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Assyrian Genocide Memorial in Armenia

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Assyrian Genocide Memorial in Armenia

Feb-07-2011 at 09:16 AM (UTC+3 Nineveh, Assyria)

Last edited on 08/12/2011 at 05:55 PM (UTC3 Assyria)
 
This message contains information regarding the Assyrian Genocide Memorial in Yerevan, Armenia. We have posted the latest information within the Assyrian Forums and hope there will be an effort to discuss and resolve this situation on this very important subject of Assyrian Genocide awareness and recognition.

Do you have more information to share with the online community?
Please reply to this forum message and/or send information through this contact system.

We are confident the Assyrians of Armenia will resolve these issues and present a memorial with the full support and agreement of the community.

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1. Letter from the Monument Commission

Feb-07-2011 at 10:02 AM (UTC+3 Nineveh, Assyria)

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Last edited on 08/12/2011 at 06:03 PM (UTC3 Assyria)
 
Building the Monument to Victims of the Assyrian Genocide in Yerevan Disturbs the Public
by Irina Sagradova-Gasparyan, Yerevan, Armenia

The Assyrian community was inspired when it received information in 2009 that the authorities of Yerevan had given а ground area for the monument devoted to victims of the 1915 genocide of the Assyrian Nation, which is under the initiative of the “Atur” Assyrian Association (Non-Governmental Organization, NGO) headed by Arsen Mihaylov.

However, unfortunately, further steps taken by the “Atur” Association caused bewilderment because the sketch of the monument that the NGO presented to Yerevan Municipality for confirmation not only was not chosen through a competition, but has not been published in any newspaper or posted on any website. Therefore, the question of promulgating the sketch became a topic for discussion for the Interstate Assyrian Coordination Council (IACC) via an Internet conference and was made public through persistent demands from members of the IACC in June 2010.

The published sketch has been sharply criticized by the Assyrians in Armenia, the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) and abroad. Members of the IACC and individual experts have sent letters expressing their indignation to the Yerevan Municipality. The following are some assessments and opinions regarding the sketch in question:

  • “This sketch doesn’t present the main ideas, including the tragedy of genocide and the characteristics of traditional Assyrian sculpture to define this complex as a part of Assyrian culture”
    (from the letter addressed to Yerevan Municipality by members of the Nikolayev organization of the National Union of Artists of Ukraine, Mirzoeva E. I. and Mirzoeva R. E.).
  • “As a work of art, the sketch of the monument is artistically and semantically very weak and unprofessional. As an oriental studies expert and a journalist, I don’t understand why this project was not put up for an open debate and wasn’t chosen through a competition as is the case with projects of this magnitude and importance in all parts of the world”
    (from the letter addressed to Yerevan Municipality by V. Shumanov, editor-in-chief of www.atranews.com, Chicago, USA).
  • “We are certain that you cannot help but share our grave concern over the fact that the chief architect of Yerevan confirmed a very bad design of the monument to the victims of the Assyrian genocide. It is inexpressive and doesn’t reflect the depth of our grief and tragedy of the events to which it is devoted. The erection of a monument with such a design would hurt our feelings as a nation. In addition, this design of the monument violates the established tradition of building monuments that give Yerevan a unique appearance that is not likely to make people who love the city indifferent. We really wouldn’t like to see a bad decision associated with the Assyrians in Yerevan…The Assyrians have appreciated and appreciate the impact of the spiritual and intellectual atmosphere of the modern Armenian capital on its citizens of all nationalities.

    Of course, we are not trying to impose our opinion on you, but we cannot and will not remain indifferent toward this situation. Assyrians in many countries have repeatedly expressed the desire to transfer funds for the construction of the monument and such joint action is necessary not only for the construction of the monument, but for the maintenance of the consolidation of Assyrians scattered across the globe as well. Unfortunately, acquaintance with the confirmed design of the monument is forcing Assyrians abroad to refuse to fund this project.

    The only way out of this situation would be to create a wide-ranging commission to approve the project through a fair and transparent competition. The commission should be composed of people who are honored in the Assyrian community of Armenia and experts, including artists, sculptors and architects. Of course, citizens of Armenia and, above all, the citizens of Yerevan should have the casting vote right. The fundraiser for construction of the monument should be open and fair.

