Jerusalem as Memory and Place: Itzhak, Igor, and Aaron



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Memory is like a pomegranate layered and compacted in segments redolently rich. Each kernel is attached with a tiny nodule, its own umbilical cord. Place is also that umbilical cord that links you to the same spring.”

Every once in a long while I read a text rich in imagery, metaphor, symbolism, and creativity and, taken by its resonant expressiveness and poignancy, I copy it on any available sheet of paper and add it to my treasured file of quotations.

The image affixed at the top of this article is the image of a pomegranate painted by one of my closest high school friends. As far back as my 1960’s high school days at the all-male Beirut, Lebanon-based National Protestant Secondary School, Krikor Agopian (friends know him as Koko) exhibited class, talent, and a joie de vivre that augmented the richness of his character, intellectual prowess, artistic abilities, and great sense of humor. Of Armenian descent, Krikor, like me and other Armenian, Palestinian, and other refugees to Lebanon, banked on acquiring a decent education that was to become our resounding passport to a better future.

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