On Monday, 8 May 2023, the Syriac Heritage Museum launched its website on the Internet in four languages (Arabic, Kurdish, Syriac and English), in the presence of the pastor of the Chaldean Diocese of Mosul, Bishop Mar Najeeb Michael, the assistance of the American Consul in Erbil Zehra Bell, and representatives of civil and governmental organizations, cultural and social associations in Region.
The curriculum witnessed speeches by those in charge of the project (Preserving the Cultural Heritage of Minorities in Iraq), whose website was launched as a culmination of its activities. In his speech, the director of the museum, Bernard Youssef, indicated the importance of the project in increasing the attraction of visitors to the museum’s corridors and viewing its holdings. .
The Director General of Syriac Culture and Arts, Kaldo Ramzi Oghanna, thanked USAID for sponsoring the project, which enabled the Directorate General to archive the Syriac heritage and make it accessible to researchers.
Oghanna also touched on the importance of the project in the participation of the younger generation in preserving the heritage of its ancestors and empowering workers in folklore and handicrafts, which in turn will achieve positive results for our society at home and abroad.
Oghanna affirmed his aspirations for the continuation of the project in developing the reality of the Syriac Museum, which he described as “a mirror” that shows the depth and history of our people, which distinguishes us from the rest of the Iraqi components, which together constitute the cultural heritage of the country.
As for the Chaldean Archbishop of Mosul, he stressed the importance of the government’s attention to heritage and the need to invest in this cultural aspect, while the Assistant Consul General of the United States of America in Erbil, Zehra Bell, expressed her hope to repeat such projects in various regions of Iraq.
At the end of the curriculum, the technical director of the project, Nawar Naomi, gave an explanatory explanation about the sections of the site, the sections it includes, and the services it provides.
This project works to build digitization capabilities and make optimal use of them to document the cultural and artistic heritage of our people, and to put it within the reach of researchers and scholars, through electronic media platforms that keep pace with the requirements of the times and mimic its technologies.
It is hoped that the project will help develop, digitize and archive the museum’s assets using modern technical methods using modern digital means that will enable the museum to expand in the virtual space and make it a specialized and unique cultural center.
It is worth noting that the US Ambassador at the time to Iraq, Matthew Toller, and the US Consul General in Erbil, Rob Waller, announced, through a press conference held at the Syriac Heritage Museum, in June 2021, the launch of the project (preserving the cultural heritage of minorities in Iraq), in cooperation with USAID International.