Thursday, March 19, 2015

A Rare First-hand Account: FOUR YEARS IN THE MOUNTAINS OF KURDISTAN

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“Aram Haigaz captures the stark tragedy of the Armenian Genocide in one boy’s remarkable story of suffering and survival. This English translation is as riveting and heart-wrenching as the original in Armenian, and, on the occasion of the Genocide’s centennial, is essential reading for all.” 
--Vartan Gregorian, president, Carnegie Corporation of New York; former president, The New York Public Library


FOUR YEARS IN THE MOUNTAINS OF KURDISTAN is a remarkable first-hand account by Aram Haigaz, an Armenian-American author and youthful survivor of the Armenian genocide of 1915. Haigaz was only 15 when he lost his father, brothers, many relatives and neighbors to the month-long attack by the military forces of Ottoman Turkey.  He and his mother were put on a forced march and deportation of Armenians into the Syrian desert, as part of the systematic destruction of the Christian Armenian population in 1915 by the Ottoman Empire. His mother urged Aram to convert to Islam in order to survive, after which he was taken by a Turkish bey into his household. Aram spent four long years living as a servant and shepherd among Kurdish tribes, rising from ‘infidel’ servant to trusted aide and secretary  because of being the only person among the peasant workers who could read and write. He grew from a boy to a man in these years and his narrative offers readers a fascinating coming-of-age story as well as a valuable eyewitness to history. Haigaz was able to escape to the United States in 1921.


Aram Haigaz was the pen name of Aram Chekenian, an Armenian-American writer who was born in the town of Shabin Karahisar, Turkey. Scholars and historians often cite first book, The Fall of the Aerie, published in an English translation in 1935, for its eyewitness details of the genocide. Although he lived in America for most of his life, Aram Haigaz, the author of ten books in total as well as numerous articles and essays, wrote only in Armenian.

Translated from the Armenian into English by his daughter, Iris Haigaz Chekenian, FOUR YEARS IN THE MOUNTAINS OF KURDISTAN is the tale of one young man’s struggle to survive, while also a rich and compelling narrative of life within a little known ancient society and tribal culture. 

Publication date: March 26, 2015                                                                                                                                        Hardcover; ISBN 978-1-940210-06-3; $26.95; 362 pp 
E-Book; ISBN 978-1-940210-07-0; $12.99

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