Listen up, Wikipedia!

 

Wikipedia Anti-AssyrianPublished: March 19, 2017

Updated: April 10, 2017

The discrimination against Assyrian Christians does not stop in the Middle East. It is allegedly exercised daily on Wikipedia where anyone from any walk of life can take on the role of a so-called editor. I say so-called because a large number are not remotely qualified to take on the role of an editor, however, Wikipedia’s formula allows for anyone to jump in and start editing. The problem with this setup is that biographies of living persons can and often times do become targeted by individuals or groups whose motives are to push forward their own agenda and spread misinformation online. Their bullying tactics are atrocious.

I have been witnessing an alarming trend where these so-called Wikipedia editors are allegedly actively seeking to eradicate the Assyrian identity from articles about Assyrians. I have personally experienced this anti-Assyrian trend and bullying for the past several years, since an article about me was created on Wikipedia. This is also true in the case of family members who also have articles on Wikipedia. This is a blatant assault and discrimination against Assyrians.

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 does not define my nationality. I am a U.S. citizen and I choose America as my home where I have lived much of my life.

Listen up, all you so-called Wikipedia Editors, Admins, Contributors, and other Biographers who continually alter my nationality based on your limited knowledge of who I am, just stop. I will not be misrepresented and bullied by Wikipedia or anyone else particularly so-called Iranian Muslim Wikipedia editors who seem to be under the impression that they have the final say with their nauseating anti-Assyrian discussions. When I, as the subject of the article declare that I am an Assyrian-American, there should be no further discussion.

Since Wikipedia has blocked me, and my representatives from making corrections to an article that is about me, citing conflict of interest and does not directly respond to requests, I will therefore continue to call out Wikipedia and its so-called editors here on my blog, my Personal Website, Twitter, Facebook Fan Page, and other social media outlets until the bullying stops. Wikipedia’s alleged discrimination and hatred towards Assyrian Christians must be exposed.

The following entries are just the latest attacks on my Assyrian identity. I will continue to post updates below.

♢♦︎♦︎♦︎♢♦︎♦︎♦︎♢♦︎♦︎♦︎♢♦︎♦︎♦︎♢

March 7, 2017

It has come to my attention that a Muslim Iranian Wikipedia editor who goes by the handle, LouisAragon, an Iranian living in the Netherlands, is at it again trying to change my Assyrian identity to Iranian on a Wikipedia Article about me and has proceeded to add me to various Iranian groups and lists. There is no dispute and it is not up for discussion by anyone that my nationality was not, is not, and will never be Iranian. It is not for the arrogant LouisAragon or anyone else to alter this reality or make misrepresentations as this Wikipedia so-called editor has been doing for a few years. LouisAragon‘s obsession with me, verging on cyber stalking, is extremely alarming and Wikipedia needs to put a stop to it immediately, restore my nationality to Assyrian-American, and remove me from any and all Iranian categories, Iranian lists, and Iranian groups on Wikipedia.

March 8, 2017 Update

Wikipedia’s all-knowing-so-called editor, LouisAragon, continues to argue/rant that he/she knows my nationality better than I (being the subject and primary source), assumes to know how many years I’ve spent in Iran and now further assumes to know the birthplace of my parents to be Iran. Is this how these so-called editors contribute to Wikipedia? By assumption or bullying? Really? LouisAragon can best serve Wikipedia by refraining to inflict his/her views on biographies of living people. Perhaps this so-called editor’s skills should be exercised on biographies of the dearly departed. There’s bound to be less objections at least directly from the subjects of the articles.

March 19, 2017 Update

After my previous blog post on the same subject was brought to the attention of LouisAragon, he/she reverted my nationality to Assyrian-American, removed a few Iranian categories, and vowed, “Any further picosecond wasted on this is a lost one.” I had hoped he would be lost for good. But on the heels of LouisAragon‘s pledge to control the obsession with my nationality, a new so-called-all-knowing Wikipedia editor who goes by the handle, ZxxZxxZ, and is another Muslim Iranian, took up the anti-Assyrian position where LouisAragon left off.

