|400,000 ~ 600,000|
|Regions with significant populations|
|Arizona · California · Illinois · Michigan · New England|
|Suret (Neo-Aramaic), English, Arabic|
(majority: Syriac Christianity; minority: Protestantism)
Assyrian Americans (Syriac: ܣܘܼܖ̈ܵܝܹܐ ܐܲܡܪ̈ܝܼܟܵܝܹܐ) refers to individuals of ethnic Assyrian ancestry born in or residing within the United States of America. Assyrians are an indigenous Middle-Eastern ethnic group native to Mesopotamia in West Asia who descend from their ancient counterparts, directly originating from the ancient indigenous Mesopotamians of Akkad and Sumer who first developed the independent civilisation in northern Mesopotamia that would become Assyria in 2600 BC. Modern Assyrians often culturally self-identify as Syriacs, Chaldeans, or Arameans for religious and tribal identification. The first significant wave of Assyrian immigration to the United States was due to the Sayfo genocide in the Assyrian homeland in 1914–1924.
The largest Assyrian diaspora is located in Metro Detroit, with a figure of 150,000. High concentrations are also located in Phoenix, San Jose, Modesto, San Diego, Los Angeles, Turlock, and Chicago among others.
Assyrians have been present in the United States since the late 19th century. The first recorded Assyrian in America was Zia Attala. He reportedly immigrated to Philadelphia in 1889 and found work in the hotel industry. Most early Assyrian immigrants, however, were young men sent by Western missionaries for religious training.
Second wave of immigration
Following the turn of the century, Assyrian immigration to America mostly came to a halt due to the Immigration Act of 1924, which effectively cut off any legal immigration to the United States for Assyrians and other non-Western European groups. The second large wave of immigration occurred in the 1960s and 70s, mainly from northern Iraq due to conflicts and persecution by the Ba’athist government of Iraq. Others arrived from Iran following the Iranian Revolution. Many Assyrians arrived during this period and took advantage of the ongoing White flight in Detroit.
As a result of the situation, Assyrians gained a monopoly over grocery stores and other small businesses, and in many cases used their finances and newfound wealth to benefit the Assyrian community there and take in Assyrian refugees from Iraq. More Assyrians arrived throughout the 80s and 90s for similar reasons, with newer residents moving out of Detroit into suburbs such as Royal Oak and Sterling Heights due to the crack epidemic in Detroit, while others began to move to San Diego, establishing a new Assyrian community there.
Assyrian immigration to cities in Michigan began in the early 20th century. The cities in the state include, but are not limited to, Detroit, Southfield, Sterling Heights, Oak Park, Troy, West Bloomfield, Walled Lake, Rochester Hills, Farmington Hills, Ferndale, Warren, Bloomfield Hills and Ann Arbor. More and more Assyrians, as they establish themselves financially, quickly move out of Detroit and into the other locations, including San Diego and cities in Arizona.
Before the 1970s, Assyrians came to the United States in search of greater economic opportunities. After the 1970s, many Assyrians fled for political freedom, especially after the rise of Saddam Hussein and after the Gulf War. Some were drawn by the economic opportunities they had seen successfully affect their family members who had already immigrated.
Less stringent immigration laws during the 1960s and 1970s facilitated increasing numbers, with the 1970s seeing the highest number of Assyrians coming to the United States. In 1962, the number of Assyrian owned grocery stores was 120, but grew to 278 in 1972. The main cause of this were the 1967 Detroit riots, after which Jewish grocery store owners left the area and left the opportunity open for Assyrians to take over. Often these Jews sold their old stores to Assyrians.
Iraqi president Saddam Hussein donated hundreds of thousands of dollars to Chaldean Catholic Churches in Detroit and received a key to the city in the 1980s on behalf of mayor Coleman Young, when the Ba’ath regime was an ally of the United States government.
