Anna Marcerou

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Anna (Yazedjian) Marcerou (also known as "Digin Loulou"). She died in September 2009 in Paris, France. She was 94. She was born in Ethiopia where she grew up and spent much of her life.

She was the youngest of four children of Levon & Araxie Yazedjian. Her siblings were Paylag, Astrig and Robert.

It is interesting to recall a number of facts:

  • Levon Yazedjian was Head of the Ethiopian Secret Services when, in September 1916, Ras Tafari (later Emperor Haile Selassie I) became Empress Zawditu's Regent.
  • Araxie Yazedjian managed the Imperial workshop of embroideries and carpets within the Palace.
  • Anna's godmother was Woizero Sehine, mother of Empress Menen. Hence, she was close to the Imperial family.
  • In 1924, during Ras Tafari's first trip to Europe, Etegue Menen and Araxie Yazedjian went to Jerusalem and stayed there. During their sojourn in Jerusalem, Araxie Yazedjian introduced Etegue Menen to the Armenian Patriarchate and showed her the dire situation of the Armenian orphans. When Ras Tafari returned from Europe to pick them up, Etegue Menen asked Ras Tafari to help the Armenian orphans. That is when Ras Tafari decided to take to Ethiopia 40 orphans ("Arba Lidjotch" -- their services to Ras Tafari, later Emperor Haile Selassie I, is legendary).

Anna Marcerou left her imprint on the Kevorkoff Armenian School where she taught and was also the School's Director. Her former pupils acknowledge that she was an excellent teacher and a great motivator of students.

She was one of the leading members of the Ararat Sporting Association. She was founder of the Yerevan Union and principal organizer in Ethiopia of the 50th Anniversary Armenian Genocide commemoration through the world on April 24, 1965.

She was one of two leading persons that took on the challenging task of the major renovation of our Sourp Kevork Armenian Church in Addis Ababa.

She supervised single-handedly the construction of the Marcerou seven-storey building in the centre of Addis Ababa on a land that belonged to her parents.

She later had a huge luxury hotel constructed in Nazareth(Adama) called "Etegue Menen Hotel" and managed it until it was nationalized in 1975. Soon after that, she left for Marseille, France together with her husband, Robert Marcerou who passed away in May 2002. Her son, Alain became even more closely involved in taking care of her once she moved to Paris after the death of her husband.

Her son Alain is an active member of the French-Armenian community, who has had involvement with the affairs of Mekhitarian's Association du Collège Arménien in Paris.

Written by Hampo & Marie Ghazarossian