Date: Sunday July 2, 2000
Venue: Merewether Building, City Road, University of Sydney
The Assyrian Australian Academic Society (TAAAS) in conjunction with the Macquarie
University Centre for Comparative Genocide Studies and the Sydney University department of
Semitic studies cordially invites you to attend the second annual conference, on Sunday 2nd
July entitled "PERSECUTIONS AND MASSACRES OF THE SYRIAC SPEAKING
The persecutions and massacres of the Assyrians in their ancestral homeland during the turn of
last century and even up until and during World War I live vividly in the collective
consciousness of our people. The tortures, executions, rape, pillage and plunder of Christians
and their villages at the hands of the Ottoman Turks saw THREE QUARTERS OF THE
ASSYRIAN POPULATION ANNIHILATED BY 1915. Most of the remaining one quarter
fled their villages in fear, escaping the horrors they had witnessed and were forcibly made to
Unable to practice their language, culture or religion in a period of fierce Turkish nationalism
and state policies of "osmonisation" and "islamisation", the Assyrians were once again made to
endure countless hardships, political and social injuries and violent losses.
However the greatest loss, and what greatly saddens Assyrians and humanitarians everywhere
is the complete lack of information about these horrible crimes against humanity. Much work is
currently in process, documenting what can only be referred to as ATTEMPTED
Eye-witness statements, population counts and land surveys in the region are some of the
examples of research working to provide documented evidence of the massacres that occurred
in order to finally give Assyrian’s a voice that will be heard WORLD WIDE. Academic
conferences such as this one to be held at Sydney University also give credible weight to the
plight of the Christian Assyrians.
Today, many different groups, whether they be political, religious or secular are presenting
international governments with papers clearly outlining the persecutions and systematic
oppression suffered by Assyrians, Armenians and Pontian Greeks living in Turkey at the time.
BUT THE STRUGGLE FOR RECOGNITION CONTINUES.
Your attendance, not only as Assyrians, but also as morally conscious members of the
HUMAN RACE is vital in order to learn and appreciate the sacrifices of the slaughtered
Assyrians and their Christian neighbours in the Ottoman Empire.
This conference, through your support and attendance will educate and inform the Assyrian
and non-Assyrian communities of the grave injustices perpetrated against our Assyrian
ancestors – INJUSTICES THAT CONTINUE TO HAUNT HUMANITY UP UNTIL
THIS VERY DAY.
As dignified and educated human beings, who believe in freedom, peace and equality for all
regardless of ethnicity, custom or religion, we urge you to come and pay respect to those
unwitting victims who were martyred on the mountains of modern day Turkey, Iran, Iraq and
In this light, we do not advocate the perpetuation of age-old hatreds or further ethnic division.
The Syriac speaking Christians (Assyrians) of today only want to heal these still open wounds,
through RECOGNITION AND RECONCILIATION WITH THE PAST.
Many would simply like to forget our violent and bloody past, but justice, peace and
reconciliation, as well as the installation of BASIC HUMAN RIGHTS need to be achieved in
Beth-Nahrain – the land thousands of Assyrians call "home" today.
IN THE NAME OF HONOUR, PRIDE, DIGNITY AND LOVE FOR ALL OPPRESSED
MINORITIES EVERYWHERE…. WE WILL NEVER FORGET.
Majidi Ann Warda Editor (Publications) T.A.A.A.S.
ATTENDANCE AT THE GENOCIDE CONFERENCE AD$50 Time: 10am – 5pm.
Merewether Building Sydney University (City Road)
FOR FURTHER INFORMATION, AND TO REGISTER YOUR ATTENDANCE,
PANAYIOTIS DIAMADIS Tel: (02) 9850-8822 FAX (02) 9850-8240
mailto: Panayiotis.firstname.lastname@example.org Or visit the website: http://www.genocide.mq.edu.au
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