Life as it is... Today is Grigor Zohrap's birthday
Grigor Zohrap was a famous Armenian writer, politician, lawyer and philanthropist. He is considered to be the central figure in Western Armenian literature of 19th century and “prince of the novels”.
Grigor Zohrap was born in Istanbul in 1861. His father Khachik Efendi was saraf originally from Akn city, and his mother Eftik hanoum was from Malatia. Zohrap’s father died in 1870 and his mother got married with famous lawyer Avetis Yortoumyan and after marriage together with her two sons Mihran and Grigor she moved to Yortagyugh. Zohrap got his preliminary education first at Makruhyan College in Peshiktash, then at Translators’ College of Oragyugh. Later he studied at Lousavorchyan College.
Zohrap received his higher education again in his birthplace. He was specialized in engineering and law. Later he practiced law and literature. Zohrap had been always protecting the rights of accused innocent Armenians, Bulgarians, Greeks and other nations in the sultan’s court, who had been usually obsessed for rebelling against the Ottoman dictatorship. Zohrap’s activity was not encouraged by the state authorities and for some period of time they prohibit him to practice law. But he continued to struggle for freedom, justice and truth with enthusiasm.
In parallel with public activity Zohrap had been devoted figure in literature as well. During the days of Sultan Abdul Hamid’s repressions he remained in Istanbul continuing his appearance in media by publishing critical and public articles dedicated to the actual issues of public and literature life. He was editing “Masis” and “East” newspapers.
In 1908 sultan Hamid’s regime fell down in Turkey, and constitutional regime was established. Zohrap was elected as Armenian member of Mejlis (Parliament). He continued his flaming speeches in the Parliament protecting rights of national minorities.
In the beginning of 1880s entering the sphere of public speech Zohrap became one of the participants and effective activists of literature movement. In 1883 he published “Earth” magazine of the Asian Company under Hakob Paronyan’s editorship. In 1885 he started to publish his first novel named “Lost Generation” in the mentioned magazine. In 1887 the novel was published in separate edition. The main part of his literature heritage Zohrap created between 1887 and 1893. During this period he wrote his second unfinished novel named “Nardik”, most of his novels, a lot of public articles which made him become a well-known writer and publicist. The following collections of compositions also belong to Grigor Zohrap – “The Life as it is…”, “Silent Sorrows”, “Sorrows of Conscience”.
In 1888 Zohrap got married with Klara Yazchyan. In 1889 Zohrap’s first son Levon was born, his elder daughter Dolores was born in 1891, then in 1892 youngest son Aram was born and Zohrap’s youngest daughter Hermine was born in 1896.
The great writer and thinker Grigor Zohrap was torn to pieces by the Turks near the city of Ourfa in the summer of 1915.
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