Learn about Marika Ninou (1922-1957)

Marika Ninou, born Evangelia Atamian, was an iconic and leading Greek-Armenian vocalist in the early 1950s, specialized in the rebetiko genre. There is mystery surrounding her birth, but one hypothesis is that she was born in 1922 on the ship “Evangelistria” that brought her mother, her two sisters and her eight-year-old brother, from Smyrna to Piraeus, to flee the Catastrophe of Smyrna, a great fire that destroyed the Greek and Armenian quarters of the city, causing the death of at least 10,000 Greeks and Armenians (100,000 according to other sources), and a flow of at least 50,000 Greek and Armenian refugees (400,000 according to other sources). It is said that at the moment of her birth, it was believed that she wouldn’t survive, but as she miraculously did, the captain of the “Evangelistria” ship baptized her Evangelia (meaning Gospel in Greek). Continue reading “Learn about Marika Ninou (1922-1957)”