Personal Statement on Kamp Armen, by Garabet Orunöz (Turkey)

Deaf Friends,

Kamp Armen was our ATLANTIS which We had built with our own, very hands. I won’t say much... I was sent to Kamp Armen, because I was orphaned. My prayers are for Sara. Makasçi who sent me there, for Hrant Küçükgüzelyan who was our constitutive principal and for Hrant Dink who had been struggling against the camp’s seizure, May God bless them all!
Kamp Armen was the name of our childhood house. I had learned ‘the art of living’ in there. I had never seen my mother, but was never deprived of love. I had never felt that it was necessary to hide away the tears.
In Kamp Armen, I had learned not only to share, but also to jealous... the glory of success and to concede defeat; to come to terms... the value of having few, and that sometimes, too many is weary.
I got bored sometimes. I had tried to escape for a couple of rimes. I was caught. I got the bashing.

I was surrounded with nature, with our animals. We had a horse, a dog. We even had a couple of monkeys: cows, sheep, goats, turkeys, gooses, ducks, chickens, bees... I had learned how to take care of these animals; how to inoculate a tree and get three different fruits from the same branch in there.
I had learned the smell of the earth after rain in Kamp Armen. . . to look for the mushrooms, which I wiped on my trousers, in its garden; in the garden where I had also found my orphan sister afterwards.
I had learned how to light a fire in cold winter nights; to dream about my future in hot summer days, and not to lie under my circumstances in Kamp Armen.
I had learned not to let anyone to judge me when I am right and not to judge anybody for his/her rights; but to listen, but also to question... to resist for my rights and to standd still when I know I am right in Kamp Armen. I had learned to have a simple way of life; to say yes, and to say no; to say I want to and to say I don’t want to in Kamp Armen.
I had learned to finish school season with one outfit; to be clean, to appreciate kinship, teach it to the one who does not...
I had also learned in there to speak in short; that everything has an end, including the life itself.
I had learned that one has three rights to ask for (and I saved them for the end):
One, to respect hard work; two, to say ‘I love you’ and finally; three, to lose... I had learned them all, in Kamp Armen.

Garabet Orunöz