The Arameans (Aramaic: ܐܪ̈ܡܝܐ‎, ʼaramáyé), were an ancient Northwest Semitic Aramaic-speaking tribal confederation who emerged from the region known as Aram (in present-day Syria) in the Late Bronze Age (11th to 8th centuries BC). They established a patchwork of independent Aramaic kingdoms in the Levant and seized tracts of Anatolia as well as briefly conquering Babylonia.

The Arameans never formed a unified state but had small independent kingdoms across parts of the Near East, (present-day Syria, Lebanon, Jordan, Israel, Palestinian territories, the northwestern Arabian peninsula and south-central Turkey). Their political influence was confined to a number of states such as Aram Damascus, Hamath, Palmyra, Aleppo and the partly Aramean Syro-Hittite states, which were entirely absorbed into the Neo-Assyrian Empire (935-605 BC) by the 9th century BC. In the Neo-Assyrian Empire, the Aramaeans, Chaldeans, Suteans and indigenous Assyrians-Babylonians became largely indistinguishable, as these groups were culturally and ethnically absorbed into the native populace of Mesopotamia.[1]

By contrast, Imperial Aramaic came to be the lingua franca of the entire Near East and Asia Minor after King Tiglath-Pileser III of Assyria (ruled 745–727 BC) made it one of two official languages of the vast Neo-Assyrian Empire (the other being Akkadian) in the mid-8th century BC, in recognition of the mostly-Aramean speaking population in areas Assyria had conquered west of the Euphrates and the large numbers of Arameans in Mesopotamia. This empire stretched from Cyprus and the East Mediterranean in the west to Persia and Elam in the east, and from Armenia and the Caucasus in the north to Egypt, Libya and Arabia in the south. The Achaemenid Empire (c. 550–330 BC) greatly spread Imperial Aramaic: north to the coast of the Black Sea and eastward to the Indus Valley. This version of Aramaic, influenced by Akkadian and later by Old Persian, later developed into the Syriac dialect of Edessa.

Between the 1st and 4th centuries AD, the Arameans began to adopt Christianity in place of the polytheist Aramean religion, and the Levant became an important centre of Syriac Christianity, along with Assyria to the east from where the Syriac language and Syriac script emerged (the terms 'Syria' and 'Syriac' being etymologically, geographically and historically derived from 'Assyria').

Use of the Western Aramaic language has steadily declined in the face of Arabic since the Islamic conquest of the area in the 7th century AD, and the last vestiges of the spoken tongue in and around Maalula are in danger of extinction, although Assyrian population maintain spoken dialects of Akkadian influenced Neo-Aramaic as well as Syriac as a liturgical language. Similarly, some Jewish communities and the Mandean people also retain dialects of Aramaic. Today, an Aramean identity is mainly held by a small number of largely Arabic-speaking Syriac Christians in south-central Turkey, in Syria, and in the Aramean diaspora overseas.[2] In 2014, Israel recognized the Aramean minority, an Arabic- and Aramaic-speaking Christian community.[3][4]

Kingdoms of the Levant Map 830
The Southern Levant c. 830 BC, with the Aramean state of Aram-Damascus in the northwest



Aramean funeral stele Louvre AO3026
Basalt funeral stele bearing an Aramaic inscription, c. 7th century BC. Found in Neirab or Tell Afis (Syria).

The toponym A-ra-mu appears in an inscription at the East Semitic speaking kingdom of Ebla listing geographical names, and the term Armi, which is the Eblaite term for nearby Idlib (modern Aleppo), occurs frequently in the Ebla tablets (c. 2300 BC). One of the annals of Naram-Sin of Akkad (c. 2250 BC) mentions that he captured "Dubul, the ensí of A-ra-me" (Arame is seemingly a genitive form), in the course of a campaign against Simurrum in the northern mountains.[5] Other early references to a place or people of "Aram" have appeared at the archives of Mari (c. 1900 BC) and at Ugarit (c. 1300 BC).

However, there is absolutely no historical, archaeological or linguistic evidence that the Aramu, Armi or Arame were actually Arameans or even related to them; and the earliest undisputed historical attestation of Arameans as a people appears much later, in the inscriptions of Tiglath Pileser I (c. 1100 BC).[6]

Nomadic pastoralists have long played a prominent role in the history and economy of the Middle East, but their numbers seem to vary according to climatic conditions and the force of neighbouring states inducing permanent settlement. The period of the Late Bronze Age seems to have coincided with increasing aridity, which weakened neighbouring states and induced transhumance pastoralists to spend longer and longer periods with their flocks. Urban settlements (hitherto largely Amorite, Canaanite, Hittite, Ugarite inhabited) in The Levant diminished in size, until eventually fully nomadic pastoralist lifestyles came to dominate much of the region. These highly mobile, competitive tribesmen with their sudden raids continually threatened long-distance trade and interfered with the collection of taxes and tribute.

