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4th Annual AYFA Assembly 2024

Celebrating Assyrian Culture and Unity in the Heart of Chicago

The Assyrian Youth Federation of America (AYFA) recently concluded its highly anticipated Assembly 6774, a vibrant event that brought together Assyrian youth from across the United States. Held in the bustling city of Chicago, this year's assembly was particularly special as it marked the first AYFA Assembly in the Eastern Region, making it more accessible for Assyrians from Michigan and surrounding areas to participate. From engaging discussions to cultural experiences, the four-day event was a celebration of Assyrian heritage, unity, and the spirit of community.

Day 1: A Warm Welcome to Chicago

The assembly kicked off with ice breaker activities, setting a friendly and welcoming tone for the weekend. Attendees were introduced to the theme of nationalism, or "Umta," and engaged in discussions about Assyrian culture, history, and the role of nationalism in shaping the community's identity. The evening was filled with welcome remarks, introductions to member organizations, and a delightful gathering featuring Chicago-style deep dish pizza at a members house. 

Day 2: Engaging Workshops and Cultural Experiences

The second day began with a Breakfast Brainstorm session led by She Leads Assyria, focusing on solutions for issues facing Assyrians in their homeland and diaspora communities. Participants then visited the Oriental Institute in Chicago to explore the Assyrian exhibit, immersing themselves in the rich history of their ancestors. The day continued with a barbecue lunch and Assyrian language practice at a member's house, followed by an evening of music and dance at Platinum, featuring performances by Ramsin Sheeno, Sargon Gabriel, and Amo Simon.

Day 3: Enrichment and Exploration

The third day started with a delicious breakfast and discussions about Assyrian nationalism. Participants then visited the Assyrian Cultural Foundation, where they were amazed by the world's largest Assyrian library. The visit included a tour, refreshments, and surprise giveaways, such as the “Tree of Life” canvas by Maher Minyanish. The day concluded with dinner at Layalena’s, enjoying performances by Ashur Esho and Shabeh Lawando, providing a perfect blend of learning and cultural immersion.

Day 4: Reflecting on Nationalism

The final day of the assembly was dedicated to reflecting on the themes of unity and community. Attendees participated in closing remarks that highlighted the importance of the Assyrian community coming together to preserve its culture and heritage. The event concluded with heartfelt discussions on nationalism and the role of Assyrians in the diaspora and homeland, leaving attendees inspired and united.

A Heartfelt Thank You

The success of AYFA Assembly 6774 would not have been possible without the dedication and hard work of ASAC’s planning committee board, the Assyrian American National Federation (AANF), and all our other generous sponsors. Their contributions ensured that attendees had a memorable and enriching experience that will stay with them for years to come.

As the Assyrian community continues to thrive and grow, events like AYFA Assembly serve as a reminder of the strength and resilience of the Assyrian people. They provide a platform for Assyrian youth to come together, celebrate their heritage, and pave the way for a brighter future. AYFA Assembly 6774 was truly a testament to the power of unity, culture, and community. Here’s to many more successful assemblies in the years to come. Until next time, Assyrian youth—stay proud, stay united, and keep the flame of our heritage burning bright!

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