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The History of Armenians in Belgium

Bernard Coulie


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February 2020

The History of Armenians in Belgium

Dr. Bernard Coulie explores the rich history of the Armenian community in Belgium, which dates back to merchant travelers in the Middle Ages. The first Armenians to settle in Belgium were prominent families that traded in oriental rugs, diamonds and tobacco. In 1922, following the arrival of genocide survivors from the Ottoman Empire and the Middle East, the Armenian community established its first official representative body, the Committee of Armenians of Belgium, which remains active to this day. Over the course of the last century, successive new waves of immigrants have contributed to the growing size of the community and to its vibrant political, academic and cultural presence today.

Dr. Bernard Coulie is a professor of Byzantine studies, Armenian and Georgian studies, and European culture and identity at the Catholic University of Louvain in Belgium, where he has also served as Rector of the University and Dean of the Faculty of Philosophy and Letters. Dr. Coulie holds a PhD in classics and oriental studies and has completed post-doctoral studies at the Dumbarton Oaks Center for Byzantine Studies (Harvard University) and the University of Vienna.

Topics: Genocide History