|Preface Last Updated: 2/24/2004
Armenia is home to one of the world’s oldest and most durable
civilizations. Three thousand years of history tell a powerful tale
of conquest, foreign domination and resurgence. Throughout it all,
the country’s people have sustained a clear sense of national,
ethnic, and religious identity.
Part of the Soviet Union from 1921-1991, a newly independent
Armenia is working hard to fulfill the promise of democracy and a
market economy. The transition has been difficult. In addition to
the natural hardships faced by all command economies undergoing
reform, Armenia faces blockades and sanctions resulting from a
complex conflict with Azerbaijan over the Nagorno-Karabakh region.
Following independence Armenia was virtually without electric
power for two years. Its well-developed economy—one of the richest
in the Soviet Union—was simply crushed. Recovery has been slow.
Now, however, the worst is over. The dram, the national currency, is
stable. Petroleum and gas imports are flowing steadily. Moreover,
the power sector has been reorganized to dramatically improve
efficiency. As a result, consumers have steady, reliable electrical
With traditional resilience, the country is slowly climbing out
of an abyss, even though Armenia’s borders with Azerbaijan and
Turkey are closed. Although the traditional manufacturing base is
shattered, small and medium sized businesses are opening all over
the capital, and, to a lesser extent, in the regions. A wide variety
of consumer goods are available in local markets, kiosks and stores.
The metro is running; car traffic is rolling all day long. Much,
however, is contingent on a peaceful political resolution to the
volatile Nagorno-Karabakh situation.
Given this dramatic backdrop, Yerevan is an intensely busy post.
This is true now more than ever, as the U.S. Government’s emphasis
has shifted from humanitarian assistance to sustainable economic
development, and our bilateral engagement expands and deepens. The
Armenians, among the best-educated people in the entire CIS, are
competent and energetic. Personnel assigned to this post can expect
many real and exciting challenges at work. Moreover, given the very
real nature of the problems here there is a genuine sense of making
Lastly, given realistic expectations, living conditions for those
Foreign Service personnel assigned here—although not the Western
norm—are made safe and comfortable by a very capable, well-organized
and service-oriented General Services Organization. The amenities
will continue to improve as post looks forward to opening the New
Embassy Compound on the shore of Lake Yerevan in the spring of 2005.
The Host Country
Area, Geography, and Climate Last Updated: 11/29/2004 2:03 AM
Armenia is located in the South Caucus, at the intersection of
Europe and Asia. It covers a total land area of 29,800 square
kilometers, which is slightly larger than the state of Maryland.
Armenia is a landlocked country bordered by Azerbaijan, the
Azerbaijan-Naxcivan Enclave, Georgia, Iran and Turkey.
The climate is highland continental. It is dry, with an average of
550mm (21.6 inches) in annual rainfall. In the Ararat Valley, where
Yerevan is located, there is far less rain; with an average range of
from 200mm to 250mm (7.9 to 10 inches).
Seasonal extremes are pronounced in the Ararat Valley.
Temperatures can approach the record summer high of 42°C (107.6°F)
or plunge towards the record winter low of -30°C (-22°F). Mean
temperatures are more temperate, however. July readings give an
average high range of from 25°C (77°F) to 30°C (86°F). The January
low range averages from -5°C (23°F) to -7°C (19°F). Autumns are long
and golden; Armenia enjoys around 2700 hours of sunshine each year.
Drought is a perennial problem.
The country rests on a high mountainous plateau cut by fast flowing
rivers. The over-grazed hills boast little true forest, but many of
the steeper slopes are dressed with small shrubs and second growth.
Good soil is plentiful in the Ara River Basin, and sheltered valleys
across the country host pastures and prolific fruit orchards. The
scenery along the highways is often dramatic, with high mountains
shadowing green pastures ribboned with clear, cold streams.
Twenty-percent of Armenia’s land is given over to pasture and 17%
to agriculture. Three thousand and fifty square kilometers is under
At 4,096 meters, Mount Aragats is the highest point in the
The interesting geology consists mostly of young igneous and
volcanic rocks including obsidian. Armenia is honeycombed with
geologic faults and remains seismically active. The effects of a
severe earthquake centered in Spitak in 1988 are still being felt
socially and economically—particularly near the epicenter.
(See the Health and Medicine section for a discussion of the
precautions recommended for the hot dry climate and the possibility
Population Last Updated: 12/3/2004 3:27 AM
According to the October 2001 census, Armenia’s de facto population
is 3.002 million*. Roughly a third of the population, 1.09 million
people, lives in Yerevan. Over all two-thirds live in cities. Ten
percent of the population is over 65; sixty-five percent between the
ages of 15 and 64, and twenty-five percent are 14 or younger.
According to a breakdown of the ethnic distribution, in 2001 -
97.8 percent of the people were Armenian, 0.5 percent Russian, 1.3
percent Yezidi Kurd, and 1 percent Assyrians – making Armenia one of
the most homogenous countries in the world.
*NB: This represents the population present in country. The de
jure official number, counting those who work abroad but had
returned to Armenia within the year prior to the census, is 3.213
Armenians have their own highly distinctive alphabet and language.
Ninety-six percent of the people in the country speak Armenian,
while 40% of the population speak Russian as well. Armenia is
totally literate; 99% of the population can read and write.
Most adults in Yerevan can communicate in Russian. English is
increasing in popularity, but is rarely spoken with any fluency
outside of educated circles. Cyrillic script can still be seen on
many older street and building signs. Ninety-four percent of the
population claims membership in the Armenian Apostolic Church.
Caucasian hospitality is legendary and stems from ancient
tradition. Social gatherings center around sumptuous presentations
of course after course of elaborately prepared, well-seasoned (but
not spicy-hot) food. The host or hostess will often put morsels on a
guest’s plate whenever it is empty or fill his or her glass when it
gets low. After a helping or two it is acceptable to refuse politely
or, more simply, just leave a little uneaten food.
Armenia is by tradition a male-dominated society. Women moving
about alone should be careful about making eye contact or giving
friendly smiles to men. Indeed, women traveling or eating by
themselves are sometimes harassed without cause, mainly by groups of
men in cars who have been drinking. Violence against foreign women
in such situations is very rare, but it has occurred.
Ethnocentrism born of the country’s cohesive homogeneity and long
isolation occasionally causes problems for visitors. Light-haired or
fair-skinned people may receive unwanted attention, as may people of
African descent. Occasional acts of aggression are by no means
restricted to Americans, and it should be emphasized that virtually
all of this behavior comes from children or unruly teens.
Such belligerence appears to be the rare exception. As a rule
Armenians both young and old are cheerful, friendly and polite, more
curious than anything else. Americans are well regarded, in general.
On the whole, Armenia is considered very safe and people posted here
move about freely in both town and country, by day and/or by night.
Public Institutions Last Updated: 2/24/2004 3:52 AM
Armenia—“Hayastan” in Armenian—is a republic. On 5 July 1995 the
current constitution was adopted through a national referendum.
With the adoption of the constitution ten provinces plus the
capital were designated. They are as follows: Aragatsotn, Ararat,
Armavir, Gegharkunik, Lori, Kotayk, Shirak, Syunik, Tavush, and
Vayots Dzor, plus the capital city of Yerevan.
The head of state is the President, in whom much power is vested.
The head of government is the Prime Minister, who is appointed
and dismissed by the President. The President also appoints and
dismisses the members of the Government, as proposed by the Prime
Presidential and Parliamentary elections were both held in 2003.
Incumbent President Robert Kocharian was re-elected in a poll
criticized for irregularities by international observers.
Pro-government parties also retained a majority of seats in the
The unicameral legislative branch is known as the National
Assembly. There are 131 MPs; 75 are elected by proportional (party)
list, and 56 from majoritarian (single mandate) districts.
Currently the ruling coalition is composed of the Republican Party,
the Country of Law Party, and the Dashnaksutyun Party.
There are several opposition parties, some of which have
coalesced into the Justice Bloc. The National Accord Party is the
other prominent opposition group.
The country’s legal apparatus is founded on a system of civil
law. Currently, the National Assembly is very busy passing
legislation in virtually every field. A new Criminal Code was passed
and took effect in 2003, replacing Soviet-era laws.
The judicial branch consists of a three-level court system. The
highest court is the Court of Cassation, and there are two
lower-level courts: first instance courts try most cases, with a
right of appeal to the Court of Appeals, and then to the Court of
Cassation. The Constitutional Court rules on the conformity of
legislation with the Constitution, approves international
agreements, and decides election-related legal questions. Judges are
nominated based on the scores they receive on a multiple-choice
exam, which tests their legal acumen, and on interviews with the
Minister of Justice. Once nominated, new judges are by the Council
of Justice and by the President. Judges are subject to review by the
President, through the Council of Justice, after 3 years; unless
they are found guilty of malfeasance, they are tenured until the age
Many international organizations are represented in Armenia. The
United Nations is very active, as is the EU and some national
governments. In addition, there are scores of non-governmental
organizations. These serve a variety of needs, ranging from
humanitarian aid to democratic as well as economic development.
A cease-fire has held in Nagorno-Karabakh, a predominantly
Armenian region within Azerbaijan, since 1994. The unresolved
confrontation, which has resulted in closed borders with Azerbaijan
and Turkey, hinders Armenia’s full economic development. Even with
this encumbrance, however, Armenia has been able to accomplish
double-digit growth rates. (See section on Commerce and Industry for
Lastly, no discussion of public institutions would be complete
without mentioning the vast Armenian Diaspora, both in the U.S. and
Europe. It has become a bridge to the outside world for many
Armenians and influences the direction of the country with resources
Arts, Science, and Education Last Updated: 11/29/2004 5:03 AM
Yerevan is the country’s intellectual, as well as its
administrative, center. The American University of Armenia, Yerevan
State University, the State Medical Institute and the State
Engineering University are located in the capital – providing the
foundation of the country’s higher education system.
