Vartan of Nazareth: Missionary and Medical Pioneer in the Nineteenth-century Middle East

London, 10 September 2012. Art Media Agency (AMA).

Vartan of Nazareth: Missionary and Medical Pioneer in the Nineteenth-century Middle East retraces the little-known history of missionary and doctor Pacradooni Kaloost Vartan, born into a poor Armenian family in Constantinople, who founded an hospital in Nazareth 150 years ago.

Born in 1835, the young Vartan studied in the first missionary school in the Ottoman capital. He finally left the school to enrol in the British Army as interpreter. Witness of the war horrors and of the difficulties encountered by the doctors on the battle field, he was attracted by a career of surgeon and physicist. This book focuses on his time spent in Edinburgh, his marriage and the departure of the young couple to Palestine.

This book is perfectly depicting the city of Nazareth in the XIX century. Pacradooni Kaloost Vartan had to fight against the prejudices of the locals and their aversion to the evangelic missionaries. Despite all tragedies occurred to his family –five of their children died- The Edinburgh Medical Missionary Society who sponsored then the missionary, still keeps signs of his hard work to build the hospital.

The book is illustrated by many photos taken by the engineers of the Palestine Exploration Fund. The photos picturing the daily life of the Vartans, of the hospital and the wounded getting there on the back of a camel, constitute a real historical testimony. The reader will also be able to see the development of the hospital after the death of his founder.

The book is published by Paul Holberton Publishing in the UK, and by Casemate Athena in the United States and Canada.