The people who had long been the prominent population within what is today Syria (called the Land of the Amurru during their tenure) were the Amorites, a Canaanite speaking group of Semites who had appeared during the 25th century BC, destroying the hitherto dominant East Semitic speaking state of Ebla, founding the powerful state of Mari in the Levant, and during the 19th century BC founding Babylonia in southern Mesopotamia. However, they seem to have been displaced or wholly absorbed by the appearance of a people called the Ahlamu by the 13th century BC, disappearing from history.

Ahlamû appears to be a generic term for a new wave of Semitic wanderers and nomads of varying origins who appeared during the 13th century BC across the Near East, Arabian peninsula, Asia Minor and Egypt. The presence of the Ahlamû is attested during the Middle Assyrian Empire (1365–1020 BC), which already ruled many of the lands in which the Ahlamû arose, in the Babylonian city of Nippur and even at Dilmun (modern Bahrain). Shalmaneser I (1274–1245 BC) is recorded as having defeated Shattuara, King of the Mitanni and his Hittite and Ahlamû mercenaries. In the following century, the Ahlamû cut the road from Babylon to Hattusas, and Tukulti-Ninurta I (1244–1208 BC) conquered Mari, Hanigalbat and Rapiqum on the Euphrates and "the mountain of the Ahlamû", apparently the region of Jebel Bishri in northern Syria.

The Arameans would appear to be one part of the larger generic Ahlamû group rather than synonymous with the Ahlamu.

Bronze Age collapse

Si Gabbor funeral stele Louvre AO3027
Funeral stele of Si` Gabbor, priest of the Moon God. Basalt, early 7th century BC, found in Neirab (Syria), bears an Aramaic inscription.

The emergence of the Arameans occurred during the Bronze Age collapse (1200–900 BC), which saw great upheavals and mass movements of peoples across the Middle East, Asia Minor, The Caucasus, East Mediterranean, North Africa, Ancient Iran, Ancient Greece and Balkans, leading to the genesis of new peoples and polities across these regions.

The first certain reference to the Arameans appears in an inscription of Tiglath-Pileser I (1115–1077 BC), which refers to subjugating the "Ahlamû-Aramaeans" (Ahlame Armaia). Shortly after, the Ahlamû rapidly disappear from Assyrian annals, to be replaced by the Aramaeans (Aramu, Arimi). This indicates that the Arameans had risen to dominance amongst the nomads; however, it is possible that the two peoples had nothing in common, but operated in the same area.[7] By the late 12th century BC, the Arameans were firmly established in Syria; however, they were conquered by the Middle Assyrian Empire, as had been the Amorites and Ahlamu before them.

The Middle Assyrian Empire (1365–1050 BC), which had dominated the Near East and Asia Minor since the first half of the 14th century BC, began to shrink rapidly after the death of Ashur-bel-kala, its last great ruler in 1056 BC, and the Assyrian withdrawal allowed the Arameans and others to gain independence and take firm control of what was then Eber-Nari (and is today Syria) during the late 11th century BC. It is from this point that the region was called Aramea.

Some of the major Aramean speaking kingdoms included: Aram-Damascus, Hamath, Bit Adini, Bit Bahiani, Bit Hadipe, Aram-Bet Rehob, Aram-Zobah, Bit-Zamani, Bit-Halupe and Aram-Ma'akah, as well as the Aramean tribal polities of the Gambulu, Litau and Puqudu.[8]

Later Biblical sources tell us that Saul, David and Solomon (late 11th to 10th centuries) fought against the small Aramean kingdoms ranged across the northern frontier of Israel: Aram-Sôvah in the Beqaa, Aram-Bêt-Rehob (Rehov) and Aram-Ma'akah around Mount Hermon, Geshur in the Hauran, and Aram-Damascus. An Aramean king's account dating at least two centuries later, the Tel Dan Stele, was discovered in northern Israel, and is famous for being perhaps the earliest non-Israelite extra-biblical historical reference to the Israelite royal dynasty, the House of David. In the early 11th century BC, much of Israel came under Aramean rule for eight years according to the Biblical Book of Judges, until Othniel defeated the forces led by Chushan-Rishathaim, the King of Aram-Naharaim.[9]

Further north, the Arameans gained possession of Neo-Hittite Hamath on the Orontes and were soon to become strong enough to dissociate with the Indo-European speaking Neo-Hittite states.

During the 11th and the 10th centuries BC, the Arameans conquered Sam'al (modern Zenjirli), also known as Yaudi, the region from Arpad to Aleppo, which they renamed Bît-Agushi, and Til Barsip, which became the chief town of Bît-Adini, also known as Beth Eden. North of Sam'al was the Aramean state of Bit-Gabbari, which was sandwiched between the Syro-Hittite states of Carchemish, Gurgum, Khattina, Unqi and the Georgian state of Tabal.

