This Week in Armenian History

Birth of Sevda Sevan (November 6, 1945)

Sevda Sevan was a Bulgarian Armenian writer who left an important production in Bulgarian about Armenian subjects, translated into several language.

Her actual name was Fransuhi Bahchejian, and she was born on November 6, 1945, in Nova Zagora (Bulgaria). She received her education at the Armenian school of Burgas. She graduated from the School of Bulgarian Philology at the University of Sofia in 1978. She worked at the editorial offices of the periodical Narodna Mladež.

She started writing in 1962, adopting the pseudonym Sevda Sevan (sevda meaning “love” and her last name after Lake Sevan in Armenia). She published her first collection of poetry, Stone over Stone, in 1969. She became famous with her novel Rodosto, Rodosto…, published in two parts in 1981 and 1988. She also wrote the novels Anywhere in the Balkans (1997) and Der-Zor (1993), where she introduced the actions of General Antranig and the Bulgarian troops during the Balkan Wars and the Armenian Genocide. She was the author of the script for the documentary Genocide, filmed in Bulgaria in 1988. She also translated a collection of poetry of Gevorg Emin, entitled Fair Song (1979).

Sevda Sevan visited Armenia many times. She was married to a famous Bulgarian writer, Varban Stamatov, whose work Boating to the Ararat was also published in Armenia, and they had a son. She was appointed chargé d’affaires of the Republic of Armenia in Bulgaria (1994-1999) and ambassador from 1999 to 2005. She earned various decorations and literary prizes in Bulgaria.

Sevda Sevan passed away on May 16, 2009, in Sofia.