The American University of Armenia has graduate programs in
Business and Law, among others. The institution owes its existence
to the combined efforts of the Government of Armenia, The Armenian
General Benevolent Union, USAID, and the Boalt Hall School of Law at
the University of California at Berkeley.
The extension programs and the library at AUA form a new focal
point for English-language intellectual life in the city. Many of
the country’s most successful young entrepreneurs are graduates of
As might be expected from so literate a society, Yerevan is a city
of culture. The Matenadaran Library contains a priceless collection
of ancient manuscripts, chiefly Armenian, but also Persian, Arab,
Roman, and Greek.
The city’s National Art Gallery has more than 16,000 works that
date back to the middle ages. It houses paintings by many European
masters. The Modern Art Museum, The Children’s Picture Gallery, and
the Saryan Museum are only a few of the other noteworthy collections
of fine art on display in Yerevan. Moreover, many private galleries
are in operation, with many more opening each year. They feature
rotating exhibitions and sales.
The world-class Armenian Philharmonic Orchestra performs at the
beautifully refurbished city Opera House, where you can also attend
a full season of opera. In addition, there are several chamber
ensembles highly regarded for their musicianship, including the
National Chamber Orchestra of Armenia and the Serenade Orchestra.
Classical music can also be heard at one of several smaller venues,
including the State Music Conservatory and the Chamber Orchestra
Jazz is popular, especially in the summer when live performances
are a regular occurrence at one of the city’s many outdoor cafes.
Also, there are many drama theaters in Yerevan hosting plays in
Armenian, Russian, and occasionally English.
Yerevan’s Vernisage (arts and crafts market), close to Republic
Square, bustles with hundreds of vendors selling a variety of
crafts, many of superb workmanship, on Saturdays and Sundays and few
weekdays (though the selection is much reduced). The market offers
woodcarving, antiques, fine lace, and the hand-knotted wool carpets
and kilms that are a Caucus specialty. Obsidian, which is found
locally, is crafted into an amazing assortment of jewelry and
ornamental objects. Armenian gold smithery enjoys a long and
distinguished tradition, populating one corner of the market with a
selection of gold items. Soviet relics and souvenirs of recent
Russian manufacture—nesting dolls, watches, enamel boxes etc.—are
also available at the Vernisage.
Across from the Opera House, a popular art market fills another
city park on the weekends.
Armenia’s long history as a crossroads of the ancient world has
resulted in a landscape with innumerable fascinating archeological
sites to explore. Medieval, Iron Age, Bronze Age and even Stone Age
sites are all within a few hours drive from the city. All but the
most spectacular remain virtually undiscovered, allowing you to view
churches and fortresses in their original settings.
In Soviet times Armenia boasted very high numbers of scientists and
technical specialists – a staggering amount in proportion to its
population. Many of the USSR’s most important facilities and
institutes were located here. Much of the basic research has
stopped, however, due to the country’s impoverished condition
Commerce and Industry Last Updated: 12/3/2004 3:28 AM
Armenia's economy collapsed with the fall of the Soviet Union and
the closure of its borders with Turkey and Azerbaijan following the
dispute over Nagorno-Karabakh. After recent years of strong
recovery, the Armenian economy is now equal to 73.6 percent of its
size in 1990. The Armenian government has made great progress in
moving Armenia from a centralized state with a planned economy to a
democratic society with a free market economic system. Privatization
of key industries, especially in the energy sector, has ended the
chronic shortages Armenia experienced in the early nineties. Through
privatization the country has modernized its telecommunications
system, although demand still exceeds capacity and there remains
much work to be done to provide adequate and affordable
Parliament has been implementing an ambitious program of reforms
aimed at restructuring the banking and financial services sector,
liberalizing trade, attracting foreign investment through improved
tax and customs regimes, establishing a western accounting system,
and meeting the obligations of its recent accession to the WTO.
Armenia has improved land transportation routes to its neighboring
trade partners, Georgia and Iran, although borders with Turkey and
Azerbaijan remain closed due to the Nagorno-Karabakh dispute.
Largely due to the help of international development assistance
and foreign direct investment by Diaspora Armenians, the economy has
grown on average 6 percent a year since 1994, with exceptionally
strong growth of 12.9 percent in 2002 and 13.9 percent in 2003. This
progress and fiscal stability has, in turn, earned Armenia continued
support from international institutions. The IMF, the World Bank,
the EBRD, as well as other financial institutions and foreign
countries have extended considerable grants and loans to Armenia,
with total grants and loans to Armenia from 1993-2002 exceeding $2
billion. International aid has sought to reduce the budget deficit,
keep the local currency stable, stimulate private businesses,
develop the energy, agricultural, food processing, land and air
transport and social sectors, as well as continue reconstruction in
the area damaged by the 1988 earthquake.
The U.S., the EU and the United Nations are the main providers of
assistance to Armenia. In FY 2002, the United States extended $119
million in assistance to Armenia.
The long-term resolution of the country's economic problems will
depend on resolving the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict and establishing
diplomatic and trade relations with Turkey and Azerbaijan. A
settlement would increase the country's industrial output and allow
Armenia to fully utilize its highly educated human resources by
expanding regional trade links with Azerbaijan, Turkey and the
In the years since independence, services (telecommunications) and
agriculture have consistently been Armenia's largest economic
sectors. However, other sectors have driven Armenia's recent robust
growth. Output in the construction sector--largely due to foreign
aid and investment--accounts for the lion's share of domestic
growth. Export-oriented polishing of diamonds stands out as
Armenia's fastest growing industry and biggest earner of foreign
currency. Perhaps because Armenia's relative isolation makes
transport costs of other goods prohibitively expensive, the import
and export of diamonds for finishing accounts for more than half of
Armenia's external economy. There is also a significant and growing
Prospective on Development:
Despite Armenia's robust growth, income disparities remain wide.
This is partly attributable to the government's poor record in tax
revenue collection, which has prevented it from raising levels of
social expenditure. Wage rates vary widely between public and
private sectors. Although real wages rose by more than 10 percent in
2003, many households continue to rely on domestic agricultural
production and private transfers from relatives working abroad to
meet their consumption needs.
The poverty level remains high, although declining: the number of
households living below the nationally defined poverty line fell
from 55.1 percent in 1999 to 50.9 percent in 2001. The government's
Poverty Reduction Strategy projects gradual reduction in the poverty
level to below 20 percent of households by 2015.
Although the economic recovery has led to an increase in
employment in those sectors that have benefited from foreign
investment, overall employment has stagnated at just under 1.3
million over the past four years. Using International Labour
Organization methodology (as opposed to official statistics) the
unemployment rate is 32 percent. A major development challenge for
Armenia's future is to ensure that a greater share of Armenians
enjoy the benefits of growth.
Automobiles Last Updated: 11/29/2004 2:16 AM
A car is very desirable, and though not absolutely a necessity in
Yerevan, the New Embassy Compound will be difficult to get to
without one. Most housing will be beyond walking range of the NEC,
and there are no safe public transportation options for the commute.
In general, taxis are affordable ($1-2 a ride) and a clean and
well-run metro line operates in the city center, but not close
enough to the NEC to use for commuting. Most people at post have
their own vehicle.
Travel outside the city is made much safer and more convenient by
having a car. Rentals are expensive, and there are very limited
inter-city public transportation options. Several travel agencies
plan regular tours, and a car can be hired to get you where you need
to go, but with varying quality and at a low level of safety.
Those wishing to import a POV should bear in mind that parts can
be hard to obtain locally for American cars, although some parts for
popular US models, like Jeep Cherokees, are available. High-end
German cars like Mercedes can also be serviced here, as can most
Japanese models. The mechanics here are highly skilled, inexpensive,
and quick to finish the job if the parts are available. Car theft is
not a much of a problem in Yerevan, but stereo theft is. Removable
faceplates and other stereo security systems are advised.
Four-wheel drive is needed to get out to all the great
archeological sites, and is handy in winter, but a sturdy standard
car will do for Yerevan and many other destinations. There have been
substantial improvements to the roadways over the past two years,
earning Armenia the reputation for having the best roads in the
Buying a car locally is an option. Currently, a new Lada Niva (a
tough little Russian-made 4X4) can be had for around $7000. Small
Russian-made sedans, like Ladas and Zhigulis, run a little less.
Used BMWs and Mercedes are also affordable. In general, used car
prices are extremely variable. Buyers will undoubtedly need the help
of a local person to shop Yerevan’s weekend auto market where new
and used models are sold. It is also possible to import a car from
Dubai or Russia duty-free.
Russian made cars are easier and cheaper to repair, and are easy
to resell. The bad news is that with a Russian-made car the chances
that repairs will be needed are greatly increased. It should also be
noted that these cars are well below US safety standards.
A legacy vehicle from someone leaving post is one of the best
options – email post before you arrive.
Registration and licensing for imported POV’s is easy if you have
clear proof of ownership, therefore, title and registration are
essential. There are no restrictions on what kind of car you can
There are legal pitfalls if you buy locally, but they are easily
avoided. If you buy a car here make sure to check that the
registration (the technical passport) matches the vehicle in both
the engine number and the body number. Also, get a dated bill of
sale that names the price and the parties concerned. This may be
hand written. Once the title is transferred into your name by the
local authorities— a complex process that involves paying a three
percent transfer tax on the value of the vehicle—GSO can handle the
matter of getting plates from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs that
are appropriate to your diplomatic standing. It is easy to find
someone willing to help you with this process from within Embassy
community – cars are a favorite hobby.
