Archive for August 2015

It just hit me: Assyrians are living a terrible nightmare!

By: Ashur Sada

 

I am well aware of what has been happening to our Assyrian people in Iraq and Syria at the hands of ISIS. It is pretty horrible. But sometimes you go through life, get distracted and tend to forget some of it.

Assyrians are living a terrible nightmare in Iraq and Syria thanks to isis

Assyrians are living a terrible nightmare in Iraq and Syria, having been killed, raped and their towns completed emptied at the hands of ISIS.

And then it hit me, literally like a light bulb that pops into your head! Assyrians are going through one of the toughest stretches in their existence.  They are living a terrible nightmare and I hope everyone else comes to this sudden realization, in case you too got distracted by other things.

Just think about it: their two most popular regions in Iraq and Syria respectively have been completely and forcefully emptied of their native Assyrian inhabitants. In both cases,  at the hands of ruthless and barbaric Islamic State terrorists (ISIS)

If you can’t grasp the magnitude of this historical tragedy, let me put it in a relative and somewhat similar context: imagine an area almost the size of the cities of New York and New Jersey combined. Now imagine every single resident being forcefully evicted from their homes, if not an outright rape, murder or even both.

Hundreds of thousands of Assyrians not only lost their homes, they lost their very villages, cities and towns that they have continuously lived in for thousands of years. It is one thing to have your house or property taken away from you, and quiet another to have your city and region taken away from you. That is exactly what ISIS did to the Assyrian Christians in their historical regions in Iraq and Syria.  And I won’t even go into talking about ISIS’ destruction of priceless Assyrian archaeological sites and treasures.

That, and even worse is happening to our people since June of last year when ISIS swept through Mosul and later taking over the Nineveh plain region and in the process forcing some 100,000 Assyrians away from their home, city and historical homeland. The same with would later happen to Assyrians in the Khabour region of Syria.  And in fact, the plight of Assyrians in Syria is a bit worse. Not only did they lose their homes and the entire Khabour region, over 200 Assyrians, including women and children, remain captive to ISIS till this day.

If you thought what happened to Assyrians at the hands of ISIS is bad, you are wrong. Bad is not the right word to describe a situation in which more than a third of an entire ethnic population is forced out from their historical lands-in the 21st century- and not be able to return a year later.  It is beyond words. In fact, failure to put into words what has happened to Assyrians in the last 12 months is the only successful way to demonstrate just how horrible it has been. Because it is beyond words to describe.

Humans have this amazing and handy ability to take things for granted with the passage of time or adopt to changes. Please do me a favor and don’t get used to these changes for Assyrians. The status quo is not something we should ever get used to or accept. The Khabour region in Syria and the Nineveh Plain region in Iraq are the heart of Assyrianism in these two countries and always have been. And we hope they always will be.We remain optimistic that Assyrians will be able to go back and this nightmare will come to an end soon. This is more than just a survival of a 6,000 year old civilization. This is much more basic than that. It is about human dignity, rights and basic survival.

Please rethink just how bad it is. It is even worse than your worse nightmare. Did I say the word ‘nightmare’ enough times to drive the point home?

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Give Hope to all the Children of the World Regardless of their Identity

poor children 6

african children

 

By Abbey Mikha

One does not have to look up stats to know that there are millions and millions of children living in extreme poverty all over the world. Advanced nations could eradicate child poverty but they do not because perhaps it does not suit their ideals or it is not in their own interest. They do not even destroy child poverty in their own countries, let alone others. From the time we as children attend kindergarten in western countries one of the main things we are taught is to share. So, why do not people who control the cash flow of the world share with children dying from lack of food, clean water, and sufficient health care?

Most children in Africa are suffering from food deficiency. There is also a lack of clean water and medical assistance and medication for diseases and even regular illnesses. The world harvests enough food to feed the entire world including these children. The question must be asked why these children do not have access to a consistent food supply?

The main method to eliminate the hunger crisis is for people all over the world to open their minds and hearts and to realize that there are people starving in Africa and other poverty afflicted locations worldwide. However, food is not the only major problem for African children. Other issues, such as slavery and forced armed forces participation are also problematic.

