By Anne Runkle
LIVONIA, Mich. (The Oakland Press) — At 102 years old, former Pontiac resident Ramela Carman is believed to be the only survivor in Michigan of the Armenian Genocide that began in 1915.
She’s one of only about 30 survivors around the world of the event that resulted in the deaths of as many as 2 million people.
Her family and friends gathered at the Manoogian Manor assisted living center in Livonia Thursday for her birthday.
They admire her strength in light of all she has lived through.
The genocide is regarded by historians as the first mass ethnic cleansing of the 20th century. On April 24, 1915, Ottoman Turks rounded up several hundred Armenians who were considered “intellectuals” or people in positions of leadership and slaughtered them, said Father Aren Jebejian, pastor of St. John Armenian Church in Southfield, where Carman worshipped for decades.