On May 26, 2020, the Assyrian Cultural and Social Youth Association released an important new report, Assyrian Cultural Heritage at Risk in Northern Iraq, that highlights the risks posed to Assyrian heritage sites in parts of north Iraq and offers recommendations to help ensure their protection. States the report:
"Many indigenous communities around the world empathise with this plight, and centuries of persecution, cultural and ethnic cleansing, seemingly finding it difficult to preserve their cultural identity through the tangible forms of their heritage, including, but not exclusive to their native tongue and cultural practices. They are seen as second-class citizens and are denied access to the same civil and human rights afforded to the majority social class. This is indeed the case with the remaining Assyrians in Iraq, and those in Diaspora are desperately attempting to maintain cultural continuity in western countries to sustain their identity. However, this becomes increasingly difficult as the generations progress due to the process of assimilation. Gradually, Assyrians are experiencing a disconnect with their native lands, detaching them from their cultural, historical, and ethnic identity. A fear of returning and reconnecting as well as having never seen the lands of their forefathers, in addition to the erasure of historical identity, creates a knowledge gap leading to a lack of belonging, leaving historical cites abandoned to be claimed by the regional authorities as their own."
The full report is available for download here.