Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Reviving Syriac in Syria

MODERN ARAMAIC (SYRIAC) WATCH: Syriac Christians revive ancient language despite war (Ahmed Shiwesh, ARA News).
QAMISHLI – The Syriac-Assyrian Christians in Syria’s Hasakah, like other communities in the province, are trying to revive their language and have education in their mother-tongue. The ongoing instability in the country has given the Syriac-Assyrians an opportunity to have education in their own language.

Prior to the outbreak of the Syrian crisis, the Syriac-Assyrian Christians were not allowed to have education in their own language, similar to the Kurds. The only language of education used to be Arabic, due to the totalitarian policies of the ruling Baath Party that excluded other ethnic minorities. This Christian community has shown appreciation for this great opportunity that came amid the current hard situation in Syria.

The Syriac-Assyrians have recently launched a language centre known as “Ourhi Centre” in the city of Qamishli in Syria’s northeastern Hasakah province. The project is aimed at educating the Assyrian language and train potential teachers to bear the mission of reviving this ancient language.

Good for them. I hope it goes well, despite the adverse circumstances.

I noted some of the work going on in Qamishli a couple of months ago here.