Compiled by Jirair Tutunjian
Posted by Nayiri Abrahamian
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T.E. Lawrence and Dr. Ernest Altounyan

Looking back to his life, T.E. Lawrence (“Lawrence of Arabia”) wrote to poet-historian Robert Graves: “I think Frederick Manning, and an Armenian, called Altounyan, and E.M. Forster are the three most I care for, since Hogarth died.” Lawrence was referring to Dr. Ernest Altounyan, whom he had met in Aleppo.

Edward Hoagland on Cornelius Boghosian

In “African Calliope: a Journey to the Sudan”, Edward Hoagland wrote about Cornelius Boghosian, an Armenian who bore a stark likeness to Hemingway: “Boghosian wore a bristly gray moustache and safari jacket, with suitably clipped manner that showed he had been an officer with one of Montgomery’s divisions. Yet behind these familiar emblems, this protective coloration was an Armenian insistence upon a life of infinite possibilities; that we might stay out in the moonlight forever, that we might fall into another cushy berth with a dictator that we might all die this evening, or become banner friends.”

Jodie Foster

In early 2014 famed actress Jodie Foster (“The Silence of the Lambs”) married Alexandra Hedison, the daughter of actor Al Hedison (Hedisian).

Commemorare

In 2015 Armenians around the world will commemorate the centennial of the Genocide of Armenians. “Commemorate” derives from the Latin “commemorare” meaning “to call to mind” or “to make mention of”—that is, to remember someone, usually someone who has passed away.

Yogurt

Yogurt, which was invented in Armenia, is the corruption of the Armenian word “yugh vort” (oil/fat worm, meaning bacteria). In the late Middle Ages Armenian immigrants took dried yogurt yeast to Bulgaria where it was “discovered” by the Europeans. Since Bulgaria was under Turkish rule, Europeans assumed it was Turkish.  

Adana Massacres & Krikor Zohrab

Following the Adana Massacres of the Armenians in 1909, Krikor Zohrab stated at the Armenian National Assembly: “You know compatriots that the famed revolution of the Ottoman Constitution is still far from accomplishing its entire work. Indeed that circumstance where the Muslim element, full of hatred resumed their criminal oppression is a sign that the Turk has not matured enough for constitutional order.”

Young Turks & ARF

Despite the Adana Massacres, the Armenian Revolutionary Federation (ARF) decided that the best strategy for Ottoman Armenians was to continue cooperating with the Young Turks. Thus the Young Turks and the ARF made the following joint declaration: “Considering that saving the sacred Ottoman fatherland from separation and division is an objective of the two organizations’ joint cooperation, they will work to practically dispel within public opinion the false story inherited from the despotic regime that the Armenians strive for independence.”

Borrowed Military Words from Crusaders

Cilician Armenians borrowed a number of administrative and military words from their ally Crusaders. Among the European words were seneschal, bail, chancelier, legat (lege), duc (tooks), baron, and sire (gir).

Medieval Stone Building Tradition

Dr. Mark Jarzombek, associate dean of the School of Architecture and Planning at Massachusetts Institute of Technology, says Armenia played a strong role in the shaping of medieval stone building tradition and in the spread of stone architecture. Armenian masons worked outside Armenia, from Europe to India, said Dr. Jarzombek. Between 400 and 800 AD Armenia and Syria were the only places in the world where advanced stone masonry was still practiced. Elsewhere the building material was brick (Byzantine Hagia Sophia in Constantinople), wood (India) or stone rubble (Basilica of St. Peters at the Vatican). Armenian masons also built churches in southern France, mosques in Cairo and were taken to India by the Islamic invaders. Armenian architecture was particularly influential during the Seljuk and Fatimid periods.

Armenian Church in Lviv

In Lviv (Ukraine) there’s a street named Virmenska (Armenian). Tucked in the street is the Armenian church, one of the top tourist attractions of the city.

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