Life in the Plains of Nineveh, a distinctly rural, marginalized region in northeastern Iraq, has in recent years been fraught with desperation, and shrouded in sorrow. The region (together with parts of Syria, Turkey and Iran) is home to the Assyrian Christians, proud descendants of the ancient Assyrian civilization.
But modern-day Assyrians struggle to connect images from their past, with the reality of today. They are simply two different worlds.
In 2014, ISIS overran vast territories in Iraq. Assyrians were kidnapped, enslaved, tortured and murdered.
Amid this wave of reprisals against Christians and minorities, and persecution by extremists, tens of thousands were forced to flee the Nineveh region near Mosul. Armed with little more than memories, and their will to survive, they left everything behind: their homes, their possessions, the documents proving their identity — and fled to IDP camps in Baghdad and to those in neighbouring countries. Each of their stories unique, yet deeply universal.
For the Assyrians, and other ethnic and religious minorities in the area, it seems for now, that their darkest hour has finally passed.
Broken bricks, dust and twisted metal fragments where their homes used to be — the efforts of survivors, and of those who returned, are now squarely focused on clearing the rubble, and rebuilding the region with their own bare hands.
And that’s where Rebuilding From Ruin comes in.
That’s where YOU come in!
Sargon Saadi is a Syrian-born freelance filmmaker, now based in Los Angeles, dedicated to raising international consciousness about the genocide of Assyrian Christians.
To learn more about Sargon, visit http://sargonsaadi.com/.
Friends of Assyria in Toronto, deeply committed to helping create the conditions for the reintegration of Assyrians into their ancestral homeland, are proud to be hosting Sargon for the premiere screening in Toronto of his award-winning documentary shorts: The Last Plight & Silence After the Storm — on Friday September 13th at University of Toronto’s Isabel Bader Theatre.
The screenings will be preceded by Sargon Saadi’s photo exhibit Khabour in a Thousand Words and followed by a Q&A with the Director and panel discussion.
- Mr. Sargon Saadi, Filmmaker
- Rev. Roberta Howey, Rosedale United Church
- Mr. Claude Hould, Past Chair of the Refugee & Newcomer Program at Rosedale United Church
- Ms. Juliana Taimoorazy, Founder & President of the Iraqi Christian Relief Council, Senior Fellow of the Philos Project
- Ms. Umta Shino, President, Centre for Canadian-Assyrian Relations (CCAR)
- Ms. Inanna Mardokh, Thought Leader, Activist, Public Speaker
Previously exhibited in Washington DC, Khabour in a Thousand Words documents Islamic State’s coordinated attacks on 35 Christian Assyrian villages located on the banks of the Khabour River in Syria, on February 23rd 2015.
The Assyrians have a long and unforgiving history of being targeted and persecuted.
And even though they’ve been ripped apart by perpetual genocide, and their collective memory is seared by conflict and violence, their faith in God, and in their own destiny, keeps pulling them through.
We invite you to join us, in fraternal spirit, as we shine light on their stories of struggle, sacrifice and survival.
This fundraising event is made possible through the generous support of our sponsors and donors.
Dr. George Warda Family Dentistry
2365 Finch Ave West, Suite 201
Weston, Ontario, M9W 2W8
Assyrian Aid Society of America
The gap between what the Assyrians deserve, and what they’ve received in terms of international assistance, is deplorable. That’s why it’s so important that you support this initiative, and others like it.
Event proceeds go towards supporting the Assyrian Aid Society of America in its efforts to help communities clear away the rubble, rebuild the region, and create the conditions for the reintegration of Assyrians into their ancestral homeland.
Purchase your tickets today! https://tinyurl.com/y2l9lzdl
Friends of Assyria in Toronto
Two documentary shorts by Sargon Saadi
The Last Plight & Silence After the Storm
Friday, September 13, 2019
Isabel Bader Theatre
93 Charles Street West
Photo Exhibit: 7:00 p.m.
Screenings: 7:30 p.m.
Q&A with the Director & Panel Discussion: 8:15 p.m.