The film The Promise is still playing in the theaters in Montreal. I had the chance to see it last month. The sad part was that there were only fourteen people in the theater, myself included. I wanted so much to talk to some of them, especially the foreigners among us. But of course, being me I couldn’t.
As a film it is the first of its kind. I got emotional watching it, especially the last part about Musa Dagh and the resilience of its people and their fight against the Turks.
As I mentioned earlier I am a proud descendant of Musa Dagh. The granddaughter and great granddaughter of those resilient fighters, the brave men and women up on that mountain. And as Chris Bohjalian once wrote:
“If anyone knows bits and pieces of this story, it is likely through German writer Franz Werfel’s magisterial 1933 novel, “The Forty Days of Musa Dagh.” The novel was an international bestseller when it was published, though it was loathed early on by the Nazis. When the Germans were mercilessly putting down the Warsaw Ghetto uprising in 1944, the soldiers were surprised by how many copies of the novel they found among the dead Jewish fighters.”
It’s been more than a month since I posted my thoughts in my last blog on the Armenian Genocide,1.5 Million Reasons To Live Laugh And Move Forward. I feel that I have to share what some of my non-Armenian readers wrote to me after reading it.
“This is really interesting. Have you read The Forty Days of Musa Dagh? It makes me want to find a copy.”
“Great Article! It helped me have a clearer perspective of the thing.”
“It’s still a very touchy subject and difficult to have all the details in one article. Touching story.”
“Great post. A will to survive and a will to love override all.”
“You have made some powerful points, here. One must never forget those who have fought for our freedoms for if we forget, their lives would seem forfeit. They need our respect and they need us to continue to strive for understanding, compassion and peace among all people.”
“WOW! there is a huge story here…anyway that just my opinion… As for your post your final sentence that rings true for all mankind not only your nation well said thanks you for the journey…respect again”
“There is an older lady in my church who is Armenian. She used to tell stories if you got her in the right mood…talking about her grandparents who only miraculously survived and their struggles to adjust in the US. For an American girl with American roots generation upon generation back, such a touch with reality and history is startling. I am glad the stories are told, the dead unforgotten.”
“Never under-estimate the capacity of peoples to engage in the systematic killings of other peoples. For every nearly forgotten genocide, there seems to be another that is more forgotten.”
My article might have been short and might not have seemed important to some of my readers, perhaps the Armenians among them. But I feel good that I could reach some of my readers and somehow interest them in my history. And that feels good. Because to use Elie Wiesel words:
“Human suffering anywhere concerns men and women everywhere. We must always take sides. Neutrality helps the oppressor, never the victim. Silence encourages the tormentor, never the tormented.”