ancillary groups are free to decide as to whether they
still wish to relate to their past, use their primal and go it alone, or
to live under the primal name of "Assyrian" proper. They are free to go
ahead and try to revive their own legacy, if they so wish, detaching
themselves from the primal name of Assyria, basing their claim on the
primal name of their own lost nation. They may go ahead and launch their
own campaign, independently, define the geography of their ancestral land
and lost kingdom. Let them highlight the name/s of their ancient Aramaean
capital city/cities, for instance, Arpad, Damascus and Hamath etc., as the
primal name of their kingdom of Aram, and see how far they will go.
Regrettably, the Chaldeans do not seem to have a
capital city after their name. Babylon did not belong to the Chaldeans.
The Chaldeans were known only as brief rulers of Babylon, not its builder
or owner. The present confusion applies to the Aramaeans, Babylonians,
and Syrian (Syriani, Suroyo/Suraya). Such racial groups, that in the past
had used the epithet as state members and vassalages, of Assyria Proper,
no longer exist. In this case, they should not give their epithets
prominence over the Assyrian primal. The current extended name "Chalduassyria"
should be dropped and replaced with the primal name "Assyria". As a
nation, Assyria had always stood on its own.
After the fall of the Assyrian Empire, the term "Syro"
was suppressed and fell into misuse. The primal name "Syria" was hijacked
and manipulated by the Romans, Arabs, and Turks. They derogated the primal
to an epithet and used it as a religious denominational name. In the case
of Syria, the Arabs categorized the Syriani natives as Arab citizens of
the Syrian Arab Republic. In the region that falls beyond the Western
riverbank of Khawoora (Khabur), the Arabs, with the consent of the defunct
League of Nations, created the Arab State of The Syrian-Arab Republic -
derived from the primal name "Assyria" (Kraeling, (1972), pp 264-265).
While Iraq, denies the right of the Assyrians proper, to their traditional
name and homeland in northern Mesopotamia, terming them by the
denominational name "Chaldean", "Nestorian" or "Jacobites".
Following is an excerpt quoted from the Book Our Living
Bible New Testament text, by the Author, Emil G. Kraeling (1), explaining
the importance of the use of the epithet at the time of the Assyrian rule
of the Middle East:
"While sojourning in
Phoenicia, Jesus was appealed to for help by a gentile woman who is
described in the Gospels as a Greek, but a Syro-Phoenician by race.
Obviously the author intended to indicate that, although not of Greek
origin, she was Hellenized. It was a cardinal principle that adoption of
Greek culture (including, of course, Greek religion made a person a
Hellene, whatever his racial origin, and it was owing to this liberal
attitude that Hellenism managed to spread in the Orient so successfully.
Of course, Hellenization was only possible in polytheistic nations whose
gods could be amalgamated with the Greek deities; it was only partially
successful with the monotheistic Jews."
"The description of the woman
here as a "Syro-Phoenician" is to be explained as follows.
From the time of Herodotus, the Greeks, following Persian usage, had
extended the term "Syria" (originally "Assyria", Persian Athura) from
Assyria proper to the whole of the eastern Mediterranean coastland.
In order to
distinguish between the various nations inhabiting this area they added a
qualifying epithet to the general name "Syrian". Thus Herodotus calls the
Philistines "Palestinian Syrians". In a similar way this woman is called
a Phoenician Syrian; and, indeed, the Phoenicians were among the most
Hellenized of the Oriental nations".
Assyria has an undeniable history with Persia. Most of
the epithets have lost their true meaning and usefulness. Other terms
became too ancient. They were also dropped, like Syro-Phoenician, now
claiming themselves Canaanites, by relating themselves to the remnants of
Canaan. Since establishment of the state of Lebanon in 1946, the trend
towards calling themselves "Arab Lebanese" is growing. The Syro-Palestinian
is, now, also claiming Canaanite ancestry, to dispel Arab fears for being
identified with the foreign Plishtayi (2) of the Aegean shores, alien to
With the passage of time, native inhabitants of the
Syriac-speaking region of the Middle East that had lost their kingdoms, to
the Arab and Turkish invaders, held on to the "Syro" term as an
affirmation of their ethnicity. They continued to use the epithet
unofficially, among themselves, and without the mention of the primal name
of Assyria Proper. They termed themselves Suroyo/Suraya/Syriani - all
meaning "Assyrian", in order to preserve their identity and racial type,
and to distinguish themselves from the Arab and Turk, and from Kurd
Such epithet groups identified themselves with the
nations of the succeeding conquerors in order to survive. Regrettably,
having lost sovereignty over their land, the "Syro" native inhabitants
could no longer identify themselves openly with their land, language and
legacy. For example, no Syro-Aramaean, living in Syria, or Turkey, would
dare claim Damascus (Syria), or Arpad (Tall Rifa'at, Turkey), as the
ancestral capital of his demised kingdom. Yet, as a Syrian or Turkish
citizen, subject of the succeeding Islamic states, all he could do now, is
no more than, just boast of his past glory.
