Blog Archives

BEDROS: A Story About Survival

AAA FL Irene C1

By Mercedes Gechidjian
FLArmenians Miami Contributor

On Friday, March 13, the Armenian Assembly of America’s annual members weekend launched with the presentation of Irene Vosbikian’s book, BEDROS. The novel uncovers the story of Vosbikian’s father-in-law, Bedros Vosbikian, as he travels from the Ottoman Empire to the United States two years before the official outset of the Armenian Genocide in 1915. After marrying her husband, Peter Vosbikian, at a young age Irene spent hours listening to her father-in-law’s recollection of stories about survival, escape, and life as an orphan. Bedros, or the “Armenian Godfather” as the author remembers him, was greatly influential in her life. His stories inspired her to take a deeper look into the atrocities that befell the Armenian people from 1915 to 1923. Her curiosity and sympathy towards the subject resulted in the creation of this haunting story.

Bedros, which the author described as “a historical novel, with a lot of truism and not” was updated in content, and was re-released to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the Armenian Genocide. “It’s about survival and going beyond,” Vosbikian told “It’s a story about growing, bravery, and triumph,” she said. It is for this reason that she decided to add new anecdotes from her father-in-law and stories from other Genocide survivors in the second edition. Copies of the novel were available for purchase with all the revenues dedicated to the Armenian Assembly of America.

AAA George Clooney

Assembly Board Co-Chair Anthony Barsamian, George Clooney, Assembly Board President Carolyn Mugar at the launch of the 100 Lives Initiative in New York City.

Socializing over hors d’oeuvres and refreshments, guests also heard from Assembly Board of Trustees Co-Chair Anthony Barsamian, who discussed the 100 Lives Project, a new initiative by Vartan Gregorian, Ruben Vardanyan and Noubar Afeyan to honor the victims of the Armenian Genocide. As stated in the organization’s website, 100 Lives has two goals: to thank those who helped Armenians 100 years ago, as well as continue the legacy and the remembrance of the genocide through the collection of stories. 100 Lives was founded in cooperation with Academy Award Winner, George Clooney’s organization, Not On Our Watch.

On the eve of the 100th anniversary of the Armenian Genocide, Armenians around the world are taking bold steps to remember and demand the recognition of a genocide that re-shaped the lives of an entire nation.


Armenian Assembly Annual Members Meeting Welcome Reception to Feature Author Irene Vosbikian

Annual Members Meeting in Boca Raton, Florida, March 13-14, 2015

WASHINGTON, DC – The Armenian Assembly of America (Assembly) is pleased to announce that Irene Vosbikian, author of the recently released novel BEDROS, will present her book and sign copies at the Assembly’s Annual Member Meeting Welcome Reception in South Florida on Friday, March 13. “We are delighted to have Irene present her book and share this powerful story on the Armenian Genocide,” stated Assembly South Florida Regional Council (SFRC) Chairwoman Carol Norigian.

Bedros book cover

BEDROS is the inspirational saga of a man who, having witnessed his father’s murder, goes on to survive the first genocide of the 20th century, and struggles to achieve greatness in the New World. BEDROS is two stories in one because the main character lived two lives in one – the victim struggling to survive and the entrepreneur, struggling to realize himself. Bedros, in this epic novel based on the 1915 Armenian Genocide carried out by the Ottoman Turks, is nourished by hope, defiance, and courage, flowering at last in the streets of Philadelphia. The story spans half a century and three continents. BEDROS is a literary roller coaster. The reader is lulled, electrified, dropped into a pit of despondence and then transported to a world of delight. It is an inspiration to the descendants of all those persecuted immigrants who dreamed and triumphed in America.

Irene VosbikianIrene was born in Philadelphia in 1944, a third-generation Italian American. Her father was killed in WWII, just one month prior to her birth. Her mother remarried and went on to have six more children. Born and raised in Philadelphia, Irene graduated from Marple Newtown High School and attended Temple University where she met her husband, Peter. Peter and Irene have four married children and eleven grandchildren. Irene has published two novels: The Carnation Tablet, a tribute to her father, and BEDROS, based on Peter’s father’s life.

During the Assembly’s Welcome Reception on Friday, March 13, Vosbikian will present her book BEDROS and sign copies for guests who purchase the novel. Vosbikian has generously agreed to donate all of the evening’s proceeds to the Armenian Assembly of America.

“The Assembly is grateful to Irene and the Vosbikian family for their many years of service and support,” stated Assembly Executive Director Bryan Ardouny.

The Armenian Assembly’s Annual Member Meeting will be held at the Marriott Hotel at Boca Town Center, 5150 Town Center Circle, Boca Raton, FL 33486. Please call (561) 392-4600 to reserve your room and be sure to mention the Armenian Assembly in order to receive the reduced rate of $169.00 per night.

For tickets or additional information, please contact Assembly SFRC Chair Carol Norigian at

Established in 1972, the Armenian Assembly of America is the largest Washington-based nationwide organization promoting public understanding and awareness of Armenian issues. The Assembly is a non-partisan, 501(c)(3) tax-exempt membership organization.