Below is Mr Jack Jendo’s statement in the “UN Human Rights Forum on Minority Issues ” who’s taking part as an Assyrian Lebanese fellow, representing Lebanon & the Assyrian Community.
” Thank you Madam Chairperson, Shlamlawkhon
If I have to formally introduce myself, I would say, I am Jack Jendo a Lebanese citizen and I belong to the Assyrian ethnic, linguistic and religious minority living in a diverse country.
In fact, being a minority means much more to me. Where beside my Assyrian identity and Lebanese citizenship, I carry a big part of the Arabic language and culture, in addition to speaking French and English since my childhood. I can say that I am not living in diversity but diversity is living in me.
My identity made me love my country and always work hard, to make it a better place, also raise my son similarly.
Unfortunately, my one-year-old son, Eilay, might not have the chance to have this opportunity; I was able to learn my language in the only Assyrian school in Lebanon. It is a private school managed by the Assyrian Church of the East and not supported by the government, thus, it is now facing serious issues due to the economic, social and political situation.
This is a problem of almost all minorities, and consequently, a national problem that affects the diversity of my country.
Not to mention that the Assyrian Syriac language is listed as definitely endangered in the UNESCO Atlas of the world’s language in danger.
Madam Chairperson, here are some of my recommendations:
• To the Lebanese Government:
1. ONE- Education is the key to improve the condition of any country on multiple levels; I recommend assigning a professional education minister in the new Lebanese government to implement a new strategy to upgrade the education system to meet today’s evolution and technology.
2. TWO – Learning multiple languages is a source of power and intelligence, thus providing education in different languages including minorities languages on a regional level will empower the new generations and add more colors to the society.
• To UNESCO:
• Linguistic Minorities are trying hard to save their language; some NGOs are trying to make a big change through creative digital media and bringing back languages to life, let us support these defenders of language and culture.
I would like to thank the OHCHR family where I have been a minority fellow for the last month and my best wishes to the human rights council for sharing and following up on our recommendations. Thank you.
Jacques Jendo – OHCHR Minorities Fellow 2019 “