Mosul University academic invites master’s students to explore history of Syriac journalism as research topic

MOSUL, Iraq — Historian and academic Dr. Khalil Ibrahim called for graduate students, especially master’s students at Mosul University, to research the history Syriac–Assyrian journalism, pointing out that there are troves of primary source material to explore.

The newspaper Zahriri Dbahra, meaning “Rays of Light” and published in 1849, is considered the first Syriac newspaper, according to Ibrahim. The paper is highlighted in a book by Professor Faiq Butti on the history of Syriac journalism, The Encyclopedia of Syriac Journalism in Iraq.

“The first issue of Zahriri Dbahra was issued on November 1st, 1849 in Urmiya (ܐܘܪܡܝܐ) in Syriac,” explained Ibrahim.

Provided that a researcher knows Syriac, Dr. Khalil Ibrahim believes that a master’s thesis on the topic of Syriac journalism is not only possible but would prove to be an important piece of scholarship helping to cement the importance of Syriac–Assyrian journalism in preserving Syriac–Assyrian national identity.