Assyrians win campaign

THE Assyrian community has plenty to celebrate after the Iraqi Council of Ministers' agreed to establish a province in the Nineveh Plain — the ancestral homeland of the Assyrian people.

The Parliament of Iraq also agreed to make Syriac, the language spoken by Assyrians, an official language in the country.

Fairfield councillor Zaya Toma said Iraqi Environment Minister Sargon Slewa, who is a member of the Iraqi parliament and the Assyrian Democratic Organization that represents Christians in Iraq, lobbied for the establishment of the province. On January 21, their campaign became a reality

"What the Assyrian Democratic Movement has achieved here is nothing short of miraculous for the Assyrian people in their ancestral homeland," he said.

"I welcome the decision to make Syriac an official language in Iraq and the decision by the Iraqi Council of Ministers to make the Nineveh Plains a province."

Councillor Charbel Saliba agreed and congratulated members of the Assyrian community in Fairfield.

"Assyrians have been dreaming and deciding their own destiny since I can remember," he said. "I congratulate Zowaa, the Assyrian Democratic Movement for making this dream a reality."

Smithfield state Liberal MP Andrew Rohan told representatives of the Assyrian Democratic Movement that when Parliament returned later this month, he would move a notice of motion to acknowledge the parliament of Iraq for amending the Official Languages Act to make Syriac an official language and to make the Nineveh Plain a province.

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