By Florence Avakian
NEW YORK — On September 28, Archbishop Anoushavan Tanielian, Prelate of the Armenian Prelacy (Eastern), presented the Armenian-Italian professor, scholar and novelist Dr. Antonia Arslan, and her powerful and soul-searing story, Silent Angel.
Prelacy Executive Director Vartan Matiossian welcomed crowd in the Prelacy’s Hovnanian Hall which included Prelacy Vicar Very Rev. Fr. Sahak Yemishian, St. Illuminator Armenian Cathedral pastor Rev. Fr. Mesrob Lakissian, Armenia’s Ambassador to the U.N. Mher Margarian, Consul General of Italy in New York Francesco Genuardi, Consul General of the Lebanese Consulate in NY Dr. Abir Taha Audi, and other officials of the Italian diplomatic corps in the city.
“The genocide of the Armenians in their historical homeland that facilitated the emptying and usurpation of territory is the central character behind the odyssey of the Homiliary of Moush. And that odyssey is the driving force of Antonia Arslan’s novel, Silent Angel,” said Matiossian.
Arslan, a diminutive, charming and humble personality who is also the author of the best-selling The Skylark Farm and Road to Smyrna, commented, “I wrote this small book and it was also placed in Yerevan’s great Matenadaran Library of ancient manuscripts with this huge treasure of the St. Arakelots Monastery. It is symbolic of the Armenian civilization.”
The novel was translated from the Italian to English by Professor Siobhan Nash-Marshall, Chairperson of the Mary T. Clark Chair of Christian Philosophy at Manhattanville College. She related that this book is a testament “on how a culture was saved. This is what makes Armenia rich — the transmission of culture and heritage to the world.”