“When I was quite mature and had a child, I felt my father’s pain”

“When I was quite mature and had a child, I felt my father’s pain”

We come from different nationalities, different fields of interest, professions, societies, cultures and genders. We come from similar backgrounds in the sense that we both come from traumatized nations, from peoples that carry the scars of horrible historic events. These events still echo in almost every aspect of life – political, social and cultural – in our societies. So, despite the differences and because of the similarities, this article uses the first-person plural since what we wrote is agreed upon by both of us.”

“Us” that is Mariam Kurshudyan, President of “4FEM Women’s Rights NGO” in Armenia, and Yair Rubin, founder and manager of “Face to Face”, an Israeli NGO for youth exchanges between Israel, Germany and Poland. In 2017, they met as participants of the Impact Group “Common Remembrance, Future Relations” and embarked on an insightful joint project to explore the life stories of second-generation Holocaust and Armenien Genocide survivors. Please follow this link to read their full article: 

Kurshudyan & Rubin (2018) – “When I was quite mature and had a child, I felt my father’s pain”: Comparing life stories, thoughts and opinions of second-generation Holocaust and Armenian Genocide survivors


© Joana Westphal
Joana Westphal

Joana Westphal is director for “Middle East & North Africa” and member of the Impact Group “Common Remembrance, Future Relations”. Joana graduated in 2016 with a degree in Arabic and International Relations from the University of St Andrews and currently reads for the MSc in Sociology at the University of Oxford. Besides her studies, she worked with the St Andrews Coexistence Initiative to foster interfaith dialogue and understanding through student events and conferences on the topics of politics, society and religion. She has interned with the Regional Office Gulf States of the Konrad-Adenauer Foundation in Amman, the Permanent Mission of Germany to the United Nations in New York and the European Parliament in Brussels. Joana speaks German, English, French and Arabic.