ALEPPO was ALEP – Remembering the Armenian Genocide

Yesterday, I learnt about Turkey’s tactics to turn the Armenian genocide-themed film “The Promise” into a box office failure. Apparently, they have been entering about 100,000 poor reviews on Imdb, buying seats in theaters and then asking for refunds, so the seats will be empty, harassing actors and producers, etc.

Now that Turkey is even more openly the virtual dictatorship it has been for so long, I can only pity the good people of Turkey who have been brainwashed since childhood to deny what our Armenian families suffered, because a made-up genocide has never been heard of. I pity them for the oppression they have to endure on a daily basis. They too are victims, just like the Armenians who were massacred across the desert, in their homes, wherever they tried to run.

The denial of history is a damaging thing for any culture, and the Turkey of today is an example of what can happen when a nation lets something like that rot inside its heart, without letting it see the light.

Because I am no historian, but a poet, I wrote this today, to remember, to honor my ancestors, and to speak out for the victims of the genocides of today.



was Alep to my grandmother

and the man who would

later become her husband

She was barely

out of her mother´s womb

when she boarded the ship

towards our land

He was a teenager

his adolescence

was spent in Aleppo

“Alep,” my father insisted,

“he called it Alep”

The Armenians

in their escape

from slaughter

found a way via Alep

and from Beirut

the port where everything began

My own Aleph

I wouldn´t have been born without

Those who remained

didn´t survive

the cotton workers from Marash

that gave us our name

I cannot look at

rubble, children,

bombs, weapons

US industry


Syrian civilians

caught in crossfire

resurrected cold war

the reopened wounds

and double trauma

of Aleppo children

like my grandfather once was

The Armenians of Aleppo

the Syrians who sheltered

our ancestors

welcomed them

and healed their wounds

Under siege now

chemical weapons


Killing the weakest of the weak

all for the greater good

“The tyrant must be deposed,”

they say

and they bomb children convoys

as they try to escape

When they think,

now, finally,

we are safe,

they´ll take us to the West

some city without  

bloodrain bonefall

engineered earthquake

Now like then

the dead do not rest

desert vastness

unnamed grave

Then like now

a genocide

can’t be erased

The bones have a voice

louder than volcanos

nuclear hurricanes

The blood flows

the heart beats

Without land

without the recognition

of our pain

without the ones we lost

the friends and relatives

we never met,

deprived of our true names

We are still Armenian

in this flatness still

we are mountain people

in this new world still

we are ancient people

I am Armenian

my heart is made

of candombe fire

and duduk melancholy

and my grandfather once

went from child to man

in a town by the name of Alep




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