The All-Armenian Father of Orphans Translated by Lilit Ghazaryan (2)
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AUA Graduate Translates a Book on Hovhannes Tumanyan

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YEREVAN, Armenia – On October 20, 2019, the American University of Armenia (AUA) Certificate in Translation graduate Lilit Ghazaryan presented her translation of Susanna Hovhannisyan’s monograph The All-Armenian Father of Orphans at the inaugural Aurora Forum held in Freedom Square. The book, originally written in Armenian, documents poet Hovhannes Tumanyan’s role in organizing the orphanages in Etchmiadzin, Alexandrapol, and Tbilisi (Tiflis), and his impact on the lives of the orphans saved from the Genocide.

As Ghazaryan explains in the translator’s note, Tumanyan is best known as a writer and literary figure who has left an indelible mark on Armenian culture. However, as she notes, we are not very familiar with Tumanyan’s work at the orphanages in the Caucasus. The book fills that gap giving a detailed account of the great writer’s legacy in nurturing young minds many of whom grew up to become the backbone of the Republic of Armenia.

The book is furnished with archival materials, including photographs of the orphanages, the orphans and their descendants, as well as photographs of Tumanyan, members of his family, and prominent political figures. It also touches upon Tumanyan’s travels to Western Armenia in 1914-1915 and his involvement in helping Armenian families escape to Eastern Armenia. The map in the book shows Tumanyan’s trips to the battlefields of Western Armenia and a photograph depicts him standing at the Gates of Van.

“This is an essential book not only for scholars of Tumanyan but also for those studying the experiences of Armenian orphans who were transported to Eastern Armenia and whose lives and plights have gone mostly unrecorded,” said Dr. Shushan Avagyan, assistant professor at the College of Humanities & Social Sciences (CHSS). “Making this book available in English opens up the possibility of fostering further research in both of these directions.”

The English translation of the book was published by Antares Press with the support of the Aurora Humanitarian Initiative.

Founded in 1991, the American University of Armenia (AUA) is a private, independent university located in Yerevan, Armenia, affiliated with the University of California, and accredited by the WASC Senior College and University Commission in the United States. AUA provides local and international students with Western-style education through top-quality undergraduate, graduate, and certificate programs, promotes research and innovation, encourages civic engagement and community service, and fosters democratic values.