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

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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.

Rosie Malek-Yonan’s “An Assyrian Exodus” Video Project

Press Release

5 February 2009

Rosie Malek-Yonan's AN ASSYRIAN EXODUS

The untold Assyrian Genocide of 1914-1918 was a systematic ethnic cleansing of the Assyrian people perpetrated by the Ottoman Turks, Kurds and Persians. Two-thirds of the Assyrian nation totaling 750,000 souls perished in the Ottoman Empire and Northwestern Iran as a result of genocide, starvation, dehydration, disease and exposure to elements while thousands fell victim to kidnappings, forced assimilation, deportation and migration.

The Assyrian Genocide is a missing chapter of world history. For the Assyrian people, it is very difficult to fathom how the genocide of a nation, can so easily be dismissed and intentionally ignored by the international community. To date, the Assyrian Genocide has not been publicly acknowledged.

Rosie Malek-Yonan’s AN ASSYRIAN EXODUS is a short video project that has brought Rosie Malek-Yonan (author of The Crimson Field), David Yonan, Ninos Aho and Emil Brikha, four accomplished Assyrian artists from around the world in a common belief, that while the world may not acknowledge the Assyrian Genocide, however, through the arts, the history of the Assyrian nation can be preserved.

This project is dedicated to the memory of the victims of the Assyrian Genocide and those forced to walk the “Death Marches.”  Survivors who safely made the unthinkable journey to distant shores around the globe, were able to secure the identity of future generations of Assyrians now living in diaspora.

The text of this video p

Presented in English, Eastern Assyrian and Western Assyrian languages, An Assyrian Exodus video project is a Rosie Malek-Yonan and Emil Brikha Production recorded in Los Angeles, Chicago, Sweden and Malta in 2008.

Official Facebook Fan Page for Rosie Malek-Yonan’s AN ASSYRIAN EXODUS video project.

For further information about this project and how to reach the artists, please contact: Trip Miller at The Trip Miller Company.

roject is derived from the overture of the original full-length piece by the same title, written and performed by Rosie Malek-Yonan, which was previewed in Hartford, CT in August 2008. The stories of An Assyrian Exodus are based on Malek-Yonan’s personal family journals and war diaries written during the final exodus of the Assyrians fleeing from Urmia, Iran in 1918.

YouTube Links:

English

Eastern Assyrian

Western Assyrian

Children of Assyria

by Rosie Malek-Yonan

26 November 2008

The quotes we believe in, say a lot about who we are. His favorite quote is: “A musician must have the heart of a gypsy and the discipline of a soldier.”

His name is Elden and he’s a soldier at heart. He is a young man who lives in the epicenter of the Assyrian homeland. He can hear the steady heartbeat of Assyria pounding in the ancient tombs of his ancestors. He can feel the pulse of his nation pumping life into his veins. He knows the history of the Assyrians who have walked the land he treads on. His cradle rocked where civilization was once born. A common ancestry links him to me, but our realities are a world apart.

“I finished my high school in Assyrian language. The dream is still going on here,” explains Elden. “Our mother tongue, our language is preserved. There are schools that teach in Assyrian language. All subjects are translated to Assyrian. Can you believe that?”

I envy Elden’s excitement for having graduated from an Assyrian school though I realize the hefty price tag attached to that privilege.

“I believe in unity. I hate discrimination. I am Assyrian,” says Elden in no uncertain terms.

He is one of the children of Assyria. He was only a boy when the war in Iraq started. But growing up in a war-zone, childhood is short lived. Now at twenty-one, he has seen more than his Assyrian brothers and sisters outside of Iraq will ever witness.

The Internet is his connection to the outside world. From his home in Iraq, he sends me an urgent message: “Our fellow brothers in Mosul are in danger… Someone has to do something or they are eliminated.”

Elden is acutely aware that Assyrians living in Iraq are powerless. He knows that his life is balancing on the grotesque edge of devastation. He pins his hope on his nation living outside of Iraq to do right by him and those like him who remain loyal to the motherland at any cost.

How do I respond to Elden’s plea? Can I promise him that my nation is doing everything in its power to safeguard its own people? Can I give Elden my word that help is on its way? Can I tell him that we have a National Plan? Can I assure him that the wellbeing of our nation in atra, our homeland, is the priority of every Assyrian around the globe and that every Assyrian community and church has set aside its internal conflicts to devise a mutual plan that will ensure his future and the future of all the children of Assyria? How do I respond to the appeals of a young man who has a limited future in the only country he will know as home?

I become paralyzed when Elden and other young Assyrians from Iraq write to me. I wonder how to reply truthfully without stripping away hope because without hope to nourish the soul, the children of Assyria will wither and die.

