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Iraq: A Country Study

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Iraq: A Country Study

Dec-19-2001 at 11:30 PM (UTC+3 Nineveh, Assyria)

Here are few passages from an important research by the U.S. Government published in a book titled "Iraq: A Country Study". The study indicated that the census data supplied by the Iraqi government could not be trusted, still it grouped all Syriac (neo-Aramaic) speaking people under Assyrians and rightly so. The study stated, quote:

Although the data are not absolutely reliable, the government estimates that 76% of the people are Arab; 19% are Kurds; while Turkomans, Assyrians, Armenians, and other relatively small groups make up the rest. Unquote.

In addition, the study stressed on a very important issue, that even though the Aramaic speaking people belong to different churches, they are grouped ethnically, and again rightly so, under Assyrians, regardless to how the Iraqi government groups them. The study stated, quote:

The Assyrians are considered to be the third largest ethnic minority in Iraq. Although official Iraqi statistics do not refer to them as an ethnic group, they are believed to represent about 133,000 persons, or less than 1 percent of the population. Descendants of ancient Mesopotamian peoples, they speak Aramaic. The Assyrians live mainly in the major cities and in the rural areas of northeastern Iraq, where they tend to be professionals and businessmen or independent farmers. They are Christians, belonging to one of four churches: the Chaldean (Uniate), the Nestorian, the Jacobite or Syrian Orthodox, and the Syrian Catholic. Unquote.

Of course the figure provided above is irrelevant since the researcher had indicated earlier that census figures supplied by the Iraqi government were not reliable.

Iraq: A Country Study
Federal Research Division
Library of Congress
Edited by Helen Chapin Metz
Research completed May 1988
Fourth Edition 1990
Copyright 1990 United States Government as represented by the Secretary of the Army.
pp. 80-81 and 86

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Assyria \ã-'sir-é-ä\ n (1998)   1:  an ancient empire of Ashur   2:  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 — Atour synonym

Ethnicity, Religion, Language
» Israeli, Jewish, Hebrew
» Assyrian, Christian, Aramaic
» Saudi Arabian, Muslim, Arabic
Assyrian \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.   3:  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 verb

Aramaic \ar-é-'máik\ n (1998)   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.

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