Letter to Hrant 

The following poem by Khatchig Mouradian appeared in the Armenian Weekly on Feb. 3, 2007, days after Agos Editor Hrant Dink’s assassination in Istanbul on Jan. 19, 2007. We would like to share it with our readers once again on the anniversary of Hrant’s death.

Hrant Dink was assassinated in Istanbul around 12:00 GMT on January 19, 2007, as he returned to the offices of Agos (Photo: Rupen Janbazian)
Hrant Dink was assassinated in Istanbul around 12:00 GMT on January 19, 2007, as he returned to the offices of Agos (Photo: Rupen Janbazian)

Dear Hrant,

I believe by now, the water found its crack; you found in the great beyond those whom we lost 92 years ago.

Hrant, I have some favors to ask.

Embrace Krikor Zohrab for me. Tell him I have been reading and rereading his short stories ever since I discovered them.

Give Daniel Varoujan my best. Tell him he enlightened my youth with his poems, and he continues to inspire my soul.

Hrant, do not forget to chant songs of survival with Siamanto.

Tell them they are on our bookshelves, they are on our classroom tables, their words are on our lips and in our hearts.

And tell them I believe-I’m sure you do too-that one day, they will be on the bookshelves, classroom tables, lips and hearts of Turks as well.

One day their statues-and yours-will also adorn Istanbul.

Do not forget to pray with Komitas, and tell him that one day, Armenian women will sing again in the villages of Anatolia.

Please find my grandparents. Tell them we carry their names and their love to the land they never left, the land we never saw.

Hrant, kiss the blessed foreheads of each and every victim of the Medz Yeghern of 1915.

Tell them we shall continue to walk on the road of their dreams. Because their dreams are our dreams.

Tell them we shall make the deserts flourish with the scent of their memory.

Tell them that from Talaat to Samast, we are survivors.

Tell them we are all Zohrab, Varoujan, Siamanto, Komitas and Hrant.

 

Love,
Khatchig Mouradian

 

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Khatchig Mouradian

Dr. Khatchig Mouradian is the Nikit and Eleanora Ordjanian Visiting Professor at Columbia University. Previously, he served as the Henry S. Khanzadian Kazan Visiting Professor at CSU Fresno (Fall 2016 Semester). In 2015-2016, Mouradian was a visiting assistant professor at the Division of Global Affairs at Rutgers University, where he also served as the program coordinator of the Armenian Genocide Program at the Center for the Study of Genocide and Human Rights (CGHR). Since 2014, Mouradian has taught courses on imperialism, mass violence, human rights, concentration camps, urban space and conflict in the Middle East, and collective memory in the History and Sociology departments at Rutgers and at Worcester State University. Mouradian holds a PhD in History from the Strassler Center for Holocaust and Genocide Studies at Clark University. Mouradian was the editor of the Armenian Weekly from 2007-2014.

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