Assyrians Celebrate Heritage in Australia
Fairfield, Australia — The Assyrian Universal Alliance – Australian Chapter organised a cultural evening to celebrate “Assyria Day” under the theme “Return to Assyria” on Sunday, July 3, 2011 at Ur Ashur in Sydney. The Assyrian Universal Alliance had extended a formal invitation to all of our organizations & parties to attend and participate in this national occasion. Over 300 people attended this event including representatives of many Assyrian organisations and prominent Assyrians as follows: The Assyrian Australian National Federation, The Assyrian Charity and Educational Community, the Assyrian Australian Association, Babylon cultural Association, Assyrian Aid Society and the Assyrian National Centre. The Assyrian Democratic Party was the only political party that attended this historical event.
The program started with the Australian and Assyrian National Anthems, performed by Miss Jessica Ablahad & students of the Assyrian Diglat School. Then The Master of Ceremonies, Mr. Emmanuel Francis welcomed the audience and invited Mr. Hermiz Shahen, the Regional Secretary of the Assyrian Universal Alliance in Australia & New Zealand to officially welcome the audience . Mr. Shahen explained the reasons and motives behind the designation of the 1st of July as “Assyria Day” under the motto “return to Assyria”. Mr. Shahen expressed the aim of “Assyria Day” is to send a resounding message regarding the rights of Assyrians to safely return to their homeland, to affirm their rights to exist in harmony, peace & security with their neighbours by exercising the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and all other international conventions and treaties which emphasize refugee’s right of return. “Assyria Day” also supports the demands of the Assyrians in their pursuit of an autonomous federal province or state.
Yearning for the land of Assyria has never stopped in the hearts of its people. The land of Assyria has a sacred place in the minds of its people. The time has come for Assyrian youth to continue the Assyrian struggle for their national rights and to work to achieve the aspirations of our people. Mr. Shahen congratulated the AUA for establishing The Young Assyrians, a subsidiary of the AUA, in all their chapters and asked all our institutions to provide the necessary support and guidance for them.
Mr. Simon Essavian, the president of the Assyrian Australian National Federation congratulated all Assyrians on Assyria Day and commended the AUA on this great step and its importance for the future generations. There followed a number of speakers including Mr. Younan Bet Younan, Vice President of the Assyrian Charity and Educational Community, Mr. Arsan Shalalo from the Assyrian Australian Association, Mr. Khoshaba Barota representing the Assyrian Democratic Party, Mr. Tamuz Tamuz from Babylon Cultural Association. All of which congratulated the Assyrian nation on this occasion. Afterwards, the famous Assyrian poet Mr. Yosip Minashi presented two poems in Assyrian entitled the Assyrian tragedy.
Next, student from the Assyrian Diglat School of the Assyrian Australian Association began their presentations which amazed the audience and won their admiration. Brital Tigris David, delivered a lengthy speech in English titled “Assyria Day”, expressing her pride to be an Assyrian and her sorrow about the history of genocide, persecution and survival that her grand parents and ancestors went through. This was followed by Catherine Haron speaking about the same issue “Assyria Day ” but in the Assyrian Language , she was followed by Leah Ivans speaking about her pride in the Assyrian Flag .After the students came the role of Mrs. Carmen Lazar, the principal of the Assyrian Diqlat School. She presented her speech conveying her appreciation to the great efforts of The Assyrian Universal Alliance and continuing advocacy for the Assyrian school to take an active role in such ceremonies. In conclusion was the role of The Young Assyrians – Australian Chapter who provided their opinions, ideas and research. They read aloud their declaration, which was penned after holding their first conference during the same day. The first speech was by Miss Melanie Alkhas, which was entitled “I am an Assyrian”. Melanie spoke about the current situation in Iraq : “Our blood is still being shed on the great land of Assyria. We are paying the price for our rights in Iraq, so yell and scream to the world and ask for your rights. Do not let them do what they have done to our ancestors for the past several thousands of years. We all have to go back to the land of our ancestors. It is God’s will and he wants us to do it”.
Then came the role of Mr. George Dadisho, who presented a paper on the role of Assyrian youth in the future. He was followed with a presentation by Mr. Danny Raoul, which focused on giving a brief about the Assyrian Question, the ideology that supports the creation of an Assyrian homeland, detailing the treaties, commitments and promises made by the allies to our people during the First World War, their betrayal afterwards and the importance of the following-up of this case in the international forums. Then Mr. Ninos Aaron, made a very powerful presentation titled “Patriotism and Faith.” Ninos spoke in detail about the gravity of the current political phase that our nation is going through and the meaning of true nationalism which is inclusive of both Patriotism and Faith. He emphasised the role of political parties and their commitment to democracy and respecting the opinions of others in their dealings with each other. In Conclusion Mr. Emanuel Francis, master of ceremonies, spoke about the formation of The Young Assyrians and the success of their first conference which was held on the same day. He then read the declaration of The Young Assyrians’ first conference. Finally Emanuel officially announced that this first day of July will start the countdown to a hard work to persevere and to build a solid ground for the return to Assyria. The program also included a national song by deacon Syrop Kanon and a number of documentaries about the conditions of the Assyrian people in Iraq and the Assyrian Nation’s ancient history.
Assyrian Universal Alliance