I find it curious that of all the articles on Wikipedia, these two converge on mine with the same changes. Perhaps LouisAragon and ZxxZxxZ are one and the same since the edits on the article about me directly focus on my nationality and exhibiting the same type of sick obsession.

ZxxZxxZ claims “there is no such thing as Assyrian-American,” and concludes that I must be Iranian-American! It is disgusting to see how anti-Assyrian these so-called Iranian Wikipedia editors are and to what lengths they will go to in order to slap an Iranian identity on me.

ZxxZxxZ, stop obsessing and bullying. I’m not Iranian! Never was! Never will be! This is an insult to me, to my family, and to the entire Assyrian Christian nation. I demand that my nationality be corrected to what it legally is: Assyrian-American. Further, I demand to be removed from all Iranian lists, categories, and groups.

March 20, 2017 Update

My Assyrian-American nationality has be restored…for the moment. However, I am furious to still be included in all Iranian lists, categories, and groups.

March 31, 2017 Update

LouisAragon‘s crazed obsession to alter my nationality to Iranian in the Wikipedia article about me has once again resurfaced in the form of “reporting” anyone who dares to correct my nationality to Assyrian-American. In fact, in the past, this so-called Wikipedia editor even reported me when I corrected my own nationality on Wikipedia.

I will continue to document LouisAragon‘s obsessive behavior because these types of aggressively single-minded individuals who remain focused on a public person, must be observed very carefully and reported to authorities should the obsessive stalking continue and change form.

April 5, 2017 Update

Fake WikipediaBerean Hunter, a handle used by another one of those Wikipedia admin bullies, cares very little about correcting content. I contacted this individual directly in 2015 and asked to have my nationality restored to Assyrian. You would think Wikipedia would be more sensitive to articles on biographies of living people. Instead this bully not only did not assist in making the correction and resolving the problem, he/she banned me and my entire management team.

It is quite logical for people connected to the subject of an article to make corrections or changes facts which seem necessary. Especially those who are public people and have a team of representative, agents, managers, P.R. agents, legal representatives and so on. No public person wants lies and fake news published about them.

Many don’t care about Wikipedia and view it as an “unreliable” source altogether. From my personal experience, Wikipedia is not a trustworthy source to be quoted. However, a lie can spread like cancer and that is the concern here. Wikipedia allows lies to be published.

Wikipedia publicly states:

The content of this article has been derived in whole or part from Rosie Malek-Yonan. Permission has been received from the copyright holder to release this material under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported license. Evidence of this has been confirmed and stored by OTRS volunteers, under ticket number 2006022410007291.

Despite the above statement, Wikipedia consistently denies my Assyrian identity which would have been part of the original content I gave permission for use. The ongoing discussion about my Assyrian identity for the past several years, is truly offensive, bigoted, prejudicial, and malevolent.

I don’t know why Wikipedia is so hell bent on disseminating false information because their actions have consequences. When Wikipedia’s deliberate fake information about my identity is quoted by other sources, they are directly harming me and taking part in the spread or lies.

Berean Hunter and others like this individual who hide behind computer screens using handles, and fiercely guarding their anonimity, are directly perpetuating this anti-Assyrian campaign by those who wish to eradicate the Assyrian Christian identity. In my case, most have a Muslim-Iranian or Muslim-Middle-Eastern connection like the so-called-editor, LouisAragon. Perhaps some of these so-called Wikipedia admins don’t grasp the magnitude of their actions, but many do and don’t care that their decisions and contributions will greatly harm subjects of biographies of living people.

First it was fake news, now it’s fake Wikipedia. Since Wikipedia editors are incapable of listening to reason, and  my representatives and I have been banned from editing, commenting, and communicating with Wikipedia in any fashion, I began writing this piece to document what transpires. I am certain these so-called editors and admins are paying attention. Today Berean Hunter removed the link from this article that was posted on the talk page of the article about me on Wikipedia only to prove that Wikipedia exercises censorship of truth.

