New Zealand Welcomes Sabri Atman

Mr Sabri conducted a lecture hosted by the Assyrian Nineveh Association about the history of the Assyrian Genocide. Assyrians in Auckland were inspired by the history of our nation and emotionally distressed from the sufferings our people faced during the genocide. In his lecture Mr Atman showed us a Stone that he brought with him far from his beloved homeland Assyria. The small sized stone that Sabri presented at the lecture inspired the community to how passionate and loving not only to his community and nation, but also to his country and where he comes from.  The lecture also included a documentary film about the Genocide which included interviews with individuals that lived during 1915 and onwards, and their experience and the horror they went through during events carried out against them by the Ottoman Turks, Kurds and Persians in WWI.

Mr Atman’s aim is to travel to many countries to educate Assyrians and raise awareness for the recognition of the Assyrian Genocide by many countries. There are about three thousand Assyrians living in New Zealand based in Auckland.  Regardless of such a small community, Sabri believes that New Zealand is no exceptions to be one of the countries in his agenda and they also deserve to be educated about history and sufferings of our people. His journey started from early July to United States of America, then to Australia and continues to travel from here to Greece, Israel, Syria, Sweden, Switzerland, and Armenia for the remaining of the year.

Mr Sabri the founder and director of Seyfo Center and his short visit to New Zealand didn’t allow him to visit other cities where Assyrians live.  But he promises to make another visit in the future to Wellington.

Despite the small number of Youth Group members in New Zealand, each member was astonished by the knowledge and the stories he shared; some were happy but mostly sad and heartbreaking experiences from people that Sabri has met and interviewed.  His words encouraged and motivated the youth to work hard for a brighter future of our beloved Assyrian nation so that our voices can be heard from as far as New Zealand to recognise the Assyrian Genocide. 

By:  Rena Shlemun

Youth leader, Auckland New Zealand

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