From Bitlis to Fresno: The Karabians of Fresno
Time: 56 minutes
A Film by J. Michael Hagopian
The story of a family's journey from Turkish occupied Bitlis, to Fresno, California, and their life in Fresno, spanning 100 years.
Krikor Karabian left Bitlis in Turkish occupied Armenia and arrived in Fresno, California to celebrate Thanksgiving Day in November, 1896. His family's story is in many ways the story of the Armenians of Fresno: Battles against discrimination, difficulty of economic life, rivalry between various Armenian Christian sects, pride in their old country "home town," assimilation, intermarriage and finally, success.
Krikor's intense pride of land transferred to a fierce loyalty to the farming community of Fresno. Great uncle Krikor always said, "If you have land you have everything."
Krikor left his homeland in Ancient Armenia because of persecutions and massacres by the ruling Turks. An American missionary in Bitlis inspired Krikor to migrate to America.