|Re: the usual suspects|
- Wednesday, November 19 2008, 2:59:19 (CET)|
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"If those archeological findings were not of Assyrians, how could we start calling ourselves Assyrians after “their finding”? Furthermore,"
This is such an important question and its sad that they deliberately chose to ignore it.
Our Suraya identity was first changed to Assyrian after the discovery of the ancient Assyrian cities in Iraq. Our identity was thus shaped by the following 3 important considerations:
1. Darwin - The 1850s was a time when not only the ancient capital of Nineveh was discovered but when the famous "Origin of species" shook the Christian world and led to the belief that their "Holy books" were based on fiction. In an attempt to validate the events that took place in the Bible archaeologists went to Iraq and discovered such evidence. e.g. bas relief of the seige of Lacish. The survival of the fittest theories also led to the Eugenics theory much loved by the Nazis who used it to eradicate the Semites of Europe.
2. Orientalism - The British who considered a Western Judeo-Christian based world superior to a Middle Eastern Islamic based world needed to find an explanation. They could not believe the sophistication and advancement of the ancient Assyrians in stark constrast to the regressive, autocratic and despotic people that were currently on the land. In staying within the racist Orientalism framework they only acknowledged their co-religionists as the descendants of the ancient creators of civilisation. The same thing happened with the Coptic Christians being considered the ancestors of the Egyptians.
3. Nationalism - The Christian Syriac speaking minority led by their patriarch attempted to join the wave of nationalism sweeping over the Middle East at the time and adopted the Assyrian identity.
It was a perfect storn with us being in the right place at the right time that led us to eventualy adopt the name of our ancestors even tough we had no link as Dr Joseph rightly points out.
What is sad though is that it makes no difference. Whether we are descendants of the Aramaens who were also tribes within the ancient Assyrian Empire or whether we are descendant of the ancient Assyrians means nothing because both would be considered indigenous - along with the Kurds - according to the UN definition which requires the inhabitants to have been in the same location for over 400 oears.
The full topic:|
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