Jerusalem Post interviews Shadi Khaloul on remembering 1915 Sayfo Genocide

JERUSALEM — Israeli newspaper The Jerusalem Post recently conducted an interview with Shadi Khaloul, a prominent figure from the Aramean community residing in a village in northern Israel. Khaloul discussed the annual commemoration 15 June of the 1915 Sayfo Genocide during which the Ottoman Empire killed hundreds of thousands of Syriacs (Arameans–Assyrians–Chaldeans).

Khaloul emphasized that while the Armenian Genocide is widely recognized, the Sayfo remains lesser-known despite occurring during the same period and being perpetrated by the same forces for similar motives. He noted that the Syriac (Aramean–Assyrian–Chaldean) community holds events and seminars to raise awareness about this dark chapter in their history.

Explaining the significance of the Sayfo, Khaloul commemorated the hundreds of thousands of Syriacs (Arameans–Assyrians–Chaldeans) who were martyred in horrific ways by the Ottomans and their allies, who aimed to exterminate their people and seize their property. He recounted the origins of the Syriacs (Aramean–Assyrian–Chaldean) people, who were among the first to embrace Christianity, speak Aramaic, and maintain unique customs and traditions.

Khaloul also pointed out that the efforts to annihilate the Syriac (Aramean–Assyrian–Chaldean) community began as early as 1895 and systematically targeted not only Syriacs (Arameans–Assyrians–Chaldeans) but also Armenians, Greeks, and Syriac Maronites through policies of starvation.

Highlighting his research on the Sayfo, Khaloul shared stories of the barbaric crimes committed against their people and the resulting forced migrations due to hunger. Despite these atrocities, he affirmed that the Syriac language and culture have endured, with ongoing efforts to preserve and promote their heritage.