Tuesday, July 15th, 2008
Assyrians, the indigenous people of the Middle East, leave home
by Salim Abraham July 07, 2008 (photo of Salim in London)
On a sizzling summer afternoon in 1974, my mother was trailing behind me, running hastily home to escape one of the stone battles that raged between neighbourhoods in Syria’s northeastern city of Qamishli.
Once we crossed the sand bridge that separated the Assyrian quarter from the rest of the city, we were out of the slingshots’ range.
This one was the last battle youngsters from the Assyrian quarter fought against Khanika, a neighboring Kurdish quarter, as the government soon tightened its policing of neighbourhoods.
The weapons in the battle were giant slingshots (called stone canons) and ghee can lids; the ammunition was stones. It was like a real war with trenches dug along the frontlines of the fighting neighbourhoods.
At the time, I was seven years old. I didn’t understand what was going on; why such wars broke out. The only thing my mother told me was: “It’s a fight between us and the Kurds.”
READ ON this very interesting article