Repairs: The US Mission uses a short list of local mechanics with
whom we have an established track record to service official
vehicles. Most Embassy personnel use them for their POVs as well.
Again, if you decide to bring a POV, import expendable items like
belts, filters, brake pads, motor oil, and brake fluid along with
it. With your consumables, send in any special fluids and enough oil
to support several changes. Although all of these parts can be
obtained here, they are of variable quality and name brands are
sometimes counterfeited and substandard product substituted. A
factory manual is also not a bad idea.
The Internet offers access to almost any part needed or you might
want to prearrange a mailing and payment procedure with an auto
parts supplier for unforeseen items. Keep in mind the restrictions
of mailing via pouch, and realize that you will be waiting 2-4 weeks
for that part to arrive.
Fuel: There is no unleaded fuel at all in Armenia so it is best
for POVs to be modified to accept leaded fuel. Remove the catalytic
converter if you want to prevent this expensive part from being
clogged and ruined. A permission letter from EPA is required if this
is done in the US, and can be easily obtained with help from the
administrative offices in Washington. It can also be done at post,
but should be done immediately, as one tank of leaded gas will kill
the converter. The fuel filler neck is usually not a problem, but
can also be replaced with one designed for taking in leaded fuel. It
is a convenient modification, but is not a necessity. Since US
automakers export to countries where leaded gas is the norm, this
part is available for many cars.
The “Premium” or “Super” gas available in Yerevan is of
sufficient octane and high enough quality that you will notice
little drop off in performance or engine health.
Gasoline is available throughout the country from a growing
number of modern gas stations. The further you are from Yerevan, the
more broadly they are scattered, and rural gas stops can be a trip
back in time. In an emergency, fuel is always nearby, sold in liter
bottles from roadside stands, though roadside fuel is variable and
occasionally poor enough to cause problems. Gasoline currently costs
about $0.80 for premium gas per liter, or $0.65 for regular gas. A
medium sized SUV will take around 20,000 dram worth of fuel per tank
Yerevan’s streets, though improving, are often rough going off the
main avenues. A car that can handle potholes (i.e. with clearance
and a good suspension) makes driving less harrowing. The national
highways outside of Yerevan are mostly in good condition. Main
routes are usually well surfaced enough to allow for moderate
cruising speeds with occasional bad spots. Secondary routes are
sometimes quite degraded. Ongoing construction, slowing traffic in
the short term, is positive evidence of the Diaspora funded march
toward better infrastructure.
The road culture can be aggressive and undisciplined. Drivers
must remain alert for any possible eventuality at all times.
Constant jaywalking and poor lighting at night add to the danger in
cities and villages. Yerevan’s roads are a place for skilled,
confident drivers with quick reflexes.
Local Transportation Last Updated: 11/26/2004 2:49 AM
Public surface transportation in Yerevan is crowded and the
equipment is old. There are buses, trolley buses and even a
funicular. Taxis are available and reasonably priced. Two dollars is
the average fare for a ride within the downtown area. The taxis are
not metered so passengers must negotiate, so expect to pay a slight
premium if you can’t negotiate in Armenian or Russian. Tips are
appreciated, but are not expected.
There are “Marshrutki” (mini bus) taxis as well. They run
specified routes at varied rates ranging from 50 to 200 drams (10 to
40 cents). Operation and maintenance of these vehicles can be
questionable - RSO discourages American personnel from using them.
A limited metro line operates in Yerevan that is generally clean,
timely and uncrowded. The price of a token is 50 drams (eight
There are inter-city buses and a very few trains. The trains are
unreliable and are not used by US-Mission employees. Most of the
expatriate community move about by private car, on foot, or, on
occasion, by charter bus.
Regional Transportation Last Updated: 11/29/2004 2:17 AM
There are no regular commercial flights between cities in
Armenia. Passenger train service is sub-standard. For example, the
train to Tbilisi takes 14-16 hours, runs an erratic schedule, and is
uncomfortable. (The same ride by car takes from five to six hours.)
Most internal long-distance travel is accomplished by car or bus.
Strained relations with Turkey over Nagorno-Karabakh have closed
that nearby land border. Because of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict,
direct travel to Azerbaijan is impossible from Armenia. Official
Americans may not travel to Nagorno-Karabakh.
The Armenian leg of the highway to Tbilisi is in good condition,
and has been improved by the recent opening of a two-kilometer
tunnel, but the Georgian side tends to be slow going. There is
roadwork planned on the Georgian side that could cut the trip by an
hour. The drive from Yerevan to Tbilisi takes 5-6 hours, depending
on weather conditions.
Surface routes through to southern Armenia and Iran are open most
of the year.
The regional roads are passable for most of the year, but in the
dead of winter some routes close from time to time due to heavy snow
in high mountain passes.
Travel to nearby and neighboring countries is generally
accomplished by air. The schedule is variable; most flights are
weekly, while others leave three to five days a week. The only daily
service is to Moscow. Five main carriers currently serve Yerevan:
Armenian International Airlines, Aeroflot International Airlines,
Czech Airlines, British Airways and Austrian Airlines. Other smaller
carriers offering regional flights operate from Yerevan as well.
Though the list seems to change on a weekly basis, there are
currently flights to and from Yerevan to the following cities:
Vienna, Moscow, London, Paris, Frankfurt, Prague, Amsterdam,
Tbilisi, Istanbul, Dubai, Aleppo, Beirut, Tehran, Kiev, St.
Petersburg, and a dozen other CIS cities.
Arrival and departure times on the most traveled routes are
routinely scheduled for the most inconvenient hours (between
12-midnight and 6am). BA flights to London, and daily flights to
Moscow are exceptions.
Communications Last Updated: 2/24/2004 5:43 AM
Yerevan continues to struggle with infrastructure problems. The
effects of these are most pronounced in the IT sector, and affect
daily life through substandard telephone lines, slow dial up
Internet access, and spotty cellular phone coverage. Though
improvements are promised, Armenia is years away from a fully
developed communications sector.
In light of this, the Embassy is working to fill gaps in service
by using in-house technology whenever possible. This is illustrated
by the Employee Association administering Internet accounts, and an
active push to include embassy extensions in all residences. Through
these efforts and with Armenia’s increasing investment in IT, the
situation improves every year.
Telephones and Telecommunications Last Updated: 11/26/2004 3:30
All Mission residences come equipped with a local phone line, the
cost of which is paid by tenants. At the end of each month , you
will receive a telephone bill and you will need to pay the amount
due to the cashier within 5 working days.
The quality of the local lines is sometimes very bad. Service can
be interrupted and it may take many tries to complete a call. Local
lines may not allow the caller to dial internationally, though all
phones can receive international calls.
Dialing on to the Internet results in relatively low transmission
speeds (32 KPS is typical). Connections can be interrupted
regularly, requiring the user to dial back on to the network (for
example, an hour of Internet time may require dialing into the
network three separate times.) An increasing number of city lines
have been made digital allowing for decent voice communication and
improved data transmission.
A limited number of mission-provided houses have embassy
extensions that allow for inter-embassy communication.
At agency discretion, those Embassy extensions may also be given
access to the international voice Geteway(IVG) which can be used for
official calls to the US and other US embassies. After 7 PM daily ,
mission extensions with IVG access may also be used to access
US-based lines so that personal calls can be charged to your
personal calling card (ATT,Sprint, MCI etc.) at domestic U.S long
It is forbidden to use the tie line to contact personal email or
Internet providers with US phone numbers.
Wireless Service Last Updated: 11/26/2004 3:11 AM
There is cellular service in Yerevan. At agency discretion and
depending upon availability each direct-hire and PSC American
employee is provided with one cellular telephone.
Note: personal calls made via the cellular telephone must be
reimbursed at the rate of approximately 18 cents per minute.
Internet Last Updated: 12/6/2004 8:19 AM
Most direct hire Embassy personnel have dial-up accounts through
the Embassy’s Employee Association for $15 per month. There are
several other local Internet providers with varying, but affordable,
rates. One of the better known is Arminco. Currently, America Online
has a local dial-up number that functions fairly well on city lines.
AOL members should check for the latest Yerevan access number(s)
before departing for post. Note that there is currently a $6.00/hour
network access surcharge for Armenia’s AOL users. Internet cafes are
beginning to proliferate, but do not boast the most comfortable
Improved service and access to the World Wide Web is possible
with leased lines or a radio modem. These services can run into
hundreds of dollars a month. Also, there is high-speed Internet
access at the Hotel Armenia I Business Center. The rates are
relatively steep, however. Predictably, the Internet scene is
changing all the time. (See Reading and WWW Browsing for useful web
Mail and Pouch Last Updated: 12/6/2004 8:19 AM
Embassy Yerevan is not apart of the APO system. All direct-hire
US-Mission employees may send and receive mail by Unclassified
Diplomatic Pouch, with the following restrictions:
- All incoming parcels and letters must weigh no more than 40
pounds and are not to exceed 60 inches in combined width, length,
- All outgoing parcels must weigh no more than two pounds, be no
bigger than a large mailing envelope, and not thicker than two video
The following items are restricted and may not be sent or
received via pouch:
Use the following addresses to mail items to the American Embassy,
For Official Mail:
American Embassy, Yerevan
Department of State
Washington, DC 20189–7020
For Personal Mail:
7020 Yerevan Place
Dulles, VA 20189-7020
Radio and TV Last Updated: 11/22/2004 6:59 AM
There are several FM radio stations in Yerevan that play a
variety of music. American popular music is ubiquitous, but you also
get an interesting mix of Armenian traditional and contemporary,
Iranian, Turkish, and Russian music.
