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On the western edge of Burj Hammoud lies the Marash neighborhood -- named after the former Ottoman city where Turkish forces massacred Armenian refugees in 1920, amid Turkey's war of independence near the end of the Armenian genocide. The small neighborhood was one of the first to be established in Burj Hammoud, which became Lebanon's aptly named "Little Armenia". Those who settled in Marash were largely craftsmen originating from the eponymous Ottoman city.The culture of craftsmanship in Burj Hammoud is not what it used to be. Artisans who have been working for generations in a range of sectors, including textiles, jewelry and woodworking, have started turning to other trades, Makki said, due to a lack of state support for small business.Once a flourishing Armenian-owned textile factory, it has since been shut down and repurposed into an event space, commonly rented out for parties and art exhibitions, mainly by people from outside the community.
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