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The capital, Yerevan, also has the status of a community. Area and population of provinces. The economy relies heavily on investment and support from Armenians abroad.
The republic had developed a modern industrial sector , supplying machine tools , textiles, and other manufactured goods to sister republics in exchange for raw materials and energy.
Armenian mines produce copper, zinc, gold, and lead. The vast majority of energy is produced with fuel imported from Russia, including gas and nuclear fuel for its one nuclear power plant ; the main domestic energy source is hydroelectric.
Small deposits of coal, gas, and petroleum exist but have not yet been developed. Soviet investment in and support of Armenian industry has virtually disappeared, so that few major enterprises are still able to function.
In addition, the effects of the Spitak earthquake , which killed more than 25, people and made , homeless, are still being felt.
The conflict with Azerbaijan over Nagorno-Karabakh has not been resolved. The closure of Azerbaijani and Turkish borders has devastated the economy, because Armenia depends on outside supplies of energy and most raw materials.
Land routes through Georgia and Iran are inadequate or unreliable. Nevertheless, the government was able to make wide-ranging economic reforms that paid off in dramatically lower inflation and steady growth.
The cease-fire in the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict has also helped the economy. Armenia has had strong economic growth since , building on the turnaround that began the previous year, and inflation has been negligible for the past several years.
New sectors, such as precious-stone processing and jewelry making, information and communication technology, and even tourism are beginning to supplement more traditional sectors of the economy, such as agriculture.
This steady economic progress has earned Armenia increasing support from international institutions. These loans are targeted at reducing the budget deficit and stabilising the currency; developing private businesses; energy; agriculture; food processing; transportation; the health and education sectors; and ongoing rehabilitation in the earthquake zone.
The government joined the World Trade Organization on 5 February But one of the main sources of foreign direct investments remains the Armenian diaspora, which finances major parts of the reconstruction of infrastructure and other public projects.
Being a growing democratic state, Armenia also hopes to get more financial aid from the Western World. A liberal foreign investment law was approved in June , and a law on privatization was adopted in , as well as a program of state property privatization.
Continued progress will depend on the ability of the government to strengthen its macroeconomic management, including increasing revenue collection, improving the investment climate, and making strides against corruption.
However, unemployment, which was Armenia ranks 47th on Doing Business Index in with 13th rank on "starting business" sub-index. Research spending is low in Armenia, averaging 0.
However, the statistical record of research expenditure is incomplete, as expenditure by privately owned business enterprises is not surveyed in Armenia.
The world average for domestic expenditure on research was 1. Based on this strategy, the accompanying Action Plan was approved by the government in June It defines the following targets: However, the main driver of innovation, the business sector, is not mentioned.
In between publishing the Strategy and Action Plan , the government issued a resolution in May on Science and Technology Development Priorities for — This law is expected to play a key role in shaping the Armenian innovation system.
It allows the National Academy of Sciences to extend its business activities to the commercialization of research results and the creation of spin-offs; it also makes provision for restructuring the National Academy of Sciences by combining institutes involved in closely related research areas into a single body.
Three of these new centres are particularly relevant: The government is focusing its support on selected industrial sectors. More than 20 projects have been cofunded by the State Committee of Science in targeted branches: Over the past decade, the government has made an effort to encourage science—industry linkages.
The Armenian information technology sector has been particularly active: Examples are Synopsys Inc. In medieval times University of Gladzor and University of Tatev took an important role for whole Armenia.
In the —89 school year, students per 10, population were in specialized secondary or higher education, a figure slightly lower than the Soviet average.
In the early s, Armenia made substantial changes to the centralised and regimented Soviet system. Primary and secondary education in Armenia is free, and completion of secondary school is compulsory.
High education in Armenia is harmonized with Bologna process. Armenian National Academy of Sciences plays important role in postgraduate education.
Schooling takes 12 years in Armenia and breaks down into primary 4 years , middle 5 years and high school 3 years. Schools engage a grade mark system.
Interesting feature of primary and secondary education is obligatory schooling in chess playing. Tumo Center for Creative Technologies is one of the most prominent auxiliary education concepts in Armenia.
Armath  laboratories are a prominent concept for engaging pupils into studying technical sciences and applied technologies. Teach for Armenia is works towards the improvement of primary and secondary education enrollment in regions of Armenia.
The Government also supports Armenian schools outside of Armenia. List of universities in Armenia includes many other.
The extension programs and the library at AUA form a new focal point for English-language intellectual life in the city. Armenia also hosts a deployment of One Laptop per Child initiative.
On the basis of the expansion and development of Yerevan State University a number of higher educational independent Institutions were formed including Medical Institute separated in which was set up on the basis of medical faculty.
In Yerevan State Medical University was awarded one of the main rewards of the former USSR — the Order of Labor red Banner for training qualified specialists in health care and valuable service in the development of Medical Science.
Nowadays the YSMU is a Medical Institution corresponding to international requirements, trains medical staff for not only Armenia and neighbour countries, i.
Iran, Syria, Lebanon, Georgia, but also many other leading countries all over the world. Nowadays the university is ranked among famous higher Medical Institutions and takes its honourable place in the World Directory of Medical Schools published by the WHO.
