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Assyrian Genocide Oral History Project
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The Assyrian Genocide (Seyfo) Oral History Project is co-led by the Armenian Genocide Research Program within the Promise Armenian Institute at UCLA and the Assyrian Genocide Research Center (SEYFO CENTER).

The Assyrian people represent one of the groups targeted by the genocide that the Ottoman Empire carried out against its Christian citizens during World War I. The genocidal policies towards the Assyrians, also known as the Seyfo, resulted in thousands of innocent Assyrians being brutally murdered, tortured, exiled, and forced to struggle with hunger, thirst and disease.

The effects of the Assyrian genocide on the communities that survived in their homeland or became scattered throughout the world are still being felt, and therefore must be remembered. The Assyrian genocide committed by the Ottoman Empire and its Kurdish tribes between 1914-1923 constitutes a crime against humanity. However, the effects of the Seyfo, which left deep traces on the cultural and social structure of Assyrian society, have not been sufficiently documented or studied. One of the main reasons for this is that, until recently, there were very limited written sources on the subject.

In order to fill this resource gap to some extent, the Armenian Genocide Research Program within the Promise Armenian Institute at UCLA and Seyfo Center spearheaded a project called, "The Assyrian Genocide Oral History Project." The goal of the project is to incorporate the gathered research into the collections of foundations working on the subject and make it accessible to the public.

Although there have been studies conducted on the experience of the Assyrians, there is no systematic archive that can be used to study the Seyfo. This project aims to archive the events that took place during and after the 1915 genocide, as well as the experiences of the Assyrian survivors, through oral interviews and to pass them on to future generations.

The Assyrian Genocide Oral History Project aims to (1) digitize the rare interviews of Assyrian genocide witnesses and eyewitnesses recorded within the last 30 years; (2) translate them into various languages, including English; and (3) transcribe and index them to provide ease of research. The ultimate goal is to create the first digital Assyrian genocide archive.

This digital archive will not only help us understand the painful past of the Assyrian people, but it will also remind us of the devastating consequences of the massacres and contribute to the historical memory of humanity.

The success of this project is shaped not only by our technical work, but also by the contributions of our valued supporters. If you have access to any previous oral and written interviews about the Seyfo, we kindly request that you please contribute the materials to this archive project. Each contribution will be acknowledged accordingly.

Our aim is to integrate the Assyrian genocide digital archive into the existing collection of digital archives, especially the Armenian digital archives, enhancing the resources available for research and education on this topic. We hope to make the historical memory of the Assyrians a part of the global genocides memory history and pass it on to future generations.

Dr. Taner Ak├žam, Director, Armenian Genocide Research Program, Promise Armenian Institute at UCLA

Sabro Bengaro, Founder, The Assyrian Genocide Research Center

Committee Members

  • Feyyaz Kerimo, Oral History Project Coordinator
  • Abdulmesih BarAbraham
  • Jan Diyarbakerli
  • Dr. Ramina Jajoo-Frindrich
  • Abboud Zeitoune
  • Dr. Sophia Isaac

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