April 7, 2017 Update

Another WIkipedia’s so-called editor using the handle, Bri, has changed my nationality once again from Assyrian-American to Iranian-American. Bri has also combed through the article removing as much Assyrian reference as possible and slanting the article to fit an “Iranian narrative.” Perhaps I should be flattered that Iranians including the Virtual Iranian Embassy has a need or desire to claim me as one of their own because of my accomplishments. I am not flattered. I am repulsed. I am not Iranian. Never was. Never will be. This is defemation and an anti-Assyrian stance that Wikipedia is taking.

April 8, 2017

Fakepidia editors are scrambling. As soon as my Assyrian-American identity was restored, another editor using the handle Anthony_Bradbury, reverted it back to Iranian. I’m amazed that these pathetic attempts to alter my identity won’t stop. Now it seems these editors are recruiting accomplices to keep the Iranian narrative going. Why so much focus on an article about me? The only conclusion is that these are anti-Assyrian editors pushing forward their own sinister agenda. This will eventually have to come to an end. Suddenly all these so-called editors are converging on this issue. Very suspicious behavior.

And….Wait for it….enter Ravensfire, another idiotic so-called Fakepidia editor regurgitating the same nonsensical assertion as all the others! Oh, and Bri is back claiming and I quote “…statements on [a subject’s] nationality are not WP:reliable sources; many people self-identify with nationalities which are different from their legal nationality.” And then Bri throws in Nikola Tesla as backup to the argument! Nikola Tesla? Really? Keep piling on the rubbish you are trying to pass for logic, Fakepidia editors and admins!

As this farce continues to unfold, Wikipedia’s anti-Assyrian position solidifies. I am fairly certain before the final curtain, the original instigator, LouisAragon, the Iranian Muslim, will grind on to once more take the spotlight. At the moment this lunatic is working behind the scenes as he pushes his own demented scheme which points to his utter disdain for Assyrian Christians. This psycho becomes completely unhinged when anyone switches Iranian to Assyrian. Goodness, me, so much hatred for Assyrians? So much hatred for Christians?

Fakepedia would love to carve the Assyrian out of me. It’s truly comical to sit back and observe a bunch of half-baked hysterical editors and admins hovering over my nationality on Fakepedia to ensure that it doesn’t get reverted to Assyrian. To what end?

How exciting for you to spend your time making the Assyrian Rosie Malek-Yonan, the center of your attention! Cheers!

April 9, 2017 Update

It was a busy few days for the anxious and overly zealous Fakepedia admins, editors, and contributors in regards to the article about me. In order to make their case for an Iranian narrative, Bri hastily combed through my bio removing as much reference to Assyrian as possible. The key biographical information removed was this:

Malek-Yonan is a descendant of one of the oldest and most prominent Assyrian families, tracing her Assyrian roots back nearly 11 centuries. The Malek-Yonan family originated from Jilu and eventually settled in the Assyrian Christian village of Geogtapa, in the Urmia region of northwestern Iran. (See Malek-Yonan Family Tree)

Deleting this key piece of information that points to the Geographic origins of the Malek-Yonan Family not being Iran is duplicitous and underhanded.

For a few hours, my nationality was restored to Assyrian-American. And then…yep…you guessed it…Bri stops by to revert it back to, well you know what by now…Iranian. This is getting tedious Bri! This comical idiot’s source is the Virtual Embassy Tehran that has compiled a list of “Prominent Iranian-Americans.” Well, I am prominent, I’ll give you that much. But the listing does not exist!

April 10, 2017 Update.

A new cast member has been added to the farce. Enter Vanamonde93 who locked the article in order to stop the general public from correcting my nationality. And in the meantime the gang of bullies at Fakepedia are ransacking through the article like vultures removing as mugh reference to “Assyrian” as possible. Bri even removed the IMBd sources to two of my documentary films, The Assyrian and My Assyrian Nation on the Edge claiming IMDb is not a reliable source! Why not remove the sources to all my other films? I never imagined admins would lock an article only to vandalize it. Please, just delete the whole article! You are not a reliable source of anything.

Wikipedia editors are cherry picking biographical information to fit their own narrative. This is wrongful appropriation of my identity.  

