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About Armenia

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Geography

Armenia is in the southwestern part of the Caucasus, south of Georgia, West of Azerbaijan, North of Iran and East of Turkey. Armenia's territory is 29,800 sq. km (11,490 sq. miles) comparable with the territory of Belgium. It is a mountainous, land locked country in Southwestern Asia. Most of Armenia's territory ranges from 1000 to 2500 meters above sea level. Highest point: Mt. Aragats, 13,419 ft (4,090 m); lowest point: along Debed River, 1,280 ft (390 m). The greatest extent is 360 km. Arable land accounts for 17% of land use; forested 12%; meadows and pastures 30%; arid land 18%, with the balance being mountainous terrain.

Climate

The climate of Armenia is highland continental, dry with four seasons. Temperatures can vary considerably between seasons. The summer is generally pleasant reaching 25oC, though in the Ararat valley temperatures can climb to 40oC. Winters are cold with temperatures dipping to -5oC in Yerevan, and colder in the Ararat Valley (-30oC) and the Lake Arpi area (-46oC). Annual precipitation for the country as a whole averages 550 millimeters. The best time to visit Armenia is in spring or autumn.

Monthly average temperatures (Celsius/Fahrenheit):

January -3.7/25 February -2.3/28 March 4.0/39 April 11.1/52 May 15.9/61 June 20.1/70 July 24.0/75 August 24.2/76 September 20.0/68 October 13.9/57 November 6.2/43 December -1.2/30

Government

Armenia is a Parliamentary Republican state. The president is elected in national elections to serve a five-year term. Executive power is exercised through a cabinet made up of the prime minister and other ministers. The current president is Serge Sargsyan who was elected in 2008. According to the constitution, legislative power is exercised through the National Assembly, a 131-member body elected to serve a four-year term. Armenia is divided into 11 regions (marz), with Yerevan considered as one independent region. The president is responsible for guaranteeing the independence of the judicial system, which is made up of three levels of general competence courts - primary courts, review courts and the Court of Appeal. The Constitutional Court decides whether the decisions of the National Assembly, President and Government are constitutional.

Population

The population of Armenia is about 3.216 million. The capital Yerevan is home for 1.250 million people. Density is 325/sq. miles (126/sq. km), 68% of the population is urban and consists of the following ethnic groups: Armenian 95%, Russian 2%, others (Kurdish, Yesdi, Jewish, Assyrian, Greeks, Ouds, Gypsy). Life expectancy is 75 for females, 68 for males. The literacy rate is 98%. Armenians are among Europe's oldest and most distinct ethnic groups, having inhabited the area east and south of the Black Sea since the seventh century BC. Both the Armenian alphabet and the Armenian Church date back to the fourth century and remain substantially unchanged today.

Religion

The majority of Armenians are adherents of Christianity, 93% of who belong to the Armenian Apostolic Church. Minority Christian denominations in Armenia include Russian Orthodox, Armenian and Latin rite Catholics, Protestants, Greek Orthodox and Jewish. There is a small community of Muslims. In 2001 Armenia celebrated the 1700th anniversary of adoption of Christianity as a state religion. Freedom of conscience is guaranteed by the constitution and, in general, Armenians are very tolerant of people of other faiths.

Language

Eastern Armenian is the official language of the country and considered the native language by 96% of the population. It is distinct within the Indo-European family of languages and has its own unique script re-created in the fifth century AD by Mesrop Mashtots. Ancient Armenian is thought to have originated from Sanskrit and Zend. English poet Byron was one of the few Westerns to master the Armenian language and to compile an English-Armenian dictionary. Russian predominates as the second language, although, as a consequence of Armenia's integration into the world economy, the use of English, French and German is on the rise. Western Armenian is also spoken. Russian and English are the most widely spoken languages following Armenian.

Currency

Currency exchange offices can be found at hotels and various places in Yerevan. The Dram is divided into 100 Luma. Notes are issued in denominations of 10, 20, 50, 100, 200, 500, 1.000, 5.000, 20.000, 50.000 and 100.000 drams. Luma is not currently in circulation. The US dollar and Euro as well as other currencies can be exchanged freely at local banks and licensed money exchange offices. The recent legislation limits the advertising of prices in foreign currencies but only in Armenian Drams. There are no exchange controls on either local or foreign currency and currency may be freely remitted. Physical cash in excess of the equivalent of 10,000 USD requires a document that attests to it having been obtained by legal means. Remittances are not restricted. Traveler's checks may be obtained and cashed in a number of local banks. The credit card market is getting developed widely in Yerevan. Visa, MasterCard and Maestro are widely accepted as a form of payment.

Armenian diaspora

Armenians are spread out over the world (mainly due to Genocide 1915 in Turkey, political and economical reasons, etc.). The main communities include: Russia (2.200.000 Armenians) USA (1.200.000) France (450.000) Georgia (350.000) Ukraine (150.000) Poland (120.000) Turkey (80.000) Iran (80.000) Lebanon (80.000) Argentina (70.000) Syria (70.000) Uzbekistan (70.000) Canada (65.000) Bulgaria (50.000) Greece (45.000) Australia (40.000) Brazil (30.000) Germany (30.000) Belarus (30.000) Kazakhstan (25.000) Turkmenistan (20.000) UK (16.000) Israel (16.000) Uruguay (15.000) Hungary (15.000) Iraq (10.000) Netherlands (7.000) Belgium (7.000) Egypt (6.000) Sweden (6.000) Kuwait (5.000) Spain (5.000) Austria (4.000) Denmark (3.000) Italy (3.000), etc.

National holidays and memory days

  • 1, 2 January - New Year (non-working days)
  • 6 January - Armenian Christmas (non-working day)
  • 28 January – Day of Armenian Army (non-working day)
  • 7 April - Motherhood and Beauty Day
  • 24 April - 1915 Genocide Memorial Day
  • 9 May - Victory and Peace Day (non-working day)
  • 28 May – Republic Day (non-working day)
  • 5 July – Constitution Day (non-working day)
  • 21 September - Independence Day (non-working day)
  • 7 December - 1988 Earthquake Memorial Day
  • 31 December - New Year's Eve (non-working day)

Get in touch

19 Hrachya Kochar street, #39 Yerevan 0012, Republic of Armenia

Phone:
+374 10 22 94 48
Fax:
+374 10 32 06 08
E-mail:
linkaviacz@yahoo.com