At the same time, Arameans moved to the east of the Euphrates, where they settled in such numbers that, for a time, the whole region became known as Aram-Naharaim or "Aram of the two rivers". Eastern Aramaean tribes spread into Babylonia and an Aramaean usurper was crowned king of Babylon under the name of Adad-apal-iddin.[1] One of their earliest semi-independent kingdoms in southern Mesopotamia was Bît-Bahiâni (Tell Halaf.

Neo-Assyrian Empire, 911–605 BC

092.The Israelites Slaughter the Syrians
Illustration by Gustave Doré from the 1866 La Sainte Bible depicting an Israelite victory over the army of Ben-Hadad, described in 1 Kings 20:26-34

Assyrian annals from the end of the Middle Assyrian Empire c. 1050 BC and the rise of the Neo-Assyrian Empire in 911 BC contain numerous descriptions of battles between Arameans and the Assyrian army.[10] The Assyrians would launch repeated raids into Aramea, Babylonia, Ancient Iran, Elam, Asia Minor, and even as far as the Mediterranean, in order to keep its trade routes open. The Aramean kingdoms, like much of the Near East and Asia Minor, were subjugated by the Neo Assyrian Empire (911–605 BC), beginning with the reign of Adad-nirari II in 911 BC, who cleared Arameans and other tribal peoples from the borders of Assyria, and began to expand in all directions (See Assyrian conquest of Aram). This process was continued by Ashurnasirpal II, and his son Shalmaneser III, who between them destroyed many of the small Aramean tribes, and conquered the whole of Aramea (modern Syria) for the Assyrians. In 732 BC Aram-Damascus fell and was conquered by the Assyrian king Tiglath-Pileser III. The Assyrians named their Aramean colonies Eber Nari, whilst still using the term Aramean to describe many of its peoples. The Assyrians conducted forced deportations of hundreds of thousands Arameans into both Assyria and Babylonia (where a migrant population already existed). [11] Conversely, the eastern Aramaic language was adopted as the lingua franca of the Neo-Assyrian Empire in the 8th century BC, and the native Assyrians and Babylonians began to make a gradual language shift to distinctly Mesopotamian Eastern Aramaic dialects (including the Syriac language, which evolved in 5th century BC Assyria) and still survives to this day amongst the indigenous Assyrian Christians and Mandeans of northern Iraq, southeast Turkey, northeast Syria and northwest Iran.

The Neo Assyrian Empire descended into a bitter series of brutal internal civil wars from 626 BC, weakening it greatly. This allowed a coalition of many its former subject peoples; the Babylonians, Chaldeans, Medes, Persians, Parthians, Scythians, Sargatians and Cimmerians to attack Assyria in 616 BC, sacking Nineveh in 612 BC, and finally defeating it between 605 and 599 BC. During the war against Assyria, hordes of horse borne Scythian and Cimmerian marauders ravaged through Aramea and all the way into Egypt.

Aramea/Eber-Nari was then ruled by the succeeding Neo-Babylonian Empire (612–539 BC), initially headed by a short lived Chaldean dynasty. The Aramean regions became a battleground between the Babylonians and the Egyptian 26th Dynasty, which had been installed by the Assyrians as vassals after they had conquered Egypt, ejected the previous Nubian dynasty and destroyed the Kushite Empire. The Egyptians, having entered the region in a belated attempt to aid their former Assyrian masters, fought the Babylonians (initially with the help of remnants of the Assyrian army) in the region for decades before being finally vanquished.

The Babylonians remained masters of the Aramean lands only until 539 BC, when the Persian Achaemenid Empire overthrew Nabonidus, the Assyrian born last king of Babylon, who had himself previously overthrown the Chaldean dynasty in 556 BC.

Classic era

The Arameans were later conquered by the Achaemenid Empire (539–332 BC). However, little changed from the Assyrian period, as the Persians, seeing themselves as successors to the Assyrians and having spent three centuries under Assyrian rule, maintained Imperial Aramaic as the state language, together with Assyrian administrative structures, and the name Eber Nari still applied to the region.

However, during the Greek Seleucid Empire (312–150 BC), when the Greeks conquered Assyria from the Achaemenids, they applied the 9th century BC Indo-European name for Assyria to that land, which read Syria, a derivative of "𒀸𒋗𒁺 𐎹" Aššūrāyu, which had hitherto only referred historically and geographically to Assyria and the Assyrians, a land and people in modern terms situated in the northern half of Iraq, north-eastern Syria, south-eastern Turkey and the north-western fringe of Iran, and not to the Levant or its largely Aramean populace[12][13] (see Etymology of Syria). From the late 4th or early 3rd century BC the Seleucid Greeks also applied this name to Aram/Eber-Nari to the west of Assyria/Syria, which had been an Assyrian colony for three centuries. This caused both the Assyrians from Assyria and the Arameans to the west in Aram, to be labelled Syrians (and later Syriacs) in Greco-Roman culture, despite the two peoples being geographically, historically and ethnically distinct from one another.[14] This confusion would continue in the Western world until modern times with the Syria versus Assyria naming controversy (see Name of Syria).

