The Assyrian people are an ethnic group whose traditional homeland is located between Northern Iraq, Syria, Western Iran and Southeastern Turkey. Assyrians are a Semitic people but are ethnically distinct from both Arabs and Jews. Since the fall of the Assyrian Empire’s capital, Nineveh, in 612 B.C., Assyrians have been a stateless people. Assyrians speak the Assyrian language (also referred to as Aramaic, Syriac or Neo-Aramaic). Assyrians are Christians and are said to have been converted to Christianity in the first century A.D. in the city of Edessa. Saint Thomas, Saint Addai and Saint Mari are the founders of the Assyrian Church of the East to which a large number of Assyrians belong. Assyrians also belong to two other churches which are the Syriac Orthodox Church and the Chaldean Catholic Church.
While nearly 2 million Assyrians still reside in countries which formerly comprised their ancestral homeland in the Middle East, namely Iraq, Iran, Syria, Turkey as well as Jordan and Lebanon, the Assyrian Diaspora is a vast one. Hundreds of thousands of Assyrians now live in Europe, the United States, Canada and the former Soviet Union. A significant number of these Diaspora Assyrians also reside in Australia. According to the 2006 Census (Australian Bureau of Statistics) some 24,505 Assyrians reside in Australia with 6,580 calling Victoria home. The emigration of Assyrians from their traditional homeland has been triggered by events including the Assyrian Genocide during WWI in the Ottoman Empire, the Simele Massacre in Iraq in 1933 as well as 1979’s Islamic Revolution in Iran.
The Assyrian program ‘Qala Atoraya’ (Assyrian Voice) broadcasts twice weekly on Sunday and Monday. Programs feature local and international news, women’s issues, Assyrian history, religion, poetry, arts and literature segments and often, interviews with prominent Assyrian leaders. Assyrian broadcasters also invite listeners to call into the studio on Sundays to make song and dedication requests and for any feedback.
Listeners are invited to support the program through the annual Radiothon or by becoming a member of the Assyrian program at 3ZZZ.
Listeners can tune into the Assyrian program on 3ZZZ (92.3FM) on Sundays between 4-5PM and Mondays between 9-10AM.
Weekly Show Schedule
- 16:00 - 17:00
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