The darkest chapters in Armenian history began centuries ago. It was the women of Armenia who took fate into their own hands, comforting the battered souls of their people and stitching together a better tomorrow for future generations.
While the story of “Sewing Hope for Armenia” only starts in after the most recent Artsakh War of November 2020, a look at an ancient map of the Kingdom of Armenia, such as the one in the entrance hall of the Tsitsernakaberd Genocide Memorial in Yerevan will reveal the land lost by the Armenian people over the centuries.
As one of the oldest cultures in the world, the Armenian people are proud and strong, defending their heritage. Few people have suffered as much as the Armenian People have – one can only imagine the lives lost and the suffering endured for each meter of land lost. Armenian suffering culminated in the Armenian Genocide that took place between 1890 and 1917.
An estimated 1.2 million Armenian women, children, and elderly or infirm people were sent on death marches to the Syrian Desert in 1915 and 1916. Driven forward by paramilitary escorts, the deportees were deprived of food and water and subjected to robbery, rape, and massacres.
In the Syrian Desert, the survivors were dispersed into concentration camps. In 1916, another wave of massacres was ordered, leaving about 200,000 deportees alive by the end of 1916. The methods used by the Ottoman Empire during the Armenian Genocide would later inspire Nazi Germany for the Holocaust and are recognized by 32 countries and the United Nations as the first systematic eradication of an entire people.
Genesis of Sewing Hope
Stories of women who lost everything, but have not lost hope.
“Armenia is dying, but it will survive. The little blood that it still has left is precious blood that will give
birth to a heroic generation. A nation that does not want to die, does not die”.
Anatole France, French author, 1916
Notwithstanding the human cost, the Armenian genocide also resulted in the destruction of more than two millennia of Armenian civilization in eastern Anatolia. Subsequent wars, until today continue this systematic destruction of one of the world’s oldest civilizations and cultures.
Since its origins, the beating heart of the Armenian people, and guarantor of its eternal culture, is the mother, or Mayrig in Armenian. Very much like Armenia herself, the Armenian mother’s heart is worn out for having given so much love for so long. This Armenian mother who for centuries has been crying those we see as soldiers, but in whom she sees only her son, her brother, her husband, or her father, is the very reason behind “Sewing Hope for Armenia”.
Only by saving and preserving Mayrig, can only hope to save, in the same effort, the Armenian people and the Armenian culture.
When all is lost, the greatest loss is the loss of purpose and meaning in life. The “Sewing Hope for Armenia” project brought together those who have lost everything to show them a new path and give them the desired hope for a better tomorrow. Carefully selected for their plight, these women fell into a sisterhood where, in addition to professional and economic opportunities, they found support from women who had experienced similar stories. This allowed them to become stronger, to have decent jobs, and to carry on the traditions of their ancestors on a daily basis.
The colors, ornaments, symbols and fabrics of our products are carefully selected to introduce you to the infinitely beautiful thousand year old Armenian culture.