Assyrian National Council - Australia
"Return to Assyria"
The Assyria Day is a designated National day that calls for the:
Return of Assyrians from Diaspora to Nineveh
Unification of Assyrians
Education of Assyrian youth about our traditions and history
Assyria Day “Tammuz First”
Nationalism is a commitment to ideas among a group of people who share a common ethnicity, culture, language, history and territory. Using symbols and ceremonies to espouse such ideas, nationalist movements help bring people together to express the solidarity of a nation. For any group of people, the hope of survival is attached closely to a geographical territory.
Because of forced mass migration of Assyrians within the last century, members of the formaly known as the Assyrian Universal Alliance- Australia (AUA_Australia)has recognized the need to strengthen our nation’s connection to our ancestral homeland of Assyria. At its 25th World Congress in Sweden, the AUA_Australia discussed their proposal to designate the First of Tammuz as Assyria Day in order to remind our scattered people that we as Assyrians cannot and should not forget the historic glory of our nation and must believe that one day Assyrians will again live in our ancestral homeland of Assyria in peace and harmony with our neighbors.
The AUA_Australia managed to pass a resolution to recognize the Assyria Day at its 27th World Congress held during December 2-4, 2010 in Erbil, Iraq, and therefore requesting all Assyrians throughout the world to observe this day as a symbol of our national revival day, “Return to Assyria.”
The historic Assyria is located in northern Iraq, stretching east to Lake Urmia in Iran, north to the Turkish Harran, Edessa, Diyarbakir, Lake Van and the mountains of Hakkâri, and west to Syria. Archeological sites confirm our claims to these regions. Until the beginning of WWI, the Assyrian population remained settled in these historic lands but because of targeted persecution and systematic massacres, Assyrians were forced to move to new areas. Within the last half century, mass migration of Assyrians to western countries has created a humanitarian crisis that no world government has yet aimed to resolve.
Today Assyria is occupied by people who do not share political or historical rights to the land. The government of Iraq has failed to recognize the constitutional right of indigenous Assyrians to establish a province for them on their ancestral lands in the northern territories of the country. To date Iraq's government and those of neighboring states have failed to recognize the potential for peace and harmony the establishment of an Assyrian province could provide. Precious Assyrian archeological pieces are being stolen from the Baghdad museum with minimal deterrence by state police in an attempt to eradicate the centuries of historic claims Assyrians of Iraq hold to their ancestral lands.
Today we as children of Assyria have a responsibility to remember the beautiful homeland of our forefathers, the ultimate destination for our scattered nation..
Primary Objectives of Assyria Day:
1. Return to Assyria Day focuses on sending a message regarding the right of Assyrians to safely return to their homeland, to affirm their rights to exist in harmony, peace and security with their neighbors, by exercising the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and all other international conventions and treaties which emphasize refugee right of return.
Assyrians in Diaspora should demand recognition of this right, and the international community should encourage and support Assyrians in their pursuit of an autonomous federal province or state.
The Assyria Region is crucial for the survival of the Assyrians of Iraq, and will allow for greater local Assyrian control within the context of an integrated and sovereign Iraqi state. Such a region will allow for increased peace, stability and balance throughout the whole region.
2. To spread awareness about the needs of the indigenous Assyrians and their demands in Iraq, and call on think tanks and research centers to discuss this initiative.
3. To establish an international fund to finance the return of Assyrian refugees by meeting their travel expenses and cost of resettlement upon their return to the homeland.
4. Secondary objectives are:
To promote improvements in the physical, economic, social and spiritual well-being of Assyrians living in the homeland.
To encourage Assyrians in Diaspora to return to the homeland and become self-governed and self-reliant.
To institute and administer homeland-based economic enterprises that incorporate sustainable land management principles.
To implement homeland-based projects, education and training that will foster the self-esteem and self-actualization of the Assyrian people.
To gain greater share in funds and resources available and provided by the central government of Iraq to help meet Assyrian needs, including but not limited to the objectives listed above.