WCA-NGO – 30/6/2020
Last week, Aramean Christian students from Northeast Syria were infuriated, because they are prohibited to complete their last exams, granting them access to universities. The self-declared Autonomous Administration of North and East Syria, led by the PYD/YPG Kurds, thereby puts the future of young generations at risk and continues its long-known plan of transforming this fertile part of the country into an independent Kurdish region.
Students of various ethnic and religious backgrounds enrolled in the General Secondary Education Certificate, being modelled on the French Baccalauréat and called Bakaloria in Arabic, had prepared themselves to finish their final exams last week. The basic education exams were scheduled to take place from 22 June till 8 July and the secondary ones from 21 June till 14 July. Students passing these exams will be admitted to higher education in and outside of Syria.
On 9 June, however, the so-called Autonomous Administration published a decree to forbid many students from taking their final tests. Among the victims are outraged members of the World Council of Arameans (Syriacs) (“WCA”), such as Hanna, 18, from Malikiyah. Since they see themselves as the new rulers of this region, the Kurds do not acknowledge the textbooks or the schools, colleges and universities that belong to the state. “That is why they aim to take over all educational institutions,” Hanna clarified, “while forcing us to register at the ones that are under their control. However, the Kurdish institutions of learning, curricula and diplomas are nowhere recognized, unless secret agreements have been concluded with certain countries.”
Maryam, 17, another WCA member from Malikiyah who fled to Qamishli to finish her exams, agrees. “They just want to chase us away and take over our properties and land with the purpose of giving it a Kurdish makeover. Until we remain here, they will try to limit our freedoms and subject us to brainwashing programs with their own teaching materials and teachers.”
When asked about her reaction to the self-imposed rule of the PYD/YPG Kurds and their rulings, Gabriella, a young (18) student and WCA member from Rmeilan, stated: “I am appalled and lack words to relate how often they come up with new ways to make our lives a living hell. I feel caged and tormented in an open-air prison that is run by foreign mercenaries in our homeland.”
In August 2018, for instance, the Arameans from Qamishli protested – even facing gunfire used to deter civilians – the YPG’s decision to close schools in the Hasakah governorate after the Kurdified curriculum was rejected and the Arameans had not applied for a license with the YPG. On 22 September 2018, a non-compliant teacher barely escaped death to testify how the YPG and its Aramean communist proxy failed to murder him with baseball bats in front of his house.
Since October 2015, when the Kurdish YPG ‘changed its brand’ into “Syrian Democratic Forces” (SDF) upon the instruction of one of America’s top generals, the YPG has repeatedly attempted to shut down or seize countless of public and private schools. In the areas of their illegal and self-proclaimed Autonomous Administration, they are bent on enforcing a Kurdish nationalist curriculum upon all the educational institutions. They also take pains to replace Arabic with Kurdish, imposing this non-Semitic language on the native Semitic (non-Kurdish) populations.
It is alarming that their textbooks include self-created maps of ‘Greater Kurdistan’ (defying internationally recognized borders), expose the YPG as being inextricably intertwined with the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) and praise its jailed leader, whose images feature all over their occupied region. Or that their schools are based on a militarized and oppressive ideology. Oddly, those governments which support the YPG, have the PKK on their list of terrorist entities and strongly oppose ‘radical leftists’ at home, remain silent on these bastions of communism.
The WCA, as so often before, condemns the shameful crimes committed by the PYD/YPG Kurds against defenceless civilians. This time, the internationally recognized and fundamental human right of education was yet again violated. Hence, the deafening silence from Western media, parliaments and governments is no longer excusable in the light of the ongoing abuse of the PYD/YPG’s military, financial and political support coming from the certain UN Member States.
THE ARAMEAN PEOPLE IN (NORTHEAST) SYRIA
The Arameans are native to Syria, Southeast Turkey, Iraq and Lebanon. The documented history of this forgotten Semitic people and their Aramaic language goes back to more than 3,000 years. In 2011, Syria’s Christians still numbered 8 to 10% of the 21 million total population. Today, however, in less than a decade, they represent no more than 3 to 5% of the total population of 17 million.
Unfounded statements appearing sometimes in the media mention the number of 100,000 to 150,000 Christians in Northeast Syria. In reality, however, there are no more than 50,000 Christians left in this region. Virtually all of them had left the area between 2011 and early 2019. Either because of the death and destruction caused by Jihadist groups such as Jabhat al-Nusra and ISIS whose aim was the establishment of a Caliphate in which the state should be governed under sharia or as a result of the self-declared tyrannical rule of the PYD/YPG (PKK) Kurds whose stated goal was the creation of an independent Kurdish statelet called Kurdistan, which should be administrated by authoritarian Marxist-Leninist or communist principles.