Categories Menu

Blog

Restore Nineveh Foundation (RNF)

Posted by on Sep 26, 2019 in Media, News, Newsletter | 0 comments

Restore Nineveh Foundation (RNF)

On September 9, 2019, in a binding resolution that was unanimously passed by the Assembly members, the State of California recognized the Assyrian Genocide which occurred in 1915, also known as Seyfo, in the Ottoman Empire and the Simele Massacre which occurred in 1933 in Iraq. Restore Nineveh Foundation (RNF) is congratulating the Democratic and Republican Assembly Members for their brave step. RNF is also congratulating Assyrian Genocide and Research Center (Seyfo), and Mr. Sabri Atman, the founder, and Director of the Seyfo Center, for years of his tireless hard work for this recognition. RNF is calling on all remaining States to recognize the Assyrian Genocide as they have recognized the Armenian Genocide. The situation of Mesopotamia, currently part of Turkey, Iraq, and Syria and the situation of the Assyrians specifically, and Christians, in general, has reached to the point of a tragic annihilation especially after the invasion of Iraq in 2003 and ISIS in 2014. The acknowledgment and recognition of the Assyrian Genocide of 1915 and Simele Massacre of 1933 can be the first step of the process of the historical wound healing for the Assyrian Nation. However, it requires to post recognition action that is the international support and protection of Assyrians for the ongoing Kurdification and Arabization of their lands, their heritage, and their history. As always, RNF emphasizes that the only solution to secure Assyrians in their homeland is the Creation of Nineveh Province and Al Rafedein Region. Local moderate forces and local moderate people such as Assyrians have to be empowered to assist in defeating discrimination and terrorism, otherwise, persecution and genocidal massacres against them will never end. The only solution to prevent further growth of terrorism, massacres and genocides and secure Assyrians in their homeland is the Creation of Al Rafedein Region under the control of the Iraqi Central Government, and the establishment of Assyrian self-administration in Khabour and Qamishli in Syria. We know these steps won’t be taken unless a strong country like The United States acts now to save them. Therefore, we, as RNF, are asking for action following the Assembly of the State of California recognition of the Assyrian Genocide of 1915, and the Simele Massacre of 1933. The Assembly of the State of California should take action to support the International Protection of the Assyrian Nation in their homeland for the Creation of Al Rafedein Region of Iraqi Central Government and the establishment of Assyrian self-administration in Khabour and Qamishli in Syria. Restore Nineveh Foundation (RNF) September 25,...

