CAMBRIDGE, Mass. – Southern Californian award-winning author Dawn Anahid MacKeen is continuing her campaign to raise awareness of the Armenian Genocide. She is giving an illustrated talk on Sunday, October 16 based on her new book The Hundred-Year Walk: An Armenian Odyssey and simultaneously helping to raise funds for Syrian Armenian refugees during this particularly critical period. The talk is presented by the Tekeyan Cultural Association, the Armenian Mirror-Spectator, and Holy Trinity Armenian Apostolic Church. The National Association for Armenian Studies and Research is a cosponsor.
MacKeen’s presentation is based in part on her grandfather’s experiences as transcribed in his journals. She traced his steps from Adabazar (Adapazari) in Turkey to the deportation routes in Syria. MacKeen’s book is having a great impact in the United States among both Armenians and non-Armenians. She declared, “I have been so grateful that my grandfather’s courageous story continues to reach a wider audience. He believed he had survived the genocide in order to bear witness. So many people have written to me to tell me that they never knew about what happened to the Armenians until reading his story, and are shocked at how history is repeating itself in the same region again today.” Purchasing MacKeen’s books both helps spread the story and encourages major publishers to continue to publish and promote such works on Armenian topics.
Faced by the increasingly dangerous situation for Armenians and others in Syria today. MacKeen and the sponsors of her Cambridge presentation want to take advantage of the opportunity to raise funds to help those without financial means to escape and settle in Armenia. MacKeen said, “The war has helped to create the worst humanitarian crisis since World War II. So many Syrian-Armenians are descendants of Armenian genocide survivors, and are now struggling to survive each and every day. It’s our responsibility to help them.”
For this reason, any proceeds from this event will be donated to the Save a Life program of the Aleppo Compatriotic Charitable Organization, based in Yerevan, Armenia. Donations will also be accepted (they will be tax-deductible) and an auction held to raise further funds.
The Save a Life program was established in 2015 by Syrian Armenians and in the US, the Parish Council of St. Kevork Armenian Apostolic Church of Houston has agreed to collect money with no administrative costs deducted in order to support this program. The program has assembled a list of 600-700 people who cannot afford the cost of transportation to Armenia but want to escape and save their lives from the ever-worsening violence. Several hundred Syrian Armenians have already been aided by this program.