Aramaic Democratic Organisation (ArDO), Aram-Naharaim Organisation
and the three bishops of the Syrian Orthodox Church in Iraq sent a
letter to the Iraqi government.
On 29 of August 2007, the Arameans of
Aram-Naharaim Organisation together with the Aramaic Democrtaic
Organsiation and the three bishops of the Syrian Orthodox Church of
Antioch in Iraq sent a letter to the Iraqi government to ask for
their attention to the situation of the Arameans of Iraq. The letter
has been sent to President Calal Talabani, Prime Minister Nuri Kamel
al- Maliki and the minister of foreign affairs Hoshyar Zebari.
Please find below the letter which has
been sent along with a historical survey on the Iraqi Christians
(the same letter has been sent to Calal Talabani and Hosyhar Zebari).
A modified version of this letter we
also sent to the Kurdistan Regional Government,
namely President Mashud Barzani and Premier Nechirvan Barzani.
29th of August
1. Request for inclusion of the Indigenous Aramean Christian people
of Iraq in the constitution
2 . Our
position on the so-called “Safe haven” for Christians.
Help protect our people to stay in
the Most Honorable Mr.
Nouri Kamel al-Maliki
Prime Minister of Republic of Iraq
Arameans of Aram-Naharaim organisation is an international cultural
and human rights organization to defend worldwide interests of the
indigenous Christian Aramean (not to be confused with Armenians)
people of Mesopotamia who have been present in the Cradle of
Civilization for thousands of years. This ancient Semitic people,
now divided into several denominations and spread throughout the
Middle East, amount to approximately 8 million people worldwide.
three archbishops of the Syrian Orthodox Church of Antioch in Iraq
write you this letter together with the Aramaic Democratic
Organisation (ArDO) and the Arameans of Aram-Naharaim organisation
to make you aware of the indigenous Christian Aramean people in Iraq
and ask your sincere help to include them in the new Iraqi
constitution. Secondly, we wish to present our views concerning the
so-called “safe haven” for Christians as proposed by some people.
And finally we ask for your help to protect our people to stay in
order to introduce our people in short to you, we have prepared a
historical overview about the indigenous Aramean people including
the testimonies of the brilliant historians of both the West-Syrian
and the East-Syrian Church of Antioch. The historical overview
discusses the Aramean origin of the various denominations which,
today, are labelled with exotic names because of the intervention of
the Western missionaries in the 16th and 19th
Excellency, as it may be known to you, the Aramean Indigenous people
have made significant contributions to world civilizations, in
particular through their Aramaic language, spoken by Abraham, Moses
and Jesus Christ. This is perhaps best summarized by an eminent
scholar from Oxford University who says, “…it is undeniable that
the simple Aramaic alphabet of 22 letters has had the most
extraordinary impact on the development of alphabetic writing
systems throughout the world. Indeed, it is very hard to imagine how
human culture and scientific learning could have progressed
without it…”…… It is thus without doubt
one of the greatest gifts of the Aramean peoples to world culture.
Unfortunately, the contribution of the Aramean people to world
civilization is not recognized in the new Iraqi constitution, for
they are presently excluded from it.
124 we read, “This
Constitution shall guarantee the administrative, political, cultural
and educational rights for the various nationalities, such as
Turkmen, Caldeans, Assyrians and all other components. A law shall
second issue which we wish to bring to your attention is the
so-called “safe haven” for Christians.
came to our attention that some individuals (in the West) are
talking about “safe haven” for Christians in Iraq in the Nineve-
Plan, without our knowledge, approval or consultation with us. These
individuals present themselves as being the “spokesmen” for all the
Iraqi Christians, which is simply not true. In addition they label
our nation with strange identities, which are not ours!
position in the matter of the “safe haven” is this one: We the three
archbishops of the West- Aramean Syrian Church of Antioch,
representing around 80.000 adherents, reject categorically the
creation of a so-called “safe haven” for Christians. The reason is:
Taking into account the present fragile situation of Iraq, this
“safe haven” would certainly not be appreciated by some groups who
oppose democracy and would seize every opportunity to create more
chaos and anarchy, for they may consider the so-called “safe haven”
as a threat. In addition they could use this as an excuse to commit
atrocities against our nation, churches and other significant
buildings. Such further fragmentation of Iraq will only contribute
to more chaos, anarchy and problems in the country.
we need in Iraq is peace, unity, stability and further
implementation of democratic process and human rights, and such a
“haven” for Christians would, to our view, not contribute to the
realization of these important goals.
wish is that Iraq should remain united so that all the Iraqi people,
regardless of their ethnicity and religion, can live together on the
basis of love, respect, dignity, peace, brotherhood and mutual
understanding. These are the principals we stand for!
