Public Symposium on the Meaning of the New Martyrs of the Armenian Genocide Next Week

2015-05 GenocideIconThumbnailA one-day public symposium titled, From Victims to Victors: The New Armenian Saints of 1915 will take place at the Catholic University of America in Washington DC next Wednesday, May 6.

The event is being held in conjunction with the national observance of the Armenian Genocide centennial and the recent canonization of the martyrs of 1915. It is being co-sponsored by the School of Theology and Religious Studies of the Catholic University of America in Washington, DC and the Zohrab Information Center.

Roman Catholic, Greek Orthodox, and Armenian speakers will consider the meaning of new Genocide martyrs in the context of the wider Christian practice of the canonization and veneration of saints and martyrs, with special attention to their practical impact on the faith and lives of Armenian-Americans today.

The day’s program will begin with welcoming remarks by the Provost of Catholic University, Rev. Dr. Mark Morozowich; Rev. Dr. Paul McPartlan, Dean of School of Theology, and V. Rev. Dr. Daniel Findikyan of the Zohrab Information Center.

Dr. Stefanos Alexopoulos is a Greek Orthodox priest and Professor of Theology at the Catholic University of America.
Dr. Stefanos Alexopoulos is a Greek Orthodox priest and Professor of Theology at the Catholic University of America. He will be among the speakers at a public symposium on the newly-canonized martyrs of the Armenian Genocide.

Dr. Robin Darling Young (Associate Professor of Theology, Catholic University of America) will open the day’s deliberations with a talk entitled, Armenian Chroniclers, Early Martyrs, and Communal Intercession, from Agat’angelos to Yeghishe.

Christopher Sheklian, an ordained deacon of the Armenian Church and doctoral candidate in anthropology at the University of Chicago, will reflect on the tension between the secular-national significance of the Genocide martyrs and their Christian-theological meaning. His talk is entitled, Witnessing, Sacrifice, and Suffering: Martyrdom and the Relationship Between Ethnic and Religious Identities.

Greek Orthodox priest, Rev. Dr. Stefanos Alexopoulos (Assistant Professor of Liturgics and Sacramental Theology at Catholic University) will next speak on the topic, The Armenian Martyrs of 1915 and the Greek Martyrs of 1922: Pastoral and Practical Applications for Armenian and Greek Orthodox Christians in America Today.

The afternoon will conclude with a panel discussion among all the speakers, moderated by Rev. Dr. Ronald Roberson of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops.

The symposium is free and open to the public. It will take place in Caldwell Auditorium of the Catholic University of America (620 Michigan Ave. N.E., Washington, DC). The program will begin at 10 a.m. and conclude at 3:30 p.m. For information, contact the Zohrab Information Center at (212) 686-0710.

The Armenians of Bourj Hammoud: A Book Presentation

NOTE: THIS LECTURE HAS BEEN RESCHEDULED TO TUESDAY, JUNE 6, 2015 at 7PM.

On the 100th anniversary of the Armenian Genocide, the Zohrab Information Center and the Department of Armenian Studies of the Diocese of the Armenian Church (Eastern), in collaboration with the A.G.B.U. Ararat Magazine, will present a new photographic exposé of a vibrant Armenian community that rose from the ashes of that calamity. #bourjhammoud

Ariane Ateshian Delacampagne will present her new book, Portraits of Survival: The Armenians of Bourj Hammoud. The author-photographer will speak about her work and exhibit many of her vivid photographs, as she tells poignant stories of survival and success.

The event will take place on Thursday, March 5 at 7PM in the Guild Hall of the Armenian Diocese, 630 2nd Avenue, New York.

2015-03 PortraitsBourjBourj Hammoud in northeast Beirut, Lebanon, is home to a close-knit, vibrant Armenian community of shopkeepers, craftspeople and artists, young and old, a thriving combination of modern commerce and traditional trades. In less than a century the area has transformed itself from a tent city of refugees — the Armenians who fled Turkey in 1915 and began flocking here in the 1920s — to a bustling urban economic center.

It is here that Delacampagne, a photographer of Armenian descent, chose to focus her lens. She spent years among the remarkable people working and living here: the tailors and cobblers, embroiderers and clockmakers, jewelers and gem cutters, and the families. The result is an unforgettable portrait of the spirit and courage, the enterprise and heritage, which forms the soul of Bourj Hammoud.

