The Official Trailer of GISHRU – The Documentary
Since 2008, GISHRU – Bridge to Assyria has been organizing and leading annual educational and birthright trips to the Assyrian homeland. Usually scheduled on the occasion of the ancient Assyrian-Babylonian New Year (also known as Akitu) in the spring, participants from all over the diaspora travel to the remnants of the ancient Assyrian empire to connect with their community, their antiquities, and their land.
The goal of GISHRU is to strengthen the bond between Assyrians in the diaspora and in the homeland, gain awareness and deep understanding of the community and history of Assyria, renew the responsibility of the diaspora toward the homeland, and build the bridge between Assyrians globally to enrich and preserve the Assyrian identity for generations to come!
Throughout the excursion, participants experience the rich history of their ancestors as they walk within the confines of ancient Assyrian city walls while witnessing the vibrant community and culture still manifested in the surrounding towns and villages. The GISHRU trip offers daily activities and trips to ancient Assyrian historical sites, villages and towns, Assyrian schools where all subjects are taught entirely in Aramaic, and the best day of all, walking among tens of thousands of our people, chanting, singing and dancing joys of Akitu!
GISHRU works diligently with partner organizations in Assyria to bring an exciting itinerary each year. It usually includes attending Akitu festivities in Nohadra, visiting our villages in the Nineveh Plains region, Barwar, Zakho, the cities of Erbil and Nohadra, historical sites such as Khinis, Raban Hurmiz, Mar Mattai and much more. Participants will also have the opportunity to experience the achievements of our Assyrian organizations with visits to local Assyrian schools and organization centers and to meet prominent leaders within the Assyrian community.
Daily tours and activities are grouped by regions. A typical day begins with the group waking up to have breakfast together prior to the arrival of the tour bus. While on the bus, the tour guide reviews the specific day’s itinerary which may include visiting of a few villages, meeting the local organizations to learn of the local people’s current situation, lunch at Assyrian centers, and stopping at an archeological site. Once the scheduled daily activities are complete, the bus returns the participants to the hotel where they can wind down before the evening group dinner or outing.
A passenger bus is guided through an educational tour, directed by representatives of participating organizations and GISHRU tour guides. Participants will also be provided with an educational pamphlet with maps, historical facts of towns, villages and historical sites.
This is a Homeland trip to Assyria that emphasizes the significance of appreciating the history, culture, and traditions of Assyria while providing an enriching and educational experience.
GISHRU Presentation at the 2012 AANF Convention
You will need to ensure you have a valid passport for travel outside of your country. GISHRU suggests you complete all necessary passport requirements early to avoid any issues. Please consult your country’s passport agency for specific time frames and guidelines.
Many times Visas are obtained in the connecting country on our way to Assyria (i.e. Turkey, Germany, etc.) in order to pass through. That is usually $20-25 American. Most participants will have to obtain a Visa in Assyria if you are planning to stay more than ten days. We usually visit the embassy mid-trip. This usually takes 4-5 hours.
We will have representatives with us from ADM Iraq who make sure the process runs as smooth as possible. If you are Iraqi born, you do not have to obtain a visa. Unfortunately, there is no embassy outside of Iraq that issues visas; therefore we have to visit the embassy there.
If your father was born in Iraq, please bring a copy of his passport (it’s ok if you cannot).
All participants will be staying in an Assyrian owned hotel, if available. Hotel rooms are typically suite style with two bedrooms, a bathroom, kitchen and seating area.
GISHRU will ensure that there is transportation for all items listed on the itinerary. Any transportation needed for non-Gishru scheduled visits will need to be secured by the individual.
GISHRU is committed to bringing an unforgettable experience to all its participants in a safe environment. Travel will be limited to the region of northern Iraq and with the guidance and participation of active local organizations and trip organizers.
As with visiting any foreign country, travelers should be courteous to local etiquette to avoid unwelcomed attention. A safety/security orientation will be presented upon participants’ arrival to Iraq.
