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Armenian Jerusalem
This project has been supported by the Gulbenkian philanthropic Foundation, the Armenian Patriarchate of Jerusalem, and members of the worldwide Armenian community. Reproductions of the genealogical documents [domar’s] are courtesy Photo Garo, Jerusalem. Copyright © 2007 Arthur Hagopian
  A   chronicle   (in Armenian)   of   the   epic   flight   of Anna   (Baghsarian)   Meneksheian's   grandmother   and   mother,   and   of their travails along the way, as they sought refuge from the Turkish massacres.            A   report   by   Prof   Bert   Vaux,   of   Harvard   University,   following   his   studies   of   the   peculiar   dialect   of   the   Kaghakatsi Armenians   living   in   the   Armenian   Quarter   of   the   Old   City   of   Jerusalem. The   dialect   is   in   danger   of   dying   out   as the passage of time claims the older Kaghakatsis.      The   1920   document   by   a   British   officer,   L.G.A.   Cust,   outlining   in   detail,   the   terms   and   conditions   of   the   Status Quo   in   the   Holy   Places,   first   ratified   by   the   Ottoman   Sultan Abdul   Majid   in   1852,   and   prevalent   at   the   time   of   his writing.
The   ancient   pagan   Armenian   cosmology   boasted   some   of   the   most   endearing   heroes   and   deities,   chief among   them   Haig,   who   is   acknowledged   as   our   prime   ancestor.   Stories   of   his   blood-curdling   battles   with the   evil   Pel/Bel   are   awe-inspiring:   they   both   enthralled,   terrified   and   entertained   us   as   we   sat   at   the feet   of   our   teachers   at   our   parish   school,   the   Tarkmanchats.   One   of   the   most   inspiring   memories   we cherish is the discovery of the first known Armenian epic, the tale of Vahakn the Dragon Slayer.
This   treatise,   by   Fr   Pakrad   Boujekian,   a   member   of   the   priestly   Brotherhood   of   St   James,   discusses   the tenets   of   a   sermon,   delivered   by   an   unknown   priest   named   Grigor   Tatevac’i,   somewhere   around   1674- 1678,   enumerating   20   “praises   why   pilgrimage   to   Jerusalem   is   important   for   a   Christian.”   The      and transcribed   by   ampther   priest   named   Yeprem.   Tatevac’i   claims   the   journey   to   Jerusalem   is   a   necessity for it is the House of God, stressing the importance of meeting God in His House.
Fr   Pakrad   Boujekian   delves   into   the   mystery   of   a   Mamluk   inscription   above   the   main   entrance   to   the convent   or   monastery   of   St   James.   Over   the   years,   the   inscription   has   become   almost   illegible,   but fortunately   a   copy   has   been   inserted   inside   the   convent   entrance.   at   the   request   of   Armenian   patriarch Gregory   the   Chainbearer.   The   edict   minces   no   words:   “cursed   be   the   one   and   may   he   be   a   son   of   a cursed   [father]   and   may   God   the   Almighty’s   curse   be   upon   him   whoever   imposes   any   tax   or   inflicts   an injustice [upon this holy place].”
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