Ariane Ateshian Delacampagne is a noted photographer born in Beirut, Lebanon. Her latest work is a photographic exposé of the vibrant Armenian community of Bourj Hammoud, born from the ashes of the Genocide 100 years ago.
Ariane Ateshian Delacampagne is a noted photographer born in Beirut, Lebanon. Her latest work is a photographic exposé of the vibrant Armenian community of Bourj Hammoud, born from the ashes of the Genocide 100 years ago.

Ariane Ateshian Delacampagne was born in Beirut, Lebanon. She has a master’s in political science from the American University of Beirut and studied photography at the International Center of Photography in New York. She currently lives and works in New York.

The evening is free and open to the public. A reception will follow. For further information contact the Zohrab Center at zohrabcenter@armeniandiocese.org or (212) 686-0710.

2012-03 BourjHammoudCLICK HERE to download a color flyer. #bourjhammoud

Portraits d’une survie: les Arméniens de Bourj Hammoud / Portraits of Survival: the Armenians of Bourj Hammoud (Somogy éditions d’art, 2014) represents Delacampagne’s most intensive project to date.  Continue reading “The Armenians of Bourj Hammoud: A Book Presentation”

Code Name “Haiko” Discovering the Last Unknown Participant in Talaat Pasha’s Liquidation. Lecture by Dr. Vartan Matiossian

Grand Vizir Talaat Pasha was murdered on March 15, 1921 in Berlin by Soghomon Tehlirian as vengeance for his role in the Armenian Genocide.
Grand Vizir Talaat Pasha was assassinated on March 15, 1921 in Berlin by Soghomon Tehlirian as vengeance for his role in the Armenian Genocide.

The Zohrab Center inaugurates its Spring Armenian enrichment series on Thursday, February 5 with a real-life detective story by Dr. Vartan Matiossian.

In 1921 the mastermind of the Armenian Genocide, Talaat Pasha, was killed in a Berlin street by a young avenger, Soghomon Tehlirian. This was the final act of Operation Nemesis, planned and partially carried out between 1919 and 1922 to fulfill the justice to the Armenian people that many believed had been denied them by tribunals.

Soghomon Tehlirian was acquitted by a  German court in the assassination of Talaat Pasha.
Soghomon Tehlirian was acquitted by a German court in the assassination of Talaat Pasha.

In his memoirs, published in Armenian in 1953, Tehlirian unveiled many of the details of his action. For security reasons, he identified his immediate on-the-ground collaborators with pseudonyms: Hazor, Vaza, and a certain Haiko. Three decades later, the identity of the first two were revealed or inferred but the third operative, “Haiko,” has remained unidentified.

While waiting for the day that archival material will yield more information about him, a lucky hunch and a painstaking examination of data from the Armenian press and secondary literature has allowed Dr. Vartan Matiossian to identify by name and to outline the life and activities of “Haiko.”

Dr. Vartan Matiossian has published extensively in the areas of Armenian history and literature.
Dr. Vartan Matiossian has published extensively in the areas of Armenian history and literature.

Dr. Vartan Matiossian was born in Montevideo, Uruguay, and lived in Buenos Aires until 2000, when he moved to the United States. He graduated from the University of Buenos Aires and has a Ph.D. in history from the Academy of Sciences, Armenia, having studied the Armenian community in Argentina from its beginnings until 1950.

A frequent visitor to the Zohrab Center, Dr. Matiossian currently serves as Executive Director of the Armenian National Education Committee of the Armenian Prelacy in New York. He has published extensively in the areas of Armenian history and literature in Armenian, Spanish and English, including 5 books and countless scholarly articles, essays and book reviews. He has also translated 15 Armenian books into Spanish and English.

2015-02 Matiossian.001Dr. Matiossian’s presentation will take place in the Guild Hall of the Armenian Diocese, 630 2nd. Avenue, New York on Thursday, February 5 at 7PM. The event, which will be followed by a reception, is free of charge and all are welcome.

CLICK HERE to download a color flyer.

For further information, contact the Zohrab Center at zohrabcenter@armeniandiocese.org or (212) 686-0710.

ZICVID. Prof. Maxwell Johnson Speaks on Martyrdom in the Early Churches and the Martyrs of the Armenian Genocide

On Thursday, October 9, Prof. Maxwell Johnson of the University of Notre Dame spoke at the Zohrab Center about the phenomenon of Christian martyrdom in the early church in light of the anticipated canonization by the Armenian Church of the countless martyrs of the Armenian Genocide of 1915 who surrendered their lives for the name of Jesus Christ.

From the ZIC Photograph Archives. Do You Recognize These Faces?

