To the Desert: Pages from My Diary
transl. from Armenian by Agop Hacikyan; ed. and intro. by Ara Sarafian
London: Gomidas Institute, 2004,
xvi + 410 pp., map, photos, fold-outs,
ISBN 1-903656-27-3, paperback,
UK£18.50 / US$27.90
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"Like no other survivor account. . . . An important document, an engaging chronicle and a painful reminder of the human costs of war, mass killing and lost homelands.” —The Los Angeles Times Sunday Book Review (10 January 2004)
Vahram's account, written in Armenian, was first published as a book in 1945. This is the first English translation of that work. It is a somewhat unusual narrative written by a child survivor of the Armenian Genocide. Vahram relates the fate of thousands of Armenians who were not sent to Der Zor in 1915, but to the wastelands south of Aleppo, as far as Maan and Es Salt in Jordan. Vahram relates his family's deportation, survival strategy—and luck—throughout this period. He also notes the condition of other deportees on the way.
Though the Dadrian family did not experience a general massacre like so many other Armenians, they still lost half of their members by 1919.