Mesopotanian Heritage Association

“The most effective way to destroy people is to deny and obliterate their own understanding of their history.”

“Who controls the past controls the future; who controls the present controls the past”

GEORGE ORWELL

Background

The millions of refugees who stormed Europe after the Arab Spring came mostly from Mesopotamia. The land between two rivers, today’s Syria and Iraq. There, Between the Tigris and the Euphrates, the humankind civilization was born.

On this land, practiced the human race, for the first time in history, writing, astrology, medicine, governing, mathematics and religion. Cities are built and kingdoms raised in a continual process since 8000 years.

In 2012, the extremist terrorist group of DAESH took over vast part of Mesopotamia, the land that contains historic sites valuable to human history beyond all measures, undertaking a campaign of destruction and expulsion of religious and ethnic minorities that lead to a massive demographic changes in the region and the migration of millions of people who are ethnically, historically and religiously strongly linked to their land, Namely: Mesopotamia.

DAESH started to expand; in 2015 it took over large cities, like Aleppo in Syria and Mosul in Iraq. Including the historical sites of Palmyra, Apamia, Dura-Europos and Mari in Syria, and Hatra, Nineveh, Ashur, Khosrabad and Nimrud in Iraq, along with hundreds of religiously sacred sites to Muslims and non Muslims on both sides of borders. DAESH immediately started the destruction of archaeological sites, museums and religious monuments.

Fighters from DAESH destroying statues in the museum of Mosul and in the ancient city of Nimrud

History is the cultural memory of a society, and the loss of knowledge of one’s history destroys one’s sense of community and shared identity, casting one adrift in the present without meaningful reference points from the past. This is true whether one is an individual person or an entire population.

Cultural property is a concrete witness of culture and history that holds a special place for the identity of the individual as well as the community as a whole. It further defines the self-image and social cohesion of a society. This is why protecting, preserving and promoting movable cultural heritage is one of the important duties of the international community.

The destruction of historical sites, the persecution and consequent expulsion of Christians, Kurds, Yazidis, Mandais and other minorities is not only tearing the historical and cultural fabric of Syria and Iraq apart, but it is also ripping off the people of their historical identity and cutting every link they still have to their land.

To protect and preserve this ancient heritage and to prevent it from being lost forever, we launched the Mesopotamian Heritage Association.

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