Armenian Genocide Orphans' "Aram Bezikian" Museum

A Space of Memory

 

 

Located at the heart of the ancient site of Jbeil (Byblos), not far from the 12th century citadel, the Armenian Genocide Orphans’ “Aram Bezikian” Museum is a place of memory, promoting the common values and principles of humanity: concern for others, friendship and tolerance, peaceful coexistence and respect for human rights and human dignity.

 

On the occasion of the centennial commemorations of the Armenian Genocide, as part of its commemorative initiatives, the Armenian Catholicosate of the Great House of Cilicia created the Orphan’s Museum, the first in the diaspora, on the premises of the Armenian Orphanage of Jbeil, known as the "Birds’ Nest.” This project was made possible by the generous sponsorship of the Bezikian family.

 

The Museum features three exhibits.  The first presents the life of Armenians in the Ottoman Empire on the eve of the First World War and the genocide perpetrated against the Armenians by the Ottoman Turkish government in 1915 and 1916. The second dramatizes the role of the various non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and western missionaries that helped resettle the surviving orphans in the Middle East, particularly in Lebanon. The third exhibit shows the rehabilitation and settlement of the orphans into their new home in Lebanon. A specific scene is dedicated to the story of Maria Jacobsen, the "Mama," who devoted her whole life to the thousands of orphans in the "Birds’ Nest."

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