Aramean organizations sent a letter to the President of the Plurinational State of Bolivia, His Excellency Juan Evo Morales Ayma

 

Aramean organizations sent a letter to the President of the Plurinational State of Bolivia, His Excellency Juan Evo Morales Ayma

President Juan Evo Morales Ayma

Evo Morales is the first Indigenous president of Bolivia, 470 years after Spain had invaded Bolivia. On 18th of December 2005 Morales was chosen by 53% of votes. In December 2009 he was reelected, now by 60 % of votes.

 

The Arameans of Aram-Naharaim Organization and the Aramean Democratic Organization sent on 14-1-2010 a congratulation letter to President Morales. Furthermore, the Aramean Organizations ask for the attention of the Indigenous president to the fragile situation of the Aramean Indigenous of Aram-Nahrin. In addition to the letter, the two Aramean Organizations also enclosed brief history of the Aramean Indigenous Nation of Aram-Nahrin.

 

Please find below the letter of the two Arameans Organizations.


 

Nr.: 2010-1-14/1

 

Netherlands, 14th of January 2010

 

Subject: Re: Your second term election as the first Indigenous president of the Plurinational State of Bolivia.

 

The Most Honorable President of the Plurinational State of Bolivia

His Excellency Juan Evo Morales Ayma

Bolivia

 

Dear Mr. President,

 

We, the undersigned, the Arameans of Aram-Naharaim Organization and the Aramean Democratic Organization want to congratulate you with your 2nd term election as the 1st Indigenous president of Bolivia. So far under your leadership, Bolivia made a dramatic transformation regarding human rights, where the privileges of the original Indigenous inhabitants were an important part of the spearhead of your presidency.

We also salute the implementation of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous People by Bolivia. Therefore, Bolivia can be proud of being the first country in the world to implement the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples and may serve as an example to the rest of the world.

 

We wish you great success and wisdom and we hope that you will continue to focus on the improvement of the situation of the Indigenous nation of Bolivia, without ignoring the rights of other inhabitants of as well!

 

Please allow us, Your Excellency, to take this opportunity to draw your attention to the fragile situation of the Aramean Indigenous people of Mesopotamia. The Aramean people (not to be confused with ‘Armenians’) speak Aramaic, [1] the language spoken by Abraham, Moses and Jesus, through which they have made a very important contribution to world civilizations. [2] This ancient Semitic people, now divided into several denominations and spread throughout the Middle East, amount to approximately 8 million people worldwide.

 

The area where the Aramean Indigenous nation come from was known in ancient times as Aram-Nahrin in Aramaic and Aram-Naharaim in Hebrew. [3] This term was later translated into Mesopotamia by the Greeks. Since the beginning of the 20th century this region has been divided into the modern countries Iraq, Syria, and Turkey. Today there are Arameans living in Jordan, Israel and Lebanon as well. For more information: Please find enclosed a brief introduction to the Aramean nation.

 

Mr. President, as an Indigenous leader you understand very well the difficult and unbearable situation that many Indigenous peoples face worldwide. Many of them became victims of persecution, discrimination and ethnic cleansing. Others have fallen victim to extermination, exclusion and extortion. Their lands were invaded by strangers, the original inhabitants were oppressed mercilessly and the natural resources were exploited by the invaders. Their cultures, customs and traditions were oppressed or erased by “spiritual colonialism”. Some survived while others were annihilated. They were considered as savages and their genuine traditions and customs were considered as backwards by the then “civilized” nations. Their children were forced to deny the heritage of their forefathers under the pretext of “education”.

 

In many cases, the injustice done to the Indigenous peoples were carried out in the name of “civilization”, “faith” or even in the name of “peace” or to “re-educate” them.

In the modern times we live in, many Indigenous peoples still have to fight against prejudice, exclusion, discrimination and extermination. They have to fight for recognition, education, social equality, dignity and for the right to be considered as human beings with qualities and skills to contribute to the well-being of mankind.

 

The Indigenous Aramean people of the Middle-East are no exception in this regard. Living in an area that has been the scene of battles for hundreds of years between groups and nations whose dictionary lacks words like respect and peace, the peaceful minded Arameans were forced to constantly fight for survival. In addition, the intervention of the Western colonial powers in the 16th and 19th centuries gave the Aramean people the final blow and accelerated their downfall in the lands of the forefathers.