read more

Several Large Fires Broke Out in Assyrian Areas in Southeast Turkey

Posted by on Aug 5, 2019 in News | 0 comments

Several Large Fires Broke Out in Assyrian Areas in Southeast Turkey

By Abdulmesih BarAbraham The Assyrian village Kafro in Turkey.  Several large fires have broken in six Assyrian villages and their surroundings in Turkey. The villages are Elbeğendi, Güzelsu, Dibek, Üçköy, Üçyol and Dağiçi. The fires have threatened an Assyrian monastery. Assyrians in the villages suspect arson. Deyrulzafaran Monastery A fire broke out in the early hours of July 26th in the olive gardens of the historic Deyrulzafaran Monastery, a holy place for the Assyrian, 10 kilometers from the city center of Mardin. The monastery was established in the 5th century. According to various Turkish media outlets, hundreds of olives and almond trees were burnt in the fires in the gardens around the Monastery of Deyrulzafaran. The olives gardens are an important source of income for the monastery. The inhabitants of the monastery and the fire department of Mardin intervened to extinguish the fire. Speaking to Sputnik News, Afrem Johannes, Guide of Deyrulzafaran Monastery, said the fire broke out around 2:00 AM on Saturday. He said it appears the fire was set by a group of people who spent the evening in the gardens of the monastery. A police investigation was launched into the incident. Fire in Bagok Mountain Region Another fire broke out around noon on Saturday, July 27th, in the Bagok mountain region, which is located between Nusaybin and Midyat districts. Pushed by the wind, it reached dangerously close to the Assyrian village Elbeğendi (Kafro). For several hours the village remained under heavy smoke and at high risk; the villagers fought the fire with their own means. Through intense efforts of the Assyrian villagers and a tardy fire brigade the flames were brought under control and prevented from reaching the houses. Assyrian villagers living in Güzelsu, Dibek, Üçköy, Üçyol and Dağiçi were also mobilized to extinguish the approaching fire. Turkish media outlets reported that six Assyrian villages were temporarily evacuated until the fire was extinguished. Kafro was one of the earliest Assyrian villages which saw the return of Assyrians to Tur Abdin. Several families, former inhabitants of Kafro, who lived in Switzerland and Germany initiated the project. Initially, fourteen families returned to rebuild their houses anew and to resettle there. Fires in Öğündük (Midin) According to Voice of America another fire was reported in the town of Şırnak in İdil as fire fighters worked to extinguish the fire around the monastery of Deyrulzafaren. Another fire broke out in the vineyards of the Assyrian village of Öğündük (Midin). 100 hectares of grape and peanut trees were destroyed. Meant to Scare? The summer of 2018 was a particularly busy season for the Tur Abdin region, which saw, for the first time since the exodus of the Assyrians from Turkey, almost a thousand Assyrians living in the European diaspora visiting their partly abandoned villages and homes. Because of discrimination and precarious living conditions in southeastern Turkey during the last decades of the 20th century, they were forced to leave their homeland for Europe. Assyrians suspect that some radical groups in southeastern Turkey are becoming increasingly uncomfortable with the returning Assyrians, a movement that was initiated by an appeal of Turkey’s then Prime Minister Bülent Ecevit in 2001. Returning Assyrians discovered that often their lands had been seized either by the state or by Kurdish tribes. Hundreds of families are affected by expropriations. The orchestrated...

read more

Awakening Hope

Posted by on Jul 6, 2019 in Media, News | 0 comments

Awakening Hope

Interview by Sabri Atman on behalf of the Restore Nineveh Now Dr. Ron Susek is an ordained minister, evangelist, a former television and radio Bible teacher on “Impact”. He is the founder of the Susek Evangelistic Association and FaithWalk Ministries International. He is conducting Great Commission Summits, mainly in Africa. He has authored six books, including Firestorm: Preventing and Overcoming Church Conflict, which has been used In both churches and seminaries. He writes weekly Internet and Facebook encouragements from a biblical perspective. He is soon to release his new book entitled The Assyrian Prophecy: A Betrayed and Broken Nation Destined to Rise Anew from the Martyr’s Blood. He has nearly fifty years of experience in Christian ministry and feels called to focus on the Assyrian Cause. Therefore, Restore Nineveh Now wanted to conduct a short interview with him about his project. Dr. Ron, can you please tell us about your interest in the Assyrian people? How and when did your journey with the Assyrians start? It’s great to be with you, Sabri. My journey with the Assyrians began nearly 30 years ago when I saw their name in Isaiah’s prophecy. I was confused because I had assumed the Assyrian people were long extinct. After years of thought, and still not knowing of their existence, I spoke on Isaiah’s prophecy about Assyria, Egypt and Israel at a world convention. I was shocked when a man named John Booko approached me saying that he was an Assyrian. He said, “I have written two books on the subject. If you write the next one, I’ll give you all my research.” He introduced me to the Assyrian International News Agency (AINA) and I began following and researching the Assyrian story and their history. The narrative enlarged for me when Saddam Hussein was executed. That is when I discovered that well over a million Assyrian Christians were living in northern Iraq. When did you start to write this book? In 2014, when ISIS attacked the Assyrians, I was enraged. No one knew who these people were because the news only identified them as a minority. That made them faceless and insignificant to the western viewers. I plead with God to show me what I could do. “Write the book,” was the strong impression that came to me. I launched into serious research. I nearly quite when I saw the mountain of books that exist—many great scholarly works. I wondered what I could add. Slowly, however, the book took on a definition. I began writing to the multiplied millions of Christians who are as ignorant as I had been, hoping to awaken them to the Assyrian people. So, while the book is designed to inform readers, it Is more so a call to action. My heart burns with those like you who want to see the Assyrians refocused, restored and resolved to move toward the fulfillment of Isaiah’s prophecy. My prayer is that through the book and the amazing support team that has gathered around the project, we may be able to assist the Assyrians to take some major steps forward. Did you face any challenges while writing this book? Yes, indeed, there were challenges. You actually helped me over a major hurdle. I was disheartened by the stone wall I bumped into when trying to make contact...

