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A Genocide Story- My Mother's Eyes

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They dragged my mother away kicking and screaming arms outstretched towards my little sister who lay dying on the ground her lips parched her eyes sunken her wasted arms reaching out “Myreik (Mother), don’t leave me!” My father pulled my mother away the young soldier’s grasping hands the one who had violated her the one who now sneered “Keep moving….she will be dead Before nightfall.” I hurried after them stumbling through my tears afraid of being left behind I turned for one last look There she lay…her eyes closing left behind to join the the dead along the path my sister…. That night I didn’t hear her cry or complain as the soldiers dragged her away she was beautiful my mother with eyes the color of the sea eyes that danced and twinkled like stars on a clear night eyes that smiled eyes that embraced eyes that spoke what words couldn’t say I fell asleep to the sound of my father’s weeping “Wake up,” I heard her say as I fought to keep my dreams alive my eyes fluttered open I closed them to the hungry faces I closed them to the filth on her dress I searched her eyes calm and glassy they looked past me not seeing In them I read no pain no joy no recognition no….life! Tears sprang to my eyes tears for the death of my sister’s body tears for the death of my mother’s soul… My mother’s eyes my mother’s eyes... They haunt me still. Eileen Manassian Though this is a fictitious write, the events depicted did happen during the Armenian Genocide in 1915 by the Ottoman Turks. One million and a half Armenians were marched into the desert in what has come to be known as the Death March. My mother's family were fortunate. They were able to run away in time. They relocated to Lebanon. My mother was a refugee at 14 years of age. She and her two sisters suffered poverty and had to work hard to make a living for the family. Their fate could have been worse. April 24 marks 100 years since that event. Not all countries have recognized the genocide. Unfortunately, America is one of them. If you want to read an account of those days, read The Sandcastle Girls. Read of how woman were tied to stakes as the soldiers rode past on their horses and decapitated them. Read of how the orphaned children were gathered at night and put in caves and burned alive. Read of how the woman marched naked...their wounds festering, their hair matted...almost inhuman. Read of how women committed suicide rather suffer rape while others disfigured themselves to go unnoticed. History cannot deny the genocide. If justice is not served here...it will be....one day. God told Cain..."the blood of your brother Abel is crying out to me." The blood of these martyrs cries out today for recognition.