Regular TV consists of local Russian and Armenian programming
over VHF broadcast bands totaling 5-7 channels and CNN International
in English (though often with poor reception). A local cable AATV
company provides Digital cable TV service with up to 56
international channels, 30 of these channels are in English
including CNN, BBC, MTV, HBO, Discovery Channel, Cartoon Network and
several others. The installation of the digital Decoder costs $200 ,
plus a monthly fee of $20 for the full package and you must pay 3
months in advance..
In addition there are many broadcast satellites whose footprints
cover Yerevan. Some American personnel have paid to have satellite
dishes and tuners installed in their residences. All the equipment
required to receive satellite transmissions is available in Yerevan,
and there is a reliable local contractor who can install it. The
cost is around $650 .Employees often sell this equipment to incoming
personnel. Costs, however, must be born by the employee, both for
hardware and installation. Reception of the Armed Forces Network is
also possible with the purchase and installation of the necessary
A AFRTS decoder is available for lease through the Employee
Association to U.S Direct Hire. A decoder costing approx $ 650 is
required along with a $150.00 sat Dish. There are 10 channels of US
programming and no monthly fee.
Newspapers, Magazines, and Technical Journals Last Updated:
12/6/2004 8:21 AM
There are two local weekly publications that provide some
Armenian news in English: "The Yerevan Times" and "The Noyan Tapan".
In addition, The Public Affairs Section maintains a healthy
collection of current periodicals for on-site review in their
library (the Information Resource Center – or IRC), as well as a
large reference collection in hard copy and on CD. Western
periodicals in English may be reviewed at nearby English-language
American University of Armenia Library as well. Subscriptions mailed
through the pouch are very reliable, but arrive 2-4 weeks late.
Also, keep in mind that many of leading magazines are now available
through Internet subscriptions.
The Public Diplomacy section distributes a daily media review via
email for Embassy employees providing English language summaries of
the Armenian language press. Ask to be added to the distribution
list upon arrival at post, (or before is your are on OpenNet).
Health and Medicine
Medical Facilities Last Updated: 12/6/2004 2:58 AM
The health unit is housed in the US Embassy. The unit can provide
advanced first aid for most medical emergencies, including
stabilization after heart attack. There is a physician who maintains
visiting hours at the embassy, who is also on call twenty-four hours
a day. The doctor, a noted cardiologist, has post-graduate American
training and speaks English.
In addition, one local American-trained nurse supports the unit.
The unit has formal relationships with several local
For serious emergencies the health unit works in concert with the
nearby Malatia Medical Center and Nork-Marash Cardiac Hospital that
meets Western standards for cleanliness and, to some extent,
technology. Using a combination of supplies from the US Mission’s
extensive pharmacy, and the facilities and physicians of Malatia
Medical Center, the health unit can competently coordinate most
emergencies—an appendectomy, for example—without undue hazard. In
sum, most average medical problems can be handled locally. If time
allows, complex or unusual problems require medical evacuation for
The Regional Medical Officer visits twice a year. Based in Tbilisi,
the regional Foreign Service Health Provider makes quarterly visits
Yerevan has several dental clinics that meet international
professional standards. There are a number of dental practices that
can provide routine cleaning, complete simple procedures, and
respond to emergencies. There is also a modern clinic, recently
opened by two well-trained American dentists, that can meet a full
range of dental and orthodontic needs.
An English-speaking ophthalmologist is available for referrals.
Currently, the health unit laboratory capabilities are limited.
Some work is sent to the U.S. as per agency regulations. The health
unit extensively uses the Viola Lab, which has been approved by the
Regional Medical Laboratory Technician and the Regional Medical
Officer. The health unit maintains a walking blood bank program;
your participation is welcome.
The health unit is available for use by all direct hire
personnel. It is made available to contractors, but only with
permission of the health unit, the Regional Medical Officer and the
host agency. The health unit can direct people who do not qualify
for treatment there(not have valid Medical clearance) to approved
facilities that it has investigated.
Community Health Last Updated: 12/3/2004 3:19 AM
Yerevan is a relatively clean city with functioning sanitation
services. That being said, litter is a problem. Incomplete
construction sites and poorly maintained infrastructure can present
a hazard in the form of missing manhole covers, incomplete
sidewalks, rusted metal and the like. The majority of stores and
restaurants are clean and well maintained.
The city water supply is usually adequate and clean, but it is
not treated to U.S. standards. Water from the tap should be briskly
boiled for five minutes before drinking. Most household need for
potable water is met by large capacity distillers installed in all
embassy housing. Bottled water is inexpensive and ubiquitous;
bottles range in size from 0.5 to 5 liters.
To ensure that there are no problems with service, GSO provides
twice-weekly garbage pick up at embassy residences.
Yerevan is home to a species of white scorpion that presents no
serious health risk, but is often a topic of conversation in the
summer. The scorpion’s sting is the equivalent of that of a bee or
wasp – except in the rare instance of an allergic reaction.
Scorpions have been found in some houses, usually in basements and
closets, but they are primarily outdoor pests. Check your boots and
shoes before slipping them on, especially when camping.
Snakes are a more serious outdoor danger. There are four species
of poisonous snake in Armenia: The most poisonous are Vipera
Lebetina (locally known as Gurza), Vipera Kaznakovi, Vipera Raddei,
and Vipera Ursinii (English equivalents unknown). Fifty-percent of
all bites occur in children 12 years old or younger during the
summer months of July and August. Take extra precaution when hiking
and camping, both popular activities for the Foreign Service
community here. Wear high boots and heavy long pants when hiking and
keep a sharp eye out. Children should be discouraged from playing in
thick grass in high summer—even in some less developed parts of the
If a bite occurs, the health unit and most large hospitals have
Alcoholic beverages are generally considered true to their
labeling, however, throughout the CIS, adulteration of bootleg
alcohol with poisonous wood alcohol is known to occur. Armenia is
famous for its cognac; buy it, and all alcohol, from reputable
Preventive Measures Last Updated: 12/6/2004 2:59 AM
There is a very serious microbial condition known as Brucellosis
that can be contracted from some hoofed animals. One vector is
unpasteurized milk from goats or cows. There have been outbreaks of
this disease in Yerevan. Homemade Armenian cheese from village
producers is the main culprit. This rustic salty cheese should be
purchased from quality stores and markets, not from street vendors.
Cheese made by the larger producers is generally considered safe, as
is imported cheese. Be cautious about unfamiliar cheeses. Yogurt and
sour cream from commercial producers is considered safe. Again, be
careful of village produce.
Giardia, a water-born intestinal parasite, is present. Tap water
should be boiled for five minutes before consumption.
Local sparkling mineral waters like Bjni and Jermuk are
New arrivals should be aware that strenuous exercise at Yerevan’s
elevation could take one by surprise. Serious runners should take it
easy at first and ‘test the waters.’ There is a danger of fainting
Armenia is notoriously dry. GSO supplies humidifiers upon
request. Order one for your sleeping quarters. Also, stay well
hydrated in winter by drinking plenty of water or juice to help
avoid upper respiratory complaints. These are common in Armenia.
Required immunizations for Yerevan include Typhoid,
Diphtheria-Tetanus, Hepatitis A and Hepatitis B. People who expect
to be out in the country or whose activities could put them in the
way of a dog bite, might want to consider a preventive rabies
series, although the disease is not reported. Employees of all
agencies should double-check with State M/MED regarding pre-arrival
Familiar brands of American over-the-counter and prescription
pharmaceuticals are not available in Yerevan. Substitutions are
often available, but you have to know what you are looking for.
Aspirin, acetaminophen, and ibuprofen are readily available. Bring a
full supply of prescription medicines, favorite over-the-counter
medications, and health supplies such as corn plasters or Ace
bandages. Arrange with a US-based pharmacy to mail in continuing
prescriptions. The CVS Pharmacy in Foggy Bottom across from State
Department headquarters is familiar with this procedure.
Hats and sun block are a necessity for any prolonged activity
outside in the summer. It is also as important to drink lots of
juice or water in hot dry conditions. Tea, coffee or soft drinks
that contain caffeine are no substitute; caffeine is a diuretic.
Armenia is in an earthquake zone. Without being overly dramatic,
and with the full understanding that the possibility of an
earthquake at any given place and time is statistically remote, it
would nonetheless be prudent to review some materials on how to
prepare for, and how to behave during, a seismic event. FEMA
maintains literature on this subject. Basic precautions include
keeping several days supply of drinking water on hand at all times
and remaining indoors if there is a quake; the greatest hazard comes
from falling building glass or roofing materials, rather than from
complete building collapse.
Employment for Spouses and Dependents Last Updated: 2/24/2004 7:19
There are regular opportunities for employment for spouses and
adult dependents at the mission. The mission is chronically
understaffed and dependents with qualifications have a good chance
of finding a part time or full time job.
It is helpful to have as much lead time as possible for staffing
positions, therefore, EFMs (eligible family members) are encouraged
to contact post administration as soon as they learn of their family
members assignment to Yerevan. An updated resume and outline of
potential areas of interest will help the Embassy Human Resources
Office find a position that will be a best fit for both the Mission
and the dependent. Lead time is extremely helpful if a security
clearance or other lengthy certification process is needed as well.
Any extra time gained by initiating the process before arrival at
post will significantly assist with the employment process.
Many jobs on the local economy require fluent written and spoken
Russian and Armenian. This can limit the number of available
positions for which EFMs are competitive. Successful applicants, if
hired in country, are likely to be paid in concert with local salary
levels, which are far lower than compensation rates in the U.S. for
That being said, there are a number of international
organizations and multi-national companies operating in Armenia. For
example, a plethora of NGOs work in a broad range of development
areas. Researching potential employment with such organizations
before arrival at post can be fruitful and may include a more U.S.
standard compensation package.
