Kurds and Christians reconcile in Malkyieh, Syria


On Friday 2nd November 2007, the town of Malkyieh in North East Syria, near the Turkish-Iraqi borders, witnessed an enormous gathering where Kurds and Christians reconciled after the killing of a young Kurdish man Jawan Ahmad Ali in April 2007. The killing was a result of a childish fight between youngsters from both Kurdish and Christian communities.

Since April 2007, notable persons from both communities spent long days and unbreakable efforts to resolve this dangerous crisis. They were aware that revenge is not the way to bring peace to their town. They were convinced that forgiveness and reconciliation are the best values to path the way for future of trust, hope and peace. The outcome of several meetings between both sides was that Kurdish community accepted reconciliation willingly under no conditions to proof to the local Christian community and to world at large that forgiveness, reconciliation and peace should prevail over hate, revenge and uproar. Both parties chose to stand for these great values and adopt them as way for a democratic life.

Several thousands of people from both sides met near the house of Jawan’s family. Speeches where delivered there by high representatives from both communities appraising the values of forgiveness, reconciliation and peace. Metropolitan Eustathius Matta Roham of the Syrian Orthodox Church of Antioch, Grand Sheik Mohammad Maasoum, Mr. Hamid Darwish, General Secretary of the Kurdish Democratic Progressive Party in Syria, Mohammad Ali, the brother of Jawan, Mr. Bashir Ishaq Saadi, General Secretary of the Assyrian Democratic Organization in Syria and many other dignitaries spoke of the importance of establishing peace through forgiveness and reconciliation. This great event was evaluated as an excellent model for creating harmony, cooperation and peace between groups of different ethnicities and religious backgrounds. This peace meeting was concluded with a great meal prepared for hundreds of Kurds and Christians at the halls of the Armenian and Syrian Orthodox Churches.

The town of Malkyieh consists of about 30.000 inhabitances. The Kurdish community forms about 80% of the population and the rest are Christians. The majority of Kurds are Muslims today, but in ancient civilizations they used to be followers of Zoroastrianism. The Christians in Malkyieh belong to Orthodox, Catholic and Protestant churches and by ethnicity are Syriac, Chaldeans, Assyrians and Armenians.