Around the time of the first World War, the Armenians were expelled from their homeland, whole families and villages were massacred. It was the Ottoman Empire’s attempt to erase the Armenian people. They were only partially successful, while there is no longer an Armenian homeland, a place they can call their own, there are groups of Armenian people still living in the world.
April 24 has been designated as the day Armenians commemorate the genocide. I don’t remember the exact term for the celebration, I am using the word celebration with the meaning “the public performance of a sacrament or solemn ceremony with all appropriate ritual”. In this account Mr. Bobelian starts with this celebration then goes on to tell how he knows about it (he’s Armenian) and how the world forgot that the Turks tried to exterminate the Armenians and the reasons for it. The Turkish people deny it ever happened, many countries, including my own, refuse to call what happened a genocide. That hasn’t stopped the Armenian people from looking for recognition. And this article by Stephen Zunes explains why it is important to remember and acknowledge the event by its proper name. In a nutshell he says, “Those who forget history are doomed to forget it.” The proof of that is in what happened to the Jews in WWII, the Chinese at Nanking and the Tutsi in Rwanda in 1994.
This book doesn’t tell of the genocide in great detail, but does explain what happened after, explaining the injustice committed against the Armenian people and the efforts being made to right this great wrong. There was a lot of political discussion in this book, and while I feel it was necessary it was a little boring to me. If I could skim I would probably have given the book a better rating. That being said I do recommend this book.