Revolutionary Females: Jenya Atamian

As Tamara’s younger sister, Jenya Atamian stepped up to become a revolutionary figure to rival her sibling. She joined the “Narodnaya Volia” as well, gaining knowledge on both the Russian and the Armenian revolutionary ideals, though choosing her native cause over the Russian in the end. From 1988-1989, She took part in the inception of the “Young Armenia” concept, and in 1890, when the ARF sprung to life, she became a prominent member of the party. She would serve the party unto death.

Once she had graduated, she decided to move to Armenia in order to teach. It was her unbending belief that an education was necessary in order to have a successful revolution, one riddled with concepts of attaining freedom and wielding weapons. She also knew that in the Ottoman Armenia there was little in terms of education, little to no newspaper access in the villages and the minds of the common folk were devoid of patriotism. Her aim was to help the people there and her opportunity came with Simon Zavarian’s proposal that she teach at the school he was director at in Trabizon. Unfortunately, the Turkish government, believing she posed a danger to the state, refused to allow her to stay and sent her back to Tbilisi, where she took up a position in the executive committee of the ARF. Even after marriage, she stayed true to her vow to the party, her home becoming a place to meet, to stash weapons and to secretly print revolutionary pamphlets and probably even the initial issues of the “Troshag” party newspaper. Her utter secrecy and dedication meant she was an extremely valuable asset for the ARF, a figure respected both amongst her friends and foes.

Jenya was one of the luckier ones who saw an independent Armenia and later settled in the southern Caucasus from whence she continued helping her people by working with the orphans and the needy. She lived a long eventful life and died in old age.


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