Australian Chaldean community in Melbourne commemorates 54th anniversary of Soria Massacre

MELBOURNE, Australia — In remembrance of the 54th anniversary of the Soria Massacre, during which many members of the village’s Chaldean community were killed, the Australian Chaldean Federation and the Chaldean League came together in Melbourne for a heartfelt memorial celebration dedicated to the victims.

The Soria Massacre unfolded in the village of Soria, situated on the border between the Iraqi government and Kurdish revolutionary forces. It was orchestrated by then-commander Abdul Karim al-Juhaishi, who ordered the gathering of villagers in a barn before mercilessly opening fire on them, leading to numerous casualties, including Father Hanna Qasho. Al-Juhaishi, responsible for the atrocity, attempted to justify his actions by claiming his vehicle had struck a mine.

The commemorative event commenced with a warm welcome from Mr. Mikhail Al-Hawzi, Vice President of the Australian Chaldean Federation. Attendees paid their respects to the martyrs by observing a solemn moment of silence.

Throughout the ceremony, a group of deacons led moving prayers in the Syriac language, honoring the memory of the martyrs.

Speeches reflecting on the significance of remembering the Soria Massacre and the importance of preserving its memory were delivered by Dr. Amer Maluka, President of the Chaldean League — Victoria Branch, and Mr. Nasser Ajamaya from the Australian Chaldean Federation.

Renowned poet Salem Youkhana shared a poignant poem dedicated to the victims of the massacre, capturing the emotions surrounding this tragic event.

Deacon Kilardos provided a heartfelt personal testimony, shedding light on the horrifying events that unfolded in Soria. Following this, Mr. Yohna Bedawayth presented a documentary film offering a detailed account of the massacre, ensuring that the stories of the victims were not forgotten.

The memorial celebration concluded with expressions of gratitude to the Women’s Committee of the Chaldean League, along with special thanks to Mr. Walid Bidawith, Mr. Samir Al-Saffar, and Mr. Elia Kakos for their unwavering material and moral support throughout the commemorative event.