Elden writes to me: “You are free but you should come and see what’s going on here…Any how thanks…”

I reply, “Stay strong.”

“You’re not here. You just don’t know!” He reiterates.

He is right. I don’t know. I write back to him meaningless words of encouragement, “We haven’t abandoned you. Our thought and prayers are with you…”

“You just don’t know…”

Elden stops writing for a while. I read his frustration when he stops communicating. He finally breaks his silence: “Our votes will be stolen. Our people will be intimidated to not vote Assyrian. Thank you and I wish you a good day.”

“Elden, our greatest challenge will be to find optimism in a time when the world is spinning out of control in confusion and chaos,” I reply. “Please don’t give up hope”

In reality what I was saying is that his greatest challenge would be to find optimism. After all, it is he and those living in Iraq who face overwhelming challenges in search of survival while the rest of us sit comfortably in the west dispensing advice from a safe distance and most of us go on about our daily lives unscathed by the violence that is furiously writing our present history in blood.

A student from Iraq writes to me: “It’s very bad…The U.S. did this to us. Now the Arabs and Kurds won’t leave us alone.”

No…I guess I will never fully know. I am not there. But what I do understand is living as an Assyrian in Iraq, is to perpetually wear a badge of condemnation.

It’s Sunday, October 12, 2008. It’s a somber morning in the village of Nahla, in Northern Iraq. A slow procession makes its way down an unpaved road. Young Assyrian children carrying flowers walk ahead of a coffin weighing upon the shoulders of pallbearers who have carried Assyrian coffins more times than they should ever have to in a life span.

The remains of fifteen-year-old Ivan Enwia Younadam are laid to rest in the gaping mouth of the earth that swallows him whole. An Assyrian flag covers the mound of dirt and rocks mark his grave.

Ivan Enwia Younadam

Ivan should be kicking around a soccer ball and chasing dreams of seeing the world one day. Yet here I am, thousands of miles away, sounding an elegy for a boy whose absence from my nation, I sharply feel and mourn. A boy I have never met but he is a son of my nation and my brother. He matters to me. He was another one of the children of Assyria.

Just eight days earlier, Ivan was standing in front of his home in Mosul, a stone’s throw from the Alzhara mosque. Three gunmen approached him and in a flash, his life was snatched from him so violently…so senselessly only because he was an Assyrian. He was shot at point blank range and killed instantly.

What went through Ivan’s mind in that split second as he gazed down a barrel of a gun?

Who now but a few will remember him in a year? In five? In a decade?

I want every Assyrian to remember Ivan. I want the world to remember Ivan.

Despite the constant threats of “leave or die” posted at Assyrians doors testing their will and endurance, Elden declares, “I am not afraid of anything.”

“You have the soul of an old Assyrian warrior,” I tell him.

“Thank you,” he replies and remains quiet a beat or two. I can sense a rare smile crossing his otherwise solemn young face. “I really want to help from all my heart. But a single person cannot do anything here.”

His future like the future of the Assyrian nation is uncertain at the moment. Remaining in Iraq keeps our roots in place. But today, Iraq is a deadly prospect for the indigenous people of that land who have just as much right if not more, to choose to remain there.

I would like to write to Elden and say: We’ve been planning demonstrations around the globe and we’re coming out in droves to support you. We are making a difference! We are trying our very best!

But that wouldn’t be entirely true. Though many decent and hard working Assyrians continue to organize rallies globally, they must contend with opposition from their own kind who still ridiculously argue which flag to waive at an Assyrian rally! One flag. One nation. Perhaps that idea is too simplistic. So while we squabble, Assyrian lands and property are confiscated leaving our nation displaced and in exile.

“Innocent souls are more important than land…Nobody can ignore our identity, says Elden. “Our written history is not going to change. Our mother tongue, our language is preserved.”

Yes, indeed, our mother tongue is preserved in the homeland. But can the same be said for Assyrians who have migrated to the west, raising a new generation of Assyrians who do not speak their mother tongue?

Iraq is being emptied of its minorities. A campaign to exterminate Assyrians has been underway since the 2003 invasion of Iraq by the United States and its Coalition Forces. Shrouded in silence, the maltreatment of the Assyrian nation for its ethnicity and faith continues with renewed determination and effort.

The latest surge of attacks arrived on the heels of a single event that put into motion the murder of thirty-two Assyrians in Mosul while 15,000 fled to the Nineveh Plain. On September 24, 2008, the Iraqi Parliament’s removal of Article 50, a key clause that would have reserved seats on Provincial Councils for Christians, triumphantly resulted in Mosul being cleansed of its Assyrian population. Assyrian lives are gutted. A nation is uprooted and stripped of its liberties and human rights. Once again Assyrians embark on an exodus to destinations unknown.

