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Hagop speaking at his son, Edward’s wedding in 1948.

Recollections of Puzant Shamlian as told to his daughter Margaret.

On Wednesday, the 7th day of July 1920 at 10 a.m. in the morning, Puzant Shamlian left Beirut with Karnig Babikian, Ghevont Tchorbajian, and Toros Shamlian, (a cousin) all of Marash.  They boarded a French cargo ship called “The Lotus” and sailed for America.

Puzant walked to the harbor with his father, Hagop, and his favorite teacher, Mr. Charles Perrine. (Mr. Perrine was the Vice-principal of the Preparatory Department at the American University of Beirut.)

As they approached the small boats near the shore, they recognized a Turkish man from Marash.  He had come to Beirut and made his living by ferrying passengers to the larger ships that were anchored offshore.  When this man recognized Hagop he asked him why his son was going to America. Hagop replied, “It is thanks to your kind that he is going”. Then the man asked if he could take Puzant to his ship. Hagop agreed and then the man remarked in reference to the siege, “You know we burned your tannery to the ground and we warmed our hands by the fire.”

Video courtesy of Joey Ayoub

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