The Assyrian people are a distinct ethnic group whose origins lie in ancient Mesopotamia. Suraya was the daughter of an influential Assyrian scholar. In the years 1914-1923, she helped many of her people escape to safety and evade being slaughtered by the armies of the Ottoman Empire during the Assyrian Genocide of World War One when hundreds of thousands of civilians were massacred. Although she gave her own life to help her people, her name is never mentioned in the history books.
Even the Assyrian executions are rarely reported but are lost in the context of the much more widespread Armenian Genocide where around 3 million people were murdered. To this day, the Turkish government deny the events took place and little is known of Suraya other than the stories handed down through the families of those she helped. She is reputed to have been a great beauty with immense courage and personal vision. She made the ultimate sacrifice for the benefit of the people she loved, but like many great heroines in history, her name has been lost in the mists of time.
Suraya, you are my guiding star
Suraya, as I watch from afar
Suraya, you are all that I need
And I'm travelling to be where you are
Suraya, can it really be you?
Suraya, can your heart still be true?
Suraya, you can show me the light
Lead me out of the night
Out of the dark
Suraya, could you ever forgive?
Does the fire still burn?
Does the spirit still live?
Suraya, are you here to reveal
All the love that you feel in your heart?
Suraya, I'll do all that you say
Suraya, just allow me to stay
Where you are
I'll do what you command
Won't you reach out your hand?
Suraya (c) 2012 Steve Nielson All Rights Reserved