The photo presents a scene from the collective wedding ceremony organized by Danish Armenophil Karen Jeppe in the Mesopotamian new built Tina village (Syria), where eight couple were married at the same time. This unique wedding ceremony was performed by Mkrtich Muradyan and two other priests. The second person from the left is Yeni Yenson; assistant of Karen Jeppe.
The photo was taken in late 1920s.
In 1921, Karen Jeppe was appointed as an authorized Commissioner to a commission established by “League of Nations” for releasing abducted Armenian women and orphans. The operation of rescuing the Armenians was called “Mission of Rescue” or “Liberation Mission”, but officially “Mission of the League of Nations for the Protection of Women and Children in Near East”. Jeppe has highlighted the role of the Armenian Church in upbringing of rescued orphans and had active cooperation with the servants of the church. Jeppe believed that the Armenian Church with its rituals and ceremonies can play an important role in the mission of regaining the Armenian identity and wakening the memory of the past in Armenians who were forced to live in foreign communities with people who are different in religious beliefs, traditions, and perceptions.
In 1928, “Mission of the Protection of Women and Children” was completely managed by Karen Jeppe, and the main sponsor was “Danish Friends of Armenians”.
“Wedding in desert…
On day eight orphan couples get married. Our graceful young girls taken from the desert have put white shreds on their heads and became brides, and our youngsters became grooms by Arabian kerchiefs (pushi and agal)…
The more majestic Armenian wedding”.
“Wedding in the Desert”, “Hayreniq” newspaper, Boston, 1958, June 28-29
The source of the photograph – Armenian Genocide Museum-Institute collection.
From “100 Photographic Stories of the Armenian Genocide” book