Saturday, February 28, 2015

A thank you to the family for past kindnesses

Sevan Sisserian wrote on Facebook:
"Hello, I am not from the Bilezikjian family . But very grateful for their kindness. 
When my grandmother, her sister and my great grandmother escaped from Marash [during the genocide] they stayed with the Bilezikjian family in Aleppo until they were able to be on their own."  May God bless all of those who helped their "brothers and sisters" in time of need.

Friday, February 27, 2015

160,000 Page Views

Today Marash Girl celebrates the 160,000th page view!  A big thank you to my faithful readers!

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Turkish Man from Aintab Dreams of Return of Armenians

Facebook post by

  • Robin Thomson Thats my dream.Thats in my heart.I have been grown in armenian quarter in Aintab.Whenever I see armenian homes I dream on that I wish they could come back here again and we could be neighbours forever.

    Would that all of his countrymen felt the same way!

    N.B. Marash Girl's maternal grandparents hail from Aintab (now known as Gaziaintab), a city in southeast Turkey and "among the oldest continiuosly inhabited cities in the world" . . . Yester Bosnian and Garabed Vartanian but were fortunate enough to see the "handwriting on the wall" and left Aintab very early in the 20th century, before the mass slaughter (1908) and before the genocide (1915-1922). They settled in Cambridge, Massachusetts

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Kahraman Marash posts 1919 Map of Marash on Facebook

Osman Koker, editor of 100 yil önce Türkiye'de Ermeniler Orlando Carlo Calumeno Koleksiyonu'ndan kartpostallarla,  comments, "The original version of this map is Armenian.  It was drawn by an Armenian Marashtsi physician Harootion Der Ghazarian in Aleppo after 1920.  Krikor H. Kaloosdian used this version of the map in his book (Marash gam Kermanig yev Heros Zeytoon, published in Newyork in 1934) for the first time.  And Stanley E. Kerr redrew and translated the map into English and published it in his book (The Lions of Marash) in

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Banners Celebrating Genocide Displayed in Turkey

Armenian Weekly, Feb. 23, 2015

Banners Celebrating Genocide Displayed in Turkey

Anti-Armenian Protests Held in Istanbul

Anti-Armenian banners celebrating the Armenian Genocide have been displayed in cities around Turkey. Meanwhile, on Feb. 22, two protests were held under the banner of “Demonstrations Condemning the Khojali Genocide and Armenian Terror,” in the Kadikoy and Beyoglu districts in Istanbul. Some protesters chanted anti-Armenian slogans, while others invoked the name of Ogun Samast, the ultra-nationalist youth who gunned down Agos Editor Hrant Dink in 2007.

Monday, February 23, 2015

Charles Pambookian, Iwo Jima, and The Boston Symphony

2/23/45 Raising Flag Iwo Jima - Photo credit: Joe Rosenthal, Assoc. Press
This month is the anniversary of the Battle of Iwo Jima (19 February - 26 March 1945), one of the bloodiest battles in World War II.  Marash Girl's knowledge of this battle is dim, but the aftermath of the battle in the person of her uncle, Charlie Pambookian, was real.  Uncle Charlie, a tall, handsome man, was always humble, always quiet.  He walked with a slight limp.  When Marash Girl asked, he said the limp was caused by shrapnel in his leg, shrapnel incurred during the Battle of Iwo Jima, World War Two.  He enlisted as a member of the United States Marines during World War II.  He and his company were the first to land on the island of Iwo Jima, and as he was immediately wounded, he was taken off the island.  Most of the rest of his company never survived. Uncle Charlie told Marash Girl that for years after that, he would sit in the back row of Symphony Hall whenever they had their rehearsals.  Just sit there and listen to the music.  It was the only way he had to deal with what today we know as PTSD and survivor's guilt.  He was born in Newton, Massachusetts, son of Marash Girl's grandmother's sister, Mary Kurtgusian Pambookian and her husband Jack (Hagop) Pambookian, both survivors of the Armenian Genocide from Marash.  Uncle Charlie grew up in Newtonville, Massachusetts, living most of his life on Albemarle Road, and attended Newton Public Schools. Charles Pambookian (born on August 26, 1924)  passed away at his summer home in   S. Harpswell, Maine, in August of 1987 at the age of 63. Uncle Charlie, we admire you! We love you! We miss you!

