Born into an Armenian aristocratic (meliq) family of a doctor in Shusha, Atabekian initially studied in a college in his native town, and then at University of Geneva (1889 – 96) and at Lyon. From 1888-1890, during his early years in Geneva, Atabekian participated in the Social Democrat Hunchakian Party, contributing to the typesetting of its periodical Hinchak (Sound of the Bell), which was published by Avetis Nazarbekian.
He became an anarchist in 1890 through reading Words of a Rebel, a series of essays written by Peter Kropotkin in 1879 for the paper Le Revolt later collected for publication in 1885 by Elisee Reclus. Thereafter he published Armenian and Russian translations of Kropotkin and other anarchist authors, and established relations with the militants and anarchists in the Armenian Revolutionary Federation. He met Kropotkin with Bulgarian anarchist Paraskev Stoyanov in 1893. In 1894 he edited Hamaink, the only Armenian anarchist periodical, which ran for five issues.
Between 1896 and 1917 he worked as a doctor in Northern Persia; from 1914 to 1917 in the Imperial Russian Army. Upon the dissolution of the army following the Russian Civil War, he again met Kropotkin and became an active anarchist in Moscow after the February Revolution. He served as the editor of the anarchist periodical Pocin from 1919–1923, representing the anarcho-cooperative trend in the libertarian movement. Atabekian published articles in which he criticized social-revolutionaries and Bolsheviks, and opposed the October revolution. After the death of Kropotkin he founded the Kropotkin Museum with other veteran anarchists. Atabekian was arrested in the 1930s and is thought to have died in a labour camp in 1940.
- Возможна ли анархическая социальная революция?, М., 1918;
- Вопросы теории и практики, М., 1918;
- Против власти. Сборник статей, М., 1918.
- Ալեկսանդր Աթաբեկյան (in armenian)
- Biography (in Russian)
- Atabekian Articles from "Hamaynq" (in Armenian)