By Nuri Ayaz
For years he struggles worldwide for the recognition of the Seyfo (genocide) of 1914-1918 to the Assyrians. He became a synonym for the topic “Seyfo”, the genocide in the years 1914 to 1918, which was done by the ottoman turkey during the reign of “Ittihat ve Terraki” (Union and Progress).
On 30.06.2012 this person was honored for his tireless efforts and commitment to the recognition of the Seyfo (genocide) by the Ashour Yousef prize. It is Sabri Atman, director of global Seyfocenters.
The Assyrian Association in Gütersloh awards the Ashour Yousef price with extra 500€ for the fourth year for outstanding contributions in service of a person or organization to the Assyrian people honored. Sabri Atman donates the money to assyrian villages in Armenia, which were founded by the first refugees at the time of the genocide. Seyfocenter Germany will launch a campaign regarding this shortly.
Professor Ashur Yusuf (1858-1915), born in Turabdin went to school in Antep and became later a professor of literature at the “Euphrates College in Harput.”
In 1909, Yousef Ashour published a magazine called “Murshid Athuriyon” (“The spiritual leader of the Assyrians”). Beside Naum Faiq he is one of the first people who laid the foundation stone for the Assyrian movement.
At 19th April 1915 Ashour Yousef and his brother Donabed together with other Assyrian activists from Harput, were arrested and later hanged. His children and grandchildren have written numerous books about him.
On 24 June 2006 Ashour Yousef’s great-grandson Tigran Hovsepyan gave an emotional speech in the “Assyrian Society of UK”, about the Seyfo / genocide.
Many of the writings of Ashour Yousef were destroyed and burned d uring World War One. Others had been published in many journals and magazines at that time.
With the Ashour Yousef price his important work for the Assyrian people is honored until today.
Among the winners belong so far the Bishop of Tur Abdin, Mor Timotheus Samuel Aktas, Malfono Ninos Aho and Dr. Gabriele Yonan.
This year’s winner Sabri Atman was born in the village of Arbo / Turabdin.In Sweden, he completed his studies in economics and political science, recently he obtained his master in “Human Rights and Genocide Studies” in England, Italy and Poland. He has published three books. For years he has devoted himself to the very important issue Seyfo / genocide.
His work concentrates on the advance of the process of recognition of the genocide and the enlightenment on this subject within the Assyrian people. On his way to this high goal he is very successful in his daily work.
In September 2012 he plans to finish his doctoral thesis on Seyfo / genocide at Clark University in the United States.
To mark the award, the son of the famous Assyrian professor Mr. Michael Abdallah Abdallah Nino was invited from Poland.
He gave a lecture on “National Identity”. As a future historian, he first addressed the history and development in Assyria. Other key points in his presentation were – the criteria for a “national identity” and assimilation in the Middle East and in the diaspora.
It was a good and successful event, with about 100 guests from politics and society. Among the guests were representatives of Assyrian and Armenian organizations and three priests of Syrian Orthodox churches from Gütersloh attendend.
The Board and Rev. David Celik of the Syrian Orthodox St. Mary parish took the opportunity to thank Mr. Sabri Atman for his efforts and gave him a handwritten Bible.
There was a positive and nice atmosphere especially with motivating prospect for the future.
By Nuri Ayaz