Sunday, February 22, 2015

Don't watch the news!

The secret to being happy?

Don't read the newspapers! Don't watch the news!

Many years ago, Grandpa Peter was having a problem getting to sleep at night.

His doctor told him, "If you're having trouble getting to sleep, don't watch the 11 o' clock news!"

Grandpa Peter stopped watching the 11 o'clock news. It worked like a charm!

Saturday, February 21, 2015

New Englander heads for Iceland to get warm!

The cold and the wind continue, so harsh at 9 degrees fahrenheit, that even unfriendly passersby can't help but comment on it.  Marash Girl addressed one such person as she shivered her way from the parking lot to the post office:  "Cold enough for ya?" she grinned.  His reply: "My friend just flew to Iceland to get warm.  It's warmer up there!"

Friday, February 20, 2015

Old Fashioned Tap Bell Tempts Visitors Young and Old . . .

"Please Ring Bell For Service" - Notice Tap Bell on left side of photo.

Newton Centre Post Office . . . "This old fashioned tap bell is so much fun to ring, even when you're at your station! I'll bet a little kid would be tempted just to take it home with him," spouted a customer to the postal clerk behind the counter.  "But his mother would return it that same day!" answered the postal clerk.  "She wouldn't be able to stand her son's constant ringing of the bell!"

Marash Girl hasn't seen one of these tap bells since she was in elementary school!  In fact, she didn't even know she knew the name for it, but when she typed "tap bell"  into an internet search (because you have to tap it to make it ring), up it came! The tap bells are available from any number of restaurant and office supply stores.  She's wondering as she writes . . . "Now let's see . . . who can I gift that little bell to . . ."  

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Starbucks Ad Raises More Than Balloons

If readers spot more of these posters, please alert Starbucks customer service at 800.782.7282.
A Starbucks poster raised more than balloons when it pictured women wearing Armenian taraz,  one  woman carrying a takeout cup of Starbucks coffee, all of the women looking happily up into a sky full of balloons which sported the Turkish star and crescent.  The ad which raised the ire of the Armenian community,  has since, Marash Girl is told, been removed, but Marash Girl is dismayed to observe  that after 100 years, the public, in the person of a Starbucks public relation firm, does not know the truth about the Armenian Genocide! Can you imagine such a photo of Jewish folks looking happily up at balloons covered with German swastikas?
The faux pas reminded Marash Girl of the day she introduced herself, giving her full name ending in "ian".  "What kind of a name is that?"  asked the new acquaintance.  "Armenian," Marash Girl  replied, grinning.   "Oh, I know!" said the new acquaintance proudly.  "You're Turkish!"

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

How many millionaires in Newton, Massachusetts?

So Marash Girl was standing in a long line at the post office, joshing with the old guy standing behind her.  Did you hear what the Newton Patch reported?  Newton Has 1,136 Millionaires.  Can you believe it?  Oh, he said, Newton has more than that.  Every house in Newton is worth at least a million dollars... so how many millionaires is that?

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

HALEP VALİSİNİN MARAŞ ZİYARETİ - The Aleppo Vali's visit to Marash, circa early 20th century

Never seen picture of Marash Boy's relative Hagop Agha Khirlakian (relative to Kalpakians -- a medical family of doctors, dentists and pharmacists, on Nishan Charkoudian's maternal side). Osman Koker
believes that the Mutassarif who was so supportive to the Armenians  until the one day he disappeared was not the Mutassarif in this photo, but rather was Ismail Kemal Bey who was Mutassarif from 1915 to 1917 in Marash.

