Sevan Boghos-Derbedrossian, left, and Mihran Toumajan, right, congratulating author Katia Tavitian Karageuzian

Exploring Identity and Advocacy: A Journey with Katia Tavitian Karageuzian


By Sevan Boghos-Derbedrossian

Special to the Mirror-Spectator

ALTADENA, Calif. — On Sunday, March 17, the Tekeyan Cultural Association Metro Los Angeles Chapter warmly welcomed attendees to a book presentation at the TCA Beshgeturian Center featuring Katia Tavitian Karageuzian, author of the memoir Forbidden Homeland.

Through the lens of her memoir, readers embark on a profound exploration of the Armenian diaspora, delving into its complexities and reflecting on our own journeys within our diverse community. Forbidden Homeland serves as a resource reflecting our heritage, struggles, and triumphs, while inviting us to question and evaluate our identities and narratives.

Katia’s narrative spans continents and generations, weaving together personal reflections with historical and political threads. From Western Armenia through the Middle East to the United States, her story resonates deeply, offering profound insights into our collective past and prompting us to contemplate our present and future.

Born in Beirut, Lebanon, Katia’s upbringing amidst civil unrest instilled in her a passion for literature and a thirst for knowledge. Today, she continues to contribute to her community through her work as a pediatric specialty pharmacist and her involvement in various Armenian organizations.

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Her journey of self-discovery began innocuously, sparked by a single comment in college. However, what ensued was a decades-long quest for the truth, revealing not only her own family history, but also the broader geopolitical forces shaping the destiny of her homeland. Her resilience in the face of adversity and her commitment to uncovering buried truths serve as an inspiration to all.

The significance of Forbidden Homeland extends beyond personal introspection. It serves as a vital tool for educating others about the Armenian experience, shedding light on historical truths and ongoing injustices. As Dr. Rubina Peroomian, a noted genocide scholar, aptly describes, Karageuzian’s memoir equips readers with the ammunition to confront falsehoods and preserve historical memory for future generations.

The book also aims to enrich students’ education, broadening their understanding of our cause and exposing them to geopolitics, political, economic, and informational dynamics. It seeks to expand their perspective on global affairs, offering thought-provoking insights. It has the potential of an invaluable educational resource. As an educator myself at the AGBU Manoogian-Demirdjian School, I have witnessed firsthand the impact of Forbidden Homeland on our students. It has ignited discussions, fostered introspection, and instilled a sense of pride in our collective identity. Through initiatives by our administration like inviting Katia to present her book at our school, we ensure that our heritage is preserved, celebrated and shared with the world through our future generations.

Karageuzian’s work inspires readers to embrace their identity, advocate for justice, and educate others about the rich heritage.


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