Copyright © | Year Posted 2015




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Date: 4/21/2015 3:03:00 PM
Well, I don't really know what to say about this...such an awful thing, a great write, full of the pain and brutality then, and what lingers years later. Sadly, it doesn't surprise me that America hasn't recognized this event...not at all. Truth is, the people in power here only pretend to be the good guys to keep the mob passified. If you look at our history though, it's a very violent and corrupt one.
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Date: 4/12/2015 11:11:00 PM
My gentle friend, it has always amazed me that Turkey being an enlightened western country cannot accept responsibility for the deliberate murder of half the Armenian population living supposedly as its citizens. Up to five million people. What is even more appalling is that other countries turn a blind eye to this to curry favour with Turkey. This policy of putting on blinkers and turning a blind eye is exactly what allowed the genocide in Rawanda to happen. This world is a sad place. Shane xx
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Date: 4/3/2015 4:31:00 PM
When it comes to countries' leaders,their first interest is what are we to benefit and what are we to lose by recognizing or non accepting the pain of others.Its all about power and money,including my isle..But when the people get to read such pain ,such cruel events,the people who have no interest in politics and greed,the common people of all countries would cry,like I cry and feel for any suffering sweet friend.I feel so much for your people
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Eileen Manassian
Date: 4/4/2015 5:35:00 PM
I know you have a caring heart, my sweet Charmaine. You are right. The world can be an ugly place....self interest is what motives people on a global and on an individual scale. :( We become desensitized to all that is going on. Every now and then we need reminders so that we feel with the plight of fellow human beings. Thank you for your care and concern. hugs
Date: 4/3/2015 1:50:00 PM
Eileen, reading your poem led me to bone up, posthaste, on the Armenian Genocide. One cannot remain unaffected by the fate of your people. Each picture of those victims show the unspeakable forms of death meted against them. Your words have retold the story in a much more personal way, as if it was indeed you who were there. May God grant your wish, and may your people get the justice and recognition long been denied. Our own history, the April 9 Death March,is a parallel,in a smaller scale. Hugs! Kim
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Eileen Manassian
Date: 4/4/2015 5:31:00 PM
Thank you, my dear. I don't know anything abou the April 9 Death March. :( I guess we always know about those atrocities that touch us in some way. I'm touched by your response. April 24 is soon approaching. There will be a lot going on here in Lebanon as there is a big Armenian community here. I wish I were in Armenia to see what people there will do. We hope for the best. Thanks...and God bless.
Date: 4/2/2015 4:58:00 PM
this is so very tragic, what happened to all those killed in the genocide.Yes,America was crazy not to recognize it, same as what happened in Rwanda. they only "recognized" it when it was too late! HOrrifying to think that even today such atrocities can and will continue. A very good write, dear.
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Eileen Manassian
Date: 4/3/2015 9:00:00 AM
Thanks, Andrea. It is tragic....I know...what gets recognized is what touches foreign interests. It's so sad. Thanks for ready, though. I appreciate the visit. :) Hugs
Date: 4/2/2015 2:45:00 PM
Eileen, such a powerful and educational write, so many actions go on without being recognized. 7 Blessings dear friend and a very Happy Easter
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Eileen Manassian
Date: 4/2/2015 3:06:00 PM
Yes, Eve...this is the unfortunate truth. Armenians everywhere will be involved in demonstrations in the following days. This is an important year. Our centennial. If nothing is done now...it never will be done. Thanks for the visit. Happy Easter to you too, my dear.
Date: 4/2/2015 2:26:00 PM
Wow, Eileen...I'm speechless with tears in my eyes reading this amazingly touching and brilliant write today...words cannot express. Thank you for sharing. I'm wondering why America does not historically recognize this genocide. That's appalling! I'm going to do more research...big hug to you and Happy Easter, Rhonda
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Eileen Manassian
Date: 4/2/2015 2:55:00 PM
Hi, Rhonda....I as going to put up a quote of Ronald Reagan's about the Armenian Genocide. He admitted that it happened. When Hitler was questions about his planned extermination of the Jews, he is known to have said...."After all...who remembers the Armenians?" There are some countries that are vocal about recognition of the genocide. France is one of them. George Clooney's wife, Amal....has recently addressed the Hague on behalf of Armenians. America is Turkey's ally and should she recognize the genocide, that would sour relations between the two countries. :( It's sad. Thanks for reading and caring, my dear. Hugs
Date: 4/2/2015 9:33:00 AM
This demands another and another read. If not for you writing on this topic before I would probably have remained ignorant of the history of your people. Thank you for portraying it with such sensitivity and clarity.
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Eileen Manassian
Date: 4/2/2015 1:11:00 PM
Thank you, Richard. Your show of solidarity with me means so much to me. It's so sad when people don't show empathy...If we are quiet when ill befalls others....we will face silence when our turn comes. I am so grateful for your support.
Date: 4/2/2015 6:05:00 AM
- Deeply touching but, lovely written dear Eileen - A blessed Easter to you - from Norway :) - hugs // Anne-Lise :)
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Eileen Manassian
Date: 4/2/2015 12:56:00 PM
Thanks, my sweet Sunshine! I wish you a blessed and happy Easter as well. Hugs
Date: 4/2/2015 12:49:00 AM
Oh my Eileen, this is beyond moving. Truly one of the most powerful pieces you have written! I am humbled reading this piece. Hugs Rick.
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Eileen Manassian
Date: 4/2/2015 12:56:00 AM
Richard....this cause is dear to my heart. I'm proud of my Armenian heritage. Armenia was the first nation to make Christianity it's national religion. Though my mother's immediate family was spared the horror of the genocide, I know that others in my father's extended family were not so fortunate. The horrors are too difficult to recount. I can't finish reading The Sandcastle Girls. It drains me emotionally. Thank you for understanding. While other genocides are continually remembered, the Armenians remain....unnoticed by many due to alliances and political agendas. But....God sees. Hugs
Date: 4/1/2015 7:26:00 PM
Such a very sad write Jade. Glad it's on poetry soup so we do not forget. God Bless.
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Eileen Manassian
Date: 4/2/2015 12:57:00 AM
I've posted this one before, Tammy, but I decided to repost it. It takes a lot of emotional energy to, in a sense, relive the atrocity. I hope that this poem will bring awareness. Thank you for your visit.
Date: 4/1/2015 6:37:00 PM
This is so sad Eileen....It seems so unimaginable...my heart bleeds for all the families...hugs Tim
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Eileen Manassian
Date: 4/2/2015 12:59:00 AM
100 years on....and we still cry out for justice. It's so sad, Tim. So very sad. How can people be so cruel. Though Assyrians and Pontic Greeks and others were also forced into the desert to die, the majority group were the Armenians and Turkey will not admit to what it has done to my people. A day of reckoning is coming. God is a good of love....but also a God of justice. Thanks for reading.
Date: 4/1/2015 4:14:00 PM
I am touched, brought near to tears, by both this powerful, heartfelt poem and by the informative footnote. This is a black period in the history of mankind. Let awareness spring forth, with the hope that such atrocities will not repeat themselves. God is all-forgiving...but...what about justice!! Hugs // paul
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Eileen Manassian
Date: 4/2/2015 1:05:00 AM
The old...the sick....were left on the way to die or be eaten by vultures. There were no options. No mercy shown...You had to march...It's all true, Paul. It's all true. How horrendous to leave a child behind. I also read The Crossing, which is about a Pontic Greek who was part of the genocide. After so many days on the death march and the death of a sister....this little girl's mother gave her away to a local family so that she would be spared. Imagine the pain of giving your own child away....knowing you will never see her again. Yes, Justice....must see the light of day. Thank you....Thank you for understanding. Hugs