To Be Different, Meanwhile So Similar

Three days have passed since we had a wonderful meeting with a journalist and author of “The Hundred Year Walk,” Dawn MacKeen. During these three days, her speech, words, and feelings are still in my mind, making me think constantly.

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When I first knew her name it seemed to me a typical American name, which holds American culture, mindset, and traditions. With these expectations, I came to the meeting and from the very beginning, I was stoned. She seemed to me a person who even though born and grew up in another country far away from Armenia, is still Armenian. When she was talking about her grandfather, who passed the long and torturous destination of the Armenian genocide, her emotions were so true and sincere as if she witnessed everything. Even though her story is very personal, however, she wrote a book, which talks about the barbarous activities that Ottoman Turkey did towards our ancients, and proved once more that the genocide did happen.

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This is so special for me because people like her are very important to speak up about genocide in international platforms. Moving forward, what impressed me the most was the fact that to write the book, she needed ten years to accomplish, during which she went to different parts of the world to meet every single person who knew her grandfather. This itself shows that for her speaking about Armenian genocide was not just a “topic” to write about as a journalist, but a holy mission, and will.

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While she was talking and answering our questions, I understood two important things. Firstly, I realized that even though if you have a foreign name, and grew up in another country, you are still connected with all Armenians around the world. I realized that we all have one thing in common; our history, which seemed to be imprinted in our DNA. Secondly, I understood how it is to be a great journalist. Sometimes when I have to interview somebody to complete my story, I complain and say that it is very difficult to talk with people. Now I think that what I do is just a very small portion to be a real journalist. Now I know that to be a real journalist, one must be ready to do everything to write a story, which can have the potential to change the world.

Thank you dear Dawn Anahid MacKeen for writing this amazing book, and for not denying your Armenian origin.

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