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To know your past, is to know yourself.

Of 450 from one village only one woman lives. She saw her husband and three sons tied together and shot with one bullet to save ammunition. She saw her daughter outraged and then killed. She was carried away by a Kurd but escaped by night, naked, and after terrible suffering fell in with some refugees.

-- The New York Times, 4 October 1916.

Assyrian Holocaust - religious persecution and ethnic genocide of Assyrians in the Middle East.
Assyrian Holocaust | History Timeline | 1900's section 
Mission

To preserve.  To inform.  To inspire.

About AIM

Welcome to Assyrian Information Management (AIM), the virtual Internet-based academic repository which created and currently manages atour.com.

Founded on December 10, 1996, during the early years of the Internet, the organization's primary objective is to promote Assyrian history, language and culture.  The freedom provided by editorial discretion and consensus, enables us and fellow activists to present our perspective and related information into accurate and comprehensive articles.

AIM has developed and managed many Internet related projects, click on the Projects section for details.  AIM is also independent of political persuasion, tribal affiliation, religious creed and is financed primarily by partners, sponsors, business affiliations and individual donations.

We are socially responsible and believe in promoting Assyrian businesses and organizations by investing in their goods and services.  We accomplish this by advertising their banners through our highly effective website advertising platform.

We are selective in choosing companies and organizations to list in our advertising system.  This ensures our Internet presence and advertising system are free from distracting marketing clutter that is present throughout the Internet.  We do not accept any outside advertisements, preferring to manage our own affiliation, advertising and search systems.

In addition to balancing between selective business affiliations and conscious capitalism, we freely promote Ad Council public service announcements of significant public issues to create awareness, cultivate understanding and motivate action within our communities.

The server system and its websites consisting of web documents, images, photographs, audio and video files, are blended together to form a unique Internet presence. Due to the nature of this activist model of operations and independence, we depend on the financial donations from people like you.

Activist model summary:

  • Consistent and professional online presence
  • Thousands of Assyrians visit monthly for activism and research
  • Respected by Assyrian individuals, activists and organizations
  • Referenced by major websites and search directories
  • Unique activists' publishing features and information

In order to ensure the continued online presence of this website, we are seeking contributions to help with the costs of server administration, development and management. We hope that we can count on your support to help us maintain our mission to preserve, inform, and inspire. Please donate today.

 

About AIM Personnel

Testimonials...

"Wow, this is an excellent website... it's attention to detail is beautiful. You've pretty much created a virtual world for Assyrians, putting an emphasis on history, news articles, chat, forums, art, and seemingly so much more. The effort that went into its creation is obviously reflected in this website. Kudos to your achievements!"

— Julia Sorisho
Chicago, Illinois. USA [North America]


ActivistsWe are a volunteer-based organization.  The people developing the website(s) are Assyrian activists, artists, authors, engineers, journalists, scholars, students and writers, and their scope of work and participation varies according to their professional experience and skill levels.  There are also English-speaking scholars who write, translate and forward articles.  We are volunteers and devote our time to bring tangible results for our communities.

Please support Assyrian activists and friends of Assyrians.

Would you like to help?

  • Share — linking your website to atour.com and/or posting this website's links of important documents on other websites, it's free and simple
    Share this information
  • Donate — donating and helping support these online projects
  • Shop — shopping and purchasing items through our business affiliations website links
  • Fundraise — having fundraising efforts within your local organizations and communities to financially support our Internet presence
  • Volunteer — volunteering to write articles or gathering historical documentation and photographs, and sharing that information with us through our development forums which will eventually appear on various sections of the website

Are you part of an active Assyrian organization or business?

Are you interested in sharing your knowledge with fellow Assyrians?

  Assyrian Forums  Make a difference, collaborate and share information!
Register and share your activism in the Assyrian Forums.

