By Essam Kamel, Editor in Chief
[Translated from Arabic exclusively for Groong Armenian News Network
by Katia M. Peltekian]
As soon as the presses rolled and the previous issue of Veto was
distributed to the readers, I received tens of phone calls and emails
demanding that I take action towards the realization of the Egyptian
people’s recognition of the Armenian massacres committed by the Turks.
There were many suggestions from both readers and intellectuals, some
of whom supported the idea of the recognition and others who demanded
an immediate & decisive action, at least symbolically, until an
agreement would be reached for a method to communicate with
international bodies to support the Armenians with their cause.
I will not be exaggerating if I say Europe, which has committed worse
crimes against humankind, is not better than we are, but has already
erected memorials representing the Turkish atrocities committed
against the peaceful Armenian people. Therefore, I am calling for
immediate action to erect a monument in one of Cairo’s main squares
for the Armenian victims whose only crime was demanding a national
independence. I will be the first to donate my monthly salary to
implement this project immediately, and hopefully other social or
civic society organizations concerned with human rights would take
The idea is simple as we have a number of internationally renowned
artists who will volunteer for this task. We will set an example for
all humankind that our people will support this idea because it is
noble and civilized, and not only because Armenians have played an
important role in Egypt. It is sufficient to mention to our readers
that during the liberation of Taba, we relied on maps provided by
Egypt’s first Foreign Minister Boghos Bey Yusufian, and he is Armenian
And Armenians in Egypt have an honorable history, beginning with
contributions in intricate industries, most important of which is
jewelry, passing through many important professions, and reaching
highest political offices. In fact, many of the Armenians played
important roles in our fight for national independence when Egypt was
subject to the yoke of occupation. We will address the importance of
the Armenians in Egyptian life in upcoming articles “insha’allah’.
Now back to the necessity to support the idea of a monument
memorializing the Armenian victims of the massacres perpetrated by the
Turks and which claimed the lives of tens of thousands of children,
women and the elderly in a systematic mass-annihilation. To create a
different social demography, the massacres were committed by the
Turkish troops at different intervals of time in history while Europe
assisted with its silence.
Perhaps the most important characteristic of Egyptian support for this
idea is that Egypt was one of the foremost States in support of the
Armenians when they were subjected to waves of brutality by the
Ottoman Empire. Thousands of Armenians escaping from the Ottoman
Sultan’s hell were welcomed at Port Said, while the civilized
countries blessed the Turkish actions with their silence or according
to political equations with the Caliphate nation.
This monument should be erected on Salah Salem Street – near Cairo
Airport – not only as an important tribute for all travelers to Egypt
to see, but also as a meaningful humane message; this monument will
also return a favor to the Armenians for all their civilized
contributions in our struggle for independence, in addition to their
contributions in the different aspects of life in Egypt.
If not at that location, then let us erect it in front of the Turkish
Embassy; perhaps that memory will assist the believers, that is if
they are true believers!