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French Armenia

26 December 2008
Statue of Charles Aznavour in Gyumri, Armenia
Arman Musikyan on Wikimedia Commons

On 26 December 2008, the president of Armenia signed a decree that granted citizenship of the Republic of Armenia to the famous French-Armenian performer Charles Aznavour. France is the largest center of Armenian settlement in Europe, with Paris as a haven for Armenian expatriate revolutionaries and intellectuals in the 1920s and 1930s. The growing instability in the Middle East in the 1970s brought new waves of immigration to France, particularly from Persian- and Lebanese-Armenians. In the 1980s the Armenian community was estimated at 200.000. Like many other French-Armenians, Aznavour (born 1924 as Shahnour Varinag Aznavourian) is very active in the pursuit of Armenian interests, for instance in the aftermath of the 1988 earthquake.