Welcome to the home of the indigenous
Aramaic-speaking Christian Assyrians of the Middle East.
of today are the descendants of the ancient Assyrian people, one of
the earliest civilizations emerging in the Middle East, and have a
history spanning over 6760 years.
Assyrians are not Arabian or Arabs, we are not
Kurdish, our religion is not Islam. The Assyrians are Christian,
with our own unique language, culture and heritage. Although
the Assyrian empire ended in 612 B.C., history is replete with
continuous presence of the Assyrian people till the present
Assyria, the land of the indigenous Assyrians, was
partitioned after World War I by the victorious
is currently under occupation by Kurds, Turks, Arabs and Persians.
The Assyrians are a stateless people and continue to be
religiously and ethnically persecuted in the Middle East due to
Islamic fundamentalism, Arabization and Kurdification policies, leading to
land expropriations and forced emigration to the West.
U.S. Census 2000
The Final Analysis
Posted: September 25, 1999 at 03:15 PM | Updated: August
our every deliberation, a nation must study the implications of its
decisions on its future generations.
The primary objective of the Atour website is to aid the unification
process of our people who have been subjected to numerous genocides,
migrations, and forced assimilation throughout the Middle Eastern
with sincere hope that the following information will shed some light on
the process which the U.S. Census Bureau and our communities'
delegations took to reach the proposed "Assyrian/Chaldean/Syriac"
classification. Please view the links within this page as you read
to the subsequent meetings of the various individuals which comprised
the committee, the Assyrian American National Federation, the Chaldean
American National Federation and the Suryoyo Delegation met, agreed and
officially signed documents to bring
our people closer together. We believe this was a genuine step in
promoting the ideals that we are people from the same nation.
Initially, the people (public) were told we have only two choices from
the Census Bureau. Indeed, these were the ultimatum given to the
1) Separate categories
2) Assyrian/Chaldean/Syriac (new category)
Actually, there where many choices. The U.S. Census Bureau works
under the democratic values of the United States and makes its judgment
based on meetings with community representatives and obtains historical
information to formalize their decisions. Thus, the initial
choices at the Census Bureau were:
1) Assyrian (1990 Census)
2) "Assyrians (including Chaldeans)" (new category)
3) Separate categories (new categories)
4) Assyrio/Chaldo (new category)
5) Assyrian/Chaldean/Syrian (new category)
6) Assyrian/Chaldean/Syriac (new category)
choices were scrutinized based on the recommendation of the delegations
present. As the discussions continued, most of choices were
eliminated. An important issue to remember is this: Did the Census Bureau view the historical facts and make their
judgments based on the historical information presented to them OR
were they extensively lobbied more from a particular delegation into
confusion and despair? Let us examine most of the noteworthy
information during Census 2000.
The key documentation presented and delegation viewpoints
The reclassification process of the 1990
U.S. Census 482-489 Assyrian category for Census 2000, began when the
Census Bureau was contacted by the Chaldean Delegation, led by the
Dr. Sarhad Jammo at the request of the honorable
Bishop Mar Ibrahim Ibrahim
from the Chaldean Diocese of Detroit, Michigan in July,
Related Article | Article 2.
events and discussions in chronological order
Will history repeat itself yet again, 448 years later? Will
the Chaldean Delegation complete its initiative of seeking a
separate ethnic code for Census 2000? These important
questions can only be answered by scientific and historical
of September 25th, 1999,
concerned Assyrians from the Assyrian Church of the East, the
Chaldean Catholic Church, the Syrian Orthodox Church, the Assyrian
Presbyterian Church, the Assyrian Evangelical Church and other
religious communities have signed this census petition. In
proportion to our nation's population of approximately 4 million
people worldwide (most without Internet access,) this is a
we righteous in the 20th century, complete with our massive
archives of historical information, than our forefathers? The
same forefathers who understood the plight of the Assyrian nation
and signed their official correspondences as Assyrians.
Legends such as,
Mar Eshai Shimun, Agha Petrous,
David B. Perley,
Freydun Atouraya and many other giants of our nation, who
understood the Assyrian nation is comprised of groups and are known
by their respective churches' name, yet stood firmly on the
foundation of Assyria.
have become desensitized to historical information.
