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A nation of widows and orphans Armenian memories of relief in Jerusalem

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... By 1923, the Near East Relief was housing "27,000 orphans in Soviet Russia, 11,000 in Beirut, Jerusalem and Nazareth, 13,000 in Eastern Anatolia and Greece." 47 As head of the International Near East Association, Vickrey outlined a relief fundraising concept to sustain the orphans and advance their development into a new generation of workers, professionals, and leaders in the Near East. 48 Launched as International Golden Rule Sunday in 1923, 49 the faith-based idea of the program was to restrain the consumption of a typical American meal and contribute the cost savings to the Near East Relief. ...
... The visceral memories of the past and the fear of what is to come are very real in a situation like this. Preparing food and waiting for good news of one's family and friends ties the genocidal events of the past to the present situation with the possibility of projecting one's memories into the future (see also Seremetakis 1994;Sutton 2001;Naguib 2008). Because we have already seen how repetition and return may be variations of uncanny sequences of time, we may also instructively direct our understanding toward the question of memory. ...
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This paper presents a meditation on how memory and repetition are played out when experienced as both a historical event and an ongoing and returning possibility. Amongst the Armenian community in Lebanon repetition takes on a particular salience in the form of a haunting from the foundational genocide of 1915, a genocide that in recent years has been brought back with the events in Syria where family and kin have faced severe hardships, random killings, and destruction of entire villages. In this paper I over various fieldworks in Lebanon return to the incident of the cleansing of Kessab, an important Armenian village in Syria, and how such an event in today’s Syria points to past, present, and future forms of haunting but also the reconfiguration of affect. The same event draws different landscapes of the imagination, landscapes of fear, haunting, return, but also of resilience and responsibility in the meeting with the time to come.
... Th ese are issues which concern me in my studies on how the residues of wars and critical moments in history marginalize populations and render communities anonymous to us. Elsewhere I have been concerned with human physical and emotional endurances of war, and in contextualizing acts of resilience and documenting individuals who are engrossed in everyday negotiations to sustain and rehabilitate their fractured lives and move forward (Naguib 2008(Naguib , 2009 ). Th is article recaptures these accounts of struggle and resilience, but in a diff erent register. ...
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In Jerusalem in the 1960s two nuns belonging to the Polish Order of the Sisters of St. Elizabeth experienced a calling to help relieve the suffering among children living around the walls of the old city. With the help of a loan and a 'miracle' Sister Raphaela and Sister Kryspina managed to finance the building of an orphanage 'The Home of Peace' on Mount of Olives in Jerusalem. Today 'The Home of Peace' is managed by fifteen nuns who do the washing, cleaning, feeding, tutoring and caring for approximately thirty children, mostly girls, under the age of eighteen years. This paper sketches aspects of long-term daily charitable giving, rescue, protection, shelter and gestures of kindness which are forgotten aspects in Middle Eastern research. This is an attempt to get at the often neglected story of compassion and care-giving in the Middle East. French À Jérusalem, pendant les années 60, deux sœurs de l'ordre polonais des Sœurs de St. Elisabeth ont ressenti la vocation de soulager la souffrance des enfants vivant en dehors des murs de la Ville Sainte. Avec l'aide d'un emprunt et grâce à un « miracle », Sœur Raphaela et Sœur Kryspina ont pu financier la construction d'un orphelinat sur le Mont des Oliviers à Jérusalem, le'Foyer de la paix'. Aujourd'hui le 'Foyer de la paix' est dirigée par 15 sœurs qui nourrissent, lavent, instruisent et prennent soin d'une trentaine d'enfants, pour la plupart des filles de moins de 18 ans. L'article se penche sur des questions souvent laissées de côté dans la recherche sur le Moyen Orient de nos jours telles que le don charitable au quotidien sur la longue durée, le secours, la protection, l'abri et les gestes de gentillesse. Ceci est une tentative d'aborder l'histoire souvent oubliée de la compassion et du soin au Moyen Orient.
... This article is an attempt to explain how, for the dispossessed, photographs may carry several meanings: the people themselves know that their previous life no longer exists, yet their photographs are ''certificates of presence.'' This is especially significant to Armenians living in the diaspora, who were scattered throughout the world after experiencing violence perpetrated by all sides involved during the upheavals of World War I [Naguib 2008]. ...
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Armenians were scattered across the world after experiencing the collective pain of massacres and deportation from Turkey in 1915. They are an example of a people who have lived through loss and the brutalities of history. In this article, I trace one response to enduring loss: the role of photograph albums in capturing such historical ruptures. For scholars concerned with life stories, family photos and records serve both as goads to recollection and as aids to their certification. “Seeing” other pasts obviates somehow our requirement for complete recollection from our interviewees. Yet our sense of other people's pasts involves more than this. At times photos portray only frozen, static moments cut off from their lived experiences. At other times these albums are a verification of presence in history.
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