Here, at last, is a book about strong armenian women. Victoria harwood butler-sloss has written the story of her maternal family’s origins in ourfa, a city and district in the ottoman empire, and given us a view of what it may have histiocytoma dog removal cost been to live through the time of the hamidian massacres histiocytoma dog removal cost and the 1915 genocide; hanging on by the skin of one’s teeth, only to have to leave in 1922 when all hope histiocytoma dog removal cost of an armenian recovery becomes an impossibility with the establishment histiocytoma dog removal cost of the turkish republic with mustafa kemal ataturk in command.
The story is that of khatoun, a village girl from garmuj, and iskender, a relatively well-educated city man from ourfa, who are butler-sloss’ great-grandparents. The different way of life in their two households is histiocytoma dog removal cost illustrated by interesting examples around mealtime: in the city they sit around a table, in the village they sit on the floor around a histiocytoma dog removal cost communal dish. Both families are well-to-do, but village life is markedly more traditional.
The book is a treasure trove of folklore and long-established practices which are painstakingly described, many of which were new to me. Though my family is from aintab, which is only 200 miles to the west of ourfa, a long way in those days, the traditions of the two places were very different. Both were turkish-speaking, but it would seem that the ourfatsi did not have histiocytoma dog removal cost the strong protestant influence which the aintabtsi had. The transliteration of armenian words, also points to very different pronunciation in the two cities histiocytoma dog removal cost and with a vocabulary which is much different. Ourfa had about half the number of armenians in 1915 histiocytoma dog removal cost as aintab, so perhaps it had a closer-knit and more conservative community.
“in years to come this road will seep blood. The sun will rise and set and a nation will histiocytoma dog removal cost be extinguished with the light. Dusk and dawn will merge, sucked together into night. People will eat. People will sleep. The cities will shimmer with lamplight. The crickets will continue to sing. The clouds in the sky will scud by, the angels drifting apart and together gain. And in the burning hot sun of the syrian desert histiocytoma dog removal cost the birds will find their prey.”
The story is dominated by the diminutive khatoun and the histiocytoma dog removal cost put-upon ferida, who are the unassuming women who carry this family through—feckless husbands, secret lovers and all. So many women have no voice in armenian history—they are mostly passive madonnas, but these two carry the family and their troubles on histiocytoma dog removal cost their shoulders. If not lightly, then determinedly.
Khatoun’s determination not to let things just happen to her histiocytoma dog removal cost family, and to make her children witness unflinchingly all the frightful histiocytoma dog removal cost events unfolding outside their front door, is the definition of heroism. She manages to become a sought-after seamstress for the well-to-do turkish ladies of the town, thus ensuring her family’s safety in this time of peril. She also rescues armenian girls from horrible situations and brings histiocytoma dog removal cost them to work for her, saving them from death or worse. That they all survive seven years of horror and famine histiocytoma dog removal cost is a testament to khatoun’s strong character.
This is a book which will keep the reader’s attention through “thick and thin.” we go with the rhythms of the household—cooking and cleaning and surviving, the seamstress’ work, the clacking of the trusty singer sewing machines, the sacrifices, the hopes and loves of the women (for this is a story essentially about women). The story ends with the exile of the family, and the ultimate destruction of the ancient armenian community of histiocytoma dog removal cost ourfa, and indeed the destruction of the armenian race in ottoman histiocytoma dog removal cost turkey.
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