Historic Armenia – 2009 and 2010

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Journey to Historic Armenia –

“There is something there”

In June 2009, Edward and Mary Ann Arakelian Kazanjian of Belmont, MA, joined a pilgrimage of Armenians from the USA, Austria, and Cyprus, led by veteran tour guide Armen Aroyan of California, to the interior of Turkey (Historic Armenia).  After touring Istanbul the group flew to the interior of Turkey and began a 3,000-mile journey through more than 30 cities and villages in Historic Armenia.   Among their memorable experiences were discovering Mary Ann’s great-great grandfather’s home in Yozgat and Edward finding the remnants of the St. James and St. Stephen’s Churches in his ancestral Kharpert.  The journey included Cappadocia, Kayseri, Yozgat, Sivas, Shabin Karahisar, Erzincan, Erzurum, Sarakamish, Kars, Ani, Ararat, Van, Aghtamar, Engil, Mush, Changli, Kighi, Bingol, Bitlis, Lice, Nikhri, Palu, Elazig, Diyarbakir, Chunkush, Malatya, Husenig, Mezire, and Kharpert.

Each of the pilgrims shared their family’s stories and feelings regarding this life changing journey.  The magnificent scenery of snowcapped mountains, rivers, fertile valleys, delicious foods (Grandma’s cooking), and the familiar music made each day memorable.

The Kazanjians herein present a DVD consisting of 500 annotated slides with embedded videos, musical excerpts, and narration of their first-time trip to Historic Armenian lands in modern-day Turkey.  This presentation was first made in November 2009 at the Armenian Library and Museum, Watertown, MA before a standing room crowd of almost three hundred.  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, Professor of Music at Northeastern University.

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Journey to
Historic Armenia II – 2010

  “There REALLY is something there!”

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 Amasya, Marsovan, Samson, Ordu, Shabin Karahisar, Erzincan, Ucpinar, Pertek, Kharpert, Kuyulu, Yeghike, 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, Professor, Northeastern University, and Hachig Kazarian, Musicologist.