November 21
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Armenian Genocide survivor Silvard Atajyan died on Thursday night at the age of 106.

Silvard Atajyan’s granddaughter Nune said the old woman was conscious and talking. She died sitting in her armchair.

In 1915 disregarding the threats by the Turkish authorities, the residents of Armenian villages on the Mediterranean coast climbed Mount Musa (Musa Dagh) and organized a self-defense. Silvard’s parents Hayrapet and Maritsa Sherbetyan were among them. She was only three years old during the  events.

Two years ago, Silvard Atajyan told Armenian that the Turks killed her uncle and threw him into the river, whereas her father managed to escape.

“In the daytime, the women were standing, without fear, with their fathers, husbands and brothers. At night, however, they were slipping down the mountain without being noticed, and to collect grapes and figs to somehow provide something to eat for the fighting men" she said. Sometime thereafter, Silvard Atajyan was to notice that her future mother-in-law, Silvard Atajyan, also was taking part in their defense of Mount Musa.

After the First World War, however, the Armenians again had the opportunity to go back to Mount Musa. But the Sherbetyan family, which already had settled in Aleppo, stayed in Syria. 

“The French gave our lands to the Turks,” Silvard Atajyan said trying to hold back the tears in her eyes. “We could no longer travel home.”

Silvard Atajyan’s granddaughter Nune told us that on every third Sunday of September, Grandma Silvard cooks Harissa, the traditional food of the Mount Musa residents, for her grandchildren and relatives. Thus, she pays tribute to her father and the defenders of Mount Musa.

In 2015, interviewed Silvard Atajyan within the framework of the “Survivors” project ahead of the centennial of the Armenian Genocide perpetrated in the Ottoman Turkey in 1915-23.

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