Yerevan - Post Report Question and Answers

Morale among expats:

Morale is average. Some people are happy here, others are not. It makes a difference if you know the language, Armenian or Russian, and like to explore around the country. - Sep 2011


It can vary, but generally we find it to be quite good. Morale can certainly be affected by Yerevan's isolation; three closed borders (including Iran), with Tbilisi the only major city within driving distance. Flying out is expensive and during the winter the airport frequently fogs in. - Oct 2009


Poor to apathetic. Those that came here hoping to make a difference promoting development, democracy, or anything Western seem to become disheartened rather quickly. The United States has poured US$2 Billion in direct assistance into Armenia in its 16 years of independence; billions more have been Western Unioned in via the diaspora all while the Yerevan leadership continues to seriously backslide on 'democracy'.Those in power, it seems, couldn't care less since the Glendale, CA-Yerevan money train and strong Congressional lobbyists pretty much ensures that any threat made about yanking development money rings hollow. Corruption, the Mafia, and oligarchs colors everything. That three of Armenia's four borders (Turkey, Azerbaijan, and Iran) are closed (or closed to USG personnel) and that Soviet planners placed the international airport in an area that regularly fogs in during winter, coupled with the fact that the single road to Georgia is often closed due to weather during the four month long brutal winter leads to a pervasive 'island' feel which grinds folks down. I find no great sense of community or camaraderie within the Mission, perhaps a reflection that there hasn't been an Ambassador in Armenia for two years and that folks are necessarily 'pulled up'.Those that do best here are those that are generally apathetic to their external surroundings--those that are in Yerevan for the hardship and SND differentials--and head home to family immediately after work. It is a safe, quiet Post. - Jul 2008


Ok. A few people really love it here. The city and the standard of living is much better than most developing countries but the Armenians tend to be uncurious and arrogant (they know EVERYTHING!) and undereducated (although they don't believe this). - Jan 2008


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