Our association Tur Levnon is based in Zalka, in the northern suburb of Beirut. It was founded in 1999 but registered much later in 2005 under the name “Knushto d’Marduto Suryoyto”. In 2017, it merged with other groups and associations into a Syriac Maronite Union under the name TUR LEVNON.

While several religious and secular organizations in Lebanon provide the teaching of Syriac, the candidates for learning remain very few.The Union’s aim is therefore to reach people and potential students and show them why it is necessary to learn Syriac.

Syriac is the language and hence  the identity of the Christians of the Levant and Mesopotamia (from Lebanon to Northern Syria, Southern Turkey and Northern Iraq). This region was a Syriac land before the creation of these modern states.

Today Lebanon contains the largest concentration of Christians in the Middle East. Unfortunately, due to political reasons, Syriac language,culture and  history are erased and untaught in schools (even in Christian schools).

The Syriac Maronite Union takes therefore action on two levels: Society and Authority.

Concerning society:
– Teaching history and language in the Christian society.
– Spreading awareness through mass media and social media.

Concerning civil authorities:
– Inviting MP and government ministers and representatives to all our events to make them continuously involved in our struggle for the revival of our Syriac language and culture.

Concerning ecclesiastical authorities:
– Encouraging them in reintroducing Syriac in the Maronite churches and mass.
– Showing them the importance of Syriac not only for our identity
but also concerning our faith and spirituality.
– Using Syriac to reunite Maronites of Lebanon with the Diaspora, but also to reunite all Christian branches in a common culture and on an ecumenical level.

PROJECT AND MISSION
The Union’s main action can be summarized in four points:

  1.  To encourage our Syriac Maronite Church to introduce more Syriac in the Maronite mass as it was the case up to the 60’s.
  2.  To offer our help and support to all Christian schools that will reintroduce Syriac language teaching in their programs.
  3. To cooperate with Christian political parties and municipalities to introduce the use of Syriac on public buildings and signs.
  4.  To lobby with Christian political parties for the recognition of Syriac by the Lebanese government as a National language.

ACTIVITIES
The Union’s activities take place on several levels and different field. Next to numerous meetings we always have with Lebanese youth, students and Syriac organizations from Diaspora, here is an idea of our accomplishments up to this date:

SOCIAL MEDIA
We post on “Maronites” page for 19 000 followers. Our posts are about the Church, Lebanon and Syriac language. Languages used in this page: Syriac, English, French.
We have a facebook page under the name TUR LEVNON. And TUR LEVNON is also on Twitter and Youtube.Website: https://tur-levnon.org.

TUR LEVNON ACTIVITIES

2019: August 11: Patriarch Estephanos Douayhi Mass. Maronite Mass in Syriac language with the Antonine Chorale. Celebrated by Father Ibrahim BouRajel at 11:00 am in Mar Sarguis w Bakhos monastery, Ehden. Tur Levnon was represented by : Angéla Bitar Semaan (Vice president), Eli Stéphan Mendelek (responsible Democracy), Roy Araygi (responsible Zgorta), Joseph BouKaram (responsible Youth), Roger Doueiry (responsible France), Amine Jules Iskandar (President), and new member Yacoub Sahyoun.

2019: August 08:  Tur Levnon delegation expressed its support to the Hadat Municipality President, Mr Georges Aoun, for protecting and preserving Christian land. Identity and Syriac language are important for our presence in Lebanon, but preservation of Christian land is vital. Tur Levnon delegation was composed of Eli Stephan Mendelek, Naji Dahrouge, Felix Atallah and Amine Jules Iskandar.

2019: July 19: “Syriac Culture and Identity in the Maronite Church”. Conference by Father Jean Maroun Helou (founding member of Tur Levnon) at St:a Maria Kyrkan, Orebro, Sweden.

