GLENDALE—On September 1 2017, Dr. Ishkhan Babajanian will be joined by several guests to present his memoirs, Odyssey of a Defiant Armenian Doctor. The book will be appearing in hardback for the first time at the presentation.
Dr. Babajanian’s memoirs reflect and highlight his turbulent life experiences, hardships and great struggles while he lived in Iran, the Soviet Union and the United States. He believes these experiences can be helpful for his children, grand-children, friends, communities across this world and future generations.
The memoir begins with the Armenian Genocide of 100 years ago and includes several climactic events, such as his grandfather’s murder by Turks and Kurds. The memoir takes the reader from Dr. Babajanian’s birthplace of Badelbu, Iran and continues to his current life in Northern California.
The presentation will include several speakers, including the following community leaders: Mr. Harut Sassounian, Political activist, publisher of The California Courier and President of the Armenia Artsakh Fund, Dr. Joseph Melik-Hovsepian, Physician and recognized author of history and Ardashes “Ardy” Kassakhian, City Clerk for the City of Glendale.
Proceeds from the event will benefit the Armenia Artsakh Fund.
The book presentation will take place on Friday, September 1 from 6 to 8 p.m. at the Armenian Society of Los Angeles, 117 S. Louise Street, Glendale. Harut Sassounian, Dr. Joseph Melik-Hovsepian, Ardashes “Ardy” Kassakhian, and Dr. Ishkhan Babajanian will among those present at the event.
Ishkhan Babajanian, M.D. was born in Badelbu, one of the villages of Urmia, located in northwestern Iran and bordering Turkey. Along with his family, he struggled as a Christian minority child and confronted discrimination and injustice.
In 1943, at 9.5 years old, he moved to Abadan, a progressive, southern city of Iran. Abadan was then known as Iran’s cultural, educational and athletic center. He started his schooling with delay and completed high school in 1956. He excelled in his studies as well as in sports. In 1958, he entered the University of Tabriz Medical School and received his medical degree in 1965. He then worked at the Shahinshah Organization’s Farah Pahlavi Hospital in Ramsar, Iran. In 1969, Dr. Babajanian repatriated to Soviet Armenia. He worked at the Yerevan Republican General Hospital as an Internist/Endocrinologist.
In 1975, he immigrated to the United States. Due to cultural and language barriers, Dr. Babajanian struggled both to make a basic living and to receive his US medical Licensure. After his pediatric residency in the US, Dr. Babajanian worked in various US Governmental facilities, including the US Coast Guard Academy. After retirement, Dr. Babajanian with his wife Anahit joined the Armenian Volunteer Corps in 2006 and worked in Artsakh at the Stepanakert Children’s Hospital.
Dr. Babajanian has been recognized with “Outstanding Physician Awards” in diﬀerent countries. Dr. Babajanian is ﬂuent in Armenian, Persian, English, and speaks Azeri-Turkish and Assyrian. He lives in Northern California with his wife, Anahit, of 46 years. His older son, Masis, is a proﬁcient cardiologist and his younger son, Armen, received his Master’s in Political Science and now is the Chief Operations Officer for Big Brothers Big Sisters. Dr. Babajanian spends his time with three wonderful grandchildren, Gohar (6), Vartan (4), and Davit (6mo).