Mostly all new Chaldean Catholic Assyrian immigrants and low-income senior citizens tend to reside in Detroit, in the 7 Mile Road between Woodward Avenue and John R Street. This area was officially named Chaldean Town in 1999. There are eight Chaldean Catholic Churches in Metro Detroit, located in West Bloomfield, Troy (where there are two), Oak Park, Southfield, Warren, Sterling Heights and Detroit.
After World War II, several Assyrian men who had been educated in Iraq by American Jesuits traveled to the United States. They were to teach Arabic to U.S. officers at the Army Language School who were going to be stationed in the Middle East. The men started the San Diego-area Chaldean Catholic community. Yasmeen S. Hanoosh, author of The Politics of Minority Chaldeans Between Iraq and America, wrote that the Chaldean Catholic Church in San Diego "continued to grow in relative isolation from the family-chain-migration based communities in and around Michigan."
This section's factual accuracy may be compromised due to out-of-date information. (August 2012)
The 2000 U.S. Census counted 82,355 Assyrians (including those who identify as Chaldean or Syriac) in the country, of whom most lived in Illinois. These 3 groups were listed as one category in the United States Census
- Sterling Heights: 5,515
- West Bloomfield: 4,874
- Southfield: 3,684
- Warren: 2,625
- Farmington Hills 2,499
- Troy: 2,047
- Detroit 1,963
- Oak Park 1,864
- Madison Heights: 1,428
- Bloomfield 513
- Hazel Park: 512
- Shelby Township: 493
- Clinton Township: 225
- The state's largest Assyrian American communities are in the San Diego area.
- Elsewhere in the Central Valley and San Francisco Bay area: known for its several Assyrian Church of the East, Chaldean Catholic and Syriac Orthodox churches; Oakland and East Bay suburbs; and Santa Clara County such as San Jose.
- Other parts of Southern California, i.e. the Los Angeles area.
Assyrian, Syrian, Syriac
The Federal government of the United States took the word Syrian to mean Arabs from the Syrian Arab Republic and not as one of the terms to identify the ethnically distinct Assyrians, although the terms Syrian and Syriac are strongly accepted by mainstream majority academic opinion to be etymologically, historically, geographically and ethnically derivative of the earlier term Assyrian, and historically meant Assyrian (see Etymology of Syria) and 'not' Arab or Aramean. In addition, the Syrian Arab Republic is home to many ethnicities, including Arabs, Assyrians, Armenians, Kurds and Turkmens, and is thus not an exclusively Arab nation.
The Syriac Orthodox Church was previously known as the Syrian Orthodox Church until a Holy Synod in 2000 voted to change it to Syriac, thus distinguishing from the Arabs. Mor Cyril Aphrem Karim wrote a letter to the Syriacs in 2000 urging them to register in the census as Syriac with a C, and not Syrian with an N to distinguish the group. He also urged them not to register as the country of origin. The Church was previously known as the Assyrian Orthodox Church in America and Israel-Palestine, which can be seen in the name of the Syriac Orthodox Church of Paramus, New Jersey.
Chaldean refers to ethnic Assyrians who are (traditionally) Eastern Catholic, having split from the Assyrian Church in Upper Mesopotamia between the 17th and 19th centuries (see Schism of 1552). Chaldean is thus a religious term, not an ethnic term. The majority of Chaldean Catholics come from Iraq’s Nineveh Plains region, which is located in Upper Mesopotamia (northern Iraq). The Chaldeans of antiquity lived in southeast Mesopotamia from the 9th century BC and disappeared from history in the 6th century BC.