    We were deeply content when we learned that in Armenia has already established an initiating group advocating for the solution to the issue based on the above-mentioned principles.
    We urge you to support the initiative for project approval of the monument through a competition. This fact will be estimated by Assyrians in different parts of the world with gratitude and will allow the accepting of the best architectural decisions for your fine city”

    (from the letter addressed to Yerevan Municipality by PhD, Joseph Zaya, Chairman of the Moscow Regional Ethnic Cultural Autonomy of Assyrians, Russia).

The Interstate Assyrian Coordination Council (IACC) has expressed its opinion on the inadmissibility of the realization of this sketch. The IACC had proposed to the “Atur” Association to address Yerevan Municipality with a request to declare the decision on the statement of the given sketch as invalid and declare an open contest for projects of a monument to victims of the Assyrian genocide in 1915.

Unfortunately, the “Atur” Association ignored the opinion expressed by many honorable people of the Assyrian community abroad. For this reason, the Commission “On the erection of the Assyrian Genocide Monument devoted to innocent victims in 1915” in Yerevan (hereinto the Commission) was created on 6 November 2010 because “the monument to victims of the Assyrian genocide erected in Armenia can be of incomparably higher importance than the same monument erected in any other country in the world” (from the letter addressed to Yerevan Municipality by Vice-President of the Association of Assyrians of Ukraine, Givargis Badari).

Representatives of the Assyrian community and religious organizations in Armenia, the Assyrian Federations of Armenia, honored people of the Assyrian community (with a compact population), public and religious organizations of the Assyrian Diaspora have been invited to be a part of the Commission.

The Provision on the Commission states that:

  1. The Commission has the right:
    • To demand the granting of financial statements and explanations about gathering and expenditure of funds collected for construction of the monument,
    • To address the proper authorities in case of violations of points in the draft for the erection of the monument, not the target of spending and the concealment of funds,

  2. The Commission is required to publish reports of the fund raising, earmarked for the erection of the monument.”

In order for the International Assyrian Community to receive more precise information and participate as much as possible in the erection of the monument in Yerevan, the Commission is composed of two parts:

  • The Commission with casting votes of citizens of Armenia of Assyrian nationality,
  • The International Commission with the deliberative votes of representatives of the Assyrian Diaspora (i.e. not citizens of Armenia).

During a regular session of the Commission, it was decided to address the Mayor of Yerevan with a request to cancel a decision to approve the draft of the monument in order to announce a competition to design a monument dedicated to the innocent victims of the Assyrian genocide in 1915, because the construction of a monument with the project approved by Yerevan Municipality not acceptable because:

  1. Construction of such a monument concerns not only the Assyrians in Armenia and the International Assyrian Community, but also citizens of Yerevan. Such a monument will cause harm to Yerevan and the unsuccessful construction will be associated with the Assyrian nation and that is simply inadmissible.
  2. Construction would hurt our feelings as a nation from the artistic and professional viewpoint.
  3. We can consider the construction of such a monument as the deliberate propagation of information that will belittle the cultural and spiritual heritage of the Assyrian nation.

Note:
A. Mikhailov was also invited to take part in the Commission, but unfortunately he didn’t respond to the proposal and that is why he was not included. The Commission consists of 12 Assyrians who have confirmed their participation in the Commission with their signatures.

Irina Sagradova-Gasparyan
Yerevan, Armenia

Members of the Commission:

The Commissions with the casting vote right

  1. Irina Gasparyan — Chairman, Federation of Assyrian Organizations of Armenia «Khayadta», Union of Legal Entities
  2. Vazgen Isakov — National Sculptor of Armenia
  3. Gurgen Maiseev — Initiative group
  4. Lisa Muradova — Teacher, artist
  5. Rev. Isaac Timrs — Reverend, The Holy Apostolic Catholic Assyrian Church of the East, NGO
  6. Edik Ionanov — «Ishtar» Assyrian Public Organization, NGO
  7. Elza Yakubova — Initiative group
  8. Taisia Muradova — Honored teacher of Armenia
  9. Anna Givoeva — Assyrian Cultural Center «Nineveh», NGO
  10. Sargon Avchiev — Assyrian Youth Center «Аshur», NGO
  11. Simen Avchiev — Representative of Nor-Artagers village
  12. Yura Davtyan — Initiative group

