102-year-old Armenian Genocide survivor is a descendants of Musa Dagh

102-year-old Armenian Genocide survivor is a descendants of Musa Dagh –

Armenpress – The witness of the Mount Musa Battle and the traditional Harissa creation, Silvard Atajyan is waiting for her 103rd anniversary in April impatiently. The Armenian Genocide witness, notwithstanding the respectable age, has overcome a serious surgery, which was successful. At first sight it is unbelievable though fact that even at this age the woman managed to overcome such a serious health problem and get well with the help of the doctors. At the hospital ward she does not feel lack of visitors. Surrounded with the love and care of the members of her family, Silvard Atajyan is waiting for the soonest recovery and for the return home.

“Grandma is really strong. Five years ago she got an injury in the left leg, in which a metal structure was placed and the whole weight of the body fell on her right leg, which in fact did not endure and was broken years later”, – told the grandson of the Genocide survivor, Arshavir Atajyan to Armenpress correspondent.

Earlier Armenpress presented the story of the Armenian Genocide witness, which is as follows:

The Armenian Genocide initiated in the Ottoman Empire during the World War I in the beginning of the previous century is one of the biggest crimes against humanity. Advancing the 100th anniversary of the Armenian Genocide the new project introduced by Armenpress news agency is dedicated to the story of the eyewitnesses and survivors of the calamity to prove the world one more time that our demand for the recognition of the Armenian Genocide is fair and justified. This time the project is dedicated to the story of 101-year old Silvard Atajyan. 

 MAY 14, 101-year old Silvard Atajyan living in Armenia is one of the few witnesses of the events described in renowned novel “The Forty Days of Musa Dagh” by Austrian author Franz Werfel.

Her family, which comes from Suedia region of Cilicia, was among those Armenians, which participated in the heroic struggle against the Turkish slaughterers in 1915. When the local authorities tried to realize the order to force the Armenians to leave their homes, the Armenians had made decision to resist and they climbed up the Mount Musa, where they organized struggle for their self-defense and managed to throw back the attacks of the Turkish troops 53 days.

Among other things Silvard Atajyan noted: “I climbed up the Mount Musa along with my sister, mother, and grandmother in 1911. I was three years old at that time. My father and uncle were soldiers. My father ordered the mother to take us and climb up the mountain.”

After the 53 days of resistance the family reached Egypt – saved by a French vessel

Silvard remembers how a part of the women was at the side of their husbands and the other part supplied food and arms to the fighters.

“In the evening women usually brought figs, grapes and bread for the fighters. But little by little our forces expired…”, – the 101-yer-old woman said with excitement and tears in her eyes. In the memory of Silvard, notwithstanding her little age, come out the images of the French ships, bringing assistance to the Armenians. After the 53 days of resistance the family reached Egypt due to a French vessel.


Harissa has got a historic part for Musa Dagh people

“During the fights my uncle died, who was thrown into the river. That was the reason my aunts did not eat fish for years after that”, – says the witness.

After living for five years in Egypt, in 1919 the family of Silvard returned to the motherland. Then in 1939 they moved to Aleppo and later, in 1947 – to Yerevan.

“We grew up in Aleppo, where I got married with Hovsep, born in 1911, who was a colonel. We got a house and came back to Yerevan, from where we were exiled to Vardenis”, – remembers Silvard, who worked there as a carpet weaver.

In 1953 the Atajyan family moved from Vardenis to Yerevan and got a land in the Malatia-Sebastia administrative district, where they have lived up to now.

The hero of our story states that Harissa is one of the traditional Musa Dagh dishes and has a historic past. It is mainly prepared for happy or sad ceremonies. And that is the reason it is made after it is blessed by a priest and necessarily from sacrificed lamb meat.

Years after touching upon the recognition of the Armenian Genocide, the 101-year-old Silvard says that she does not lose hope, as living with hope is characteristic of an Armenian. “I often watch news programs and tell everybody to watch it too, so that they know what is happening in the world. I am not educated but my brain works”, – states the hero of the story half-seriously and half-jokingly, adding that according to the forecast, she will live for 5 years more.

She is fond of the flowers, which she has planted and cares with her own hands

“When I got ill, in the hospital I even told my son not to dry my flowers”, – emphasized the Genocide-atrocities-survived Silvard, who, using her walking device, showed us all her flowers in the house yard, the care of which she does not trust anybody. 

Today Silvard has 3 sons, one daughter, 7 grandchildren, and 12 great grandsons.


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