However public spendings per student in tertiary education in GDP-ratio terms is one of the lowest for post-USSR countries for which data was available.
Armenia has a population of 2,, est. About 1, Armenians reside in the Armenian Quarter in the Old City of Jerusalem , a remnant of a once-larger community.
Ethnic Armenians make up Yazidis make up 1. Minorities of Poles and Caucasus Germans also exist though they are heavily Russified.
During the Soviet era , Azerbaijanis were historically the second largest population in the country forming about 2.
Conversely, Armenia received a large influx of Armenian refugees from Azerbaijan, thus giving Armenia a more homogeneous character.
According to Gallup research conducted in Armenia has one of the highest migrant acceptance welcoming rates in eastern Europe.
Armenian is the only official language. The main foreign languages that Armenians know are Russian and English. Due to its Soviet past, most of the old population can speak Russian quite well.
Armenia was the first nation to adopt Christianity as a state religion, an event traditionally dated to AD The predominant religion in Armenia is Christianity.
The roots of the Armenian Church go back to the 1st century. Because of these two founding apostles, the official name of the Armenian Church is Armenian Apostolic Church.
The Armenian Evangelical Church has a very sizeable and favourable presence among the life of Armenians with over several thousand members throughout the country.
It traces its roots back to which was under patronage of the Armenian Patriarchate of Constantinople the aim of which was to train qualified clergy for the Armenian Apostolic Church.
Other Christian denominations practising faith based on Nicene Creed in Armenia are the Pentecostal branches of Protestant community such as the Word of Life, the Armenian Brotherhood Church ,  the Baptists which are known as of the oldest existing denominations in Armenia and were permitted by the authorities of Soviet Union,   and Presbyterians.
Catholics also exist in Armenia, both Latin rite and Armenian rite Catholics. The Mechitarists also spelled "Mekhitarists" Armenian: They are best known for their series of scholarly publications of ancient Armenian versions of otherwise lost ancient Greek texts.
The Armenian Catholic denomination is headquartered in Bzoummar , Lebanon. Armenia is home to a Russian community of Molokans which practice a form of Spiritual Christianity originated from the Russian Orthodox Church.
The Yazidis, who live in the western part of the country, practice Yazidism. There is a Jewish community in Armenia diminished to persons since independence with most emigrants leaving for Israel.
There are currently two synagogues in Armenia — in the capital, Yerevan, and in the city of Sevan located near Lake Sevan. Armenians have their own distinctive alphabet and language.
The alphabet was invented in AD by Mesrop Mashtots and consists of thirty-nine letters, three of which were added during the Cilician period.
Television, magazines, and newspapers are all operated by both state-owned and for-profit corporations which depend on advertising , subscription , and other sales-related revenues.
The number of assaults has recently declined, but the physical integrity of journalists remain at stake. Instruments like the duduk, dhol , zurna , and kanun are commonly found in Armenian folk music.
Artists such as Sayat Nova are famous due to their influence in the development of Armenian folk music. One of the oldest types of Armenian music is the Armenian chant which is the most common kind of religious music in Armenia.
Many of these chants are ancient in origin, extending to pre-Christian times, while others are relatively modern, including several composed by Saint Mesrop Mashtots, the inventor of the Armenian alphabet.
Whilst under Soviet rule, the Armenian classical music composer Aram Khatchaturian became internationally well known for his music, for various ballets and the Sabre Dance from his composition for the ballet Gayane.
The Armenian Genocide caused widespread emigration that led to the settlement of Armenians in various countries in the world. Armenians kept to their traditions and certain diasporans rose to fame with their music.
This style preserved the folk songs and dances of Western Armenia , and many artists also played the contemporary popular songs of Turkey and other Middle Eastern countries from which the Armenians emigrated.
Richard Hagopian is perhaps the most famous artist of the traditional "kef" style and the Vosbikian Band was notable in the s and s for developing their own style of "kef music" heavily influenced by the popular American Big Band Jazz of the time.
Other Armenian diasporans that rose to fame in classical or international music circles are world-renowned French-Armenian singer and composer Charles Aznavour , pianist Sahan Arzruni , prominent opera sopranos such as Hasmik Papian and more recently Isabel Bayrakdarian and Anna Kasyan.
Certain Armenians settled to sing non-Armenian tunes such as the heavy metal band System of a Down which nonetheless often incorporates traditional Armenian instrumentals and styling into their songs or pop star Cher.
In the Armenian diaspora, Armenian revolutionary songs are popular with the youth. These songs encourage Armenian patriotism and are generally about Armenian history and national heroes.
Yerevan Vernissage arts and crafts market , close to Republic Square, bustles with hundreds of vendors selling a variety of crafts on weekends and Wednesdays though the selection is much reduced mid-week.
The market offers woodcarving, antiques, fine lace, and the hand-knotted wool carpets and kilims that are a Caucasus speciality.
Obsidian , which is found locally, is crafted into assortment of jewellery and ornamental objects. Armenian gold smithery enjoys a long 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 and so on — are also available at the Vernisage.
