Yevnige Aposhian Salibian, a survivor of the Armenian Genocide, who became an outspoken advocate for truth and justice as recently as April of this year, passed away Sunday. She was 101.
Salibian was a resident of Ararat Home in Mission Hills, Calif. With a sharp mind she articulated her family’s story of survival at community events, becoming one of the last remaining survivors of the Armenian Genocide.
She was just a baby when the Genocide began, but the she was able to recall things that happened a few years later to her family.
Born Jan. 14, 1914, one of five children in a middle-class family in the town of Aintab. Her family was among the last to leave. It was during this trip that she received a scar on her leg when she became trapped in the reins of a horse. She nearly bled to death and the scar has become a lifelong reminder of her early miseries. The family fled Aintab in 1921.
A deeply religious woman, she learned to speak English by comparing versions of the bible. After fleeing their home, her family lived in Lebanon until 1976, when she came to the United States.
In 2014, Salibian was honored by the University of Southern California’s Shoah Foundation, during the organization’s 20th anniversary gala, where Steven Spielberg and others honored the survivor.
Her story captured the attention of many, including renowned journalist Robert Fisk who featured her and her story in an edition of the London-based The Independent in 2014.
To mark the Genocide Centennial this year, Salinian co-authored an article with Jewish Holocaust survivor Mala Langholz, which was published jointly by Asbarez and the Jewish Journal in April.
Asbarez will have additional coverage of Salibian’s life in future editions.