The Assyrian National Referendum (ANR) committee presented astonishing statistics during a special AssyriaSat program, on Saturday November 26, 2005.
The referendum project, launched on March 19, 2005, during the Assyrian New Year celebrations of year 6755, has so far reached hundreds of thousands of Assyrians within 40 countries in five continents, and continues to reach more.
The main goal of ANR was to obtain the Assyrians’ endorsement of the following objectives:
- A United, Democratic, Pluralistic & Parliamentary Iraq
- Constitutional recognition of the historical and national name of the Assyrians (Chaldeans, Athuryeens & Souryans)
- Constitutional recognition of the Assyrians’ national rights in Iraq
Consequent to the magnitude of participation in the referendum project, one of the three objectives of ANR, i.e., constitutional recognition of the historical and national name of the Assyrians (the indigenous people of Iraq) was accomplished. For the first time ever in the history of Iraq, the Assyrian name is listed in the Iraqi constitution as one of the main ethnics. Historians, Archeologists, and Scholars know very well Iraq was called “Assyria” for thousands of years before it was invaded by Arabs, Turks, Kurds, and later named “Iraq”. Indeed, the recognition of the Assyrian name in the constitution was way past due.
According to the statistics released by ANR, the Assyrian reproduction started climbing beginning year 1920 and reached its high peak by the year 1960. Those four decades appear to be the golden years of Iraq, with the exception of Semele massacre in 1933, when about 5,000 Assyrians were slaughtered by Iraqi army and their Kurdish chief of army Baker Sedqi. After 1960, with the rise of Baath regime, the reproduction started declining at a frightening rate. The chart shows how political atmosphere in Iraq, e.g., brutality of the government, and ethnocide policy (Arabization and Kurdification) against the Assyrians affected the reproduction rate.
Another revelation by ANR’s statistics proved wrong the estimated number of the Assyrians remaining in their ancestral homeland. 84% of the Assyrian population in Iraq are between the ages of 18-60. This shows the high spirit of nationalism among the productive generations of this nation.
The other two ANR’s objectives will be accomplished once the true Assyrian representatives of the slates 798 and 800 take seat in the new Iraqi parliament after the December 15, 2005 elections.