Where We Work

FOCUS ON THE MIDDLE EAST

Tongues Without Borders is currently in its start-up phase. Before extending our activities to many other languages in coming years and decades, we need to first focus on a limited number of closely related languages, all of one language family, and all originating from the same geographic area of the world, to thereby create synergies, reduce costs, multiply efficiency and increase the overall chances of both the short-term and long-term success of Tongues Without Borders.

We believe no region is more suitable to our start-up endeavors than the Middle East, the cradle of many ancient world empires, world languages and writing systems, as well as of the three major monotheistic religions of the world.

Even today the Middle East continues to have a major influence on world affairs. It simply never leaves the spotlight of the media. This is an energy we wish to harness in the interest of our overall language saving objectives.

Examining the handful of languages around the world that have been revived successfully over the past century, we detect another advantage where the Middle East scores very high, namely religious energy (or the faith factor). There clearly is a close link between the perceived spirituality of dead or dying languages and their revivability. In clear: the higher a language’s religious worth, the greater its chances to live again or be healed.

Our choice of the Middle East as our initial focus is thus also explained by the fact that it is home to the world’s biggest success story in the short history of the new science of language reclamation, Hebrew. Extinct from around the end of the 2nd century AD, everyday Hebrew was brought back to life on October 13, 1881, when Eliezer Ben-Yehuda, as an experiment, conversed in Hebrew with friends in Paris, France, using the language for the first time in almost 1800 years for non-religious purposes. Thereafter, gradually, over several decades, Hebrew returned to life, growing over 140 years back into a vibrant language today spoken by some 5 million people as mother tongue (9 million speakers in total).

This extraordinary revival has turned Hebrew into a prototype language, and a beacon of hope to all other indigenous peoples with languages either extinct or struggling to survive. By focusing on the Middle East we therefore also hope to harness the lessons, energies and successes of the Hebrew revival and find ways of applying them to other endangered and extinct languages the world over.  

For our start-up phase we have thus decided to focus on one extinct Middle Eastern language that we view as eminently revivable, Aramaic, an ancient world language which for centuries, in fact even upward of a millennium, enjoyed a status similar to that of English today. Does any other language have such a resume?

Moreover, Aramaic was the mother tongue of Jesus of Nazareth, which should ensure a very large pool of parties interested in its resurrection.

In addition to Aramaic, which must be revived from extinction, we have also chosen 3 endangered languages, all neo-Aramaic languages, to be able to treat the 4 languages pretty much like a single project. These 3 endangered languages are Assyrian, Chaldean and Surayt.

They too have great historical value, as is reflected by their evocative names. Which made them star candidates to focus on first out of the other +2500 dying or dead languages. Unfortunately language revivalists are spoilt for choice, which makes choosing the ‘best’ languages to start with all that harder.

But in addition to meeting all of the criteria outlined above, Assyrian, Chaldean and Surayt also still have a relatively large numbers of speakers, respectively some 700,000, 300,000 and 100,000 first-language speakers. With Arameans scattered all over the world, different sources provide widely varying speaker numbers. But these guesstimates seem realistic.

Another important reason for choosing Aramaic, Assyrian, Chaldean and Surayt for our start-up phase, is that for some decades now, different groups of neo-Aramaic speakers have already been making attempts (normally in isolation) to revive or revitalize several present-day neo-Aramaic languages, and/or Aramaic or Syriac. Which means that Tongues Without Borders can join forces with existing Aramaic revival initiatives instead of having to build a language revitalization movement from scratch. To date, Aramaic revival efforts have generated a good amount of interest and effort, but for some reason(s) (that we trust we will be able to identify) failed to return the ancient language to life outside of Eastern Orthodox and Catholic churches in some of which a more recent form of Aramaic, Syriac, still survives as liturgical language. At Tongues Without Borders we hope to be the catalyst that will help others succeed in raising Aramaic from its centuries-long slumber.

Apart from the existing enthusiasm and historical, linguistic, religious and demographic considerations, Assyrian, Chaldean and Surayt also present high humanitarian interest. All three are indeed refugee languages with speaker groups that have been fleeing the Middle East for the past century and today find themselves scattered in two to three dozen countries around the world. In fact, their displaced refugee populations are far more numerous than the speakers remaining back in their homelands (i.e. mainly the modern-day Kurdish-speaking areas of Iraq, Syria, Turkey and Iran).

