Sunday, November 9, 2014

Israel recognises "Aramaics" as separate ethnic group!

JISH, Israel, Nov 9 (Reuters) - In the green hills of the Galilee, where Jesus is said to have preached two thousand years ago, a group of Aramaic speakers looking to revive the language of Christ are celebrating a victory in their quest to safeguard their heritage.

In a place where tensions run high on issues of ethnicity, faith and citizenship, members of the Christian sect have won the right to change their designation in the population registry from "Arab" to a newly-created ethnic classification: "Aramaic."

The group that sought the change is small, a few hundred people at most, but their campaign is part of a larger debate on issues of identity in the Holy Land and Israel's treatment of its Arab minority.

Supporters say Israel's agreement to allow the group to define itself as "Aramaic" is a sign of ethnic tolerance.

But critics call it an attempt by the government to encourage splits within its Arab population, which largely defines itself as Palestinian and makes up about a fifth of the country's 8.2 million citizens.

Others say it is also another reflection of the reality for Arabs in Israel, where many Arab citizens say they are discriminated against.

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Sunday, November 2, 2014

Culture Dispute Is All Aramaic to Us.Why Do Arab Israeli Christians Lobby For a New Identity?

The interior of the house of a Christian family in Jerusalem, ca. 1850. 
 Some of you may have been following the stories from Israel about a small group of Christian Arabs from the Galilee successfully petitioning the Israeli Ministry of Interior to register them as “Aramaeans” rather than Arabs. Led by a Greek Orthodox priest, Gabriel Nadaf, this same group has also been active in encouraging young Israeli Christian Arabs to volunteer for service in the Israeli army and has been vocal in its pro-Israel, anti-Arab sentiments. As a result, it has come under heavy fire from Israeli Arab politicians and some Israeli Christian church leaders, who have accused its members of being quislings.


You may ask how serious all this can be. After all, Aramaic (or Syriac, as it also is called), though once dominant throughout the Middle East before being pushed out by Arabic, has not been spoken in the Galilee, or anywhere else in Israel, for centuries. (Although no one knows exactly when its last speakers vanished, this was clearly long ago.) In another generation or two, indeed, it may no longer be spoken by anyone anywhere, because it is faced with the prospect of extinction. The number of its users, formerly many millions, has dwindled to a few hundred thousand, nearly all of whom are bilingual and many of whom are raising their children in Arabic. Moreover, these speakers divide into two main populations — a larger one, mostly in northern Iraq, speaking “eastern Aramaic,” and a much smaller one in southwestern Syria, speaking “western Aramaic” — both of which are living in war zones and have been badly affected by the fighting. Almost entirely Christian, they have been targeted by Islamic forces and many have fled or immigrated to places where Aramaic is not spoken.


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Monday, October 27, 2014

Dale Allen Hoffman to appear at Center for Spiritual Living in Morristown

The Center for Spiritual Living Morristown will present acclaimed Aramaic teacher Dale Allen Hoffman for two days of events at Center for Spiritual Living Morristown on Sunday, Nov. 2 and Monday, Nov. 3. The Center for Spiritual Living Morristown is located at 331 Mount Kemble Ave., Morristown.

On Sunday, Nov. 2, from 1:30-3:30 p.m. Hoffman will present “ENANA: Living from the I Am” (two hours – $25 per person – includes 15 minute mid-workshop break)
When Yeshua (Jesus) made statements such as "I Am the Way, and the Truth and the Life" or "I Am the Light of the world", was He speaking about Himself as the only path to salvation or was He actually referring to a Presence which rests quietly within each and every one of us? When viewed in His native ancient Aramaic language, the words "I Am" (Aramaic "Enana") translate directly into modern English as "I – I" or the "I within the I". Yeshua’s universal teachings come alive when understood within the cultural context in which He spoke them as we awaken to the realization that many of our modern interpretations of His teachings are in fact very clearly 100 percent perfectly opposite of their meaning in His native ancient Aramaic tongue.

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Sunday, August 24, 2014

Saving the Aramaic language.


Professor Shabo Talay leads a project that has received a 450,000 Euro grant to secure the future of the Aramaic language Turoyo.

Aramaic inscription, used to accompany an article on the research and education project Aramaic Online, which has received funding from the EU's Erasmus+ programme.
A DISAPPEARING LANGUAGE: The Turoyo language is mainly spoken by the Christian minority in parts of Syria and Turkey, but is threatened by exctinction due to emigration and armed conflict. Universities have united with a monastery to create the project Aramaic Online in order to help second and third generation immigrants in Europe to learn the language. The image shows an Aramaic inscription.
In the modern world, the Aramaic languages are threatened by extinction. But with funding from the EU’s Erasmus programme the project Aramaic Online will provide future generations with an option of online training in Turoyo.
The world is full of languages such as Turoyo. Some of which will be gone only a few years from now, whereas other will hang on for maybe another generation or two before becoming extinct. But for languages such as Turoyo there is still hope of survival, which underlines the urgency of the Aramaic Online project.
Today, Turoyo is primarily an oral language. It is one of the successors of the ancient Aramaic tongue, which once was widespread in large areas of the Middle East. Now, only small pockets remain where the successor language is still in use.


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Saturday, August 16, 2014

Report: Islamic State Sieges Threatening to Eliminate Aramaic, the Language of Jesus.


Christian Mosaic,Syria
The siege of northern Iraq against the nation's ethnic and religious minorities by jihadist terror group Islamic State threatens to significantly alter the composition of the nation and write yet another chapter on genocide in human history. The threat is also a cultural one, however, as Islamic State terrorists kill hundreds of the last remaining speakers of Aramaic.

The Islamic State's onslaught against minorities in Iraq escalated to unprecedented levels upon its seizure of Mosul, the second-largest city in the nation. There, they cleansed the city of its Christians, demanding the jiziya or "infidel's tax," their departure, or their lives. The Christians left, marking the first time since shortly after the life of Jesus that Mosul is devoid of Christian residents.

Many of those Christians are Assyrians – indigenous Iraqis who speak a form of Aramaic. Aramaic is the language Jesus is presumed to have spoken by most historians, and while rare around the world today, remained a prominent tongue in much of Iraq and Syria. It is the language spoken in Mel Gibson's The Passion of the Christ (2004).

Foreign Policy's Ross Perlin notes that much of the territory where Aramaic continues to be spoken overlaps with that which is currently under assault by the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria. Some of these, in northern Iraq – Qaraqosh, Tel Kepe, and Karamlesh specifically – contained a significant Aramaic-speaking population as well as Kurdish and Yazidi minority groups...

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