In memory of my late brother Mardiros Levon Minassian (Mardik)
There was a strange sound, a slight squeak, and different lights were changing. The room resembled a disco.
– 5, 4, 3, 2, 1 stop -said the young Mardik.
Sitting on a table was his new gift, a globe-night lamp, which filled the room. The child was looking at the outlines, naming the different states, seas, oceans and continuing to rotate the globe and count to the next STOP.
He chose to stop the globe and began exploring the cities and rivers…
The door opened, and Grandma Marie startled him:
– Mardik, why are you in the dark and only with this night light?
– Grandma, Grandma, on your face is the map of Turkey, oh, I see the Bosphorus, do not move, the light is projecting on your beautiful face that part of the world Grandma.
Granny Marie remained speechless, her hands close to her face, her thin fingers crawling over her nose, her forehead. There was a sense of sadness and wonder in her face:
-Mardik, I will tell you about the Bosphorus, this is my birthplace. Let’s put the light on, get your notebook, and you can take notes. I want you to tell all of your friends about the beautiful Bosporus. And to tell them about the terrible fate of your ancestors. You, young people, should fight, so this never happens again.
Mardik was 10 years old, and he could masterfully engage his friends with different stories. He looked timidly as if he was expecting something heavy to fall on his head. Like some coded instinct, he expected the burden of the past.
-Grandma Marie, I’m ready, come here, sit here next to me.
-I was very young, and I remember the maid’s face, the gentle Zoia, who rushed into the dining room with the words” Hanim Elbis, take the kids, prepare your bag, go right away, look no one; walk through the back door, the boat (ship) is leaving in two hours. My mother Elbis approached Zoia, embraced her, and the two women cried. I felt my mother’s hand and then my sister, Arusiak’s hand, who tugged me down the stairs.
I heard Arusiak whining, snivelling and asking where Dad was. Mother did not answer her.
-Grandma, what did you think then? Why in such a hurry? Where were you going? – asked Mardik, carefully following his grandmother’s story.
-I did not suspect anything, I was 5 years old, and Arusiak was 11 years old. We hurried through the dark cobblestone streets of Besiktash, the jewel of Constantinople. We heard a rumble in one of the houses. Talking in Turkish, loud women, screaming, and then my mother grabbed me in her arms and told me to keep silent and close my eyes.
Arusiak seized mother’s hand and ran with her.
Breathless they both paused to rest behind a tree.
We continued running and got to the ship.
I must have been asleep in the hands of my mother, for when I woke I tried to maintain balance, but it was difficult, the ship rocked as it sailed.
Mom gave me bread and cheese – I was starving.
Arusiak kissed me, and she was pleased to say, that we were going to a new country and Dad will be waiting for us there.
Years passed, I grew up, and I knew the terrible truth about the atrocities of those who plundered the joy, pride, talent of our Christian nation.
For centuries Armenians have been architects, artists, composers, soldiers, intellectuals, craftsmen – but this has been wiped out by massacres.
Monstrous, bloodthirsty, rulers organized long trips of Armenians from Turkey to the desert of Deir ez- Zor  in Syria. It is difficult to talk about the evils, the victims, the trauma left in the eyes of every surviving Armenian who witnessed what had happened.
The men fought, but it was not possible to fight a multi-thousandth army.
Later, when we settled here, in Varna, in this beautiful city, on the same Black Sea, everyone was talking about what was happening in Turkey, and we were continually looking for relatives in the hope of being alive.
I did not understand why, after we had been rescued, my mother’s eyes were often sad, thoughtful as if they were moving somewhere and had to be startled, frightened so to stop their “absence.”
Mardik was saddened by this story of truth and embraced his grandmother.
-Grandma, are not these bloodthirsty and bad people defeated?
The classroom was quiet, only the voice of the teacher reading an essay was in the air. From time to time she looked at the pupils as if she was looking for an answer in their eyes.
The teacher paused and finished with the last sentence of the essay:
“This is the story of my grandmother, in whose eyes I see not only the grief but the power of the whole cosmos.”
The teacher closed the notebook, looked at the children and asked,
-Guess who has written this story?
-Mardik, Mardik, Mardik – they shouted together.
Mardik was reading with a great interest a material in the library of Etchmiadzin  and seemed to remember suddenly the voices of his classmates shouting in his ears, although 15 years had passed.
His interests were in the knowledge of ethnicity, he was attracted to the natural cycle, to the exact sciences, but the Armenian sense of the tragic past of his ancestors screamed in his mind with the voice of Granny Marie.
He left the books of the Alikhanian brothers  – prominent physicists, got up and started looking for history books. The walls were alternated with the inscription: Ottoman Empire, Armenian Genocide, Documentary Stories; photos – his eyes failed to track even only the titles.