2018: May 18: “La culture syriaque et l’architecture au Liban” at the Faculty of Fine Arts, branch 1, Lebanese University. Conference in two parts: Part one: by Father Yohanna Yeshoua Khoury about Syriac language. Part two: by Amine-Jules Iskandar about Syriac Maronite architecture. https://www.facebook.com/SMUTurLevnon/videos/1841356392835648/
2018: April 5: Catholic Center for information. Tur Levnon participated to the colloquium for the 350 th anniversary of the election of Mar Estephanos Douayhi as Patriarch of Antioch for the Syriac Maronites.
2018: March 14: LIU Lebanese International University: Colloquium Abbot Gabriel Qordahi on Syriac studies. Tur Levnon gave a conference about “Syriac architecture in Maronite churches”. A comity was created to follow up the decisions of the Colloquium especially in teaching Syriac in Catholic schools in Lebanon. The comity was formed of the LIU director Gaby Khoury, Tur Levnon president Amine-Jules Iskandar, Syriac League president Habib , representative of Syriac writers of Iraq Nezar Hanna Dirani, Mr Georges Kordahi, and the official representative of the Maronite Patriarch, father Yohanna Yeshoua Khoury.
2017: December 21: Tur Levnon Convoy with Syriac Music and Maronite flags from Our Lady of Hadat to Place Sassine going through: Hadat, Baabda, Ain Remméné, Furnchebbek, Hazmié, Sinelfil, Achrafié, Sassine.

2017: December 15, 16 and 17: Christmas Market in Bikfaya. TurLevnon’s stand provided Syriac prayers carved on wood, Syriac names on mugs, Maronite flags, Syriac language CD and DVD…
2017: December 16: Recital in Bikfaya, Mar Mikhael church.
2017: December 8: Recital in Baabda-Hadat at the Antonin Order College Amphitheater. In presence of the representatives of government and Christian parties:
MP Alain Aoun representing H.E. the President of the Republic, General
Michel Aoun.
Minister Pierre Bou Assi representing Dr Samir Geagea, president of
the Lebanese Forces Party.
Mr Gaby Gebrayel representing Minister Gebran Bassil, president of
the FPM.
Mr Ramzi Bou Khaled representing Deputy Samy Gemayel, president
of the Kataeb Party.
And other officials.
2017: August 31: Recital of Syriac Maronite hymns at Saint-Maron church in Down Town Beirut. Under the high patronage of hisBeatitude the Patriarch of the Syriac Maronite Church, Mar Bechara Petros Rai.
https://www.facebook.com/SMUTurLevnon/
https://youtu.be/TbCa7TCyuwY
2017: July: Visits to Maronite bishops: Habib Chamié of Argentina,Youssef Mouawad of Zahlé, Michel Aoun of Jbeil, Paul Matar of Beirut. We meet with Abbot Nemtalla Hachem, superior of the Maronite Lebanese Order. He promised all his schools will start teaching Syriac to children.

2017: Jun 09: Visit to Father Yohanna Yeshoua Khoury Professor ofSyriac language at the Lebanese University.
2017: May 30: Visit to Father Boutros Azar Secretary General ofCatholic Schools in Lebanon.

2017, May 20 : First Syriac Maronite Congress in New York :Launching of Tur Levnon in the presence of Maronite bishop of America Gregory Mansour.
2017: May 11: Visit to Patriarch Cardinal Mar Bechara Petros Rai in Bkerké, to announce the creation of Tur Levnon and the New York Congress.
2016, August: Letter to Pope Francis for the revival of Syriac language in Lebanon.
2002, August: Letter to Pope Benedict XVI for the revival ofSyriac language in Lebanon. Also published in L’Orient-Le Jour in August 2012

TEACHING ACTIVITIES
Since 2004, we participate in the teaching of Syriac language at theAssociation of “ Friends of the Syriac language”, Bauchrié, Beirut.
Today our groups are teaching in many areas in Lebanon, like Enphé (By Samer Semrani) and in the Metn (Ain-Aar Church).
Since 2013, Daniel Asade (Ph. D. in SYRIAC PHARMACOPEIA at the University of Buenos Aires) is assisting Prof. dr. Pablo Ubierna forthe Syriac Culture Seminar.

PUBLICATIONS : Articles about Syriac culture by our founder
member Amine-Jules Iskandar

– “Syriac Epigraphy in Lebanon” in The Scholar Abbot Gebrael Al-Kurdahi’s Conference on Syriac Studies, LIU, Beirut, (March 2018), pp. 365-391.
– “Mor Ephrem and the Syriac Identity”, in NDU Spirit (Notre-Dame University magazine– Louaizé), issue 39 (March 2007)

– “La trifora libanaise” (the Lebanese triple arche and its Syriac meaning) in Parole de L’Orient (Mélto) . Actes du 9° Symposium Syriacum, issue 31 (2006)
– “La trifora libanaise” (the Lebanese triple arche and its Syriac meaning) in Fann wa ‘imarah (revue spécialisé de l’Académiede Beaux Arts de l’Université Libanaise), issue 1 (décembre 2006)
– “La maison à trois arcades” (The triple arche and its Syriac meaning in Lebanese architecture) in Byzance, issue 10(February-March 2005)
– “Les influences syriaques dans la miniature éthiopienne” (Syriac influences in Ethiopian miniatures), in Al-Manarat,Revue de Sciences Religieuses, year 51 -number 3, 2014. pp. 5-48.

