Sunday, August 21, 2011

Almas (Sakaian) Shahabian: Armenian Genocide Survivor

Almas Sakaian, 15, was among the 150 survivors of a caravan that numbered 18,000 men, women and children. She was the sole survivor of her immediate and extended family. The Armenian girl was born in the village of Aghin, situated along the banks of the Kara Su (Upper Euphrates) River. The caravans were one of many that resulted in the evacuation and elimination of Armenian communities throughout Turkey. Commencing in the spring of 1915, the forced marches resulted in the death of over 1.5 million Armenians by starvation, dehydration, torture and massacre.
Almas’ sixty-five day forced march commenced in the regions of the Upper Euphrates valley. It followed the ancient trade route alongside river banks and gorges to the plains of Malatia. It traversed the footpaths across the Taurus Mountains arriving at the ruined castle site of Kiakhta. Passing through Aidiaman, the caravan forded the Lower Euphrates at Samsat. The caravan continued on to Urfa, Viran Shehr, Ras-ul-Ain and Aleppo.
Samuel Sakaian, Almas’ uncle, a naturalized American citizen, who had immigrated to America with the intention to bring his family there. After the outbreak of WWI, Sakaian was determined to return to his homeland and rescue his family. Assisted by American consulate officers and missionaries, he covertly returns to Turkey to locate his family. Soon after his arrival he is informed that his entire immediate and extended are all dead, except for his niece, Alma.
From Aghin, is a new screenplay (registered with the Writers Guild of America) richly portrays Alma’s story of fortitude, acumen and survival instinct. Her nature was to survive at any cost. Samuel’s obsession was to locate and rescue his brother’s daughter and return to America.
The screenplay, based on true events and historical documentation researched over a span of 20 years, From Aghin is their story.

For additional information please contact Bill Milhomme < >


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