Furthermore, these individuals present themselves with strange names
invented and imposed by the outsiders, for political and religious
reasons, who came to the Middle-East in the 16th and 19th
centuries  and fragmented our nation in various sects
to weaken us.
these people live in the relative luxury West, meaning they are far
removed from the people they claim to represent and they do not have
the slightest idea about the present situation in Iraq.
Their actions only make the situation worse for our people.
Therefore, please ignore these individuals who certainly do not
represent the Aramean indigenous nation of Iraq.
to us, your Excellency, we wish to remain faithful to our
forefathers who all testify of the Aramean origin of our nation, as
explained on page 5-12 of the Historical Survey, and don’t want to
be labeled by strange names invented by the outsiders
who were unaware of the Aramean Heritage of at least 3000 years (as
recently recorded in the Multimedia project the Hidden Pearl).
Our church fathers and scholars have
one by one in their wisdom and knowledge in comparison with their
contemporaries and enlightened the world of their time, not only
with theological knowledge but also with the regular science.
Those who do not truly remain faithful to the roots of their
forefathers will, to our view, not be able to fully understand and
cooperate with other nations on the basis of love, respect, equality
Aramean people are peaceful minded, living according to the ten
commandments, showing respect, dignity and love to their neighbours
and always respecting the law of the countries in which they reside.
They show others the example of love and brotherhood. In contrast to
other peoples they never resorted to the path of intolerance,
fanaticism and violent uprising. On the contrary their motto has
always been: loving and respecting your neighbour like yourself!
hope that you have noticed our sincere concern regarding the
situation of our people in Iraq and humbly request the following:
saying, “Unknown, Unloved” is very well applicable to the situation
of our nation, for many people are not familiar with the Aramean
nation of Iraq, because they are excluded from the Iraqi
Therefore, in order to be able to attain their minimal fundamental
human rights in new Iraq, to preserve, maintain and promote the
genuine Aramean heritage and to do justice to the historical facts
as well as to the testimonies of the revered scholars of the church
of Antioch, it is of utmost importance to include the Aramean
indigenous Christian people in the new Iraqi constitution. This will
help to remove them from their current anonymity and help them to be
recognized as an important part of the new Iraq.
abduction and beheading of our beloved and peaceful minded brother
Rev. Paulus Iskandar on October 11, 2006 has shocked and
paralysed our nation entirely. To our dismay, on
22nd of November 2006 Mr. Isoh Majeed Hadaya, the
president of Syriac Independent Movement Assembly (SIMA) in Iraq,
was brutally killed in Baghdeda. On June 3, 2007 again our nation
was shocked by the killing of the
East- Aramean Chaldean priest Ragied Aziz Ganie along with three
deacons. This shows to us that the perpetrators of these
horrible acts are not familiar with love, brotherhood and respect.
Therefore we forgive them and pray for them so that the Lord God may
put His love in their hearts and open their eyes to learn what real
are convinced that the vast majority of Iraqi people want peace,
love, stability and respect for everyone. Therefore we believe that
the perpetrators do not represent the view of the peaceful minded
Iraqi nation, but rather may be influenced by outsiders who have no
interest in a stable and prosperous Iraq with basic human rights
values and standards.
the other hand we also believe that the exclusion of our nation from
the Iraqi constitution may have contributed partly to these shocking
worrisome point which we wish to bring to your attention is that our
people are fleeing from
because of insecurity, threats and confiscation of their hearth and
home by those who have no interest in a stable and prosperous Iraq.
In this way, Iraq is slowly but surely being cleaned of its original
inhabitants, who have been living for thousands of years in this
part of the world, which also became known as the cradle of
pray that the Lord God may increase your wisdom,
and insights in order to lead Iraq through these difficult times.
hope and pray that under your leadership and that of your
colleagues, Iraq may become beacon of human rights, democracy,
prosperity, equality and mutual understanding between all Iraqis and
a shining example throughout the Middle-East.
Arameans of Aram-Naharaim Organisation, P.O. Box 178, 7550 AD,
Hengelo(Ov.) ; Netherlands
The three archbishops of the West- Aramean Syrian Orthodox Church of
Antioch in Iraq, representing around 80,000 adherents:
Saverius Jamil Hawa,
Baghdad and Basra Archdiocese
Gregorius Saliba Shamoun,
Metropolitan of Mosul
Archdiocese and environs,
Mgr. Timotheos Mousa
Metropolitan of Mor
Matta Archdiocese and the most
The Aramaic Democratic Organisation (ArDO)
Mr. Gaby Gallo
 Multimedia Project: The Hidden Pearl, Volume I, Page 58
The Hidden Pearl covers
years of Aramean history, culture and faith.
If you are interested in
a copy of the Hidden Pearl please let us know, we would be honoured
to provide you with a
 Idem ; page 27
 The Western missionaries and the division within the
 Page 5-12 of the Historical survey. These testimonies are
also available online: