BY REV. PAUL HAIDOSTIAN, PH.D.
President, Haigazian University
Of all the conversations we engage in, the ones held in silence belong to the depths of the heart.
Of all the habitats of human existence on which we once stood, the ones usurped in days of wrong are held in the core of our memory of agony.
Of all the meanings one can make in life, the ones that transcend time and place, and the ones that help us perceive the gifts of God for an unlimited tomorrow, these are the ones that satisfy the soul.
Of all the authors who leave a lasting impact, the ones who lose themselves in the tightest junctions of history, and at the same time find themselves in the vastness of collective consciousness, they are the most eloquent.
Of all the sojourners on the roads of self, family, nation and humanity, it is the ones who walk with the shoes of faith, who communicate to the rest of us what was, what could have been, and what should be, they are the ones who inspire
Of all the illustrations of reality, the ones where loud words, silent contemplations, personal voices and colorful images merge, these are the ones that form a compelling biography of reality.
Such has been the life journey and outlook of Dr. Garbis Der-Yeghiayan. Therefore, this preface is a tribute to a sensitive soul, a childlike heart, a well-informed mind, a vibrant educator, a disciple of the Good News, and a leading communicator. In this volume, he is also an artist of Armenian memory.
Dr. Der-Yeghiayan visits tragedy for the purposes of peace. In it, the Armenian lands and Armenian history are told in the warmth of colorful experience and the peace Christ entrusted his disciples with.
Moreover, this work reflects a lifetime of commitment to educational, social, global and Armenian issues of history, communal consciousness, and wider matters of justice and harmony.
The author, in much of what he does, does not hide his personal emotions, does not place history in the past, nor does he exclude the experiences of the others. The author is behind the camera, in front of the monument, and in the heart of the story. It is how a biography of one serves as the voice and profile of the many.
For every ancestor of a survivor of the Armenian Genocide, there is not only a silent conversation, but mainly the conversation of the silent ones: silent parents and grandparents, silent searches for answers, and silent lands and rocks, churches, markets and homes. Accordingly, photos and images powerfully participate in the silent conversations of sensitive souls. How we view the images is what completes the story.
As we view and reflect, our eyes of faith, imagination, and future promise will refresh our memory; rather, the conversation between an existent and a non-existent memory will help us own the stories and messages behind the images.