Rewriting History

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Jan 21, 2016 No Comments ››

In a stunning bit of revisionist history, professor David Romano has written a piece titled Assyrian Bitterness and the Kurds for the Kurdish-news source, Rudaw. In it, Romano, who has been writing for Rudaw for a decade, acknowledges that while the Assyrians of Iraq and Syria have suffered at the hands of the Turks in the past, their current “attitude towards the Kurds [is]… largely positive, although often still ambivalent as well given their difficult history.”

Completely ignoring how, in 2014 the KRG disarmed Assyrians on the Nineveh Plain and then left them to defend their defenseless-selves against ISIS, Romano states that “without the YPG and the Peshmerga, the Assyrians of northern Syria and Iraq would all likely be dead, lying in some jihadist-dug mass grave.”


The root of the current difficulties between Assyrians and Kurds is, says Romano, the fault of the Assyrian diaspora community, whose politics, he claims, “appear to be made up of bitter nationalist victimhood, mired in past injustices.

Wow. Again.

Romano’s piece presents us with three important takeaways:

First, our voice, your voice through AMO, is being heard by the Kurdish establishment and they do not like it. But let’s be crystal clear – AMO is not here to pick fights with anyone, be they Kurds, Arabs or whomever. We are here to stand-up for our rights as a people who (too) deserve respect, autonomy and, frankly, to be left the h*** alone. If this upsets the Kurds, Rudaw, Romano or anyone else – too bad.

Second, we must acknowledge that Romano makes a legitimate point when he notes that the Middle East is in a state of change. Let us remember that change always brings opportunity, and although frightening and daunting at times, we should not back away from taking advantage of the opportunity to change the status quo.

Third, if you have ever felt that as members of the Assyrian community you have been misunderstood or ignored, you have been – but don’t let it bother you. If Romano senses that the Assyrian diaspora community is unhappy with the actions of the Kurds in Iraq and Syria – he is right, we are. How, we might ask Romano, does he think that we became the diaspora community? By a show of hands, how many of you, your families, relatives or friends were sitting around the Nineveh Plain, Urmia, Hakkiari, Tur Abdeen, Zaline, Khabur, Nohadra, etc. not bothered by anyone, until one day you simply said, “Ya’ know, this living in the land of our forefathers is just too damn boring. Let’s move to another country with a culture, history and language that is completely foreign to us! Screw it, let’s just start over and, I don’t know, move to Sweden!”

Always remember, we must continue to tell our story, and tell it loudly. If we do not, others, like professor Romano, will tell it for us.

Please contact Professor Romano and make sure that your voice is heard.

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