Stockholm (AINA) -- The number of Assyrians in
Sweden is expected to rise as a result of the
war in Syria. The municipality of Södertälje, 30
Kilometers south of Stockholm, reports the arrival
of 3-5 families each week. This number is expected
to because Södertälje has a large Assyrian com-
munity, which attracts new arrivals to settle down
among friends and relatives.
Fearing this development, local authorities have held
talks with the Assyrian Federation of Sweden to try
to find ways to help newcomers to settle in other
"We understand the concerns of the authorities and
will do what we can to persuade our people to settle
in other areas with Assyrian communities," says
Afram Yakoub, chairman of the Assyrian Federation
of Sweden. "Södertälje has welcomed many im-
migrants in the past and it would be better for the
newcomers as well to go to other places as job
opportunities might be better and social services
less strained there.
Recent developments in Syria leads many Assyrians
to believe they are going to face a situation similar
to the one during the war in Iraq, where their num-
bers have dwindled. Just like in previous years in
Iraq, Assyrians in Syria are experiencing a surge
in threats, kidnappings and murders.
Of the nearly 100,000 Assyrians in Sweden, 25,000
live in Södertälje, which has a population of 61,000.