Monday, July 30th, 2012

Dr. Arda Arsenian Ekmekji during her presentation at the Glendale
Public Library last week

GLENDALE-The Glendale Central Library buzzed with excitement on
the evening of July 25, 2012 as the crowd poured into its second
floor auditorium to hear Dr. Arda Arsenian Ekmekji, Dean of Arts and
Sciences at Haigazian University. She had traveled more than 7000
miles to launch the U.S. release of Towards Golgotha, memoirs of her
grandfather Hagop Arsenian, a pharmacist and survivor of the Armenian
Genocide of 1915.

Elizabeth Grigorian, director of Armenian Outreach at the library,
invited Ardashes Kassakhian, Glendale's City Clerk, to the podium
to introduce Dr. Ekmekji. Kassakhian is the great grandson of Hagop
Arsenian and nephew of Dean Ekmekji who had painstakingly translated
the memoirs from Armenian to English. She revealed that she wasn't
aware her grandfather's handwritten memoirs even existed until her
uncle, visiting from Ottowa in 1996, carried them with him to the
Middle East.

Hagop Arsenian documented his early life in the suburbs of
Constantinople and the eventual deportation of his family to Aleppo,
Syria, then described his life in Palestine from 1919 until 1940. Dr.

Ekmekji, during her research at the comprehensive Derian Armenological
Library of Haigazian University, read numerous accounts of other
survivors and, in comparing their identical descriptions, discovered
that the authors had been detained in the same encampments, but
never met.

The audience hushed when an audio tape was played of her father,
Noubar, reading a portion of her grandfather's writings in Armenian
in which he chronicled the atrocities he had witnessed using the terms
"massacres" and "slaughter house." The word genocide had not yet been
coined, not until the mid '40s by Raphael Lemkin.

Dr. Ekmekji, a full professor at Haigazian, holds a Master of Arts
in Ancient History and Archaeology from the American University of
Beirut and a Doctorate in Archeology from the University of Paris. Her
translation is the first book to be published by Haigazian University
Press. As it came off the presses, Dr. Paul Haidostian, President of
the University remarked that "all memoirs of genocide survivors or
stories of the Armenian genocide are considered as a resurrection,
in the Armenian collective conscience." It is available at Amazon.com
and the Armenian Missionary Association, [email protected]

Audience members who were present and recognized during the evening
were Elise Kalfayan, President of the Friends of the Glendale Library,
Arno Yeretzian, representing Glendale's Abril Bookstore, Dr. Richard
Hovannisian, Prof. Emeritus at UCLA, Rev. Father Ghevont Kirazian,
Pastor of the Crescenta Valley Armenian Apostolic Church, and Frank
Quintero, the Mayor of Glendale. Also in attendance were members of
the Haigazian University Board of Trustees, the Haigazian Women's
Auxiliary of Los Angeles, and the Haigazian Alumni Association.

From: Emil Lazarian | Ararat NewsPress