A Child of Genocide, Talar Kakilian is Active & Determined 95 Years After Crime
The Armenian Diasporan youth are always at the front lines when it comes to demanding recognition of the Armenian Genocide, but stories of the individual youths often goes untold. April 24 2010 marks the 95th anniversary of the beginning of a systematic operation committed by the Young Turks, which killed 1.5 million Armenians and the Armenian youth are mobilizing as they always do.
Talar Kakilian, a member of the Armenian Youth Federation, an activist for the Armenian National Committee and recent winner of the AYF “Nanor Krikorian” Scholarship is one out of the multitude of young Armenians who are dedicated to achieving recognition of the Armenian Genocide.
“I continue to fight for genocide recognition out of respect for my ancestors who were tortured, beaten, and murdered, and yet, still denied justice. I feel it is my duty to my ancestors to fight on their behalf until their story is heard,” she told Haytoug. “Also, by recognizing the first genocide of the 20th century, we will one day, hopefully, be able to prevent further genocides.”
Kaklian’s great-grandfather survived the genocide through extraordinary circumstances, but had to endure many hardships, as many others did. As the Turkish gendarmes had all the Armenian men lined up in the city square he escaped with the soldiers following him. Spotting a house, he quickly ran in and asked for help; the Greek man hid him in a ditch covered with wood for three days, until after they were sure that the Turks had left. On her mother’s side, Talar’s grandfather had to watch his father get beheaded, his baby sister murdered, his older sisters taken away, and his mother die of trauma. All alone, he was forced to march through Der-Zor until one day he finally escaped and found refuge near an old Arab widow.
“Throughout the year I am able to get my voice heard through various projects I take on; I keep my culture alive through teaching Armenian history to younger Armenian students, but the annual protest is the one day of the year when I get my frustrations out,” Talar said. “I am able to yell; getting the frustration I feel all year out through simply chanting in unison with Armenians and non-Armenians alike.”
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