Activism Through Education – An Interview with Levon Marashlian



My grandmother asked: “Are there any Armenians left?”  What she and her companion had witnessed during the deportation made them think they were the only Armenians left in the world. – Levon Marashlian

Remembering the Past toward Healing our Future

A six event commemorative film series featuring the stories of survivors and their children

Living Ubuntu, in collaboration with Amnesty International – Irvine and six local academic institutions, presents a six-event commemorative film series featuring the stories of survivors and their children. April is Genocide Awareness and Prevention Month, and each film commemorates a genocide that started during April. Living Ubuntu provides education about global traumas as part of its mission to heal trauma in order to promote peace. All films are free and open to the public.

Below is an interview with Levon Marashlian, a third generation Armenian genocide survivor who will be a featured speaker at the Armenian genocide event.


An Interview with Levon Marashlian

Born:  Beirut, Lebanon
Degree:  B.A.-University of Illinois. M.A. and Ph.D.-UCLA
Occupation:  Professor, Glendale Community College, Glendale, CA

Q: When did you move to the U.S.?

A: In 1956 when I was 7 years old.  We moved to from Beirut to Chicago. It was just my immediate family. All my grandparents stayed behind. That’s why I lost contact with them, which is too bad, because I never had a chance to talk to them about their experience during the deportations and massacres.  By the time I visited Beirut in 1973, they were all gone.

Q: Did you have any other family left in Beirut other than your grandparents?

A: A few family members, but no one from the survivor generation. If I had known then what I know now, I would have had them recorded.  Armenians started this late, not until the mid 1970s. I did over 20 interviews myself as part of a course at UCLA.  By the time oral histories were recorded in the 80s and 90s most of the people who were still alive and able were children during the genocide so they knew things from the perspective of a child.  That’s still useful, but the most valuable witnesses would have been people who were adults in 1915.  The memory of the most valuable generation was lost. Read more of this post