Stay tuned. Let’s see which Fakepedia jester is going to jump into this farce.

NOTE: This article will be updated periodically.

/RMY

AUAF Removes Tibute to Assyrian Women on International Women’s Day

IMG_6866In late 2005, I was in Chicago promoting my book, The Crimson Field. One of the stops on my tour was at the Assyrian National Council of Illinois on Peterson where I met a lovely 13-year-old Assyrian girl with beauutiful inquisitive eyes. Her name was Reine Hanna. After my presentation, she approached me and we spoke at some length about Assyrian history and the Assyrian Genocide. I autographed Reine’s book and made her promise to never forget our history. As I watched her walk away, I wondered if our paths would cross again.

She is in her twenties now and as fate would have it, we did reconnect after all these years. I am so proud to see how she has blossomed into an articulate and caring young woman and a passionate and dedicated activist.

March 8, 2017, on the occasion of the International Women’s Day, this thoughtful young woman decided to honor twelve Assyrian woman she selected from around the world by writing about their accomplishments and highlighting their contributions to the Assyrian community. I was honored to be included in her list and delighted to be amongst the other fabulous women whom I already admired as strong role models for the Assyrian youth. I don’t believe any of the women selected knew this was coming. It was a surprise to us all.

On the morning of March 8th, the tribute was posted on the Assyrian Universal Alliance Federation’s website and linked on Facebook. Within an hour the post went viral and then suddenly the link to the AUAF page disappeared leaving a lot of unanswered questions. Family and friends who had grabbed screenshots of the individual articles, began to tag and share them. Soon the tribute was back on Facebook in bits and pieces. Like a jigsaw puzzle, everyone was piecing it back together.

As the day wore off speculations floated around as to why the link to the page at AUAF was no longer working. Clearly it wasn’t just a technical glitch. Everyone was posting theories as to what was going on. Eventually we learned that the AUAF Leadership had ordered the tribute post to be pulled. What they failed to consider was that it was too late to un-ring the bell. The post was already flooding Facebook news feeds and Twitter.

When on the occasion of International Women’s Day, AUAF Leadership ordered the tribute to Assyrian women be removed, not only did they insult those 12 Assyrian women, but also insulted all Assyrian women around the globe by sending a message that denigrating women was acceptable. Their callous disregard for the women of their own nation was inexcusable and at the very least a public apology should have been in order. However, I have personally decided to forgive AUAF’s lack of sound judgment and instead choose to stand tall with my Assyrian sisters because that’s what a strong women would do.

Assyrian women are the heart of our nation. Without them, the heart will beat no more. They should be celebrated everyday and not just once a year. I hope that the thoughtful young woman who created the 2017 tribute to Assyrian women will expand the list and continue to honor other women as well. What a wonderful way to get to know all the fabulous Assyrian women around the globe. I would encourage her to create a Facebook page where she can promote Assyrian women from all walks of life and do so without fear of censorship or retribution.

“Never look down at anyone unless you are extending a hand to lift them up.”

/RMY

To Wikipedia Editors & Biographers

March 7, 2017

It has come to my attention that a Wikipedia editor who goes by the named LouisAragon is at it again trying to change my Assyrian identity to Iranian on a Wikipedia Article about me and then proceeded to add me to various Iranian groups. There is no dispute and it is not up for discussion by anyone that my nationality was not, is not, and will never be Iranian. It is not for LouisAragon or anyone else to alter this reality or make misrepresentations as this Wikipedia so-called editor has been doing for a few years. LouisAragon’s obsession with me, verging on cyber stalking, is extremely alarming and Wikipedia needs to put a stop to it immediately, restore my nationality to Assyrian-American, and remove me from any and all Iranian categories, and groups on Wikipedia.

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 does not define my nationality. I am a U.S. citizen and I choose America as my home where I have lived much of my life.

So to all you so-called Wikipedia Editors and Biographers who continually try to alter my nationality based on your limited knowledge of who I am, just stop. 

