Margaret Ahnert Discusses New Genocide Book in Washington, DC


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Margaret Ahnert Discusses New Genocide Book in Washington, DC

Margaret Ajemian Ahnert, author of The Knock at the Door: A Journey
Through the Darkness of the Armenian Genocide spoke about her book on
Wednesday evening, April 15, 2009 at the Armenian embassy in
Washington, DC.
Hosted by the Embassy of the Republic of Armenia to the United States
and the Fund for Armenian Relief, the author – winner of the 2008 New
York Book Fair Award for Best Historical Memoir – discussed her book
to a sizeable crowd that included members of the Armenian community of
Washington DC, representatives of the Armenian organizations, friends
of FAR, former U.S. Ambassador to Armenia John Evans and his wife,
In The Knock at the Door, Ahnert tells her mother Ester’s story about
surviving the brutality of the Armenian Genocide and her eventual
escape to the United States. As she writes about her mother’s plight
and survival, she conveys the intimate relationship she shares with
her 98 year old mother.
Ahnert – who is on her third book tour – said that The Knock at the
Door started out as her master’s thesis when she was a graduate
student. Building on her thesis, she wrote The Knock at the Door as a
mother-daughter story expressing conversations between her and her
Growing up, Ahnert’s mother told her stories about her life and
escaping the Genocide.
These stories affected Ahnert’s life and as she got older she realized
she wanted to find out more about her family’s story of survival and
write a memoir for her children and grandchildren. "I had no idea it
would be as big as it is," said Ahnert, who was honored recently as
the recipient of the Distinguished Humanitarian Award.
Ahnert has not only received acclaim for her book but is also
educating non-Armenians about the Armenian Genocide. "My goal and
mission in life is to tell the story to the non-Armenians who ask me
what the Armenian Genocide is," said Ahnert, emphasizing the
importance of fostering dialogue about the Genocide and teaching
people who will in turn educate others.
Since her book was published in 2007, Ahnert has made appearances
around the world for book presentations. "It’s been just tremendous,"
said Ahnert about the positive reception her book has
received. "People have embraced me, my mother and my book.
It’s been a beautiful experience." Ahnert is currently booked through
December 2009 and has been invited a second time from Yale University
to present her book.
Regarding her book presentation in Washington, D.C. at the Armenian
embassy, Ahnert was pleased with the attendance and graciousness of
both FAR and the Armenian Ambassador to the U.S. Tatoul Markarian.
"FAR does wonderful things in Armenia and it is a commendable
organization," said Ahnert.
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About FAR
Since its founding in response to the 1988 earthquake, FAR has served
hundreds of thousands of people through more than 220 relief and
development programs in Armenia and Karabagh. It has channeled more
than $265 million in humanitarian assistance by implementing a wide
range of projects including emergency relief, construction, education,
medical aid, and economic development.

For more information on FAR or to send donations, contact us at 630
Second Avenue, New York, NY 10016; telephone (212) 889-5150; fax (212)
889-4849; ; e-mail [email protected]

— May 11th, 2008

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