Maybe it’s because persecutions of Arameans have been ongoing for so long that the media are paying scant attention to the humanitarian, religious, cultural and linguistic tragedies Aramaic-speaking peoples face in the Middle East. Despite the lack of media interest, the reality is that at least since World War I, Arameans, most of which are Christian, have been killed or chased from the Levant in waves of persecutions. Starting with the Ottoman massacres of 1915 (Armenians, Arameans and Pontic Greeks call it a genocide), and regularly in the decades thereafter (e.g. the Iran-Iraq war, Saddam Hussein’s repressions, the Gulf Wars, recently ISIS executions and large-scale destruction, and today’s ongoing civil wars in Iraq and Syria), for the past +100 years Arameans have had to flee for their lives on a recurrent basis.

This has led to the Assyrian, Chaldean and Surayt peoples sliding down the scales of linguistic and cultural endangerment in the Middle East. And wherever they fled around the world, spread even thinner, their languages have been disappearing ever faster. Having survived for 3000 years, soon the last Aramaic languages might be snuffed out if nothing is done to stop their decline.

There is a silver lining to this dark cloud though. Thanks to the Aramean diaspora’s presence in many Western countries, Tongues Without Borders can make contact with Assyrian, Chaldean and Suryat speakers without having to set foot in the unsafe areas of Syria, Iraq, Iran and Turkey where small groups of Aramaic speakers do remain, and who practise the most original forms of their language and culture.

Thus, waiting for peace to return to the Levant, we can start work on Aramaic languages in the United States, in Europe, in Israel and elsewhere, and in the course of time and developments permitting, open field offices in the neo-Aramaic speaking communities remaining in the Levant.

All of which explains why Tongues Without Borders has chosen to focus first on the extinct sacred language of Aramaic, and the three endangered refugee languages of Assyrian, Chaldean and Surayt. Let’s now take a closer look at each of the four.

 

 

Aramaic,

 

not altogether dead …

 

nor altogether alive …

 

Short Overview of a 3000-Year History

About 1000 years before the Common Era, Aramaic was turning into the world’s foremost language, quite like English today, rising to prominence in parallel with the rise to dominance of the world’s first truly global empire, Assyria (2500 BC – 609 BC).

Assyria in the 15th century BC, by which time Akkadian and Sumerian were the Assyrian Empire’s official languages https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Assyria

Assyrian Empire at its greatest extent (671 BC) https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Assyria#/media/File:Map_of_Assyria.png

By the 7th century BC, Akkadian was still an official language of the Assyrian Empire. But Aramaic, as second official language, had replaced Sumerian. Moreover, Aramaic had turned into the spoken language of the general populace, and the lingua franca not only of Assyria but also Babylonia.

When Assyria fell to the Chaldeans’ short-lived neo-Babylonian Empire in 605 BC, Aramaic continued as one of several official language of Babylonia, as lingua franca, and as language of the people.

Greatest Extent of Babylonian Empire, by about 560 BC https://www.thinglink.com/scene/845648335527215105

When, in turn, the Medes and Persians conquered Babylon in 539 BC, Aramaic further increased in importance, with ‘Imperial Aramaic’ now turning into the sole official language of the Medo-Persian Empire (550 BC – 330 BC) and spreading to new areas as the Empire outgrew both the preceding Assyrian and Babylonian Empires. It has even been stated that the use of a single official language “greatly contributed to the astonishing success of the Persians in holding their far-flung empire together for as long as they did”. (Shaked, Saul (1987). “Aramaic”. Encyclopedia Iranica, pp. 250–61)

Greatest Extent of Medo-Persian (or Achaemenid) Empire

https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Achaemenid_Empire_at_its_greatest_extent_according_to_Oxford_Atlas_of_World_History_2002.jpg

Another 200 years later, in 330 BC, with the arrival in the Levant of the Greek Empire at the conquering hands of Alexander the Great, yet again Aramaic survived, evolved and flourished throughout the Middle East.

An important witness to the preeminence of Aramaic during the millennium preceding the birth of Jesus Christ is the fact that large parts of the Old Testament books of Daniel and Ezra were written in Aramaic. As such, Aramaic is the second most used language in the Jewish Bible, after Hebrew, and the third most in the Christian Bible, after Hebrew and Greek. And in fact this point seems to be in dispute, as many now reckon that the New Testament (or perhaps the largest part of it) had originally been written in Aramaic, not Greek (see links to discussions on this issue further down). It might thus be that Aramaic, not Greek, is the language Christian theological students around the world should pay more attention to than Koine Greek, not the other way round…

Few know that Jesus and his disciples spoke Aramaic among themselves and to the crowds that followed them around. For example, several well-known private utterances of Jesus, like “Talitha kumi” and “Eli, Eli, lama sabachtani?”, or the personal names he gave his disciples, e.g. “Simon bar-Jonah”, “Cephas” and “Boanerges”, are all Aramaic, not Hebrew. And much less still Greek. This is proof that he and his disciples’ mother tongue was in fact Aramaic.

