On May 17th, 2009, Esther de Lange spoke about her activities with the Assyrian Association in Enschede (Netherlands). These were not the usual words of a politician, campaigning for the upcoming EU Parliamentary elections.. She spoke, rather, about the “Assyrians in Iraq” conference which she and her party organized in cooperation with the Assyria Council of EU. She informed the attendees about her past meetings with Assyrians over the years, and the attention she has given to the Assyrian question in Iraq. She also spoke about the need for a university for the Nineveh Plains. And to illustrate this, she wore a T-shirt of Assyrian Heritage which she received from the Assyrians in the European Parliament to illustrate her point: The Assyrians in Assyria need a Nineveh Plains University!
Below is a translation of the text on her promotion site for the upcoming elections for the European Parliament:
On Sunday I visited Enschede after an invitation by the Assyrian Christians.
Many of them have fled Iraq. Together with my colleague in the National Dutch Parliament, Pieter Omtzigt, I dealt with the main theme of the meeting: The relationship of the European Union and Turkey and the situation in Iraq.
In my opinion the succesful transition to a democracy in Iraq will be fully realized only when they have built a society and a way of life in Iraq which respects the rights of the minorities. Education in their own language and their culture is undoubtly one of the elements of such a society.
With money from the European Union, we have supported the renovation of some of the schools in the Nineveh Plains, where many Assyrian Christians are living. The next ambition is their own university — something I wholeheartedly support! This university already exists on this T-shirt, which I received from the Assyrians in Holland after our meeting. Yesterday [16 May 2009] I wore it during the meeting we had in the European Parliament. This T-shirt is a symbol for the university that we should work very hard to make a reality after the upcoming elections!