On Feb. 7 the Assyrian National Council of Illinois hosted A Demand For Action delegates. The representatives encouraged Chicagoans to get involved in the organization; a group they said belonged to the entire Assyrian/Chaldean/Syriac nation.
The three guests of honor were Habib Afram, president of the Syriac League in Lebanon; Nuri Kino, the organization’s founder; and Steve Oshana, executive director of A Demand For Action.
All three speakers echoed the same message: the time to help the Assyrian/Chaldean/Syriac people in the Middle East is now.
“Why did you not shake the world?” was a question Habib Afram asked of his elders following the aftermath the Assyrian Genocide, also known as Seyfo. Afram said that Assyrians looking to today’s situation could ask that same question in the future. He called upon the diaspora, especially Assyrian-Americans, to put differences aside to help the Assyrian people in Iraq and Syria. Afram hopes to establish an international conference incorporating all concerned Assyrian/Chaldean/Syriac organizations to solidify a solution in safeguarding the presence of Christians in the Middle East.
Nuri Kino discussed A Demand For Action’s solid social media presence, with almost 17,000 followers on Facebook and over 2,000 followers on Twitter. Kino stressed his appreciation of Assyrian/Chaldean/Syriac youth worldwide for being an important part of the group’s success. He also highlighted the commendable and dedicated involvement of Assyrian women.
The last speaker of the night, Steve Oshana, discussed the organization’s political impact in Washington, D.C. A Demand For Action was successful in having President Barack Obama mention the dire situation of Christians in his Sept. 10 speech. In his speech the president said: “We will continue providing humanitarian assistance to innocent civilians who have been displaced by [the Islamic State]. This includes Sunni and Shia Muslims who are at grave risk, as well as tens of thousands of Christians and other religious minorities. We cannot allow these communities to be driven from their ancient homelands.”
Had it not been for the efforts of Nuri Kino, Steve Oshana and the rest in A Demand For Action, those words would have never been heard across the United States, or the world.
A Demand For Action has shaken the world because it has started something that is unprecedented in Assyrian history – maybe in the history of the world.