Evidence of the continued pre-eminence of Aramaic in the Middle East, up an till the arrival of the Roman Empire, is provided by the famous literary and historical treasure trove of the Dead Sea Scrolls found in 1946 in the Qumran caves of Judea, parts of which are in Aramaic. The Dead Sea Scrolls date back to between 150 BC and 70 AD.

Thereafter, in the first centuries of the Common Era and up to the 7th century, Jewish rabbis in Babylon composed large parts of the Talmud in Aramaic. To this day, thousands of Jewish students devote their lives to studying the Torah written both in Hebrew and Aramaic.

A dialect of Aramaic, Syriac, appeared around the early first century AD. As ancient Aramaic declined, Syriac Aramaic grew in importance and from the 4th to 8th centuries became a major literary language throughout the Middle East. To this day, there remains a large body of Syriac literature that makes up about 90% of the corpus of Aramaic literature surviving to our day.

By the 7th century AD, Aramaic took a knock with the Arab conquests of the Levant (634 to 638 AD). Thereafter Arabic gradually replaced Aramaic throughout the Middle East. But even so, some Aramaic dialects survived in many remote areas such as modern-day northern Iraq, upper Mesopotamia (today’s Kurdish-speaking areas), parts of Iran, as well as further south, down the Euphrates, nearby the Persian Gulf, where the Mandaeans to this day use an Aramaic language, Mandaic, as liturgical language of their distinct monotheistic religion, Mandaeism (which is neither Christian, nor Jewish, nor Muslim).

It is thus in those Middle Eastern ‘betweenwaters’ of Mesopotamia and the Fertile Crescent where groups of Aramaic-speaking peoples continued to survive and even thrive. There a host of Aramaic tongues developed over many centuries, first into different dialects and finally different languages altogether, much the same way that Romance languages such as French, Spanish, Italian, Romanian, Portuguese and many others derived from Latin.

With Aramaic no longer the official language of any empire, during this period, it is the host of branches of Syriac Christianity that turned into the main vector of Aramaic, in particular of its Syriac dialect, which serves as many Syriac Christian denominations’ liturgical language.

Aramaic from 1 AD to the 21st century, the common tongue of Syriac Christianity https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/c/c2/Syriac_Christianity.svg/1273px-Syriac_Christianity.svg.png

By the beginning of the 20th century, there were still over 100 Aramaic dialects and languages alive and well in the Middle East, spoken not only by Christians but also Jews and Mandaeans. World War I, however, saw the start of a consistent, prolonged wipeout of Arameans of all confessions and their languages in waves of repression, as already mentioned.

Today, only about 10 Aramaic languages survive, mainly in small pockets of the Middle East (see map above). And most of the 10 are listed as either severely or critically endangered on UNESCO’s scales of endangerment. These are:

        –      Assyrian, Chaldean, Surayt, Siryon, mainly spoken by Christians,

        –      Mandaic, mainly spoken by Mandeans,

        –      and five Jewish neo-Aramaic languages: Hulaula, Barzani, Lishan Didan, Lishana Deni, Lishanid Noshan. All 5 of these last surviving Jewish Aramaic languages are nearly extinct, having only very small numbers of speakers left, most of whom fled to Israel.

                Ironically it is in Israel, owing to the success of Hebrew, dead for millennia, that Aramaic languages are being wiped out fastest. Having survived elsewhere, often in hostile environments, for thousands of years, today they are just about to breathe their last in the Middle East’s only functioning democracy.

The extinct Aramaic dialect of Syriac is of particular relevance for a project aimed at reviving Aramaic. As mentioned, Syriac is still used today as liturgical language by a number of Eastern (or Syriac) Orthodox and Catholic Churches. Many of these denominations have congregations, monasteries and convents not only in the Middle East but as far and wide as the United States, India, Sweden, the Netherlands, Switzerland, Germany, the United Kingdom and elsewhere.

As was the case with modern Hebrew, writings in Syriac and Aramaic could serve as linguistic resource, and the speakers of neo-Aramaic languages as pools of human and cultural capital with which to revive Aramaic, in one form or the other (which form will be determined as the project progresses).

This brings us to the following Internet links that provide more in-depth information on a range of aspects (linguistic, historical, religious, political, organizational, educational) of Aramaic, a most remarkable language from every point of view which, in a nutshell, can be described as mankind’s first world language and in many ways the most important ancient language of all.

 

How to awaken Aramaic

from its

centuries-long slumber ?

 

Answer:

By learning as much as possible of Arameans and Aramaic languages,

and with that knowledge (see next pages),

on the basis of Tongues Without Borders’ overall objectives (see ‘Executive Summary’),

and bearing in mind our work methods (see ‘Marketing Plan’),

devise a workable revival strategy (see ‘Impact Plan’).

