A Palestinian Armenian: The Intertwine Between The Social And The Political

Varsen Aghabekian

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This book tells the story and history of a 1,600-year-old Christian community in Palestine. The Armenian community is one of the oldest - if not the oldest- communities in Jerusalem with an interrupted presence. Armenia was the first Christian country to adopt Christianity as the religion of the state, thereby making national and religious identity synonymous. It was this religious bond that brought the first Armenians as pilgrims to the Holy Land, where Armenian monks opened monasteries and built churches, especially in and around Jerusalem. Jerusalem became the most ancient Armenian diaspora outside historical Armenian lands. Palestine and Jerusalem remained a magnet for innumerable Armenian refugees who fled persecution or who survived the Armenian Genocide in World War One. This book provides an important contribution to the Armenian story and history.The unique aspect of this book is that the author is not a historian but is herself Armenian. For Dr. Aghabekian, writing this story was a journey to her childhood, and the roots of her family and community. Thus, the personal and the collective narratives are intertwined, and the two identities of the author as Armenian and Palestinian are reconciled. The door is open for the reader to witness the story of two communities through one lens, that of the author. The stories of the Armenians and Palestinians have much in common: they are both stories of pain, suffering and injustice on the one hand, and survival, resilience, and hope on the other. The author incorporates both stories as one.

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