Monday, 23 May 2011
Sunday, 22 May 2011
This is a hauntingly beautiful song about the Genocide and its effects. The slide show which accompanies it contains some harrowing scenes and the lyrics are shown over it in English:
Saturday, 21 May 2011
Who thought it up?
To make a hell
Where Eden was
In Mount Ararat’s shade…
Don’t you hear
The red news of massacre and blood?
-Siamanto (Adom Yarjanian)
Dedicated to all our 1.5 million Armenians, and my grandparents and great grandparents, who were some of the few victims of this horrific act by the hands of the murderous turks.
This site includes graphical photos of the turks’ horrific acts. Viewer discretion is advised.
_______________________________________________________________________________________________Since the second half of the 19th century, Armenians living in the west side of Armenia (under the control of turks), as well as all the Armenians, Greeks and other ethnic minorities living in turkey, were constantly subjected to massacres ordered by sultan hamid, known as the “red sultan”. Reason? Small protests against the tyrannies of the sultan, led by the turks, to whom joined small numbers of Armenians and other ethnic minorities, as a result of which died many more than the original participants. The situation was unbearable, even for the turks, so, a new generation of turks, fed up with the way of life in turkey, formed a huge organization and called themselves the “young turks”, promising reform in turkey and peace to all its citizens. They acted as the voice of reason, so naturally, all the oppressed minorities followed them. They held true to their promises. They did revolt against the “red sultan”, sultan hamid, who was gradually losing his powers, and now was beginning to be known as the “sick sultan”. By now, the ARF (Armenian Revolutionary Federation, known as the Tashnag) was formed, which produced a lot of “Fedayi“s.
All these “Fedayi”s gathered to join the young turks in their “noble” cause. The young turks received a lot of armed support from the oppressed minorities. Around the year 1911, the revolution finally reached its goal. The “sick sultan” was dethroned and the young turks came into power. Reform came quickly. Harmony took place. Christianity and religions other than Muslim were being practiced freely. The history and heritage of each minority were being taught. Life was beautiful and getting better…
Or so thought the minorities…
The young turks did not like the multiculturalism in turkey. Their biggest goal was to establish a turkish turkey: pan-turkism. They did not like the fact that there were a lot of Armenians in high places, earning their living and so living better than them. Of course, this was one of the minor reasons of the anger the turks had towards the Armenians. There were a lot more prejudice and discrimination as well.
By 1914, the young turks were in total control. However, the world was in a panic. The first World War was going to start. By 1915, there was turmoil. The young turks viewed this as a great opportunity to do something about the Armenians…something terrible…and get away with it by blaming it on the War; and, finally they came up with the most inhuman and murderous solution: GENOCIDE. What is genocide? The Convention on the Prevention of the Crimes of Genocide (resolution 260 III of 9 December 1948) defines genocide as:
Any of the following acts committed with the intent to destroy in whole or in part, a national, ethnical, racial or religious group, as such: a) killing members of the group; b) causing serious bodily or mental harm to members of the group; c) deliberately inflicting on the group conditions of life calculated to bring about its physical destruction in whole or in part; d) imposing measures intended to prevent births (14) within the group; e) forcibly transferring children of the group to another group.’(15)
The young turks must have written the preceding passage, sinceIt describes exactly what happened during the bloody genocide.
In the eve of April 24, 1915, the darkest night in the Armenian history, the young turks put the word out on the streets that turkey was at war and needed the helping hand of the “fellow” Armenians, aged 16 to 60. Armenians feeling grateful to the young turks for providing them a the promised “good life”, followed the turks, “blindly”, in the back of trucks with covers on them…so they wouldn’t know where the turks were taking them. Little did they know that their “fellow” turks were not leading them to war, but instead, to torture camps, equipped with “murder”. All the Armenian men, including doctors, lawyers, politicians, authors…the “brains” of each Armenian community…were tortured (nails plucked out, eyes burned by iron rods, blazing with heat), dismembered (ears, noses, lips, fingers, toes, limbs and even their heads cut off), burned in “cave” ovens, and crushed to death (they were forced into a cave, which the turks blew up, making the caves collapse).