 

 

Linguistic and Historical Aspects of Aramaic

 

Historical context and importance of Aramaic: https://www.britannica.com/topic/Aramaic-alphabet

Oxford Prof. Brock on Syriac Language: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KUEDtpTs_tE

A Chronology of Semitic Languages:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ancient_Semitic-speaking_peoples#/media/File:Semitic_languages_-_Chronology.png

 

Development of the Early Aramaic Alphabet (750 BCE to 350 BCE):

https://www.flickr.com/photos/7327190@N08/5506931400

 

 

Religious Aspects of Aramaic

 

Overview of Syriac Christianity: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Syriac_Christianity

Oxford Prof. Sebastian Brock on Syriac Christianity: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hH9MFta3WWU

Present-day Syriac Denominations in the Middle East:

 

Present-Day Syriac Denominations in India (Saint Thomas Christians)

Was the New Testament written in Aramaic and then translated into Greek, or in Greek and then translated into Aramaic?

What says the Encyclopaedia Britannica: https://www.britannica.com/topic/biblical-translation

Opinion of Wikipedia: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aramaic_New_Testament

Opinion of Int. Bible Society: https://www.biblica.com/resources/bible-faqs/in-what-language-was-the-bible-first-written/

Opinion of a Christian Pastor: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L5IGUmK4670

Opinion of a Messianic Jew: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EndY9yQCjL4

Opinion of an Aramaic Scholar: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MFO-L-pWTk0&t=72s

Blog_1: http://orvillejenkins.com/languages/aramaicprimacy.html

Blog _2: https://probe.org/is-it-true-that-some-nt-documents-were-first-written-in-aramaicsyriac-and-then-in-greek-2/?print=print

Quora: https://www.quora.com/Why-was-the-New-Testament-written-in-Greek-rather-than-Aramaic-or-Latin

 

Syrian Orthodox Convent of Saint Marc, Old City of Jerusalem

http://salvation-inspiration.com/Catholic_Culture_Inspiration_for_Salvation_God_Adonai_Allah_page_015_salvation-inspiration.com.html

Arameans/Syriac Christians Around the World

United States: https://www.americamagazine.org/faith/2018/01/26/aramaic-language-jesus-comes-new-jersey

United Kingdom: http://english.ankawa.com/?p=13353

India: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6ZkDi3JNliA and https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vc8SZCv6sf0

The Netherlands: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qL65wv4fzmM

Israel: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cxWyNRhia40 and https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8in-ac89yxg

Palestine: https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=787&v=UWTPoHvLnWQ&feature=emb_title

Germany: https://www.facebook.com/avv1987/

Switzerland: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-uEtKDMnCKM and https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zCWNMhGpKEk

Austria: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Bugds14ZBxY

 

 

Political Aspects of Aramaic

Aramean Flag https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aramean-Syriac_flag

 

Political unrest causing a majority of Aramean to flee the Middle East

https://www.catholicregister.org/home/international/item/25474-more-than-half-of-iraqi-syrian-christians-have-fled-since-2011

 

Arameans appeal to Pres. Obama, the UN and EU for recognition as distinct ethnic minority in Iraq:

https://www.iraqichristians.info/English/Aramean_Organisations_Barack_Obama_26_11_2008.htm

https://www.iraqichristians.org/English/ArameansOrganisations_UN_Iraq_Help_10_5_2008.htm

https://www.aramnahrin.org/English/Aramean_Organisations_Letter_EU_President_1_12_2009.htm

 

Arameans appeal to the United Nations for recognition as distinct ethnic minority in Turkey:

https://www.aramnahrin.org/English/ArameanOrganisations_President_Primier_Turkey_20_5_2009.htm

https://wca-ngo.org/humanrightsfiles/turkey-s-minority-questions/465-wca-srf-call-on-erdogan-for-recognition

https://tbinternet.ohchr.org/Treaties/CESCR/Shared%20Documents/TUR/INT_CESCR_NGO_TUR_46_10199_E.pdf

http://www.aga-online.org/news/attachments/Johny_Messo_(englisch).pdf

 

Arameans appeal to the Vatican and UN for recognition and protection throughout Middle East:

http://www.univcongress.info/en/johny-messo-voice-for-unification-of-the-besieged-aramean-people-20623/

https://documents-dds-ny.un.org/doc/UNDOC/GEN/G02/143/08/PDF/G0214308.pdf?OpenElement

 

