Thousands of Iranians celebrate Novruz in Armenia

At least 10,000 Iranians are expected to visit Armenia during the ongoing celebrations of Nowruz. Farsi speech can already be heard across downtown Yerevan, with groups of tourists strolling in the streets, taking pictures and visiting cafes and restaurants.

For the Iranian tourists, visiting Armenia is also a rare opportunity to see and hear exiled Iranian singers banned in the Islamic Republic

The influx of Iranian tourists creates a logistical headache for Armenian travel agencies grappling with a lack of accommodation and other underdeveloped tourism infrastructure. All Yerevan hotels have already booked practically in full for the next two weeks.

Speaking to RFE/RL, Arlen Davudian, the owner of the Tatev Tour agency estimated the number of Iranians that will visit Armenia during this year’s Nowruz holiday at 12,000. “People cite illogical numbers of Iranian tourists: 40,000, 100,000,” he said. “They are grossly exaggerated. Our city does not have the capacity to receive that many guests.”

The businessman said many more Iranians would travel to Armenia if it had more and cheaper hotels.

Even so, the influx of Iranians appears to have already given a massive boost to Armenia’s tourism industry.

“A total of $12 million in cash should come here from Iran in the next two weeks,” said Davudian. “Tourism could earn this country very serious revenues. There just has to be a state approach to this.”

A more tolerant Armenia?

Last year the presence of hundreds, if not thousands of Iranians in Yerevan didn’t seem to go down very well with many Armenians.

Armenia -- An Iranian couple takes pictures in Yerevans Republic Square, 21Mar2011.

Armenia -- An Iranian couple takes pictures in Yerevans Republic Square, 21Mar2011.

At least that’s the impression one could get from reading several hundred active Armenian blogs. In fact, there was quite a bit of fuss and a lot of stereotyping.

Counter to that, this year,  I saw no complaints in online discussions about the visiting Iranians.

Is it because Armenians are becoming more tolerant, or because Iranians are less noisy? Frankly, I’m lost…

A bit of context…

In the September 2007 Caucasus Barometer, when asked if they would approve of doing business with Iranians, 60 percent of Armenians approved and 40 percent disapproved.

Friendship, however, had a similar divide as to the overall approval rating, with 45 percent of Armenians approving friendship and 55 percent disapproving of friendship.

Finally, when asked about approval of Armenians marrying Iranians, only 11 percent of respondents approved and 90 percent disapproved.


6 thoughts on “Thousands of Iranians celebrate Novruz in Armenia

  1. well I for one as a real Armenian (as a Hayaser) and as a neighbor to some persians near me, warmly welcome them to Hayastan, but with conditions:
    they are not allowed to HARASS our women, they are NOT allowed to litter my homeland, they are NOT allowed to be loud, obnoxious, and sloppy drunk, they are NOT allowed to pick fights with my people, they NOT allowed to be disrespectful to those who welcome you and rely on you for your tourism money, yev ayln yev ayln. other than that: behave, love, and respect us and we Armenians welcome our allied neighbor with open arms.

    now in my life I’ve had much experience with persians here in LA. I dont find them to differ from arabs, turks, and much the rest of middle easterner type people. persians are very vanity people. they worship LOOKS, MONEY, WEALTH, SHOW-OFFutyun, LUXURY LIFESTYLE, and among other vanity traits I find to be very negatively disgusting as a human and as a some-what conservative Armenian. especially here in LA which has the largest (or 2nd largest) persian population outside of Iran. I can personally attest that persians will behave one way in Iran, but moment they flee their homeland, migrate, or permanently move to any NON-muslimized country they will behave the total opposite of who and what they are inside of Iran. here the persians totally disconnect themselves from their islamic lifestyle. here the women drive, talk on cell phones, dress insanely provocative/sexy/whorey/slutty or fashionable, they dont wear their muslim outfits, vails over their heads yev ayln. they wearing make-up, shopping at most expensive designer stores: gucci, d&g, prada, LV, cartier, tiffany & co., I mean beverly hills rodeo drive is littered with persians (next to jews). bev hills high school is 70-80% persian (like glendale high is considered Armenian high). so I can assure all of you who believe persians are one way in Iran, but really they free themselves of that way the moment they step foot onto a foreigners land. put it this way, persians believe to SH*T in other peoples lands and not inside their own…I suppose thats the islamified rhetoric way of thinking.
    so for their sake, I hope they behave themselves and be normal every day civilized person. otherwise if I dare read/hear about any negative incident on my ppl in my own homeland, well I can assure persians I will not be so nice to the next one I see hanging out at a cafe in celebrity-watching district sunset blvd where persians LOVE to be seen. I’ll see to it I embarrass that persian in front of everyone with 10 ARMENIAN POWER gang members standing behind. normal qaxaqavar sh’norgov mard yexeq, menq ayl qez jermutyunov bari galust enq mer yerkrum yev yekeq x’meq, kereq, u qef aneq mer het…lav?…de lav ara ameninchic lavn a

    • money and they want to buy Gucci…why not? BTW I have heard the same thing about Armenians wanting to show off and buy things they can’t really afford (like a Mercedes). I have Armenian friends and SOME do commit a lot of fraud for example car insurance scams, stealing cars and selling and parts, and even welfare fraud when they don’t really need it. Just because this is true of some Armenians doesn’t mean I should believe all Armenians are all that way believe this is true of ALL Armenians. We are all here in this country, so we should learn to respect each other. Don’t worry about where Persians shop or hang out…just worry about yourself and be happy.

    • And BTW, partying in Armenia is Faaaar from partying Western style. Where is Armenia anyway?? It’s so small It’s hard to find it on the map. Does anybody even go there? Why do Persians want to even go party in such a small and poor country?

  2. No matter how much we complain about lack of freedoms in Armenia, it is a fact that Armenia is a freer country than Iran is. Let’s just hope that this remains under the radar and the mullahs don’t ban travel to Yerevan.

    • @nazarian
      the mullah schmuallhs wont ban travel to Yerevan or else where near by
      they know that its better for their own benefit for these tourist to go party in other countries rather than in Iran, because the schmullahs dont want free style party types in Iran. I’m sure they tell them: hey go MESS around in other countries, get that I WANT TO DRINK and PARTY WESTERN STYLE out and then come back be a good lil islamic slave and bow your heads 5 times/day

  3. This all sounds to me like typical stereotyping of one culture to another. We all live in LA and dont like each others cultures. Get over it.

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