- Brian Awadis (FaZe Rug), YouTuber
- Andre Agassi, Armenian-Assyrian Tennis player
- Terrence Malick, film director, screenwriter and producer
- Adam Benjamin Jr., former politician and a United States Representative from Indiana's 1st congressional district
- Rosie Malek-Yonan, actress, author, director, public figure and activist
- Anna Eshoo, U.S. Representative for California's 18th congressional district
- Victor Kamber, labor union activist and political consultant in the United States
- Vincent Oshana, actor and comedian
- Narsai David, author, radio and television personality in the Bay Area
- Raad Ghantous, half-Assyrian, half-Lebanese Interior designer
- Scott Rumana, Assyrian-American Republican Party politician
- Yasmine Hanani, Assyrian American actress
- Jumana Hanna, imprisoned at the facility known as Al Kelab Al Sayba, or Loose Dogs, during the rule of Saddam Hussein
- Reine Hanna, director of the Assyrian Policy Institute
- Diane Pathieu, television anchor
- Larsa Pippen, reality television personality
- Janan Sawa, Assyrian musician
- Timz, Assyrian-American rapper
- Justin Meram, footballer
- Sargon Dadesho, campaigner, nationalist
- Michael Shabaz, Assyrian-American tennis player
- Beneil Dariush, Assyrian-American professional mixed martial artist
- Daniel Alaei, professional poker player
- John Batchelor, American author and host of The John Batchelor Show radio news magazine
- Bob Miner, former American businessman, co-founder of Oracle Corporation and the producer of Oracle's relational database management system.
- John Joseph (historian), Assyrian-American educator and historian
- Steven Beitashour, international soccer player
- John Nimrod, U.S. politician
- Atour Sargon, Assyrian activist and politician
- Andrew David Urshan, evangelist and author
- Juliana Taimoorazy, activist, founder and current president of the Iraqi Christian Relief Council
- Jacob David, pastor and relief worker
- Arab Americans
- Armenian Americans
- Bulgarian Americans
- Greek Americans
- Lebanese Americans
- Mandaean Americans
- Serbian Americans
- Syrian Americans
- Turkish Americans
- "HCR2006 – 542R – I Ver".
- "Assyrian Genocide Resolution Read in Arizona Assembly".
- Data Access and Dissemination Systems (DADS). "American FactFinder – Results". Archived from the original on 12 February 2020. Retrieved 18 February 2015.
- "Selected Population Profile in the United States : 2011 American Community Survey 1-Year Estimates". Factfinder2.census.gov. Archived from the original on 12 February 2020. Retrieved 20 October 2013.
- "Chaldean American History". Chaldean Community Foundation. Retrieved 20 May 2020.
- Heinrich; Heinrich (2007). Why Humans Cooperate: A Cultural and Evolutionary Explanation. Oxford University Press. pp. 81–82.
- "6: Migrating to a New Land". Center for Migration Studies Special Issues. 15: 63–74. 1999. doi:10.1111/j.2050-411X.1999.tb00189.x.
- Reimers, David (1 January 2005). Other Immigrants: The Global Origins of the American People. NYU Press. p. 207. ISBN 9780814775356.
- Ishaya, Arianne. "ASSYRIAN-AMERICANS A STUDY IN ETHNIC RECONSTRUCTION AND DISSOLUTION IN DIASPORA". nineveh.com. Retrieved 17 September 2014.
- Chafets, Ze'ev. Devils Night: and Other True Tales of Detroit. New York: Random House, 1990
- "March 31, 2003". Zindamagazine.com. Archived from the original on 18 October 2003. Retrieved 20 October 2013.
- Adrian Humphreys (2 September 2011). "U.S. police foil Canada-to-Iraq luxury-car scheme". National Post. Retrieved 4 October 2014.
- Hanoosh, p. 195.
- "American FactFinder". Factfinder.census.gov. Archived from the original on 10 February 2020. Retrieved 20 October 2013.
- "Census 2000 Summary File 3 (SF 3) – Sample Data: Michigan". United States Census Bureau. December 2000. Archived from the original on 12 February 2020. Retrieved 21 December 2015.
- "Census 2000 Summary File 3 (SF 3) – Sample Data: California". United States Census Bureau. December 2000. Archived from the original on 12 February 2020. Retrieved 21 December 2015.
- "Assyrians – Assyrian Arts Institute".