Arameans awarded nationhood and distinct ethnic minority status by Israel:

https://www.aramnahrin.org/English/Arameans_Israel_Recognition_19_9_2014.htm

https://m.knesset.gov.il/EN/activity/mmm/Arameans_in_the_Middle_%20East_and_%20Israel.pdf

https://jerusalemchannel.tv/2014/09/18/israel-recognizes-aramaic-christians-civil-registry/

 

Organizations Representing Aramean Interests

World Council of Arameans: https://wca-ngo.org/ and https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/World_Council_of_Arameans_(Syriacs)

Aramese Federatie Nederland: https://aramesefederatie.org/

Aramean Democratic Org.: http://aramean-dem.org/ and https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aramean_Democratic_Organization

Aramaic Relief International: http://aramaicrelief.com/?lang=en

Eur. Syriac Union: http://www.european-syriac-union.org/home.html and https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/European_Syriac_Union

Chaldean Syriac Assyrian Popular Council: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chaldean_Syriac_Assyrian_Popular_Council

Christian Coalition for Syria: https://www.facebook.com/pg/Christian-Coalition-for-Syria-CCFS-442572489203491/posts/

Assyria TV: https://www.assyriatv.org/

Ishtar TV: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ishtar_TV and https://www.ishtartv.com/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/arameansgroup


 

Educational Aspects of Aramaic

 

Where to Study Ancient Aramaic and Syriac?

General: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Syriac_studies

Online: http://www.syriacstudies.com/about-us/

Syriac Reference Portal: http://syriaca.org/

Catholic University of America: https://semitics.catholic.edu/academics/courses/course-descriptions/index.html

Princeton University: https://libguides.princeton.edu/syriac

Oxford University: https://www.orinst.ox.ac.uk/syriac and https://www.orinst.ox.ac.uk/aramaic

Leiden University: https://www.universiteitleiden.nl/en/humanities/institute-for-area-studies/hebrew-and-aramaic-studies

Toronto University: https://nmc.utoronto.ca/aramaic-syriac-studies/

Beth Mardutho: http://bethmardutho.org/

Israel: https://www.polisjerusalem.org/classical-syriac-courses

Sweden: https://www.uu.se/en/admissions/freestanding-courses/course/?kKod=5SY101&lasar=19%2F20&typ=1

Austria: https://www.uni-salzburg.at/index.php?id=201895&L=1

Germany: https://www.uni-heidelberg.de/en/study/all-subjects/semitic-studies/semitic-studies-master

 

Existing Initiatives to Revive Aramaic as Living Language

The following initiatives often refer to the language they want to revive, revitalize or teach to children in primary school settings as ‘Aramaic’. But it’s unclear which form of Aramaic is promoted: Ancient Aramaic, Syriac or a neo-Aramaic language, and if a neo-Aramaic language, which one? More research needed in subsequent phases of Tongues Without Borders’ launch.

Languages in Danger: http://languagesindanger.eu/wp-content/uploads/2012/12/TaskSavingLgs.pdf

Committee for the Revival of the Aramaic Language: http://www.fides.org/en/news/67063-ASIA_ISRAEL_Initiatives_to_revitalize_the_Aramaic_language_and_identity_continue and https://www.jewishpress.com/news/middle-east/assyrians-from-around-the-world-gather-in-jerusalem-to-discuss-the-future-of-aramaic-and-assyrian-culture/2019/12/02/

Languages of the World: https://www.languagesoftheworld.info/geolinguistics/aramaic-revival-holy-land.html

i24 News: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j30WZvLydAc

In Galilee: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6NtRijat13g

In Syria: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JW6Q2wzCElU

Research project: https://www.geschkult.fu-berlin.de/en/e/semiarab/semitistik/forschung/aramaic-online-project/aop.html

In Sweden: https://www.theatlantic.com/education/archive/2016/03/the-school-helping-migrant-kids-feel-at-home/474957/

In Sweden: http://www.sanktignatios.org/en/programkurser.html?v=1.1212#EasternChristianStudies

In Palestine: https://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2012/jun/5/the-language-of-jesus/

 

 

Books on Arameans, on Aramaic/Syriac and in Aramaic

https://www.academia.edu/35435648/Arameans_and_the_Making_of_Assyrians_The_Last_Aramaic-speaking_Christians_of_the_Middle_East

https://www.gorgiaspress.com/the-hidden-pearl-the-aramaic-heritage

https://www.amazon.com/Introduction-Aramaic-Second-Resources-Biblical/dp/1589830598

https://vdocuments.mx/introduction-to-syriac-wheeler-m-thackston.html

https://www.crcpress.com/The-Syriac-World/King/p/book/9781138899018

https://www.bookdepository.com/Introduction-Syriac-Studies-Sebastian-Brock/9781463207137

https://www.bookdepository.com/Peshitta-Its-Use-Literature-Liturgy-Bas-Ter-Haar-Romeny/9789004156586

https://www.aent.org/

 

https://www.bookdepository.com/Aramaic-Bible-Martin-McNamara/9781850754541


 

