Little Women: Fannie and Atlas

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Karakin Choroian

In America during the years 1894-1896, Fannie a thirteen-year-old girl, living in a rural community, oftentimes participated in church socials, picnics, parties and civic events of the day.

Fannie, when she wasn’t helping with house or farm chores, would be consumed with flirting with the opposite sex and couldn’t get enough of the subject from books or the popular songs of the day.

Atlas Choroian was a thirteen-year-old Armenian girl and living in the town of Bitlis in the northeastern region of Turkey. She, on the other hand, was consumed with taking care of what was left of her family. Her mother and father had already been killed in 1895, during the horrendous Hamidian massacres that lasted from 1894-1896. Her beloved uncles had, while trying to protect Atlas and her sister Araxie from the Turks, been shot in the joints of their bodies and died in agony after two weeks. Atlas was determined to look after her four-year-old sister Araxie and her three-year-old brother Karakin. But this was not to be.

Her siblings watched in horror as their sister, Atlas was kidnapped after putting up a tremendous struggle. Even though she was a very strong girl, she was no match for the two Kurds who took her. She spent the rest of her days in the Kurdish town of  Bulenik and was never seen by her family again.

Two little women…how different their circumstances.

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