Journey to Historic Armenia II

There Really Is Something There!

Ed Kazanjian, Monique Atamian (Grenoble, FR), Mary Ann Kazanjian, Armen Aroyan (CA)

In May, 2010, Edward and Mary Ann Arakelian Kazanjian of Belmont, MA, returned for the second time to the interior of Turkey (Historic Armenia) with tour guide Armen Aroyan of California.  After visiting many Armenian sites in and around Istanbul, the Kazanjians flew to the interior of Turkey to meet Armen Aroyan and fellow travelers, Monique Atamian (Grenoble, FR), Hourig Jacobs (Detroit), and Leonardo and Catherine Jacobs Brito (Detroit/Ecuador).  Thus began a 2,000-mile journey through more than 50 cities and villages in Historic Armenia from the Black Sea to the Mediterranean (Cilicia).  Among their most memorable experiences were finding the places in Samson that Mary Ann’s father had described in his oral history and visiting the birthplace of Ed’s mother and her parents in Tarsus and Lampron.  Two additional highlights of the journey were the climb to the Monastery of Abarank near Ucpinar where they found the two sixteen foot high Khatchkars (shown on the cover) and a visit to Hromgla, the fortress where Catholicos Nerses Shnorhali (Nerses the Graceful) wrote many of his liturgical pieces.  The pilgrimage included Sivas, Tokat, Amasya, Marsovan, Samson, Ordu, Shabin Karahisar, Erzincan, Ucpinar, Dersim, Pertek, Kharpert, Kuyulu, Yeghike, Husenig, Malatya, Marash, Aintab, Berejik, Jibin, Hromgla, Kilis, Antioch, Musa Dagh, Belen, Iskenderum, Tarsus, Lampron, and Adana.

The Kazanjians herein present a DVD consisting of 600 annotated slides with embedded videos, musical excerpts, and narration of their return trip to historic Armenian lands in modern-day Turkey.  The first public showing was at an event jointly sponsored by the National Association for Armenian Studies and Research, Belmont, MA (NAASR) and the Armenian Library and Museum, Watertown, MA (ALMA).  Production of the DVD was made possible through the efforts of documentary film maker, Roger Hagopian, Yeznig Films.  Musical clips were provided by Leon Janikian and Hachig Kazarian. Edward Kazanjian retired after a 41-year career as: a General Dynamics facilities engineer; an administrator in the Framingham, Brookline, and Billerica public schools; 16 years as Executive Director and Senior Consultant for a not-for-profit Educational Cooperative; and most recently as Assistant Superintendent of Schools in Westwood, MA.  He continues to do consulting and expert witness work part time. Mary Ann Arakelian Kazanjian is a former elementary school teacher in Woburn, MA and has been the church organist for almost 50 years first at St. James and currently at
St. Stephen’s Armenian Churches in Watertown, MA.       Copyright 2010 Yeznig Films

Monastery of Abarank near Ucpinar
Village of Tamzara  nr. Shabin Karahisar