Friday, January 29, 2016

BREAD FROM STONES - The Middle East and the Making of Modern Humanitarianism: An illustrated talk by Historian Keith David Watenpaugh




Watenpaugh reads from his book BREAD FROM STONES
at NAASR in Belmont, Massachusetts, yesterday evening.


Historian Keith David Watenpaugh


Prof. Keith David Watenpaugh, historian of the Modern Middle East and Professor and Director of Human Rights Studies at UC Davis, graced the halls of the National Association of Armenian Studies and Research (Belmont, Massachusetts) yesterday evening, with a reading and discussion of his most recent book, Bread from Stones: The Middle East and the Making of Modern Humanitarianism, Univ. of CA Press, 2015. 


Having studied at UCLA, Watenpaugh lived and conducted research in Egypt, Syria, Lebanon, Jordan, Turkey, Armenia and Iraq.  His talk focussed primarily on the missionaries in Aintep and Marash, (much to the delight of  Marash Girl,) and more specifically on Stanley Kerr, author of Lions of Marash (see Kerr in photo on right, seated in foreground second from left). 

As promised, Watenpaugh's talk clarified the humanitarian efforts on behalf of the Armenian people during the "genocide and mass violence, human trafficking, and displacement of millions in the early twentieth century..." Watenpaugh said he really couldn't understand the impetus behind the humanitarian efforts. . . although his title, a Biblical reference, would suggest that it was exactly that (Christian faith) that led to the humanitarian efforts on behalf of the Armenian people. Tough as it was to hear, once again, the horrendous accounts of the (relatively speaking) recent history of the Armenian people at the hands of the Ottoman government, unlike the Armenian orphans of the early 20th Century, the Armenian audience last night did not burst into tears, although Marash Girl can't imagine why not. Are we so inured to the pain?
Title page of BREAD FROM STONES inscribed
and signed by author Keith David Watenpaugh
Dr. Paul Barsam presents his
freshly autographed copy of
BREAD FROM STONES

7 comments:

  1. Great post! I am in Dr. Watenpaugh's undergrad Genocide class and a graduate seminar on human rights! So happy you were able to attend last night. Also love that your blog is titled, "Marash Girl"! I too am descents of Armenians from Marash who later found their way to Fresno, CA!

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    1. Thank you for your kind words. I have more to say in tomorrow's post on Marash! I wonder if we're related -- my father used to tell me that all Marashtsis are related, if distantly!

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    2. By any chance do you know my relatives who lived in Fresno, the Nalchajians?

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  2. What a small world! I was in the same graduating class as Adam Nalchajian from Clovis West high school. I knew him pretty well and we used to compare how similar our last names were as mine is "Nahigian".

    My great grandma was from Marash and her married name was Zerounian, but maiden name was "Hartuninan". She was the niece of the famous Badveli Abraham Hartunian. Both her parents were killed in the massacres so her uncle placed her in a German orphanage. My grandpa used to tell me how she had such a wonderful Christian education. My grandfather was very proud that his mother was from Marash and I always grew up hearing that, "Cilicia was the last kingdom of Armenia". Sadly, my wonderful papa passed away this past May. Here's a link to his obit...it may be useful in determining if there is a family connection.

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  3. Ahh! It will not let me copy and paste. Perhaps I can email it to you if you are interested.

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  4. Ahh! It will not let me copy and paste. Perhaps I can email it to you if you are interested.

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  5. What a small world! I was in the same graduating class as Adam Nalchajian from Clovis West high school. I knew him pretty well and we used to compare how similar our last names were as mine is "Nahigian".

    My great grandma was from Marash and her married name was Zerounian, but maiden name was "Hartuninan". She was the niece of the famous Badveli Abraham Hartunian. Both her parents were killed in the massacres so her uncle placed her in a German orphanage. My grandpa used to tell me how she had such a wonderful Christian education. My grandfather was very proud that his mother was from Marash and I always grew up hearing that, "Cilicia was the last kingdom of Armenia". Sadly, my wonderful papa passed away this past May. Here's a link to his obit...it may be useful in determining if there is a family connection.

    ReplyDelete