BAGHDEDE, Iraq — In an address during the public symposium organized by the Athra Alliance in Baghdede (Qaraqosh / Hamdaniya) in Nineveh Plains, Yusuf Matti, the head of the Bethnahrin Patriotic Union (Huyodo Bethnahrin Athroyo, HBA), emphasized the crucial role of political struggle in securing the rights of the Chaldean–Syriac–Assyrian people.
Matti passionately conveyed that throughout history, no people have achieved their rights without engaging in political struggles. Encouraging the Chaldean–Syriac–Assyrian community to rally behind their authentic political representatives, Matti expressed concern over the prevailing lack of understanding regarding political concepts, thought, and the importance of asserting their rights.
Highlighting the necessity of self-advocacy, Matti stated:
“We cannot get our rights by begging for others. No one gives you your rights; you have to draw them yourself and support your politicians. If you do not support your politicians, you will honestly get nothing.”
Addressing the broader call to action, Matti urged support for “right ideas, strong calls that demand rights and existence, making a living as people did 7,000 years ago.”
Providing historical context, Matti asserted that the establishment of the first parliament was recorded in the ancient Sumerian state.
He underscored the need for principles in representation at parliamentary and provincial council levels, emphasizing the importance of experienced candidates with political institutions capable of protection, guidance, and monitoring, an awareness he lamented as currently lacking among the Chaldean–Syriac–Assyrian people.
In a stark warning, Matti reminded the audience that, “democratic practices in Iraq have become a reality,” emphasizing that failing to choose representatives wisely could jeopardize the community’s standing in the state.
Calling for active participation in the upcoming provincial council elections, Matti stressed that each lost vote poses a threat to the future of the Chaldean–Syriac–Assyrian people in Iraq. Concluding his impassioned speech, he urged support for the youth, emphasizing their role as future leaders and reiterating a commitment to defending the community’s interests.
“Me and the other party leaders alone are unable to do anything for you, if you did not support us. Then, we can defend you, until our martyrdom. We don’t need positions, jobs, or money, but we want the youth to be our leaders because they are the future of Chaldean–Syriac–Assyrian people.”