Assyrians starting to shift their online habits: less leisure to more reading and activism

By: Ashur Sada

Assyrians starting to shift their online habits: less leisure to more reading and activism

Assyrians are starting to shift their online habits: less leisure to more reading and activism

Being a webmaster for 16 years now, I had observed something about the average online Assyrian user: they enjoyed consuming more entertainment material than doing some serious reading or research. That is, they spent more time looking at pictures, listening to music and viewing YouTube videos than they did reading the news, books or doing research. And it is not necessarily a bad thing nor does it mean that the average Assyrian has a personality that likes to have more fun than to be educated and aware of what is happening in the world.

But lately, things are starting to change.  I have noticed a shift from time spent  doing fun things online to more time spent reading the news and other serious articles and online activism.  Suddenly, people who had a habit of sharing music and videos they liked, are now sharing news stories and articles with me. And this is happening every day, for months now and it is only increasing in volume.

This new hunger for more online reading and activism can be attributed to the events in Iraq and Syria and what Assyrians in the region have been enduring under the hands of ISIS since June 2014. The situation has been so serious since ISIS’ takeover of the Iraqi city of Mosul and the neighboring Assyrian region of ‘Nineveh Plain’ , that Assyrians have had to adopt a new online attitude. It require that we too become more serious and spend less time on online entertainment. People are still free to do both-life can’t be serious all the time-but we should also recognize that the situation requires that we are more involved, educated and aware of the latest.

This new hunger for reading and discovery is a great thing. It couldn’t come at a better time.  An educated nation is one that is more ready to face the future. In our ever more connected world today, knowledge is power. The more information you have at your disposal, the better decisions you are likely to make. Which is why it is a good thing that Assyrians are arming themselves with new knowledge about the situation in the middle east, who their friends are, who their enemies are, how they can help their people, what other countries are doing, what our own parties are doing, where do our churches stand, what lobbying efforts are active on our behalf and so much more.

A few days ago, I read an interesting update from Assyrian singer Walter Aziz on his FP page: he announced, that due to the serious situation our nation is in as well as the recent passing of Mar Dinkha IV , he had decided to postpone the release of his new album for the time being. Smart decision on his part. I am not suggesting that life should stop or all fun activities be cancelled. But if you can do it, sure, why not? And for something like an album release, it can certainly wait and in fact, people will appreciate it even more.

There is a time and place for everything. For the time being, while the situation is still very serious for the Assyrian nation and people, let us spend a bit more time on reading and educating ourselves on what is happening. Be more active. Send an email. Sign a petition. Read articles. Do research. Get others involved. And remember, what you do online is no substitute for what you can do in person and in the offline world. But this article is concerned with what Assyrians do online.

It is the least we can do if we are not going to be on the ground protecting our people, villages, cities and historical sites.

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3 Comments

  1. James Yohanna says:

    Dear Mr. Ashur Sada,
    I am glad for having found the Assyrian Voice Emagazine. I found it through:Assyrian Forums (http://www.atour.com/forums/arabic/292.html,) which was new for me, as well; it was shared by Mr. Ashur Giwargis (a friend of mine on Facebook). I have to say that both, the Assyrian Forums and this website have taken my by surprise. I have never expected to find such an Assyrian educational website – it was long due !
    I use internet but am not a professional. The first thing I will do now is to copy and paste your website (http://www.assyrianvoice.net/emagazine/?p=1563) on Facebook. I hope more Assyrians come to know about it. But, on the other hand, I think it is better for me to wait for some feedbacks from you as how is the best way of using it, if you don’t mind.
    I am looking forward to seeing you on Facebook and to know you more through your website.
    Sincerely,
    James Yohanna

  2. Ashur Sada says:

    Hi James, thank you very much for your great feedback! Since launching this website back in 1999, it had been our mission to inform and educate about Assyrianism.

    I would really appreciate if you tell others on FB about us.

    Thanks again and hope to see you here always.

    Regards,
    Ashoor

  3. James Yohanna says:

    Hello Mr. Ashur Sada,
    I already have mentioned your website on Facebook and will continue to do so. However, I would like to suggest something that will likely get the attention of average Assyrians. What I mean is to be involved in Assyrians’ current national affairs ; more about Assyrian and the possibility of having an independent “State” under the name, Assyria, in Iraq and other closely related matters.
    I would appreciate your feedbacks very much!
    Sincerely,
    James Yohanna

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