The boy who was bought for a silver coin and other Armenian stories of survival
The following article appeared in The Sacramento Bee Sunday Magazine.
By J.D. Lasica
In the distance, Mesrop Boyajian could see the shimmering outline of the city of Mardin. The sun was high, and it pressed down on the band of villagers as they crossed the desert the Syrians called Der-el-Zor. Soon, the Armenians would give it a new name: the Desert of Death.
Mesrop, a small boy from a small village in Armenia, had seen much in his 6 years. But the past few months — avagh!
He saw the men in his village of Khoolu rounded up and marched off; they would never return. Hidden in the home of a sympathetic Turkish neighbor, he saw Kurdish tribesmen descend on the Armenian women and children who remained behind in Khoolu. The Kurds who had guns used them; those without guns used their quick, scythelike knives. After a time, after the last cry was stilled, Khoolu lay silent.