Progressive nations have long realized that there is greater
strength in unity. We, the Assyrians with our various internal
factions, have the same factions as do the Armenians and the Jewish
people, but neither of them will dare to undermine their true
historic, national identity. Their unwavering unity has
allowed these nations to keep their dignity, land, villages, cities, towns and their independence by uniting under one historic
identity, which has allowed them to stand proud and triumphant over
Based upon the information contained in this analysis, it is quite
evident these discussions require an evenly balanced participation
from the delegations to properly address this centuries old plague,
before any decisions can be made.
single most important and acceptable result the Assyrian people
would like to see is the formation of the proposed committee
consisting of qualified political/religious/linguistic scholars of
the various communities of our nation, to discuss the implications
of its decisions. This committee has yet to be created.
website endorses the 1990 U.S. Census 482-489 Assyrian
classification for Census 2000. We do not support any plan for
the proposed "Assyrian/Chaldean/Syriac" classification or any
creation of separate categories of this one Assyrian nation.
We advise the
U.S. Census Bureau to uphold their constitutional obligations when
deciding the fate of our people.
with classification 482-489 Assyrian is less detrimental to our
nation's forward movements, than to make an imprudent decision based
on the select few history-revising clergymen and their supporters
who feverishly cause more damage and defy historical and scientific
facts in the midst of the people's innocence.
hope history does not repeat itself on this issue.
“In this context it is important to draw attention to the
fact that the
Aramaic-speaking peoples of the Near East have since
ancient times identified themselves as Assyrians and
still continue to do so. The self-designations of modern
Syriacs and Assyrians, Sūryōyō and Sūrāyā, are both
derived from the ancient Assyrian word for "Assyrian",
Aššūrāyu, as can be easily established from a closer
look at the relevant words.”
“Today, the Assyrian nation largely lives in diaspora, split
into rivaling churches and political factions. The fortunes of
the people that constitute it have gone different ways over the
millennia, and their identities have changed accordingly. The
Syriacs in the west have absorbed many influences from the
Greeks, while the Assyrians in the east have since ancient times
been under Iranian cultural influence. Ironically, as members of
Chaldean Catholic Church (established in 1553 but
effectively only in 1830), many modern Assyrians originating
from central Assyria now identify with "Chaldeans", a term
associated with the Syriac language in the 16th century but
ultimately derived from the name of the dynasty that destroyed
Nineveh and the Assyrian Empire!”
“Disunited, dispersed in exile, and as dwindling minorities
without full civil rights in their
homelands, the Assyrians of today are in grave danger of
total assimilation and extinction (Aprim
2003). In order to survive as a nation, they must now
unite under the Assyrian identity of their ancestors. It
is the only identity that can help them to transcend the
differences between them, speak with one voice again, catch the
attention of the world, and regain their place among the
\ã-'sir-é-ä\ n (1998)
1: an ancient empire of Ashur
a democratic state in Bet-Nahren, Assyria (northern Iraq, northwestern
Iran, southeastern Turkey and eastern Syria.)
3: a democratic state that fosters the social and
political rights to all of its inhabitants irrespective of their religion,
race, or gender 4: a democratic
state that believes in the freedom of religion, conscience, language,
education and culture in faithfulness to the principles of the United
Nations Charter —
Ethnicity, Religion, Language
Israeli, Jewish, Hebrew
Assyrian, Christian, Aramaic
Saudi Arabian, Muslim, Arabic
\ã-'sir-é-an\ adj or n (1998)
1: descendants of the ancient empire of Ashur
2: the Assyrians, although representing but one single
nation as the direct heirs of the ancient Assyrian Empire, are now
doctrinally divided, inter sese, into five principle ecclesiastically
designated religious sects with their corresponding hierarchies and
distinct church governments, namely, Church of the East, Chaldean,
Maronite, Syriac Orthodox and Syriac Catholic. These formal
divisions had their origin in the 5th century of the Christian Era.
No one can coherently understand the Assyrians as a whole until he can
distinguish that which is religion or church from that which is nation
-- a matter which is particularly difficult for the people from the
western world to understand; for in the East, by force of circumstances
beyond their control, religion has been made, from time immemorial,
virtually into a criterion of nationality.
the Assyrians have been referred to as Aramaean, Aramaye, Ashuraya,
Ashureen, Ashuri, Ashuroyo, Assyrio-Chaldean, Aturaya, Chaldean, Chaldo,
ChaldoAssyrian, ChaldoAssyrio, Jacobite, Kaldany, Kaldu, Kasdu, Malabar,
Maronite, Maronaya, Nestorian, Nestornaye, Oromoye, Suraya, Syriac,
Syrian, Syriani, Suryoye, Suryoyo and Telkeffee. — Assyrianism
1: a Semitic language which became the lingua franca of
the Middle East during the ancient Assyrian empire.
2: has been referred to as Neo-Aramaic, Neo-Syriac, Classical
Syriac, Syriac, Suryoyo, Swadaya and Turoyo.