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29 Beautiful Photos Of Armenians Around The World

NYC-based photographer Scout Tufankjian has photographed Armenians across the globe, from Los Angeles to Lebanon.

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Almost 100 years ago, more than 1 million people died in the midst of the Armenian genocide. Armenian leaders were rounded up and killed. Men were put to work as beasts of burden. Women and children were forced to march to imaginary camps in Syria that Ottoman Empire authorities knew they would never reach.

The forced eviction from their land created a massive diaspora of Armenian communities around the world. Armenians are now preparing to mark the centennial of that tragedy with the official remembrance day set for April 24. With the visit of reality stars Kim and Khloé Kardashian last week to the Armenian Genocide Memorial in Yerevan, the massacre is getting more attention than it has in years.

Photographer Scout Tufankjian asked Armenians living not just in their homeland but across the globe to submit their thoughts on what their heritage means to them. In this photoseries, a preview of her new book There Is Only the Earth: Images from the Armenian Diaspora Project, Tufankjian combines their answers with the photos she traveled around the world to capture, showing how a people managed to not just survive but thrive after nearly being extinguished.

Little Armenia Parking Lot — Hollywood, California

Scout Tufankjian

"I'm no Armenian. I'm an American. Well, the truth is I am both and neither. I love Armenia and I love America and I belong to both, but I am only this: an inhabitant of the earth, and so are you, whoever you are." —William Saroyan in Antranik and the Spirit of Armenia

Syrian Refugee — Berdzor, Nagorno-Karabakh

Scout Tufankjian

"I was surprised by how unfamiliar Armenia felt to me — how I have been told all my life this is my homeland and my 'home' but what does that mean?" —Lara Sarkissian (USA)

Myasnikyan, The Republic of Armenia

Scout Tufankjian

"I love Armenian people —€” all of them. I love them because they are a part of the enormous human race, which of course I find simultaneously beautiful and vulnerable." —William Saroyan in First Visit to Armenia

Homenetmen Club — Ramos Mejia, Argentina

Scout Tufankjian

"I know that I am 100% Armenian [even though] I was not raised in the history, literature, language, or church. My Armenian-ness is the cornerstone of my character and life." —Nathalie Nikel née Kasbarian (Marseilles now living in Berlin)

Armenian Embassy — Washington, D.C.

Scout Tufankjian

"I went to a predominantly Armenian high school and there were arguments about who is a real/pure/100% Armenian all the time. Even now on Facebook, between friends, I see arguments on what a "real" Armenian is. Shouldn't you just be Armenian no matter where you happen to be from?" —Annie Stepanian (Glendale, California)

Armenian College and Philanthropic Academy — Kolkata, India

Scout Tufankjian

"In school, my monastic teachers always repeated: We have to learn what is ours well, and what belongs to others even better." —Hratch Kaspar (Venice, Italy)

Papik and Tatik — Stepanakert, Nagorno-Karabakh

Scout Tufankjian

"In America, I felt so Armenian; yet in Armenia, I realized that I am in many ways an American." —Aline Ohanesian (born in Kuwait, now living in California)

Kovsakan, Nagorno-Karabakh

Scout Tufankjian

"When do you feel Armenian? Always. It's like asking when do you feel human."

—Aline Ohanesian (born in Kuwait, now living in California)

ARF Sardarabad Center — Bourj Hammoud, Lebanon

Scout Tufankjian

"I feel like I am part of a big dysfunctional family that will always be there if I need them." —Lucig Kebranian (Anjar, Lebanon)

Sanjak Camp — Bourj Hammoud, Lebanon

Scout Tufankjian

"On one hand, I feel that I don't belong to Armenia because I don't have an Armenian nationality. On the other hand, I don't feel that I belong to Lebanon even though I've born because Lebanese people notice "ian" in my family name and generalize that I'm Armenian; even though I'm Lebanese of Armenian origin. There is a big confusion here since I don't know If I introduce myself as Armenian or Lebanese or both." —Hasmig "Jasmine" Boyadjian (Beirut)

Sarkis Zeitlian Center — Anjar, Lebanon

Scout Tufankjian

"It is sometimes amazing to think that when I'm in an Armenian event, all the people there, including me, have come to this country far away and are all together celebrating something in the same way that our ancestors did a hundred years ago." —Gary Gananian (São Paulo, Brazil)

Syrian Refugee — Kovsakan, Nagorno-Karabakh

Scout Tufankjian

"My birthplace was California, but I couldn't forget Armenia, so what is one's country? Is it land of the earth, in a specific place? Rivers there? Lakes? The sky there? The way the moon comes up there? And the sun? Is one's country the trees, the vineyards, the grass, the birds, the rocks, the hills and summer and winter? Is it the animal rhythm of the living there? The huts and houses, the streets of cities, the tables and chairs, and the drinking of tea and talking? Is it the peach ripening in summer heat on the bough? Is it the dead in the earth there?" —William Saroyan in Antranik and the Spirit of Armenia

First Republic Day, Freedom Square — Yerevan, The Republic of Armenia

Scout Tufankjian

"There is still so much about being Armenian that I do not know." —Ian Koncagul (Dearborn, Michigan)

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