The Parthian, Roman and Byzantine Empires followed, with the Aramean lands becoming the front line initially between the Parthian and Roman empires, and then between the Sassanid and Byzantine Empires. There was also a brief period of Armenian rule during the Roman Period. Between the 1st and 4th centuries AD, the Arameans began to adopt Christianity in place of the polytheist Aramean religion, and the Levant became an important centre of Syriac Christianity, along with Assyria to the east from where the Syriac language and Syriac script emerged.

Syriac Christianity survives among the indigenous pre-Arab population to the present day. Arameans continued to be the majority population in their homeland (most of modern Syria and part of south central Asia Minor) until well after the Arab Islamic Conquest of the mid-7th century AD. A number of Aramaean kingdoms sprang up in the region, the most important being Palmyra, (which for a brief period became the Palmyrene Empire, rivaling Rome). There was probably some synthesis with pre-Islamic Arab migrants in the southern deserts (and possibly Greeks and Phoenicians also).

Legacy and modern Aramean identity

After the Arab Islamic conquest of the region in the 7th century AD, native Arameans gradually became a minority in their homelands, the language was gradually replaced by Arabic, as increasing numbers of Arabs (together with Turkic and Iranian peoples) began to move into the region. Many Syriac Christians still speak various Aramaic dialects, including a small number of Arameans who still speak the Western Neo-Aramaic language.

An Aramean identity is mainly held by a number of Syriac Christians in southcentral Turkey, southeastern Turkey, western, central, northern and southern Syria and in the Aramean diaspora especially in Germany and Sweden.[15] In 2014, Israel recognized the Aramean minority, an Arabic- and Aramaic-speaking Christian community.[16][17]


Arameans are mostly defined by their use of the West Semitic Old Aramaic language (1100 BC – AD 200), first written using the Phoenician alphabet, over time modified to a specifically-Aramaic alphabet.

As early as the 8th century BC, Aramaic competed with the East Semitic Akkadian language and script in Assyria and Babylonia, and it spread then throughout the Near East in various dialects. By around 800 BC, Aramaic had become the lingua franca of the Neo Assyrian Empire. Although marginalized by Greek in the Hellenistic period, Aramaic in its varying dialects remained unchallenged as the common language of all Semitic peoples of the region until the Arab Islamic conquest of Mesopotamia in the 7th century AD, when it became gradually superseded by Arabic.

The late Old Aramaic language of the Neo-Assyrian Empire, Neo-Babylonian Empire and Achaemenid Persian Empire developed into the Middle Aramaic Syriac language of Persian Assyria, which would become the liturgical language of Syriac Christianity. The descendant dialects of this branch of Eastern Aramaic, which still retains Akkadian loanwords, still survive as the spoken and written language of the Assyrian people. It is found mostly in northern Iraq, north western Iran, southeastern Turkey and northeastern Syria and, to a lesser degree, in migrant communities in Armenia, Georgia, southern Russia, Lebanon, Israel, Jordan and Azerbaijan as well as in diaspora communities in the West, particularly the United States, Canada, Great Britain and Sweden, Australia and Germany. A small number of Israeli Jews, particularly those originating from Iraq and, to a lesser degree, Iran and eastern Turkey, still speak Eastern Aramaic, but it is largely being eroded by Hebrew, especially within the Israeli-born generations.

The Western Aramaic dialect is now only spoken by Muslims and Christians in Ma'loula, Jubb'adin and Bakhah. Mandaic is spoken by up to 75,000 speakers of the ethnically-Mesopotamian Gnostic Mandaean sect, mainly in Iraq and Iran.

Religion and art

It appears from their inscriptions as well as from their names that Arameans worshipped Mesopotamian gods such as Haddad (Adad), Sin, Ishtar (whom they called Astarte), Shamash, Tammuz, Bel and Nergal, and Caananite-Phoenician deities such as the storm-god, El, the supreme deity of Canaan, in addition to Anat (‘Atta) and others.

The Arameans who lived outside their homelands apparently followed the traditions of the country where they settled. The King of Damascus, for instance, employed Phoenician sculptors and ivory-carvers. In Tell Halaf-Guzana, the palace of Kapara, an Arameans ruler (9th century BC), was decorated with orthostats and with statues that display a mixture of Mesopotamian, Hittite, and Hurrian influences.

