The Arameans of Mesopotamia flourishing at the United Nations in Geneva.

The “Hidden Pearl” of the Indigenous Arameans of Aram-Naharaim revealed to the world.

A landmark in the history of the Arameans of Aram-Naharaim

Many peoples became victim of persecution, ethnic cleansing, discrimination, exclusion, extortion, murder and genocide. However, none of them have suffered so much as the Indigenous Christian Aramean (Syrian) people of Aram-Naharaim. They suffered not only under reckless dictators in the Middle-east whose dictionary only contained the words "blood and sword"; but also the Western missionaries on whom we thought we could relay and get sympathy, have damaged our people severely by creating division, hatred and split them in several denominations. The missionaries have tried to uproot the (East) Aramean (Syrian) people from their roots by planting doubts in their hearts regarding their identity and making them falsely believe that they are the descendants of the former “Chaldeans” and “Assyrians”. Their majestic Syrian Church of Antioch has been cut in pieces by dividing it in various denominations. 

Anyhow, our people have suffered terrible. They suffered from the hands of those who proclaim "sword and blood" and from the hand of those who proclaim the "message of peace" in the name of "Jesus". For this reason, it is amazing that this ancient people managed to survive in miraculous way, although considerably weakened. 

Fortunately, there are some honest and pure people from the West who have discovered the Pearl, which our people bear with them since thousands of years. These dedicated people, deep-sea divers, have revealed the Hidden Pearl from the very deep Aramean sea and presented to the World. 

One of these (Aramean) deep-sea divers is the famous British Professor Sebastian Brock who together with his collages has recorded the history of the Aramean (Syrian) people of Aram-Naharaim in the multimedia project: The Hidden Pearl. 

The history of the Aramean people of Mesopotamia is indeed a Pearl which is not visible to everybody, only to those who are equipped properly. Sebastian Brock, David Taylor and Witold Witakoyski have made the Hidden Pearl available to everybody.

On Wednesday 23rd of July 2003 a event took place in the United Nations in Geneva, which truly can be marked as a landmark in the more than 4000 years history of the Indigenous Aramean people of Mesopotamia. On this very day, a big meeting was organised by the Syriac Universal Alliance (SUA), whereby the Multimedia Project “The Hidden Pearl” was introduced to the world.

The meeting was organised during the annual meeting of the United Nations Working group on the Indigenous Populations.

The meeting was a successful and was attended by more than 200 people.

Here below, you will find the agenda of this meeting.

Agenda: Presentation of the Hidden Pearl

The Arameans of Mesopotamia at the United Nations

The Preparations

During the week of 21-25th of July 2003, a table was set at our disposal in front of the Entrance of the big meeting room, in order to be able to make some advertisement in advance to the presentation. Fliers were distributed, books were available to look in it, many questions were answered and hundreds of people came to the booth for information and explanation. In this way, the attention of the people was attracted to the majestic history of the Indigenous Aramean people of Aram-Naharaim.

Information booth in front of the entrance of the meeting room.

Eli Chamoun explains this visitor about the Hidden Pearl and the history of the Aramean people. On the background, a Italian journalist asks question about the Aramean people.

A group youngster picks up information from the table regarding the Aramean history. 

Sometimes it was extremely busy at the booth.

The Presentation of the “Hidden Pearl”

On Wednesday 23rd of July 2003, the Hidden Pearl was presented to the World.

The meeting was organised in a big meeting room, the so-called standard meeting room where the Human Rights meetings takes place. They provided us with a big screen and a beamer for the presentation of the film and the slides.

The Main Representative to Geneva, Mr. Gabriel Sengo opens the meeting and says:

  • Ladies and Gentlemen,

  • Representatives of the Governments,

  • Indigenous and non-indigenous friends,

On behalf of the Indigenous Aramean people of Mesopotamia, I say to all of you: Welcome to this special meeting.

