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Armenia, Israel, and the Ivy League

My great-grandparents came to Egypt in the early twentieth century, narrowly escaping the systematic genocide of the 1.5 million Armenians and other minorities by the Ottoman Empire during the First World War. The international apathy to the massacres was a galvanizing data point for Hitler in planning his own holocaust against the Jews during the Second World War. Who remembers the annihilation of the Armenians?

When Egypt attacked Israel on October 6, 1973, in what became known as the Yom Kippur War, my grandmother was told by a grocer whom she had known for thirty years, “First we'll get them, then we'll get you.”

I've known this story of my grandmother since I was a child. With the recent pro-Hamas and anti-Semitic protests occurring around the country and on our college campuses, it seems a fitting time to share it. Any child of immigrants will probably relate to the hesitation and difficulty of sharing stories like these, which grate against the “politically correct” culture of the West and defy the lessons of our generational trauma born from centuries of living in dhimmitude. 

I am grateful to my parents for emigrating to the United States in the 1970s so that I might enjoy the freedom to speak and write as an equal citizen and the possibility of economic prosperity. Spiritually and culturally, however, it was a loss. 

Continue reading here at First Things.

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