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Anna Astvatsaturian-Turcotte

My grandfather, Yegishe Astvatsaturian, fled the Genocide in 1915 and came to Baku, the capital of modern-day Azerbaijan. Yet for him, and many other Armenian families, the horrors followed him across borders in the early 20th century and returned to haunt us yet again in modern times.
“We were reliving the nightmare my grandfather endured, exactly 70 years later”

Denise Gentilini

It all started in 1915. My grandfather, Kourken Handjian, was only eight years old when his father, chief of police in Erzinga (modern-day Erzincan in Eastern Turkey) was murdered at the beginning of the Armenian Genocide perpetrated by the Ottoman Turks. When mass deportations began, Kourken's family was told to leave their palatial home and join the others on a death march to Deir ez-Zor. The suffering and the unthinkable crimes he had to witness were permanently burned into Kourken's mind.
Three-time Emmy Award winning composer works to tell her grandparents’ story

Lalai Manjikian

Khatcher Menakian, my maternal grandfather, was a Genocide survivor. My grandfather remained lucid and alert until his death at age 98. His body may have been tired and weak, yet his mind remained sharp and inquisitive over the years.
"Denial can never erase my grandfather’s life story."

Nune Aivazyan

It was my grandmother and her family who escaped the Genocide, leaving their hometown of Bitlis. My grandmother's name was Hasmik Melkumyan (Avagyan). She was born in 1913 and was the seventh child in her family.
"I am proud of my motherland and its great history"

Tigran Mutafyan

My Armenian heritage is the core of my essence. The Armenian language gave me a chance to understand who I am, what the world is to me, why I have to survive and what God is. I used to teach at the Saint Petersburg State Theatre Arts Academy and had my own acting and directing studio there. I have a clear theory of how we should educate our people to help them succeed.
"My heritage is the core of my essence"

Elia Bilemjian

To me, my Armenian heritage means the survival and perpetuation of the Western Armenian language through my constant use and practice. I am captivated by traditional music and dance, especially of Western Armenian origin, and that is why I have become a student and performer of Armenian dance. It’s my inspiration.
"I am captivated by traditional music and dance"

Maral Attallah

Ever since I was a child, I knew that being Armenian was part of my identity. Whenever I was lost, I would say things like “My name is Maral Necole Attallah, I am Armenian Orthodox, I live at…” My parents said I included the “Armenian Orthodox” part on my own.
I have always wanted to bring honor to my family

Talene Yotnotsian

Being Armenian is a huge part of my identity. I am a third generation Armenian, born from a line of Armenian Genocide survivors who have handed down a cross for me to carry, a reminder that as an Armenian descendant I must continue to thrive and maintain our rich Indo-European culture.
“I am an American girl with an Armenian name, living with nothing but Armenian pride”

“I am honoring my ancestors”

Every voice deserves to be heard and every story is worth telling. Here are five survival stories submitted by our users. More coming soon!
Survival stories submitted by our users

Christine Dadian-St. Cyr

My heritage means everything to me. I grew up in the Armenian Youth Foundation and have made five or six trips to Armenia in the last 18 years or so, bringing in wheelchairs, shoes and medicine for the orphans in Nubarashen.
"As I write about how I would extend my gratitude to my ancestors’ saviors, I tear up"


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