About Us

Open Roles…
  • Western Dialect Leads (2)
  • Community Mentors (1)
  • Social Media (1)
  • Language Experts (0) — you are welcome to connect with us though!

Email assyriancircles@gmail.com if you’d like to apply.

How Assyrian Circles Started

Sparked by a creative thought, Diana Atureta scribbled a note down in 2018. The idea was to create a space where Assyrians could meet up for Assyrian-first conversations.

She let the idea grow in her mind and in her heart. When Diana Atureta would bump into an Assyrian by chance, she found most people chose to speak English. In the habit of asking if they could speak their language together, regardless of dialect, it became clear that not everyone was welcoming of the idea.

Fear of making mistakes, perceived time inefficiency, and dialect differences all play a big role. However, for those who stepped outside their comfort zones, the conversations allowed them to strengthen their knowledge as well as their confidence. Diana saw that making Assyrian the default language we speak with our friends or 1:1 with any Assyrian, can be done when we choose to step outside of our comfort zones — but also when we have a safe space for making mistakes.

Diana asked a few friends on Instagram if they’d join her meet up concept. Hearing positive responses, the right moment to launch the initiative came in March 2020. After careful planning, Diana Atureta’s Artist Takeover videos were released on Mesoportrayal where she announced an open call to build the new community. Diana’s 158+ hours invested into planning, running, and optimizing the Assyrian Circles‘ ecosystem allows us to connect better with a language learning community we all need. We’re on a journey to revive our endangered language — let’s change the status to being a thriving one.

— last updated on: Sunday November 15, 2020

Join us in an upcoming circle!

The Assyrian Circles Volunteer Team

Eastern Dialect Circle Lead

Robina Lajin

Why I volunteer: I love speaking Assyrian and I don’t get to do that outside my family which is sad for me. I especially love talking in Assyrian to people my age.  I don’t want to forget how to speak Assyrian and I also want to add more dialects and learn more words. 

Dialects: Eastern Assyrian (as well as understanding, but not speaking, the Western dialect)

Favourite Assyrian Song: Currently Maliktee Tleeta (but basically any Ashur Bet Sargis song!)

Location: Ludwigshafen (Germany)

Current Job: Store Manager at Peloton 

Additional thoughts: Assyrian Circles is helping to protect the Assyrian language by ensuring it’s spoken regularly by us all. That is the only way a language can survive. 

Contact: robinalajin76@gmail.com

Robina Lajin

Eastern Dialect Circle Lead

Ramsin Youkana

Why I volunteer: I love the Assyrian language and I would like to inspire other people in our community to fall in love with it too. 

Dialects: Eastern Assyrian (Tyari / Ashitha and Swadaya)

Favourite Assyrian Song: Momeh by Sargon Youkhana

Location: Modesto, California 

Current job: Teacher, and an aspiring attorney 

Additional thoughts: ‏ܝܠܘܦ ܘܡܠܦ ܠܫܢܐ ܕܝܡܘܟ، ܐܢ ܠܐ ܒܥܬ ܕܬܠܩ ܫܡܘܟ݂

“Learn and teach your mother tongue, so you don’t lose your name (identity)”

Contact: ramsin.youkana@yahoo.com or Instagram: Ramsin_youkana

Ramsin Youkana

Diana Atureta

Additional thoughts: Always write down your ideas! Especially if you’re an artist, like me. No matter how far-fetched they are at the moment or how busy your schedule, there will come a time when you can bring them to life.

In the meantime, you can hear my poem Shamash in Assyrian and English. Or, listen to my interview on the Assyrian Podcast Episode #126 on Nov 17th 2020.

Assyrian Circles Founder

Diana Atureta

Why I volunteer: I learned all of my Assyrian language skills from one person, my amazing Mother. Through this initiative, I pushed myself to learn about so many other dialects and it allows me to create that opportunity for other people too. It is my way of ‘makhooyeh lishanan’ — keeping our language alive.

Dialects: Swadaya (Eastern Standard Assyrian) and learning new dialects each time we meet up, especially focusing on Alqoshi, and Western Assyrian / Ma’irboyo.

Favourite Assyrian Song: Ata d’Ashurayeh by Ogin Bet Samo

Location: Toronto, Canada 

Current job: Business manager

Reach out anytime at assyriancircles@gmail.com or on Instagram Diana Atureta.

Assyrian Poetry Circle Lead

Vana Samuel

Why I volunteer: For the love of my first language.

Dialects: Eastern Assyrian (Swadaya) and Bazi

Favourite Assyrian Poem: the late Ninos Aho’s Atoraya Khata

Location: Detroit, Michigan

Current job: Business analyst 

Additional Thoughts: Stargazer and seeker. I love to sing, it’s just that I’m terrible at it. 

Contact on Instagram: voomie33

Vana

Awkar Ruel

Community Mentor

Awkar Ruel

Why I volunteer:
It is important that each one of us plays an active role in giving back to our community in whatever way we can. Preserving and teaching our language is imperative to our survival and growth, and I am happy to be able to contribute to such a great initiative. 

Dialects: Modern Eastern Standard Assyrian // Lishana Daraya Mkhaida

Favourite Assyrian Song: One of my favourites is Ashur Bet Sargis – Shwoty

Location: Sydney, Australia

Current job: Architectural Designer

Contact on Instagram: awkar.ruel

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