When You Have

 

Double Jeopardy of a Cultural Kind, i.e. Involving

a minority indigenous people (ethnocultural jeopardy),

that speak an endangered language (linguistic jeopardy),

 

And Double Jeopardy of a Human Rights Kind, when that Indigenous People is also

persecuted for their faith (religious jeopardy),

and stateless (political jeopardy),

 

And When They Face Double Jeopardy of a Material Kind in that they are

now refugees in exile (economic jeopardy),

scattered all around the world (family jeopardy)

 

Then You Have a Full-Blown Humanitarian Crisis

of Herculean Proportions

That Warrants Much Greater Awareness in the West

and International Community.

 

This is the situation faced by the neo-Aramaic, Christian peoples of the Middle East, and notably of the peoples speaking the following 3 languages:

 

Assyrian,

Chaldean and

Surayt


ASSYRIAN Language

Alternative names:         Assyrian Neo-Aramaic, Neo-Syriac, Christian Northeastern Neo-Aramaic

Family of languages:      Semitic (some 97 languages)

Indigenous people:        Assyrian

Ethnicity :                            Aramean

Countries of origin:        Iraq, Syria, Iran

Geographic location:     Northern Iraq, mainly Dahuk and Ninawa governorates, 2 enclaves, one northeast of Buhayrat al Mawsil, the other, at Turkish border; scattered in Baghdad, Al Basrah, At Ta’mim (Kirkuk), and Arbil governorates

Specificity:                         Diaspora larger than number of speakers in 3 main countries of origin

Writing system:               Syriac

UNESCO classification: Definitely endangered

Number of speakers:     At least 700,000

Speakers in:                       At least 24 countries with significant numbers of speakers (Armenia, Australia, Azerbaijan, Canada, France, Georgia, Germany, Greece, Iran, Iraq, Israel, Kuwait, Kazakhstan, Lebanon, New Zealand, Russia, Sweden, Syria, Turkey, Ukraine, United Kingdom, United States, Uruguay, West Bank/Gaza)

Main religion:                                     Christianity

UNESCO file:                                       http://www.unesco.org/culture/languages-atlas/en/atlasmap/language-id-2232.html

Summer Institute of Linguistics:                               https://www.ethnologue.com/language/aii

Ethnologue:                                         https://www.ethnologue.com/language/aii

Max Planck Institute:                       http://www.language-archives.org/language/aii

Glottolog:                                             https://glottolog.org/resource/languoid/id/assy1241

Wikipedia:                                           https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Assyrian_Neo-Aramaic

Endangered Languages Project:  http://www.endangeredlanguages.com/lang/9329

Scriptsource:                                       https://scriptsource.org/cms/scripts/page.php?item_id=language_detail&key=aii

Assyrians on Facebook:                    https://www.facebook.com/assyrianfans/

Assyrians on Twitter:                         https://twitter.com/ashooretah?lang=en

Assyrians of Chicago:                         http://www.aina.org/aol/ethnic.htm

Assyrian News:                                     https://assyrianworld.com/

Church of the East:                              https://www.assyrianchurch.org/

Syrian Orthodox Patriarchate of Antioch:             http://syriacpatriarchate.org/

Assyrian Policy Institute: https://twitter.com/AssyrianPolicy?ref_src=twsrc%5Egoogle%7Ctwcamp%5Eserp%7Ctwgr%5Eauthor

https://sarahabed.com/2017/09/20/modern-day-horrors-kurds-disarm-assyrians-and-yazidis-abandoning-them-to-daesh-onslaught/

https://www.newsweek.com/2015/04/03/new-exodus-christians-flee-isis-middle-east-316785.html

 

The Internet the only homeland of Assyrians?

https://www.culturalsurvival.org/publications/cultural-survival-quarterly/assyrians-3000-years-history-yet-internet-our-only-home

Assyrian music: https://assyrianworld.com/2019/09/26/ashor-farhadi/

Assyrian dance: https://students.com/ancient/vid-soCy1nDWKH0

 

https://assyrianworld.com/

Assyrian Flag https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Assyrian_flag

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rlS3qoTFx6Q and https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2015/03/syria-assyrians-helped-150301053211418.html

Fall in Christian population following Iraqi invasion: https://www.frc.org/university/they-say-we-are-infidels-on-the-run-from-isis-with-persecuted-christians-in-the-middle-east

