ANKAWA, North Iraq – The academic and social center in Ankawa (Erbil) on Tuesday hosted a dialogue and progress session in which different Chaldean-Syriac-Assyrian civil and political parties evaluated the progress on the joint project for establishing an Academy for Syriac Studies and Language. The joint proposal is submitted to the Parliament of the Kurdistan Region of Iraq by the various Chaldean-Syriac-Assyrian political parties. The motion submitted to Parliament asks for official recognition of the Academy for Syriac Studies and Language.
Present at the progress session were Chaldean-Syriac-Assyrian Members of Parliament Klara Odisho (Chaldean-Syriac-Assyrian Popular Council), Farid Yaqub Eliya (Rafidain), and Janan Jabar Boya (National Union Coalition).
Rawand Boulos, head of the Union of Syriac Writers and Authors, opened the session and addressed the stumbling blocks and slow progress the project keeps encountering. The project to establish an Academy for Syriac Studies and Language was launched in 2017.
The head of the Syriac language department at Salahaddin University in Erbil, Kawthar Najib, explained the goals of the future Academy, if passed by the Region’s Parliament. The Academy for Syriac Studies and Language aims is to become the official and principal agency for setting educational standards for Syriac studies taught across universities and official schools. The Academy will publish official dictionaries and educational material.
The session concluded with a brainstorm and ideas for advancing and speeding up the establishment of the Academy for Syriac Studies and Language.
The Chaldean-Syriac-Assyrian people are officially recognized as Chaldeans-Assyrians in the Iraqi constitution. Their language is officially acknowledged as the Syriac language, which was the only thing Chaldeans-Syriacs-Assyrians could agree a upon in the new constitution of 2005. The Syriac language is taught in schools in Ankawa, Baghdad, Nohadra (Dohuk), and the Nineveh Plains, where Chaldeans-Syriacs-Assyrians have a majority or large presence.