See also

  • Portal-puzzle.svg Arameans portal


  1. ^ a b "Aramaean (people)". Encyclopaedia Britannica.
  2. ^ Assyrian people
  3. ^ "Israeli Christians Officially Recognized as Arameans, Not Arabs". Israel Today. September 18, 2014. Retrieved 27 April 2015.
  4. ^ "Ministry of Interior to Admit Arameans to National Population Registry - Latest News Briefs - Arutz Sheva". Arutz Sheva.
  5. ^ "T2K3.htm". UCLA.
  6. ^ Lipinski, 2000, p. 25–27.
  7. ^ "Akhlame". Encyclopædia Britannica.
  8. ^ Georges Roux, Ancient Iraq, pp. 280-281
  9. ^ Boling, Robert G., revised by Richard D. Nelson, Harper Collins Study Bible: The Book of Judges
  10. ^ Georges Roux, Ancient Iraq
  11. ^ ^ "The destruction of the Assyrian Empire did not wipe out its population. They were predominantly peasant farmers, and since Assyria contains some of the best wheat land in the Near East, descendants of the Assyrian peasants would, as opportunity permitted, build new villages over the old cities and carried on with agricultural life, remembering traditions of the former cities. After seven or eight centuries, and after various vicissitudes, these people became Christians. These Christians, and the Jewish communities scattered amongst them, not only kept alive the memory of their Assyrian predecessors but also combined them with traditions from the Bible." - H. W. F. Saggs. The Might That Was Assyria. pp. 290
  12. ^ The Encyclopedia Americana. International ed. (c1986) Danbury, Conn.: Grolier.
  13. ^ ^ Frye, R. N. (October 1992). "Assyria and Syria: Synonyms" (PDF). Journal of Near Eastern Studies 51 (4): 281–285. doi:10.1086/373570.
  14. ^ Silvio Zaorani (Turin, 1993) under the chapter entitled "The Modern Assyrians - Name and Nation", pp. 106-107)
  15. ^ Assyrian people
  16. ^ "Israeli Christians Officially Recognized as Arameans, Not Arabs". Israel Today. September 18, 2014. Retrieved 27 April 2015.
  17. ^ "Ministry of Interior to Admit Arameans to National Population Registry - Latest News Briefs - Arutz Sheva". Arutz Sheva.


  • S. Moscati, 'The Aramaean Ahlamû', FSS, IV (1959), pp. 303–7;
  • M. Freiherr Von Oppenheim, Der Tell Halaf, Leipzig, 1931 pp. 71–198;
  • M. Freiherr Von Oppenheim, Tell Halaf, III, Die Bauwerke, Berlin, 1950;
  • A. Moortgat, Tell Halaf IV, Die Bildwerke, Berlin, 1955;
  • B. Hrouda, Tell Halaf IV, Die Kleinfunde aus historischer Zeit, Berlin, 1962;
  • G. Roux, Ancient Iraq, London, 1980.
  • Beyer, Klaus (1986). "The Aramaic language: its distribution and subdivisions". (Göttingen: Vandenhoeck und Ruprecht). ISBN 3-525-53573-2.
  • Lipiński, Edward (2000). The Aramaeans: their ancient history, culture, religion (Illustrated ed.). Peeters Publishers. ISBN 978-90-429-0859-8.
  • Spieckermann, Hermann (1999), "Arameans", in Fahlbusch, Erwin, Encyclopedia of Christianity, 1, Grand Rapids: Wm. B. Eerdmans, pp. 114–115, ISBN 0802824137
2008 Viva World Cup

The 2008 VIVA World Cup was the second VIVA World Cup, an international tournament for football, that took place in July 2008. The winners were Padania, who took home the Nelson Mandela Trophy. The tournament was organised by the Nouvelle Fédération-Board.

The defending champions and hosts were Sápmi. The competition, organized by the Sami people, took place from 7 to 13 July, in Gällivare, Sweden.

Aram, son of Shem

For distinguishing the different entries on "Aram", see Aram.Aram (Hebrew: אֲרָם‬ Aram) is a son of Shem, according to the Table of Nations in Genesis 10 of the Hebrew Bible, and the father of Uz, Hul, Gether and Mash or Meshech. The Book of Chronicles lists Aram, Uz, Hul, Gether, and Meshech as descendants of Shem, although without stating explicitly that Aram is the father of the other four.Aram is usually regarded as being the eponymous ancestor of the Aramaean people of Northern Mesopotamia and Syria.

