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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Why Doesn't the World Seem to Care When Assyrian Christians Die?

A house in the Iraqi city of Mosul is tagged with the letter "Noon," the first letter of the word "Nasara," an Arabic term for Christians (photo: AFP/Newscom)

By Rob Eshman
http://www.jewishjournal.com

When Jews are killed, we make sure the world knows. When Palestinians are killed, the Web explodes. So why is it that when Christians are murdered and persecuted en masse, no one seems to care -- not even other Christians?

We see this mystery playing out in Iraq with the hundreds of thousands of members of Christian minorities whose deaths have not yet provoked an outcry.

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Thursday, August 14, 2014

Iraqi Christians: "We need somewhere safe to live"



ERBIL, Iraq - There are important developments in the Iraq crisis.

It appears Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki will step down. There had been concern that after eight years he would try to hold on to power by military force. And correspondent David Martin reports that President Obama is sending about 130 more American military advisers to Iraq. There are 250 in the country already.

They're helping the Iraqi government roll back ISIS, a Muslim extremist army that has taken control of parts of Iraq and Syria.

Obama ordered airstrikes on ISIS when it threatened the Kurdish city of Erbil in northern Iraq. That's where these new American advisers would go, to help thousands of refugees who are surrounded on Mount Sinjar.

On Monday, when an Iraqi helicopter dropped water to help the refugees, some refugees seized the chance and jumped aboard.

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Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Emergence and spread of the Aramaic script (short video).



Here's an interesting one and half minute video about the emegergence and spread of the Aramaic script through its descendatns.

Aramaic evolved from Phoenician and then a dozen or more scripts sprung from it or were influenced by it all the way to India,even Eastern Asia.

Hebrew is a direct descendent of the Aramaic script.The Hebrew script is essentially what is known as block Aramaic script.Arabic evolved from Nabatean an offshoot of the Aramaic alphabet.Some letters of the Brahmi script from witch so many alphabets derived in the Indian peninsula seem to have been borrowed from Aramaic.Further into Asia,Sogdian ,Uighur ,even the traditional Mongol script are based on Aramaic!



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