Will you dig into Armenia’s rich history? Delve into its present? Imagine its future? Or will you conjure your own alternate reality? The only rule is to keep your story, poem, or essay under 150 words.
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Having Armenian friends, I allowed myself to use a mix-up of their names for authenticity as well as using part of their history to create mine. Though born in Lebanon, they will always say they are Armenians, then Lebanese… and finally Canadian!
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Early April, 1915, Kevork and Siran gathered their children.
“Sebouh, Houri, we must leave as soon as it is dark. It is no longer safe here.”
“But why, Baba? What have we done?”
“Nothing, my sweet. War has come to our land and the Ottoman Empire has chosen to destroy us.”
“We’re lucky that it has not reached us here, yet,” Mama added. “We have a chance to escape this massacre.”
“I still don’t understand why,” Sebouh cried.
“Son, there are no explanations to justify destroying a people. Men become crazed with power, believing their religion is the only one and others should not exist. Dominance becomes their religion.
Houri frowned, “I don’t think I’ll ever understand this.”
They packed what they could carry and left, eventually making it to Lebanon to start anew.
Two generations later, civil war erupted and the Arakelian family found itself once more fleeing for safety.