ZAHLE, Lebanon — The Universal Syriac Union Party (USUP) in Lebanon marked the 106th anniversary of the 1915 Sayfo Genocide by the Ottoman Empire against the Syriacs (Arameans–Assyrians–Chaldeans), Armenians, Mount Lebanese, and the Christians of the East in general.
The USUP commemoratory events occur yearly between 24 April and 15 June.
The commemoration began with the Lebanese national anthem and a welcome speech by ceremony presenter Nancy Batkin. Then, Syriac and Armenian songs were performed and several speeches delivered. Some of those who spoke were representative of the Armenian Revolutionary Federation in Lebanon (Tashnag Party) Khajag Balulian, founder of the Syriac Maronite Union Dr. Amin Iskandar, and USUP Secretary General Michel Mallo.
All of the speakers argued that confirmed that, “One Sayfo (sword in Syriac) extended from the mountains of Ararat to the mountains of Beth Nahrain to Mount Lebanon to impose one nationalism and one religion” on the region’s diverse peoples. They also stated that the Turkish state is still arrogant and stubborn in its refusal to recognize the Sayfo despite the overwhelming evidence that the crimes of 1915 constituted genocide.
The ceremony was attended by:
- Member of the Strong Republic Bloc Cesar al-Maalouf
- Former Minister and Deputy Elie Marouni
- Father Tony Rizk representing Archbishop of Zahle and Ferzol for the Melkite Greek Catholic Bishop Issam Darwish
- George Mansour representing MP Michel Daher
- Armenian Orthodox Deputy Archishop in Zahle and the Bekaa Archimandrite Anania Kodjanian
- Father Joseph Nejmeh
- Armenian Orthodox Church representative Zahle Garbis Bochjian
- Head of the Tashnag Party in Zahle Vikan Topuzian
- David Mallo representing head of the Popular Bloc Myriam Skaf
- Founder of the Syriac Maronite Union Dr. Amine Iskandar
- USUP Secretary General Michel Mallo
- Commissioner of the National Liberal Party in Zahle Professor Faris Shamoun
- Pierre Mutran representing the Kataeb Zahle Region
- Marada Movement Coordination for Zahle and Bekaa Elie al-Qasouf
- In addition to officials of Armenian and Syriac institutions and associations and personalities and children from Zahle.