We blame religious extremists for much of the violence against Assyrians and other minorities in Iraq. Is this meant to infer that it is only a small group that is anti Assyrian, anti Christian, anti all minorities? Or are we masking the truth as to not offend the true criminals? Who are these religious extremists? If they are an isolated group, then it stands to reason that the majorities who must not be religious extremists will stand with the minorities to defend their rights. How many are standing with the Assyrians?

The term genocide is defined as the deliberate killing of a large group of people, especially those of a particular ethnic group or nation.

How many deliberately killed constitutes genocide?

This is a violent time for the children of Assyria who are living life on the run. For nearly 2,000 days, the Assyrians in Iraq have been under unprovoked attacks.

It’s not about which particular group is targeting and killing the Assyrians. It’s about an ethnic cleansing to rid Iraq of Assyrians. Much like the Ottoman Turks did during World War One.

Today democracy has its own interpretation in Iraq. The new Iraqi constitution that was meant to protect the rights of all its citizens has failed its minorities since its inception.

I wonder if all hope and talk of establishing an autonomous region with legislative and executive authorities where Assyrian would be the official language is nothing more than nonsensical and fanciful wishing while our nation on ground zero takes flight. Or will someone in the not so distant future remark, “The children of Assyria did not die in vain. This is how it all began. These were the sacrifices our nation made to resurrect Assyria.”

Though we are thousands of miles apart, the stars that blanket Elden’s night sky are the same as mine. I bid him goodnight and light a candle for all the Children of Assyria.

Stay safe my young Assyrian warrior.

© Rosie Malek-Yonan 2008.  All Rights Reserved.  Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Rosie Malek-Yonan with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Note: Article published in AINA (26 November 2008).

 

