The Assyrians, including but not limited to all who identify themselves as Assyrian, Chaldean, and/or Syriac, are an ethnic group whose origins trace back to the ancient Assyrian Empire. The heartland of the Assyrian Empire today consists of northern Iraq, southeastern Turkey, along
with parts of Syria, and Iran. The Assyrians are people who have inhabited the Middle East since ancient times and are the indigenous people of Mesopotamia, better known as “the cradle of
The Assyrian people have been victim to countless persecutions and genocidal acts and as such, many have sought refuge here in the United States as well as various countries around the world.
One of the most devastating genocides was under the rule of the Ottoman Empire, from 1914 to 1923, when hundreds and thousands of innocent and unarmed Assyrians faced targeted killings, rape, abuse, crucifixion, destruction of homes and villages as well as the razing of churches at
the hands of the Ottoman Turks and their Kurdish allies. It was estimated that approximately 250,000 Assyrians were murdered during the genocide (Travis, 2010). According to Yacoub 2016), 1915 came to be remembered as the Year of the Sword.