On the third of March, the Syriac-Assyrian people remembered the martyrdom of national hero Patriarch Mor Benyamin Shimun. Isaac Jendo, co-chair of the families of the Syriac-Assyrian martyrs, spoke to our news desk bout the martyrdom of the nationalist patriarch, who repelled Ottoman attacks and defended the rights of the Syriac people against persecution and genocide in the time of the First World War.
Jendo said that every year the Suraye people commemorate the martyrdom of the nationalist and spiritual Patriarch Mor Benyamin Shimun, who was killed in 1918. He added:
“From the Assyrian Martyrs Foundation of al-Jazirah Province, we salute his spirit and the spirit of our righteous martyrs of freedom and resistance. This martyr was called the martyr of peace, and the martyr of nationalism. We hope that, in our era and in our time, he will be viewed by our people as a national fighter figure who did not hesitate to demand the rights of his Syriac-Assyrian people in international forums and in international organizations to prove the existence of our people.”
He concluded his statement by saying:
“This occasion is like a black day in the history of the Syriac-Assyrian nation. The national hero was martyred when he extended his hand to shake hands with peace for reconciliation, but they assassinated him in a treacherous way. We wish our people to have the same national spirit which this nationalist man showed until he was martyred for his nationalist stances and in defense of the rights of his people.”