Officially, there is no bilateral work agreement in place between
Armenia and the United States. In practice, a de-facto agreement
allows those able to find work on the local economy to accept
American Embassy - Yerevan
Post City Last Updated: 2/24/2004 4:16 AM
Yerevan, the capital of Armenia, is in the west-central part of
the country in the Ararat Valley, a plateau 3,000 feet above sea
level. The fertile valley, settled since pre-history, is surrounded
by snowcapped mountains, and dominated by view of the famous Mt.
Ararat (16,000 ft.). With the exception of the low-lying center
city, Yerevan is a town of hills and winding streets. Pockets of
old-fashioned charm give way to Soviet-era apartment blocks, with
the rural countryside only minutes in any direction. The just
renovated Republic Square and Opera House offer the finest examples
of the tuff stone facades that color most of Yerevan.
The city is the cultural as well as the administrative center of
the nation. With just over a million people it is home to roughly a
third of the country’s population. Armenia’s strong economic growth
over the past few years is most evident in Yerevan. New boutiques,
fancy coffee houses and art galleries have spread all over the city.
Shiny BMW SUVs and black-windowed Mercedes weave among the boxy
Ladas and industrious Marshrutki.
Security Last Updated: 2/24/2004 4:17 AM
The incidence of crime in Yerevan is similar to comparably sized
U.S. cities. Violent crime, however, is relatively low in comparison
to major metropolitan areas of the United States.
Due to the economic situation, western visitors appear as rich
targets and are susceptible to thefts from unlocked premises and
pickpockets/purse snatchers. Common sense and good judgment should
be exercised in activities by keeping a low profile, and being alert
to any signs of surveillance. One should maintain continual
awareness of ones surroundings, especially when times and places are
predictable, e.g. arriving/departing hotels, parked cars, or
Armenia is going through substantial change. While organized
crime has increased, it is not as well-developed or entrenched in
Armenia as in other CIS countries.
Petty theft, the most common crime, involving pickpockets or
purse-snatchers, occurs in crowded public spaces. Certain makes and
models of cars are more likely to be stolen or cannibalized for
their parts – for example; the Lada Niva is a favorite among car
thieves. RSO recommends investing in a steering wheel locking device
and/or alarm system that disables the ignition (alarm systems are
available and affordable locally).
In general, most individuals report feeling a sense of safety
living here, and complete a full tour without being the victim of
even petty crime.
The Post and Its Administration Last Updated: 2/24/2004 4:20 AM
The U.S. Mission includes the State Department, the Treasury
Department, the Defense Attaché’s Office, the US Agency for
International Development, the US Department of Agriculture, and the
The offices of State, Defense, Treasury, and USAID are all housed
in the American Embassy Chancery, which is located at the following
18 Bagramyan Street, Yerevan 37059, Armenia.
Telephone: +374-1-52-46-61, or, 52-16-11, or, 52-13-41; Fax:
All of these agencies are scheduled to move in the Spring 2005 to
a new embassy compound located on the shore of Lake Yerevan, around
two miles from the city center.
Agencies not currently located in the chancery are:
The USDA office – Address: 74 Teryan St., Yerevan.
Telephone: +374-1-560-014; Fax: +374-1-587-928.
The US Peace Corps office - Address: 33 Charents Street, Yerevan.
Telephone: +374-1-524-450; Fax: +374-1-557-991.
Employees arriving at post by air come into Zvartnots
International Airport, a 20-minute drive from the embassy. Arrivals
are met by an expediter, a local contractor who helps them through
the formalities and provides transportation. In the event that an
arriving person is not met, he or she should contact the embassy
using any of the following numbers: 52-46-61 or 52-16-11 or
52-13-41. After hours, the embassy recording will provide you with
the duty officer’s cell phone number. The duty officer will make the
appropriate arrangements. Taxies are also available at the airport.
A fare into town is about ten dollars.
In some instances arrival to Armenia is effected by surface from
Georgia. In these cases arrangements must be made to have an embassy
car meet the arrivals at the Georgian border. Currently, there is no
reliable public transportation to post from the Georgian border. In
light of the closed borders with Turkey and Azerbaijan, coupled with
restrictions on travel through Iran, it is not possible for US
officials to enter Armenia over land except through the Georgian
Some key administrative points:
· Business hours are from 9:00am to 6:00pm, Monday through
Friday, with a one-hour lunch.
· The embassy cashier will cash checks with the following weekly
limits: $300 for singles, $500 for families.
· The post has a Community Liaison Office. Its hours are 9:30 am
to 6:00pm Monday through Friday. The CLO invites people assigned
here to write, call or email with questions. The email address is:
All inquiries will be promptly answered.
Housing Last Updated: 2/24/2004 4:21 AM
The housing pool in Yerevan is limited by a scarcity of “western
standard” residences, as in most former Soviet cities. Embassy
houses and apartments are among the best available.
Interesting quirks to prepare for include large foyers and
bathrooms, smaller than average bedrooms, and few closets. Bonuses
include – high ceilings, tuff stone facades, interesting
architecture, and the abundant fruit trees.
Temporary Quarters Last Updated: 2/24/2004 4:22 AM
The post administration makes every effort to assign permanent
housing upon arrival. If this is not possible, arriving personnel
will be housed in one of three temporary apartments, or in a hotel
with full amenities.
Official visitors are also housed in hotels. The three most
commonly used are: The Marriott Hotel Armenia (5 star), The Hotel
Yerevan (5 star), and The Congress Hotel (4 star).
Permanent Housing Last Updated: 2/24/2004 4:24 AM
The mission leases U.S. Government-furnished houses and
apartments for all direct-hire staff. Houses are detached or
semi-detached and are assigned according to FAM guidelines by an
Inter-Agency Housing Board. Houses typically have small terraced
yards with little or no grass, but are usually planted with fruit
trees and grape arbors. Houses are walled and have gates with
security intercom systems. Apartments are located in secure
buildings and offer the advantage of being sotuated in the center of
The housing pool is currently in the process of a slight
geographic shift, with all new residences being acquired in close
proximity to the new embassy site, around two miles from the center
of town. One of the advantages of this change is that a growing
number of residences in the housing pool are newly constructed and
built to the Embassy’s specifications.
Furnishings Last Updated: 11/29/2004 4:16 AM
Each home has a standard queen-sized bed in the master bedroom
and twin beds in the other bedrooms. Other bedroom furniture, such
as dressers and wardrobes, is provided as well, as is living room,
dining room and rec-room furniture. Rugs and curtains, mirrors and
some bookshelves and desks are also provided. Additional shelving
would help if you have many books.
There is furniture available in Yerevan, but it is expensive.
Utilities and Equipment Last Updated: 11/29/2004 4:17 AM
The city water supply can be intermittent. A system of on-site
holding tanks and pumps is employed to ensure that all of the US
Mission’s houses have 24-hour hot and cold running water. All
quarters have telephones, flush toilets, and bathtubs with European
shower “hose” attachments, or American style showers. Several homes
have boilers, either diesel or electric, installed for heating. All
houses have split-unit air-conditioner / heater units.
Electric ranges, refrigerators, freezers, microwaves, washers and
dryers are provided. Dishwashers are supplied by each agency, if
there is sufficient space. Humidifiers are supplied on request.
Electricity is 220v~50hz. There are frequent, sometimes extremely
powerful, spikes. Bring surge protectors and uninterruptible power
supplies (UPS’s) for computers and any other expensive or delicate
electrical equipment. European-style round-prong sockets are used in
all housing. Adapter plugs for appliances with power-switching
properties are needed and available locally, or should be brought
with you. Non-power switching electrical appliances with 110v~60hz
input require a transformer. Some appliances like electric clocks
cannot be adapted in this way; others, like turntables may require
special parts from the manufacturer for full adaptation.
Transformers (three 1200 watt units) are provided by GSO, but most
old hands know to bring one or two of their own, particularly
heavy-duty ones (1000 watts or greater).
Not all houses have grounded outlets, though post is actively
upgrading residences to address this concern, so extra care should
always be exercised around appliances. Hand-held equipment (hair
dryers, shaver) requires extra caution.
All houses are equipped with auto-switching diesel generators to
bridge gaps in electric service. These lapses are not as frequent as
they once were, but short outages are not uncommon. Generators have
the capacity to supply all power needs indefinitely.
Food Last Updated: 11/29/2004 4:25 AM
For most of the year an amazing cornucopia of delicious, very
inexpensive raw fruits and vegetables overflow the stalls at the
open-air markets. Many of the best fruits and vegetables (the
delicious cherries, buckets of raspberries, and sweet peaches,
apricots and melons) are only available in season. Winter sees a
marked reduction in the selection available. That being said, the
basics can be found year round, though for higher prices. Tomatoes,
lettuce, bell peppers, oranges, grapefruit, bananas, onions,
carrots, garlic, basil, cilantro, mushrooms, even salad greens are
always. The architecturally notable covered market in the city
center boasts the most consistent supply, and features a variety of
Fresh pork, lamb, beef, chicken and a limited variety of
excellent quality fresh fish are available year round. Fresh farm
eggs are available everywhere. UHT boxed milk in 0.5%, 2% and 3.5%
fat content, as well as full-fat powdered milk can be purchased at a
number of western oriented grocery stores. High-quality butter,
yogurt, and a limited variety of very good cheeses are widely sold.
