RE: Assyrian Martyrs Day
For immediate release
Each year on August 7th (SHAVA B’DTABBAKH ܫܒܥܐ ܒܛܒܚ) ܼܿ Assyrians worldwide honor those
who lost their lives in preservation of our culture and legacy; in Assyrian, we call this (YOMA
D’SAHDE ܝܘܡܐ ܕܣܗܕܐ) Martyrs Day, in recognition of their sacrifice.
August 7th was originally established for this annual observance in 1970 by the Assyrian Universal
Alliance (AUA) in memory of the 1933 massacre in Simele, Iraq. In the decades since, the observance
and honor given on Assyrian Martyrs Day has expanded to encompass not only those who perished in
Simele, but also the Assyrians who were martyred during the Ottoman genocide between 1915-1918
(SEYFO ܤܝܦܐ) and all those who have died defending the Assyrian heritage and identity, including
the Assyrians who continue to be martyred today.
To call (SHAVA B’DTABBAKH ܫܒܥܐ ܒܛܒܚ) a day of mourning or a day of remembrance is
incomplete; these characterizations do not fully express the anguish and weight of martyrdom nor the
deep reverence in which these brave, selfless men and women are held by their descendants and cultural
In Assyrian, (SAHDA ܣܗܕܐ) means martyr and shares a root with the word for witness. Those who
died in defense of the Assyrian right to existence were martyred for the sake of future generations, and
their sacrifice bears witness to how dearly they held the Assyrian language, culture, ethnic identity,
community, and way of life. In turn, we must bear witness to their martyrdom and not allow the gravity
of their sacrifice to be diluted by calling (SHAVA B’DTABBAKH ܫܒܥܐ ܒܛܒܚ) anything other
than what it is: Assyrian Martyrs Day, a day to honor our martyrs.
Therefore, on behalf of Assyrians globally, the AUA unequivocally states that any references,
memorandums, documents, resolutions, or releases from any legislative, charitable, political, public,
or private entities worldwide relating to the celebration and recognition of Assyrian martyrs on August
7th shall refer to this annual observance by none other than its official name: Assyrian Martyrs Day.
Assyrian Universal Alliance