With a note of gratitude to the Australian government, let us pause at the beginning of the year 2010 and think how the decision of Fairfield Council affected the Assyrians by approving the Assyrian Genocide Monument.
The superb approval, which took place on the 15th of December 2009 brought tears to the eyes of the Assyrians around world most of whom could share the sad story of their family members victimized in the genocide that took place brutally during 1914-1918 in Turkey, North West of Iran, and Northern Iraq, the homeland of millions of Assyrians, Armenians, and Pontiac Greeks. “These are three nations slashed by the same sword.” said once the late Assyrian historian, Dr. Hirmiz Aboona, who studied history about 11 hours a day, for decades.
The fabulous but controversial monument project itself got the attention of the media worldwide. It gained the support of our Armenian and Greek brothers and sisters. Thousands of young Assyrians joined various genocide groups on Facebook in a short period of time displaying the new generation is as determined and devoted as the old ones. Perhaps, for the first time of its kind, Jewish writers wrote to support an Assyrian project finding undeniable similarities between their tragic holocaust and what we know as Seyfo (Armenian, Assyrian, Greek genocide). In two days, on December 17, 2009, H.H. Patriarch Bartholomew, the Patriarch of the Orthodox Church with 300,000,000 members worldwide told CBS channel he is being "crucified" at times in Turkey. Was that a coincidence?
On the other side, Turkey went into mayhem over the monument. Turkish complaints followed by impudent threats went to the Australian officials. Currently, Turkey is trying its best to stop the monument. The Turkish ambassador, Oguz Ozge, said he would use ''any means available'' to prevent the monument being erected. The interesting part is, Turkey’s name nor Ottoman Empire are mentioned on the monument. If one is not guilty then why object? Their strong objection and attempts to prevent the monument from being erected has given the world a better exposure to the Assyrian Genocide.
The fact is the monument only carries a peaceful message. Its purpose is to honor and commemorate the victims of genocide by asking the world to stop all genocides perpetrated to mankind; the same mankind that has lost its meaning in the Middle East due to dictatorial regimes and fanaticism. The monument will not even mention the names of perpetrators because mentioning the names will only bring out animosity and hatred among the visitors. This is not the message here. On a personal level, I wouldn’t want the killers name to be mentioned on the gravestone of a family member that was killed. In addition to all that, Australia being such a multicultural society may not have approved the monument if it targeted a certain group, but there is no objection to honor victims and hope for no more genocide to occur. Monument’s message is to commemorate and to honor the lost ones while perpetrators names must be mentioned in the official state and government recognition, in the language of law, of course, for historical purposes.
A close glace at the presented prototype of the monument fluently displays the message. The Assyrian flag in the hand of the Martyr holding the Earth up high, at the base the children; the new generation that asks world to stop the killings. The four Assyrian Human-headed winged lions, Lammasues, the evil repellent are to protect the statue’s nobility.
According to the team working on the monument, the project’s progress is well under way with the Assyrian Genocide Monument to be erected in Sydney Australia. The prototype of the monument was presented at a meeting by the fine artist Lewis Batros. The engineering reports are being prepared and about to commence with the construction. People are donating online at: aua.net/donations/GenicideMonument.htm
The monument built by the Assyrian Universal Alliance brings awareness to the genocide of the oppressed nations. The site centralizes scattered tragic memories of an almost forgotten genocide perpetrated to the ancestors of those Assyrian Australians. It visualizes and narrates the sad stories to the current and future generations thus as Seyfo’s leader, Mr. Sabri Atman says, “Denial is to be killed twice.”