He pulled one of the many books, opened the pages, and black-and-white photographs seemed to hit him on the face. Horrible images of hungry people, of skeletons of women and children, of the dead … Then he moved away from the books and his eyes stopped at a massive globe, sitting on a table nearby. As in his childhood, he rotated the globe and memories were loaded into his head. His eyes ran from continent to continent, from state to state, but the rivers were still in red…
-Are you travelling around the world, young man? – A pleasant woman’s voice interrupted him.
Mardik saw a middle-aged woman in front of him, with a gentle face, and very sophisticated manners. With his knowledge of ethnicity, he immediately identified her as an Indo-European, the origin of some Armenians.
-Welcome to New York, the temperatures here are spring temperatures, and we wish you a pleasant stay. Thank you for flying with Air Armenia.
Mardik opened the baggage cabin and picked up his small briefcase, smiling at the stewardess and looking from the height of the plane. A gentle breeze passed on his face, a breeze of hope, knowing that he would soon be on the red carpet at the opening of the Tribeca Film Festival.
People were bustling, beautiful women dressed in long evening dresses, glittery outfits, men in black suits, journalists, photographers … There was a festive atmosphere.
Mardik heard the announcement of “Intent to Destroy “and saw Joe Berlinger’s  smiling face. Mardik walked down the red carpet and felt the spotlight on his face; he walked shyly to the door where the documentary tale of the Armenian genocide was waiting for him.
The lights went out, a delicate Armenian song filled the air, and a black and white photograph of a wagon packed with children, women in rags, even on its roof appeared on the big screen.
The screenshots were changing, from an old man telling their stories to younger generation Armenians sharing their experience and knowledge on the Genocide. Suddenly Mardik remembered his grandmother Marie. Voices intertwined those of the film’s characters with the voice of his grandmother Marie.
The movie was over; the lamps lit up, no one moved from their place. Silence.
Slowly people began to get up and applaud. Mardik turned his head and saw an elderly woman in tears.
His phone rang, a gentle voice, spoke softly and presented herself as his relative. They met in one of the most challenging and settled neighbourhoods of New York.
Two beautiful women embraced him and led him to their home. They were twins with striking charm.
-Mardik, you are our only relative, whom we already know from your Grandma Marie’s side.
The women competed to tell stories of their Grandmother, and it was difficult to follow the change of languages – in English, in Armenian and again in English.
Mardik told his story and showed a family picture, on which was also the beloved grandmother Marie. The girls looked, and both exclaimed:
-This is amazing; your Grandma Marrie is the same as our grandmother who’s her cousin.
They, in turn, took out one of the many pictures. Mardik looked at a woman a little younger than his grandmother. Then he turned to his beautiful cousins and said:
-In your Grandma’s eyes, I see the grief of the Armenian woman and the love and the power of the whole cosmos. Today, for the first time, I felt hope as I walked along the red carpet and watched Joe Berlinger’s film. I walked on the carpet of truth and of confession, which gave me comfort. I already know we will all be free to share our tragedy with the grandchildren of our killers, they will share tears, and their hearts will be thwarted by the wrongs their ancestors have done. They will ask for forgiveness from us, young Armenians. They will admit and condemn what has happened. I wish I were a hawk who could fly and to go around to spread peace and love.
The two women watched him intrigued, and a tap was heard on the window, they looked and saw a hawk perched outside.
2]Bosporus – The Bosporus is the 32 km (20-mile)-long north-south strait that joins the Sea of Marmara with the Black Sea in Istanbul, and separates the continents of Europe and Asia
 Hanim – Mrs
 Besiktas -Beşiktaş is one of the oldest districts and neighbourhoods of Istanbul, located on the European side of the city. It’s also considered as one of the city centres
Deir ez-Zor is situated 85 km (53 mi) to the northwest of the archaeological remains of Dura-Europos and 120 km (75 mi) northwest of the remains of the ancient city of Mari. The modern town was expanded by the Ottoman Empire in 1867 around the pre-existing town. In 1915, the city became a point for Armenians subjected to death marches during the Armenian Genocide
 Varna -is the third-largest city in Bulgaria and the largest city and seaside resort on the Bulgarian Black Sea Coast.
 Etchmiadzin – is the mother church of the Armenian Apostolic Church, located in the city of Vagharshapat (Etchmiadzin), Armenia.[D] According to scholars it was the first cathedral built in ancient Armenia,[E] and is considered the oldest cathedral in the world.[F]
 Alikhanian brothers – Artem Alikhanian was born in Elizavetpol, Russian Empire, to an Armenian family of a railway engineer and homemaker. They had four children: two sons (the elder, Abraham Alikhanov, became a well-known physicist) and two daughters.
 Indo-European –
 Joe Berlinger – Joseph “Joe” Berlinger is an American documentary film-maker.Academy Award and seven-time Emmy nominated and Peabody and Emmy-winning filmmaker