My mother was born in 1905 and when she did not want to eat something offered at the family dinner from the time she was 10. she was told: “Think of the starving Armenians! Eat what is one your plate and be thankful you have something to eat.” She used the same warning with my brother and I. But many have forgotten and the people of Turkey would really like you to forget.
I imagine life would have been much different for me had my last name ended with -ian. I’d have come from a very different place than the one I currently come from. I would have spoken yet another language. I would have grown up listening to stories that morphed into darker and darker territory as I grew older: stories told by my grandparents, stories of my friend’s great grandparents, stories of entire families and homes and communities and towns and cities that exist no more today.
If I were Armenian, I’d have been an immensely proud person of those people who are the reason I am here today, the people who defied the cold, the heat, the hunger and the systematic killing at the hand of a ruthless sultan, the people whose stories would give me strength, enriching my view of the world, making it more and more certain each…
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