Catholicos-Patriarch Mor Awa III Royel recalls pain of Simele massacre

SIMELE, Iraq — On 7 August every year, the Chaldean–Syriac–Assyrian people recall the massacre that took place against their communities in 1933.

With the approach of the anniversary, Catholicos-Patriarch of the Assyrian Church of the East Mor Awa III Royel spoke about the events and repercussions of Simele massacre, in comments to ANB TV.

“Not only as a patriarch, but also as a son of the Assyrian nation, I am happy to stand on the soil that was sanctified by our fathers’ blood in 1933,” said Patriarch Royel. “Simele has become a victim of the division that the Middle East was subjected to in the 20th century.”

He added that the Iraqi Army attack on Simele resulted in no fewer than 3,000 Chaldean–Syriac–Assyrian martyrs.

“The Simele massacre became a turning point in the lives of the Chaldean–Syriac–Assyrian people,” he continued. “It was the reason for the exile of the Patriarch Mor Ishai Shamoun,  the slaughter of the Chaldean–Syriac–Assyrian and their displacement across the world.”

The Patriarch spoke about the repercussions of the massacre and indicated that a large part of the suffering of the Chaldean–Syriac–Assyrian people today stems from it.

“The most important lesson we must learn now is the national union, even if we do not have a land in our own name, but we must be hopeful,” he concluded. “That is why we are back today, because we are not guests in Iraq, but its original inhabitants.”