08 September 2004

Sharing the sorrow of Mardirossian Family

Vartan and Gulizar Mardirossian of Abu Dhabi, both originally from Iraq, mourn the lose of their beloved son, Ara Mardirossian (34), which took place on Monday 6th September 2004, in the outskirts of Baghdad. Ara, his cousin and two other Iraqis, who were on their way home in their vehicle after a day’s work, fell victim of a heartless sniper, who was randomly hunting down the passerbys in that Baghdad neighborhood.

The funeral took place on Wednesday 8th September 2004 in Baghdad. Mardirossian family will accept condolences for their beloved one on Thursday (9 September 2004) and Friday (10 September 2004), from 8-10 p.m., at their Residence in Tourist Club Area (Abu Dhabi), “Axon” Building, apartment 302.


The Armenians in the Middle East: The story of another survival

AZAD-HYE (8 SEPTEMBER 2004): The events taking place in Iraq and the lack of security and stability have caused great harm to the Iraqi society. As elsewhere in the Middle East, the Armenian Community of Iraq (estimated at about 20 thousand Armenians, living mainly in the capital and some other major cities) has been enormously affected by these turbulences. Many Armenians have taken refuge in neighbouring Syria, through which some of them have traveled to Armenia and others intend to go to Europe.

Before the American invasion of Iraq the Armenians lost many young people who were serving in the Iraqi army, mainly during the war with Iran. Ironically many Armenians lost their lives also fighting under the command of Iranian officers, on the other side of the frontline. It was a situation that reminded the fate of the Armenian conscripts in the Turkish and Russian armies of the 19th and early 20th centuries, with the difference that the battlefield then used to be the historical Armenian land.

The advance of the Coalition Forces in Iraq during April 2003 created more complications for the Armenian population. We remember the story of one of the families which came under fire of American forces during the chaos of the first days of the invasion, resulting in the cold-blooded killing of its members. We remember the story of the Armenian Canadian Red Crescent volunteer who, being of Iraqi Armenian origin, wanted to help the newly liberated country, but fell victim to the forces who were planning as early as the summer of the last year to destabilize the country and hold it in their grip. We remember the Armenian laundry workwomen who were brutally killed by unknown gunmen when they returned from their work in an American armed unit. We remember the synchronized bombing, just recently, of six of the Christian Churches in Iraq, one of them being the Armenian Catholic Church in the Al Karradah neighbourhood of Baghdad.

All of the above incidents and more were mentioned in the news transmitted by the foreign agencies, but there are many others that do not make the news on international level. Ara Mardirossian and his cousin were one of the latest in this illogical chain of loses. His soul now is in the heaven, watching, with sorrowful eyes, the cruelty of human beings towards the peaceful and much suffered population of Iraq.

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