(Neither recognizable cheddar nor mozzarella are easy to come by,
A variety of Western soft drinks, candy, cigarettes, ice-cream
bars, beer, wine and liquor are available. Diet Pepsi is available,
but not Diet Coke. Other than some cereal products, baby foods are
not generally available. The embassy commissary is excellent and
well-stocked with products unavailable on the local market (peanut
butter, chocolate chips) but at higher than U.S. prices due to
shipping costs. Many in the embassy community organize orders
through the commissary with an international supplier (Peter
Justesen) that offers a huge range of products. Membership in the
Employee Association is required to access the commissary. The Fee:
$60 per year and for one month - temporary $5.
NetGrocer, and other Internet shopping options allow for those
with mail privileges to top off their pantries within the
restrictions of the pouch (e.g., no liquids).
Dried fruits like raisins, apricots and figs, as well as many kinds
of salami and cured meat, can be found in abundance. An excellent
selection of international coffees can be purchased whole bean or
ground from several new high-end specialty stores and cafes. Also
available are pasta, flour, rice, dried beans, baking soda, sugar,
and other basic cooking supplies. More obscure ingredients should be
included in HHE or consumables shipments.
Though several Western oriented supermarkets operate in Yerevan,
their inventory is not always the reliable. A shopping trip might
include a run through all of them to find a particular ingredient.
Frozen food is available at these stores, but the selection is
limited. (Frozen shrimp are definitely priced as an extravagance.)
The huge city markets are an entertaining and well supplied, but a
little intimidating at first. One will find there most of the goods
carried in the supermarkets, and at much better prices, but with
none of the convenience.
Plan your food shipment carefully for this post. The great
majority of your grocery needs can be met, though the product may
not always be immediately recognizable. The price of a few select
“staple” items (most notably boxes of cereal) will take you aback,
therefore, ask someone at post to give you a list, and bring these
items with if possible.
There is a cafeteria-style restaurant at the embassy that serves
breakfast and lunch on weekdays. Lunch is about $2.50. A coffee bar
that serves hot beverages, fresh pastries, snack food and soft
drinks is also open during business hours.
Yerevan is home to hundreds of restaurants, more and more with an
international focus. There are Italian, Thai, Mexican, Chinese,
Bulgarian, Belgian, Irish, Georgian, Middle Eastern, classic
American, and other exotic cuisines to complement the profusion of
dining establishments offering tasty Armenian specialties.
Fried chicken, donuts and pizza – as well as croissants and
baguettes- are readily available and rival any back home.
Armenia food is excellent. It is a straight-forward cuisine that
relies on the country’s excellent produce and demands the freshest
ingredients. Lavash (a flat bread), white cheese, and marinated
grilled meat provide the non-vegetable foundation of a typical meal.
Local wine, beer, or Armenia’s internationally renowned cognac, are
served along side a wide variety of fruit juices. (Apricot juice and
sour cherry juice are particular favorites.) Fresh fruit, baklava,
and other baked goods finish off the meal, washed down with strong
coffee or fragrant tea.
Clothing Last Updated: 2/24/2004 4:30 AM
The supply of ready-made clothes available here is limited and
often not to American taste. Bring all that you need, and be ready
to order a lot from the Internet.
The sun can be quite strong, especially in the mountains, so
hats, sun block, and good sunglasses are needed. Bring some
effective winter gear. It does not stay cold, but temperatures can
get very low. Long underwear will be appreciated on some days. Dark
clothing is traditional. Keep in mind that many local buildings are
Washable fabrics should be chosen where possible. Although
dry-cleaning services are available here, they are pricey and not as
versatile as those in the US.
Sturdy walking shoes are a must; walking is a good way to get around
NB: Shorts are not worn by men and very rarely by women.
Men Last Updated: 2/24/2004 4:31 AM
Officers should bring business suits of different weights for
winter and summer. A heavy winter overcoat is very useful.
Tuxedos may be worn at some formal events generally open to all
members of the Embassy community, such as the Marine Ball and the
Scottish “Burns Ball”. Most evening formal occasions require dark
Women Last Updated: 2/24/2004 4:32 AM
Officers should bring business suits and dresses of different
weights for summer and winter.
Floor-length dresses and gowns may be worn at some formal events
generally open to all members of the Embassy community, such as the
Marine Ball and the Scottish “Burns Ball”. Most evening formal
occasions require suits or dresses.
Children Last Updated: 2/24/2004 4:33 AM
As with adult clothing, the local market offers a limited
selection of high-quality clothing. Sizes are limited and prices are
inflated. It is recommended that all clothing is shipped to post or
ordered (via the Internet, catalogs etc.) from U.S.-based retailers.
There is a local women’s craft cooperative that does make
beautiful high-quality hand-knit children’s clothing. This is not
typical everyday wear, however.
Office Attire Last Updated: 2/24/2004 4:34 AM
Standard business attire is worn throughout the year.
Supplies and Services
Supplies Last Updated: 12/1/2004 6:06 AM
What you bring by way of supplies is mainly a matter of
preference, not absolute necessity. Most household goods are
available here, from cleaning supplies to paper goods. But they
seldom bear a familiar brand name and often the quality is not up to
Prices can also be quite high for some things, such as sponges,
zip lock bags, welcome mats, high-quality mops, etc.
Basic Services Last Updated: 2/24/2004 4:42 AM
The following services are available and adequate (sometimes
excellent, and almost always very affordable): haircutting, shoe
repair, taxi, tailoring, dress making, upholstery & draperies, auto
repair, lock smithy, picture framing etc. In short, most average
needs can be met. In addition, the GSO provides many services.
The talent pool available through the US Mission’s local-employee
network is large; in all probability, someone knows somebody who can
provide any needed service.
Most houses have secured garages for parking at home.
There is street parking near the chancery, but it is becoming
increasingly tight during the day. A secure and ample parking area
will be available for employees on the new Embassy compound that
will open in the spring of 2005.
The Embassy has a dedicated car wash available to employees for a
Domestic Help Last Updated: 12/1/2004 3:42 AM
Domestic help is available and runs about $120 per month for day
help ($1.25 -$2.00 dollars per hour). Houses do not have special
facilities for live-in maids.
Many people employ gardeners and some also hire drivers.
Nannies are not difficult to find.
Religious Activities Last Updated: 11/29/2004 4:54 AM
Of the numerous churches in Yerevan, most are Armenian Apostolic.
That being said, there are also many other local congregations
including Baptist, Roman Catholic, Seventh-day Adventist, Mormon as
well as those served by a Synagogue and Mosque. All of these
services are conducted in Armenian (sometimes with translation).
Yerevan Protestant Gathering Fellowship - The English Service of
the Evangelical Church of Armenia was established at the initiative
of the Armenian Missionary Association of America(AMAA) over four
Services are on Sundays. Sunday School is available for children
ages 5 - 8.
There is also a small Jewish Synagogue , the Services are on
Saturdays and high hollidays and conducted in Hebrew.
At Post Last Updated: 11/29/2004 2:00 AM
There are several options available for pre-school instruction.
Embassy families have organized a cooperative preschool group based
out of their homes. Each participating family hosts their child’s
classmates and teacher at their home according to a scheduled
rotation. Other traditional schools are also available, though few
teach in English. There are plans for establishing a pre-school on
the New Embassy Compound as well. Contact the CLO for more
Currently there is only one school in Armenia suited to the needs
of the international community.
The QSI INTERNATIONAL SCHOOL OF YEREVAN
The school is governed by the Board of Directors of Quality Schools
International, the membership of which is formed as set forth in the
Bylaws of Quality Schools International. An Advisory Board, composed
of 6 to 10 members who reside in Armenia and are appointed by the
president of Quality Schools International and the director of the
QSI International School of Yerevan, assists the School in its
The School offers an outcomes-based educational program with a
curriculum similar to that of U.S. public and private schools.
Instruction, leading to individual mastery, takes advantage of small
class sizes and the diverse educational backgrounds of the students.
Instruction is in English. The elementary grades are accredited by
the Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools.
In the 2004-2005 school year, there are 19 full-time faculty
members, 6 of whom are U.S.(5) Can (1) citizens and 13 are
third-country nationals. In addition, the School has part-time
teachers for physical education, Russian, French, art, and music.
Soccer, basketball, karate, dance, Brownies, chess, Armenian
language, and other activities are offered as after-school
At the beginning of the 2004-2005 school year, the student
enrollment is 80. Of the total, 44 are U.S. citizens and 36 from
other country nationals. Of the U.S. citizen enrollment, 30 are
dependents of U.S. government direct-hire and contract employees,
and 14 are dependents of private U.S. citizens.
In August 1999 the School moved to a new location. It is located
above the offices located next to a furniture factory. There are, at
present, 5 large and 4 small, bright classrooms. The school also has
a library, a computer lab, offices, a multipurpose room, and 4
bathrooms. The school grounds include a large playground, a soccer
pitch, a volleyball court, and an outside stage. A wall surrounds
the school, and there are 24-hour security watchmen. Expansion in
2004-05 will give us 9-11 large bright classrooms and a variety of
In the 2004-2005 school year, the School's income derives from
regular day school tuition. Annual tuition rates are as follows:
pre-school (3-4 years olds): $2,900; Kdg. (5 years olds): $9,200;
and ages 6-17: $11,800. The School also charges a one-time
registration fee of $100, as well as an annual non-refundable
capital fund fee of $1,600 per year or a one-time refundable capital
fund deposit of $4,000 for ages 5 and above. These quoted U.S.
dollar fees are to be paid in U.S. dollars.
QSI is fully accredited. Currently, the school's financial system
and curriculum have both received accreditation from The Middle
States Association of Colleges and Schools and the Commission on
International and Trans-Regional Accreditation. The school holds a
Provisional Certificate from the Department of Defense.