The International Commission with the deliberative voting right

  1. Joseph Zaya — Russia, Moscow — Ph.D, Chairman of Moscow Regional Ethnic Cultural Autonomy of Assyrians
  2. Roland Bidjamov — Russia, Moscow — Political scientist, member of Editorial board of the newspaper «Khabre d-Aturaya»
  3. Ramsini George — USA, California — Assyrian Democratic Party
  4. Elias Yalda — Australia — Assyrian Universal Independent Activists Forum
  5. Aleksey Tamrazov — Ukraine, Kiev — Assistant to the editor of the newspaper «Khabre d-Aturaya»
  6. Vasili Shoumanov — USA, Chicago — Editor-in-chief of www.atranews.com
  7. Ashur Giwargis — Lebanon, Beirut — Assyrian activist
  8. Givargis Badare — Ukraine, Zaporozhye — Vice-President of the Association of the Assyrians of Ukraine, main editor of the newspaper «Khabre d-Aturaya»
  9. Arsen Savva — Russia, Kazan — Tatarstan Assyrian national-cultural autonomy
  10. Gabriel Yakoub — Sweden — Social and political activist
  11. Rima Kucun — Belgium Assyrian Genocide International Committee (AGIC)
  12. Metin Tan — Germany Assyrian Genocide International Committee (AGIC)

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2. AUA Press Releases and Monument Illustration

Feb-10-2011 at 11:14 AM (UTC+3 Nineveh, Assyria)

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Last edited on 02/10/2011 at 11:22 AM (UTC3 Assyria)
 
Illustration of the Assyrian Genocide Memorial Monument in Armenia

Assyrian Genocide Memorial Monument Proposal - Yerevan, Armenia - Sep 15, 2010
http://www.aua.net/donations/MemorialMonument.htm

The Assyrian Universal Alliance (AUA) - Armenia Chapter and the Assyrian Association “Atour” of Armenia are pleased to announce that their joint application to erect a monument in Yerevan, honoring the victims of the Assyrian Genocide, was approved by the Yerevan City Council.

On behalf of the Executive Boards of the Assyrian Universal Alliance and the Assyrian Armenian Association, we thank the Armenian government and the officials of the city of Yerevan for their support on this important historical matter, which has been overlooked by the world governments until now. We thank all Yerevan Council members who worked tirelessly on this project. We extend our gratitude to all the Armenian, Greek and Assyrian organizations and political institutions which supported us in this historical project.

The Armenian and Assyrian history goes back thousands of years. The two nations have been victimized because of their ethnicity and religious beliefs. Millions of Armenians and Assyrians have been massacred and executed throughout history. The two nations have had the same fate in the past, and their continuous cooperation will help bring stabilization and democracy to the region.

The main objective of this project is to make sure that mankind and the future generation of Assyrians remember the atrocities committed against our people, especially the genocide perpetrated against the Assyrians, the Armenians and the Pontic Greeks by the Ottoman Empire in its dying days. At the same time, it ensures that we never forget our people who bravely gave their lives for the preservation of our culture, religious beliefs and ethnic identity.

These efforts are made mainly to attain justice through keeping alive the memory of all the victims by educating mankind about the guiding ideals of humanity. By instilling solidarity among all people, we can prevent any such horrors from occurring in the future.


Assyrian Genocide Memorial Monument work begun - Yerevan, Armenia - Nov 21, 2010
http://www.aua.net/donations/MemorialMonument2.htm
http://www.atour.com/media/20110210AIM022039.pdf

The Assyrian Universal Alliance – Armenia Chapter and the Association of the Assyrians of Armenia "Atour" is pleased to announce that the construction of the monument to the victims of the Assyrian Genocide of 1915 in Ottoman Turkey has begun.

On 12 November 2010 construction work began in Yerevan in a circular park near the intersection of Nalbandian and Moscowyan streets, a location selected in a decision made on 12 November 2008. Under article № 5261, the mayor of Yerevan granted 16 square meters of land for construction of the monument commemorating the Assyrian Genocide.

In an atmosphere of solemn excitement, an air-tight capsule containing historical information about Assyrians and the Assyrian Genocide was placed beneath the monument as the construction began.

The Association of the Assyrians of Armenia "Atour" expresses its sincere gratitude to the President and the government of the Republic of Armenia for their valuable support and relationship, not only for the Assyrian community of Armenia, but also for all national minorities of the Republic of Armenia.

Arsen Mikhailov
Chairman, Coordinating Committee for the Construction of the Assyrian Genocide Monument
Chapter Secretary
Assyrian Universal Alliance


Picture Album of the ground breaking and work begun - Nov 2010
http://www.aua.net/News/news/2010/Monument/monument01.htm

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3. The Question of Construction of the Monument...