Since Wikipedia has blocked me, and my representatives from making corrections to an article that is about me, I will post responses to its so-called editors here on my Blog, Twitter, Facebook Fan Page, and my Personal Websites. I will not be misrepresented and bullied by Wikipedia.

March 8, 2017 Update to My Post

Wikipedia’s all-knowing-so-called editor, LouisAragon, continues to argue/rant that he/she knows my nationality better than I (being the subject and primary source), assumes to know how many years I’ve spent in Iran and now further assumes to knows the birthplace of my parents to be Iran. Is this how these so-called editors contribute to Wikipedia? By assumption or bullying? Really? LouisAragon can best serve Wikipedia by refraining to inflict his/her views on biographies of living people. Perhaps this so-called editor’s skills should be exercised on biographies of the dearly departed. There’s bound to be less objections at least directly from the subjects of the articles.

NOTE: My next post Listen Up, Wikipedia will continue to develop and update  this post on Wikipedia’s Anti-Assyrian bullies.

/RMY

Rosie Malek-Yonan Speaks at the Simon Wiesenthal Center

(Los Angeles) – In the aftermath of the October 31, 2010 Massacre at the Church of Our Lady of Salvation in Baghdad, the Simon Wiesenthal Center in Los Angeles, California, hosted a Press Conference at the Museum of Tolerance on Monday December 20, 2010, to expose the crisis that the Assyrian nation has been facing in Iraq.

The Simon Wiesenthal Center is one of the largest international Jewish human rights organizations with over 400,000 member families in the United States.

Assyrian activist, Ms. Rosie Malek-Yonan, and religious leaders of various faiths were invited to attend the conference to call attention to the extermination of Assyrian Christians in Iraq.

Conference speakers included Ms. Rosie Malek-Yonan, author of The Crimson Field, Dr. Carl Moeller, CEO of Open Doors, Fr. Alexei Smith, Director, Ecumenical and Inter-religious Affairs of the Los Angeles Archdiocese, Imam Jihad Turk, Director of Religious Affairs of the Islamic Center of Southern California and Swami Sarvadevananda, Assistant Minister of the Vedanta Society of Southern California.

Also in attendance were Randolph Dobbs, Secretary of the Spiritual Assembly of the Bahais of Los Angeles, Nirinjan Singh Khalsa, Executive Director of the California Sikh Council and Joel Pilcher, V.P. of Communications for Open Door.

In his introduction, Rabbi Yitzchok Adlerstein, director of Interfaith Affairs at The Simon Wiesenthal Center noted that the systematic campaign of persecution of Christians in Iraq, namely the Assyrians, was a repeat of what happened to the Jews in the1940’s.  He thanked Ms. Malek-Yonan for bringing the plight of the Assyrians in Iraq to the attention of the Wiesenthal Center and said,  “We call on all people of faith, and all Americans, to speak up for the embattled Christians of Iraq and against the disturbing pattern of violence against other faiths and places of worship.”

In her media address, Ms. Malek-Yonan thanked the Wiesenthal Center and Rabbi Adlerstein for hosting the press conference but stressed the importance of not reducing the Assyrian Nation to a mere religious designation as it only served to further eradicate the Assyrians from their crumbling ancestral homeland.

An outspoken advocate of the Assyrian identity, Ms. Malek-Yonan said, “Assyrians were in the region long before Iraq was a country and long before the advent of Christianity.”  She spoke of the personal nature of the Iraq War against her nation.  “This war is personal.  It is my nation…my blood.”  Her heartfelt comments struck a chord with the attendees as I glanced around the room and witnessed the quiet nods in solidarity. “The Assyrians in Iraq will be playing a game of Russian roulette this Christmas.  They never know when they leave home to attend church, if that is going to be their last mass.”

Ms. Malek-Yonan spoke of the crimes committed against the Assyrian nation in Iraq since the beginning of the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq in 2003.  She criticized the silence of the western media in the face of the ongoing atrocities committed against her vulnerable nation including sixty-six bombed churches, massacre, kidnappings for ransom, murder and the total devastation of lives.