PUBLICATIONS : Books about Syriac culture by our founder member Amine-Jules Iskandar.

Epigraphie syriaque. Volume 2.L’épigraphie Syriaque dans l’architecture Libanaise (Syriac inscriptions in Lebanese architecture) Edited by Notre Dame University – Louaisé, 2014, Lebanon, 470 pages. (23X32cm)
Epigraphie syriaque. Volume 1. L’épigraphie syriaque au Liban (Syriac and garshouné stone inscriptions in Lebanon) Edited by Notre Dame University – Louaisé, 2008, Lebanon, 480 pages. (23X32cm)
La dimension syriaque dans l’art et l’architecture au Liban(three books in one volume) Edited by Université Saint-Esprit – Kaslik, 2001, Lebanon.295pages. (23X32cm)
La Nouvelle Cilicie
(the Armenian presence in Lebanon and its interaction with the Syriac-Maronites)
Edited by the Armenian Archbishopery, 1999, Lebanon. 144 pages.

PUBLICATIONS for teaching Syriac
– The Book of Syriac without a teacher, by Knushto d’Marduto
Suryoyto, syriac-without-a-teacher-english

 

TUR LEVNON INTERVENTIONS ON MASS MEDIA
2019: July 8: Father Jean Maroun Helou (founder of Tur Levnon) on Suroyo TV: The Maronite Church’s interest in Syriac as a link with its Diaspora and Lebanon: https://www.facebook.com/SuroyoTV/videos/718787545222072/

 2019: June 28: SUBORO TV: about Syriac Maronite iconography

https://www.facebook.com/TurLevnonPage/videos/389594398326109/

2019: May 14: in L’Orient-Le Jour : Kafno: the Genocide Famine in MountLebanon: https://www.lorientlejour.com/article/1170291/kafno.html

2019: April 22: Kafno, by Tur Levnon, at the Genocide Memorial (in Jdeidé municipality), organized by the Syriac international Union.

https://www.facebook.com/TurLevnonPage/videos/650095935453236/

2019: March : in Tahkik with Claude AbouNader Hindi on MTV: Syriac heritage in Lebanon, and Tur Levnon’s acivities and aims.

https://www.facebook.com/TurLevnonPage/videos/2389659391359944/

2019: March 23: on Nour El Charq : Syriac heritage in Lebanon, and Tur Levnon’s acivities

https://www.facebook.com/TurLevnonPage/videos/2437687429595456/

2019: June 2019 to December 2019, on Nour el Sharq: rerun of the 24 episodes below.

2019: November 2018 to May 2019: 24 episodes on Nour el Sharq: Syriac heritage in Lebanon:

1: the people

https://m.facebook.com/story.phpstory_fbid=310449356221550&id=1523804814590809″id=1523804814590809

2: the language and alphabet

https://m.facebook.com/story.phpstory_fbid=908922916164418&id=1523804814590809″id=1523804814590809

3: preservation of the language

https://www.facebook.com/TurLevnonPage/videos/1459964094136785/

4: syntax

https://www.facebook.com/TurLevnonPage/videos/501053147055814/

5: phrases in Lebanese syriac

https://m.facebook.com/story.php?story_fbid=908922916164418&id=1523804814590809″id=1523804814590809

