FRESNO — The Armenian Studies Program announces the publication of In Front of the Eyes of the World: The Memoirs of Setrak Timourian, Volume 19 in the Armenian Series of The Press at California State University, Fresno. The book was translated by N. Ipek Hüner and edited by Vahé Tachjian, Yasar Tolga Cora, Murat Cankara, and Barlow Der Mugrdechian.

“In Front of the Eyes of the World is a valuable addition to the Armenian Series at Fresno State,” said Prof. Barlow Der Mugrdechian, general editor of the Armenian Series. “The memoir sheds light on an important period of Armenian history.”

The significance of the memoir is explained in this excerpt from the editors, “Today, when we attempt to study Ottoman-Armenian history, to reconstruct the social landscape and daily life of Ottoman-Armenians through primary sources… memoirs like the one written by Setrak Timourian stand before us as shining beacons, illuminating our way forward.”

In Front of the Eyes of the World is an example of a genre of writing which has been under-studied. The manuscript is written in Armeno-Turkish, i.e., in Turkish using Armenian script. This was quite common among Turkish speaking Ottoman Armenians, but has since become a rare item.

In Front of the Eyes of the World: The Memoirs of Setrak Timourian gives the reader a fascinating and detailed story of the life of Setrak Timourian, who was born in 1860 in Kayseri. He documented in a thorough manner, his life, the life of his family, and his many adventures. Timourian lived during an eventful period in Armenian and Ottoman Turkish history and thus provided insight into the life of Armenians.

The memoirs cover Timourian’s life from the 1860s to the 1930s, and stretches from Kayseri, to Istanbul, and Fresno, including his sojourns in Europe, in London and short stays in New York. His travels to Constantinople and then later to the United States chronicle his life as a carpet merchant and the many challenges that he faced. He also recorded his own views on the important events of the day. In Front of the Eyes of the World is an invaluable record of one man’s indomitable spirit and enthralling life story.

In February of 2022 the Ararat-Eskijian Museum and The Armenian Dress and Textile Project (ADTP) organized a special two-day, international hybrid conference “1860 Gesaria (Kayseri) to Los Angeles 2022: Mapping Culture & Sharing Stories,” an exhibit which highlighted the early 19th-century Armenian life and cultural history featured in Setrak Timourian’s memoir.

Copies of In Front of the Eyes of the World: The Memoirs of Setrak Timourian are available for purchase from: Abril Bookstore, http://www.abrilbooks.com/in-front-of-the-eyes-of-the-world.html.

All of the books in the Armenian Series can be found at the following website: https://cah.fresnostate.edu/armenianstudies/resources/armenianseries/index.html

For bulk orders please contact the Armenian Studies Program, at 559.278.2669 or by email at [email protected].

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