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Zabel Yessayan: A Brave New Voice

Judith Saryan

The early years of Zabel Yessayan's lifelong commitment to writing and activism.


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March 2017

Zabel Yessayan: A Brave New Voice

Zabel Yessayan was one of the leading voices of her time, an advocate for social justice and women’s rights in Ottoman Armenian society. In this video, Judith Saryan describes an important period in Yessayan’s life, when at 17 she left her childhood home in Constantinople to study at the Sorbonne in Paris and began what would become a lifelong career in writing and activism. Unafraid to fight for her convictions even in the face of harsh criticism, Zabel published essays and articles about women’s issues both in Paris and back at home in Constantinople, where she would eventually return to continue her work.

Judith Saryan embarked on a career in publishing, editing and writing after 37 years in finance. In partnership with the Armenian International Women's Association (AIWA), she helped to publish three works in English translation by Zabel Yessayan.

Topics: Biography/Memoir Genocide Literature Women's Studies