6: syriac words

https://www.facebook.com/TurLevnonPage/videos/1222118444611268/

7: Syriac Maronite names

https://www.facebook.com/TurLevnonPage/videos/501053147055814/

8: toponymes

https://www.facebook.com/TurLevnonPage/videos/508792762944971/

9: architecture : Trifora

https://www.facebook.com/TurLevnonPage/videos/232875920959547/

10: architecture : mandaloun

https://www.facebook.com/TurLevnonPage/videos/276879786299416/

11: frescoes

https://www.facebook.com/TurLevnonPage/videos/1120065898153835/

12: iconography

https://www.facebook.com/TurLevnonPage/videos/2223430814561529/

13: calligraphy

https://www.facebook.com/NourAlSharqOfficial/videos/1859473070829583/

14: epigraphy : circles

https://www.facebook.com/TurLevnonPage/videos/628344454302756/

15: epigraphy : squares

https://www.facebook.com/TurLevnonPage/videos/307447369939471/

16: epigraphy : facades

https://www.facebook.com/TurLevnonPage/videos/357011024904542/

17: epigraphy : Christic cycle

https://www.facebook.com/TurLevnonPage/videos/2141677862580297/

18: literature

https://www.facebook.com/TurLevnonPage/videos/2041430599485499/

19: Père Rouhana 1:

https://www.facebook.com/TurLevnonPage/videos/2155149184814889/

20: Père Rouhana 2:

https://www.facebook.com/TurLevnonPage/videos/237313930400908/

21: music père Kesrouani

https://www.facebook.com/TurLevnonPage/videos/667559483655804/

22: music père Tannos

https://www.facebook.com/TurLevnonPage/videos/395801574607577/

23: Patriarch Douayhi, père Ayoub

https://www.facebook.com/TurLevnonPage/videos/296748044590186/

24: Kafno

https://www.facebook.com/TurLevnonPage/videos/296524927900177/

2018: November 26: on El-Siyasa, about the aims of Tur Levnon.

https://www.facebook.com/elsiyasa.lb/videos/605359956578407/

2018: June 28: Radio MBS, Syriac in the Lebanese dialect, by Tur Levnon representative Ms. Cindy Finianos.

2018: May 16: Télé Lumière. Received by Ralph Tawitian to talk about the Lebanese University conference on May 18. https://youtu.be/wJuq-Xe6tLo

2017, December 18, Radio Liban (French), with Nanette Ziadé. About
Tur Levnon, the 2017 Christmas events, and the importance of reviving Syriac language. https://www.facebook.com/SMUTurLevnon/videos/1777779515860003/

2017, December 6, Radio MBS, about Syriac identity and about the
2017 Christmas events of Tur Levnon from December 8 to December
21:
Recital of Baabda (Antonin College) on December 8.
Recital of Bikfaya (St Mikhael Church) on December 16.
Christmas Market of Bikfaya on December 15, 16 and 17.
Christmas Convoy in Beirut and suburbs on December 21.
https://youtu.be/TtFw2M8tayk

2017, December 4, Suryoyo TV Sweden, about Syriac identity and about the 2017 Christmas events of Tur Levnon from December 8 to December 21.
https://www.facebook.com/syriac.suroyo/videos/1931804563737756/

2017, December 3, OTV, about the 2017 Christmas events of Tur Levnon from December 8 to December 21. https://www.facebook.com/SMUTurLevnon/videos/1772419423062679/

2017, December 2, MTV, about the 2017 Christmas events of Tur
Levnon from December 8 to December 21.

https://l.facebook.com/l.php?u=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.youtube.com%2Fwatch%3Fv%3D0nAhnpqBAHM&h=ATOMZTe8sPeIjSMTZm3ogv-IkLxcxWcYUSeD4XWK0Gn6YFmSf-thatPtayZZu5EnFo8on9qsrVeMa_974JbL9UuG2zWvbTB2wICLlSE8Zz6n76GoyzM&s=1&enc=AZPaykVXI85f-F0m6KyuvVc8NWflo4JQF7MdAI6SazNS8KvjZOykn5tjQrv-r10ListkPsmMAAqcv_S9rM0HxXTZ

2017, November 23, Mariam TV, about Tur Levnon Christmas events:
Récital of December 8, recital of December 16, Christmas Market on
December 16 and 17, Tur Levnon convoy in Beirut on December 21.
https://youtu.be/BlTPRl0fHlE

2017, November 20, Charity TV, about Tur Levnon Christmas events:
Récital of December 8, recital of December 16, Christmas Market on
December 16 and 17, Tur Levnon convoy in Beirut on December 21.
https://youtu.be/hcjKVn459_8

2017, Sep 16 and sep 17 : Télé Lumière – Nour Sat, showing the
entire Recital including the speech of Tur Levnon.

