On the morning of Friday June 16, 2006, a ChaldoAssyrian Syriac delegation from Chicago and Phoenix ascended to the Hilton in Scottsdale, AZ as invited guests to a lunch in honor of United States Senator Jon Kyl.
First Lady Laura Bush was also present, to support the candidacy of Honorable Jon Kyl as the keynote speaker. This ChaldoAssyrian Syriac delegation's mission was not only to congratulate the Senator as well as the First Lady on their rightful stances on Iraqi democracy, but to voice and elaborate the alarming crossroads at which the ChaldoAssyrian Syriac Nation stands.
The ChaldoAssyrian Syriac delegation was comprised of prominent and active members of this Nation. In attendance were the North American Head of the Assyrian Democratic Movement (ADM) Dr. Adam Benjamin, ADM Public Relations Director Dr. Agnes Merza, ADM Phoenix Chapter Directors Mr. Noel Kando and Mr. Sargon Zomaya, Chairman of Public Relations of the Assyrian American National Federation, Mr. Sam Darmo and his wife, Secretary of the Assyrian American Association of Arizona, Mr. Steve Younan and his wife, as well as the Chairman of the Assyrian Chaldean Syriac Student Movement Mr. Joseph Danavi. The delegation checked in at the Hilton hotel at 11:00 am to participate in a cocktail hour with prominent members of the United States Government as well as other beneficiaries.
As a member of the elite Host of Committees for Honorable Jon Kyl, Sam Darmo was invited to a private reception with both Senator Jon Kyl and First Lady Laura Bush. At this exclusive function, Sam Darmo privately expressed the distress of the ChaldoAssyrian Syriac Nation in regards to human, civic, religious, geographical, and political rights. On behalf of the entire delegation, Sam Darmo presented the First Lady with a detailed compilation of our rights and voice infringements in Iraq.
Within the compilation, a transcript of the June 6, 2006 press conference at the National Press Club in Washington D.C., following the demonstration led by the Assyrian Democratic Movement, as well as the official memoranda the Assyrian Democratic Movement presented to U.S. Government leaders and to the Iraqi Ambassador to the United States during these demonstrations.
The First Lady was ecstatic, yet alarmed by the report presented to her regarding the deplorable conditions of the ChaldoAssyrian Syriac and Christian populous in Iraq as well as the impoverished refugees scattered in neighboring countries. She assured and guaranteed the delegation that the report would be hand delivered to President George W. Bush that same night.
Mr. Sam Darmo of the Assyrian American National Federation said he believed "this was a historic event due to the fact that some of the most important and active organizations representing our unified nation were present to hand deliver the anguished message of our nation to President George Bush through the First Lady."
Following the private reception between Mr. Sam Darmo, Honorable Jon Kyl, and First Lady Laura Bush, the main event resumed with lunch being served. During the luncheon, both Honorable Jon Kyl and keynote speaker Laura Bush spoke about the prospects and tribulations affecting the United States of America. They both reaffirmed their stance to root out the evil and terrorism that is infuriating Iraq and their promise to stay the course for a democratic and secure Iraq.
Following the speeches and lunch, members of the ChaldoAssyrian Syriac delegation were given an opportunity to greet and meet with the First Lady, US Senator Jon Kyl, and other statesmen and diplomats.
Dr. Adam Benjamin of the Assyrian Democratic Movement, along with the delegation, amplified the prospects and concerns about the status of the Christian ChaldoAssyrian Syriac Nation in Iraq and its surrounding areas in this meeting session. In his discussion with both First Lady Laura Bush and US Senator Jon Kyl, he stressed that ADM has been the only ChaldoAssyrian Syriac and Christian organization that not only was a part of President Bush's Liberation Act, but has been a part of the Iraqi Opposition Parties (those against Saddam Hussein) since its inception.
He avowed that one of the missions of ADM is directly aligned with that of the United States: the establishment and promotion of a free, democratic, united, secular, and secure Iraq with protected human and civic rights bestowed to all her citizens.
He then informed both dignitaries of the extensive oppression afflicting the ChaldoAssyrian Syriac Nation in Iraq, not only in the areas of physical harm and ethnic cleansing, but also in the political arena. He relayed the discontent arising from the sidelined and trampled voice of the ChaldoAssyrian Syriac Nation through the appointment of subservient, Kurdish-affiliated, and unelected ChaldoAssyrian Syriacs in place of the popularly and democratically elected independent Assyrian Democratic Movement.
Dr. Benjamin concluded the conversation with US Senator and the First Lady by cautiously alerting them "that the only means to preserve and secure our culture, faith, historical and geographical identity is through the establishment of an administrative unit in Iraq for the Christian ChaldoAssyrian Syriac peoples in the ancestral homeland."
After the salutations and photo shots, both the First Lady Laura Bush and Honorable Jon Kyl personally thanked the delegation for their participation and for voicing their concerns.
The US Senator from Arizona concluded the delegation's attendance and visit by stressing that "the fate of the Assyrians in Iraq is certainly in my mind as well as the President's."