Vay Arpa. I so knew you would comment on the biblical Jezebel. It's just an article from a site wherein I was very surprised to find any mention of anything having to do with Armenians.
So you think they are sincere? They have been attacking us all over, and now they hit us "below the belt"!!!
THE HELL WITH JEZEBEL!!!.
Can we talk about Zabel Yesayan, Shoushanik Kurghinian and and their Soul sisters/ daughters, the likes of Shushan Avagian and..?
Yes! please. Let us talk about the subject and see the symbolism of coloring oneself with "red hënna" the night before.
Shushanik Kurghinian, a voice for the voiceless
by Nyree Abrahamian
Published: Thursday March 05, 2009
Yerevan - Shushanik Kurghinian (née Popolchian) was a pioneer in the development of Armenian feminist and socialist poetry. She was born in 1876 in Alexandropol (present-day Gyumri), where she published her first poems and short stories. Often writing about oppressed women, prostitutes, and other neglected members of society, she gave voice to the voiceless. Kurghinian understood her role as a poet to be a profoundly political one.
In 1893, at the age of 17, she was a founding member of the first Hnchakian young women's political group in the Caucasus. At 21, she married Arshak Kurghinian, a businessperson and member of the socialist underground. In 1903 she planned to move to Moscow with her husband and two children to continue her education, but due to the children's poor health, the family was forced to stop in Rostov, where Kurghinian would remain for several years.
She published her first volume of poetry, Ringing of the Dawn (Arshaluysi Ghoghanjner) in 1907, in Nor Nakhichevan. A collection of new poems and older ones that had originally been published in Armenian journals, Ringing of the Dawn was a response to the Russian Revolution of 1905.
Kurghinian's health began to deteriorate in 1910. She was eventually diagnosed with a rare case of exophthalmic goiter, and for years was transferred from hospital to hospital, where she continued to write about social justice despite her pain and poor health. Her last days were spent in the Nor Malatia district of Yerevan, where she died on November 24, 1927.
Until recently, only a few of Kurghinian's poems had been translated into English and she was not known at all outside Armenian literary circles. In 2005, Shushan Avagyan, who is currently pursuing a doctoral degree at Illinois State University, published a collection of Kurghinian's poems, both in their original Armenian and English translations. The book is named after one of her most resonant poems, I Want to Live. Here are two of the poems from this collection.
The first, "I Want to Live," is a bold poem calling for social justice for women in a direct and demanding tone. The second, "The Waves," speaks symbolically about women's fight against oppressive customs and discriminatory laws. It celebrates the strength and solidarity of women and their ability to defy those laws through a collective and united struggle.
I Want to Live
I want to live, not a lavish life
trapped in obscurity, indifferent and foolish,
nor as an outright hostage of artificial beauty,
a frail creature, delicate and feeble,
but equal to you, oh men, prosperous
as you are, powerful and headstrong,
fit against calamities, ingenious in mind,
with bodies full of vigor.
I want to love, unreserved, without a mask,
self-willed like you, so that when in love
I can sing my feelings to the world
and unchain my heart, a woman's heart,
before the crowds?.?.?. ignoring their stern
judgments with my shield and destroy
the pointed arrows aimed at me
with all my vitality unrestrained!
I want to act, equal, next to you,
as a loyal member of the people,
let me suffer again and again, night or day,
wandering from one place to another,
always struggling for the ideal
of freedom?.?.?. and let this burden
torment me even in my exile,
if only I may gain a purpose in this life.
I want to eat comfortably, as you do,
from that same fair bread, for which
I gave my share of holy work;
in the struggle for existence, humble and meek,
without feeling shame, let me
shed sweat and tears for a blessed earning,
let scarlet blood flow from my worker's hands
and let my back tire in pain!
I want to fight, first as your rival,
standing against you with an old vengeance,
since absurdly and without mercy you
turned me into a vassal through love and force.
Then after clearing these disputes of my gender,
I want to fight against the agonies of life,
courageously like you, hand in hand,
facing the struggle to be or not.
(June 7, 1907)
The waves - were accustomed to the black cliff,
the waves - curled under the shorn cliff,
always coy in their cadence,
rippling from the gusts of wind,
fondly greeted the cliff
with a bustle of an active life.
The waves - rebelled one black day,
the waves - sang an alarming song:
"Why do the first virginal rays
of dawn, so pure, descend
always upon your face?
While we, like beggars,
coiling beneath your foot,
must cheer, gasping,
with anticipation and awe,
till the sun graces us with a beam."
The waves - defiantly arose,
the waves - braced the cliff,
what hurricane, what violent storm!
With might the ether thundered,
and from the water's pounding
the cliff shook in a blast,
the waves - deluged the cliff,
the waves- caved in the cliff.
(February 18, 1908)
Copyright © 2009 Armenian Reporter | reporter.am http://www.reporter....e-zabel-yesayan
This International Women’s Day, let’s celebrate Zabel Yesayan
by Nyree Abrahamian
Published: Thursday March 05, 2009
Yerevan - As March 8 approaches, flower vendors across Armenia prepare for one of the busiest days of the year. International Women's Day started in 1911 as a political event, a major day of global celebration for the economic, political, and social achievements of women, and recognition for their continuing struggles. It became a popular holiday, particularly in the Soviet Union, but over the years, it deviated from its social and political roots and joined the ranks of Mother's Day and Valentine's Day as a day for men to express their love for the women in their lives through flowers and chocolates.
So why, in the 21st century, has International Women's Day fizzled to a mostly superficial level in Armenia? Why has it strayed from its roots?
For Armenian women, it's easy to feel estranged from the victories and ongoing struggles of the women's movement because our mainstream culture doesn't have much to do with it. We can read Simone de Beauvoir all we want, but how do we relate her to our reality?