Ms. Malek-Yonan also touched upon the Assyrian Genocide of 1914-1918 and the Semele Massacre of Assyrians in Iraq and explained that the term genocide was coined as a result of the Semele Massacre.

The conference attendees called on the U.S. House of Representatives to pass HR 1725, a resolution “condemning and deploring the murderous attacks, bombings, kidnappings, and threats against vulnerable religious communities in Iraq.”

Perhaps the most poignant moment of the day came at the conclusion of the Conference, when Imam Jihad Turk, Director of Religious Affairs of the Islamic Center, expressed to Ms. Malek-Yonan his disdain for the maltreatment of the Christians in Iraq.

Ms. Malek-Yonan asked, “Why then do you not stand with us and make public statements condemning the acts of violence and aggression against Christian Assyrians?  Why have the peace loving Moslems not attended any of the Black Marches around the globe in opposition to the Baghdad Church Massacre?

“We didn’t know what was going on in Iraq.  No one informed us,” Mr. Turk replied.

“So now you know, Mr. Turk.  Now you are informed,” replied Ms. Malek-Yonan.

In a follow-up to the Press Conference, Ms. Malek-Yonan, was interviewed by Fox News that aired the same evening in a live broadcast.

The YouTube link to the Fox News interview can be found here.

After leaving the Museum of Tolerance, I sat down with Ms. Malek-Yonan to ask her a few questions.  She graciously obliged.

Miller: I noticed when you got up to speak today, you had a prepared statement but then you folded it and spoke from your heart.  Can you elaborate on that?

Ms. Malek-Yonan: I was very honored and appreciative to be given the opportunity to speak at the Conference, but I was also getting annoyed that the Assyrian identity was kept out of the equation by all the westerners.  Yes we are a majority Christian nation, but that is separate and apart from our national identity.  I had to address that fact and it became necessary to dispense with my prepared statement and speak from my heart.  I am very much involved in the Assyrian fight for recognition.  I’m part of the movement.  I live it and deal with it daily.

Miller: If you can describe Assyrians in one word what would that be?

Ms. Malek-Yonan: Tolerant.  And how befitting that the Press Conference was held at the Museum of Tolerance.

Miller: Why do you say tolerant?

Ms. Malek-Yonan: Just look at what Assyrians are enduring and yet they don’t retaliate against their oppressors.  When they bomb our churches, we don’t go bombing their mosques.  We remain tolerant.  Perhaps one day our oppressors will learn to be tolerant as well.  They will have to in order to become a democratic society.

Miller: What is your view on the Iraq War?

Ms. Malek-Yonan: You haven’t done your homework if you have to ask me this question.

Miller: I think I know your view.  I want others to know it as well.

Ms. Malek-Yonan: I am absolutely anti war!  I was against the Iraq War from the onset.  War was not the answer because there was no pending question that warranted the attack or invasion of Iraq.  Weapons of Mass Destruction was just a cover story.  Unfortunately the Assyrians and other minorities in Iraq became casualties of a senseless war that has caused devastation and loss of precious life on all sides.

Miller: What about the non-Assyrian or non-Christian Iraqi casualties of war?  Do you ever speak for them?

Ms. Malek-Yonan: They have louder voices and resources than the Assyrians.  There are enough activists and politicians fighting their cause.  But Assyrians have no voice.  As I said before, war devastates all sides.  It’s only natural that I speak for Assyrians.

Miller: What will you do next?

Ms. Malek-Yonan: Continue to write, speak and educate.  Continue to call upon Congress and the European Union to address the crises Assyrians are facing.  Though I know those calls will fall on deaf ears as they have in the past years.  But for the sake of the Assyrians in the homeland and the multitude of refugees still struggling in Iraq’s neighboring countries, we must speak out at every opportunity.

Miller: What keeps you going day after day?

Ms. Malek-Yonan: The belief in the basic goodness of humankind.  I hope that one day we will in fact witness democracy, equality and tolerance not just in Iraq but also throughout the world.  It many not happen in my lifetime, but one has to hold on to hope and work towards bringing that dream, that idea to fruition.  Assyria will never be abandoned because I am not alone in the peaceful battle for her.