Aug-12-2011 at 06:47 PM (UTC+3 Nineveh, Assyria)

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Last edited on 08/12/2011 at 06:50 PM (UTC3 Assyria)
 
Assyrian Genocide Memorial in Yerevan, Armenia. August, 2011.
The question of construction of the Monument to victims of the Assyrian Genocide in Yerevan is brought up on new level
by Irina Sagradova-Gasparyan, Yerevan, Armenia. August, 2011.

On January, 28th, 2011 has been published the article (http://www.ankawa.com/english/?p=4770) «BUILDING THE MONUMENT TO VICTIMS OF THE ASSYRIAN GENOCIDE IN YEREVAN DISTURBS THE PUBLIC». In article the sharp criticism of the negative situation which has developed during preparation for an establishment of «the Monument devoted to victims of the Genocide of the Assyrian Nation in 1915» (further the Monument) in Yerevan.

In brief we will remind, that the Assyrian association "Atur" (the head - Arsen Mikhaylov), having usurped the right to speak on behalf of all Assyrian Nation and to make fatal decisions for him without having more or less serious grounds single-handedly made a decision about a place of an establishment of the Monument devoted to victims of the Genocide of the Assyrian Nation in 1915 in Ottoman Empire and approved his sketches. In fact, the Association management was unable to understand the political and historical significance of this Memorial, and have relegated the issue to the level of a question of establishment of usual gravestone.

One gets the impression as though they bring up question not about the perpetuating of memory of victims of the monstrous tragedy in the beginning of 20th century, which carried away the lives of hundreds of thousands of the people standing at civilization sources and having millennia history. They brought up this question as like on the character and scale of event which is the private soldier. For comparison we will make the small historical excursion and will recollect how the construction of the Armenian Genocide Memorial in Yerevan was. The monument project was widely discussed, despite huge difficulties of that time, and literally all world Armenian public has been involved in this project. Thanks to it Tsitsernakaberd was, is and will always remain the most important sacred place of all Armenians.

It is obvious that the Monument devoted to victims of the Genocide of the Assyrian Nation in 1915 in Ottoman Empire in Yerevan have to become a sacred place of all Assyrian people and for it they have to feel the participation, since the earliest development cycles and realization of the given project.

But, already have been from the very beginning violated the fundamental principles which are unshakable dogmas of creation of national memorial complexes. The Assyrian Community was, in fact, isolated from the process of designing the Monument sketch; in general the openness of discussion of name of the Memorial and his sketch had been reduced to zero.

The choice of construction site of Monument devoted to victims of the Genocide of the Assyrian Nation in 1915 in Ottoman Empire had been single-handedly solved by the Assyrian association "Atur" which ignored the feelings of the people, who survived the Genocide. The proximity of the selected site with entertainment sites (gaming halls, cafes, restaurants) is a cause of righteous indignation. Perhaps Armenian officials thought, that, giving a place in the centre of Yerevan, they show their respect to the Assyrian Nation. But, having allowed several “Assyrian activists», in practice to mislead itself and not having found time for checking up, whether the opinion of these "activists" coincides with opinion of the wide Assyrian public, officials have not suspected that they have shown own political short-sightedness and make to the Assyrian people the service of "bear".

What to talk already about the gross violations in the creation of the construction documents, and, especially, during the transition to the construction phase, which remains the most opaque stain in this story.

Playing on the patriotic feelings of Assyrians which are ready to invest, and, seems to have already invested significant funds for the establishment of this shrine, Assyrian association "Atur” even not bother to present to all the Assyrian Public the financial budget of the given project, and moreover, has impudently ignored all appeals of Assyrians which asked to publish the financial statements of produced works. Thereby, has been given occasion which essentially is saddening of the initiative the establishing the Monument, and to ask whether only patriotic feelings manage such "activists"?

All this had not remained unnoticed by the Assyrian Public which could not watch long, how it is created similar lawlessness. At the initiative of the Interstate Assyrian Coordination Council (IACC) has been created the Commission “On the establishing of the Assyrian Genocide Monument devoted to innocent victims in 1915” in Yerevan (in future the Commission) on November, 6th 2010. Overall objective of this Commission was stop of the lawlessness and to bring up the question of the establishing of the Monument on corresponding due level.

Months of effort of the Commission and sincere friends of the Assyrian Nation from among representatives of other nationalities realizing all importance and depth of this project are finally crowned with success. 15th June 2011, the Municipality of Yerevan in written form informed about stop of the construction of the Monument. Below is the documents and their translation.