Assyrians Demonstrate in Los Angeles Against Iraq Election

by Rosie Malek-Yonan

5 October 2008

Los Angeles (AINA) — On Sunday October 5, 2008, the Assyrian community of Southern California gathered at the Federal Building in Westwood to take a stance against the Iraqi Parliament’s recent removal of Article 50. Ms. Rosie Malek-Yonan delivered the following speech at the rally that was attended by several hundred Assyrians from different groups, organizations and churches of various denomination.

~~~~

My name is Rosie Malek-Yonan. I am an Assyrian. Today I stand before you on behalf of my Assyrian nation in Iraq.

We Assyrians come from many communities and belong to various churches, denominations, political groups and speak many dialects. But today we have come together in a voice of solidarity.

The Assyrians are the indigenous people of Mesopotamia, presently Iraq. Today’s Iraq is our ancestral homeland. It was our home long before the Arab invasion and long before Britain carved Iraq out of the remnants of the Ottoman Empire in the 1920’s. Our handprint is everywhere in a region rich with Assyrian history, culture and tradition. We Assyrians still speak the language of Christ and were the first nation to accept Christianity in the first century A.D. We have lived in the region for the past 6,000 years even after the fall of Nineveh, our capitol. The Assyrian nation is deeply rooted in the region and has managed to maintain its identity for centuries despite political, historical and geographical changes throughout the centuries.

Since the beginning of the Iraq War in 2003, the Assyrian nation has been under siege, facing far greater danger than the average Moslem Iraqis. As minority Christians living in Iraq, not only have we been denied our most basic human rights, but Islamic extremists have been forcing Assyrians out of Iraq through various tactics such as deliberate and systematic attacks and continuous abductions by merciless kidnappers who leave Assyrian families mourning their loved ones even when a ransom is paid. Assyrian lands and property are confiscated and families driven out of their homes.

Our churches have been targeted and destroyed because they represent Christianity. Our clergy have been brutally dismembered and murdered. Our children have been victims of hate crimes. Our women have been kidnapped and raped. Our men have been kidnapped and killed. Our businesses and homes have been destroyed.

We have been paying ransom to our captors since the beginning of the war. Our community has been dispersed but our spirit is still not broken. We will not be severed. Our 1.4 million population before the Iraq War has now been dwindled down to less than half a million. Assyrians still living in the interior of Iraq, are subjected to violent hate crimes and their human rights are disregarded. But we have not given up hope. We are still standing and have not sought revenge. We have not fought violence with violence.

Assyrian refugees who have crossed the border from Iraq into Jordan, Syria and Lebanon are living in squalor conditions. Where they were once productive members of society, they are now reduced to living as refugees in poverty and neglect. We, who have gathered here today, speak for them. We are the voice of members of our Assyrian nation in Iraq who cannot be heard today.

Recently Iraq’s three-member Presidency Council approved and adopted a new and long-awaited Provincial Election Law, removing the final stumbling block for polls to proceed in early 2009. This law will allow the new Provincial Councils to push ahead with economic reconstruction in Iraq.

On September 24, 2008, Iraq’s 275-member Parliament passed the Provincial Election Law but in a move that has stunned the minority citizens of Iraq, particularly the Assyrians, and has drawn criticism from the United Nations, members of the Iraqi Parliament removed Article 50, a key clause that would have reserved seats on Provincial Councils for Christians and other minorities.

The new law allows a fixed quota of 25% for women, but other Iraqi minorities, such as Christians and Yazidis, have been omitted with the removal of Article 50. We are calling on Iraq’s Presidency Council and members of the Iraqi Parliament and lawmakers to immediately reinstate Article 50.

On Thursday October 2, 2008, Staffan de Mistura, a UN special representative, disapproved of the removal of Article 50 and called for it to be reinstated by October 15. Despite the fact that this bill is now effectively a law, the Iraqi Parliament can amend the legislation.

The Assyrian nation is making an appeal not just to the Iraqi government, the United States and the United Nations, but to the citizens of the world to stand with us to reclaim our rights and the right to representation.

With the removal of Article 50, so-called “democratic” Iraq will shift back to being a conservative Islamic State that will no longer recognize the rights of its minorities, particularly the Christians.

The reconstruction of Iraq cannot succeed when the rights of the country’s minorities are stripped from them.

As the indigenous people born in the cradle of civilization, the Assyrian identity must be recognized and preserved and, therefore, Assyrians demand representation in the Iraqi Parliament as an integral part of Iraq’s future.

Regardless of their numbers, the Assyrians will always remain in the region and will continue to call the land between the Tigris and Euphrates their ancestral and rightful home. The Assyrians are entitled to fundamental rights and to representation in the government of which they are citizens.

Democracy in Iraq will fail if it does not treat all members of its society equally under the law. The removal of Article 50 will ensure the failure of democracy in Iraq and will ensure not only discrimination against Assyrians in their ancient homeland, but will treat them as 2nd class citizens.

Assyrians have already paid a heavy price since the beginning of the Iraq War. The liberation of Iraqis must encompass all its citizens, including the Assyrians, and not just the Sunni, the Shi’ites and the Kurds.

The removal of Article 50 suppresses the rights of Assyrians and other minorities. If this is a means to remove the ethnic structure of Iraq, it will not. The removal of Article 50 will not erase the diversity of cultures, religions and ethnicities that make up Iraq. But what the removal of Article 50 will do is to revert Iraq to the old path of dictatorship in dealing with its minorities.

Assyrians from all corners of the world, including Iraq, have come together in peaceful demonstrations in a voice of solidarity against the removal of Article 50. Today Assyrians of Southern California are adding their voice to our brothers and sisters around the globe. Iraqi President Jalal Talabani, Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki and Foreign Minister Hoshyar Zebari, have stated in various interviews in the past few days that they will be amending the change in the law immediately.

Though one cannot always count on the promise of politicians, the Assyrian nation is counting on them to do the right thing and to restore Article 50 in order to ensure that the law protects the rights of Assyrians and all minorities.