Aram (region)

Aram is a region mentioned in the Bible located in present-day Syria, including where the city of Aleppo now stands. At its height, Aram stretched from the Lebanon mountains eastward across the Euphrates, including parts of the Khabur River valley in northwestern Mesopotamia on the border of Iraq. The region was known as The Land of the Amurru during the Akkadian Empire (2335-2154 BC), Neo-Sumerian Empire (2112-2004 BC) and Old Assyrian Empire (2025-1750 BC) in reference to its largely Amorite inhabitants. During the Neo-Assyrian Empire (911-605 BC), Neo-Babylonian Empire (612-539 BC) and Achaemenid Empire (539-332 BC) Aram was known as Eber-Nari.

Aramean Democratic Organization

Aramean Democratic Organization (Syriac: ܛܘܟܣܐ ܐܪܡܝܐ ܕܝܡܘܩܪܛܝܐ‎) (Arabic: التنظيم الآرامي الديمقراطي‎, translit. At-Tanzim al-Arami al-Dimoqraty) also known as ArDO, was founded in 1988 and is a Syriac Aramean political party in Lebanon.

The Aramean Democratic Organization's goal is to reestablish Aramean independence and reconstituting the Aramean Nation by reclaiming the heartland of the ancient ancestral homeland most of which lies within today's Syria and Lebanon.

Arameans Suryoye football team

The Arameans Suryoye football team is the representative football team for Syriacs (Arameans) worldwide. They are not affiliated with FIFA or Asian Football Confederation, and therefore cannot compete for the FIFA World Cup or Asian Cup. The team played in the 2008 VIVA World Cup reaching the final which they lost 2–0 to Padania.

The team played in the CONIFA World Football Cup 2014 in Östersund, Sweden, and won bronze medal in the game against South Ossetia with 1–4.

Arameans in Israel

Arameans in Israel (Aramaic: ܐܪ̈ܡܝܐ‎, ארמיא‬; ʼaramáyé) are persons residing in Israel who identify as Arameans (or Aramaeans), a Northwest Semitic people who originated in what is now western, southern and central Syria region (Biblical Aram) during the Late Bronze Age and the Iron Age.Some Syriac Christians in the Middle East (particularly in Syria and Israel) still espouse an Aramean ethnic identity to this day and a minority still speak Western Aramaic dialects or languages, although the Eastern Aramaic of the ethnic Assyrians is far more widely spoken. Most of the self-identified Aramaeans in Israel are of Maronite community. The Maronite residents of Jish, a subset of Maronites in Israel, relate to themselves as Aramean Christian Maronite peoples. Until 2014, self-identified Arameans in Israel used to be registered as ethnic Arabs or without ethnic identity. However, since September 2014, Christian families or clans who can speak Aramaic and/or have an Aramaic family tradition are eligible to register as ethnic Arameans in Israel. In July 2016, it was published by Ha'aretz that the number of Israeli Christians, eligible to register as Arameans is 16,000. Yaakov Halul from Jish in the Galilee was formally defined as the first Aramean on his Israeli identification in 2014.

Arameisk-Syrianska IF

Arameisk-Syrianska IF is a Swedish based football club in Botkyrka, a suburb of Stockholm. The club was formed as Arameiska-Syrianska KIF by Syriacs (Arameans) in 1980 and has advanced through the league system, currently (2017) playing in the third highest Swedish league, Division 1. In 2008, the club used the name Syrianska Botkyrka IF after having concluded a cooperation with Botkyrka municipality in early 2008. The club has previously been called Arameiska-Syrianska KIF and Syrianska Botkyrka IF, but is now known as Arameisk-Syrianska IF.


Aššūr-bēl-kala, inscribed maš-šur-EN-ka-la and meaning “Aššur is lord of all,” was the king of Assyria 1074/3–1056 BC, the 89th to appear on the Assyrian Kinglist. He was the son of Tukultī-apil-Ešarra I, succeeded his brother Ašarēd-apil-Ekur who had briefly preceded him, and he ruled for 18 years He was the last king of the Middle Assyrian Empire, and his later reign was preoccupied with a revolution against his rule led by one Tukulti-Mer, which, by the end of his reign, allowed hordes of Arameans to press in on Assyria's western borders. He is perhaps best known for his zoological collection.

Assyrian people

Assyrian people (Syriac: ܐܫܘܪܝܐ‎), or Syriacs (see terms for Syriac Christians), are an ethnic group indigenous to Western Asia. Some of them self-identify as Arameans, or as Chaldeans. Speakers of modern Aramaic and as well as the primary languages in their countries of residence, the Assyrian people are Syriac Christians who claim descent from Assyria, one of the oldest civilizations in the world, dating back to 2500 BC in ancient Mesopotamia.The tribal areas that form the Assyrian homeland are parts of present-day northern Iraq, southeastern Turkey, northwestern Iran and, more recently, northeastern Syria. The majority have migrated to other regions of the world, including North America, the Levant, Australia, Europe, Russia and the Caucasus during the past century. Emigration was triggered by events such as the Massacres of Diyarbakır, the Assyrian Genocide (concurrent with the Armenian and Greek Genocides) during World War I by the Ottoman Empire and allied Kurdish tribes, the Simele Massacre in Iraq in 1933, the Iranian Revolution of 1979, Arab Nationalist Ba'athist policies in Iraq and Syria, the rise of Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) and its takeover of most of the Nineveh plains.Assyrians are predominantly Christian, mostly adhering to the East and West Syrian liturgical rites of Christianity. The churches that constitute the East Syrian rite include the Assyrian Church of the East, Ancient Church of the East, and Chaldean Catholic Church, whereas the churches of the West Syrian rite are the Syriac Orthodox Church and Syriac Catholic Church. Both rites use Classical Syriac as their liturgical language.

