As we have been reading and discussing, the issue of an Assyrian Christian province in Iraq is intensifying. Whether it will be a reality soon or not, we can't deny that the issue has become more urgent and serious than ever before. All thanks to the 'Baghdad Church Massacre'
The question is, if we get such an 'administrative area' or even our own province, what should it be called?
As I mentioned in another post, it is ridiculous to keep referring to it as a 'Christian Province.' Sure that is what some media outlets are referring to it and we are simply quoting them, but it is simply wrong to keep using this term. For example, if it is a "Christian Province", does that mean Christian Kurds can live in it? what about Christians from other parts of Iraq who are not Assyrian-speaking? Is this some sort of a holy land where any Christians can belong to in Iraq?
Some people don't mind this reference, simply so as not to refer to it as being an 'Assyrian' or even "AssyroChaldo" area. In other words, they would rather give it a religious name than to be under an 'Assyrian' name. Others may argue that names don't matter as long as it unites people. Problem is, it may unite our enemies against us more than it will unite us. And even if it is going to be given a Christian name, what could this name possibly be? will it be a Biblical name of a person or a city? how about a compromise where we have an Assyrian name from the bible? Even Edessa or Urhai?
And of course, I won't even go into the political, historical and cultural implications of giving an area where our people live, a Christian, rather than an Assyrian name. It is simply an undoing of thousands of a great Assyrian history and identity. The people in Iraq may have a different approach and way of looking at this, and think of this as a small step towards a greater future for our independence and existence in the future. At which point I will agree that it may be OK, but still...
Remember, on the other hand, giving it an Assyrian name especially from history is a pride for other Iraqis too even if they are not Assyrian. That is because giving it an Assyrian name will be seen as being part of Iraq's history and heritage. The Assyrian empire was built and based in current day Iraq and all Iraqis are very proud of this and the other empires that were born in modern day Iraq.
Ok what about an Assyrian name? what can we call it that the majority will agree on? let us face it, no name will be agreed upon by everyone. But as long as the majority are OK with it, we will go with it. The name of such a region or province should have a lot of things figured into it: historical significance, unifying, geographically relative etc. As such, I think the following would make a lot of sense:
-"Nineveh Plains" : this one makes the most sense as it complies with the criteria I outlined above and it is already in use.
-"Bet-Nahrain province" : another one that will not hard to get people's approval.
-"Chaldo-Ashur" : as unifying as it gets.
-New Ashur Province: محافضة اشور الحديثة
I am sorry, and as you may have noticed, I will not make use of the word 'Babylon'. With all due respect to this beautiful and historical word, it is just not geographically applicable. Last time I checked, Babylon province is south of Baghdad and no Assyrian or Christian live there.
Give us yours? would you be OK with something that is "Christian"?
Just wanted to make something clear: I am an Assyrian and Christian at the same time, and I am proud of both. But that has nothing to do with what this province should be called. It will be a province that will protect and preserve our culture and identity and not just religion. To protect our religion and be free to worship, we can simply migrate to the West. But we know it is much more than that.