If this is your first time outside of your country or your first time in Iraq, there are a few things you’ll need to know to help you prepare for the trip:
The trip will come at a fixed cost to all participants (excluding the flight). The cost will include travel within the visiting country, accommodations, and meals. The cost will be updated per each trip and will be available on the application.
What to Pack
The weather in northern Iraq is usually beautiful towards the end of March and beginning of April. It is advised that you bring casual and comfortable clothes and shoes. Bring layered clothing in case it is windy. Bring semi-formal attire for special events and celebrations. Clothes can be washed at the hotel for a fee at your convenience. Pack light and coordinate with fellow participants on what items will be shared to minimize the extra luggage.
Please see following suggested list:
- All medications
- Prescription glasses and contact lenses (3 oz bottle)
- 1 light jacket, 1 heavy jacket
- 2 pairs of jeans and/or pants
- 4 short-sleeved t-shirts
- 4 long-sleeved shirts
- 2 sweatshirts
- 12 pairs of underwear
- 12 pairs of socks
- 1 pair of comfortable shoes for walking
- 1 pair of nice shoes for semi-formal attire
- 1 semi-formal outfit
- 1 towel (hotel has towels but bring one in case)
- Plastic bags for wet or dirty clothes
- Sunglasses and Sunscreen
- Camera, charger and/or batteries
- Adapter for electrical appliances (see “electronics section” for more details)
For the most part, electrical sockets (outlets) in the Republic of Iraq are one of three types: the “Type C” European CEE 7/16 Europlug, the “Type G” British BS-1363 or the “Type D” Indian 5 amp BS-546. It’s just anybody’s guess as to which of the three types will be installed at any given specific location. If your appliance’s plug doesn’t match the shape of these sockets, you will need a travel plug adapter in order to plug in. Travel plug adapters simply change the shape of your appliance’s plug to match whatever type of socket you need to plug into. If it’s crucial to be able to plug in no matter what, bring an adapter for all three types.
- Adapter for “Type C” European CEE 7/16 Europlug
- Adapter for “Type G” British BS-1363
- Adapter for “Type D” Indian BS-546
Electrical sockets (outlets) in the Republic of Iraq usually supply electricity at between 220 and 240 volts AC. If you’re plugging in an appliance that was built for 220-240 volt electrical input, or an appliance that is compatible with multiple voltages, then an adapter is all you need.
However, travel plug adapters do not change the voltage, so the electricity coming through the adapter will still be the same 220-240 volts the socket is supplying. North American sockets supply electricity at between 110 and 120 volts, far lower than in most of the rest of the world. Consequently, North American appliances are generally built for 110-120 volts.
Participants will have the opportunity to purchase an inexpensive mobile phone with GSM technology or you can bring one from home. Calling cards can be used with these phones.
As Iraq continues to build its infrastructure, it is important to note that you cannot rely on your debit/credit card for transactions. US currency are widely accepted in Northern Iraq and you will have the option of converting your cash to Iraqi currency while in the country. Most travelers have brought $500 US dollars with them as pocket money and have not experienced any issues.
The GISHRU Trip is scheduled to begin during the end of March and will usually come to an end before mid-April. With that in mind, please note that the averages below take into account the entire months of March and April and not just the timeframe of this trip. You will want to pack accordingly; it is recommended that you do bring a light jacket as the nights can get a bit cool.
|Average Minimum||Average Maximum||Average Temperature|
|March||9 °C||48.2 °F||22 °C||71.6 °F||16 °C||60.8 °F|
|April||15 °C||59 °F||29 °C||84.2 °F||22 °C||71.6 °F|
As the GISHRU group travels from village to village and site to site, you will have the joy of experiencing the most hospitable environment. It is expected that every participant uphold the greatest respect to those people and organizations that have been so welcoming. Please remember that we are visitors in their homes/schools/buildings and that proper etiquette should be demonstrated at all times.
SIGN UP FOR THE GISHRU SUMMER 2017 TRIP
Please use the link below to submit your required, but fully refundable deposit for the GISHRU 2017 trip. No application will be processed without it. THIS IS ONLY FOR THOSE WHO HAVE RECEIVED AND SUBMITTED AN APPLICATION.