QSI International School of Yerevan
c/o DOS – Administrative Officer
7020 Yerevan Place
Washington, DC 20521-7020
Home Page: http://www.gsi.org/ARM
International telephone: +3741-391030
Fax: +3741- 397-599
Away From Post Last Updated: 12/1/2004 6:04 AM
The Family Liaison Office in Washington maintains a listing of
international boarding schools.
There are none operating in Armenia or neighboring countries.
Special Needs Education Last Updated: 2/24/2004 4:50 AM
School programs for special needs children are not currently
available in Yerevan. The main international school lacks both the
faculty and the facilities to provide special needs education.
Higher Education Opportunities Last Updated: 2/24/2004 4:55 AM
American University of Armenia offers graduate level study in a
U.S. accredited institution. Many of the teachers split time with
top universities in the U.S. Classes are conducted in English.
There are several other Armenian universities in Yerevan offering
undergraduate and graduate level courses, though primarily in
Recreation and Social Life
Sports Last Updated: 2/24/2004 4:56 AM
A number of sporting activities are available, featuring soccer
and tennis, but also basketball, horse back riding, go-carts etc.
The current Embassy includes a brand new fitness center operated
by the Employee Association, offering a full series of the Nautilus
weight machines, treadmills, elliptical machines, stationary bikes
and a stair stepper. Lower-weight barbells, benches and other
equipment are also included - as is an excellent sauna.
Facilities will be much expanded with the opening of the New
Embassy Compound in the spring of 2005. The 12-acre lakeside
recreation area will include a huge lawn with soccer goals and a
baseball/softball diamond, a large U.S. standard playground, outdoor
basketball and volleyball courts, and a running track. Plans are
currently in the works for an even greater array of recreational
Fishing is an attractive prospect in Armenia, a country with more
than 100 mountain lakes, and countless clear fast rivers. Lake Sevan
is only about 70 kilometers from Yerevan. It is one of the world's
largest mountain lakes, is a popular summer tourist spot, and the
reputed home of vast numbers of brown trout.
The Tsakhkadzor ski resort, less than an hour from Yerevan, is a
popular destination in both summer and winter. Beautifully situated,
it is ill maintained with a lift that is open year round but prone
to mechanical problems. You can't beat the $1 lift price, however.
The skiing and snowboarding can be quite good, especially after a
good snow - but the area has limited grooming equipment, and
snowmobiles intermingle with skiers and snowboarders, so ice and
uneven surfaces offer a challenge. Cross-country skiing and
snowshoeing can be accomplished almost anywhere in the countryside
you choose. While some equipment is available for rental, for all
winter sports it is recommended that you bring your own equipment.
In the spring, summer and fall, there are several peaks to climb,
and unlimited hiking trails. If you are up for a serious climb, Mt.
Aragats offers the highest peak in Armenia, amazing views, and a
strenuous 12 hours of trekking.
For those who like to run and socialize, the venerable Hash House
Harriers have an active chapter in Yerevan.
Touring and Outdoor Activities Last Updated: 12/1/2004 6:04 AM
Yerevan is an excellent base for exploring Armenia's many ancient
churches, monasteries, and natural wonders.
Some of the oldest Christian monuments in the world can be found
here. The architecture is fascinating and the settings dramatic; the
mountainous Armenian landscape is unforgettable. Many people like to
hike, climb and camp, especially since the countryside is safe for
There is much to see in Armenia: the intricately carved stone
crosses, called "khachkars"; the soaring walls of the once
impregnable fortress of Amberd; Roman mosaics at the pagan temple of
Garni; the huge chambers hewn out of solid rock at the cave
monastery of Geghard; dozens of other churches and ruins that hide
in the country's rough, wild landscape.
The Cathedral at Etchmiadzin, built in 480, is the spiritual
center of the Armenian Apostolic Church. Located about thirty
minutes from Yerevan by car, Etchmiadzin Cathedral is short drive
away and is especially memorable when visited for Sunday services.
The church, its grounds, and museum, contain a fine collection of
ancient religious artifacts.
The city of Yerevan itself has a surprising amount to offer. The
opera, ballet, and world-class symphony, as well as many museums,
are within a short walk of the American Embassy. The symphony
performs twice a week much of the year and tickets are very
An excellent open-air art market is held near the opera house
every weekend. The Vernisage, a huge open market a few blocks from
Republic Square with rows of carpets, Soviet memorabilia, jewelry,
and any number of other intriguing artifacts, is central to
Christmas shopping, and worth a regular stroll just to absorb the
Entertainment Last Updated: 11/29/2004 5:05 AM
Yerevan is rich in culture. The capital is home to opera, ballet,
and a world-class symphony. The symphony performs twice a week much
of the year and tickets are very inexpensive.
The Armenian Song Theater is also excellent, as is the Chamber
The National Art Museum on Republic Square is a must see, as is
the Matenadaran Manuscript Library, which houses illuminated tomes
from ancient times in Armenian, Greek and Latin.
A visit to the open-air art market held near the opera house
every weekend is a must, as are periodic trips to the Vernisage, the
large crafts market located in the park near Republic Square.
Victory Park, overlooking the city, is a favorite place for
runners and joggers, especially during the warm weather. And there
is a small amusement midway in the park complete with a working
Ferris wheel and other rides. There are also rowboats to rent on the
park pond, which is ringed by several small cafes.
The American University of Armenia has several English-speaking
clubs to which members of the American community are welcome.
Several individuals receive personal instruction from world-class
Recently released movies are shown a couple of times a month in
the U.S. Embassy auditorium.
Yerevan is home to hundreds of restaurants, more and more with an
international focus. These restaurants include: Italian, Thai,
Mexican, Chinese, Bulgarian, Belgian, Irish, Georgian, Russian
,Middle Eastern, classic American, and other exotics to compliment
the profusion of dining establishments offering tasty Armenian
Friends gather after work or on the weekends on a regular basis.
Delicious food and very affordable prices combine to encourage the
exploration of new restaurants every week.
Among Americans Last Updated: 12/1/2004 6:03 AM
Social activities in Yerevan tend to be focused around friends
gathering at each other's homes, meeting regularly at favorite
restaurants, and catching up for an after-work drink.
In addition, the Marines hold occasional get-togethers at their
house, people watch movies in the auditorium on a regular basis, a
large contingent from the embassy participates in the Hash House
Harriers, and weekends with nice weather encourage groups to explore
Armenia's mountains, monasteries and churches.
Weekly basketball and softball games are usually followed by a
group dinner, and other folks gather for a weekly poker game and
regular bridge group. The Marines organize paintball and go-cart
outings, and a large part of the embassy can be found together at
the Water Park on summer days.
Those with kids will find a close-knit community getting together
often for play groups, birthday parties ... etc. This is facilitated
by post's attempt to house families in proximity with one another.
People even organize dog play sessions - meeting at a local park
The recreation facilities planned for the New Embassy compound
will provide a further boost to community activities when completed.
The large playground, athletic fields, and other community areas
will be welcome additions.
International Contacts Last Updated: 2/24/2004 5:12 AM
Armenians are very warm and inclusive people. You are sure to make
friends quickly and enjoy their famed hospitality.
Yerevan's small expatriate community interacts often. From formal
events, to a Guinness at the pub, you are likely to see your
expatriate friends in almost every social situation.
Hash House Harriers is a particularly international group.
Nature of Functions Last Updated: 12/1/2004 6:02 AM
Officers are asked to attend official functions organized by the
mission, National Day events at other embassies, host country
receptions, and other diplomatic luncheons and dinners.
Dark business suits for men and dresses, or suits, for women are
recommended as the appropriate attire. Neither tuxedoes nor long
formal gowns are required.
All U.S.-Mission personnel assist in hosting the official Fourth
of July reception.
Standards of Social Conduct Last Updated: 2/24/2004 5:13 AM
The rules of social conduct and etiquette standard in the Foreign
Service apply in Armenia.
Business cards are used and can be printed locally in English and
Special Information Last Updated: 11/22/2004 7:40 AM
Travel by American officials to Nagorno-Karabakh is not
TDY personnel should be aware that certain items are proscribed
for export and should not be purchased and removed from Armenia
without the permission of the Ministry of Culture and payment of a
100% duty. This includes old carpets, old manuscripts, antiques.
(Anything older than fifty years is subject to this levy).
*As in any big city visitors should take security precautions.
All employees receive a welcome packet upon arrival that contains
much needed information.
Prior to arrival employees are advised to contact the CLO by
letter or email to ask any questions they may have concerning life
in Yerevan. The CLO email address is: firstname.lastname@example.org All
inquiries will be answered.
Employees are also encouraged to contact a colleague in their
section of the Embassy for guidance on what consultations to
schedule before departure from Washington, DC.
A series of one-on-one orientation briefings is usually required
and should be scheduled by the employee upon arrival. In addition,
post organizes regular orientation assemblies featuring
presentations by representatives of each of the mission agencies and
sections. Dependents are encouraged to attend. A security briefing
by the Regional Security Office is required before the issuance of
permanent Embassy badges for employees or their dependents.
In addition, it is requested that all new employees make a
separate appointment with the Ambassador upon arrival. Spouses are
invited and are encouraged to come.
The New Embassy Compound
Embassy Yerevan looks forward to moving to a new compound in the
spring of 2005. On the shore of Lake Yerevan, the 23- acre site is
one of the largest embassy compounds in the world. The new chancery
will offer over 100,000 sq ft of office space, more than ten times
that of our current building. The warehouse and large GSO annex and
the Marine house will all be co-located on the site.
The compound is separated into two levels. The main buildings are
all at the top of a bluff, offering spectacular views of Mt. Ararat.
