A Haven for the Arameans
Tuesday, November 27, 2007
av: Daniel Bart
The peoples for whom
Aramaic is their national heritage language have long
suffered from confusion of identity. Many speak Aramaic as a
first language while others such as the Maronites of
Lebanon learn it as a second language as part of their
religious education. In addition, Judeo-Aramaic is
traditionally spoken as an ethnic language by Kurdish
Jews and Jews from Iranian Azerbaijan.
Aramaic communities have claimed to be “Phoenicians”, “Chaldeans”, “Syriacs” and “Assyrians”. Finally in the last years a movement for self-determination in Aramaic (Maronite) Lebanon for Christian, Mandaean and Muslim Aramaeans have arisen among the Diaspora in Europe.
Reducing Lebanon to its historical size (i.e. the Maronite region) once Syria is liberated and abolished would provide a haven for Aramaean refugees from Iraq and other parts of the Middle East. An Aramaean national home would be a staunch Western ally, a friend of Israel and the prospects for establishing a proper liberal democracy would be quite good.
Aramaic would be established as the first official language and all education in government financed schools would be in Aramaic. An independent Aramaean Lebanon would institute a repatriation law that would allow all members of the Aramaean nation residing in other countries to immigrate to Lebanon. This is badly needed for Aramaean refugees who would not have to seek refuge in Europe and North America. The 4 000 mostly native born inhabitants of the Palestinan community of Dbayeh should individually be granted Lebanese citizenship provided they learn Aramaic and agree to take an oath of loyalty to the Aramaean nation.