If the removal of Article 50 is meant to act as a final blow to the systematic attacks on Assyrians to ensure a complete uprooting of these Christians from Iraq through mass migration or assimilation to result in a complete loss of the Assyrian identity, be rest assured that the Assyrian identity will never be lost.

© Rosie Malek-Yonan 2008.  All Rights Reserved.  Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Rosie Malek-Yonan with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Note: Published in AINA (6 October 2008), Zinda (10 October 2008), and The Christian Post (6 October 2008)

Assyrian Author Addresses British House of Lords on Genocide


Los Angeles (AINA) — Rosie Malek-Yonan author of The Crimson Field who serves on the Board of Advisor at Seyfo Center Europe and U.S. was invited to send a statement regarding genocide to be read at the House of Lords on 12 March 2008, chaired by Lord Rea.

Statement of Rosie Malek-Yonan to the House of Lords (London):

“In order to strive for world peace, we must first clean house.

By that I mean we must acknowledge all genocides without exception. So long as these open wounds are not healed, we continue to pass on the hatred and anger towards one another because we feel defenseless. It is time to end the cycle of violence and hatred by opening the dialog about atrocities that have occurred to all people of all nations particularly those nations who have been subjected to genocide.

No one nation is above the rest. No one genocide is more important than the rest.

The very definition of genocide is the deliberate killings of a large group of people particularly those of a certain ethnic group or nation.

The recognition and acceptance of a genocide, and mass murder of nations is not to merely point a finger at a tyrant guilty of those crimes. It is acceptance of facts and truths with the ultimate goal to mend bridges between the races. It is not to merely condemn but to create the first step towards world peace.”

On 24 April 2008, Ms. Malek-Yonan was asked to provide another similar statement to be read at the House of Commons (London) at the Armenian Genocide Day Conference, Sponsored and Chaired by Andrew George M.P.

Statement of Rosie Malek-Yonan to the House of Commons (London):

“The absence of the negotiation of world peace is the single greatest threat to humanity and the future of a violent-free world.

In order to achieve freedom from war, we must examine the actions that continually create the cycle of anger and hatred as the catalyst to any conflict between nations.

World peace will always remain a distant thought when reconciliation in the aftermath of genocide is not at the forefront of all discussions of human rights violations relative to those crimes.

When we perpetually allow the practice of genocide and holocaust and consent to the denial of such actions to linger for decades as in the case of the Assyrian, Armenian and Pontic Greek Genocide, we are in essence consenting to denial as a compromise. Denial is not compromise.

To the survivors and the children and grandchildren of the survivors of the Assyrian, Armenian, and Pontic Greek Genocide of 1914-1918 in Ottoman Turkey and northwestern Iran, there is no valid justification for the renunciation of facts.

With the acknowledgement of past and present genocides we can slowly begin to mend the broken bridges that may ultimately lead the human race to eradicate bloodshed and violence among nations of this world. But so long as we turn a blind-eye to these killings, we are sanctioning the ongoing slaughter such as today’s modern-day Assyrian Genocide occurring in Iraq since the beginning of the 2003 war.

A formal pronouncement by the Turkish government of the Assyrian, Armenian, and Pontic Greek Genocide will bring closure to not only the survivors of the genocide, but also to the Turkish people in that the nearly century-old hatred can begin to give way to human solidarity. Anything short of that will surely continue to threaten all hope of peace.”

© Rosie Malek-Yonan 2008.  All Rights Reserved.  Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Rosie Malek-Yonan with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

23 April 2008

Another Priest Killed: the Assyrian Genocide Continues in Iraq

Assyrian International News Agency

Guest Editorial by Rosie Malek-Yonan

5 April 2008

Fr. Yousef AdelLos Angeles (AINA) — The latest victim of the Assyrian Genocide unfolding in Iraq is 40 year-old Father Youssef Adel, the parish priest at Saint Peter and Paul Orthodox Church in central Baghdad.

According to reports from AP and Reuters, just a few hours ago at approximately 11:30 a.m. on Saturday 5 April 2008, Father Adel was gunned down at the gates of his own home near the church in Karrada neighborhood. After the shooting, the assailants sped away by car. Father Adel’s body was taken to Ibn Nafis Hospital in central Baghdad.

Father Adel was an engineer by trait, when six years ago he became a priest and served at a church in Dora, south of Baghdad. When the predominantly Sunni neighborhood became too violent for the Assyrians, Father Adel transferred to Karradah where he continued to serve his people. Now he leaves behind a young widow.

Assyrian news media outlets, writers and activists have been consistently reporting on crimes committed against their nation since the beginning of the Iraq War in 2003. When the news of this latest murder of a member of my nation came early this Saturday morning, I wondered how many ways would I write the same article time and time again? It’s the same scenario. Only the names change. And despite our pleas, no one is moved enough within the U.S. Government to take serious action to protect the Assyrians in Iraq.

Has the human race become so desensitized, that these atrocities no longer phase anyone?

The Assyrian nation has been on a rapid decline since the beginning of the war when the population of the Christians was about 1.4 million while today less than one third remains in Iraq.

Thousands have lost their lives in the Iraq War including Shi’a, Sunni, Kurds and Americans. However, the Assyrians have become the subject of an ethnic cleansing that will potentially wipe out that nation completely while the others will continue to survive when this war will eventually come to a long and exhaustive end.

The Assyrian Genocide in Iraq is the untold tragedy of the Iraq War. As the indigenous people of that region, many Assyrians refuse to leave the land of their ancestors especially when they recently celebrated the 6578th Assyrian New Year. However, many Assyrians have fled to neighboring Syria, Jordan and Lebanon where they are now stranded with no hope of ever going back or moving forward. A few have been fortunate enough to make it to the relative safety of western countries. But for those Assyrians who don’t have the means to leave the killing fields in Iraq, life is just a game of Russian roulette.

© Rosie Malek-Yonan 2008.  All Rights Reserved.  Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Rosie Malek-Yonan with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

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.