The turks did not stop there. The only Armenians left now were the helpless women, children and elders, who were absolutely ignorant as to what had happened to their husbands, fathers, brothers and sons. They were easy preys to the vicious turks. All of them were forced to flee their homes with “promises” of going to a “safer” place…away from the war. Little did they know they were going to be forced south, to Syria, through the infamous Dier-el-Zohr desert, where famine, dehydration and death awaited them. Convoys consisting of the women, children and elders set out to the desert. During the long march, women were being raped. Those who wanted to avoid it, jumped in the rivers or committed suicide, as did the women who couldn’t bear the shame and humiliation. Children, most of them orphans now, were sold into slavery. Those who were very young, were given away to turks, to be raised as turks. Elders who couldn’t keep up with the convoy, were shot to death right there, in front of their families.
The turk’s goal was very simple, yet very heartless and barbarous: To kill every single Armenian except for only ONE to be displayed in the Museum of Ancient Civilizations.
2.2 million Armenians
experienced this horror…
1.5 million of those Armenians
Those who were fortunate enough to stay alive, migrated to the Middle East: Iran, Iraq, Lebanon, Syria, Egypt, Israel, Jordan; and many others to Bulgaria, England, France, Italy and a very few to the United States of America.
And so Armenians were scattered all around, each one of them with a heart filled with grief for the loss of loved ones, each one with anger and pain in there souls. All with a single horrifying nightmare, filled with blood. All with the agony of the loss of their Motherland Armenia, with one of its most prized possession: Armenian Ararat, Noah’s mountain (Genesis 8:4).
From “them” came “us”:
The New Armenian Generations.
Have we sought revenge? throughout the years, there have been some who have taken the law in their own hands and punished the murderous turks responsible: Tehlirian, who, for months followed talaat pasha (the person who had Tehlirian’s family murdered in front of him), all the way up to Germany, to put a bullet through the devil’s head. Tehlirian was acquitted after months of trials and courts…
The “Lisbon Five”; five heroic Armenian youths set out from Lebanon to Lisbon, with the mission of capturing the turkish ambassador as a hostage. However, when they found themselves surrounded by Lisbon police, in the empty embassy building, from which the ambassador had already escaped, they stood in a circle with a bomb in the middle, holding each other’s hand and praying, and…BOOM… gave their life away in the name of Armenia, in the name of justice, in the name of the 1.5 million victims.
Has the Armenian nation pursued vengeance?
Our endurance, persistence, courage, strength and love of life has helped us to be where we are today: They tried to demolish us, they tried to wipe us off the face of this earth…We took on all the blows…and still turned our other cheeks. They “kicked” us when we were “down”…but we waited…then, we took a deep breath…opened our eyes, and realized we were still alive! ALIVE! After all that had happened…
Here ends the tragic tale of the1.5 million Armenian martyrs.
Who fell victim to the first genocide of our century.
We cherish their memories as we pray for their souls.
But we the living dedicate this testament to all Armenian parents
They who miraculously survived the carnage.Orphaned in 1915
Yet children with no childhood Scattered in all corners of the world
How they created a new life Is beyond the ability of any historian’s account.
That a people, prosecuted, abused, orphaned
Could rise again, must give courage and hope
To all who believe in the forward march of the human race.
It is proof of what the sturdy Armenian race can do.
Their history has been a record of insurrections and resurrection.
Words associated with turks and turkey were NOT capitalized Intentionally!
Here is the Reason Why…
Friday, 20 May 2011
Rant Number 440 19 May 2011
Yes, MP Nadine Dorris. She is my heroine. Truly. Brave, brave, brave lady and legislator. She is a heroine because she has had the courage – some might call it the temerity - to propose a bill that is both right and fiercely counter-cultural. She wants schools to teach teenage girls abstinence. To say no to boys who want to sleep with them, no less. And, wonder of wonders, the bill has actually passed the first stage! It will go to a second reading in January.
Nadine the heroine is rightly worried about the high teenage pregnancy rate in this country. Her arguments are all about sexual safety and care of teenagers. She does not speak about virginity – not strictly her job – but the priest will. Because abstinence, chastity and virginity are like three holy sisters, they stand together, they are connected – they make sense – at least to a Christian.
Why not boys as well, you might ask? Sure. Boys too should learn abstinence. But let us face it, it is girls who carry the can. They get pregnant. They suffer the biggest burden. So, it is good feminist strategy to focus on the girls. Nadine is right.
