Who We Are
The Assyrian Foundation of America (“AFA”) was established in San Francisco, Calif. in 1964 to fulfill specific needs of Assyrians. The organization is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit, tax exempt organization registered in the state of California established to help needy Assyrians around the world, support Assyrian education, and preserve and promote the Assyrian language and culture. The AFA has no affiliation with any church or religious group, or any political group or organization. Every day, for over 47 years, we declare our determination to help those in need and to be the window of hope to keep Assyria alive.
Through the welfare program AFA has continually assisted impoverished Assyrians worldwide. As a result of the Assyrian refugee crisis that has existed during the last couple decades caused by the Iran-Iraq War, the Gulf War, and the economic embargo on Iraq, the AFA has expanded its welfare program to refugees in Syria, Jordan, Austria, Greece and Turkey. A concerted effort has been made to help the Assyrians in Iraq, especially, where it has been reported poverty in great magnitude has stricken. Thousands of dollars have been expended for specific purpose such as the medical aid, emergency relief projects, Assyrian charity clinics and hospitals, and Atra project for improving lives of Assyrians in Northern Iraq.
“….The Assyrian Foundation invests in the future of Assyria by financially supporting Assyrian students who are in the pursuit of their Masters and/or PhD. So there will come a day, where there won’t be only one Nineb Lamassu, one Dr. Sargon Donabed, one Aryo Makko, one Shamiran Mako, or one Dr. Hannibal Travis, but there will be multitude Assyrian scholars in the field of Assyriology who will with their research and documentation finally set the Assyrian history straight, teach, promote and preserve the Assyrian heritage for generations to come”
(Mr. Nineb Lamussu).
Since inception, AFA has been involved in numerous cultural and educational projects including the publication of Nineveh magazine, books, hosting lectures and establishing a book-fund at UC Berkeley. We have made substantial grants to Assyrian schools in Iran, Iraq, Syria and Lebanon. With the generous support of its members as well as non-members, locally and abroad, AFA has helped build schools and dormitories and organized Assyrian classes for the children of refugees. Additionally, we have made grants to individual students based on consideration of both academic merit and financial needs. Today AFA’s main focus on education is to help students who are involved at the post-graduate level in Assyriology and related fields where we are underrepresented. It is our hope and vision that these students and graduates will become our champions both in protecting and preserving our history and culture.
“Despite all the hardship our people are going through around the world today, Assyria is alive and will remain alive as long as we continue to preserve, strengthen and promote our culture and heritage”
(Dr. Joe Elias)