read more

AFTER ATTACKS ON ASSYRIANS, NORTHERN IRAQ’S CHRISTIAN MINORITY RECOMMITS TO A HOMELAND

Posted by on May 18, 2019 in Media | 0 comments

AFTER ATTACKS ON ASSYRIANS, NORTHERN IRAQ’S CHRISTIAN MINORITY RECOMMITS TO A HOMELAND

By Uzay Bulut | Political Analyst Christians in Iraq continue to be exposed to violent attacks and oppression at the hands of various armed groups. On May 13, assailants broke into an Assyrian Christian home and attacked two elderly women, a mother, and daughter, in the Iraqi town of Bartella. The women were repeatedly stabbed with a knife and their gold and money were stolen. The two victims were then hospitalized in Mosul. The daughter, who sustained a violent head injury, remains in critical condition. Two men who were arrested for the crime are from Shabak, a Shia group that is supported by Iran alongside the Shia Hashd al-Shaabi militia, reported the human rights organization, International Christian Concern (ICC). Bartella is a town in the Nineveh plain in Iraq, the ancient Assyrian heartland, where Assyrian Christians still constitute a demographic majority and have for years sought autonomy or self-governance. However, since the defeat of ISIS, Bartella has been occupied by the Brigade 30 militia under the Hashd al-Shaabi. And the number of Shia Shabak people is increasing in the southern towns of Nineveh. Susan Patto, an Assyrian living in Baghdad, told the Daily Caller, “the attack on those elderly women is not just a crime of theft; it’s a message to Assyrians that you are not safe in your homes and towns.” “The fragile security situation in Nineveh Plain, where different sides control security, and most of them are not even people of that area, is creating more problems, and also increasing the fear of people to go back to their towns,” Patto added. There is also the problem of rebuilding what was destroyed; it’s not going as it should be. People are not compensated for what they have lost, and there are no decent houses to live in, no infrastructure, and no jobs, and these are massive obstacles for people to go back. So the most urgent concerns of Christians are security and the rebuilding of their towns.” (RELATED: ISIS Destroyed Jonah’s Tomb But Inadvertently Unearthed More Biblical Evidence) The Assyrians, who are the descendants of the original inhabitants of ancient Assyria, have lived in the Middle East for millennia and are indigenous to Iraq, Syria, Iran, and Turkey. The Assyrian language they speak, which is also known as Aramaic, Syriac or Neo-Aramaic, was the mother tongue of Jesus. Ancient Assyrian civilization made an enormous contribution to the history and culture of the region. For instance, ancient Assyrians developed mathematical inventions and sophisticated medicine which influenced science as far away as Greece. Since the rise of Islam in the seventh century, however, Assyrians and other Christians became “dhimmis,” or second-class subjects. Yet, there remained sizable Assyrian communities for centuries afterward, even under the Ottoman Empire. This changed dramatically with the Assyrian genocide that took place in Ottoman Turkey from 1915 to 1923, in which “300,000 Assyrians were murdered and innumerable women were abducted,” writes the author Mardean Isaac. Even so, the murder of Assyrians did not come to a halt either in Turkey or in Iraq after the genocide came to a halt. According to a 2017 report by the Assyrian Confederation of Europe, “Assyrians represent one of the most consistently targeted communities in Iraq throughout its modern history. This has included the state-sanctioned massacre at Simele in 1933; Saddam Hussein’s Anfal campaign, which included the targeting of Assyrians villages; ruthless campaigns of...

read more

Criminality in Bartella

Posted by on May 18, 2019 in Help Right Now, Media, News, Rally - Secure - Restore | 0 comments

