The Official Web Site of
Elizabeth Marks
Amid the atrocities of the Armenian genocide, a young boy survives to become a man of courage, compassion and honor

Horrific Times
Sometimes Create Heroes

Zaven’s whole world collapsed with the
Armenian genocide. Amazingly, Zaven did
not collapse along with it. Instead, he
defied the odds, sacrificed personal
safety and prosperity, and stood up
for his people.

Zaven’s Destiny thrusts us into the
flesh and blood realities of an event
too often overlooked or minimized.
It propels us into the heart and mind
of a true hero and shows how the
worst of times can bring out
the best in us.

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About one hundred years ago, the first genocide of the twentieth century was unfolding in Eastern Europe. My father was fourteen years old when, along with thousands of other Armenians, my family was forced to cross the desert in a group of caravans. But he left behind a story. His sister, who also survived the genocide, verified many of the events in this book. He wrote the manuscript over sixty years ago. Typed on yellow carbon paper with a manual typewriter, there were over three hundred pages of it, with notes written in the margins and corrections throughout. He was never able to get it published, and it remained a forgotten work until now. I learned of my father’s unpublished manuscript many years after he died and realized that it was his story of survival. I became determined to honor his memory by getting the book published. Throughout that long process I learned something about my father that I never knew growing up—he was strong, fearless and brave. He was a hero in his time. His story became my passion, and has made me feel closer to the Armenian community. My wish has been fulfilled, and I hope you enjoy reading the book as much as I learned to live it.

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