~~Tomorrow is the sixty-ninth anniversary of Hagop Oshagan’s death. The massive heart attack that took him began at his writing desk, in Aleppo, where he had arrived a few days earlier for a jubilee celebration of his life’s work.
His death came the night before he and a group of writer friends, including Shavarsh Missakian, were to set out on a memorial visit to the killing fields of Der Zor. Oshagan was buried in Aleppo. It is estimated that some 20,000 mourners were in attendance.
The large turnout notwithstanding, Oshagan would have found irony, if not the cruel hand of fate, in the choice of his final resting place. He loved Aleppo deeply, but his preference was elsewhere. In his words: “–In the shade of Ararat: Even without a tombstone, without a sign, without an inscription: But the warm earth on me, in the depths of my ancestors’ blood.”
The burning earth of Aleppo, light on Hagop Oshagan. ~~