HALEP VALİSİNİN MARAŞ ZİYARETİ The Aleppo Vali's visit to Marash, probably early 20th Century.
Photo Credit: Kahraman Marash

Monday, February 16, 2015

More photos of Sunday's blizzard

Corner of Maple Circle and Maple Avenue.  Where's the Corner?

In background: steeple of church designed by H. H. Richardson. 

Newton woman rescues cat from certain drowning

Yesterday morning, on a day when snow piles were higher than most 6th graders are tall, a Newton woman, still barefoot in her robe, unwittingly let her cat out for its daily routine.  As the cat disappeared under the snow drifts, the woman leaped into the 0 degree fray, unshod, into 4 foot high drifts, and saved her beautiful black cat from what would have been certain death.

Captured on camera by Marash Girl.

Sunday, February 15, 2015

Little Quail Sends Coals to Newcastle

Marash Girl received this photo yesterday from Little Quail and the little quails on Little Quail's birthday . . . celebrating in Western Maryland what we in Massachusetts would call no snow at all!
But then, again, they couldn't very well cross country ski in this:
Photo taken facing southwest on Maple Avenue at 7:30 A.M. in the midst of a blizzard!
Photo credit:  God

Saturday, February 14, 2015

Happy Birthday, Little Quail!

Happy Birthday, Little Quail!  We love you on Valentine's Day and every day!  Have fun cross-country skiing!  Just think!  If you were here in Massachusetts, all you'd have to do would be to walk outside, strap on your skis, and go!

Note: Public Domain Photo

Friday, February 13, 2015

The Icing on the Cake

Friend:  Why do you think your father almost made it to 100?

Marash Girl:  He never ate the icing on the cake!

Friend:  Huh?  He never ate the ICE on the cake?  What?

Marash Girl:  No! Get your mind out of the snow drifts . . . .
He never ate the ICING on the cake!

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Don't forget the brandy!

As Marash Boy headed out on foot into the snow covered wilderness 8 miles west of Boston, he called back, "If you have to send the St. Bernard dogs out after me, don't forget the brandy!"

He forgot to add, "And make that Armenian brandy!"

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Diggin' out before the next snow storm hits . . .

"Diggin' out before the next snow storm hits . . .  "               Photo by Marash Girl

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

And more to come . . .

12 noon, Freb. 10, 2015 - "And More to Come!"

Front loader and dump truck at Maple Circle and Maple Avenue, Newton Corner - A moment to be thankful for!                                               Photo by Marash Girl

Monday, February 9, 2015

Another snowy day, eh? Well, not in Florida!

Photo credit: Posted on Facebook by Adam Putnam - 7 Feb 2015
"Get your Valentine a flat of Fla berries!"

Post submitted by  Sistah Sarah, in Georgia . . . "where we won't have strawberries till March."

Sunday, February 8, 2015

Graffiti along the Massachusetts Turnpike

Down to a crawl, commuting into Boston on the Massachusetts Turnpike this week, passenger Karoun managed to snap this photo.  What in the world is the "artist" trying to say, and how in the world did the "artist" manage to paint it without being arrested? The graffiti has been there for months, untouched.

Saturday, February 7, 2015

Snow, snow, and more snow!

Marash Girl has snow fatigue; so rather than writing more about snow and more snow forecast for the next three days, let her take a break.

Walking through the halls of Brigham and Women’s Hospita recentlyl, heading for a routine exam, Marash Girl and Marash Boy walked  passed the fertility clinic.

 “Lucky we never had to go to a fertility clinic,” commented Marash Girl

Well, if ever we had had such problems, we could have gotten a moska for you to wear!

(See Marash Girl blog, January 13, 2014:

Friday, February 6, 2015

Happy Birthday, Massachusetts!

Today, February 6, 2015, marks the 227th birthday of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts! On February 6, 1788, Massachusetts became the sixth "state" to join the Union.  

