Welcome to Syriac Aramaic Academic Association (SAAF)
This is a brief introduction to SAAF for those Syriac/Aramaic people who do not understand swedish.
Saaf is a christian academic association in Sweden with purpose to try to motivate people to pursue a
higher education. As the Syriac/Aramaic youth began to pursue higher education in Sweden we saw that
there is a need for an association for these and coming students. For present students we work to
strengthen the solidarity between the Syriac/Aramaic students and by doing that they can help each
other in school and also have fun together. Another important thing is to promote and increase the
knowledge of Syriac/Aramaic traditions and the language among ourselves but also to the outside world.
Therefore we have dancing lecturers, we participate in other Syriac/Aramaic organisations activities,
throw parties and so on. For the future students we go out to high schools with many Syriac/Aramaic
youth and motivate them to continue their studies. However, the most important for them is that they
see that there are Syriac/Aramaic people at universities and colleges and thereby they might feel
that they also can do it.
SAAF started off as a small association in 2002, mainly by students that used to have coffee together
and help each other anyway. Now it has grown to six local associations at six different universities
and colleges in Sweden and is reaching 500 members. The number of Syriac/Aramaic academics should be
seen as an underestimation as many academics in Sweden are not members for different reasons. However,
there are Syriac/Aramaic students within most disciplines of education, everything from Aero Space
Engineer to Doctors and experts in political science. There is also a course in the Syriac/Aramaic
language taught by a Swedish professor in Uppsala University. Currently, there are about 20
Syriac/Aramaic youth participating in that course.
SAAF is open to all academics, also non-Swedish academics which has caused this introduction in
English. All Syriac/Aramaic's in Sweden speaks and writes very well English and now SAAF is
interested in academics from abroad. SAAF is interested in hearing from academics from other
countries and about the situation for Syriac/Aramaic youth there. Basically, you are welcome to
write about anything and if SAAF finds it interesting we will publish it on our webpage. We can
only accept it if written in English though. So please, send in your opinion. We also have a
chronicle where you may reflect about anything.
Hope you find SAAF giving!
Facts about Sweden:
- A population of about 9 million.
- About 50.000 Syriac/Aramaic people in several cities but the main concentration with about 10.000 in Södertälje south of Stockholm.
- Universities and Colleges are free, there is no tuition fee. However, you pay your own living costs and literature expenses.
- The main problems facing Syriacs/Aramaics in Sweden is the lack of knowledge about the people among Swedes. They have hard time understanding that we are Christians as we come from Minor Asia. Furthermore, Sweden is based on an individual system (everyone can take care of themselves) which is a contrast to the collective families we are used to. Lastly, winter last for almost 6 months and in the darkest day in Stockholm, the sun rise about 10 am and fall 2.20 pm. Basically, we live in a constantly darkness for about 2 months.