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  • Woman on a Mission: Katherine Bell Fraser in Armenia, 1892–1897 From Christian Missionary to Refugee Advocate by Andria Hill-Lehr

Woman on a Mission: Katherine Bell Fraser in Armenia, 1892–1897 From Christian Missionary to Refugee Advocate by Andria Hill-Lehr

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True story of a young Nova Scotia woman who found herself witness to the Armenian genocide in the nineteenth century, from celebrated author of Mona Parsons.

These days it’s common for twentysomething women to seek adventure and life experience through travel. Some people are moved to work in other countries to gain an understanding of other cultures, or to help in humanitarian crises.
Katherine Bell Fraser’s reasons for going to Armenia in 1892 weren’t much different. The young woman from Sherbrooke, Nova Scotia, travelled as a young Christian missionary full of zeal, but relatively ignorant of the world and informed by untested ideals. Within a couple of years she witnessed events that were previously unimaginable — well beyond the poverty and want she was told to expect.
Such affronts to her notions of justice and human decency shaped her, and gave her credibility and a voice to speak passionately about crimes against humanity she witnessed. Her story — told here with the help of historical photos, diaries, and personal letters — sheds important light on the efforts by missionaries, many of them women, to provide relief and to save lives during the Armenian Massacres of 1892 to 1897.

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