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Description: 

A woman holds a small Armenian Bible during a service at the Holy Mother of God church in Vakifli, Turkey. About 30 Armenian families populate the small town and surrounding area, which is located near the Turkish border with Syria. Although Armenians are allowed to celebrate their traditions in Turkey, many fear asserting their ethnic origins, which means living in near silence to avoid trouble.

Lesson Plan Questions: 

• Who is this woman? What does her gesture suggest? Why do you think the photographer did not include her face?

• The caption tells us that while Armenians may practice their traditions openly, they do not feel safe “asserting their ethnic origins.” What role does worship play in maintaining one’s individual, ethnic, and cultural identity?

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