Monday, January 24, 2011
The articles in this book(blog) can be copied for educational purposes only. For any other purpose, the written permission of the publisher must be obtained.
Copyright by Karine Armen
I want to celebrate my mother’s legacy. I want to keep her memories alive and spread her words. She loved helping people, especially children, women, and the elderly.
My mother died from cancer in her spinal cord on August 19, 1990, at the age of 56.
She lived in Iran but had been in the Los Angeles area for a year and a half. While in the United States, she wrote self-help articles in Farsi, which were published in a weekly newspaper, Fogholadeh. Her pen name was Hasmik, and it was in honor of her sister, who died at the age of 36.
I have been thinking about publishing my mother’s articles for a few years. It was an emotionally challenging task. Every time I tried to read them, I started crying. So, I put that project behind me.
Finally, two years ago, I copied the articles and had them typeset. That was a big step for me. Later, I decided to translate the articles into English to share them with a broader audience. In this book, you can read 37 of her articles. I have put them in chronological order.
As I mature, I realize her influence on me with my decisions. I chose Social Work as my major in college. Later I became a teacher in an ongoing effort to help others. One day, she told me, “You don’t need to worry about being a mother. You are an active woman and can help and influence several children.” At that time, I was in my twenties and was surprised by her ideas. I admire her even more when I think about her.
I love you, Mom. Thank you for teaching me these important life lessons.
About The Author
Berjik Kurkjian-Giragossian (1933-90) has written several self-help articles in Farsi. Her work was published in a Los Angeles magazine called Fogholadeh in 1987-88.
Berjik was born in Iran in an Armenian family. Both her parents were survivors of the Armenian genocide. The genocide had its effects on Berjik’s family. She was the second child among the five children. She was the oldest sister and grew up taking care of her younger siblings.
She learned to take care of everybody’s needs, putting aside her own needs and wants. She was not able to complete her education, yet she loved to read. She had a passion for helping people.
Hagop Kurkjian married Berjik in 1953. Hagop was one of the founding members of the Ararat Armenian Sports Club in Tehran, which was established in 1944. They had four children: Varand, Karine, Vahic, and Vazrik.
Both Berjik and Hagop had a passion for life, which was transferred to their oldest son, Varand, who is a famous Armenian poet.
Berjik’s writing is simple and touches the readers’ souls. She gives suggestions on how to live one’s life by using positive words and positive thoughts. She was well aware of how negative thoughts can drain one’s energy. She had a hard life and never gave up hope to persevere and continued to inspire others. She was a great role model.
Completing and publishing this book would not have been possible without the insight and caring attitude of a number of wonderful people whom I would like to mention below. These people walked into my life at the right time. I am grateful for serendipity.
Dr. Ehsan Gharadjedaghi – Thank you for writing an excellent and sincere foreword about my mother and her writings.
Ishkhan Jinbashian – Thanks for taking the time to give me valuable feedback.
Dorothy Randall Gray – I am thankful to you for your meticulous editing and honest feedback. You were always positive and had an exciting vision of the entire book preparation process.
Elana Golden – I am thankful to you for encouraging me to write my grandmother’s story and convey some of the chronicles of the Armenian Genocide survivors.
Dr. Edward Kudaverdian – I truly benefited from participating in the Creative Freedom and Awareness Seminar at Ark Family Center. It helped me establish concrete goals to complete this book as planned.
Melina Sardar – I will always treasure the kind comments about my mother’s articles. Also, I enjoyed your leadership and coaching skills during the Creative Freedom and Awareness Seminar at Ark Family Center.
Rafi Bagramian – Thank you for working on the typesetting and designing the pages. Rafi is Aunt Hasmik’s son.
Dr. Zaven Khatchaturian, during the 25 years of our friendship, you have always encouraged me to pursue my passion for photography and writing. Thanks for volunteering to take my photos.
Evelyn Badihian – You have been a wonderful friend to me for the past 20 years.
Frank O’Donnell – I am grateful to you for your sincere friendship and for having a memorial for my mother in 1990.
Keghanoush Bairamian – I run to you whenever I need to consult with somebody in my professional and personal life. Thanks for being available and giving valuable advice.
Sipan Ghazarian – Thanks for typing some of the English articles.
Alan Hartoonian – Thanks for translating my writings from English into Farsi.
Emma Dolkhanian – Special thanks for typing the Farsi text and being available, as I needed more text to be typed.
Don Kingfisher Campbell – Thank you for giving me wings to fly and write poetry.
Mary Torregrossa – You have inspired me to continue my writing. Thank you for your gentle and thorough critique of my poems.
Ida Williams – During my weekly Italian classes, you checked to see if I had completed this book. Thanks for your caring and gentle pushes. You are more than a teacher to me. Grazie!
Patty Yoho – Thanks for being a sympathetic listener, showing interest in my family’s story, and encouraging me to share my writings.
Matthew Karanian – It was very kind of you to answer all my questions regarding book publishing. Thanks for your time.
Renu Singh, her son Nullin Hasan, and Susan DePiro – I genuinely appreciate your time for proofreading and your friendship.
I am grateful to all my friends who gave feedback about the cover and design of the book. I am thankful to my dear brothers, Varand, Vahic, and Vazrik, for their moral support.