Assyrian Martyr’s Day
In the 1970s, Assyrians began to celebrate August 7th as Assyrian Martyrs’ Day. This day was chosen because in August of 1933, military forces from the newly-founded country of Iraq massacred approximately 3,000 Assyrians in Simele, Iraq.
Although historically connected to the Simele Massacre, Assyrian Martyrs’ Day also commemorates the lives of the thousands of other Assyrian martyrs who perished throughout history.
Two books written by contemporaries of the Simele Massacre contain partial listings of those who died during that time. The first list can be found in the appendices of the 1935 book, The British Betrayal of the Assyrians, which was written by the Assyrian politician, Yusuf Malek. You can read this book online here: https://archive.org/details/britishbetrayalo0000yusu/page/n389/mode/2up?q=massacre
The book can also be purchased here:
Another partial listing of those who died in the Simele Massacre can be found in the newly republished edition of Assyrian Struggle for National Survival, by the late Chief of Tkhuma, Malik Loko Shlimon D’Bit Badawi. The previous edition of this book did not have the listing. You can purchase this book here:
An interview of a survivor of the Simele Massacre can be found here:
This August 7th, do not forget the memory of the martyrs in your family.
Written by Esther Lang