One of the treasures of the Zohrab Center is its rich collection of historical photographs, some of them from 19th century Armenian communities in western Armenia and the Middle East, many of them documenting the early history of the Armenian community in the United States.

The collection, numbering hundreds of photographs, has grown gradually thanks to the donations of American Armenians going back to the establishment of the Diocese of the Armenian Church over a century ago.

One person working with the ZIC collection is Dr. Joseph Malikian, an expert in 19th and early 20th century Armenian photography and photographers, who has his own vast and precious personal collection of historical photographs, and who published the recent album, The Armenians in the Ottoman Empire: An Anthology and a Photo History (Antelias, Lebanon, 2011). (Read about a recent exhibit from his personal collection of Ottoman-era photographs).

Dr. Malikian recently brought to our attention one of the rare photographs that contains identifying information.

IMG_1346The print, measuring approximately 5 x 7 inches, depicts 8 well-dressed young men standing behind two distinguished gentlemen and an Armenian clergyman, all seated. On the reverse we read the following caption:

Ագ-Շէհիրի դպրոցի բարձրագոյն կարգի աշակերտները իրենց տնօրէնը Լեւոն Աղապապեան, Գարեգին Սրբազանը՝ ներկայիս Պօլսոյ պատրիարք Խաչատուրեանը, Արմենակ Օրմանեան։ 1913-1955.

The students of the senior class of the Ak-Shehir school [with] their principal, Levon Aghababian, Bishop Karekin Khachadourian—currently the Patriarch of Constantinople, [and] Armenak Ormanian. 1913-1955.

Relatively few of the ZIC photographs include identifying captions such as this one.
Relatively few of the ZIC photographs include identifying captions such as this one.

The fascinating photo and caption provide a glimpse into a long-forgotten page in the story of the Armenian people. Ak-Shehir is a city in west-central Turkey that had a small, but vibrant Armenian community far from the larger pre-Genocide Armenian centers hundreds of miles farther east.

Patriarch Karekin Khachadourian, a native of Trabizon, served as Patriarch of Constantinople from 1951-1961. The years “1913-1955” that conclude the caption probably indicate the date of the photograph (1913) and the date that the caption was written (1955).

But who is Levon Aghababian, the principal? And who is Armenak Ormanian? Is the latter a relative of Maghakia Ormanian, the great intellectual and prolific scholar who converted from the Armenian Catholic Church eventually to become Patriarch of Constantinople in 1896?

If you can provide any additional information about these individuals, the photograph, or the Armenian community of Ak-Shehir, please post a note on this blog.

Continue reading “From the ZIC Photograph Archives. Do You Recognize These Faces?”

The Canonization of the Armenian Martyrs of 1915. What is Christian Martyrdom Anyway?

JohnsonImage.001In April 2015, on the 100th anniversary of the Armenian Genocide, under the auspices of His Holiness Karekin II, Supreme Patriarch and Catholicos of all Armenians and His Holiness Aram I, Catholicos of the Great House of Cilicia, the Armenian Apostolic Orthodox Church will take the momentous step to officially recognize as saints of the church the countless souls who perished during the Genocide in witness of their Christian faith.

The Rev. Dr. Maxwell E. Johnson, Professor of Liturgical Studies at the University of Notre Dame (South Bend, IN) will present a lecture entitled, The Blood of the Martyrs: Seed of the Church Yesterday and Today on Thursday, October 9 at 7:00PM.

BloodMartyrsJohnson.001CLICK HERE TO DOWNLOAD A FLYER.

Surveying traditional interpretations of Christian martyrdom, Professor Johnson will address the relevance of the canonization of the Armenian Martyrs of 1915 for the Armenian Church and people today.   

Maxwell E. Johnson is Professor of Liturgical Studies at the University of Notre Dame.
Maxwell E. Johnson is Professor of Liturgical Studies at the University of Notre Dame.

The illustrated lecture is free and open to the public. It will take place in the Guild Hall of the Armenian Diocese, 630 Second Avenue, New York, NY.

The Rev. Dr. Maxwell E. Johnson is an ordained pastor of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America and a leading scholar of early Christian liturgy and worship. He has written extensively on topics related to Baptism, Eucharist, the Liturgical Year, Mary, the Saints, and Ecumenism. He has lectured at St. Nersess Armenian Seminary on Armenian Baptismal Rites and Spirituality.