activist \ak-ti,-vist\ noun (1915) 1 : a person who campaigns for political or social change 2 : a doctrine or practice that emphasizes direct vigorous action (as a mass demonstration) in support of or opposition to one side of a controversial issue — ac•tiv•is•m \ak-tiv-,iz-em\ nounac•tiv•is•tic \ak-tiv-,'is-tik\ adjective

mentor \'men-tór, 'ment-er\ noun [Latin, from Greek Mentor] 1 cap : a friend of Odysseus entrusted with the education of Odysseus' son Telemachus 2 : an experienced person in an organization or institution who trains and advises new employees or students 3 a : a trusted counselor or guide b : TUTOR, COACH — men•tor•ship \-,ship\ noun

moderator \'mäd-e-,rät-er\ noun (1560) 1 : one who arbitrates : MEDIATOR 2 : one who presides over an assembly, meeting, or discussion: as a : the presiding officer of a Presbyterian governing body b : the nonpartisan presiding officer of a town meeting c : the chairman of a discussion group 3 : a substance (as a graphic) used for slowing down neutrons in a nuclear reactor — mod•er•a•tor•ship \-,ship\ noun

teacher \te-cher\ noun (14th century) [Aramaic: malpana | Assyrian: mulammidu] 1 : one that teaches; esp : one whose occupation is to instruct 2 : a Mormon ranking above a deacon in the Aaronic priesthood

Sources: Helsinki Neo-Assyrian Dictionary | Aramaic Dictionary | Oxford English Dictionary | Merriam-Webster Collegiate Dictionary

Information

Do you have a question?  Please search our Frequently Asked Questions, FAQs.

Assyrians

Beth-Nahren, Assyria
The Desperate Plight of the Assyrian Christians of Iraq and Syria
2014 Election Observation Mission Report: Iraqi Council of Representatives Elections and KRG Governorate Council Elections
The Dead Die Twice: Islamists Destroy Ancient Assyrian Artifacts and Archaeological Sites
Bombs targeting Christians kill dozens in Baghdad
Nuncio in Damascus: Fate of Orthodox nuns kidnapped by Islamists still uncertain
Syria: Opposition Abuses During Ground Offensive
Syria's Christians Flee Kidnappings, Rape, Executions
Kurds Confiscating Ancestral Lands of Indigenous Assyrians
Turkey: Court Rules State Can Seize Assyrian Monastery's Land
Treasures of ancient civilization in North Iraq are threatened – Modification of historical landscape must stop
New Human Rights Policy Report promises more Protection for Minorities – European Commission must put its Commitments into Practice
Human Rights Report warns of Extinction of Assyrian Minority in Iraq
Turkish Court Takes Monastery's Land, Declares Assyrians 'Occupiers'
An Assyrian Exodus (film)
Exodus From North Signals Iraqi Christians’ Slow Decline
20 Miles Closer to Nineveh (film)
Islamic Terrorists Bomb Churches in Iraq
Human Rights Tragedy in Syria: Yacoub Hanna Shamoun
Transient | a story of Assyrian Iraqi refugees (film)
Defying Deletion: The Fight Over Iraq's Nineveh Plains (film)
Mourning in the Garden of Eden (film)
Christian Leaders Unhappy with Lack of Action on Nineveh Plain
2010-2003 - Assyrians face Religious Persecution and Ethnic Genocide
Two Assyrians killed, 80 Wounded in Iraq Bus Bombing
Iraqi Christians rejected by the Iraqi Government and IHEC
Kurdish Minister - Rich Star, or Pawn?
Christians Want Police Protection in Iraq
Facing Extinction: Assyrian Christians In Iraq

News Forum

News in Bet-Nahren, Assyria Archives

Assyrian flagAssyrian Population
Iraq 1,928,000
Syria 815,000
USA 490,000
Armenia 206,000
Brazil 98,000
Iran 74,000
Lebanon 68,000
Germany 60,000
Russia 52,000
Sweden 48,000
Australia 38,000
Turkey 24,000
Canada 23,000
France 18,000
Jordan 15,000
Georgia 15,000
Holland 12,000
Denmark 10,000
England 9,000
Austria 8,000
Greece 8,000
Belgium 5,000
Switzerland 5,000
New Zealand 4,000
Dubai (UAE) 3,000
Italy 3,000
Argentina 2,000
Mexico 2,000
Poland 2,000
Spain 1,000
Kazakhstan 250
   
 TOTAL  4,036,250

Assyrians — a historical summary

The Assyrians of today are the indigenous Aramaic-speaking descendants of the ancient Assyrian people, one of the earliest civilizations emerging in the Middle East, and have a history spanning over 6760 years.  Assyrians are not Arabian or Arabs, we are not Kurdish, our religion is not Islam.  The Assyrians are Christian, with our own unique language, culture and heritage.  Although the Assyrian empire ended in 612 B.C., history is replete with recorded details of the continuous presence of the Assyrian people until the present time.  

