The Assyrians of today...
††The Assyrians of today are descendants of the ancient Assyrian people who built the mighty empires of Assyrian and Babylonia. They rose to power and prosperity in Mesopotamia whose mainland consists of modern-day Iraq. Assyrians played a major role in the foundation of civilization of mankind. After the fall of the Assyrian and Babylonian empires, respectively in the seventh and sixth centuries BC., Assyrians were reduced to small nation living at the mercy of their overlords in the vastly scattered lands in the Middle Eastern Region.
††Assyrian are Christians and their church dates back to the time of Christ. In the first century they were among the first people to embrace Christianity. Living apart from the Christian World, the Assyrians came almost to losing their identity as a nation. It was not until the middle of the 19th century when they came in direct contact with the western world and their existence attracted the attention of the outside world. Thus experiencing a cultural renaissance, they built modern schools, colleges and technical institutions in Iran and Iraq during the 19th and 20th centuries. Assyrians suffered the most destructive blows because of their religion and ethnicity. They fell victim to the wholesome message inflicted upon Christians under Ottoman Empire. Those who escaped the massacres fled their homeland to join the Assyrians living in Iran. To defend themselves, they threw their lot with the allies and fought bravely against all odds to
repulse blows coming from all sides. For their bravery in the victorious battles, British historians called them "Our Smallest Ally".
††In 1918, Assyrians left alone without any support, they had no choice but to retreat from Iran to reach the British forces in Baghdad - Iraq. In this long and costly exodus, the Assyrians lost more then one-third of their population.
††In Baghdad, Assyrians were settled in camps and their battle tested men were recruited by British I special military forces named "Assyrian Levies".
††In return to the loss of their homeland in Hakkari - Turkey and in compensation for stupendous losses inflicted on them during the Great War, the Britain, France, and Russia alike, a safe and independent homeland, promised Assyrians. This promise was not fulfilled and Assyrians were again betrayed and left alone in the situation that culminated in the terrible massacre of non-combatant population in Simeil, Iraq in 1933. From this time on, the Assyrian Diaspora started and they began to flee in all directions as stateless refuges to find a safe haven and protect themselves from total elimination until such a day when their voice would be heard through an international forum.
††In conclusion, this should be said of the Assyrians of today: although they are scattered all over the world these days, but as the descendants of a great nation they have gained the respect of their fellow country they and citizens of that country. As a result of this attitude, they have gained the respect of their fellow countrymen. In most of those countries, for example, in the United Stated of America, Australia, Iran, and Syria, they have run for offices and have
been elected to high positions, such as Senators, Congressmen and City Officials. This will go in the future as
they come to be more recognized as loyal citizens in their countries.
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