After Mr. Sengo informed the attendants of the meeting about the agenda, he introduced the Aramean people and their rich history during 5 minutes to the visitors of the meeting. He started his introduction with a slide presentation as follows:

Introduction Slide 1:  

Aram-Naharaim: The Cradle of the forefathers

The text

The area where the Aramean people come from became known under the name “Mesopotamia”. In the ancient times this part of the world was known by Hebrew people as Aram-Naharaim, meaning the Aram of the two rivers. The northern part of Aram-Naharaim was called Paddan-Aram, meaning the land of Aram where Biblical figures like Abraham and Jacob have lived and walked, which is roughly speaking situated in southeastern Turkey. A part of Paddan-Aram is today called Tur Abdin in the Aramaic (Syriac) language, which means “the mountains of the servants of the Lord”, because of the overwhelming presence of monasteries and churches

Because of overwhelming presence of Arameans in the southern part of Aram-Naharaim, in the era of early Christianity, it was called Beth-Aramaya, meaning the house of the Arameans..

The Arameans, Aram-Naharaim, Paddanp-Aram, Tur-Abdin and Beth- Aramaya:  the Cradle of the forefathers. The Question is: Where are the Arameans today?

Introduction Slide 2: The Syrian Church of Antioch

The text

The Aramean people of today are spread throughout the middle-east and divided into various denominations.

In the beginning of the Christendom, our people were geographically divided into West-Arameans and East-Arameans. Roughly speaking, the West-Arameans were those living in the Roman Empire and the east-Arameans were those living in the Persian Empire.

The East-Aramean were, due to the activities of the western missionaries, split into the “Chaldeans” in 1552 and “Assyrians” in 19th century. The West-Arameans are among others the Maronites, the Melkites and the Syrian Catholics and Orthodox. The Syrian (Orthodox) Church, the Mother church, is the only church which remained faithful to the roots of the forefathers. It is the Mother church which bears our rich heritage since centuries.

Introduction Slide 3: Aramean history: A Hidden Pearl.

Text:

The history of the Arameans of Aram-Naharaim is a very rich history which is unfortunately is unknown by many people. Yes, it is a Pearl which is not visible to everybody.

A few years ago, strong divers under supervision of Prof. Sebastian Brock have the rich Pearl revealed to the world. Sebastian Brock is a high respected professor at the oxford university standing beside our Patriarch and then the Italian film producer Pezalli. 

Introduction Slide 4: The Hidden Pearl.

  • 3000 years Aramean history

  • 3000 years Aramean culture

  • 3000 years Aramean language, the language spoken by Abraham and Jesus

  • 3 video tapes accompanied with 3 books. 

Text:

The work of these great divers has resulted in the Multimedia Project: The Hidden Pearl in which the three thousand years history, culture and religion of the Aramean people is recorded.

What you are going to see is a condensed version of video tape 1 and 2 which takes around 40 minutes.

The presentation of the video tape

The video tape was projected via a beamer on a big screen. Here below you will find a photo of other meeting whereby the same beamer and screen is used for a presentation.

More than 200 people attended the meeting. The lights were turned off in order to present the film better to the people.

Arameans and not-Arameans watching the film.

Prof. Dr. H. Hollerweger

Professor Dr. H. Hollerweger, the author “ Tur Abdin, Living Cultural heritage,, informs the attendants about the situation of the Aramean people in Tur Abdin.  

After the Presentation of the Film, Professor Dr. Hollerweger was invited to give a speech about the current situation of the Aramean people in Tur Abdin.

Richard Ghazal and the treaty of Lausanne

Richard Ghazal, a student political science and Syriac (Aramaic) language, from the United States, discussed extensively the treaty of Lausanne in 1923 whereby Turkey was forced to recognise the non-Muslim minorities. The Jews, the Greeks and the Armenians were recognised by Turkey as an ethnic minorities. The Aramean people were unfortunately not recognised as an ethnic minority, with the result that our people could not attain their human rights.

A copy of the Hidden Pearl presented to the Library of the United Nations.

The Main Representative to Geneva invites Ms. Pejovic to receive a copy of the Hidden pearl from the hands of the Honorary President of SUA, Mr. Dr. Aho Sevinc.

The Librarian of the United Nation in Geneva, Ms. Pejovic accepts a copy of the Hidden Pearl from the hands of Dr. Aho Sevinc.

Ms. Pejovic and her colleague with the copy of the Hidden Pearl in her hand.

Refreshments and questions

After the meeting, which lasted 1,5 hour, the attendants were provided with refreshments. This opportunity was extensively used by them and the interest for the Aramean people was overwhelming. Many discussions, questions, answers etc.. etc.. all about the Indigenous Aramean people of Aram-Naharaim.

Hanibal Canon talks  with the Arabic BBC about the Aramean people