The Assyrian kingdom, being one of the base roots of Mesopotamia, encouraged urbanization, building of permanent dwellings, and cities. They also developed agriculture and improved methods of irrigation using systems of canals and aqueducts.  They enhanced their language that served as a unifying force in writing, trade and business transaction.  They encouraged trade, established and developed safe routes, protecting citizens and property by written law.  They excelled in administration, documented their performance and royal achievements, depicting their culture in different art forms.  They built libraries and archived their recorded deeds for prosperity.  They accumulated wealth and knowledge; raised armies in disciplined formation of infantry, cavalry and war-chariot troops with logistics; and built a strong kingdom, an unique civilization and the first world empire.

The heartland of Assyria lays in present day northern Iraq, northeastern Syria, southeastern Turkey, and northwestern Iran.  The remains of the ancient capital of Assyria, Nineveh, is next to Mosul in northern Iraq.

Prior to the Assyrian Holocaust which occurred before, during and after World War I, the major Assyrian communities still inhabited the areas of Harran, Edessa, Tur Abdin, and Hakkari in southeastern Turkey, Jazira in northeastern Syria, Urmia in northwestern Iran, and Mosul in northern Iraq as they had for thousands of years.

Middle East: Assyria

The world’s 4 million Assyrians are currently dispersed with members of the Diaspora comprising nearly one-third of the population.  Most of the Assyrians in the Diaspora live in North America, Europe and Australia with nearly 460,000 residing in the United States of America.  The remaining Assyrians reside primarily in Iraq and Syria, with smaller populations in Turkey, Iran, Lebanon, and Jordan.

The Assyrians are not to be confused with Syrians even though some Syrian citizens are Assyrian.  Although the name of Syria is directly derived from Assyria and Syria was an integral part of Assyrian civilization, most of the people of Syria currently maintain a separate Arab identity.  Moreover, the Assyrians are not Arabs but rather have maintained a continuous and distinct ethnic identity, language, culture, and religion that predates the Arabization of the Near East.  In addition, unlike the Arabs who did not enter the region until the seventh century A.D., the Assyrians are the indigenous people of Mesopotamia.  Until today, the Assyrians speak a distinct language (called Aramaic [Syriac]), the actual language spoken by Jesus Christ.  As a Semitic language, the Aramaic language is related to Hebrew and Arabic but predates both.  In addition, whereas most Arabs are Muslim, Assyrians are essentially Christian.

The Assyrians were among the first to accept Christianity in the first century A.D. through the Apostle St. Thomas.  Despite the subsequent Islamic conquest of the region in the seventh century A.D., the Church of the East flourished and its adherents at one time numbered in the tens of millions.  Assyrian missionary zeal was unmatched and led to the first Christian missions to China, Japan, and the Philippines.  The Church of the East stele in Xian, China bears testament to a thriving Assyrian Christian Church as early as in the seventh century A.D. Early on, the Assyrian Church divided into two ancient branches, the Syrian Orthodox Church and the Church of the East.  Over time, divisions within these Assyrian Churches led to the establishment of the Chaldean Church (Uniate Catholic), Syrian Catholic Church, and Maronite Church.  Persistent persecution under Islamic occupation led to the migration of still greater numbers of Assyrian Christians into the Christian autonomous areas of Mount Lebanon as well.  With the arrival of Western Protestant and Catholic missionaries into Mesopotamia, especially since the nineteenth century, several smaller congregations of Assyrian Protestants arose as well.  A direct consequence of Assyrian adherence to the Christian faith and their missionary enterprise has been persecution, massacres, and ethnic cleansing by various waves of non-Christian neighbors which ultimately led to a decimation of the Assyrian Christian population. Most recently and tragically, Great Britain invited the Assyrians as an ally in World War I.  The autonomous Assyrians were drawn into the conflict following successive massacres against the civilian population by forces of the Turkish Ottoman Empire, Kurds, Arabs and Persians.  Although many geopolitical and economic factors were involved in provoking the attacks against the Assyrians, a jihad or holy war was declared and served as the rallying cry and vehicle for marauding Turks, Kurds, and Persians.  Although the Muslim holy war against the Armenians is perhaps better known, over three-fourths, or 750,000 Assyrian Christians were also killed between 1843-1945 during the Assyrian Holocaust.