On Monday the 13th of May 2019, a group of armed men broke into an Assyrian Christian home in the Hay el-Askari neighborhood of Bartella. Using bladed weapons they physically attacked two elderly women before stealing their cash and valuables. The two women were hospitalized and suffered from severe cuts. On the 15th of May 2019, Iraqi Security Forces (ISF) arrested two male individuals from Bartella who confessed being part of the perpetrators who committed this heinous crime. ISF also confiscated several unlicensed weapons including three AK-47s and four hand grenades inside the house of one of the perpetrators. Although this is the sole incident that has received remote media coverage (mainly social media; Facebook), this is certainly not a single occurrence. This title incident marks the 15th criminally authored incident in the Sub-District of Bartella since January 2018, these included: one intimidation, one abduction, two robberies, four direct fires and seven assaults. That is at least three incidents per month. Thus, since January 2019, criminal incidents occurring in the Bartella Sub-District amount to 55% of criminality in the Hamdaniya District (15 out of 27). These incidents seem to be orchestrated and target the original people of Bartella, i.e. the Assyrian Christians. According to the ISF, with regard to this title incident: the timing and profile of the victims indicate that the perpetrators selectively chose their target. The perpetrators seem to have been living in the very same neighborhood of Hay el-Askari, which is located in northeast of Bartella and used be purely inhabited by the indigenous Assyrian Christian community; however, during the last few years a huge demographic change has occurred and the vicinity is now also occupied by the Shiite Shabaks. As a result, the Assyrian community of the region no longer feels safe in their own neighborhood, which is now suffering from poor socioeconomic status in contrast to the other neighborhoods of Bartella. Demographic Changes: In the recent years, after 2003, especially after the liberation of the town from ISIS, Bartella has been subject to a huge demographic change. Bartella, which is 20km (12.5ml) to the east of Mosul, is an ancient Assyrian town and until very recently, most of its inhabitants were Assyrian Christians; however, it is surrounded by the Shiite Shabak villages. Being Shiites, the Shabaks receive Iran’s and Baghdad’s full support – not only financial, but political and military backing as well. According to one Assyrian Christian official who is a native of Bartella, and prefers to remain anonymous: ”Because the Shabaks are Shiites and enjoy very good relations with Baghdad, the government in Baghdad takes away our lands and grants them to the Shabaks.” Furthermore, he asserts: “the Shabaks come from other villages and seize our lands and houses; we currently have more than one hundred pieces of land that have been illegally seized by the Shabaks.” When Restore Nineveh Now asked if any legal action had been taken against such offenses, the official replied: “The Shabaks are in full control in Bartella, they hold all the key positions, and we have nothing as Assyrian Christians.” Another Assyrian Christian whose house has been illegally seized by another Shabak and who refuses to leave the house, said: “They dominate the security force here, they hold all the key official positions and are fully backed...

read more

Why are the Assyrian IDPs not Returning to Tel Kaif

Posted by on Apr 24, 2019 in Help Right Now, Media, News, Uncategorized | 0 comments

  The local Assyrian inhabitants of this ancient Assyrian town were driven out by ISIS on the 6th of August 2014, when the terrorist group took over the town. The Assyrian Christian homes were immediately looted, their churches and cemeteries destroyed, erasing any trace of their existence.  Although the town has been liberated since 19th of January 2017, yet only a handful of Assyrian families have returned to rebuild their homes in Tel Kaif.  Two years have passed since the town was liberated and life is returning to normal. Most of the local Sunni Arabs, Sunni Kurds and the Sunni and Shiite Turkmens have returned to the town; however, the Assyrians are not returning to resettle in the town. Instead of returning to the town, they are choosing to resettle in the nearby villages that are solely settled by the Assyrians, such as Tel Eqof.  Why one may ask? What are their reservations? Even prior to ISIS taking over the town – shortly after Saddam was toppled in 2003, Tel Kaif was a problematic area. The town was infested with terrorist breading cells and the native inhabitants of the town, i.e. the Assyrians, were a direct target and had to go on with their daily life with great fears and vigilance. Thus, the social cohesion between the native Assyrian inhabitants and their Muslim neighbours, which had settled in the town, was gradually destroyed and replaced with great distrust.  This was all exacerbated with the coming of ISIS. Few traces of the Assyrian existence remain in Tel Kaif, even their graves have been desecrated.  Just like the other ethno-religious groups that lived in the town, the Assyrians too were anticipating the liberation of Tel Kaif and looking forward to return and rebuild their homes and lives. However, according to our interviews with the Assyrian IDPs from Tel Kaif, who have chosen to remain anonymous, they fear returning to their homes due to the following pertubations: 1. Women and girls from those families that have returned and those that tried to return are being harassed by some of the local Muslim youth. In some cases, the local security forces have been the source of such harassment. This in itself is a huge reason for distrust: the Assyrian women and girls were a direct target of ISIS and such harassment is a sign that ISIS may have been defeated, but ISIS mentality seems to continue to prevail among the local Muslim community. 2. After the liberation of town, the Iraqi government founded a huge Detention Camp (Tasfiraat) in Tel Kaif. According to the Governor of Mosul, the Detention Camp houses around 1800 foreign ISIS fighters (from eighteen different nationalities). The centre is not in the outskirts of the town, but in the town itself and amidst one of the town’s neighbourhoods.    The presence of this Detention Camp, no farther than 10 meters from people’s homes, is a great source of distress and trepidation for the Assyrians. They fear these detained ISIS fighters can easily escape and commit a grave terrorist act. In fact, not even a weak ago: a Russian female ISIS fighter attempted to climb the fence and escape. According to some eye-witnesses, she was almost successful. One Assyrian IDP told us: “if only one of these detainees was to escape, he...

