Easter Special: The Coming of the Christ

This is a short Easter post about a book published in Khartoum about the End Times.

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It was published by an Armenian Christian called Boghos Enfiedgian in 1971 and is mostly a statement of what will happen when the end of days comes. The book itself is separated into three sections. What God has done in the past, What God is doing at the present time and What God will do in the future as written in the Word of God:

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The content of the book seems to be, as far as I am aware, an ordinary example of this kind of books but it also contains some clues to stories about the life of the author himself. Firstly, this copy is made out to someone in the British Council in Khartoum (Ms M. Savage [?]):

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More interesting, though, is the printed dedication in the book:

A scientist dedicated his book to his son who wanted to be 

a cow-boy. I dedicate this book to Mrs Kerima (formerly Arshalous Enfiedgian)

as she denied the LORD of Glory to take a husband.

The mourning father

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This is a message full of personal pain and bitterness. The obvious interpretation is that his daughter married a Muslim (changing her name to Kerima) and he has not taken it well. It is so odd in a number of ways. The first sentence, about the unnamed scientist and his cowboy son, is totally unnecessary in any telling of the story. But it starts the dedication on a note of pride and optimism which is then instantly undercut by his passive-aggressive note to his daughter. This contrast must have been his intention. What also strikes me but may not have been his intention, is the gendered contrast between the cow-boy son and the disloyal daughter. Pride and hope in a son are situated in his adventurous (and violent) dreams of being a cowboy. In a daughter, they involve marrying well and continuing the religion.

This small, unusual dedication gives this odd book, that is otherwise not particularly worthy of comment, another story that has so many narrative possibilities.

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