The first day of the events was attended by over 600 people
from all areas around the world. The opening began at 4:00 PM local Sweden
time with a speech and a poem in Classical Assyrian (Syriac) by the MC, Mr.
Teglat Lahdo. The introduction was followed by a national song by the
Assyrian youth singer, Ninorta who sang a song titled ‘15 Tammuz Gu 57 Min
Libbe D-Atour Brileh Zarra.’ With such a beautiful and powerful voice,
Ninorta who is 13-years-old, has won the hearts of the audience and shown a
hope for a bright singing future.
The second part of the event was the speech of Mr. Bachir Saadi, the
chairman of the ADO Political Bureau. Mr. Saadi had arrived from Qamishly,
Syria to participate in the celebration. Mr. Saadi began the speech by
welcoming the guests and explaining how honored he was to represent the
homeland. He then noted to all the attendees that the Assyrian Democratic
Organization does not belong to a single group only but rather its ownership
belongs to the Assyrian (Chaldean Assyrian Syriac) people as this
organization represents them. Then, Mr. Saadi gave a brief history of the
Assyrian Democratic Organization and how it was created. He then presented
the objectives and goals of the ADO. To note some of them:
Constitutional recognition of the national existence of Assyrians, as an
indigenous people, and the Syriac culture and language as a national one
that should be revived and protected.
Granting legitimate national rights (political, cultural, and
administrative) to our people within the framework of the unity of the
countries where it is residing in the Middle East, according to the
particularity of its case in the every country.
Noting a few points made in Mr. Bachir Saadi speech:
The ADO demands a Safe Haven for our people in Iraq under the United
The ADO demands that we have a single unifying name representing our
people in the Iraqi Constitution without “ands” or “dashes”
The ADO requests all the political parties representing our people to meet
together and have a conference in which we can agree upon and solve all the
issues regarding our people.
The ADO requests all our churches to meet and work together to help our
people in the homeland and Diaspora.
The ADO asks all of its former members who are no longer in the ranks of
the organization or have left for other reasons, to return and work together
as the doors of the ADO are open to everyone. This organization is theirs
and does not belong to any single person.
Mr. Saadi’s speech was then followed by a speech by Mr. Habib Afram who is
the current president of the Syriac League in Lebanon and the Former
President of the Syriac Universal Alliance (SUA). Mr. Afram talked about how
it is sad that an organization such as the ADO whose has been greatly
working for 50 years for our people in the homeland and has not been
accepted and adopted by any of the countries in our homeland. Mr. Afram
asked many questions of our people to act and solve our problems. He stated:
“It is time to return to Tur Abdin, Nineweh, Qamishly, Beirut and the Middle
East. That is where our destiny is written. It is time to rise and not allow
this nation to be buried.”
Following Mr. Habib Afram’s speech, Mr. Yalda Marawge gave the speech of the
Assyrian Democratic Movement (Zowaa), in which he talked about the great
works of the ADO and the goals and achievements of the ADO. He also talked
about: “There is an undeniable unity and great concordance between the ADM
and ADO where they act and work as one party that separates them nothing but
the Iraqi-Syrian border.”
Then came the emotional and beautiful speech by His Grace Archbishop Mor
Julius Ablahad Gallo Shabo, the Metropolitan of Sweden and Scandinavia, who
congratulated the ADO and the Assyrian people worldwide. “My hope is to
celebrate the 100 years of the ADO not for an organization but for a
homeland of our own.” He then criticized the ADO statement of ‘50 Years in
Quest of Existence and Freedom,’ where he stated “that we do not need to
seek a quest for existence because we exist as a people and have existed for
thousands of years, and we will always exist.” He also criticized how the
Iraqi government is giving writes to all groups of Iraq such as “Shiites,
Sunnis, Kurds, Turkmans …etc and they never mention us. When they mention us
it is always at the end and they would say the Christians. Who are those
Christians? What is their ethnicity?” His Grace finally ended with “The
existence of a church and the prosperity of a church cannot happen without a
nationalistic ideal and feeling and also the nationalistic work cannot exist
without the church. We all need each other and I refuse to not be called and
considered a nationalist as well.”
Following the speeches, Ninorta enchanted us with her beautiful voice and
another nationalist song titled “Ashurayeh – Babilayeh.” The song is
originally for the Assyrian singer Germaine Tamraz which talks about the
different groups, denominations and names which our Assyrian nation consists
Then, the Assyrian Democratic Organization honored certain persons and
associations who have been active and made important efforts for the
Assyrian people. These were presented by Mr. Sait Yildiz, the representative
of the ADO in Sweden, and Ms. Berolin Malke. All of the individuals were
presented by a beautiful plaque carrying the symbol of the ADO’s 50th
anniversary. These included:
Ms. Margareta Viklund, former Swedish Parliamentarian, for her Human
Rights efforts regarding Assyrians.
Mr. Murat Artin, Swedish Parliamentarian, for his efforts regarding the
Assyrian Genocide (Seyfo)
Mr. Steffan Andersson, for his work in Journalism (did not attend)
Prof. Gabriele Yonan for her work in Assyrian History.
Prof. Josef Yakoub for his work in politics
Assyriska FF for Public Relations and it was received by Mr. Nail Yoken
Priests Fr. Bedrus Ögunc, Fr. Isa Namaan, and Fr. Munir Beber for their
work in the Church to unite our people. It was these priests who rejected to
ban Assyrians from the Syriac Orthodox Church and assisted anyone in need.
Mr. Habib Afram for his work in uniting our people
Mr. Hanna Al-Haek as an Assyrian artists.
The Assyrian Academic Society for activism and lobbying work, received by
Mr. George Stifo
Mr. George Farag for the great Films he has produced, directed and
Mr. Habib Mousa as an Assyrian Singer.
Mr. Shabo Bahe for his great musical lyrics and poetry.
Ms. Elizabeth Haffo and Mr. Yaldiz Ousi for their roles as Female
Actresses in the Theatre.
Mr. Sargon Sharro for Male Theater Works, received by his son.
Mr. Gabriel Afram for his work with the Language (did not attend)
Mr. Josef Malke for his work with Music (did not attend)
At 6:00 PM, the inauguration of art exhibits of Assyrian artists:
At 9:30 PM, a concert that was started by a poem in Classical Assyrian (Syriac)
by the MC, Mr. Teglat Lahdo, and followed by the speech of the Assyrian
Democratic Organization branch of Sweden given by Mr. Sait Yildiz. The
concert singers were:
Ninib Ablahad Lahdo
Each singer sang two songs where most of them chose a song in the Western dialect
and a song in the Eastern dialect. After each singer finished, the attendees
were in for a surprise where our singers Habib Mousa and Sonja Aho were
asked to sing a duet. The duet was the song “Tekh Dizzano Nofqina” which was
one of the first songs to be written and sung in the vernacular western
dialect. The song’s author is Malfono Abrohom Lahdo who was in the audience
and was asked to give a brief history of the song. He explained how the
first time it was sung was in his home in Qamishly and it was by the same
two singers Habib Mousa and Sonja Aho who were only teenagers at the time.
Then all of the singers joined together and sang two nationalistic Assyrian
songs in the western and eastern dialects, the songs were “Motho Rhimto
Nisho Deel” and “Bet-Nahrin Atriwat Le Manshinnakh”.
Then Mr. Sabri Alkan and Dr. Mikhael Abdallah asked all the singers of the
night, the members of the band, and the artists who displayed their work to
come together on the stage, where they were thanked and honored with a
flower and a medallion.
At the end of the concert, and at 12:30 AM, this beautiful night ended. See
all in Day 2 of the activities.