Submitted by Aram Demerjian


On the threshold of the 96th anniversary of the Armenian Genocide,
PanARMENIAN.Net continues publishing stories of Genocide survivors.

The stories were provided by the office of U.S. Congressman Adam Schiff
(D-CA), who initiated the Armenian Genocide Congressional Record as
an effort to parallel H. Res. 252, the Congressional resolution he
introduced to recognize and commemorate the Armenian Genocide carried
out by the Ottoman Empire from 1915 to 1923.

Congressman Schiff is the primary sponsor of H. Res. 252, the
Affirmation of the U.S. Record on the Armenian Genocide, which calls
on the President and the U.S. Government to properly recognize the
atrocities that occurred in the beginning of the 20th century and
resulted in 1.5 million deaths, as Genocide.

April 21, 2011PanARMENIAN.Net - My father, born in Diarbekir in 1901,
told me about the real events as I was growing up. His experiences
of what happened to his father and how he made to escape death were
not pleasant for me to hear. I was born in Lebanon. I would like give
you some of the accounts related to me.

My grand-father was an iron smith. He made hand-cuffs for the prison
inmates. His own hand-cuffs clamped his own hands by the Turks. He
was taken away from his home for questioning and his family never
saw him again.

I consider my father a very talented man. For instance, he could play
musical instruments, he could sing with a vibrant voice. He was not
fanatic about his religious practice. On his way to exile, he stopped
at many villages for few days or for few months. Some religious man
(sheikh) gave him shelter during one stop. This host noticed that he
has a good voice. So he invited my father to sing in the mosque. Of
course, having nothing to support himself, he could not refuse Sheikh's
request. I forgot to mention that my Dad also spoke Kurdish.

Three months later, my father who is also a good horse rider, left
the village at night time. Not knowing anything about his destiny. At
this time, I have not many details about how he made to Aleppo (Syria).

Someday, I shall sit down to write many other events regarding his
brothers and his mother whom survived this genocide and how my Dad was
able to meet them again in Lebanon. His older sister was forcefully
taken away by a Turkish soldier.

I also have some recollections told to me by my mother's side whose
family was also exiled from the town of Konia.

On my mother's side, the story is different. Her father (Sarkis) was
a merchant. Sarkis owned some wealth. He converted his assets into
gold coins. But he did not make the exile with his family made of 3
girls, one boy and his wife (my grand-mother). Sarkis was taken away
one morning and never came back. The gold coins were hidden inside
underwear of the women. A local Turk helped them ride the train out
of Konia to Tartousse against a certain amount of monetary payment."

From: A. Papazian