read more

Communiqué

Posted by on Apr 11, 2019 in News | 0 comments

First and foremost, we would like to wish our nation a Happy Assyrian New Year, may 6769 be a year of emancipation and progress for all of our people and in all four corners of our homeland and the diaspora.  The Restore Nineveh Now Foundation board held a general body meeting on the 27th of March 2019 to discuss important key topics, most important of which: how to fill the huge gap left through the passing of our chairman, the late David William Lazar who passed away on the 5th of January 2019. David William Lazar was larger than life and his sheer dedication to the Assyrian nation and its cause; and to Restore Nineveh Now Foundation are immeasurable.  Thus, his passing is felt by all as a great loss, but more so by us as Restore Nineveh Now Foundation. We also realise: it will take us a very longtime to recover and eventually find adequate replacement to fill David William Lazar’s shoes.  However, we feel it would be a great injustice for us to cease our efforts: we must not only continue, we must escalate our efforts. We owe it to our nation, which needs us now more than ever. Furthermore, we owe it to David William Lazar: we must honour him by continuing in his footsteps and fight for what he believed and stood for.  Therefore, the Restore Nineveh Now Foundation took the bold decision to continue its efforts and restructure its board to the following effect: 1. The board took an unanimous decision to vote in Dr. Sargon Issa as the temporary chairman of its board, until the foundation is able to find a new chairman.  2. The board also took an unanimous decision to add Mrs. Ninva Younan as a new board member of Restore Nineveh Now Foundation.  Our board also discussed the main challenges faced by our nation in our ancestral homeland and put a plan together as to how we address these challenges.  We also discussed the importance of involving as much of our people in our efforts to serve our nation as possible. We sincerely believe we have many supporters among our people, both in the homeland and the diaspora who strongly believe in what we stand for and do. Therefore, we would like to invite them to come forward and place their hands in ours in order to help us serve this nation of ours; for the harvest if plentiful but the workers are few! We were, we are and we shall continue to be the loyal servants of the Assyrian nation. Sincerely, Board of Restore Nineveh Now Foundation...

read more

The Passing of our Dear Founder, David William Lazar

Posted by on Jan 6, 2019 in News | 0 comments

The Passing of our Dear Founder, David William Lazar

It is with deep regret and sadness that we announce the passing of our President and Founder, David William Lazar, who passed away today surrounded by loved ones. David is survived by his wife Ninva, and children Delmin and Tiamet Lazar. In his public life, David was a highly respected activist who spent his life fighting for the rights of all Assyrians; in his private life, he was a devoted husband who always cherished his family and friends. His sacrifice to the Assyrian cause will never be forgotten, as he worked tirelessly to further the mission, doing so without compromising his core values.  David leaves behind several non-profit organizations that he co-founded, including Assyrian Aid Society of America, American Mesopotamian Organization, and Restore Nineveh Now Foundation. His spirit will forever be the foundation of our organization. David’s untimely death was unexpected and is a complete shock to all of us. Those of us who have been fortunate enough to know and work with David have lost a dear friend and an inspiring mentor. We will honor his memory by dedicating ourselves to continuing the cause he believed in so much. For the time being, we would like to reflect upon his life and express our gratitude to an exceptional man who gave everything to his nation. Sincerely, Restore Nineveh Now Foundation...