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pXPw7n9zPIk

Books on Assyrians and the Assyrian Language

https://www.postcardsforpeace.org/book-review-heirs-to-forgotten-kingdoms/

http://orientale-lumen.blogspot.com/2008/10/church-of-east-christoph-baumer.html

https://www.gorgiaspress.com

http://readingreligion.org/books/revival-and-awakening

http://readingreligion.org/books/genocide-ottoman-empire

https://www.amazon.in/Tragedy-Assyrian-Minority-Arabia-Library/dp/0710308930

https://www.amazon.com/Assyrians-Chicago-Images-America-Shoumanov/dp/0738519081

https://www.gorgiaspress.com/the-assyrians-in-australian-archives

https://www.goodreads.com/en/book/show/26459985-they-say-we-are-infidels


 

CHALDEAN Language

Alternative names:       Surit, Suret

Family of languages:    Semitic (some 97 languages)

Indigenous people:      Chaldean

Ethnicity :                          Aramean

Countries of origin:      Iraq, Turkey

Geographic location:   Mosul, Ninawa; now also Baghdad and Basra

Writing system:             Syriac

UNESCO classification:                                                 Definitely endangered

Number of speakers:     At least 200,000

Speakers in:                       At least 6 countries with significant numbers of speakers (Germany, Iraq, Lebanon, Netherlands, Syria, United States)

Main religion:                                     Christianity

UNESCO file:                                       http://www.unesco.org/languages-atlas/en/atlasmap/language-iso-cld.html

Summer Institute of Linguistics: https://iso639-3.sil.org/code/cld

Ethnologue:                                         http://www.ethnologue.com/language/cld

Max Planck Institute:                       http://www.language-archives.org/language/cld

Glottolog:                                             https://glottolog.org/resource/languoid/id/chal1275

Wikipedia:                                           https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chaldean_Neo-Aramaic

Scriptsource:                                       https://scriptsource.org/cms/scripts/page.php?item_id=language_detail&key=cld

Chaldeans on Facebook:                      https://www.facebook.com/pg/ChaldeanWiki/posts/

Chaldeans on Twitter:                           https://twitter.com/chaldean_people?lang=en

Chaldeans in Detroit:                             https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FJ35KCShOMI

Chaldean News:                                       https://www.chaldeannews.com/

Chaldean Catholic Church:                  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chaldean_Catholic_Church

Chaldean Patriarchate of Babylon:  http://saint-adday.com/?cat=12

Online Chaldean Encyclopedia:        https://www.chaldeanwiki.com/

https://www.nbcnews.com/politics/immigration/trump-vowed-protect-arab-christians-so-why-ice-accused-lying-n925121 and https://religionnews.com/2017/06/15/chaldeans-in-us-why-arent-more-christians-speaking-out-against-deportations-to-iraq/

Pres. Trump vows deportation relief to Iraqi Christians: https://apnews.com/97596baeabc056b88674729d55812962  

 

http://amerfatuhi.blogspot.com/2018/05/happy-chaldean-national-flag-day-may.html

https://imgbin.com/png/nN3UZEFs/hanging-gardens-of-babylon-ishtar-gate-seven-wonders-of-the-ancient-world-png

Chaldean Museum: https://www.clickondetroit.com/news/2019/12/03/metro-detroit-home-to-worlds-first-and-only-chaldean-museum/

https://cruxnow.com/church-in-the-middle-east/2019/08/chaldean-archbishop-iraqi-christians-face-extinction-unless-world-acts/ and https://www.undispatch.com/the-persecution-of-christians-in-iraq/

 

Books on Chaldeans and the Chaldean Language

https://www.amazon.com/Chaldean-Account-Genesis-Babylonian-Hardcover/dp/0359031943

https://www.amazon.fr/Babylon-Captivating-Mesopotamia-Including-Babylonian-ebook/dp/B07MLL27ZX

https://twitter.com/chaldeantoday/status/900936206006894592

https://www.amazon.com/Chaldean-Catholic-Church-Ecclesiology-Church-State/dp/1138040053

https://www.arcadiapublishing.com/Products/9781467112550

https://www.bloomsbury.com/us/the-chaldeans-9781788313698/

https://chbookshop.hymnsam.co.uk/books/9780268102937/abducted-in-iraq?vc=CT463

https://www.amazon.com/Christianity-Freedom-Contemporary-Perspectives-Law/dp/1107124727

https://www.amazon.com/Disappearing-People-Tragic-Christians-Middle/dp/1642932035


 

 

 

SURAYT Language

Alternative names:       Turoyo, Turani, Suryan

Family of languages:    Semitic (some 97 languages)

