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Beirut's Once-thriving Armenian Jewelers Battling Economic Difficulties

Beirut’s Armenian district of Bourj Hammoud has long been recognized as a center of high-quality jewelry. However, with growing international competition and instability domestically, these craftsmen have been suffering. And as the number of workshops in the district dwindles, so grow fears that a rich part of the Armenian culture risks disappearing.
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Beirut's Bourj Hammoud district, the center of Lebanon's Armenian population, is known for its jewelry shops, April 9, 2016.
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Beirut's Bourj Hammoud district, the center of Lebanon's Armenian population, is known for its jewelry shops, April 9, 2016.

Jewelry shops line Bourj Hammoud's central street -- Armenia Street -- in Beirut, Lebanon, April 9, 2016. Even though the shops seem to have brisk business on the weekends, many craftsmen from small workshops are struggling.
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Jewelry shops line Bourj Hammoud's central street -- Armenia Street -- in Beirut, Lebanon, April 9, 2016. Even though the shops seem to have brisk business on the weekends, many craftsmen from small workshops are struggling.

Hrayr Dserounian, who said he feels the jewelry industry has lost some of its creativity, shows off some of the pieces being made in his workshop, in Beirut, Lebanon, April 1, 2016.
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Hrayr Dserounian, who said he feels the jewelry industry has lost some of its creativity, shows off some of the pieces being made in his workshop, in Beirut, Lebanon, April 1, 2016.

Still working at the age of 95, Hrayr Dserounian, left, is known to locals as "The Master," in Beirut, Lebanon, April 1, 2016.
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Still working at the age of 95, Hrayr Dserounian, left, is known to locals as "The Master," in Beirut, Lebanon, April 1, 2016.

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