NORTH AND EAST SYRIA — On International Mother Language Day, member of the Executive Body of the Syriac Union Party (SUP) Afram Ishak stated to Suroyo TV that, “Today, the world celebrates Mother Language Day. Our Syriac language of the (Arameans–Chaldeans–Assyrians) is one of the most ancient languages in the world. However, it was exposed to marginalization for many reasons, such as politics and lack of institutions that take care of Syriac language.”
Ishak added that after the establishment of the Democratic Autonomous Administration (DAA) of North and East Syria, they advocated for the Syriac language through the Social Contract.
“We shed light on the Syriac language and called for recognizing it as an official language in the DAA areas,” he elaborated, indicating that the DAA official documents are now issued in the three languages: Syriac, Arabic, and Kurdish.
Ishak added that one of the gains they were able to make during the DAA establishment was to open an institution that takes care of the Syriac language. “Lack of such institutions was a hindrance for the further development of the Syriac language in the past, but today we compensated and the Syriac language has been taught and officially recognized,” Ishak stated.
According to Ishak, these steps are incredibly important, as Syriac literacy, even among the Syriac (Aramean–Assyrian–Chaldean) people is low.
He also stressed their continuous struggle and follow-up for education in the Syriac language saying, “Many of our Syriac people did not fully practice their language or care about it, except through the church’s rites. We must always remember that we have a language which needs to be preserved.”