"Ays dune kuget e te ims” translated “ Is this your house or mine?

During the presentation, on May 2008, in the San Francisco Calvary Armenian Congregational Church Annual Banquet, Mr. Zaven Khanjian read:

...You see, every Armenian has a natural and justifiable resistance to place foot on the soil of modern day Turkey.
I had it too.

Time and circumstances well explained in my book came to change all that. And I went. I went, I saw and I experienced being home again. And the flow of my emotions, feelings, thoughts and experience was so immense that based on my daily detailed journals I wrote down the story of the pilgrimage which was first published in an extended series of articles in the Asbarez news paper and subsequently published in a book entitled “ Ays dune kuget e te ims” translated “ Is this your house or mine?”.

Undoubtedly we never cease to remember and respect our fallen victims. We cry for them as we cry for justice we have not witnessed and for recognition we have been denied.
Tonight however we are not going to talk about the victims of the crime. Tonight, we are going to leave them in peace and move to remember the other face of the genocide. That of our homeland, cultural monuments, churches, monasteries and of peaceful dwellings our fathers called their home. The genocide , my dear friends, had two faces. The human face and the material face. The material face is often and comparatively rightfully always left behind, second stage, rear wagon. But nothing minimizes its significance. Nothing belittles its importance.


Churches, monasteries, homes, gardens, mills, livestock, country side, hills, mountains, lakes and ponds, water and rivers, beyond, of course, the immeasurable value of handcrafted personal wealth destroyed and left behind.
But as much as it has been destroyed, it is still there.
There is still a lot to witness and discover.
A lot of inheritance,
A lot of legacy,
Some converted to mosques,
Others in plain ruins.
Some converted to cafes and restaurants
And some totally destroyed.
But one thing is certain and alive in the collective memory of people everywhere. Here and there. And that is the true story of what happened in that spring and summer of one of the darkest years in the history of mankind.
Today we shall march through a small sample of those monuments in whatever shape and condition they are, as they stand witness of a people who once thrived on their few thousand old historic homeland but are not there anymore.
We shall march through the eyes of a few pilgrims who walked through the land in September-October of 2006.