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Johny Messo

World Council of Arameans
Johny Messo

Johny Messo graduated in 2007 from Leiden University in Hebrew and Aramaic Languages and Cultures. About 25 years ago, he decided to dedicate himself to revitalizing and advocating for the Aramean (Syriac) people, who are indigenous to Southeast Turkey, Syria, Iraq and Lebanon.
Over the years, Mr. Messo assumed various positions until he was elected, on 10 October 2009, as the president of the World Council of Arameans (Syriacs) – since 1983 the global umbrella organization of the Arameans and since 1999 an NGO in special consultative status with the United Nations. For more information, see For over a decade, Mr. Messo has worked on a number of questions pertaining to Turkey, Iraq and Syria as well as to migration, refugees, diaspora and identity issues. Because of his strategic and visionary thinking and his inspirational leadership, he is internationally recognized for giving a new meaning to leadership, networking, advocacy and diplomacy among the Aramean people.
His publications and numerous presentations across Europe, America, India, Australia and the Middle East relate to past, present and future issues concerning the Aramean people and their cultural heritage. For more information, see

Selected Publications:

Selected Publications:

- Arameans and the Making of ‘Assyrians’: The Last Aramaic-speaking Christians of the Middle East(Aramaic Press, 2017).

- “The Origin of the Terms ‘Syria(n)’ & Sūryoyo: Once Again,” in Parole de l’Orient36 (2011), pp. 111-125.

- “The Toponym ‘Aramea’ [Orom] in Two Early Syriac Writers (Part I),” in the German-based magazine Mardutho d-Suryoye 19:59 (Oct.-Dec., 2007), pp. 25-27.

- “The Indigenous Origins of the Arameans of Upper Mesopotamia,” published in the Swedish-based magazine Bahro Suryoyo[“Syriac Light”] Parts 1/2 and 2/2, published in Nrs. 6-7 (2005), pp. 22-24 and in Nr. 8 (2005), pp. 21-25.

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