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ARAM-Prize of 2004

to Malfono

George Rezkalla in Maalula

 

Maalula in today’s Syria saw on Saturday the seventh of May 2005 a great event when the prominent teacher of Maalula-Aramiac, Malfono George Rezkalla got the annual Aram-price.

 

The Association of the Academic Arameans has granted its annual Aram Prize of the Aramaic language and literature of the year 2004 to the Aramean writer and poet George Rizkalla from the town of Maalula near Damascus. George Rezkalla is a teacher of Aramaic since many years and has written many books on the subject and recorded tens of the CDs from and about the Aramaic heritage of Maalula.

 

A representative of the Association of the Academic Arameans and SOMEC (Solidarity Organization for the Middle East Christians), Mr. Roni Doumit from Sweden, went to Lebanon to continue to Maalula together with representatives of the Association of the Syriac Culture to the town of Maalula near Damascus/Syria, to hand over this special price to this man of faith. A faith in his Aramaic heritage and in his work is to be believed that the work of his anscestors won’t go lost. The delegation of the Aram Prize met with Malfono George Rizkalla and his family in Damascus and later the group went to the sacred town of Maalula were they had dinner with the Prize-winner’s family. Later in the afternoon the delegation gathered with Malfono George and his family and relatives in the old house where the Prize was handed over. The Prize is a copper plate with a Syriac text, a diploma of the Prize and a sum of money.

Small speeches were hold and Mr. Rezkalla thanked everybody and he told us about a new project he wanted to start but needed money for that and now the right time might have come. Malfono George will start to gather plants from Maalula area and write about them in Aramaic. He will write their names in Aramaic and their history.

 

We could not be there without talking about the situation of the Aramaic Christian people of the area and their fate. The Prize winner told us about his town and its Christian population which decreased to about 50% .

There are two other vollages, Guba’din and Bakh’a, whose population are Muslims but they still speak the Aramaic language at home.

 

The day ended with a toast from the Prize-winner's own small wine production.

 

 

The Association of the Academic Arameans, as well as the Association of the Syriac Culture in Lebanon, SOMEC, and the AramaicDemocratic Organization, 

congratulate Malfono George Rizkalla for his Aram Prize and wish him success in his literary and cultural activities in the field of the Aramaic language of Maalula.