song. Her name is Yeghisabeth Kesabian. She is 105 years oldand the last witness of the expulsion. She was 15 years oldwhen she came to Lebanon from Hatay via Syria in 1915.During the journey, she says they went through greathardship:
"We walked for days. Turkish cavalry were alwaysnext to us. They were protecting us against the attacks,but they sometimes were beating us when we were notable to walk fast enough to catch up with the others.
"Sheadmits that it was a very hard forced walk and a difficult journey. After about three months of travel, Kesabian came tothe Bekaa Valley's Anjar region along with her relatives, ofwhom she is the oldest. She lives with her daughter Sara andher grandchildren. Even her great-grandson, eight-year-oldMardiros knows Turkish. Kesabian taught him Turkish songs.Her adventure is not limited to 1915. After coming to Lebanon,she went back to Samandag in Hatay (now a province ofTurkey ) and got married. She cannot forget that day inTurkey. "I was so happy. Our neighbors, relatives, everyonewas there. Rain after the wedding means prosperity. At mywedding, it was raining. Our neighbor prayed for rain. A shortwhile later, it started to rain. My wedding dress got wet. Since Ihad no other clothes, my mother-in-law dried my dress andhelped me to wear itagain."Married in Turkey, Kesabian puts her finger on a historicalpoint that is missed about her return to Lebanon. In 1939, afterHatay's being included within Turkish borders, of her own will,she returned to the Bekaa Valley with a group of Armeniansand continued her life in the valley. During this period, againTurks did nothing wrong against them and they returned toLebanon upon their own free will. "The French told us, 'comehere', then we went there. When we wanted to leave, Turkishsoldiers helped us to get into the cars and escorted us toDamascus. Then, the French took over.
In those years, Turksdid nothing wrong to Armenians
."Kesabian, one of the last witnesses of the expulsion missesTurkey a great deal. In particular, she wanted to see the villagein which she spent her childhood and where she was married;however, she has not fulfilled her wish yet. Now, she has asingle request of her grandchildren and her daughter: Shewants them to take her to Hatay before she dies.They still live in Lebanon and dream of Turkey. They listen to Ibo(Ibrahim Tatlises a Turkish singer), and support the soccer teamcalled Galatasaray.The names in the Borj Hammoud district of Southern Beirut arethe same as the ones in Turkey. Maras, Antep, Adana. The nameof the biggest district is "Yeni Maras" It is the same as any districtin Kahramanmaras in Turkey - narrow streets, noisy children, thesmells of spices coming from the shops… jewelry brought fromthe Turkish cities, Adana, Mersin and Kilis, charms saying"Mashallah", "Allah Korusun" on them, dried mulberry, grape