Most recently, the post-2003 Iraq War and the Syrian Civil War, which began in 2011, have displaced much of the remaining Assyrian community from their homeland as a result of ethnic and religious persecution at the hands of Islamic extremists. Of the one million or more Iraqis reported by the United Nations to have fled Iraq since the occupation, nearly 40% were Assyrians even though Assyrians accounted for only around 3% of the pre-war Iraqi demography. According to a 2013 report by a Chaldean Syriac Assyrian Popular Council official, it is estimated that only 300,000 Assyrians remain in Iraq.Because of the emergence of ISIL and the taking over of much of the Assyrian homeland by the terror group, another major wave of Assyrian displacement has taken place. ISIL was driven out from the Assyrian villages in the Khabour River Valley and the areas surrounding the city of Al-Hasakah in Syria by 2015, and from the Nineveh plains in Iraq by 2017. Since the expulsion of ISIL, the Nineveh plains have been divided into Iraqi and Kurdish-controlled zones, with Assyrian militias on both sides. In Gozarto/Northern Syria, Assyrian groups have been taking part both politically and militarily in the Kurdish-dominated but multiethnic Democratic Federation of Northern Syria project.

Assyrians in the Netherlands

The Assyrians in the Netherlands comprises migrants of Assyrian ancestry and their descendants born in the Netherlands. They mainly live in the east of the country, in the province of Overijssel, in such cities as Enschede, Hengelo, Almelo and Borne. The main reason that the Assyrians are concentrated there is because it is an industrial area which lies at the border with Germany, where a large German Assyrian population resides (many Assyrians in the Netherlands have relatives in Germany.)

Azech SF

Azech SF is a Swedish football club located in Norrköping. The club is named after the town of Azech in modern-day Turkey. The majority of the players are Arameans.

Ethnic groups in the Middle East

The ethnic groups in the Middle East refers to the peoples that reside in West Asia and Egypt in North Africa. The region has historically been a crossroad of different cultures. Since the 1960s, the changes in political and economic factors (especially the enormous oil wealth in the region and conflicts) have significantly altered the ethnic composition of groups in the region. While some ethnic have been present in the region for millennia, others have arrived fairly recently through immigration. The five largest ethnic groups in the region are Arabs, Azerbaijanis, Kurds, Persians, and Anatolian Turks but there are dozens of other ethnic groups which have hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of members.

Other Indigenous, native, or long-standing ethnic groups include: Arameans, Armenians, Assyrians, Balochs, Berbers, Copts, Druze, Gilaks, Greeks, Jews, Kawliya, Lurs, Mandeans, Mazanderanis Mhallami, Nawar, Samaritans, Shabaks, Talishis, Tats, Turcomans, Yazidis, and Zazas.

More recent migrant or diaspora populations include Albanians, Bengalis, British people, Bosniaks, Chinese, Circassians, Crimean Tatars, Filipinos, French people, Indians, Indonesians, Italians, Malays, Pashtuns, Punjabis, Romani, Sikhs, Sindhis, Somalis, Sri Lankans, and Sub-Saharan Africans.


Gütersloh (German pronunciation: [ˈɡyːtɐsloː]) is a city in North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany, in the area of Westphalia and the administrative region of Detmold. Gütersloh is the administrative centre for a district of the same name and has a population of 96,320 people.

Jehoash of Israel

Jehoash (Hebrew: יהואש Yəhō’āš or יואש Yō’āš; Latin: Joas; fl. c. 790 BC), whose name means “Yahweh has given,” was a king of the ancient northern Kingdom of Israel (Samaria) and the son of Jehoahaz. He was the 12th king of Israel and reigned for 16 years. William F. Albright has dated his reign to 801 BC – 786 BC, while E. R. Thiele offers the dates 798 BC – 782 BC. When he ascended the throne, the Kingdom of Israel was suffering from the predations of the Arameans, whose king Hazael was reducing the amount of land controlled by Israel.


Naaman (נַעֲמָן "pleasantness") the Aramean was a commander of the armies of Ben-Hadad II, the king of Aram-Damascus, in the time of Joram, king of Israel.

