His Eminence Mor Philoxinos Saliba Özmen, the archbishop of Mardin and Amid (Diyarbekir) in Turkey, paid a visit to our studio during his recent visit to Sweden. We discussed the current situation in Tur-Abdin, especially now that the number of Assyrian visitors decreased by 90% in the last two years. In this program, important themes are highlighted, such as the church properties that have been recently transferred to the Treasury or the lack of Assyrian schools in the Diaspora, mainly as a result of the name conflict in the last 40 years within the West Assyrian community. Without schools in the Diaspora that keep our language alive, assimilation and the death of a nation takes place much faster, he concludes.
As for the new TV channel of the church to be launched soon, he hopes the language will be prioritized. The policy of the church in the past 100 years emphasized more on the “message” in different languages instead of concentrating on the mother language of the church and people. Even back in 1928 this matter was discussed by the Assyrian national icon Naum Faiq when he requested Mor Yuhanon Dolabani in Jerusalem to prioritize our own language instead of Arabic.