The conflict and subsequent Assyrian Holocaust led to the decimation and dispersal of the Assyrians.  Those Assyrians who survived the Holocaust were driven out of their ancestral homeland in Turkish Mesopotamia primarily toward the area of Mosul Vilayet in Iraq, Jazira in Syria, and the Urmi plains of Iran where large Assyrian populations already lived.  The massacres of 1915 followed the Assyrians to these areas as well, prompting an exodus of many more Assyrians to other countries and continents.  The Assyrian Holocaust of 1915 is the turning point in the modern history of the Assyrian Christians precisely because it is the single event that led to the dispersal of the surviving community into small, weak, and destitute communities.

Most Assyrians in the Diaspora today can trace their emigration from the Middle East to the Assyrian Holocaust of 1915.  Many, who fled from their original homes into other Middle Eastern countries subsequently, just one generation later, once more emigrated to the West.  Thus, many Assyrian families in the West today have experienced transfer to a new country for three successive generations beginning, for instance, from Turkey to Iraq and then to the United States.Assyrians

During World War I, after the Assyrians ["Our Smallest Ally"] sided with the victorious Allies, Great Britain had promised the Assyrians autonomy, independence, and a homeland.  The Assyrian question was addressed during postwar deliberations at the League of Nations.  However, with the termination of the British Mandate in Iraq, the unresolved status of the Assyrians was relinquished to the newly formed Iraqi government with promises of certain minority guarantees specifically concerning freedom of religious, cultural, and linguistic expression.  The Assyrians lost two-thirds of their population during the World Wars.

The Simele Genocide (Syriac: ܦܪܡܬܐ ܕܣܡܠܐ: Premta d-Simele) was the first of many massacres committed by the Iraqi government during the systematic genocide of Assyrians of Northern Iraq in August 1933. The term is used to describe not only the massacre of Simele, but also the killing spree that continued among 63 Assyrian villages in the Dohuk and Mosul districts that led to the deaths of an estimated 3,000 innocent Assyrians.  Today, most of these villages continue to be illegally occupied by Arabs and Kurds.

Currently, the Assyrians are religiously and ethnically persecuted in the Middle East due to Islamic fundamentalism, Arabization and Kurdification policies, leading to land expropriations and forced emigration to the West.


Assyria \ã-'sir-é-ä\ n (1998)   1:  an ancient empire of Ashur   2:  a democratic state in Bet-Nahren, Assyria (northern Iraq, northwestern Iran, southeastern Turkey and eastern Syria.)   3:  a democratic state that fosters the social and political rights to all of its inhabitants irrespective of their religion, race, or gender   4:  a democratic state that believes in the freedom of religion, conscience, language, education and culture in faithfulness to the principles of the United Nations Charter — Atour synonym

Ethnicity, Religion, Language
» Israeli, Jewish, Hebrew
» Assyrian, Christian, Aramaic
» Saudi Arabian, Muslim, Arabic
Assyrian \ã-'sir-é-an\ adj or n (1998)   1:  descendants of the ancient empire of Ashur   2:  the Assyrians, although representing but one single nation as the direct heirs of the ancient Assyrian Empire, are now doctrinally divided, inter sese, into five principle ecclesiastically designated religious sects with their corresponding hierarchies and distinct church governments, namely, Church of the East, Chaldean, Maronite, Syriac Orthodox and Syriac Catholic.  These formal divisions had their origin in the 5th century of the Christian Era.  No one can coherently understand the Assyrians as a whole until he can distinguish that which is religion or church from that which is nation -- a matter which is particularly difficult for the people from the western world to understand; for in the East, by force of circumstances beyond their control, religion has been made, from time immemorial, virtually into a criterion of nationality.   3:  the Assyrians have been referred to as Aramaean, Aramaye, Ashuraya, Ashureen, Ashuri, Ashuroyo, Assyrio-Chaldean, Aturaya, Chaldean, Chaldo, ChaldoAssyrian, ChaldoAssyrio, Jacobite, Kaldany, Kaldu, Kasdu, Malabar, Maronite, Maronaya, Nestorian, Nestornaye, Oromoye, Suraya, Syriac, Syrian, Syriani, Suryoye, Suryoyo and Telkeffee. — Assyrianism verb

Aramaic \ar-é-'máik\ n (1998)   1:  a Semitic language which became the lingua franca of the Middle East during the ancient Assyrian empire.   2:  has been referred to as Neo-Aramaic, Neo-Syriac, Classical Syriac, Syriac, Suryoyo, Swadaya and Turoyo.


AIM | Atour: The State of Assyria | Terms of Service