No Peace in Iraq without the Aramaeans
In several earlier articles and interviews, we analyzed issues pertaining to the Aramaeans, their great achievements in 32 centuries of Aramaean History, and the modern troubles that have befallen on this illustrious nation over the past century; however, we believe that many in the West would perceive the problem better if reading how the Aramaeans themselves describe their difficulties and struggle to gain international recognition, especially in a totally disfigured country like Mesopotamia – that is still called ‘Iraq’ because of the Western anti-Christian interference.
By Prof. Dr. Muhammad Shamsaddin Megalommatis, Orientalist
A year ago, the Working Group on the Indigenous Populations held its 24th session in Geneva, from 31 July to 4 August 2006. As part of the Sub-Commission on the Promotion and Protection of Human Rights (of the UN Economic and Social Council – Commission on Human Rights), this body is a key international venue for debates and advocacy.
The Arameans of Aram-Naharaim Foundation participated, represented by their President Gabriel Sengo, who gave an inspired speech (2 August 2006) on the subject “The Cradle of Civilization Aram-Nahrin (Iraq) is burning and crying: How to solve the conflict?“. The speech can be found in the Aram Naharaim Foundation’s website (http://www.aramnahrin.org/English/Indigenous_2006_Iraq.htm); we reproduce it here integrally as an indication of the impasse provoked in Iraq because of the erroneous options of the American administration; yet, it would not take either more soldiers or more arms for America to impose a non colonial, just and fair solution for the various peoples of Tyrannized Mesopotamia. All the US need is a rightful and just approach to the subject – which is something they never had.
Uttered before a year, and inconsiderately disregarded by the US administration, the words of Gabriel Sengo herald the forthcoming, ominous developments that we all have to expect as regards Mesopotamia.
The Cradle of Civilization Aram-Nahrin (Iraq) is burning and crying: How to solve the conflict?
Oral statement under item 4 (c): Indigenous peoples and conflict prevention and resolution.General
Review of developments pertaining to the promotion and protection of the rights of indigenous peoples, including their human rights and fundamental freedom:
In the framework of Item 4 (c) we would like to raise our concerns regarding the complex and bloody conflict in the lands of the forefathers; in ancient times called Aram-Nahrin in Aramaic; translated to Mesopotamia by the Greeks and known to the world in our times as Iraq.
Flying parts of human bodies; mangled bodies in the streets covered with human blood, desperate and crying mothers; children crying for their parents; heartbreaking scenes; it is unbearable how the innocent people of Iraq are suffering. The cradle of civilization is burning and peace, love and brotherhood seems to be far away and unachievable. Nobody knows how to solve this conflict and the world is at a dead loss what to do.
Revenge and bloodshed are the daily street scenes in Iraq. The path of the fanaticism and intolerance is reigning supreme where the words like peace, respect and brotherhood seems to be very rare.
Many of these atrocities where the innocent Iraqi people are suffering from are committed by foreigners whose goal is to create anarchy and chaos preventing the establishment of democracy. There seem, however, also some groups active within Iraq who hails the present situation with cheer in order to conduct ethnic cleansing in some parts of the country to get rid of its Indigenous people.
The Indigenous Aramean people are living for thousands of years in this part of the world and are familiar for hundreds of years with this kind of tyranny, fanaticism, intolerance, bloodshed and mercilessness. There are in Iraq various Aramean denominations, such as West-Aramean Syrian Orthodox, West- Aramean Syrian Catholics and Melkites, East- Aramean Chaldeans and East- Aramean Assyrians.
There are around 500.000 Arameans who are concentrated in the north and central part of the country with few thousand in southern part. Some rough numbers about various denominations:
West- Aramean Syrian Orthodox: 80.000-100.000
West-Aramean Syrian Catholic: 40.000-45.000
West- Aramean Syrian Melkites?????
East- Aramean Chaldeans: 200.000-300.000
East- Aramean Assyrians: 25.000-30.000
How can you, as an indigenous nation, deal with such complex conflicts? And how did the Aramean nation deal with these impossible situations since hundreds of years on local and regional level? As an indigenous nation you are finding yourselves at the mercy of people and regimes that are not familiar with ‘Human Rights’; not to speak about indigenous rights.
Nevertheless, we believe that the secret behind dealing with these types of complex conflicts is: loving and respecting your neighbour like yourself! We believe that this path is the best medicine to heal wounds, dry tears, stop cry of children and mothers, solve conflicts and act as a solid foundation for democracy and Human Rights.
Unfortunately; not everybody welcomes this policy with open arms; for our experience is that some people consider this policy as being backwards and will most likely resort to the path of the sword, glorifying and promoting it! In their perception of the world; the path of oppressing and subjecting others as second class citizens seems to be exalted to a holy act. And this makes conflict resolution very difficult, not to say: impossible.
Our impressing is that this path which leads to peace is unknown by some people resulting in the present-day situation. Others show two faces, namely: in front of the camera they glorify the path of love, respect and brotherhood; while in reality they apply the path of the sword.
In such hostile environment, our people were and are constantly fighting to survive and reconcile themselves to the horrible conditions of their persecutors in order to save their lives. They had to obey them unconditionally; they were forced to assimilation and to deny their rich cultural heritage and were forced to implement strange cultures.
Another point is Mr. Chairman; that the policy of Aramean nation is not rewarded or recognised in the new Iraqi Constitution. In “appreciation” of the Aramean policy of peace and respect they are excluded from the Iraqi constitution; while the “product” created by the Western spiritual colonialism of 16th and late 19th century; which had a devastated effect on the Aramean people in the middle-east, is glorified in the new constitution.
In Article 124 of the constitution we read, “This Constitution shall guarantee the administrative, political, cultural and educational rights for the various nationalities, such as Turkmen, Caldeans, Assyrians and all other components. A law shall regulate this “.
Please note how explicitly the Western Spiritual Colonial and slavery products “Assyrians” (a product of the Western Anglican missionary) and ,,Chaldeans” (a product of Western French/Roman Catholic missionary) are being glorified in the constitution without a reference to their Aramean origin. In our statement under Item 4 (a); this problem has been explained in detail.
In order to be able to maintain the Aramean policy of respect and brotherhood in a sea of fanaticism and intolerance; we ask for your support in the following points:
* Please demonstrate your solidarity to help maintain the Aramean presence in the lands of the forefathers.
* Please help to include the Aramean nation as the indigenous people of Iraq in the new Iraqi constitution.
Arameans of Aram-Naharaim Foundation
P.O. Box 178