November 20, 2011 | 6:36 am
Posted by Karmel Melamed
Dr. Rosemary Hartounian Cohen is perhaps one of the rare authors and academics you’ll ever come across today because of her identity as an Iranian, Armenian and a Jew. Her unique background, her life experiences and those of her own family have enabled her to see the world— especially the conflict in the Middle East in a totally different light. So when she asked me to read and review her latest book, “The Mother of Jersualem is Crying” I gladly accepted. To my delight Dr. Cohen does indeed manage to convey the heart wrenching personal pain that the three families in the novel who are Jewish, Christian and Muslim encounter because of the blind hatred and lack of human decency in their world.
I particularly enjoyed learning about the tremendous hardships Armenians living in what is now Turkey encountered at the hands of the Turkish military during the early part of the 20th century. It was not easy reading the story of the Armenian family in her novel that was decimated and devastated in the genocide, but it is an example of just one of the thousands of true life stories many Armenians today carry with them about their own families. The Armenian genocide is among one of humanity’s worse episodes and its occurrence must be recognized. My hope is that this novel and others will continue to raise awareness in the world about the Armenian genocide and encourage human beings to stand up against future genocides! Dr. Cohen’s ability to humanize the suffering endured during the Armenian genocide, the Holocaust as well as Arab and Israeli conflict in this novel is remarkable. The emotional, historical, religious and cultural complexity of the Middle East and its people are often very difficult for authors, journalists and even politicians to explain to individuals not from that part of the world. The Middle East is just not easy…but Dr. Cohen’s message in this novel lays out the overriding solution to the suffering endured in that part of the world— that with love and tolerance, those who truly cherish life can overcome all difficulties. Readers of “The Mother of Jersualem is Crying” will not be disappointed because the novel tells three compelling stories and conveys a powerful message for humanity’s need for co-existence in the world.
Here’s a recent online video interview of Dr. Cohen about her latest book…
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