These Armenians who emigrated without much, entered a country with a foreign language, yet they were ready to work and try their best. Most Armenians held tightly to their cultural traditions and religious beliefs, yet they were ready to try something different. They faced racism, language problems, and poverty as they took on the work others would not: stoop labor in the fields, hauling garbage for the large refuse companies, restaurant work, and other blue-collar jobs. After serving in the Coast Guard, my father (seen dancing with my sister Diane at her wedding—mom in the background) worked a grave-yard shift at ADT Security and became a manager. During the summer, he life-guarded at a local beach and cut hair on weekends after going to Barber School. It seemed that every time my mom gave birth to another child (she had five before she was 26), dad took on another job. Today, many Armenians fight to gain recognition of a genocide that was mostly ignored by the international community. Some have called the Armenian Genocide the “Forgotten Genocide”; however, I see thousands of Armenians of all ages in the streets protesting and demanding recognition of what was done to their ancestors.
Of course, every immigrant group has its own cultural story and historical background. I hope this introduction serves as a gateway to my website where you can learn much more about this unique area of the world and learn about a resilient people who managed to survive the first modern genocide.