Indigenous people:      Suryoye

Ethnicity :                          Aramean

Countries of origin:      Turkey

Geographic location:   Mardin Province of southeastern Turkey; Al-Hasakah Governorate in northeastern Syria

Writing systems:           Syriac and Latin alphabets

UNESCO classification:                                                 Severely endangered

Number of speakers:   ±100,000

Main religion:                                     Christianity

UNESCO file:                                       http://www.unesco.org/culture/languages-atlas/en/atlasmap/language-id-1986.html

Summer Institute of Linguistics: https://iso639-3.sil.org/code/tru

Ethnologue:                                         https://www.ethnologue.com/language/tru

Max Planck Institute:                       http://www.language-archives.org/language/tru

Glottolog:                                             https://glottolog.org/resource/languoid/id/turo1239

Wikipedia:                                           https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Turoyo_language

Sorosoro:                                              http://www.sorosoro.org/en/turoyo/

Omniglot:                                             https://www.omniglot.com/writing/turoyo.htm

Scriptsource:                                       https://scriptsource.org/cms/scripts/page.php?item_id=language_detail&key=tru

Multitree:                                             http://multitree.org/codes/tru

Facebook:                         https://www.facebook.com/Rinyo.Inc/ and https://www.facebook.com/pg/1915sayfo/posts/

Twitter:                                                  https://twitter.com/hashtag/Turabdin

Surayt Online Language Course: http://www.surayt.com/

Other:                                                     https://www.facebook.com/BYUCPART/

Syriac Monastery in Anitli, Southeastern Turkey: https://www.bbc.com/news/stories-46650911 and https://offbeattravel.blog/meryem-ana-manastiri.html

 

 

The Swedish Link:

Wikipedia: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Assyrians/Syriacs_in_Sweden

Surayt community in Sweden: http://sens-public.org/article767.html?lang=fr

And in Södertälje town: http://www.aina.org/news/20160229021423.htm

Tigris Press: http://www.tigrispress.com/1.html

St. Afrem Cathedral, Södertälje: https://www.wikiwand.com/en/Assyrians/Syriacs_in_Sweden

Surayts in New Jersey: https://www.degruyter.com/view/j/ijsl.2016.2016.issue-237/ijsl-2015-0033/ijsl-2015-0033.xml?lang=en

Syriac Patriarch: https://www.anglicannews.org/news/2016/06/assassination-attempt-on-syriac-orthodox-church-patriarch.aspx

 

 

Two Scripts Used To Write Turoyo

https://www.pinterest.fr/pin/356136283020215496/

The Sound of Turoyo, A Love Story: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NRfpfUJXVeQ

Tur Abdin, heartland of the Surayt people: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hc5GqJE5XdQ

Sounds of Mardin Province, Turkey: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S6sybft_vCM

Saving Surayt through Calligraphy: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UPVEAPJ0Qww

Surayt History in Upper Mesopotamia: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UPVEAPJ0Qww

A Return to Roots: https://www.bbc.com/news/stories-46650910

Things Looking up for the Surayt? http://america.aljazeera.com/articles/2015/5/24/syriac-village-turkey-finds-voice.html and https://www.nationalreview.com/magazine/2019/08/26/the-syriac-christian-renaissance/

Syriac Orthodox Prayers Sung in Aramaic: https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=hiP4x64CRfk

Different Syriac Scripts

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Syriac_alphabet#West_Syriac_Ser%E1%B9%AD%C4%81

 

Map of Tur Abdin Showing Surayt Villages and Monasteries: https://www.wikiwand.com/en/Tur_Abdin


 

Books on the Surayt People, Their Language, Their Homeland and Turkey

https://www.amazon.fr/Lost-History-Christianity-Thousand-Year-Asia/dp/0061472816

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/45177264-shlomo-surayt-is-an-introduction-course-for-surayt

https://www.amazon.com/Migrating-Minority-Languages-Frontiers-Translation-ebook/dp/B071DGP7DC

https://www.amazon.com/Construction-Equality-Syriac-Immigration-Swedish/dp/0816698716

https://www.gorgiaspress.com/the-syriac-orthodox-in-north-america-18951995

https://www.gorgiaspress.com/the-history-of-tur-abdin

https://www.amazon.com/Zafaraan-Monastery-Publications-Archdiocese-Orthodox/dp/159333639X/ref=sr_1_fkmr0_1?keywords=History+of+the+Zafaraan+Monastery+translated+by+Moosa&qid=1580432925&s=books&sr=1-1-fkmr0

https://www.amazon.fr/Syriac-Manuscripts-Abdin-Gr%C3%BCnwald-English-ebook/dp/B0755VX3MF

https://www.amazon.com/Gods-Hostage-Persecution-Imprisonment-Perseverance/dp/0801094879