the GISHRU TRIP experience
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.
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 organizations, tours in the Assyrian-run Nineveh Plain Protection Unit headquarters, and to meet prominent leaders within the Assyrian community.
Check out the GISHRU | The Documentary to learn more!
What are the Travel Essentials?
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.
For trips including Turkey, you will need a Visa which can be obtained either online or upon landing. Otherwise, Visas to Iraq will vary and we will provide you more up-to-date information once signed-up for the trip.
All participants will be staying in either Assyrian-owned or -managed hotels. Hotel rooms will vary, some will be suite-style with bedrooms and kitchen and others traditional junior suite style with two queen beds. You should expect to be paired up with a roommate of equal gender. During travel to remote villages, we will be staying in Assyrian family homes.
All transportation during the Trip will be planned for and provided by GISHRU. We work with our partner organizations to secure Assyrian-run transportation. This includes pick-up and drop-off at airport.
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.