- "Census 2000 Summary File 3 (SF 3) – Sample Data: Illinois". United States Census Bureau. December 2000. Archived from the original on 10 February 2020. Retrieved 21 December 2015.
- The Encyclopedia Americana, International ed. (c1986) Danbury, Conn.: Grolier
- Frye, R. N. (October 1992). "Assyria and Syria: Synonyms" (PDF). Journal of Near Eastern Studies 51 (4): 281–285. doi:10.1086/373570.
- "Mor Cyril Aphrem Karim – Syriac Orthodox Church of Antioch". Syrianorthodoxchurch.org. Archived from the original on 28 November 2013. Retrieved 20 October 2013.
- "Assyrian Orthodox Church of the Virgin Mary | Syriac Church". 15 June 2015. Retrieved 11 March 2023.
- "U.S. Census website". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 20 October 2013.
- "Bio:Andre Agassi". Persian Mirror. Archived from the original on 12 December 2008. Retrieved 27 January 2011.
- "400 ASSYRIAN ATHLETES IN THE STATE OLYMPICS". ZENDA renamed Zinda Magazine in 1999. 28 August 1995. Archived from the original on 12 April 2001. Retrieved 6 June 2011.
- "Andre Agassi Profile". Peopleandprofiles.com. Archived from the original on 8 July 2007. Retrieved 6 June 2011.
- Awde, Nicholas; Lamassu, Nineb; Al-Jeloo, Nicholas (2007). Aramaic (Assyrian/Syriac) dictionary. ISBN 9780781810876. Retrieved 6 June 2011.
- "The man behind Andre". Retrieved 6 June 2011.
- Michaels, Lloyd (2009). Terrence Malick (revised ed.). University of Illinois Press. p. 14. ISBN 978-0-252-07575-9.
- Tucker, Thomas Deane; Kendall, Stuart, eds. (2011). Terrence Malick: Film and Philosophy. Bloomsbury. ISBN 978-1-4411-4895-7.
- "Assyrians in Middle America A Historical and Demographic Study of the Chicago Assyrian Community" (PDF). jaas.org. Retrieved 26 August 2020.
- Committee on international relations (30 June 2006). "The plight of religious minorities: Can religious pluralism survive? Hearing before the Subcommittee on Africa, global human rights and international operations of the Committee on international relations". United States House of Representatives, 109th United States Congress. p. 117. Retrieved 24 May 2015.
- "Christian Minorities in the Islamic Middle East : Rosie Malek-Yonan on the Assyrians". Radio National. 18 April 2006. Retrieved 19 April 2017.
- Kramer, Andrew E. (26 June 2008). "For Iraqi Christians, Money Bought Survival". The New York Times. p. 1.
- Woźniak-Bobińska, Marta (2011). "National and social identity construction among the modern Assyrians/Syrians". Parole de l'Orient. 36: 547–561.
- on YouTube
- "Anna Eshoo: Biography". Congresswoman Anna Eshoo – California's 18th Congressional District. 13 December 2019. Retrieved 2 August 2020.
Rep. Eshoo was born in New Britain, Connecticut, of Assyrian and Armenian heritage. She is the proud mother of two children, Karen and Paul.
- "Raad:Journal". sanclementejournal.com. Archived from the original on 27 September 2007. Retrieved 24 August 2007.
- "coast magazine". coastmagazine.com. Archived from the original on 3 April 2007. Retrieved 24 August 2007.
- Collins, Margaret K. (18 January 2006). "Man on the Move". The Record. Archived from the original on 25 February 2016. Retrieved 29 September 2015.
His Assyrian grandfather was a tailor in Paterson and his boyhood pals on Wayne's Surrey Drive remember him more as an avid lacrosse player than a student of politics. But Rumana picked up the public-service bug from his godfather, Robert Roe, who was mayor of Wayne before serving as a 23-year Democratic congressman. It was interning for Roe in Washington, D.C., during the Iran-contra hearings in the summer of 1987 that turned Rumana into a visible and outspoken lover of all things government.