What many Armenians don't know, and what many intellectuals, historians, and literary critics often omit, is that feminism is a part of our culture too. And perhaps its strongest voice belongs to Zabel Yesayan, whose novels, short stories, and essays explore orientalism, exile, conflict, and love from the perspective of women.
Who is Zabel Yesayan?
Her writing is acclaimed by such critics and writers as Krikor Zohrab and Hagop Oshagan, who described her as, "the most gifted?.?.?. complete writer among Armenians." Yesayan's work is a significant contribution not only to Armenian literature, or to Armenian women's literature, but to the world literary community. Yet beyond her writing, what truly sets Yesayan apart as an important unsung hero of Armenian history is the courageous life that she led and her whole-hearted dedication to her cause. She didn't just write feminism - she lived it.
Zabel Yesayan (née Hovhannisian) was born Scutari, a district of Constantinople, in 1878. She studied in Paris at the Sorbonne, and was one of the first Armenian women of her era to study abroad. She made a name for herself by contributing poems, short stories, and essays to journals both in Armenian and French. In 1900, still a student in Paris, she married Dikran Yesayan, a photographer. They had two children, Sophie and Hrant.
In 1908, Yesayan returned to Constantinople to continue her writing career. She took young Hrant with her while Sophie remained with her husband in Paris. In 1909, she went to Cilicia to investigate the aftermath of the massacres of Adana as a member of the Constantinople Patriarchate's Commission. She chronicled the tragic stories of survivors and dedicated several works to this subject. She published a detailed report containing interviews with survivors as well as her impressions of the horrors she witnessed in a book titled, Among the Ruins, in 1911.
Zabel Yesayan was one of the Armenian intellectuals designated to be arrested by Ottoman authorities in April of 1915, but she escaped arrest and fled to Bulgaria. She lived for several years in exile, but all the while she was writing and working to help ease the suffering of her nation in any way she could. In 1917, she was in Baku, assisting in the care of Armenian refugees and orphans. Traveling through the Middle East on similar missions, Yesayan and her son were not reunited with their family in Paris until 1919.
In 1920, she went once again to Cilicia, with her two children, to help with the Armenian orphanages there. She returned to Paris in 1921, shortly after her husband's death.
During this period of exile, she wrote breakthrough works of fiction that pushed the envelope for Armenian feminist writing such as The Last Cup (1917) and My Soul in Exile (1922), and numerous appeals seeking to draw the world's attention to the plight of the survivors of the Genocide, including one of her better-known works, The Agony of a People (1917).
Surprisingly, she was often mocked by her contemporaries for her tireless efforts. Gostan Zarian, a distinguished Armenian poet and author, had also escaped to Bulgaria during the deportations. In his autobiographical Cities, Zarian wrote a chapter on Yesayan called, "The National ‘Turkey Hen,'" in which he focused on her physical appearance and mocked her mannerisms rather than acknowledging her work. This extract is taken from Ara Baliozian's translation of Zarian, from the book, Garden of Silihdar and Other Writings￼:
"She has arrived. An outlandishly tall hat on her head, a tight-fitting dress, quaintly large feet, narrow eyes - a plucked, old turkey hen who?.?.?. has fallen in the streets of Sofia and is now squawking with a shrill, ardent voice."
In 1926, Yesayan visited Soviet Armenia and was deeply moved and encouraged by her experience, finding new hope for the Armenian nation there. She published her impressions in the travelogue, Prometheus Unchained, which was widely dismissed by diasporan critics as Soviet propaganda. What they did not see was that it was not a political party or system of governance that had Yesayan enthralled, but the prospect of rebuilding a nation, and creating a brighter future for Armenians.
On her encounters with young students in the streets of Yerevan, she wrote: "It inspires extraordinary confidence in the observer. A green shoot at the side of the shriveled old trunk of the nation, that will grow, rise, and assure our survival."
In 1933, upon the invitation of the Soviet Armenian government, Yesayan left Paris for good and settled in Yerevan with her children. She taught French literature at Yerevan State University and continued to write new works, including her most popular and widely read The Gardens of Silihdar, a thinly fictionalized childhood memoir. While this book is commonly read in classrooms across the diaspora, it is rarely mentioned that she wrote it while living in Armenia, since this last, very significant chapter of her life is often completely overlooked.
In Armenia, Yesayan finally found her niche - a place where she felt she had a strong purpose, where she identified with the people and could work toward a common goal. She had grown increasingly averse to the political divisions that worked against the general good of the Armenian people in the diaspora, which is another reason why she lost the favor of many diasporan critics. But Yesayan was beyond political parties and rhetoric. She was driven by a greater cause that was at once universal and personal.
Asked by one of her students how she could suffer the inconveniences of Yerevan after the comforts of Paris, Yesayan replied flatly, "These inconveniences are meaningless in my eyes because I take an active part in building the future of our country. Does that answer your question?"
In 1936-37, during Stalin's Great Purge, several Armenian intellectuals including Yeghishe Charents, Aksel Bakunts, and Vahan Totovents were arrested, sent into exile, and killed. Yesayan was arrested, tortured, and transferred from prison to prison. Her last letter came from Baku. She died in prison, probably in 1943. The exact circumstances are unknown.
Editor's note: For a study on Yesayan by Marc Nichanian and an excellent translation by G.M. Goshgarian of an extended excerpt from In the Ruins, based on Yesayan's findings in Adana 100 years ago, see Marc Nichanian, Writers of Disaster: Armenian Literature in the Twentieth Century￼
vol. 1 (Princeton and London: Gomidas, 2002).
Copyright © 2009 Armenian Reporter | reporter.am