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PRESS RELEASE - ODAR: An Immigrant Story embedded in Ithaca History

Fri, March 15, 2024 5:40 PM | Anonymous

ODAR: An Immigrant Story embedded in Ithaca History

Contact: Denice Peter Karamardian  607-227-3830

March 6, 2024…….Denice Peter Karamardian grew up in Ithaca, New York, thinking she was Syrian – part of the small Syrian community that co-mingled with Greek, Italian, and other 20th century immigrant communities that helped to build the little city from the turn of the 20th century. She was partly right. Both of her paternal grandparents came from Syria and spoke in Syrian. But at the age of 12, she learned that her grandfather was actually Armenian and certain mysteries and stories emerged upon his death. Denice spent a lifetime searching for answers and details.

The result is a trilogy, presented in a hybrid form as historical fiction and part memoire, based entirely upon the true story of the Karamardian family (known locally as the Peter family) across continents, wars, and generations. The series is called Odar, which means “other” in Armenian; sometimes it can mean “stranger” or “foreigner”. The author tracks a parallel narration of her own coming of age as it relates to the discoveries she makes in her search for identity.

Book One release: April 9th, 2024

The first book is titled Jido (pronounced Jih’ doh), meaning grandfather in the Syrian/Lebanese dialect of the family, tells of Joe Peter, born Hovsep Bedros Karamardian. His journey from Kessab, Syria to the salt block in Myers, NY, by way of the Caribbean, rests longingly in the Ithaca community before following the immigrant wave to Detroit and the good paying wages of the auto industry. But back home, trouble is brewing for the Armenians of Kessab.

Book Two release: June 11, 2024

Book Two: Silence, a Journey to Resilience and Redemption sines a spotlight on two contrasting worlds while war gathers across the globe. Women of the family in Syria endure unspeakable events narrated in their own words as Joe and Helen Peter build their family in new communities. As the war recedes and a second sister is rescued, resettle among the Ithaca hills the young couple has so missed. In another century, the author meets and discovers family previously unknown to her Ithaca family.

Book Three release: August 20, 2024

Book Three: Amirkans. The next generation of the Peter clan thrive on a South Danby farm and face a new war, while a family branch in Syria is making a national impact on that country. With ultimate emigration, journeys converge across two American coasts. Meanwhile, the author grapples with myths and misinformation in pursuit of questions, but no less inspired with the wonder of resilience and triumph of mankind when nothing else will do.


Press release shared here with permission of Denice Karamardian. Learn more at

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