We express special thanks to the Mayor of Yerevan, Mr. K. Karapetyan for his personal involvement in resolving this problem. Now a new stage in history of construction of the complex devoted to victims of the Assyrian Genocide, a stage which will require from us real consolidation, very active participation of all the Assyrian communities.

We, as the Commission that represents the Assyrian Community in Armenia, pledge that from now on all decisions related with this Memorial, in the first place will be submitted for open discussion of all the Assyrian organizations, such as in the territory of Armenia as well as existing beyond and only after obtaining the approval of a broad comprehensive support solutions will be implemented. This is the only way to perpetuate the memory of the innocent victims of ancestors.

We thank all those who did not remain indifferent to those the grossly violations that took place in the organization and works on the creation of Monument. The Memorial which will be worthy memory of innocent victims of the Assyrian Genocide in 1915 in Ottoman Empire, have to be erected in Yerevan through our joint efforts!


View letter in attachments below (20110812AIM104857.jpg)
View letter in attachments below (20110812AIM102536.jpg)

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4. The Upcoming Official Unveiling of the Assyrian Genocide Monument in Armenia

Apr-18-2012 at 07:15 AM (UTC+3 Nineveh, Assyria)

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Last edited on 04/18/2012 at 07:36 AM (UTC3 Assyria)
 
Illustration of the Assyrian Genocide Memorial Monument in Armenia
ASSYRIAN UNIVERSAL ALLIANCE
Member, Unrepresented Nations and Peoples Organization (UNPO)

MEDIA RELEASE

THE UPCOMING OFFICIAL UNVEILING OF THE ASSYRIAN GENOCIDE MONUMENT IN ARMENIA

Yerevan - 18 April, 2012

The Assyrian people of Armenia took a historical step to preserve their heritage and history by honouring victims of the Assyrian genocide, committed by the Ottoman government during WWI (1914-1918).

According to Mr. Arsen Mikhaylov, the Chapter Secretary of the Assyrian Universal Alliance (AUA) in Armenia, preparations are under way for the upcoming official unveiling of the Assyrian genocide monument in Yerevan on 25 April, 2012.

A special program is organised by the AUA in collaboration with Assyrian Armenian Association “Atour”. The unveiling will commence at 3:00 pm at Yerevan city, Crossroads of Moskovyan and Nalbandyan, Mr. Mikhaylov said that he expects a number of representatives from the government to attend the unveiling.
It is also expected that a large number of guests will arrive from overseas including; Mr. Hermiz Shahen, the Deputy Secretary General of the Assyrian Universal Alliance from Australia; Mr. David David, The president of the Assyrian Australian National Federation and the Regional Secretary of AUA in Australia and New Zealand; Mr. Edwin Babeleh Khanshan, Regional Secretary of Homeland from Iran; Dr. Anahit Khosroeva, Ph.D., a Senior Researcher in the Institute of History, National Academy of Science From The Republic of Armenia. and Mr. Sabri Atman, Director of the Assyrian Genocide Research Centre (Seyfo Center) from Europe. Among the guests will also be representatives from the Assyrian Armenian organisations.

The Assyrian Universal Alliance –Armenian Chapter and the Assyrian Association of Armenia “Atour”, are extending an open invitation to all Assyrians around the globe to attend this important memorial ceremony, sharing this historic moment with them. We will be pleased and honoured to see participation by non-Assyrians as a measure of support for the Assyrian nation’s demand for justice, and the condemnation of genocide in general. Mr. Mikhaylov said.

For further information please contact Mr. Arsen Mikhaylov on
Email: arsen_mikhaylov < a t> yahoo.com

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5. Universal Scientific-Research, Cultural Centre Assyria: Press Release

Apr-22-2012 at 00:37 AM (UTC+3 Nineveh, Assyria)

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The Universal Scientific-Research, Cultural Centre «Assyria»
Press Release: April 21, 2012

ANNOUNCEMENT

The organizers of the International Scientific Conference «Assyrian Genocide (1914-1923) and its consequences in the modern world» to be held on 23 – 24 April 2012 in Yerevan have decided to postpone it as the importance of the issues on the agenda requires utmost concentration and coverage by mass media and society.

Current National Assembly election campaign has concentrated all mass media coverage and interest of the society till 6th May 2012.

Organizers believe that due to such a complex and tense situation, the organization of the conference is inappropriate and would like to express their deepest apologies for any inconvenience.

Organizers:
The Universal Scientific-Research, Cultural Centre «Assyria»
The Armenian Revolutionary Federation Dashnaktsutyun (ARFD)
The Democratic Party of Armenia (DPA)

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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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