Zabel Krikorian, a Genocide survivor, celebrated her 100th birthday on May 15, 2014, at Ararat Convalescent Hospital in Eagle Rock, California. The nursing staff and administration prepared a wonderful party in her honor. A few days earlier, she met with members of the Ararat Home Board of Trustees and entertained them with a few recitations and Armenian songs. Board Chairman Joseph Kanimian, Esq., commended her positive Armenian spirit and congratulated her wishing her continued good health.
Born Zabel Kapamagian in Istanbul, Turkey, she was orphaned at the age of eight, along with her sister Ojen, during the Armenian Genocide. She married Hagop Krikorian at the age of 21, and they had two children and three grandchildren. After immigrating to Romania and then Lebanon, she and her family finally settled in the United States in 1976. Zabel worked as a seamstress in her earlier years. When asked about her secret to longevity, she replies that for her, it has been chasing after her grandchildren. She also loves animals, particularly cats, dogs and the pet chicken she owned in Romania named Violetta. Zabel would like everyone to know: “I’m well and fine living at Ararat Home; I love the nurses who look after me and would always appreciate a bit of chocolate in case you stop by.”
Below is a poem written by Lidia Sarkisova, a staff member at Ararat Convalescent Hospital, to Mrs. Zabel Kapamagian on the occasion of her 100th birthday.