavours of Russia.

Almost all of the refugees have ended up in Yerevan, apart from some 30 families from a farming area, who were resettled in Nagorno-Karabakh, an Armenian-held territory that is disputed with Azerbaijan. Some young men who had fought in the Syrian army have volunteered to serve on the front lines of that conflict, but many more young Syrian Armenians hold off on asking for Armenian citizenship so that they do not have to do military service.

Vasken Yacoubian, who once ran a construction company in Damascus, now heads the Armenian branch of the Armenian General Benevolent Union (AGBU), a global charity. He says refugees are still arriving from Syria, if no longer in large numbers. A few have even gone back, especially those with property (if only to try to sell it). Some Syrian Armenians argue that they have a duty to return: their diaspora forms an important branch of Armenian civilisation, and must be preserved.

Yet Mr Oskanian says those who have returned to Syria see little future for the community there. In Syria, Armenians have staunchly backed the regime of Bashar al-Assad, which has protected them from persecution by Muslim extremists. But that government controls only a portion of Syria’s territory, and Mr Assad’s fate in any peace deal is uncertain. Meanwhile officials at Armenia’s Ministry of the Diaspora, which was caught unprepared by the influx of Syrians, are taking no chances. They are making contingency plans in case a new conflict erupts in Lebanon, sending thousands of Lebanese Armenians their way.