Before I started this blog I thought of how much of my personal life I would share. Would I tell the world who I was, where I came from? Last night as I lay in bed all my questions were answered by this overwhelming emotion I felt and couldn’t shake off. I knew that sharing my story was important even if it were just for one person.
I am Armenian.
Today marks the 100th year of the Armenian Genocide. Today reminds me of how my family nor I were not supposed to be here, we were met to be eliminated but like true Armenian style we survived the massacres and we continue to stay strong. Today I am reminded of the stories I was told as a child of what my great-grandparents witnessed as children, how they survived. Today my heart cries for the loved ones we lost because of this disgusting thing called hate. Ironically that is a word many survivors in my family don’t use towards the Turks, I remember when my dad would tell a story and I would be so angry about how the Turks murdered my great-grandfathers family in front of his eyes when he was only a child and I would utter the words “I HATE THEM ALL!” and my father would remind me that it was a Turk who saved his life, and that not all people were horrible people. It left me with a big question. So do I hate a whole race or do I learn to forgive? Neither were the answer. I could never forgive the people who killed 1.5 million Armenians and I couldn’t hate an entire race. Instead I would fight for our freedom, to be freed from this evil and anger that burns within every Armenian, and I will be a loving human being with compassion and teach those around me of our story.
I opened my eyes this morning and just like every morning I checked my instagram, My cousin T’s post brought me to tears and confirmed that who I chose to be was exactly what my great-grandparents would be proud of.
“It was a Turks who saved my great-grandmother during the Armenian Genocide. This single act of kindness gave life to me and 47 other people in the course of three generations. This woman who had seen her family meet death before her eyes made a choice everyday. She chose to love and live and learn. She always reminded me that it was a Turk who saved her and that it was a Muslim who welcomed her as their neighbor in the East. I am the proud descendant of Zaroushi Nakashian Mardirossian, a genocide survivor who chose not to be poisoned by the very hate that instigated such inhumanity among humans in the first place.” – T
Today we stand strong, just as the years past, we will fight for recognition, we fight for the world to see that in 1915 the Turks began their quest to eliminate the Armenians, and failed. Today we fight for the world to utter the words THE ARMENIAN GENOCIDE. We have gone long enough avoiding that word and therefore it will forever continue to happen.
As I begin my day I will think of my ancestors and the day they woke up just like the morning before until it wasn’t, until their lives were flipped upside down. I will brush my teeth, wash my face, and dress. I will meet my family along with thousands of other Armenians in Hollywood to begin our 6 mile walk to the Turkish consulate to protest and bring recognition to the Armenian Genocide.
We are a proud people. We are a strong people. We are a stubborn people. We are people who will always fight for what we believe in.
WE ARE ARMENIANS!