The Testimony of Bedouin Batra – Deir Ez-Zor 1915

The Testimony of Bedouin BatraA Bedouin Arab woman Batra from Syria testified that she remembered well how caravans of deported and exhausted Armenians one after another were going to Deir ez-Zor. That happened in 1915 when she was 9 years old.

“I am 93 years old, I am an Arabian woman from the deserts. In 1915, I was 9 years old, and I remember well how the caravans of deported and exhausted Armenians one after were driven to Deir ez-Zor. They were exhausted from hunger and thirst, they were wearing rags and were barefoot. They came and gathered at the bridge of Deir ez-Zor.

We saw how Turkish gendarmes and Chechens killed many of them. Surviving Armenian women were forced into marriage with desert Arab sheikhs and village headmen. They became the worthy mothers of their families. Most of them were Islamized, while the rest refused to abandon their faith.

We were fascinated by the beauty of Armenian women. They had wonderful eyes. In addition, they were balanced, devoted, and inspired great respect in us, they never begged for anything. The Turks scattered the Armenians in the Syrian deserts and the Arabs then picked them out of pity.”

Verzhine Svazlyan. Evidence from surviving eyewitnesses of the Armenian Genocide, second revised edition, Yerevan, NAS of RA, “Gituitun”, 2011, certificate 306, pp. 517-518.

Read also: Erivan 1917 – Photo of Armenian Orphans – Commentary by James BryceWilliam Morris Gilbert Jr. – A Witness to the Genocide and a Savior of Thousands of OrphansPhoto of a Line of Orphans in Front of an Orphanage – Early 20th CenturyForty Armenian Orphans in the Imperial Orchestra of Ethiopia – 1925Sara Corning – Savior of 5,000 Armenian Orphans – 1922 Smyrna MassacreKaren Jeppe – Danish friends of Armenians

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