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Articles > Azad-Hye old version (2004-2005) > Sheikhs of Syrian Arab tribes visit Armenia

Chiefs of Arab tribes visit Yerevan, Armenia

 

Posted 08 April 2005

AZAD-HYE (Dubai, 8 April 2005): Three years ago in 24/4/2002, the Armenians of Aleppo and Northern Syria publicly honoured the heads of Arab tribes of the Syrian Al Jazeera Region (located between the Euphrates river and the Syrian-Iraqi border, in North-Eastern Syria), whose forefathers have rescued many Armenians during the Genocide of 1915.

The celebration took place in the cultural center of the city of Deir Ez-Zor, known to the Armenians as the final post (a sort of Armenian Auschwitz) in the annihilation campaign orchestrated by the Ottoman Turks.

The descendants of the Arab tribes were bestowed with letters of gratitude and symbolic gifts commemorating their heroic efforts during the WWI difficult times, when they defied government orders and sheltered the surviving Armenians.

The Mufti of Der Ezzor expressed his sorrow on the events of 1915 that plagued the city and the surroundings. Some places in the Syrian Al Jazeera Region carry names stemmed from the atrocities that the Armenians faced (see below).

On 29th March 2005, almost three years after the honorary ceremony in Syria, the same heads of the Syrian Arab tribes were visiting Armenia, to take part in the official ceremonies dedicated to the Genocide anniversary.

Qatari English daily "The Peninsula" reported in its 3rd April 2005 issue that Mohammad Al Razzaka (61), one of the tribal leaders said in an interview: "Armenians who grew up with us under our roof told us about the genocide. We came to Armenia in order to honor the memory of thousands of innocent people". [Click Read More]

Al Razzaka laid flowers at the Genocide memorial in Yerevan. "Our fathers and grandfathers not only helped the Armenians survive but also taught them to farm since most of the refugees were craftsmen. We are proud that we helped thousands of innocent people survive and live through this tragedy", he added.

Nawaf Ragheb Al Bashir, from the Al Bagara tribe, said: “My grandfather used to tell me how in those far away years, thousands of Armenians crossed the desert without food and water. There were so many killed and injured that one village was called Margateh, which means a collection of corpses, and another was called Shatateh which means genocide” he added, expressing hope that the Armenian people who has a long history and is gifted with creative abilities will reconstruct his homeland in a short period of time and achieve well-being and prosperity.

The visit of the Syrian Arab tribesmen was one of a series of seminars, visits and ceremonies that authorities in Armenia planned to mark the 90th anniversary of the start of the killings, leading up to the official genocide remembrance day on April 24.

The tribe leaders met with the Prime Minister, the Ministers of Foreign Affairs, Defence, Agriculture, Health, Labor and Social Security, with representatives of the National Assembly factions, as well as with students of the Oriental Science Department of Yerevan State University.

Before their return to Syria on 3rd April 2005 they met also with the Syrian students currently studying in Yerevan, visited the town of Abovian, where a large number of Armenian repatriates from Syria live. They also visited the Matenadaran (the library of manuscripts and ancient books) and Holy Echmiadzin where they were received by the Catholicos of All Armenians.

Jirair Reisian, head of the delegation of the Armenian Church of Aleppo and environs said to Noyan Tapan News Agency that the purpose of this visit organized at the initiative of the Armenian community of Aleppo is to pay homage once again to the leaders of the tribes that provided shelter to the Armenians who had survived the genocide and reached the Syrian land, and to give them an opportunity to become acquainted with Armenia and the Armenian people.

Head of the "Bagara Al Jabal" tribe Sheikh Abdul Suahab Isa Suleiman noted that the Armenian community of Syria plays a prominent role in the country's social, economic and political life, with the Armenian deputies always being included in the Syrian parliament.

Head of Al Harb tribe Sheikh Hasan Oubeid Al Khalil called on all the states and international organizations to reconsider their approach to the Armenian genocide and to meet the just demands of the Armenian people.

In their 1st April 2005 press conference, the leaders of the Syrian tribes said that "All the Arabs know about the Genocide and they have done many services to the Armenian nation". Asked why Syria has not yet officially recognized the Genocide, they said that in that issue Syria is like Armenia: "There has been no need to recognize an issue which is testified to by every stone of the country".

Upper-Left Photo: Heads of the Syrian Arab tribes in the Armenian Genocide Memorial in Der Ez-zor (2002)


Added: Saturday, October 21, 2006
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Posted by SERGE SELIAN on Wednesday, November 15, 2006

VERY GOOD AND CIVILIZED GESTURE TO THE SHEIKHS,

IT SHOULD'VE BEEN DONE LONG TIME AGO, NOT AFTER 90 YEARS WHERE MOST OF THE  MAIN CHARACTERS IN THIS SUBJECT ARE DEAD, NOW THEIR GRAND CHILDREN OR CHILDREN ARE WHO RECEIVED IT.

BUT STILL IT'S A GOOD ACT, AND THEY ARE VERY APPRECIATIVE. I AM SURE.

AS I WAS GROWING UP, I REMEMBER STORIES TOLD BY MY GRANDFATHER WHO WAS THERE IN DEIR ELZOR, AND RAQQA. HE MET MANY OF THOSE TRIBAL CHIEFTAINS AND MADE FRIENDSHIP WITH THEM, AS SOME OF THEM HAD ARMENIAN GIRLS AS THEIR WIVES, AND THEY USED TO CAL MY GRANDPA AS (KHALO) ARABIC FOR UNCLE, AND EVERY EASTER THEY USED TO PAY A VISIT TO OUR PHARMACY IN ALEPPO, AND BRING GIFTS WITH THEM,  TYPICALL OF ARAB NOMADIC GESTURE OF FRIENDSHIP.

I THINK WE SHOULD KEEP GOOD CONTACT WITH THEM MORE OFTEN, THEY CAN BE VERY HELPFULL FOR ACTIVE TESTIMONIALS AGAINST TURKS. I THINK WE SHOULD ALSO COLLECT THEIR PERSONAL STORIES AND TESTIMONIALS AS THEY REMEMBER FROM THEIR PARENTS OR GRAND PARENTS, IT COULD BE VERY GOOD SOURCE.

THANK YOU FOR YOUR GOOD WORK, I JUST DISCOVERED YOUR SITE AND ALREADY FORWARDED TO ALL MY ARMENIAN RELATIVES AND FRIENDS.

I TRULY ENJOYED ALL THE SUBJECTS AND INFO IN ALL THE FIELDS, VERY HELPFULL.

 

Posted by Ardem on Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Armenians, who were saved from the brutality of Turkish Ottoman militia and gendarmes, (which includes my grandfather and his brother from Diarbekir and my grandmother from Eezerum) - are very grateful to the ARABS who saved them from being murdered after their families were all tortured and massacred.

A special proclamation delivered from Sherif Hussein of Iraq still hangs in the church in Baghdad, asking the Arab people to help each and every Armenian and provide food and shelter and land.

Therefore I repeat we are grateful.

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