Armenian Jerusalem
This project has been supported by the Gulbenkian philanthropic Foundation, the Armenian Patriarchate of Jerusalem, and members of the worldwide Armenian community. Reproductions of the genealogical documents [domar’s] are courtesy Photo Garo, Jerusalem. Copyright © 2007 Arthur Hagopian
Jerusalem, 2007
Chronicle 2


            Two   of   the   supreme   leaders   of   the Armenian    church    in    the    Holy    Land were    kaghakatsis,    members    of    the Mnatzaganian     clan,     according     to family    sources.    This,    despite    the fact   that   an   unwritten   Patriarchate edict     prohibits     kaghakatsi     youth from   joining   the   church   as   members of    the    priestly    Brotherhood    of    St James.      Ardavazt    Minassian,    whose    mother    is    a Mnatzaganian,   and   Apraham   Mnatzaganian   report   separately that   their   common   ancestral   family   included   a   son   who   later became Patriarch Giragos.       
New Patriarch for Jerusalem
Patriarch Vehabedian
                        The    Armenian    church    in Jerusalem   is   perched   on   the   verge   of a    new    era    following    the    election today   of   its   new   Patriarch,   the   97th in   a   direct   line   of   succession   from Abraham,       the       first       Armenian patriarch of the Holy City.  
           Abraham   was   a   contemporary   of   the Arab   Caliph,   Omar ibnul   Khattab,   who   conquered   Jerusalem,   and   held   office from 638 to 669 CE.
         It   is   early   in   the   day   in   the   Old   City   of   Jerusalem,   and virtually   no   one   is   up   and   around.   It   will   be some    time    before    the    serenity    of    its streets    and    alleys    is    disturbed    by    the tread    of    heavy    feet    and    the    babble    of many voices.         After   an   abbreviated   breakfast   of   "ka'ek" (the    elliptical    bread    roll    cocooned    in sesame   seeds)   and   "falafel,"   I   stand   before the    ornately    decorated    gate    of    Deir    El Siryan, the Syriac or Assyrian Convent of St Mark.  
         The Armenians   of   Jerusalem   had   more than   their   share   of   comedians,   clowns and      pranksters:      they      thrived      on laughter.         One    of    the    most    incorrigible    and accomplished    was    Hortanan    (Jordan) Marashlian,   a   Kaghakatsi.   He   was   ready to   perform   at   the   drop   of   a   hat   -   if anyone   deserved   an   Oscar,   it   would   be him.                 There    was    the    time    Hortanan Marashlian   decided   to   spring   a   practical joke on Im Arakel (Anna Baghsarian).
The Greek doctor
               Sometime   during   a   lull   in   the   1948 Arab-Jewish   war,   a   group   or   urchins   were trawling    through    the    ruins    of    a    china shop    in    the    Armenian    Quarter.    They found   nothing   worth   picking   in   the   shop which    had    been    looted    and    thoroughly thrashed.                Suddenly,   one   of   the   boys   shouted,   "I found something."                It   was   a   heavy   metal   ball,   with   spikes all    over    it,    a    veritable    treasure.    Still, they    were    lucky:    the    unexploded    Mills grenade   was   a   dud,   the   young   man   who relieved   them   of   their   treasure   revealed, as he disarmed it.                Some   of   those   boys   happened   to   star in   another   dud   drama:   a   projectile   fired by   either   the Arabs   or   the   Jews   landed   in the    kitchen    of    a    family,    but    failed    to explode.    It    was    only    the    bravery    of    a man,   who   was   dwarfed   by   the   missile's size,    who    carried    it    bodily    down    the stairs.  
No pineapple!
Kaghakatsi patriarchs: Giragos, Harutiun
First Syriac priest ordained in century
The 1920’s: a watershed for Armenian Jerusalem
         The   late   1920s   were   a   watershed   in   the   history   of   the Armenians   in   the   Holy   Land.   It   was   during   this   seminal   epoch that   the   Armenian   community   laid   the   groundwork   for   a school   of   its   own,   the   Tarkmanchatz,   which   has   given   the world   more   than   its   quota   of   luminaries   (including   Ohan Durian,   the   great   composer)   as   well   as   a   large   library,   both institutions   gifts   of   Calouste   Gulbenkian,   who   was   known   in oil   and   financial   circles   as   Mr   Five   Percent,   a   reference   to his stake in the Iraq Petroleum Company.      The   library   ranks   as   one   of   the   most   important   in   the Armenian   diaspora.   It   boasts   close   to   100,000   volumes,   of which   less   than   half   are   in   Armenian.   The   rest   are   mainly   in English,   French,   and   German,   as   well   as   quite   a   few   dead languages, including hieroglyphics.
The gentle conscript
       Like   many   young   Kaghakatzi   men   of his    age,    Hagop    Hovsepian    (who    later changed   his   family   name   to   Hagopian), was   conscripted   into   the   Ottoman   army during their occupation of Palestine.        But   unlike   several   of   his   compatriots who   perished   during   Sefer   Berlik   (First World   War),   he   survived.   He   did   return home, but he was a broken man.
News Headlines Armenian arts and crafts        Jerusalem Armenians   have   had   their   share   of   poets,   troubadours   and      story- tellers,   but   although   records   or anthologies   of   the   accomplishments   of   previous   generations   are   non-existent,   memories   still   linger   among their  descendants, some of these very vivid. The Gulbenkians in Jerusalem For   most   of   the   world,   Calouste   Gulbenkian   will   always   be   known   as   Mr   Five   Percent,   the   man   who   held   that   much        stock   in   the   Iraqi   Petroleum   Company.   But   for Armenians   in   general,   and   their   Old   City   of   Jerusalem   in   particular,   the name   Gulbenkian   evokes   notions   of   a   much   grander   and   more   lasting   perspective.   The Armenian Church   The church has always dominated the Armenian Jerusalem landscape. Throughout its troubled history, it has always been the priestly brotherhood that has provided the Armenians with the impetus and inspiration to forge ahead. Priests invented the Armenian alphabet, they were in the vanguard of armies on the march, they gave Jerusalem its first printing press and its first photographic studio, they copied and illustrated manuscripts, their convent sheltered the battle- scarred flock in the Old City of Jerusalem.
Some Armenian expressions
A     large     proporion     of     sayings     or expressions    popular    among    the    Kaghakatsi Armenians,   are   derived   from   either   Turkish   or Arabic. Here is a sampling: Sako  (coat) Bisseh  (cat) Falagha  (loudmouth) Tarmah (idiotic, female) Atram  (idiot, male) Kakikipcheh  (busybody) Shalabi  (nice) Bedkaran  (toilet) ‘Hanafiyeh  (faucet) Kubbash  (wild hair) Churchbayeh  (screen door) Chakouj  (hammer) Shartootah  (rag) Chatal  (fork) Kabboud  (heavy coat) Tata (henpecked) Sobbah  (heater)
The Kaghakatsi Family Tree The Kaghakatsi clans lived in the Armenian Quarter and their members ranked in the thousands, all directly or indirectly related to one another.