Keghetzik Zourikian: Genocide Survivor
Today’s Survivor Story comes from Keghetzik Hagopian Zourikian. She is still alive and well at the young age of 104! She was born in Bursa, near Constantinople. In September of this year, Zourikian will turn 104 years old, as 2015 marks the 100th anniversary of the Armenian Genocide perpetrated by the Young Turks who ruled the Ottoman Empire at the beginning of the 20th century. In 1915, Zourikian’s father was taken into the Turkish military, then killed for being an Armenian. She was subsequently separated from her mother and siblings at a young age and grew up as an orphan with only one of her sisters, until her sister fell ill and they also separated. Her journey as an orphaned refugee took her to Greece and Egypt. After leaving the orphanage she worked as a domestic helper in a Jewish household in Greece. Zourikian eventually met and married another orphan from the Armenian Genocide who was living in Beirut as a refugee. They started a family in Egypt and immigrated to Canada with their three children. Zourikian tracked down and met her mother only decades later since their forced separation as a child. Despite all the hardship Zourikian faced as a result of the Armenian Genocide, she is a living testament to how Armenians survived against all odds. She has 8 grandchildren and 18 great grandchildren. At the age of 104, she exudes beauty, grace, and faith. Even today, as she recounts the unfolding and aftermath of the Armenian Genocide, her eyes reflect her unwavering inner strength and her will to survive.
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