Dr. George Kiraz, Guest of Honour at the First Athra Syriac Symposium

The General Directorate of Syriac Culture and Arts announces that the world pioneer of Syriac technology, Dr. George Kiraz, will be a guest of honor at the First Athra Syriac Symposium, which the Directorate intends to hold in cooperation with the Yonan Hozaya Center for Research and Future Studies, early next September, in Erbil Governorate’s Ankawa District.

George Kiraz was born in the city of Bethlehem in 1965, to Syriac parents who were displaced from the town of Kharput in present-day Turkey. He immigrated to America in 1982 and studied engineering in California. Then, between 1989 and 1990, he traveled to the University of Oxford to gain the knowledge of Professor Sebastian Brock in the field of Syriac studies. After this, he moved to the University of Cambridge to obtain a doctorate in the subject of “arithmetic morphology of Semitic languages.”

Dr. George Kiraz is considered a world pioneer of Syriac technology and he is credited with introducing the Syriac language into “Unicode,” the computer code on the Windows system, which he worked on between 1990 and 1996.

The General Directorate of Syriac Culture and Arts had previously announced that British Professor Sebastian Brock and the Syriac Orthodox Church’s Patriarchal Vicar for Syriac Studies, Mor Severios Roger Akhrass, will be guests of honour at the First Athra Syriac Symposium, which will be held early next September.

It is worth noting that the First Athra Syriac Symposium, which will be held for the period from 5-8 of next September, under the slogan: “Syriac as a Living Culture… Despte Challenges to its Survival,” will be held at the Patriarch Mar Joseph VI Audo conference hall of the Martyr Gabriel Danbo Monastery in Ankawa, Erbil, and will include visits to the Cultural Center for the Preservation of Syriac Manuscripts, the Syriac Heritage Museum and the Digital Documentation Center for Oriental Manuscripts.

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