On Sunday night, Syrian Americans converged in North Hollywood for a candlelight vigil for victims of ISIS in Syria. The Assyrian American Association of Southern California (AAASC), headquartered in North Hollywood, held a prayer vigil inside their building, then a fundraiser and vigil outside.
ISIS has destroyed ancient Assyrian artifacts in the cities of Mosul and Nimrud in an attempt to wipe out 6,000 years of Assyrian history. Two Assyrian charities, the Assyrian Aid Society and the Assyrian Church of the East Relief Organization have collectively raised over $300,000 for relief efforts for victims of ISIS.
Georgik Hormoz, president of the Assyrian American Association of Southern California, told the Daily News, “There are so many people here with broken hearts because of the situation. We are coming together in unity.”
One attendee told KTLA, “It’s as if they are trying to wipe out the entire ancestral heritage of that area and it’s like a wiping out of our identity.”
ISIS has pillaged roughly three dozen villages in northern Syria, kidnapping over 300 people, mostly women and children, and displacing 3,000 Syrians.
Although the event was held by Syrian-Americans, all were welcome to attend.