Universal Syriac Union Party in Zahle, Lebanon, commemorates 107th anniversary of Sayfo Genocide against Syriacs, Armenians, and Christians of the East

ZAHLE, Lebanon — The Universal Syriac Union Party (USUP) in Lebanon, Zahle Branch, commemorated the 107th anniversary of the Sayfo Genocide carried out by the Ottoman Empire against the Syriac (Aramean–Assyrian–Chaldean), Armenian, and Greek peoples in 1915.

The remembrance event comes within USUP activities which extends from 24 April, when the Sayfo began, to 15 June, the deadliest day of the genocide.

The event was attended by Lebanese MPs, political party officials and representatives, officials of Syriac (Aramean–Assyrian–Chaldean) and Armenian associations, officials of the Lebanese Forces party in Zahle, and a large crowd of local residents.

The celebration began with the USUP anthem and a welcome speech by event supervisor Daniel al-Zoqi. Two Syriac and Lebanese hymns were then performed.

Former Lebanese MP Shant Janjnian, head of the Syriac Maronite Union, Eng. Elie Estephan el-Mandalek, and USUP Secretary General Michel Mallo, Esq. delivered memorial speeches emphasizing the massive scope and scale of the human suffering in the Sayfo. The Sayfo, perpetrated by the Ottoman Empire in pursuit of a “one nation, one religion” policy, extended from the mountains of Ararat to the mountains of Beth Nahrin (Mesopotamia) and all the way to Mount Lebanon.

Turkey’s refusal to recognize the Sayfo, despite overwhelming evidence and recognition by much of the international community, was also a common point of the speeches.

The speakers argued that history is repeating itself in Lebanon, with external parties attempting to change Lebanon’s identity.

The necessity of resistance through democratic means and through the elections on 15 May were emphasized, as was the continuance of the struggle to urge Turkey to recognize the Sayfo and compensate the affected communities.