ALTADENA, Calif. – The Tekeyan Cultural Association Metro Los Angeles Chapter will host a bilingual program titled “Roupen Herian: Rescuer of Armenian Orphans” on Sunday, February 17, 2019 at 5 p.m. at the Tekeyan Center in Altadena. Boston-based scholar Aram Arkun, Executive Director of the Tekeyan Cultural Association of the United States and Canada and Assistant Editor of the Armenian Mirror-Spectator, will serve as the keynote speaker and, with the help of illustrations, present the fascinating life of Roupen Herian, who was entrusted with the herculean task of locating kidnapped Armenian women and children.
Herian was born in Tokat sometime between 1868 and 1872, but after graduating the local Armenian school, left to engage in commerce in Constantinople. He left for the United States in May 1895, possibly due to the oppression of Sultan Abdul Hamid II and his regime.
Herian immigrated to Boston and later moved to New York City. He became a successful businessman, while continuing to be deeply involved in Armenian political activities. In 1916 he carried out a secret war mission for the British government.
Herian helped arrange the transportation of the 1,200 Armenian-Americans who joined the Armenian Legion, which successfully defeated the Turkish and German forces at the Battle of Arara in Palestine in September 1918, and himself later enrolled as a legionnaire.
Herian served as the director of an infirmary in Egypt for the legionnaires, and participated in an abortive expedition to help the besieged city of Hajin. He also played a role in the defense of the Cilician city of Dört Yol (Chork-Marzban).