Harem Victim Tells Story

Stolen from her home on the night before her wedding and imprisoned for five years in a Turkish harem, Aghavni Millian, a beautiful nineteen year-old Armenian girl from Bltlis, has at lst been discovered by her lover and through the assistance of the Near East Relief forcibly taken from her master and brought to one of the American Rescue Homes in Constantinople.  Here she will stay until arrangements can be made for her marriage and her return to her old home.

“My story – it is like hundreds of others,” Aghavni said simply. “I was simply stolen from my home on the night the massacres first began in Bltlis.  It was the night before I was to have been married.   I was just folding my wedding veil away when the Turkish soldiers broke into the house.  They carried me off.  I – they took me up to Constantinople to the house of the man” – She stopped and put one hand over her eyes, a hand that bore the tell tale tattoo of her Turkish master.

“But what does my story matter!” she exclaimed. “I am only one of so many.  It is my people and their future that matters.  Somehow we must rebuild our nation and show to the Turks who tried to beat out our life and to the whole world that, despite what we had suffered, Armenia is still unconquerable.”

Aghvani Millian is, as she says, only one of so many.  It is estimated that one hundred thousand girls are still held captive in Turkish harems.  The Near East Relief, America’s official agent in Armenia, is making this work of rescue one of the most important features of its programs, and it is to them and the support they receive from the American people that Aghvani’s unfortunate sisters still captive, must look for their release.

From same paper, but different article

“Waiting for Us to Set the Table”

A table twenty-four miles long is plainly an extension table and that is just the length that would seat all of the orphans now being fed by the Near East Relief.  This table is set in sections all over the hills of Asia Minor, Syria, Armenia and in Northern Persia.  It is not in one place.  The Turks, who still keep the Armenians in a state of terror, do not allow it.

But there the table is, seated on both sloes with orphans – Syrian and Assyrian, Greek ad Armenian, Jew and Christian – all rescued from the fear of the Turks and under the care of American men and women.

Most of the Children are cared for in 229 American supported orphanages.  The first ceremony in receiving these starved, almost naked children, is to clean them up.  They are not only emaciated, but dirty with sores and vermin – 69 hospitals and over 6,000 beds are kept full of the little sufferers.

But the children keep changing.  Last year they were all thin and pitiful, now it is the newcomers who are thin.  The orphans who have been from six months to a year in American care are well fed and well clothed.

Best of all for a new Near East which surely must come out of all this distress, every child old enough is being taught a trade which will make himself supporting

They are a thrifty lot, these little parentless exiles.  From their scant store of bread they always carry a portion in a small bag about their necks – they fear the day another killing, another drive into the desert.  They horde the shoes sent from America until snow falls – they remember their barefoot pain in the snows last spring.

They cling to their new found friends.  Every day other little waifs find a place in the orphanages and are told of the generous people of the united states.  Soon the entrances will be crowded with children frozen out from their temporary summer quarters.

Then the table of the Near East Relief must be extended – many, many new leave will be needed, and America is asked to set the table

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