2) Now please explain to me and make me understand why do the militants wanted to take a town like kessab which is Christian Armenian for so many years, why did they want to throw you out of your town
- The reason is that the Turkish government always wanted to take Kessab, especially when the surrounding villages are all Turkmen and they wanted to connect all the villages and wanted to occupy Kessab. They always threatened, at the end they did it.
Asbed do you think this is the same story that happened 99 years ago when the Turks drove out Armenians from Turkey? Do you think this is the same story?
-It is the same story repeating itself specially next year is the 100 year anniversary of the Armenian massacres. This time they wanted to show the opposite, they took us to Turkey to show that they are protecting us, they took us to Turkey to show that they are defending us. They kept us to Mousa Ler in Turkey and kept us for 40 days, the same thing they did with the Armenian people of Mousa Ler in 1915. They kept them there for forty days and drove them out afterwards.
Mr Asbed do you think that you will ever come back to your village Kessab, do you think you will ever return to the village where you lived for decades and your family lived for generations?
- Everybody wants to go back to his birthplace but only if the government was able to reoccupy Kessab and clean it from weapons and mines and other stuff. Everybody wants to go back to their lands and homes and get back what they owned. But the opposite happened because everything has been looted, stolen. There is nothing left, they took everything in trucks and emptied the homes. They stole everything. Now everybody wants to go back but they are now all dispersed all over: in Ainjar, in Lebanon and in Latakia Syria. They can’t go back. They are left on the streets, how are they going to go back if the government has not retaken the village. Everybody has to go back, everybody, all Syrians, but how?
My final question is what are the needs of the refugees from Kessab both those who are in Latakia and those who are here in Lebanon
- In Byerut or in Latakia, all are left out of their homes. They are living in churches, elderly homes, even on the streets out there. They have no money to rent a place and there are no jobs to be employed. That’s why they are going to churches so that they can get some help and survive, and not die. What can they do?
3) Could you please tell us what happened to your nephew Kevork?
- That day when they held us, they said ‘hands up’… All of us put our hands up. My aunt’s head was not covered. They said ‘cover your head, cover your head’ and they covered her head with a bed sheet. They made her sit and ordered us to stay there with our hands up. And then someone came and asked who has a weapon? We said we have a hunting rifle. My nephew Kevork went and brought the gun. At that moment someone said this man is fighting against us. He hit his face and when he fell down, he shot him and killed him. We said ‘what are you ding’?, they said ‘shut up and don’t say anything or we will kill you too. Now go downstairs’. They took us downstairs and ordered us to sit. We waited a little bit and then they took us to the garage and kept us there.