The lower level, about 12 acres on the lakeshore, will be used
primarily as a recreation and community area. A number of recreation
facilities are planned.
Notes For Travelers
Getting to the Post Last Updated: 12/1/2004 6:01 AM
Five main carriers currently serve Yerevan:
Armenian International Airlines, Aeroflot International Airlines,
Czech Airlines, British Airways and Austrian Airlines.
Post encourages the use of Austrian Airlines or British Airways
for official travel. The problematic transit through Moscow, i.e.,
the confusing and sometimes costly transfer between two airports and
regular difficulties in attaining the necessary Russian visa,
handicap Aeroflot. Armenian International Airlines is simply
Other small carriers offering regional flights operate from
Yerevan as well.
Though the list seems to change on a weekly basis, there are
flights to and from Yerevan to the following cities:
Vienna, Moscow, London, Paris, Frankfurt, Prague, Amsterdam,
Tbilisi, Istanbul, Dubai, Aleppo, Beirut, Tehran, Kiev, St.
Petersburg, and a dozen other CIS cities.
Flight time examples:
From the East Coast: 6 hours to London, 5 hours to Yerevan.
From Yerevan: 3.5 hours to Vienna, 3.5 hours to Moscow, 3 hours to
Some personnel arrive at post overland from Georgia. This is
usually achieved through an arranged “border swap” with Embassy
Tbilisi, where an official vehicle from Tbilisi provides for the
Georgian leg of the trip, and an Embassy Yerevan driver meets the
traveler at the Armenia/Georgia border and completes the drive to
Yerevan. Total drive time is approximately 5.5 hours. (You will need
both a Georgian and an Armenian visa.)
Customs, Duties, and Passage Last Updated: 2/24/2004 5:20 AM
Specifications for Personal Effects
Air shipments should be sent to:
18 Baghramyan Ave.
Surface shipments should be sent to:
Full Name ("Agency" - Yerevan)
European Logistical Support Office
Bus 12A B-20230 Antwerp
APO AE 09724
Shipping times to Armenia tend to be long (two to four months),
even for air freight (up to four weeks). Make sure to bring with you
the essentials of dress and personal care. Remember that seasons can
change in eight weeks. Be sure to bring enough business clothes;
they are generally not available. What is available tends to be very
expensive and in limited sizes.
All personnel assigned to Armenia must have a visa. The Armenian
Embassy is located at 2225 R Street NW, Washington DC 20008.
Customs and Duties Last Updated: 2/24/2004 5:21 AM
An expediter who handles the formalities of Armenian Customs
meets all official personnel reporting to Yerevan. Diplomatic
cargoes, including UAB, are not subject to import duties, although
standard restrictions concerning drugs, inflammables, explosives and
firearms of course apply. There are no restrictions on the type of
car you can ship in. (See section on Transportation, Automobiles).
When leaving Yerevan book your flights at least two weeks in
advance to ensure space.
Items of cultural significance (antiques over fifty years old)
must be cleared by the Ministry of Culture before they can be
NB: For persons traveling without diplomatic passports the
Armenian Customs regime can be strict. There is a genuine problem
with smuggled antiquities, some of great value and cultural
significance, so inspections upon leaving the country can be
thorough. Also, there are currency export restrictions in Armenia:
$500 is the maximum. If you are bringing in a lot of money, declare
it on your customs entry form along with anything else of
substantial value—especially jewelry. Failure to do so could cause
problems upon departure.
Pets Last Updated: 12/1/2004 5:59 AM
Armenian regulations are friendly in regards to pets' importation
, however most pets must transit though the EU and meet EU transit
regulations. All pets arriving to any EU airport will have to meet
the following requirements (and they must be completed in this
1. Fitted with an ISO (or compatible ) microchip for identifying
2. Vaccinated against rabies.
3. Have a satisfactory blood test for rabies at an EU-recognized
laboratory three (3) months prior to travel.
4. Given an official PET Scheme Certificate from the laboratory
to verify the rabies test results.
5. Given a tick and tapeworm treatment 48 to 24 hours prior to
All of the above, must be preformed by a licensed Veterinarian .
Be sure to check with the airlines you are using to ensure you have
all necessary documentation for your pet(s) to travel.
Please be advised that not all the airlines serving Yerevan will
accept live animals for transportation. And some may
refuse to transport pets during hot summer months. Post also
highly recommends on transfers with long stopovers
check-in the pets to the stop-over point to have an opportunity
to take care of them during extended layover or hire a pet
transporter service such as Goldenway to take care of them.
Airlines and Airport authorities sometimes fail to fulfill their
responsibilities in regards to the pet care while in-transit.
If your pet is healthy and accompanied by the proper Animal
Health Certificate issued not earlier than 3 weeks before travel it
will have no problems when entering Armenia.
It is always recommended to check with the OBC and post to verify
current pet transporttation requirements.
Veterinary services in Armenia are rudimentary. Only the most
basic shots and non-invasive treatment
is available with any degree of safety. Be cautious about
bringing a very old , or chronically ill animal that may require
regular veterinary care.
Dog food and cat food are readily available, though western
brands are more expensive than in the U.S.
Cat litter is not available.
Firearms and Ammunition Last Updated: 12/1/2004 5:59 AM
The Armenian police authorities state they will permit American
personnel with diplomatic passports to import any firearm legally
owned in the US.
Armenian authorities request only that owners produce
registration or licensing documents proving legal ownership in the
US. Authorities also ask owners of such weapons to produce a signed
statement as to the purpose of the weapon; that is, hunting, target
practice, self protection, etc. Further, they suggest that those who
wish to use their weapons for hunting should also join a local
hunting society to gain knowledge of official seasons and required
licenses. There are no commercial target shooting ranges in Armenia.
The Regional Security Office is designated as the focal point
within the Mission for this policy. As such, the office is
authorized to process weapons permits with the host government and
to make recommendations to the Chief of Mission to either approve or
disapprove each request. The following procedures should be
A. For personal firearms, complete a "Request for authorization
to utilize firearms" and forward it to the RSO.
B. For official firearms, complete a "Request to carry an
official firearm" and forward it to the RSO.
C. The RSO will review the request to determine if it is
consistent with this policy and forward it to the Chief of Mission
with a recommendation for approval or disapproval.
D. Upon Chief of Mission approval, the RSO will register the
firearm with the Mission and notify the employee.
All registered official firearms will be retained by the RSO
except when being used in the performance of official duties.
The RSO is the primary point of contact for any individual
seeking to import or carry a firearm or wanting additional
information on this policy.
Currency, Banking, and Weights and Measures Last Updated:
11/22/2004 7:09 AM
The dram is the official currency. It is internally convertible.
Currently, one US dollar equals 510-520 dram. This rate is fairly
stable, and has stayed within 10 dram (2 cents) for a couple of
Armenia is a cash-based economy. Banks are not generally used.
There is one Western bank, U.K. operated HSBC Bank
There is an HSBC ATM machine at post, which is located next to
the State Cashir.
If you do not have an HSBC account you will be charged a $1.00
transaction fee by HSBC. If you do have an HSBC account then the
withdrawal is free. The maximum withdrawal amount is $500 daily.
The cashier will post the HSBC exchange rate for dollars daily.
American Express Travelers Checks are accepted at the largest of
the hotels, but there are added fees.
Mission employees may cash personal checks to meet currency
needs: $500 per week. There are many money exchanges throughout
Yerevan. They operate seven days a week. By law all transactions
must be in Armenian drams.
Employees should consider setting up automatic banking services
in the US before departing for post. Internet “bill pay” services
are particularly handy.
The metric system of weights and measures is used here: fabric is
bought by the meter, potatoes by the kilo, gasoline by the liter,
and distances are measured in kilometers.
Taxes, Exchange, and Sale of Property Last Updated: 12/1/2004
American employees of the US Government are exempt from local
value-added taxes and may import personal property duty free.
Automobile liability insurance is required by the State
Department. Insurance is arranged automatically through the Employee
Employees may not retain proceeds from sale of personal property
in excess of the original cost of the property.
This applies to automobiles as well.
Recommended Reading Last Updated: 12/1/2004 6:00 AM
These titles and internet sites are provided as a general
indication of the material published on this country.
The Department of State does not endorse unofficial publications
or World Wide Web sites.
Arlen, Michael J. Passage to Ararat. 1975.
Baliozian, Ara. The Armenians: Their History and Culture. 1980.
Darlymple, William. From the Holy Mountain. 1999.
Der Hovanessian, Diana and Margossian, Marzbed. Anthology of
Der Nersessian, Sirarpic. The Armenians. 1970.
Kaplan, Robert D. Eastward to Tartary. 2000.
Kudian, Mischa. Lamentations of Narek. 1977
Lang, David Marshall. The Armenians: A People in Exile. 1988
Mirak, Robert. Torn between Two Lands. 1983
Suny, Ronald Grigor. Looking Toward Ararat. 1993
Walker, Christopher. Armenia, Survival of a Nation. 1980
Werfel, Franz. The Forty Days of Musa Dagh. 1934.
World Wide Web Sites
U.S. Embassy Yerevan
Armenian Research Center
City.Net’s Armenia Page
National Academy of Sciences of Armenia
State Engineering University (SEUA)
Yerevan Physics Institute (Yerphi)
Yerevan State University (YSU)
Local Holidays Last Updated: 12/3/2004 3:24 AM
New Year’s Holiday - January 1 and 2
Armenian Christmas - January 6
Army Day - January 28
Women’s Day - March 8
Genocide Memorial Day - April 24
Victory and Peace Day - May 9
First Republic Day - May 28
Constitution Day - July 5
Independence Day - September 21
New Year’s Eve - December 31