Abie Alexander’s new book “For the Love of Armine” that tells about a love story between a young Armenian woman, Armine, and an Indian man is a tribute to the memory of the 1.5 million victims of the Armenian Genocide on the 100th anniversary of the massacres.
The author of the book, an Indian based in the United States, says that writing about the Armenian Genocide was on his mind for a long time, but he did not want to make it a documentary, or simply a description of some facts.
“I tried to write in such a way that the Genocide could be presented in a clear way to the reader, but without being too explicit.
The events take place in the 1970s and in 2005, but the entire book is about the Genocide and the events that happened 100 years ago,” says Alexander. “I had two goals in writing the book: to show to young Diaspora Armenians what sufferings their ancestors went through and finally to inform non-Armenian readers about the Armenian Genocide.”
The novel about the young couple’s love story weaves a tapestry of the history and culture of the Armenian people going back in time to their very beginnings as a nation and down to the traumatic Genocide in 1915 at the hands of the Turks of the Ottoman Empire. The events described in the book take place in India’s southern Kerala state, which is known worldwide for its production of various spices which are in high demand. The writer presents Kerala Armenians, who miraculously survived the Genocide, and settling down in a new place established the settlement of New Garni and got engaged in trade.
Alexander says that whichever country he is in he tries to find a local Armenian church there, visits and studies it.
“The Armenian Diaspora is unique and special. They adapt to the environment never losing their identity. And the Diaspora is the main theme of my book. I present the small Armenian community, which, like many other Armenian communities around the world, seeks to preserve its ethnic traditions, culture, language, and most importantly, faith in the Armenian Apostolic Church,” says Alexander.
A financier by profession, Alexander worked for the State Bank of India for many years and then for World Vision and Search for Common Ground. Now he is Chief Financial Officer for Institute for Development Impact. The 62-year-old says he has traveled to and managed projects in India, the United States, Armenia, Uzbekistan, and several counties in South East Asia, Africa, the Middle East and Eastern Europe. At present, he lives and works in the United States.
Alexander does not consider himself a writer, but the “For the Love of Armine” novel is actually his fifth book.
For the first time he learned about Armenia in 2005 in Cyprus, where he attended a training course organized by World Vision.
“It was then that I first met Armenians and learned about them. One day, our group traveled to the Turkish part of Cyprus, where a problem arose on the border between frontier officers and two Armenian women of our group, who were not allowed to cross the border. The following day they told me about Armenia, Armenians and everything which is connected with this wonderful country,” says Alexander. “I first came to Armenia in 2006 and the very first moment I got off the plane, I don’t know why but I fell in love with this country,” he adds.
The book “For the Love of Armine” was published in three languages – Armenian, English and Russian. The English and Armenian versions are already on sale online.
Source: By Gayane Mkrtchyan