On Friday, April 4, close to 200 people arrived at the AGBU Toronto Center to hear the popular and entertaining George Bournoutian lecture on “Armenian Silk Merchants: The Long Migration.”
With the help of slides, Bournoutian, who is professor of East European and Middle Eastern Studies at Iona College (NY), told the fascinating history of the rich merchant community of Nakhichevan beginning with their forced relocation from historic Armenia to Iran in the early 17th century.
He described the political and socio-economic conditions which compelled members of this important community to eventually migrate from Iran to India, Russia, China, Australia and finally to the Americas.
The audience had the chance to see slides of little known Armenians churches and schools left behind by these affluent merchant communities and hear about their vibrant communities that barely exist today.
Copies of Bournoutian’s History of Armenian People are available at the AGBU online bookstore.