13 April 2005

Sheikhs of Syrian Arab tribes visit Armenia kalsahakian

AZAD-HYE (Dubai, 8 April 2005): Three years ago in 24/4/2002, the Armenians
of Aleppo and Northern Syria publicly honoured the heads of Arab tribes of
the Syrian Al Jazeera Region (located between the Euphrates river and the
Syrian-Iraqi border, in North-Eastern Syria), whose forefathers have rescued
many Armenians during the Genocide of 1915.

The celebration took place in the cultural center of the city of Deir
Ez-Zor, known to the Armenians as the final post (a sort of Armenian
Auschwitz) in the annihilation campaign orchestrated by the Ottoman Turks.

The descendants of the Arab tribes were bestowed with letters of gratitude
and symbolic gifts commemorating their heroic efforts during the WWI
difficult times, when they defied government orders and sheltered the
surviving Armenians.

The Mufti of Der Ezzor expressed his sorrow on the events of 1915 that
plagued the city and the surroundings. Some places in the Syrian Al Jazeera
Region carry names stemmed from the atrocities that the Armenians faced (see

See text about this ceremony in Arabic language:

On 29th March 2005, almost three years after the honorary ceremony in Syria,
the same heads of the Syrian Arab tribes were visiting Armenia, to take part
in the official ceremonies dedicated to the Genocide anniversary.

Qatari English daily "The Peninsula" reported in its 3rd April 2005 issue
that Mohammad Al Razzaka (61), one of the tribal leaders said in an
interview: "Armenians who grew up with us under our roof told us about the
genocide. We came to Armenia in order to honor the memory of thousands of
innocent people". [Click Read More]

Al Razzaka laid flowers at the Genocide memorial in Yerevan. "Our fathers
and grandfathers not only helped the Armenians survive but also taught them
to farm since most of the refugees were craftsmen. We are proud that we
helped thousands of innocent people survive and live through this tragedy",
he added.

Nawaf Ragheb Al Bashir, from the Al Bagara tribe, said: “My grandfather used
to tell me how in those far away years, thousands of Armenians crossed the
desert without food and water. There were so many killed and injured that
one village was called Margateh, which means a collection of corpses, and
another was called Shatateh which means genocide” he added, expressing hope
that the Armenian people who has a long history and is gifted with creative
abilities will reconstruct his homeland in a short period of time and
achieve well-being and prosperity.

The visit of the Syrian Arab tribesmen was one of a series of seminars,
visits and ceremonies that authorities in Armenia planned to mark the 90th
anniversary of the start of the killings, leading up to the official
genocide remembrance day on April 24.

The tribe leaders met with the Prime Minister, the Ministers of Foreign
Affairs, Defence, Agriculture, Health, Labor and Social Security, with
representatives of the National Assembly factions, as well as with students
of the Oriental Science Department of Yerevan State University.

Before their return to Syria on 3rd April 2005 they met also with the Syrian
students currently studying in Yerevan, visited the town of Abovian, where a
large number of Armenian repatriates from Syria live. They also visited the
Matenadaran (the library of manuscripts and ancient books) and Holy
Echmiadzin where they were received by the Catholicos of All Armenians.

Jirair Reisian, head of the delegation of the Armenian Church of Aleppo and
environs said to Noyan Tapan News Agency that the purpose of this visit
organized at the initiative of the Armenian community of Aleppo is to pay
homage once again to the leaders of the tribes that provided shelter to the
Armenians who had survived the genocide and reached the Syrian land, and to
give them an opportunity to become acquainted with Armenia and the Armenian

Head of the "Bagara Al Jabal" tribe Sheikh Abdul Suahab Isa Suleiman noted
that the Armenian community of Syria plays a prominent role in the country's
social, economic and political life, with the Armenian deputies always being
included in the Syrian parliament.

Head of Al Harb tribe Sheikh Hasan Oubeid Al Khalil called on all the states
and international organizations to reconsider their approach to the Armenian
genocide and to meet the just demands of the Armenian people.

In their 1st April 2005 press conference, the leaders of the Syrian tribes
said that "All the Arabs know about the Genocide and they have done many
services to the Armenian nation". Asked why Syria has not yet officially
recognized the Genocide, they said that in that issue Syria is like Armenia:
"There has been no need to recognize an issue which is testified to by every
stone of the country".

Upper-Left Photo in www.azad-hye.com : Heads of the Syrian Arab tribes in
the Armenian Genocide Memorial in Der Ez-zor (2002)

The URL for this story is:

No comments: