DC Assyrians Yahoo Group is a forum for Assyrians who live, work, and/or study in the DC metropolitan area.
An Introduction to Modern Assyrians
The Assyrians are a people of the Middle East distinguished by their heritage, language, and religion. Their homeland, in the heartland of the ancient Assyrian Empire, is now divided among Syria, Turkey, Iraq, and Iran. Many Assyrians still live near the archeological remnants of cities such as Nineveh, Khorsabad, and Babylon.
The basis for the language of modern Assyrians is Aramaic, of which they are the last significant speakers. The spoken language retains ancient empire terms, especially those related to daily life.
Assyrians began adopting Christianity in the 1st Christian century in Urhoy (Edessa) (modern-day eastern Turkey). Syriac Christianity converted Armenians in the 4th century, and traveled along the Silk Road to China in the 7th century where it flourished. Under succeeding Islamic states, Assyrians, like other non-Muslim ethnic communities, became reduced to the status of barely tolerated minorities.
Since the Genocide during World War I, continued persecution has created the Assyrian Diaspora extending around the world. Preservation of this unique heritage rests with the Assyrian community.