HARUTYUN HOVELIAN

Photographer

Harutyun Hovelian (1899-1962), was born in the village of Ovachik

near the town of Bardizag in present day Turkey, 5 km from the coast

of the Marmara Sea, in a heavenly place on the edge of a forrest.

Harutyun owned a beautiful white horse; they swam together in the

sea when he was 14-15 years old. He was a man who spoke little and was outwardly quiet and calm like the sea, and who adored the sea.

In the spring of 1915 the migration and the massacres began. He managed to somehow reach Der-for (Deir ez-Zor) and find his relatives in the desert. The second time he did not find them. The whole family, his parents Hovel and Marium with their families were killed. At the age of eighteen and already orphaned, he arrived in Egypt.

He managed to survive with help of Armenian families, who had established there earlier. Egypt was then an English colony. Many Europeans lived in the big cites of Cairo & Alexandria. There was a wealthy class that spent winters in Egypt, and returned to Europe in the summertime. Egypt was one of the most interesting countries in the world, and the ties with the Armenian Highlands came form times immemorial; there had been huge flows of the Armenians to Egypt by already familiar routes more than once. Harutuyn started working as a photographer and had a family, getting married at the age of thirty. During those years, Armenian refugee families were very modest, and Harutyun's wife Zaruhi, worked hard to help her husband and bring up threes children; Marie, Sargis & Grigor (Gregory Page's father). Zarhuhi Stepanian (1908-1987) was born in the town of Everek and with there parents, Iskuhi and Hagop Stepanian (1865-1930), she moved to Alexandria, Egypt, in 1910 after having lived for a short period of time in Constantinople. Most of their family were also victims of the genocide; and later, throughout her life, she would find her fathers and mothers relives in the four corners of he world.

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