MY DEDICATIONTO each mother and father, in this beautiful land of the United States, who has taught a daughter to believe in God, I dedicate my book. I saw my own mothers body, its life ebbed out, flung onto the desert because she had taught meMoreMY DEDICATIONTO each mother and father, in this beautiful land of the United States, who has taught a daughter to believe in God, I dedicate my book.
I saw my own mothers body, its life ebbed out, flung onto the desert because she had taught me that Jesus Christ was my Saviour. I saw my father die in pain because he said to me, his little girl, Trust in the Lord- His will be done. I saw thousands upon thousands of beloved daughters of gentle mothers die under the whip, or the knife, or from the torture of hunger and thirst, or carried away into slavery because they would not renounce the glorious crown of their Christianity.
God saved me that I might bring to America a message from those of my people who are left, and every father and mother will understand that what I tell in these pages is told with love and thankfulness to Him for my escape.Aurora Mardiganian.The Latham,New York City,December, 1918.ACKNOWLEDGMENTFor verification of these amazing things, which little Aurora told me that I might tell them, in our own language, to all the world, I am indebted to Lord Bryce, formerly British Ambassador to the United States, who was commissioned by the British Government to investigate the massacres- to Dr.
Clarence Ussher, of whom Aurora speaks in her story, and who witnessed the massacres at Van- and to Dr. MacCallum, who rescued Aurora at Erzerum and made possible her coming to America. You may read Auroras story with entire confidence—every word is true. As the story of what happened to one Christian girl, it is a proven document.H. L. GATESFOREWORDI am a Bedouin, a son of one of the Heads of the tribe of El-Sulût, who dwell in El-Lejât, in the Haurân territory. Like other sons of tribal Chiefs, I entered the Tribal School at Constantinople, and subsequently the Royal College.
On the completion of my education, I was attached to the staff of the Vali of Syria (or Damascus), on which I remained for a long while. I was then Kaimakâm of Mamouret-el-Azîz (Kharpout), holding this post for three and a half years, after which I practised as a lawyer at Damascus, my partners being Shukri Bey El-Asli and Abdul-Wahhâb Bey El-Inglîzi. I next became a member of the General Assembly at that place, representing Haurân, and later a member of the Committee of that Assembly.
On the outbreak of the war, I was ordered to resume my previous career, that is, the duties of Kaimakâm, but I did not comply, as I found the practice of the law more advantageous in many ways and more tranquil.I was denounced by an informer as being a delegate of a Society constituted in the Lebanon with the object of achieving the independence of the Arab people, under the protection of England and France, and of inciting the tribes against the Turkish Government. On receipt of this denunciation, I was arrested by the Government, thrown into prison, and subsequently sent in chains, with a company of police and gendarmes, to Aalîya, where persons accused of political offences were tried.
I was acquitted, but as the Government disregarded the decisions given in such cases, and was resolved on the removal and destruction of all enlightened Arabs—whatever the circumstances might be—it was thought necessary that I should be despatched to Erzeroum, and Jemâl Pasha sent me thither with an officer and five of the regular troops. When I reached Diarbekir, Hasan Kaleh, at Erzeroum, was being pressed by the Russians, and the Vali of Diarbekir was ordered to detain me at that place...FAIZ EL-GHUSEIN.