By Alin K. Gregorian
CAMBRIDGE, Mass. — The talk by Dawn Anahid MacKeen, author of The Hundred Year Walk: An Armenian Odyssey, at Holy Trinity Armenian Church of Greater Boston, on Sunday, October 16, was memorable for many reasons. The audience sat mesmerized listening to the California author talk about her grandfather’s story of courage, strength, humor and survival, while close to $3,000 were raised to help Syrian Armenians.
The program, cosponsored by the Tekeyan Cultural Association, National Association for Armenian Studies and Research, the Armenian Mirror-Spectator and the church, became an almost cathartic session where several audience members whose parents or grandparents had gone through the Armenian Genocide, as well as the day’s speaker, got choked up.
The Hundred Year Walk is the story of MacKeen’s grandfather, Stepan Miskjian, who had been born and raised in the town of Adabazar, in modern Turkey. He had been drafted into a labor battalion in 1915. He eventually ended up in Raqqa, Syria, where the locals saved him.
She was especially glad that the program was raising funds for Syrian relief. “Our hearts break all over again it is so important to come together and try to help them.”