NICE, France—After a long and debilitating illness, Ms. Adrina Dadrian, the older sister of
genocide scholar Vahakn Dadrian, passed on in Nice, France, on February 21. Her funeral
took place on February 28 in Nice’s St. Mary’s Armenian Church.
Born in Chorum, at the time a district of Ankara province, she had endured as a mere infant
all the hardships of the deportations. She, like several others of the extended Dadrian family,
survived, however, these ordeals because they belonged to the first convoy leaving Chorum in
the summer of 1915. The local Turkish authorities decided to spare their lives on account of
her father’s high position as a judge and benefactor.
The two subsequent convoys were all mercilessly massacred on the way to Yazgad, in
transit to the Arabian deserts. By coincidence, three of these surviving members of the first
in Conesus, New York), and Arpine Dadrian (a cousin in Detroit) likewise passed on in the
last 2.5 years.
After receiving her primary education in the Armenian school Aramian, in Kadiköy, a district
in Istanbul’s Asiatic side, Dadrian attended the local Notre Dame de Sion, a school run by
French Catholic nuns. She then turned to Armenian literature, studying under the tutelage of
the noted feminist Armenian writer Sybil (Zabel Asadour). She began teaching and writing at
the age of fourteen. For her higher education, she went to Europe, attending the Universities
of Berlin and Vienna, where she concentrated on Armenology and comparative literature.
Upon her return to Istanbul, she founded, together with literary critic and chronicler Pakarad
Tevyan, Bardez, a pedagogical illustrated weekly for Armenian school children that lasted 26
years. During this period, she cultivated the art of theater for children, producing dozens of
plays, some of which were published in Bardez, while others, 22 of them, were staged in
various theaters of Istanbul in the 1951-1967 period. One of them was an operetta with piano
music created by Istanbul’s Armenian composer Sirvart Karamanoogian. Nearly all of these
still remain in manuscript form and, along with her other creations, especially short stories,
fables, and poems for children, in 1995 have been deposited as part of her archive in
Yerevan’s Museum for Literature and Art.
Some of her plays have been staged also in several Diaspora Armenian schools, such as in
Nice, Detroit, Geneva, and Montreal. In addition, she produced, together with Teryan,
educational material for two levels of kindergarten children, and a textbook for first class
Apart from all these, she turned to French literature when in 1969 she left Istanbul for good
and established residence first in Paris and during the last 30 years in Nice. Totally
absorbed in French literature, she began to switch from romanticism to realism when
creating heroes for her novels, which became her last choice of a genre for modern Armenian
She published four novels, titled Mayteroun Vura, Kehenee Djampoun Vura, Tchorrort Mu Gu
Pundurvee, and Heghinag Getzeer. In all of them she tackles the problems of the cruelties of
human suffering, the persecution of vulnerable human groups, the inequities in life, the
elusiveness of human happiness, and the unending struggle for justice.
She was personally honored by the Armenian Writers Union in Yerevan, the Patriarchate of
Istanbul, which promoted her pedagogical undertakings throughout the Armenian school
system and Armenian cultural life in Istanbul, the Union of French-Armenian Writers in Paris
(1984), and was the winner of the first prize of Cairo’s National Endowment Fund
In addition to Prof. Dadrian, she is survived by her younger sister, Meline Hazaryan of St.
Petersburg, Florida, and several cousins in France, Egypt, and Canada.