According to the Bible, Naaman was a commander of the army of Syria. He was a good commander and was held in favor because of victory that God brought him. Yet Naaman was a leper. Naaman’s wife had a servant girl from Israel who said that a prophet there would be able to heal him. Naaman tells his lord this and he is sent to Israel with a letter to the king. The king of Israel didn’t know what to do, yet Elisha (Eliseus) came to the king asking to see Naaman. He told him to go bathe in the Jordan seven times and he would be clean. Naaman was angry and would have left, but his servant asked him to try it and he was healed. A servant of Elisha, Gehazi, seeing Naaman being turned away from offering God offerings ran after him and falsely asked for clothing and silver for visitors. And the leprosy from Naaman fell on Gehazi and would remain in his descendants. God took this man from Syria and showed his power to him in order for him to return to his lord and share the power of the God of Israel.

Sanharib Malki

Sanharib Malki Sabah (Syriac: ܣܢܚܪܝܒ ܡܠܟܝ‎; Arabic: سنحاريب ملكي صباح; born 1 March 1984) is a Syrian footballer who plays as a striker Syrian national team. besides his Syrian Nationality, he also holds Belgian and Turkish passports.

For K.S.V. Roeselare, his previous club, he scored their very first European goal in the first qualifying round of the UEFA Cup 2006-07 against FK Vardar from Macedonia.

He is of Aramean ethnicity. As an Aramean celebrity he also is the Ambassador of the Syriac Aramean Federation in the Netherlands and frequently makes appearances in Dutch media and publishes open letters to the Dutch Ministers to promote the Aramean cause in their homeland (Syria, Turkey and Iraq).

Terms for Syriac Christians

Syriac Christians are an ethnoreligious grouping of various ethnic communities of indigenous pre-Arab Semitic and often Neo-Aramaic-speaking Christian people of Iraq, Syria, Iran, Turkey, Lebanon, Jordan, Palestine, and Israel. Syriac Christians advocate different terms for ethnic self-designation. Syriac Christians from the Middle East are theologically and culturally closely related to, but should not be confused with the Saint Thomas Christians from India, whose ties to Syriac Christians were a result of trade links and migration by Assyrian Christians from Mesopotamia and the Middle East mostly around the 9th century.

Historically, the three ethnic names used to describe those who would become Syriac Christians were extant before the advent of Christianity: Assyrian, referring to the land and people of Assyria in northern Mesopotamia, Aramean, referring to the people of Aram in The Levant and Syrian/Syriac, originally being used specifically as an Indo-European corruption of Assyrian, but from the late 4th century BC, being applied by the Seleucid Greeks to the Arameans of The Levant.

Other purely doctrinal and theological terms such as "Syriac Christian", "Chaldean", "Jacobite" and "Nestorian", appeared much later, usually as labels imposed by theologians from Europe. The problem became more acute in 1946, when with the creation and independence of Syria, the adjective "Syrian" came to refer to that Arab-majority independent state, where Syriac Christians formed a minority.

There are around 7,000,000 Syriac Christians of various ethnicities and denominations in the world, the majority living in the diaspora with the largest centres being in India, the United States, Canada, Syria, Sweden, Australia, Lebanon, Germany, Russia, the Netherlands, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Iraq (Iraqi Kurdistan), Turkey and Iran.

World Council of Arameans (Syriacs)

World Council of Arameans (Syriacs) , (Syriac: ܚܘܝܕܐ ܣܘܪܝܝܐ ܬܒܝܠܝܐ‎, translit. Ḥuyādā Suryāyā Tbelāyā) earlier known as Syriac Universal Alliance, was founded in 1983 in New Jersey, United States. It is an Aramean (also known as Syriac) umbrella organization for Arameans and for all Aramean organizations "throughout the world".


İdil (Syriac: ܒܝܬ ܙܒܕܐ‎ Beṯ Zabday or ܐܙܟ Āzaḵ, Kurdish: Hezex, Arabic: آزخ Azekh) is a district of Şırnak Province of Turkey. The predominant religion in the region is Islam, although it was once the home of many Arameans belonging to the Syriac Orthodox Church and who were speakers of Turoyo, an Aramaic dialect, as well as North Mesopotamian Arabic. Idil, part of Tur Abdin, was one of the villages that violently resisted the Aramean genocide from 1915–1918 (the final years of the Ottoman Empire) and successfully fought forces in the number of thousands of the Ottoman Empire. In the late 20th century, many of Idil's (or Beth-Zabday's) surviving Arameans were involved in a diaspora; like other Arameans and Armenians; they also fled to parts of the Middle East, Cyprus, Germany, Sweden, Holland, Canada, and the United States. Kefshenne, Hedel, Esfes, Beth Ishoq, Miden, Beth sbirino, is one of its important villages.

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