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Hope in Aramaic Studies Journal?

By Robert Jennings

The scholarly journal ARAM features contributions by both Arabs and Israelis (and others) about ancient (and sometimes modern) Aramaic-language culture. Some of the Israeli authors appear to have worked in Jordan. There’s even one article co-written by a Haifa U / Yarmouk U duo.

Aramaic was the lingua franca of the Fertile Crescent from around 700 BCE to 700 CE. Originating among the Aramaean peoples of Syria, and closely related to both Hebrew and Arabic, it gradually replaced Hebrew as the first language of most Jews, and was also an official language in the Arab Nabataean kingdom (which inhabited Petra, among other sites now in and around Jordan). The contemporary Hebrew and Arabic alphabets are both derived from the ancient Aramaic alphabet.

Modern forms of Aramaic are spoken by the Assyrian and Mandaean peoples of Iraq, and by scattered and dwindling communities of both Christians and Muslims throughout the region. Aramaic is also a significant liturgical language in Judaism (e.g., the Kaddish memorial prayer) and in various Eastern Christian (including Arab-Christian) communities.

The journal is basically non-political, but that’s common in philology publications. It serves as a good example of the totally awesome niche research that would be stifled if BDS gets its way.

If we were to try to guilt people out of BDS with this argument, would they care? Just kidding, I already know the answer.

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