Mesrop Boyajian recounts his experience in the Armenian Genocide
By J.D. LasicaJoyce Poirot is the only offspring of Mesrop Boyajian, the boy who was sold into slavery for a silver coin.
Boyajian seldom talked about his experience, so it was not until adulthood that Poirot understood her father’s place in the massacres. But she knew, from her early years in Detroit, that there was something about her heritage that set her apart.
“I knew it from the secret language we spoke at home and the way my grandmother dressed me,” she says. “I knew it when I’d open my lunch box in kindergarten. Everybody else would have bologna on Wonder Bread. I’d open mine, and a couple of kuftas (meatballs) or lahmajoun (meat pies), smelling of garlic, would roll out.”
Poirot, 51, rests on a sofa in her downtown condominium. She is a top academic administrator at the University of California, Davis, overseeing a statewide continuing-education program.