This colonial intervention of cultural and spiritual extermination, was accomplished by inciting son against father, daughter against mother, family against family, village against village, has caused unprecedented hatred and sorrow within our nation. Below we will briefly explain to you what we mean:

 

In the year 1553 the Western Catholic missionaries together with France brainwashed a part of the East-Aramean clergy with bribery to call themselves “Chaldeans”. As a result the Aramaic language became known as “Chaldean” language and a part of the Aramean nation became known as the “Chaldean” nation in some parts of the Western literature. This was the first attack on the Aramean heritage. [4]

 

Due to mutual hatred and competition between the Western Catholics and Protestants in the late 19th century, the same process was repeated where the Anglican missionaries and Great Britain bribed the other part of the East-Aramean “Nestorian” tribes of Hakkari (bordering Turkey and Iraq) and Urmia (Iran) to call themselves “Assyrians”; a term which was used purely geographically and only applied to the Aramean "Nestorians". The result was that Aramaic language became known as “Assyrian” language and the Aramean nation as the “Assyrian” nation. This was the second and more severe attack on the Aramean heritage, a kind of spiritual cultural genocide. [4]

 

Through the implementation and promotion of unprecedented hatred, political and cultural division and identity distortion (a form of genocide) by the Western colonial powers, our nation have been made vulnerable to the hostile environment of the Middle-East where we are threatened with extinction and ethnic cleansing. For example, before 2003 there were approximately 800.000 Arameans of different denominations in Iraq. Because of continued threats, killings and attacks on their sanctuaries, many of them have left the country. However, if the Arameans were not divided and stuck to the unprecedented hatred that was implemented by the Western colonial powers, their chances to survive in Iraq would have been much better.

 

The culmination of terror, persecution, discrimination, exclusion, trampling and extermination was reached with the genocide of 1915-1918 [5] where 600.000 Arameans of different denominations were brutally slaughtered. Their innocent blood is still crying for justice. For this reason, many of them went into Diaspora and became refugees in Western countries, where they still combat the consequences of the colonial interventions.

In addition, some countries still try to maintain and promote the division and hostility they have created within our nation in the past. This division and hostility not only prevents them of attaining their basic human rights, but also denies them of social, cultural and political development and rights in both the Middle-East and the rest of the world.

 

Your Excellency, we hope that you have noticed our sincere concerns regarding the fragile situation of the Aramean Indigenous nation of the Middle-East. They have occupied this part of the world for thousands of years but are now in danger of complete extermination and disappearance from the lands of their forefathers. We hope that you, as an Indigenous leader and as the President of the Republic of Bolivia, will consider their situation through your diplomatic, cultural and economic channels when dealing with the Middle-East. It would be a great loss to mankind if the Cradle of Civilization would be cleaned of its original inhabitants by those who apply and enjoy the law of the jungle instead of the law of respect, brotherhood and solidarity. Today something can be done to prevent this happening, tomorrow may be too late!

 

Respectfully Yours,

 

 

Gabriel Sengo

Chairman

Arameans of Aram-Naharaim Organization

 

Aramean Democratic Organization, ArDO

 

Gabi Gallo

Chairman

Aramean Democratic Organization

 

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Footnotes:

 

[1] More on Aramaic language:

http://www.aramnahrin.org/English/Interview_Chairmain_Aram-Naharaim_27_6_2007.htm

[2] The contribution of the Aramean nation to world civilizations is well-summarized by a world- renowned Eminent Oxford University Scholar Professor Sebastian Brock, a specialist on Aramaic (Syriac) and Hebrew, who said “Almost all societies are dependent upon the use of writing, but very few peoples realise that the great majority of the world’s scripts can be traced back to a common ancestor, an alphabet invented in the Middle East four thousands years ago, which was subsequently refined by the Phoenicians and the Aramaeans who spread it throughout the known world. It is thus without doubt one of the greatest gifts of the Aramean peoples to world culture. (Hidden Pearl volume I: Page 27)

…Nevertheless 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 (the Aramaic language).” (Hidden Pearl volume I: Page 58)

(Hidden Pearl: http://www.aramnaharaim.org/English/film_arameans.htm)

[3] More on Indigenous Aramean lands Aram-Nahrin and Aram-Naharaim

http://www.aramnahrin.org/English/Aramnaharaim.htm

http://www.aramnahrin.org/English/Interview_Chairmain_Aram-Naharaim_26_6_2007.htm

[4] See more on this issue, the Aramean spiritual genocide:

http://www.aramnahrin.org/English/Aramean_Spiritual_Genocide.htm

[5] See the Aramean physical genocide: http://www.aramnahrin.org/English/ArameanPhysicalGenocide.htm