Wednesday, July 25, 2012


After a two mile walk, a train ride, and another mile walk in 90 degree Washington, DC weather (that includes humidity, of course), the descendants of Armenian genocide survivors arrive at the Library of Congress to view the latest exhibition.
But first a drink of cool water in the Library's courtyard.
Thrilled to see the Armenian exhibit featured at the entrance, the descendants pose for a snapshot before entering the Library of Congress to view the exhibit entitled, "To Know Wisdom and Instruction: The Armenian Literary Tradition at the Library of Congress."

The family's cities of origin:  Aintab (spelled Antap on map) & Marash (spelled Maras on map) in the center of this ancient map, a copy of which (above) was mounted on the wall of the exhibition hall.

In recognition of the 500 years of the printed Armenian word, the Library of Congress mounted the exhibition, "To Know Wisdom & Instruction: The Armenian Literary Tradition at the Library of Congress".  In its introductory wall panel presenting a brief overview of Armenian history, the Library refers to "The Hamidian massacres".  Does anyone know what that means?  In 1895, then again in 1915.  Hello, out there. . . The Library of Congress, of all places, mounting an exhibition using words that would be unrecognizable to most.  Hamidian?  Try Turkish.  Massacres?  Try Genocide. Ironically, the exhibition was entitled, "To Know Wisdom & Instruction".  Marash Girl wonders how wise and/or instructive was the omission of reference to the true history of the attempted murder and destruction of an entire race of peoples, the genocide (1915-1920) of the Armenians by the Ottoman Turkish government.

After a brief look at the ancient Armenian books and Himayils (prayer scrolls),  and a good laugh at the thought of the prayer scrolls getting away from the priest and rolling around the floor of the ancient churches, the descendants of the survivors of the Armenian genocide retire to the benches along the side of the exhibition hall to read their own books, printed recently in English, to continue the literary tradition at the Library of Congress. 


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