“She left her daughter on the steps of the church”

In April 2015, the month in which world marked the 100 years since the Armenian genocide, the Guardian asked readers in the country, and those in Diaspora, to share their stories of how the violence had affected their family history.

The project, led by the New East network, had a an overwhelming response with over 500 people sending letters, photos and testimony, some of which were used in the coverage of the centennial.

A year on and Mediamax have worked with the Guardian to revisit some of the stories, published here as we approach the 101st anniversary.

Missak Ourfalian

My grandmother had a son and a daughter at the time of the killings and mass deportations.

She lost her husband who was killed and was forced to flee. Since she was alone with two little children, she could not take both kids so she left her daughter who was 5 years old on the steps of the local church and took her son and fled into the desert and finally settled in Lebanon. She later remarried and had my father.

She never knew what happened to her daughter. I cannot imagine her pain of losing a child like that. However she was resilient and had children through her second marriage and raised a family.

I have passed this story down to my children so they will know what their ancestors went through during this period.


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