What is AYFA?
The Assyrian Youth Federation of America (AYFA) is an alliance of secular Assyrian youth organizations in the USA. Our current member organizations are listed here.
AYFA’s aim is to bring together young Assyrians to preserve and empower the Assyrian identity and uplift the Assyrian nation.
What is the Assyrian nation?
Assyria is a stateless nation whose roots date back multiple millennia B.C. Assyrians speak, read, and write the Assyrian language (also known as Neo-Aramaic, and Syriac). Our language includes many dialects spoken by different historic tribes and villages that comprise our nation. Our homeland is in the modern day “Middle East”, with Assyrians still residing in their ancestral lands — Southeastern Turkey, Northwestern Iran, Northeastern Syria, and Northern Iraq. Assyrians also reside in various other parts of the Middle East and around the world, which is known as our Assyrian diaspora. Today, more Assyrians live in the diaspora than in our ancestral homeland. The Assyrian people adhere to a variety of religions. The vast majority of the Assyrian people identify as Christian, but they belong to various Christian sects. The main churches that Assyrians are members of are the Assyrian Church of the East, the Ancient Church of the East, the Chaldean Catholic Church, the Syriac Orthodox Church, and the Syriac Catholic Church, but there are also many Protestant and non-denominational Christian Assyrians. The Assyrian people are a perseverant people, having survived countless cases of persecution and genocide from the fall of the Assyrian empire in 612 B.C. until this day. Some Assyrians have a goal of rebuilding a country for the Assyrian people, but long is the path to accomplish this goal.
AYFA officially connects Assyrian secular youth organizations in the USA with the goal of working together to preserve and empower the Assyrian identity and uplift the Assyrian nation. AYFA also partners with and collaborates with other youth-based Assyrian organizations and federations around the world to accomplish those same goals. AYFA has a special focus on connecting with and helping the Assyrian people who reside in our ancestral homeland, to maintain our existence there and to foster the potential of official nationhood.
Leading up to AYFA’s founding, secular Assyrian youth organizations (that would eventually be part of AYFA’s organizational membership) partnered together on various projects such as exchanges and digital campaigns. In order to make their partnership official, the Assyrian Youth Federation of America (AYFA) was established in September 2018 by representatives from 6 founding member organizations (in alphabetical order): Assyrian Student Association of Arizona, Assyrian Student Association of Chicago, Assyrian Student Association of Los Angeles, Central California Assyrian Student and Youth Association, E’rootha Chaldean Assyrian Syriac Youth Union (Detroit Metro Area), and Qooyama Young Adult Committee of the Assyrian American Association of San Jose. Since 2018, AYFA stands as the unifying force of the USA’s secular Assyrian youth organizations and as the official global representative of the young Assyrians of the USA.