Armenian Genocide in Western Armenia and Turkey

Suffolk University Welcome
Suffolk University Welcome


DEPORTED/a dream play

Deported/a dream play :: EDGE Boston – “Deported/a dream play” expertly weaves a particular history of which many of us are unaware because, in part, of its survivors’ inability to speak about it and their descendant’s ignorance of the tragedy, intertwined with a window into the state of mind of a people weighed down by a horrific past. It links importantly to many peoples’ dilemma. My great, great grandmother, for instance, immigrated to Canada from Ireland escaping the famine. I recall my mother once remarking on people she’d heard referred to as “green mouths,” a giveaway stain around the lips from eating grass to assuage the hunger. We enter the story some dozen and more years later in 1938 and some thousand miles away in Providence, Rhode Island, one of the numerous Armenian diaspora communities that popped up throughout the world”. Van Dyke’s drama makes a universal statement of consequence in our understanding of why people behave in the ways they do.

A Talk Back with ‘Deported/a dream play’ – woman remarked on the most important underlying thread and question in the play, the effects of the Genocide. She spoke of the first generation, those who survived the Genocide, with the effect being in dysfunctional families and symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder. Referring to the last act of the play that projects ahead into the future with hopes of Armenians and Turks in harmony, she felt the “Reconciliation” part of the play didn’t hold any appeal or seem realistic. With recent demonstrations in Turkey and threats made to Armenians, she felt reconciliations are inappropriate at this time. Van Dyke responded with, “It’s a dream,” referring to the title of the play and setting of the play’s last act. One woman compared transformative imagery techniques used in the play with that of African-American author Toni Morrison. Ken Baltin, one of the actors, spoke of the strong effects of different points of views, comparing that to the shards of a broken urn.

A co-production of Suffolk University and the Boston Playwrights’ Theatre, Joyce Van Dyke’s“Deported/a dream play” continues thru Sun., April 1 at the gorgeously renovated Modern Theatre at Suffolk University, 525 Washington St., downtown Boston. For more info go

Mt. Ararat


Help Armenian Refugees. Armenian Genocide 1915-1923



This stirring, poignant novel, based on real historical
events that made of actual people true heroes, unfolds
the tragedy that befell the Armenian people in the dark
year of 1915. The Great War is raging through Europe, and
in the ancient, mountainous lands southwest of the Caspian
Sea the Turks have begun systematically to exterminate

their Christian subjects.


In 1915, Armenian Christians in Turkey were forced
to convert to Islam, barred from speaking their language,
and often driven out of their homes as the Turkish army
embarked on a widespread campaign of intimidation and
murder. In this riveting book, Margaret Ajemian Ahnert
relates her mother Ester’s terrifying experiences as a young
woman during this period of hatred and brutality. Ester’s
inspiring stories, told lovingly by her daughter, will give you
a window into the harrowing struggle of Armenians during a
terrible period in human history

Over the course of his career, New York Times bestselling novelist Chris Bohjalian has taken readers on a spectacular array of journeys. Midwives brought us to an isolated Vermont farmhouse on an icy winter’s night and a homebirth gone tragically wrong. The Double Bind perfectly conjured the Roaring Twenties on Long Island – and  THE THE a young social worker’s descent into madness. And Skeletons at the Feast chronicled the last six months of World War Two in Poland and Germany with nail-biting authenticity. As The Washington Post Book World has written, Bohjalian writes “the sorts of books people stay awake all night to finish.”

In his fifteenth book, The Sandcastle Girls, he brings us on a very different kind of journey. This spellbinding tale travels between Aleppo, Syria in 1915 and Bronxville, New York in 2012—a sweeping historical love story steeped in the author’s Armenian heritage, making it his most personal novel to date.

When Elizabeth Endicott arrives in Syria she has a diploma from Mount Holyoke College, a crash course in nursing, and only the most basic grasp of the Armenian language. The First World War is spreading across Europe and she has volunteered on behalf of the Boston-based Friends of Armenia to deliver food and medical aid to refugees of the Armenian Genocide. There Elizabeth becomes friendly with Armen, a young Armenian engineer who has already lost his wife and infant daughter. When Armen leaves Aleppo to join the British army in Egypt, he begins to write Elizabeth letters, and comes to realize that he has fallen in love with the wealthy, young American woman who is so different from the wife he lost.

Flash forward to the present, where we meet Laura Petrosian, a novelist living in suburban New York. Although her grandparents’ ornate Pelham home was affectionately nicknamed “The Ottoman Annex,” Laura has never really given her Armenian heritage much thought. But when an old friend calls, claiming to have seen a newspaper photo of Laura’s grandmother promoting an exhibit at a Boston museum, Laura embarks on a journey back through her family’s history that reveals love, loss – and a wrenching secret that has been buried for generations. The Sandcastle Girls

Nobody’s Child
by Marsha Skrypuch
Grade Level: Seventh to Ninth Grade

Orphaned by the Adana massacre in 1909, Mariam and her siblings, together with their friend Kevork and his aunt, travel home to Marash hoping to find their remaining family still alive. Six years later, when the teens face deportation from Turkey, they are torn apart despite their best efforts to stay together. One thing sustains them throughout their horrifying ordeals — the hope that they might one day be reunited.

A sequel to the highly successful The Hunger, Nobody’s Child is a stirring and engaging story set during the Armenian Genocide, one of the twentieth century’s most significant events.

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