The Syriacs and the Longing for their Sacred Homeland Mesopotamia

Beth Nahrin, the ancient beloved homeland of the Syriac people has beauty in every season. Four seasons are experienced throughout each season of the year. In autumn, it is winter in the mountains of northern Beth Nahrin, while southern Beth Nahrin enjoys summer heat. In winter, spring air blows in the south while in autumn winter takes hold of the north. In the south in mid-summer, springtide adds completely different colors to the whole geography.

The Euphrates, Tigris and other rivers and streams flow down from the top of the mountains, meander through plateaus, plains, and deserts to finally hug the Persian Gulf. Orchards with citrus and pistachio, olive groves, and vineyards; trees filled with acorn, pomegranate, pear, and date; all sorts of roses, flowers and plants… they make Beth Nahrin (Mesopotamia) a riot of colors from top to bottom, from the Mediterranean to the Zagros Mountains in the East.

In all seasons, fruits and vegetables ripen to its unique geography. Each plain is a granary feeding tens of millions of people. Yellow fields of wheat, fields of cotton resembling white gold, and black gold under the ground, all add wealth to its riches. The west of the Euphrates and its branches reach all the way to the Mediterranean. Eastern Mesopotamia is given life by the Tigris. The east of the Tigris leans against the Zagros Mountains and is crowned by Mount Ararat.

When the first human societies started to establish civilizations in the geography of Mesopotamia, they did not know that they would have such a determining influence on the world. Semites are among the first people to settle in Beth Nahrin and Syriacs are the continuation of Semite peoples. Along with other peoples of the region, Syriacs have existed and lived in Beth Nahrin and the Middle East for thousands of years. Syriacs are Ancient!

Natural resources have nourished the peoples of Mesopotamia and the Middle East with more than their needs. Therefore, emerging trade networks created merchant caravans. The colonial system of the ancient Assyrian Empire spread from Anatolia to Egypt, from Iran to India, and even to China. It also reached parts of the European continent. Since Beth Nahrin is positioned centrally between the continents of Africa, Asia, and Europe, it has always attracted different groups of people. Underground resources have also increased the importance and living standards of this geography. Recorded history teaches us that different civilizations were established in different periods, and the entire geography of Beth Nahrin has become an open museum. With its fertile soil and magnificent views, it is paradise on earth.

A geography that contains so much historical, cultural, and economic wealth, and which many people have made their homeland, will have many enemies and friends. The people of Beth Nahrin had many friends in times when they were able to establish their civilizations and values. In times of weakness however, the people of Beth Nahrin had many enemies and political authority got dispersed and weakened the region and its people further.

Covetous invading forces used weak moments of the people of Beth Nahrin to attack and cause great destruction to the region. This destruction continues from the seventh century B.C. to the present. Social dynamics got scattered, destruction increased, and statelessness has become widespread. Exile and alienation have brought more statelessness.

Life in the diaspora brought separation and distance. Among Syriacs, it has magnified the feeling of longing for their Mesopotamian homeland. Vineyards and gardens remain abandoned and left to wither, the beauties of nature neglected. But when the fertile mother earth meets water, it stubbornly enlivens the trees and brings hope for the future. In the 21st century, Beth Nahrin continues to generously offer its abundance and a new climate is being created for the return of the Syriac people. While attempts are being made to sabotage this positive political climate through psychological and physical attacks against Syriacs and Christians, the general direction in our region is in favor of democracy and freedom.

Uniformist status quo powers will never be able to destroy the pluralistic and colorful cultural makeup of Beth Nahrin or its civilization history. These lands are fertile as mothers and have a life-giving quality. The days of those who call for war and jihad and exploit religion for their own interests are over. Their impact on society has diminished. As people become more informed and aware, these agitators’ plans to abuse people will fail.

Beth Nahrin embraces the Middle East with all its abundance and generosity. It brings good tidings of new life. As long as the national and social will of the Syriacs and other oppressed people is organized and patient, the period when the tyrants ravage and set fire to vineyards and gardens will surely end because people with fertile soil and land have a great claim to life.

In order to solve problems, it is necessary to have contemporary ideas and an organized society…

Disclaimer: Translated form the original Turkish. Originally published on November 5, 2020, by Gazete Sabro.