2017, Sep 3 : MTV : About the Mar Maroun Syriac Maronite Recital
https://www.facebook.com/SMUTurLevnon/
https://youtu.be/TbCa7TCyuwY

2017, August 27, OTV, in Yom Jdid, about the Mar Maroun Syriac
Maronite Récital.
https://m.facebook.com/story.php?story_fbid=1738736806430941&id=152
3804814590809

2017, August 14, Charity TV, interview by Rita Breidi, about the Mar
Maroun Syriac Maronite Récital.
https://m.facebook.com/story.php?story_fbid=10155650876805409&id=44
1062996260999

2017, June 30, on Radio Liban Culture RCL 88.5 and 92.3 FM. About Tur Levnon.
https://www.facebook.com/SMUTurLevnon/videos/481880818845883/

2017, June 25 : Radio Liban Libre : RLL : interview by Ildico Elia:
about Tur Levnon, its launching in New York, the Recital in Saint-
Maron, the aims and future activities.
https://m.facebook.com/story.php?story_fbid=481875312179767&id=1523
804814590809

2017, June 23 : Article in Annahar, by Roula Mouawad :about Tur Levnon, its launching in New York, and the Recital in Saint-Maron.

2017, June 21 : MTV Lebanon:about Tur Levnon, its launching in New York, and the Recital in Saint-Maron.

https://l.facebook.com/l.php?u=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.youtube.com%2Fwatch%3Fv%3DGLTLSyOQ7qU&h=ATMFb7L29eGUyRej9L5rFnv5t2D3IG2xaLonKV7LkT4LCzFLFFhlYxb5Pmjx0KRMZIOJhegyBPFWtPX8qwcOQ8sJab86dK6dKG9j5KJPQ&s=1&enc=AZO5ni6XxBjlxeon0GWfJuQVeiDgz9htp21q04-yykjJd6SiDZ5nOt2wqR7a9hTdog4ryvOQdSaXgXrEeGHMbrjm

2017, June 19 : Suryoyo TV Sweden:
about Tur Levnon, its launching in New York, and the Recital in Saint-
Maron.
https://m.facebook.com/story.phpstory_fbid=1421427361279838&id=607632149326034

2017, June 14 : OTV Lebanon:
about Tur Levnon, its launching in New York, and the Recital in Saint-
Maron.
https://m.facebook.com/story.phpstory_fbid=446233792410586&id=441062996260999

2017, January 28: MTV (Lebanon), in Alive (Katia Mendlek), “Syriac,the language of the Maronites”:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9PVu-lfxPoY&app=desktop (15mn).

2016, October 9: MTV (Lebanon), in Tahkik (Claude Abounader
Hindi), “our villages, our roots”, (About Syriac heritage in Lebanon:
names, locations, art, architecture, inscriptions, language, history).
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xqBTrJFOXaU (50mn).

2016, March 21; and September 9; and October 10: SUROYO TV
(Sweden): “Syriac, identity, and the Christian presence in Lebanon”,

2012, June 9: MTV (Lebanon), in Beynétna (Katia Mendlek) : “Syriac, the language of the Maronites”. https://www.facebook.com/Suryoyoo/videos/1125259074184146/?hc_ref=PAGES_TIMELINE (18mn).

2012, June 19: SURYOYO SAT (Sweden): Syriac, the language of
the Maronites.

2007, July 12: TELE LUMIERE, Souryaniyat: « Who are the
Syriacs?».

2006, March 21: Voix du Liban Libre (interview in Arabic), The
teaching of Syriac language.

2005, September 2: TELE LUMIERE, Al minbar al Horr : « The Syriac heritage of Lebanon».

2002, Octobre 17: ORBIT 3, in Ouyoun Beirut: La Nouvelle Cilicie.

2002, October 18: Voice of Van (Armenian radio, interview in Arabic),
La Nouvelle Cilicie.

CONTACTS
Office: Breezevale center, Zalka, Beirut, Lebanon.

President:
Amine-Jules Iskandar

Vice President:
Angela Bitar Semaan

Lebanon Youths Activities:
Joseph BouKaram
Ramy Atallah

France:
Roger Doueyri

Sweden:
Habib Dilmac (President)
Philip Josefsson

USA (New York):
Charbel Makhlouf

Canada:
Tom Hanna

Argentina:
Daniel Asade