Mirna Khoshaba

As reading and listening to the unit’s major project requirements, which was to select a viable community organisation with whom to work and do some work for their benefit, I knew I wanted to conduct a project that would assist in disclaiming the Assyrian Universal Alliance and Assyrian Australian National federation’s name to the public, discussing their unconditional work they commit to towards helping the Assyrian community worldwide. I, myself, was unaware of their complete aims and achievements and I knew I wanted to know more about the process that the organisation and the Assyrian Australian National federation branch took to construct the Assyrian genocide monument, how they dealt with backlash and what they have planned for the future. I am an Assyrian Australian myself, I know the struggles and the plight of my ancestors for their simple basic rights that includes survival, and I am also studying to be a high school history teacher which brought me to my desire in wanting to connect and obtain knowledge about my heritage as much as I could.
Upon my first meeting with Mr Hermiz Shahen, the deputy secretary general of the Assyrian Universal Alliance, and Mr David David, the president of the Assyrian Australian National Federation and throughout our compromise about what my project could be, we had discussions about the monument and its importance, their steps they took to have the memorial constructed, the people they met with and the protests and backlash in response to this. It was made evident that the Assyrian Universal Alliance website which had links to information about the Assyrian genocide was also destroyed and taken over. They were in the midst of making a new website, in which upon further meetings and discussions, we decided that I would compile the information derived from the interviews that I had with the two prominent leaders of the organisation and the Australian branch, letters including the acceptance letters by politicians, feature articles, information reports, pamphlets, media articles, photos and other documents and merge them into a section of the new website tabbed under the heading ‘The Assyrian Genocide’ with sub-categories including context and history, monument, backlash and future work. The website is still in the process of publication, therefore, some adjustments to the submitted file may be made.
Not only was I completely humbled by being able to work on this project, the help that I committed to was appreciated by the two leaders I constantly kept in contact with. Fortunately, I will continue to work with them for future tasks such as the organisation of annual Assyrian New Year festivity in April. This was definitely a start of an ongoing relationship with the organisation.

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