Professor Johnson’s most recent book, Praying and Believing in Early Christianity: The Interplay between Christian Worship and Doctrine, is concerned with how the worship of the church shapes and is shaped by doctrine. Copies will be available for purchase at the lecture. Guests will have the opportunity to greet Prof. Johnson during a wine and cheese reception that will follow his presentation.

For further information contact the Zohrab Center at zohrabcenter@armeniandiocese.org or (212) 686-0710.

#ArmenianMartyrs

ZIC Goes to the Movies on Wednesday, September 10

Garod (Yearning) presents a brave look at issues such as nationalism, patriotism and the effects of the 1915 Genocide.
Garod (Yearning) presents a brave look at issues such as nationalism, patriotism and the effects of the 1915 Genocide.

The Zohrab Information Center launches its Autumn educational series on September 10 with a night at the movies. Featured will be the 1990 film Garod (Yearning) by the legendary Armenian director Frunze Dovlatyan.The film is a brave look at issues such as nationalism, patriotism and the effects of the 1915 Genocide on a village of Armenians on the Turkish-Armenian border.

The film is in Armenian with English subtitles.

The film will be introduced by leading writer, translator, journalist and filmmaker Christopher Atamian, who will also lead an open discussion about the film following its screening.

Award-winning Armenian filmmaker Frunze Dovlatyan
Award-winning Armenian filmmaker Frunze Dovlatyan

Frunze Dovlatyan is best known for his 1966 film Barev Yess Em, which was selected as the Soviet Union’s official submission to the Cannes Film Festival that year. Born in Gavar, Armenia, Dovlatyan was one of Armenia’s best-known directors. He studied at the Sundukyan Theater in Yerevan and headed Armenfilm Studio in the 1980’s and 1990’s.

The 1990 film Garod reveals what happens when the yearning or nostalgia to return to one’s childhood village becomes irresistible. This exciting, informative and sometimes sad film also presents a fascinating look at the dark side of Soviet Armenia.

Noted New York filmmaker Christopher Atamian will introduce the film and lead a discussion.
Noted New York filmmaker Christopher Atamian will introduce the film and lead a discussion.

Chrisopher Atamian has written, lectured and taught extensively on film  at NYU, UConn Storrs, BAM and the Huffington Post, where he writes a blog on culture, the arts and current events. He is an alumnus of Harvard University, Columbia Business School and USC Film School. Among his many creative projects, he has begun a book of critical essays on Armenian film entitled Nationalism, Identity and Sexuality Film or: The Nostalgic Impulse. 

Atamian has spoken at the Zohrab Center and visits the ZIC frequently in the course of his creative work.

The event will take place in Guild Hall of the Diocese of the Armenian Church, 630 Second GarodAvenue, New York at 7PM on Wednesday, September 10. The film and discussion are open to the public. Donation is $5. Students with ID will be admitted free. Refreshments will be provided during and after the movie.

CLICK HERE TO DOWNLOAD A FLYER.

For further information contact the Zohrab Center at zohrabcenter@armeniandiocese.org or (212) 686-0710. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter. #GarodYearning

Farewell Aleppo

One of the oldest continuously inhabited cities on Earth, Aleppo became a staging ground and refuge for tens of thousands of Genocide survivors.
One of the oldest continuously inhabited cities on Earth, the city of Aleppo, Syria became a staging ground and refuge for tens of thousands of Armenian Genocide survivors.

by Paylag Khatchadourian (1906-1991)

Քաղաք մըն ես դուն արաբական,
Ծննդավայր իմ պատուական.
Աչքս բացի քեզի տեսայ,
Գիտցայ թէ ա´լ քաղաք չկայ։

Իմ հայրենիք երկրորդական,
Ժողովրդովդ սիրական.
Եղար հայուն բարի պաշտպան
Տուիր մեզի հաց ապաստան։

Ապրեցանք մենք միշտ միասին
Որպէս եղբայր հայն արապին.
Գործեցինք մենք միշտ միասին,
Որպէս անկեղծ Սուրիայի։

Մօտ է օրը մեր բաժանման,
Իմ մանկութեան լոյսի խորան.
Պիտի յիշենք քեզ տեւական,
Իմ մանկութեան յոյսի խորան։

Էջմիածնայ կոչնակը հնչեց,
Զաւակները իր քովը կանչեց.
Կը բաժնուիմ քեզմէ սիրով
Հալէպ քաղաք մնաս բարով։

Born in Erzerum, Turkey in 1906, Paylag Khatchadourian lost his parents, grandparents, uncle, three sisters and one brother in the Genocide. Barely escaping the atrocities himself, he was placed in the Kalekian Armenian orphanage in Syria. At the age of 18, Khatchadourian was released from the orphanage. He continued his education and subsequently settled with his family in Aleppo.