Miller: Thank you for your candor and Godspeed.

Ms. Malek-Yonan: My pleasure.

by T. Miller

20 December 2010

Photo of Rosie Malek-Yonan Courtesy of John Chimon

In Memoriam: The Assyrian Genocide (1914-1918)

In Memoriam-The Assyrian Genocide (1914-1918)

Remembering the Assyrian Genocide (1914-1918)

View videos dedicated to the Assyrian Genocide:

An Assyrian Exodus (ENGLISH)

An Assyrian Exodus (EASTERN ASSYRIAN)

An Assyrian Exodus (WESTERN ASSYRIAN)

Turkish Hackers Facilitate Assyrian Book Sales

Assyrian International News Agency

Guest Editorial by Rosie Malek-Yonan

1 June 2009

Rosie Malek-Yonan's "The Crimson Field"

Los Angeles (AINA) — In the early part of the 20th century, the Ottoman government carried out a deliberate and systematic mass ethnic cleansing of its Christian inhabitants, namely the Assyrians, Armenians and Greeks. The proclamation of a fatwa for jihad against the Christians in Turkey quickly spread to northwestern Persia, in the densely Assyrian populated region of Urmia (Urmi). From 1914 to 1918, two-thirds of the Assyrian population perished in a genocide that has remained cloaked under a shroud of secrecy. However, the anonymous Assyrian Genocide’s staggering losses of 750,000 souls remains ever present in the remembrances of a nation that has vowed to never forget.

My maternal grandmother and paternal grandparents were survivors of the Assyrian Genocide. As I was growing up, the oral history describing the events of 1914 through 1918 by my grandparents were constant to me, just as they were to most Assyrian families. There seemed to be a need for a steadfast vigilance by these family elders who spoke of the mass murders of our nation in great detail.

Touched by a single event that unified the Assyrian nation, for survivors such as my grandparents, the constant retelling of these events was indicative of the personal conflict the elders were sorting through and a reflection of the frame of mind of much of the nation.

In time I began collecting corroborating letters, photos, family journals, family war diaries, newspaper articles and clippings and the quest for documenting and preserving this unwritten chapter of Assyrian history.

The extraordinary events my grandparents described formed images that hung in my mind haunting me my entire life. To this day, I am astounded at the valor of all the survivors and how they faced their demons and lived to tell their tales as eyewitness to their own tragedy. Their bravery and dauntless spirit and ability to endure in times of adversity were nothing short of remarkable.

I am in awe of the fallen Assyrians who called on their own courage to face the heinous crimes committed upon them. They are the silent heroes of my nation.

Those who know no compassion and mercy astonish me. Those who live daily lives weighted down by hatred resulting from ignorance. The very ones who continue to condemn Assyrians for their nationality and religion.

But mostly, I am still lost in admiration of my grandparents’ sense of dignity, honor and grace that was the code by which they lived. They were among the more than 70,000 Assyrians forced to flee Urmia in the final mass exodus of the winter of 1918 that split off in two opposing directions. My 18 year-old maternal grandmother, Maghdleta, whose husband had just been murdered, fled north towards the Russian frontier, while my paternal grandparents bundled their newborn infant and followed other Assyrians south towards Mesopotamia. Not everyone was as lucky as they were to reach safety.

Though the perpetrators of these crimes against the Assyrians were Ottoman Turks, Kurds and local Turks in Persia, I was never taught to hate an entire race of people. Everyone must be judged on his or her own deeds. “Don’t condemn one man for the sins of another even if they share the same blood or name,” my grandmother would say.

In 2005, I published my book, The Crimson Field, chronicling the life of Maghdleta, my grandmother’s hellish reality of the Assyrian Genocide. At the time, I wasn’t aware of the extraordinary journey I was about to embark upon. I was simply making a record of one Assyrian family’s life.

