“My aunt Makrik wanted me to be sent to a Catholic nuns’ school to study French.

My grandmother wanted me and my sister to study at the Mesburian school, where girls from rich and good families of Skifar attended. As for my aunt Eranika, she thought that all this was pointless. And he suggested to the elder to give him to an apprentice tailor, and the younger, wise and obedient, temporarily leave him at home.

In the late 19th century, in the fading Ottoman Empire, French mission schools were often the clear choice for a society opening up to Europe.

French nuns, mostly young provincial women from the field, ready to suffer for the conquest of heaven and the spread of French culture, responded to the call and went to conquer the hearts and souls of the Christian, and sometimes Jewish minority. Thus, in the major cities of the empire, as well as in the most remote provinces, a whole network of teachers was created.

This book offers a forgotten page of this adventure both for missionary France and for young Armenian women on the path to liberation. With a complete mutation in the Eastern world, on the eve of his disappearance in the tragedy of the genocide of 1915. The former teacher Buyan-Kutan, who has a doctorate in history, has been participating for many years in the school cooperation between France and Armenia in support of the French language. A deep understanding of the issues of education and Armenian roots led to the first research work on the cultural and linguistic policy of France in Armenia after the restoration of independence in 1991, a study led by Claire Muradian, as well as a dissertation prepared at EHESS, at the origins of this book.