Written as the author was preparing to emigrate to Armenia along with thousands of others during the great repatriation of 1946, the poem poignantly conveys the tender love of countless Armenian genocide survivors for Aleppo, which became their “precious birthplace” and “second fatherland.” Today, as this historic city lies in ruins, the poem resonates in a new and tragic strain.

The poem was submitted by Dr. Aida Khatchadourian of Orlando, Florida, daughter of the poet, who died in 1991.

Read more about the Repatriation of 1946.

“Islamized” Armenians during the Genocide: A Case Study by Prof. Armen Marsoobian on May 29 at ZIC

In the summer of 1915 Tsolag Dildilian and his family converted to Islam and adopted Turkish identity as a condition for remaining in their hometown of #Marzovan (Merzifon) in north-central Turkey. Like many “hidden Armenians,” they postured as Muslim Turks in public, but never swayed from their Armenian Christian identity at home. In so doing they were able to rescue and hide significant numbers of young Armenian men and women during the Genocide.

The Dildilian family home in Marzovan just prior to the 1915 deportations and Genocide.
The Dildilian family home in Marzovan just prior to the 1915 deportations and Genocide.

Dr. Armen T. Marsoobian, Professor and Chair of Philosophy at Southern Connecticut State University, will tell the story of the Dildilian-Der-Haroutiounian families and describe daily life in a Genocide-era Turkish city where the only remaining Armenians were those who had purportedly adopted Turkish identity. Prof. Marsoobian’s presentation is based on extensive family memoirs, letters, oral testimony and scores of historic photographs.

Entitled, Resisting the Darkness: The Story of an “Islamized” Armenian Family in #Marzovan (Armenia) 1915-1919, Marsoobian’s richly illustrated presentation will take place at the Zohrab Center on Thursday, May 29 at 7PM. The lecture is free and open to the public. A reception will follow. For further information contact the Zohrab Center at zohrabcenter@armeniandiocese.org or (212) 686-0710.

DOWNLOAD A FLYER

Of the approximately 12,000 Armenians living in #Marzovan and its associated villages, a small number remained behind at the conclusion of the deportations in August 1915. Continue reading ““Islamized” Armenians during the Genocide: A Case Study by Prof. Armen Marsoobian on May 29 at ZIC”

The Gardens of Silihadar. Book Presentation by Jennifer Manoukian on Tuesday, May 6

2014-04 SilihdarThe Zohrab Center will host a book presentation by Jennifer Manoukian, whose new, English translation of the autobiography of Zabel Yessayan entitled, The Gardens of Silihdar, has just been published. The event is being co-sponsored by the Armenian Network of America Greater New York Region.

The presentation will take place on Tuesday, May 6 at 2014 at 7PM at the Armenian Diocese, 630 Second Avenue, New York.

Author, educator and social activist Zabel Yessayan (1878-1943) is today recognized as one of the greatest writers in Western Armenian literature. Her poignant 1935 autobiography displays the fierce determination of an Ottoman era Armenian intellectual who refused to accept the restrictions placed on women in Ottoman Turkey, and affords a vivid account of Armenian community life in Constantinople at the end of the nineteenth century.

Jennifer Manoukian, an authority on the writings of Zabel Yessayan, will present her newly-published English translation of Yessayan's autobiography at the ZIC
Jennifer Manoukian, an authority on the writings of Zabel Yessayan, will present her newly-published English translation of Yessayan’s autobiography at the ZIC

Jennifer Manoukian, is a graduate of Rutger’s University and a former Zohrab Center intern. She is an accomplished translator and an authority on the writings of Yessayan. She recently published a translation of an essay by the 19th-century novelist Srpouhi Dussap (née Vahanian) entitled, Women’s Inactivitywhich addresses social struggles particular to Armenian women.

At her Zohrab presentation Manoukian will present The Gardens of Silihdar, and introduce the life and work of Zabel Yessayan, a bold, one-of-a-kind figure in Western Armenian literature. The presentation is free and open to the public. A wine and cheese reception will follow, during which attendees may purchase the book.

CLICK HERE to download a flyer. #ZICZabel

In her long and eventful life, Zabel Yessayan never strayed from her beliefs, despite often facing both governmental and social pressures. Continue reading “The Gardens of Silihadar. Book Presentation by Jennifer Manoukian on Tuesday, May 6”