Chastity is of course a virtuous habit which moderates the desire for libidinous pleasure. It is bound up with healthy self-discipline. (Mr Strauss-Khan, currently languishing in a New York clink, might regret he had not learnt to act in accordance with that virtue.) Chastity need not be permanent. Most human beings get married and that is right and good. Because holy Matrimony is a sacrament ‘signifying the mystical union that is betwixt Christ and his Church’, as the Anglican Prayer Book puts it.
However, the Bible also extols the excellence and value of the state of virginity. Jesus commends it to both men and women in St Matthew 19:12. St Paul praises in I Corinthians, 7:25 – the Apostle knew all about the tribulations of the flesh. And the Book of Revelation (14:4) points to those redeemed, blessed cohorts in Heaven who have kept their virginity and ‘follow the Lamb wherever he goes’. Goodly Fathers of the Church like St Ambrose lauded virginity’s value and symbolism. Objections against the state of virginity proceed mostly from impious, impure and wicked people and they should remember that God is not mocked...
Naturally, in our basically stupid and corrupt age whoever stands up for virtuous behaviour is made into a laughing-stock. No surprise then that Chris Bryant, MP, has attacked Nadine’s brave bill. I discover online she has called her proposal ‘daft’. Now, Ms Bryant was once ordained as an Anglican priest. I happen to have had the misfortune of sharing some of my priestly training with her. Yes, we were once together at Cuddesdon Theological College, near Oxford. She went on to run the Christian Socialist Movement, or something like that and now sits in the Commons. She would have had to renounce her priesthood to be elected, as clergy of the Established Church are not allowed to stand for Parliament. Ahem...Not a great loss to Holy Orders, pardon my uncharitableness. The point is that, unless Chris has also given up her faith, it is odd she does not support Nadine’s law. It is something a faithful, devout Christian person should do, surely. Instead, she mocks. May God forgive her – despite our former theoretical college fellowship, I must stand with Nadine against Christine. I can do other. (P.S. Forgive the spoof over your gender, Chris – I am sure you have a sense of humour!)
The real scandal, however, is the silence. Yes, the deafening silence emanating from the Church of England’s panjandrums. 26 bishops sit by right in the House of Lords. Allegedly, they are the Lords Spiritual. Spirituality and morality are their institutional job. You would have thought chastity is something they should take a professional interest in. Unless I am mistaken, I have not been able to discover that the bishops, often garrulous in irrelevant secular matters, have spoken in defence of Nadine Dorris’ brave bill. Why not?
The Archbishop of Canterbury is certainly a spiritual man – far more than I shall ever be, I admit it. He is not afraid of making eccentric pronouncements, from praise of Islamic law to expressing reservations over Bin Laden’s killing. Fair enough. But why does he lack the courage to back a law requiring the teaching of sexual abstinence to girls in schools? He cannot be unaware of the traditions of the Church. He knows Holy Scripture better than I do. He must know the bill stands in line with what Christianity teaches. Why is he silent?
The General Synod of the C of E would be silent too, I bet. It does not surprise me. Way back, during a debate, when a faithful member said something in favour of chastity, the Synod ‘laughed’. Yes, they did. It was truly Satan’s laughter. Maybe I am taking the idiots too seriously but...Here goes one of my tropes. About the greatest sin of the Anglican Church: that its counterfeit religion has made it hard for good people to tell true from false Christianity.
‘To be honest, who cares for what the Church teaches?’ a young friend of mine commented the other day on Facebook. He was right. The secular world today is largely heedless of the Truth. But it is a bad argument. Who cared for Moses? The faithless Israelites in the desert constantly rebelled, sought to return to the fleshpots of Egypt and even ended up worshipping the Golden Calf. Who cared for the wisdom of Socrates, the most righteous man in the ancient world? The people of Athens sentenced him to death for teaching it is worse to do wrong than to suffer wrong. Who cared for Jesus Christ? They reviled him, spat on him and nailed to a Cross. Who cared for the saints, the martyrs? The Letter to the Hebrews tells how they suffered cruel mockings and scourgings; how they were stoned, sawn asunder, slain with the sword; how many were destitute, afflicted, tormented...Their persecutors certainly cared not a jot what the saints taught and yet, and yet...Their timeless example speaks to us, stranded in a spiritual and moral desert, far louder than all the cacophonies of the wicked.
Nadine Dorris’ bill may not make it through the second reading but...Look, I am Christian – I believe in miracles!