The Assyrians Make a Come Back at the Capital
Radio Ashur, is an Assyrian local radio station based in Erbil in the Ankawa area. The radio itself was initiated at the hands of and belongs to the Assyrian Democratic Movement Party. It’s a local radio station that was founded in 1991 to spread awareness about the Assyrians living in that specific area of Erbil at the time and was first aimed at only addressing the residents of that area. It later kept on growing into attracting a larger audience as the years passed by.
Savina Dawoud, a presenter currently working with the radio station, when asked about what the main aim of the station is now, answered with: “The aim, our aim, is to spread our Assyrian art and culture on a larger scale in Erbil. We want to keep the people here updated on news involving us and the people within our region.” She later on continued about how their aim is not only for the Assyrians within the city as it first was, ”Our aim, for now, is to reach anyone living in Erbil.” She continued with talking about the Radio station’s hopes being “to expand in the future but for now our base is in Erbil since we have one of the largest Assyrian communities here.”
When asked about the content of the station and the language the station presents in, Savina said, “Our programs vary along the sides of entertainment and news, and we have presenters who speak in all the languages spoken in the city from Kurdish to Arabic, and to of course, Assyrian. And that only proves our point of not aiming it at the Assyrian people”. The Radio Ashur has been a station that has not, however, been constant in its existence. It has been, ever since 1991, on and off with its broadcasts and it has been closed for a while now.
The reasons for the instability the radio station has faced has to do with the financial support they rely on. The resources are weak and that constantly leads to the closure of the station. But the producers and presenters said that they have been working on the new approach for their radio station. And that their ‘great come back’ would be launched for Christmas just before the New Year’s and that they hope that this time would be continuous.
By: Azheen Fuad