I am an Assyrian!


I am an Assyrian. That is not negotiable.

How difficult can it be to comprehend this statement? It seems it’s plenty confusing and a source of even anger by non Assyrians.

For years biographers, journalists and Wikipedia’s self-appointed-all-knowing-hiding-behind-screen-name-editors seem to equate nationality with birthplace or citizenship and have tried to guess at my nationality by insisting on choosing one for me based on their limited or nonexistent knowledge, or label me with one of those hyphenated dual identities. You know, like Assyrian-This or Assyrian-That.

Article 15 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights states that Everyone has the right to a nationality, and No one shall be arbitrarily deprived of his nationality nor denied the right to change his nationality.

My birthplace, hospital, street, city, country merely provide the address to where I was born. My birthplace does not define my national identity. The countries where I have resided or presently reside in are just address and do not define my national identity.  My passport or citizenship also have nothing to do with my nationality.

No government or entity has the right to define my identity or create one for me. That is my choice and my choice alone.

I have no ambiguity about my identity. I have but a singular identity and that is Assyrian.

/Rosie Malek-Yonan