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Coffeetown Press
Catherine Treadgold

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Aida Kouyoumjian to hold July 15 author event for Between the Two Rivers at Mercer Island Library
Aida Kouyoumjian will appear at the Mercer Island Library Aug. 15, 2010, to sign copies of Between the Two Rivers: A Story of the Armenian Genocide, 8/04/2010 - On August 15, 2010, at 1:30 p.m., Mercer Island Writer Aida Kouyoumjian will appear at the Mercer Island Public Library, 4400 88th Ave. S.E., to sign copies of her book, Between the Two Rivers: A story of the Armenian Genocide [342 pp, $19.95, ISBN: 978-1-60381-078-4], published by Coffeetown Press.

Between the Two Rivers is the account of the real-life saga of Ms. Kouyoumjian’s mother Mannig, who as a young girl was one of a small minority of Armenians who survived the massacre and deportation from the Ottoman Empire during and after World War I. Historians estimate that 1.5 to 2 million Armenians perished.

“It is the stuff of oral history,” Aida says. “My work is ‘creative nonfiction.’ Every scene in the book is a story she told us. Every single one has a line or paragraph that I remember word for word. At the beginning, she sing-songed the loss of her family members into lullabies at bedtime. As we grew up, she incorporated the details that haunted her throughout her life. I heard the stories so many times in so many different ways. All that remained was to make it flow—the smells, the sights, how it came about.”

Mannig and her sister Adrine endured the murders of their parents and siblings, a torturous journey through the desert, and life on the streets of famine-stricken Mosul, soon after the end of World War I. When the sisters were finally reunited in an orphanage, their new bond was challenged by Mannig’s love for a wealthy benefactor.

Aida Kouyoumjian was born in Felloujah and raised and educated in Baghdad, Iraq. In 1952 she came to Seattle to attend the University of Washington on a Fulbright Scholarship. Aida married an American and eventually settled in Mercer Island.

After her father died in 1965, Aida was finally able to bring her mother Mannig to this country. At the age of 69 Mannig was hired by the UW to tutor graduate students in Turkish, Armenian, and Arabic. She retired after seven years, dying at the age of 79. Just before her death in 1985, Mannig was one of 90 survivors who attended the 70th commemoration of the Armenian Genocide in Washington, D.C.

Between the Two Rivers is available in Kindle ($9.95) and print editions on,,, and It can also be ordered through and the Baker & Taylor Catalog. Other electronic versions can be purchased on Smashwords ($9.95).

Aida Kouyoumjian is available to speak at civic and community organizations’ meetings. Visit her blog at

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