Seminar: “Syriac: Endeavors for Survival”

On December 11, 2023, a seminar titled “Syriac: Endeavors for Survival” was conducted by Dr. Anis Haddad, along with 4th stage students, Lara Dawood and Ameer Alsammak. Throughout the seminar the presenters highlighted that according to the UNESCO classification system that shows how ‘in trouble’ an endangered language is, Syriac is classified as Vulnerable and Definitely Endangered since its use as a ‘mother tongue’ is restricted to certain domains (e.g., home). The seminar referred to documentation and preservation efforts and initiatives aimed at documenting Syriac like language classes, cultural events, etc. Some success stories of community-led initiatives have been stated such as Syriac elementary schools in some Christian villages, Syriac departments in some universities, annual events to commemorate Syriac figures etc. The seminar concluded that survival of the Syriac language is not only important to its community but to humanity’s linguistic diversity as a whole. Moreover, the loss of Syriac would mean more than just the disappearance of a language.