Across from the Opera House, a popular art market fills another city park on the weekends. All but the most spectacular remain virtually undiscovered, allowing visitors to view churches and fortresses in their original settings.
It houses paintings by many European masters as well. Moreover, many private galleries are in operation, with many more opening every year, featuring rotating exhibitions and sales.
On 13 April , the Armenian government announced a change in law to allow freedom of panorama for 3D works of art.
Cinema in Armenia was born on April 16, , when the Armenian State Committee of Cinema was established by a decree of the Soviet Armenian government.
The film was premiered in Cairo on March 13, In March , the first Armenian film studio; Armenfilm Armenian: Арменкино "Armenkino" was established in Yerevan, starting with a documentary film called Soviet Armenia.
Namus was the first Armenian silent black-and-white film, directed by Hamo Beknazarian in , based on a play of Alexander Shirvanzade , describing the ill fate of two lovers, who were engaged by their families to each other since childhood, but because of violations of namus a tradition of honor , the girl was married by her father to another person.
The first sound film , Pepo was shot in , director Hamo Beknazarian. A wide array of sports are played in Armenia, the most popular among them being wrestling, weightlifting, judo, association football, chess, and boxing.
Being a landlocked country, water sports can only be practised on lakes, notably Lake Sevan. Competitively, Armenia has been successful in chess, weightlifting and wrestling at the international level.
It also hosts the Pan-Armenian Games. As part of the Soviet Union, Armenia was very successful, winning plenty of medals and helping the USSR win the medal standings at the Olympics on numerous occasions.
The first medal won by an Armenian in modern Olympic history was by Hrant Shahinyan sometimes spelled as Grant Shaginyan , who won two golds and two silvers in gymnastics at the Summer Olympics in Helsinki.
To highlight the level of success of Armenians in the Olympics, Shahinyan was quoted as saying:. But those difficulties notwithstanding, 90 percent of Armenian athletes on Soviet Olympic teams came back with medals.
Armenia first participated at the Summer Olympics in Barcelona under a unified CIS team, where it was very successful, winning three golds and one silver in weightlifting, wrestling and sharp shooting, despite only having five athletes.
Since the Winter Olympics in Lillehammer , Armenia has participated as an independent nation. Armenia participates in the Summer Olympic Games in boxing, wrestling, weightlifting, judo, gymnastics, track and field, diving, swimming and sharp shooting.
It also participates in the Winter Olympic Games in alpine skiing, cross-country skiing and figure skating.
Football is also popular in Armenia. The latter achievement saw FC Ararat gain entry to the European Cup where — despite a home victory in the second leg — they lost on aggregate at the quarter final stage to eventual winner FC Bayern Munich.
Armenia competed internationally as part of the USSR national football team until the Armenian national football team was formed in after the split of the Soviet Union.
Armenia have never qualified for a major tournament although recent improvements saw the team to achieve 44th position in the FIFA World Rankings in September The national team is controlled by the Football Federation of Armenia.
The Armenian Premier League is the highest level football competition in Armenia, and has been dominated by FC Pyunik in recent seasons. The league currently consists of eight teams and relegates to the Armenian First League.
Wrestling has been a successful sport in the Olympics for Armenia. Traditional Armenian wrestling is called Kokh and practised in traditional garb; it was one of the influences included in the Soviet combat sport of Sambo , which is also very popular.
The rebuilding of the regional schools was financed by the Armenian government. In , a cycling centre was opened in Yerevan with the aim of helping produce world class Armenian cyclists.
Armenia has also been very successful in chess, winning the World Champion in and the World Chess Olympiad on three occasions.
Armenian cuisine is closely related to eastern and Mediterranean cuisine ; various spices , vegetables , fish , and fruits combine to present unique dishes.
The main characteristics of Armenian cuisine are a reliance on the quality of the ingredients rather than heavily spicing food, the use of herbs, the use of wheat in a variety of forms, of legumes, nuts, and fruit as a main ingredient as well as to sour food , and the stuffing of a wide variety of leaves.
The pomegranate , with its symbolic association with fertility, represents that nation. The apricot is the national fruit.
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Please help improve this article by adding citations to reliable sources. Unsourced material may be challenged and removed. First Republic of Armenia.
Armenian Soviet Socialist Republic. Government of Armenia and Politics of Armenia. Human rights in Armenia. Armed Forces of Armenia.
Administrative divisions of Armenia. Science and technology in Armenia. Demographics of Armenia and Armenians. Armenian settlement area today. Largest cities or towns in Armenia Armenia census           .
Djivan Gasparyan left , Sirusho middle and Charles Aznavour right are among most popular musicians of Armenia. List of museums in Armenia.
Sport in Armenia and Chess in Armenia. Armenia portal Asia portal Europe portal. The Ethnic Minorities in Armenia.
Part of the OSCE. Archived copy at WebCite 16 April As per the most recent census in It was named for Artaxias, a general of Antiochus the Great, who founded the kingdom of Armenia about B.
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Although the mythology associated with the pagan worship of the mountain is now lost to popular belief, Mount Ararat has played a very Situated near the border, the peak is visible from nearly every area of Armenia.
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