PARAMUS, NJ – Who are the heroes in Armenian history? Which real-life heroes do we teach our children about? The illustrated children’s book, The Angel of Aleppo, is one such attempt.
Published by the Armenian Missionary Association of America (AMAA), the story is about Reverend Hovhannes Eskijian, who risked his life to save children during the Armenian Genocide of 1915. Ironically, his grand-daughter, Rev. Nancy Eskijian, followed in his footstep and is a minister in Los Angeles, California.
The story opens with Rev. Eskijian’s childhood, in which he and his brother escape death by hiding in a ditch. Unfortunately, his parents were not so fortunate, and the boys become orphans. When Hovhannes grew up, he became a minister and moved to Aleppo, Syria with his wife. There, they witness the Armenian deportees arriving by train from the interior provinces of Turkey. Aleppo served as a stopping point before the deportees continued their journey to the desert of Der Zor, which meant certain death.
Rev. Eskijian decided to smuggle children from the train and hide them within the city. His bravery saved countless children before he succumbed to the disease of typhus.
The book is written by M. Kay Nanian, a judge in Phoenix, Arizona and is illustrated by an art student in Armenia, Mariam Dashtoyan. The book is available for $10.00 plus S&H at the AMAA website: www.amaa.org, or call (201) 265-2607. Nancy Rivera will be glad to process your order, so we can educate a new generation of children about the heroic efforts of one of our own.