Having lost their land, language and legacy, such
racial groups, of the Middle Eastern Region, that feel ethnically
affiliated to Assyria, in language, culture and religion, are welcome to
join the Assyrians in their struggle for the restitution of their human
rights. They are encouraged to join the Assyrian movement in their quest
for independence from the heavy yoke of foreign Oriental rule. However,
they should unite with the Assyrian proper and work in unison. They
should not use the name of their racial origin as being the primal, or
give prominence to the epithet of their vanquished (Aramaean or
Chaldean-Babylonian) name over that of Assyria. It is inappropriate and
All the participants in the campaign for restoration of
Assyria should accept the primal name. They are full partners and equal,
in every respect. The primal name "Assyria" should be cherished as a
compensation for the lost name/s of all the Syriac-speaking past
Why? Because Assyria, as the future home for all the
Syriac-speaking people, is the traditional land of Ashur, situated in the
northern highland of Mesopotamia (Iraq). It is not in Kaldu-Babylonia,
Aram, or an Aramaean territory beyond the Western Riverbank of Khawoora.
Assyria is situated in the heart of the Middle East, in close proximity to
all the (Suraya/Suroryo/Syriani), Assyrian-speaking groups.
Too many epithets have led to the misuse of the primal
name of "Assyria". Lack of unity emanates from not accepting or not
willing to relate themselves to "Assyria or Assyrian Proper". In this
case, epithets are only adding confusion and uncertainty. "Assyria" is
primal. Its adherents (Aramaean, Chaldean, Syrian) should accept
"Assyria" as the primal name. They had amalgamated in language, custom
and culture, and lived as one nation, under the shadow and domination of
the Assyrian Empire until its demise.
The Nation's name represents all the Syriac-speaking
citizens of the region of northern Mesopotamia. Though they may have been
scattered and live under different specious names, those that have
contributed in promoting the Assyrian cause, throughout the ages, are
deservedly Assyrian. Their aspiration is to return to their homeland of
northern Mesopotamia and live as one nation, one people, and one language.
"Assyria" is primal. Its adherents (Aramaean and
Chaldean) should accept "Assyria" as the primal name. It is their nation
as much as it is to the Assyrians. Why, because they have lost theirs,
while the Assyrians have not, at least not altogether. Yet, they all share
the same destiny.
The name of the Province of Mosul had recently been
changed to its original name "Ninveh" in honour of the Assyrians still
living up in Assyria (northern Iraq). Assyrians still speak their mother
tongue. They speak, read and write it with fluency. Despite the ban and
restrictions imposed on them, the Assyrians continue to live in northern
Iraq. They continue to practise their language and culture, with an avid
desire for full recognition and restoration of their traditional rights as
the indigenous and rightful owners of the region of Northern Mesopotamia,
extending from Arrapkha (Kirkuk) to the Eastern riverbank of Khawoora (Khabur)
of the Syriac-speaking region.
It is important that ASSYRIA be officially recognized
as the PRIMAL name. The name "Assyria" had remained prominent over the
rest of other antecedents since it's inception. Assyrians have, until this
day, preserved their Assyrian name, language, religion and culture. And
most importantly, they have held on to the last fraction of their
ancestral land, (Mosul-Khabur) which stretches between present day Vilayet
Mosul, Iraq and Khabur, Syria. It is their last bastion.
Historically, the whole of the Near East had fallen
under the unification and influence of the rule of the Assyrian Empire. It
is incorrect and unacceptable to add to the Nation of Assyria Proper, an
epithet. Assyria is primeval. Being primeval, calling "Assyria"
Chaldean-Assyrian" (Chaldeanassyrian) is erroneous. Dropping the
uppercase "A" in "Assyria" to the lowercase "a" becomes the more
insulting. It is anachronic. As an aggrieved nation, it is fitting and
legally valid for a conceiver of royal title of empire to regain
recognition, and retain its primal name ASSYRIA.
All entrants to the arena of politics, on the issue of
Assyria, need to agree and accept "Assyria" as the primal name. The
coalition make-up, for restoration of the Assyrian nation, may be formed
from as many racial types of the old epithets as there may be, be it
Aramaean, or Chaldean, or whatever. What matters is a qualified leadership
that believes in Assyria, fosters its cause and raises high the Assyrian
flag under the primal name "Assyria"- not Aramaean, Syriani, or for that
matter, Chaldean or Jacobite. It is fraudulent to assert an expired
epithet as primal or a Christian denomination as a racial type on a land
that does not relate to such calls.
The main objective
for the formation of such a coalition is to form a united front and work
in unison, under the primal name of Assyria, towards re-establishment of
Assyria for all the Syriac-speaking communities. All adherents of the
Syriac-speaking language, that believe in sharing a common destiny, need
to project the Assyrian Nation as a homeland for all the Syriac speaking
communities, who have been dispossessed, and have been treated as aliens
on their own soil, or live in diaspora. The Assyrians welcome such a
move wholeheartedly. For with unity comes strength. The cardinal
principle here is affirmation of Assyria on Assyrian soil of the
fatherland for all who believe in the revival of their legacy. Assyria is
for all Syriac-speaking adherents that cherish its name that they may live
as one nation.
1. KRAELING, Emil G. (1972) OUR LIVING BIBLE - New
Testament text. Creative World Publications, Inc., Chicago, Ill., USA.
Peleset, or Philistines, currently known as Palestinians, are ancient
people of Aegean origin, pertaining to the Aegean Basin - a land lying
along an arm of the Mediterranean Sea, that stretches between Greece and
Turkey, known as the Aegean Sea. The Philistines occupied what is known
today as the Gaza Strip, a relatively narrow piece of land situated along
the Mediterranean seashore and settled there, after being driven off by
the Egyptians for invading and pillaging the Egyptian shores in the 12th
century BC. The Philistines are not indigenous to the Middle East. They
are not Canaanites. They are aliens to the Mediterranean Eastern shores,
now calling themselves Palestinian Arabs.