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News > UAE Armenians > Tamar Der-Ohannessian: A new book on Armenian loss during the Genocide

Tamar Der-Ohannessian

Tamar Topjian Der-Ohannessian

Azad-Hye Special

Long time resident of Abu Dhabi, Mrs. Tamar Topjian Der-Ohannessian, who has served also as principal of the one-day Armenian school in Abu Dhabi for more than two decades, is known for her translation work from Armenian to English.

Her first has been a book about Armenian political and military figure Drastamat Kanayan (commonly known as Dro), written by his close associate Simon Vratsian, the last Prime Minister of the First Republic (1918-1920). The 126-page book, titled “Tempest-born Dro”, was published in 2000 by the Armenian Apostolic Church of America.

This was followed by a booklet titled “St. Gregory the Enlightener and the Conversion of Armenia” (85 pages, Antelias, 2001), originally written by Rev. Fr. Barthev Gulumian and published on the occasion of the 1700th anniversary of the adoption of Christianity as the state religion in Armenia. At the time, Der-Ohannessian was member of the locally formed committee in Abu Dhabi for the same purpose and the above-mentioned work was part of her contribution to the joint commemorative effort (see above photo).

In October 2005, Der-Ohannessian published “Autobiography and Recollections” (click here to download entire book), a translation of 300 pages memoires of her maternal grandfather Bedros Der Bedrossian, a resident of Ourfa, who was born in 1884 and died in the USA in his nineties. In his memories there are important details about the daily life of the Armenians in Ourfa and neighboring settlements before the Genocide, including several chapters about Karen Jeppe, the Danish philanthropist after whom one of the main Armenian schools in Aleppo is named. Read report in Azad-Hye here.

Der-Ohannessian’s latest work is a translation of the doctoral thesis of Bishop Papken Tcharian, titled “The great loss of the Armenian clergy during the Armenian Genocide” (240 pages, Antelias, 2009). Like the majority of her works, this volume also is published with generous donation of Levon and Tamar Der-Ohannessian.

Bishop Papken Tcharian

Bishop Papken Tcharian

Bishop Papken Tcharian was born in Beirut and admitted to the Seminary of the Catholicsoate of Cilicia in 1976. He was ordained celibate priest in 1984. His doctoral thesis was presented in 1989, during the period when he was the private secretary of Catholicos Karekin II.

V. Rev. Fr. Papken Tcharian became the first pastor of the Armenians in the United Arab Emirates. He served the Armenian communities in Sharjah, Dubai and Abu Dhabi (1993-1996). During this period, Tamar Der-Ohannessian had the opportunity to cooperate closely with him in her capacity as principal of the Armenian one-day school of Abu Dhabi, while Tcharian served as visiting teacher.

After serving in Beirut, San Francisco, Syrian Jezira (Qamishli), he moved to Iran in 2004. He was ordained bishop in 2006 and currently is Primate of the Diocese of Isfahan.

As a major source in his research, Bishop Tcharian mentions Teotig’s book “Golgotha of the Turkish Armenian clergy” and his well known yearly “Everyone’s Almanac” (1910-1922). The series are recently republished by Cilicia Publishing House in Aleppo.

Another sources of information has been the memoirs and historical volumes prepared by the compatriotic associations (such as those of Hajen, Daron-Dourouperan, Yozghat, etc). A third source of information were the reports and correspondences sent by foreign missionaries to their centers and to the press.

Bishop Tcharian states that his dissertation “rather than being a comprehensive history, must be regarded as a mere glimpse on the events of the time, because it depicts the suffering and martyrdom of the Armenian clergy during the terrible period of the Genocide in a condensed and authentic form.”

In the first section titled “Introduction”, Bishop Tcharian writes about the role of the Armenian clergy and the hardship they went through in general. In the second part he presents concise biographies of the most notable and important clerics of the time. In the last section, he provides a list of the martyred clergymen (Apostolic, Catholic and Evangelical).

The cover of the book:

The great loss of the Armenian clergy

Posted on Saturday, October 10, 2009 (6717 reads), comments: 1
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Posted by Giragos Kuyumjian on Monday, October 12, 2009

Dear Tamar,

It is not strange to read about another achievement of yours, beside your many other valuable contributions in our nation's life. Your timeless assistance and positive role in your region's community was and still is distinguished and very much appreciated. And my wish is for it to remain so.

When I aquire a copy of the book I will give my opinion about it with pleasure.

My congratulations to you and his Rvd. Bishop Papken Tcharian in this occasion, hoping to see you in other similar occasions

Give my regards to Levon,


Giragos (Garo) Kuyumjian - Kuwait

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