Against everyone’s advise, I sent a copy of The Crimson Field to a Turkish journalist from Istanbul. She wrote back saying: “It will be a privilege for me to read your book and to have a deeper insight about one of the oldest cultures of the world and their great tragedy. How I wished my heartfelt apology could alleviate the sufferings the Assyrian people have gone through! Your considering me as an elder sister would be a great consolation for my feeling of shame for being a member of a nation which is responsible for those sufferings.”

The book I had written to document my family’s history was rapidly leading to bonds across the seas with strangers whom I have come to know as friends.

The withholding of historical facts and the manipulation of evidential findings and lack of global public education on the subject of the Assyrian Genocide has not only lead to the persistence of denial by governments around the globe including the United States, but it has also perpetuated the continuation of a century-old raced-based hatred and hostility.

However, the Turkish journalist’s statement to me reinforced my belief that there are courageous people who will stand with the Assyrians in their quest for the recognition of the past atrocities committed against my nation. Truth shines its own light and will emerge through darkness.

While Assyrian sympathizers are bountiful, Turkish laws prohibit journalist or anyone for that matter from publicly acknowledging and supporting the Assyrian Genocide. For this reason, I will not reveal the identity of this journalist who will surely be condemned for her perspective on a subject still taboo in her country.

The pledge of friendship with this remarkable Turkish journalist as well as scores of other Turkish readers of my book, are the bonds of humanity and understanding that I had hoped my book would bring about. Atrocities committed by a nation cannot reflect every member of that nation. Every person shall stand alone on judgment day regardless of ethnicity, gender, religion and color of skin.

In her final review of The Crimson Field she writes: “It’s a deeply moving, impressive, inspiring book, full of emotions and vivid depictions of life. I admire it.”

But it is naive to presume that one journalist’s viewpoint is representative of all Turks. Clearly there still exists a deep racial hatred and intolerance that is passed on from generation to generation. Since 2005, my book’s website has been hacked into by Turks several times (AINA 1-21-2008, 11-20-2007). The latest and sixth such incident occurred just last week. The Turk behind this malicious act was most probably a young hacker who knows nothing of the circumstances of the Assyrians who seek justice and not revenge.

This Turkish hacker has no idea who my grandmother, Maghdleta, was and what sacrifices she made to ensure the safety of future generations of her family and nation. All he sees is a book that represents a nation that he must hate not because of anything done to him or even his family but because he blindly follows in the footsteps of his father.

Ironically, as savvy as they are, the only thing these Turkish hackers have managed to accomplish thus far is to drive the sales of my book through the roof! Perhaps a nod of gratitude is in order for this economic boost.

The Turkish government’s shroud of secrecy to suffocate the Assyrian Genocide is slowly slipping as more and more hackers continue to bring focus on this issue through Internet vandalism. Though I cannot condone such dreadful behavior, I can’t help but chuckle at the end result.

The acceptance of the Assyrian, Armenian and Greek Genocides will ultimately result in the downgrading of many Turkish notables who have been revered as historical heroes of the Ottoman Empire.

I am an optimist and will hold out to the idea that perhaps one day, civilization will advance to a level when we can begin to have open dialogue about all genocides and holocausts without contributing to more hatred even if we have to downgrade a few heroes.

© 2009 Rosie Malek-Yonan.  All Rights Reserved.

Rosie Malek-Yonan is an Assyrian actor, director and author of The Crimson Field. She is an outspoken advocate of issues concerning Assyrians, in particular bringing attention to the Assyrian Genocide and the plight of today’s Assyrians in Iraq since the U.S. lead invasion of Iraq in 2003. On June 30, 2006, she was invited to testify on Capitol Hill regarding the genocide and persecution of Assyrians in Iraq by Kurds and Islamists. She is on the Board of Advisors at Seyfo Center in Europe that exclusively deals with the Assyrian Genocide issue. She has acted opposite many of Hollywood’s leading actors and has received rave reviews both as an actor and director. Most recently, she played the role of Nuru Il-Ebrahimi, opposite Reese Whitherspoon in New Line Cinema’s “Rendition,” directed by Oscar winning director Gavin Hood. To schedule an interview with Rosie Malek-Yonan, please send your request to:  contact @ thecrimsonfield.com.