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Aisor (Aturai, as they call themselves), a people living in Iran, Iraq, Turkey, Syria, Jordan, Lebanon, and the United States, and in the USSR and some other European countries. The total population is over 1 million (22,000 in the USSR in 1959). The modern Assyrian (Neo-Syriac) language belongs to the Hamito-Semitic family of languages. Religious Assyrians are Christians (mostly Nestorians). Most Assyrians are farmers. In some eastern countries Assyrians retain remnants of the tribal structure. In the USSR, most Assyrians live in cities. They regard themselves as descendants of the ancient Assyrians, and a substantial number of them retain many ancient customs, traditions, and cultural elements.
REFERENCESMatveev, K. P. (Bar-Mattai), and I. I. Mar-Iukhanna. Assiriiskii vopros vo vremia i posle pervoi mirovoi voiny (1914–1933). Moscow, 1968.
Wigram, W. A. The Assyrians and Their Neighbors. London, 1929.
K. P. MATVEEV