Grandpa’s School

Grandpa’s School

“My ancestral village was in Cilicia. They were a family of priests. During the massacres of Adana, the elders of the family were murdered, only the children survived. And they grew up speaking Turkish, so my grandfather’s parents were native speakers of Turkish. After 1923, they arrived in Lebanon where they settled down for good.

Grandpa used to share memories of his first school with us: they had no seats, so they sat on the ground, and the beach sand served them a blackboard. The children learned the Armenian alphabet by painting the letters on the sand with a stick. And his parents forbade them to speak in Turkish at home. They didn’t know Armenian themselves, but demanded that their children speak only Armenian at home.

And it always amazed my grandpa how Turkish-speaking parents could raise an Armenian-speaking child and plant the seeds of patriotism in him.”

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