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Armenians didn’t arrive here by accident. ‘The Promise’ is largely why.

Essay

Armenians didn’t arrive here by accident. ‘The Promise’ is largely why.

The film, set on a backdrop of the Armenian Genocide, is a victory in a longstanding battle of denial.

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A year ago, a reader of The Fresno Bee penned a letter to the editor simplistically asking Armenian Americans “relax” about the Armenian Genocide and enjoy being Americans.

A friend had forwarded it to me with incredulity. Few things boiled my blood more than that letter. I sat down and in the course of 20 minutes, I penned a scorching hot retort and sent it off.

It became one of the most-read letters to the editor in The Bee last year.

In it, I wrote that “I am and will always be proud to be an American, in good days and bad. But I wouldn’t be here writing this today if it weren’t for my great-grandmother, an Armenian Genocide survivor.”

Naturally, the entire letter holds true nearly a year later. But that line, in and of itself, is most poignant. I truly wouldn’t be living in the most incredible place in the United States of America without tragedy.

The Promise is a victory in a longstanding battle of denial.

This week, I’m looking forward to stepping into the cinema ready to delve into a story that has been retold to me many times before, but now reaches the consciousness of neighbors, friends, and even total strangers, for the for the first time ever.

I am thrilled to keep the promise.


Photo: Jose Haro/Open Road Films

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Alex Tavlian

Alex Tavlian is the owner of Sultana Media. Views expressed reflect those of the author only. He can be reached at alex@sultanamedia.com

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