- "Iraqi Woman Profits From False Testimony". Voice of America. 28 October 2009. Retrieved 1 August 2020.
- "We are pleased to announce the formation of the Assyrian Policy Institute in Washington, D.C." 14 May 2018. Retrieved 7 August 2020.
- Paul, Anna (13 July 2019). "Who is Scottie Pippen's ex-wife, Larsa Pippen, what age is she and what did she say about Jordyn Woods and Tristan Thompson?". Metro. Retrieved 25 August 2020.
The 45-year-old Assyrian Lebanese model also had a stint on the Real Housewives of Miami.
- "Assyriska and What It Means to a Proud Community". 15 February 2016. Retrieved 20 August 2020.
It is extremely important to represent my Assyrian background.
- Kay, Bryan (22 February 2016). "'It was always my No1 choice': Justin Meram, the US-born Christian playing for Iraq". The Guardian. Retrieved 19 August 2020.
Right now, he is the lone Christian in the ranks, flying the flag for Iraq's Chaldeans, an ancient Assyrian people who have called the region home since long before the time of Jesus.
- "Dial Saddam for Murder". SF Weekly. 4 March 1998. Retrieved 26 August 2020.
- Bullock, Clinton. "Beneil Dariush Talks Michael Johnson, Conor McGregor and His Assyrian Heritage". Bleacher Report. Retrieved 5 August 2020.
- "John Batchelor, Novelist & Radio Talk Show Host". Q&A.org. Retrieved 30 November 2014.
- Oakville Ranch Cellars – Napa Valley – Retrieved 7 November 2015
- Edward N. Miner – Retrieved 7 November 2015
- Marissa Silver (24 August 2011). "Q&A: Getting to know Steven Beitashour; Beitashour sits down with SJEarthquakes.com to discuss the local scene, his heritage and more". San Jose Earthquakes. Archived from the original on 9 October 2013. Retrieved 19 August 2012.
- "Obituary: Senator John J. Nimrod". Archived from the original on 16 July 2011. Retrieved 2 August 2020.
- "Obituary: Senator John J. Nimrod". Archived from the original on 3 January 2010. Retrieved 2 August 2020.
- Snell, Joe (March 2019). "Atour Sargon, longtime Lincolnwood resident, runs on ticket of transparency, diversity". The Assyrian Journal. Retrieved 19 August 2020.
- Schmidt, Stephen A. (2016). "URSHAN, ANDREŌS BAR DĀWĪD". In Yarshater, Ehsan (ed.). Encyclopædia Iranica, Online Edition. Encyclopædia Iranica Foundation.
- Snell, Joe (21 March 2018). "Juliana Taimoorazy builds bridge between Assyrians, non-Assyrians". The Assyrian Journal. Retrieved 26 August 2020.
In 1990, she immigrated to the U.S. with refugee status and earned her Master's degree from Northeastern Illinois University.
- Hanoosh, Yasmeen H. The Politics of Minority Chaldeans Between Iraq and America. ProQuest, 2008. ISBN 0549984755, 9780549984757.
- Henrich, Natalie and Joseph Henrich. Why Humans Cooperate : A Cultural and Evolutionary Explanation: A Cultural and Evolutionary Explanation. Oxford University Press, 30 May 2007. ISBN 0198041179, 9780198041177.
- Sengstock, Mary C., and Sanaa Taha Al Harahsheh. "Chaldean Americans." Gale Encyclopedia of Multicultural America, edited by Thomas Riggs, (3rd ed., vol. 1, Gale, 2014), pp. 441–452. online
- Sengstock, Mary C. Chaldean-Americans: Changing Conceptions of Ethnic Identity (Center for Migration Studies, 1999).
- Sengstock, Mary C. Chaldeans in Michigan (Michigan State University Press, 2005).