In the Middle East, specifically in Syria, because of the recent ongoing war there is a dire situation of child poverty. Education has collapsed in the country. Half of children that used to attend school did not during the 2014-2015 period. There are many stories of children losing parents and having to care for their younger brothers and sisters. The situation for the children of Syria is dreadful and the world needs to lend a helping hand to these children who have suffered a great deal as a result of the wars in their country and in the region.

Assyrian Christian children in the North of Iraq and all over Iraq are also suffering today immensely. They are living in cramped refugee camps and they are allotted small rations of food each. For this reason many have become malnourished and hopeless. These children live in refugee camps in their own country with only the clothes on their back. There is an uncertain future for them in this heart-breaking country because not enough world attention is being paid to their horrible and disastrous situation. The Assyrians are the indigenous people of Iraq and very little is being done to help them by the Iraqi government and also by foreign countries. They are being ignored, intimidated, and pushed around and are suffering from ethnic and religious persecution.

Iraq and all its children have suffered for many years since the first Gulf War and the embargo which came into effect August of 1990. This embargo brought much poverty to Iraq and millions of its children died or were negatively affected.

There are children all over the world living in lack. Poverty does not always discriminate based on color or race. Many children of the entire human race live in poverty and in every country of the world.  Even in countries like Canada and the United States.

People need to care about the children of the earth and each other. People need to realize that when they lend a helping hand to those who are impoverished and suffering in their life they are doing the least that they can do. One of the main goals of every established country should be the eradication of hunger and poverty in their own countries and other underdeveloped countries and crisis areas which are facing famine, war, and disease.

We were brought into this earth to do good especially in relation to other human beings. We are all one human race. It does not matter what our identity is: the color of our skin, the texture of our hair, or which God we worship. We all have two eyes, one nose, and a heart. This heart will regret every beat it lived in the end if individuals and nations do not help others in need.

As an Assyrian I say please help all the children of the world and include the children of my Assyrian nation as part of that human race. It is time to eradicate poverty and hunger and give hope to all the children of the world so that they may live and survive unto maturity. Only then can they have the hope of dreaming and in their future becoming whatever they wish to be.

 

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Remembering Assyrian Martyrs Past and Present

red candle

 

By Abbey Mikha

Every day I think about the Assyrian Martyrs who were massacred in 1915 in Hakkari, Tur Abdin, and other Assyrian areas and also in Simele in 1933. I am especially thinking about these Genocides today August 7th because today is Assyrian Martyrs day.

The Seypa Genocide is a part of my identity. I am a descendant of Assyrian human beings who escaped this Genocide from Zerineh Jilu Hakkari and Mardin Tur Abdin.   This Genocide which was perpetuated against Assyrians, Armenians, and Pontic Greeks at the hands of the Turks and their cousins the Kurds, devastated our nation perhaps forever…

I really feel that today in 2015 history is repeating itself and the Assyrians are suffering again and again as they did one hundred years ago. I ask God and the universe to protect my little nation and not let us be wiped out by cruel nations who do not have any humanity and only know the love of money, power, weaponry, and backwards religious mentality.

God be with the Assyrians who are still being held hostage in Syria today and all others who have fled and are seeking  life in other countries.  God help our people and may all individuals of other cultures sympathize with the Assyrians who are literally being silently wiped out today.

I pray for each and every Assyrian. I pray for your little children, for your girls and boys. I pray for your teenagers and those who are become young adults in this difficult time. I pray for Assyrian people of all ages and especially the courageous elderly.  I pray for this nation that the human race has forgotten and ignored.

May the Spirit of the Assyrian Nation shine brightly amongst nations in these difficult days! May the love in the hearts of Assyrian children and people surround each Assyrian individual in the homeland and protect them. May this love build bridges amongst our Assyrian people and bring us closer together as one ancient Assyrian united nation.

Lastly, may the truth become evident that the Assyrian nation was always in the heart of Jesus the Christ and any nation in the heart of Jesus deserves to survive, thrive, and bloom unto eternity.

I light this candle in the name of every Assyrian, past, present, and future.  God bless you all!

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