Karine Shamlian, Marketing Manager at CMC’s Fort Washington, PA location, was featured in a recently released documentary about the Armenian genocide titled, “What Will Become of Us.”
Shamlian was interviewed for the film along with her paternal grandmother, Asdghig Alemian, who lost many of her family members in the Armenian genocide in 1915, which claimed nearly 1.5 million Armenians.
The documentary, filmed in 2015, featured six stories from Armenian-Americans who survived the genocide, and looked at where they were 100 years after this tragic event took place.
Alemian lost both of her parents and several siblings to the genocide by the time she was five years old. Her and her sister were the only survivors in her immediate family and were sent to an orphanage before being reconnected with an uncle who was living in Massachusetts.
Alemian went on to meet and marry a man in the United States who came from her village in Armenia. They had seven children, 12 grandchildren and six great grandchildren. She was 105 when the documentary was made and died several years later at 109.
“My grandmother and grandfather were very entrepreneurial,” Shamlian said. “They had several stores and my grandmother was very much the matriarch of the family. I can’t imagine all that she witnessed at five.”
Today, the Armenian genocide is often unrecognized. The purpose of “What Will Become of Us” was to film Armenian-Americans – famous and otherwise – to highlight their joys and struggles as they navigate the 100th anniversary of the genocide and strive to forge identities for the next 100 years.
“Not many people know about the Armenian genocide,” Shamlian said. “It was important that my grandmother’s story was heard. She went through so much at such a young age, so it was great for her just to be able to share her experience. She was a role model to me and my family for her strength and how she supported everyone.”
The documentary originally aired on April 24, a day that recognizes the Turkish decree that began the genocide. To watch the movie, visit https://whatwillbecomeofus.com/.