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Vision of a Prosperous Chaldean Future

Speech given by Mar Sarhad Yawsip Jammo

His Excellency, Mar Sarhad Yawsip Jammo began his lecture by saying a few words in English. He thanked the Parliamentary representative Robert Khalaf for all that the Swedish parliament is doing for the Chaldeans in Sweden.

Afterward, he told the audience a story about Tamerlane, a character from history whose actions could be used as an analogy to describe what is happening now to Chaldeans around the world. Tamerlane was fighting a Christian city. He gave them a peace agreement on the condition that they would accept his rule. He promised not to shed blood if they surrendered. The city did from fear of his ferocity. He spared the blood of the Muslims, but he selected 3,000 Christian men to be killed. However, because he promised not to shed blood, he dug a mass grave and buried the men alive instead. He kept his word, not a drop of blood was shed.

This is why it is difficult for Chaldeans to believe that they will be accepted. So they entered into competitive fields where they would be the best in their trade and then be respected. We have become followers because we decided to work as slaves for others and lost our freedom. This is our deepest fault. Yet, the Lion of Babylon is impossible to remove from our DNA. Our love of freedom cannot be blotted out, and we have shown this by our action; over 500,000 Chaldeans have left their home country for the sake of their freedom.

We Chaldeans respect the entire world, all races and ethnicities. We do not force our identity onto others, though others do this to us. They will go to governments and parliaments and demand that we be called by another name than our own. We are called by no other name than Chaldean. We are sons and daughters of princes who maintain our dignity through the heritage we possess.

Half a million have gone, we left behind the destroyed Babylon, but we took with us the Spiritual Babylon. Abraham left Ur in search of freedom where he could worship the God who called him. We Chaldeans have followed the footsteps of our father Abraham and have left behind our home in search of freedom.

The Bishop ended his lecture with some final words on the Chaldean language. The Aramaic language originated from its Akkadian ancestors. When we say Syrian, we are implying the dialect that stemmed from Nineveh. The other dialect was in Babylon. In Babylon, there was a branch of Akkadian, in which the Epic of Gilgamesh was written, for example. When we say Assyrian language, we refer to the branch of the Akkadian language of Nineveh. The origins of the Aramaic language are found in the Akkadian language spoken in Babylon, and we still speak the Aramaic language to this day. The Aramaic language is ours and we have every right to claim it as our right. We do not speak Assyrian or Syriac, we speak Aramaic, then language of our fathers and we are not to forsake the name our fathers gave us.