How will you celebrate?  

Perhaps a dinner at the Union Oyster House, Boston's oldest restaurant still in operation . . . 

How about a cup of coffee and a Boston Creme Donut at Dunkin' Donuts, an American global doughnut company and coffeehouse chain based in Canton, Massachusetts and founded in 1950 by William Rosenberg in Quincy, Massachusetts?

Or a lobster roll, or better yet a bowl of New England Clam Chowder, or a freshly prepared piece of codfish or scrod, as some in Massachusetts prefer to call the Massachusetts' state fish.

Toast Massachusetts with a glass of Ocean Spray Cranberry Juice, Polar Gingerale (one of the few brands of gingerale made without preservatives!) or Sam Adams Beer,  while you and the kids crunch on Cape Cod Potato Chips.  And for dessert there are always Fig Newtons (created in Newton, Massachusetts) and Toll House chocolate chip cookies (originally created and served by Kenneth and Ruth Wakefield in the 1930's at their Toll House Inn in Whitman, Massachusetts.

And after all of that (or perhaps before), play a game of basketball, a game originating in Springfield, Massachusetts (Basketball originated in 1891 when a future Presbyterian minister named James Naismith (1861-1939) was assigned to teach a physical education class at a Young Men's Christian Association (YMCA) training school in Springfield, Massachusetts. . . [From the internet]

Thursday, February 5, 2015

Massachusetts Congratulates Victorious New England Patriots

The Boston Patriots greet their fans as they parade down Boston's major streets!
Confetti flew through the cold winter air over Boston's streets yesterday welcoming home  the 
victorious Boston Patriots!

Snow banks provide a resting place for the confetti that rained down on Boston's streets yesterday, welcoming home the victorious Boston Patriots.

Photos by Karoun Charkoudian who comments as follows:

First photo: Team going by in the duck tour vehicles. Teammates connecting with audience, and as excited as they were.  Cheerleading squad.  Photos 2 & 3:  Red white and blue confetti covered all of the snowbanks. General mood:  Everyone was so happy. Loud sound system and dancing.

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Massachusetts Residents Suffer From Cabin Fever

Snow expected tonight, and again on Monday.  Being snowed in can wear on the nerves!  As cabin fever sets in, and folks become more and more frazzled, Marash Girl is reminded of one of her mother's favorite sayings:

Let's live in peace, not in pieces!

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Blooms brave the Massachusetts snow!

Here in Massachusetts, the news is snow and more snow.  Folks have not been able to drive down Maple Avenue for 24 hours!  Nonetheless,t the flowers are  blooming in the east window of our kitchen!

Monday, February 2, 2015

MEMORIES OF MARASH: Roger Hagopian airs latest version of his documentary at ALMA, Watertown, Massachusetts; New England Patriots Win Super Bowl

New England Patriots Win Super Bowl

In perhaps the most dramatic Super Bowl ending ever, the New England Patriots defeated the Seattle Seahawks, 28-24, in Super Bowl XLIX on Sunday. . . Wall Street Journal

Massachusetts native Roger Hagopian airs latest version of MEMORIES OF MARASH at ALMA (Armenian Museum of America, Watertown, Massachusetts.)  In perhaps the most dramatic version ever made so far of  "Memories of Marash",  filmmaker Roger Hagopian defeated the denialists on Super Bowl Sunday with his latest version of the tragic story of how the Marash Armenians, those who survived the genocide, were forced out of their ancestral homeland.  To see an earlier version of this film, go to Youtube and type in Memories of Marash: The Legacy of a Lost Armenian Community (2002).
The latest version of MEMORIES OF MARASH is for sale on DVD; just email Roger Hagopian to order:

Sunday, February 1, 2015

Gurnet Island, Plymouth, Massachusetts

January, 2015:  This lone seagull guards Gurnet Island, Plymouth, Massachusetts.

Photo by Marash Girl