Naaman Abdalmesih Karabash

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Naaman Abdalmesih Karabash (born April 13, 1903 in the village of Karabash near Diyarbakir , † June 23, 1983 ) was a Syrian scholar and contemporary witness of the genocide of the Armenians and Aramaeans in the Ottoman Empire .


The son of Juhannon (Hanna) Ne'man and his wife Mariam, Abdulmesih Karabash was born on April 13, 1903 in the Syrian village of Karabas, 10 km east of the city of Diyar-bakir (Turkey). He belonged to the Syrian Aramaic people and the Syrian Orthodox Church of Antioch . At the age of five he lost his father; he and his brother Emanuel remained behind as half-orphans.


In 1910, on the initiative of Bishop Mor Iwannis Eliyas Sakir von Amid, later patriarch, he was sent to the Syrian patriarchal seminary of the Deir Za'faran monastery near Mardin , where, in addition to his theological training, he received his theological training from the monks Hanna Dolabani, who later became Bishop Mor Philoxenos by Mardin, Eliyas Qoro, later Bishop Mor Julius and Apostolic Delegate in India, and Thoma Aras, later Bishop Mor Timotheos of Tur 'Abdin, who learned the Syrian, Arabic and Turkish languages.

During his training, the Turks persecuted the Arameans and Armenians in 1914 , which also severely affected the monastery seminary, which was subsequently dissolved. Karabash continued his education privately with Hanna Dolabani (1885-1969), from whom he was decisively inspired for his later literary activities. In 1918, while still in Deir Za'faran Monastery, as a 15-year-old eyewitness, he made detailed records of the atrocities committed by the Turks together with the Kurds ; the records could not be published until 1997 after his death under the title "Shed Blood". His work is thus next to "Cunhe d-suryoye d-tur'abdin da-snath 1915 (strokes of fate of the Syrian Christians in Tur-Abdin 1915)" by Suleyman Henno and the "Sey / e" (The Christian massacre in Turkey, 1714–1914) is the most important eyewitness document on the genocide of the Christian Aramaeans.


Karabash returned to Amid (Diyarbakir) in 1918 and lived there with his brother and mother; they had been spared the massacres while his village of Karabas and almost all of its Aramaic inhabitants had been destroyed. In 1922 he sought refuge in the Syrian city of Aleppo , which was under a French mandate; all the Aramaic inhabitants of Urfa (ancient Edessa) who had been expelled in 1924 fled there . Karabash then emigrated from Aleppo to Beirut , where he taught the Syrian language in the Syrian theological seminary there from 1934.


From 1937 to 1938 he also worked as a Syrian teacher in Bethlehem and then for 13 years at St. Mark's Monastery in Jerusalem . In 1951 he was appointed by the Syrian Ministry of Education as a lecturer for Syrian language, literature and religion at Aramaic high schools in Kamishli (Syria), where he wrote eleven Syrian works within 18 years and founded a “Sunday School”. Here he was heavily involved in social and national activities; For a long time he was chairman of the Aramaic charity in Kamishli. He emigrated from Syria to Beirut again in 1969, where he continued to work as a literary writer until he died on June 23, 1983 at the age of 80.


Karabash wrote and translated over 30 works into Syrian. He was one of the best experts on the Syrian language and was one of the most famous Syriac Orthodox linguists of the 20th century. Classical Syrian school instruction in Mesopotamia was decisively promoted through his textbooks in the Syrian language, which are also considered standard works in the European diaspora.

Individual evidence

  1. Dmo Zliho- Spilled Blood Naaman Abdelmesih Karabash 2002
  2. MArdutho D'Suryoye Dec. 2006