read more

Statement on change in USAID policy towards ethno-religious minorities of Iraq

Posted by on Jan 24, 2018 in News, Rally - Secure - Restore, Slider | 0 comments

Statement on change in USAID policy towards ethno-religious minorities of Iraq

  https://www.usaid.gov/news-information/press-releases/jan-8-2018-continued-us-assistance-to-better-meet-the-needs-of-minorities-in-iraq In 2016, the Obama administration recognized ISIS atrocities against ethnic and religious minorities in Iraq and Syria as a Genocide. Unfortunately, nothing of significance changed in US policy towards these minorities and the victims continued to suffer and anguish. Not only nothing changed on the ground as far as the overall condition of these minorities was concerned; but they continued to suffer from methodical discrimination by international agencies such as the UNDP, US State department, the Baghdad government as well as the Kurdish regional government. In November 2016, just before the US presidential election, our foundation engaged an advocacy group in DC, with the purpose of advocating for a change in US policy towards victims of the genocide. The advocacy group was led by a former senior State Department official who was aware of the plight of the Assyrians and Yezidis and the overall situation in Iraq and who also had access to high ranking US officials, in the State Department, the US Congress and the new incoming Trump administration. At the same time, he was well connected to Iraqi government officials, which we considered to be critical for the success of the initiative since USAID and the State Department had previously insisted on working through Baghdad government channels. In February 2017 the Restore Nineveh Now Foundation (RNNF) proposed an eight-point action plan to senior advisers to the Trump administration where we requested that direct aid be given to secular and faith based organizations that have been doing most of the heavy lifting in elevating the suffering of tens of thousands of displaced Assyrians, Yezidis and Turkmens families. Please click on link below to read our press release: http://www.restoreninevehnow.org/?p=1389 In the same month our President, Mr. David William Lazar met with his excellency Dr. Fareed Yasseen, Iraq’s ambassador to the United States in D.C. to deliver a letter to his excellency, Dr. Haidar Al-Abadi, Prime minister of Iraq on the same subject. Please click on the link below to read our press release: http://www.restoreninevehnow.org/?p=1397 RNNF representatives in DC worked with U.S. Senators Marco Rubio (R-FL), James Lankford (R-OK), Ben Sasse (R-NE), and John Cornyn (R-TX) to write Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, urging him to release urgently needed funds that were promised by former Secretary John Kerry for the relief of ethnic and religious minorities of Northern Iraq. Please click on the link below to read the content of the letter to Secretary Tillerson: http://www.restoreninevehnow.org/?p=143 In his telephone conversation with Dr. Steiger, Chief Operating Officer of US Agency for International Development (USAID) our President, Mr. David William Lazar, explained in detail that Assyrians, Yezidis and other ethno-religious minorities have received very small percentage of the aid earmarked for them. This was due to policies of discrimination against these minorities by our own Department of State (Obama administration) as well as by the UNDP in addition to high levels of corruption in the Kurdish regional government and that the best approach would be to work directly with faith based and secular NGO already on the ground in Northern Iraq. In early December 2017, USAID distributed $6M USD to three NGO, each one of them receiving $2M and they are: Save the Children http://www.savethechildren.org/site/c.8rKLIXMGIpI4E/b.6115947/k.8D6E/Official_Site.htm   Danish Refugee Council https://drc.ngo/   Catholic Relief Services https://www.crs.org/?_ga=2.154908607.60310272.1516047447-1165782413.1516047447&_gac=1.246548912.1516047448.EAIaIQobChMIiLqM6-Ta2AIVRrjACh1jgQDHEAAYASAAEgJF8PD_BwE   As the most recent statement...

read more