Hostages in the Homeland, Orphans in the Diaspora: Identity Discourses Among the Assyrian/Syriac Elites in the European Diaspora

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Leiden University Press, 2011 - Assyrians - 607 pages
Naures Atto identifies in this historical anthropological analysis the present-day identity discourses among Assyrian/Syriac elites in the European diaspora. The most heated discussion during the last four decades among Assyrians/Syriacs has been what the 'correct name' of their people should be in Western languages. Hostages in the Homeland, Orphans in the Diaspora aims to develop a deeper understanding of this 'name debate'. The emigration of Assyrians/Syriacs from the Middle East and their settlement in Western countries dislocated their former identity discourses, which have since then entered into a transformation process and have been subsequently re-defined in relation to the new context. In this context, the 'name' of their people has become the core element in their new identity discourses, displacing previous nodal points such as religion and language. The redefined identity discourses have also been explained as attempts to find a remedy for the Hostages' and Orphans' Dilemma experienced among Assyrians/Syriacs, an expression of their search and struggle for recognition and existence.

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About the author (2011)

Naures Atto is an anthropologist and is affiliated to the Leiden Institute for Religious Studies at Leiden University as post-doc researcher

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