Aram Reborn

1024px-Old_man_sea_Lebanon_flagIt has long been disputed within the Aramean people where the Aramean state ought to be founded. Several locations have been suggested and competing nationalisms seemed to be more interested in where to found this state than actually founding the state of the Aramean people.

There were historically large Aramaic-speaking populations in Kurdistan prior to the Turkish genocide against its Christian minorities whether speaking Aramaic, Armenian or Greek. The genocide against the Aramean people is known in Aramaic as Seyfo and the presence of the Aramean people in Kurdistan was subsequently increasingly reduced due to Kemalist and Arabist nationalist persecution, ethnic friction with Kurdish neighbours and Islamist religious oppression under Iranian rule; although large numbers of Arameans fleeing the Iraqi civil war indeed found a safe haven in self-governing Iraqi Kurdistan.  

Even despite the fact that there were many Aramaic-speaking Christian enclaves and villages in both Kurdistan and the former West Armenia prior to Seyfo is the fact that the homeland of the Aramean people lies elsewhere as the Aramean presence in Kurdistan with scattered villages and isolated enclaves indeed more resembled the Jewish geographic and demographic distribution in pre-Holocaust Poland.

Rather there is instead a large geographically continuous demographic region of the Aramean people in parts of Lebanon and Syria. And so the notion of founding the independent state of the Aramean people in miniscule geographic locations in or near Kurdistan such as the Nineveh plains (Assyrian nationalism), the Turabdin region (Syriac nationalism) or even near Lake Urmia or along the Khabur River in Syrian Kurdistan are at best absurd and at worst tragic indeed. In any case are those notions clearly irrational and certainly destructive to the political future of the Aramean people.

Zionism historically had similar internal disputes as it was suggested that the Jewish state ought to be founded in Cyprus, Siberia or Uganda. The Soviet Union even founded a Jewish Autonomous Oblast (JAO) in the Russian Far East on the border with Chinese Manchuria. Yiddish formally remains a co-official language with Russian there although the Jewish population of the JAO with its capital Birobidzhan is now miniscule indeed and was never really anything even remotely approaching a demographic majority.

The Jewish state was however ultimately reborn in the Jewish homeland and so should the Aramean state be reborn in the Aramean homeland rather than in or near Kurdistan. While it is easy to sympathize with the suffering during Seyfo and the plight of the Aramean people generally throughout history, including the fact that they since the 20th century were effectively reduced to political tools of regional agendas of existing nation states, particularly Iraq, Israel and Syria is it essential to be rational and always keep the best interests of the Aramean people in mind which is certainly founding its state in its homeland in parts of Lebanon and Syria. This is not to say that there ought not be an autonomous Aramean region on the Nineveh plains, the demographically largest remaining East Aramean region, there certainly should and this self-governing region (or rather self-governing municipality) should be founded within Iraqi Kurdistan and later if it so wishes become part of a state of Ezdixan with Aramaic as its First Official Language as based on reverting the people of the Euphrates Valley to the Aramaic language and to Yezidism (i.e. Yezidi Judaism) of their ancestors.

Three states should therefore be founded as based on revival of the Aramaic language as is already successfully taking place among Israeli Arameans and these need be the state of Aram for the Judeo-Christian Aramean people, the Yezidi state of Ezdixan and Alawistan in the Alawite and post-Alawite historical region in parts of Lebanon, Syria and Turkey. A process of successfully building new states tend to last for many years and even decades and typically requires some public cohesion of solidarity, meaning that there is some shared sense of commonality in destiny, meaning that there is a common stake in the future that produces political, social and economic solidarity among its citizens.

Indeed, reversion to the Aramaic language and to Median Judaism (Alawism and Yezidism) are essential parts of the statebuilding process as the three Aramaic-language states ought eventually once the reversion processes are successfully completed and liberal democracy and open society successfully established become merged with each other provided of course that this is what their people democratically desire.

Three nominally religiously defined secular states as based on Aramaic-language revival ought therefore once societal processes are sufficiently advanced become unified into a united Aramaic linguistic state, indeed a greater state of Aram. It would be a mistake however to presume that these essential processes of transformation could somehow be skipped over and so the merger will only take place once those societal processes are sufficiently advanced indeed. In the meantime will the Aramean people exercise self-determination through an independent state of Aram in what are now parts of Lebanon and Syria as well as through municipal self-rule on the Nineveh plains and in other such Aramean ethnic enclaves in and near Kurdistan.

Let’s be very clear that Aramean self-determination is a humanitarian issue and so there is no room whatsoever for irrational identity politics in this regard as leading towards political dead ends, particularly notions of establishing the state of the Aramean people in some miniscule enclave elsewhere than in its demographically and geographically continuous West Aramean homeland. Yet establishing Aram, Alawistan and Ezdixan will indeed pave the way for their democratic unification into a greater Aramaic linguistic state from the Mediterranean Sea to across the Tigris River.