ICMCP 2023 | Event Date: Friday, 31st, March 2023
International Conference on Migration Challenges and Prospects Special Focus on Syrian Christians migration from West Asia to the Oriental Region (9th Century AD)
Department of Languages of Hindustan Institute of Technology and Science in Chennai, India, organized an International Conference on Migration Challenges and Prospects on March 31st, 2023.
The conference aimed to explore the historical and cultural significance of the migration of Syrian Christians to the Oriental Region in the 9th century AD. It also aimed to analyze the challenges and prospects of migration, including issues related to cultural identity, integration and the political and economic factors that drive migration, identity, integration and the political and economic factors that drive migration.
The conference was attended by over 200 internal scholars, external researchers and experts in migration studies from both Tamil N?du and Kerala. 75 papers were presented on Migration of Syrian Christians. The conference featured a series of keynote speeches, international experts messages on the themes of the conference, migration and spirituality, migration and economic development, migration and societal development, migration and language, migration and literacy. There were poster presentations on various aspects of migration, including the history and culture of Syrian Christians, their migration patterns and the challenges and opportunities they faced in the Oriental Region.
The inaugural ceremony of the International conference on migration challenges and prospects began with an invocation song in Syriac language by the students and faculties of HITS followed by a prayer by Rev. Justin Jose, the student Chaplin of HITS. Dr. R. W. Alexander Jesudasan, Pro vice chancellor of HITS welcomed the chief guest Mr. T. P. Sreenivasan, the Guest of Honour Mr. S. Peter Alphonse, Founder Chancellor of HITS Dr. Mrs. Elizabeth Verghese, Chancellor Anand Jacob Verghese, Pro Chancellor Mr. Ashok G Verghese, Vice Chancellor Dr. S. N. Sridhara and the entire management of Hindustan. He introduced the theme of the conference, Migration challenges and prospects with special focus on Syrian Christian from West Asia to the Oriental Region and greeted all the participants. The event was graced by Founder Chancellor, Dr. Mrs. Elizabeth Verghese and she showed keen interest and encouraged the event.
Mr. Ashok Varghese, Pro chancellor of HITS delivered the presidential address. He was happy that His Grace The Most Rev. Dr. Theodosius Mar Thoma Metropolitan, Mar Thoma Syrian Church has sent his special message and blessings organising this historic event commemorating the 1200th Anniversary celebrations of the migration of the Assyrian Aramean from West Asia to Kollam. On behalf of the Management, members of the Thulasery Manapurathu Tharavad members, staff, students and research scholars he extended his thanks to the Bishop for his message.
On behalf of the Management he expressed his profound happiness to have in our midst the Chief Guest Mr. T.P. Sreenivasan, Mr. S. Peter Alphonse, Prof. Babu Zachariah ParackaL, Patron, Thulassery Manapurathu Tharvad, Key note speaker, Dr. S. Irudayarajan, Chair, International Institute for Migration and Development, Govt. of India and other dignitaries including priests, eminent scholars and presenters of all other institutions specially thanked Mr. Gewargis Acis, Social Worker and Teacher and Indian Representative of World Council of Arameans who has shared his message for the conference organised at HITS. He added that during the inaugural event the second Marwan Sabore Iso award was bestowed posthumously to his beloved father Late Dr. K.C.G Verghese, Founder of Hindustan Group of Institutions acknowledging his contributions to society and education.
He was proud to note the messages and papers received from Dr. Johannes Preiser Kapeller, Senior Researcher, Institute of Medieval Research of the Austrian Academy of Sciences, Dr. Charlombos Gasparis, Research Director, Institute of Historical Research, Athens, Greece, Dr. Andrew Philominraj, Director, Doctorate in Education in Consortium, Universidad Catolica del Maule, Chile.
He also appreciated that the organising team has brought out a documentary encapsulating the Syrian Christian migration history and documented several historical places, events and evolution of Syrian Christian Migration. He congratulated the Department of Languages for successful conduct of the event.
A recorded message from the Bishop, His Grace the most Rev. Dr. Theodosius, Mar Thoma Metropolitian, Metropolitan Mar Thoma Syrian Church was played where he gave a brief narration on the history of the migration of the Syrian Christians and how the migrants were attached to the Indian communities. He appreciated the Hindustan Institute of Technology & Science for hosting the conference and he also had a special word of appreciation of Late Dr. KCG Verghese, Founder Chairman who has contributed immensely for the society and education. He added that people slowly migrated to places around Kerala which led to the spread of Syrian Christianity.
Dr. A. Sherine Joy, Head, Department of Languages and Rankings shared the overview of the conference. She mentioned that the brain child behind the conduct of this international conference is Mr. Ashok Verghese, Pro Chancellor, HITS this was proposed after he attended the event in May 2022 pertaining to the 1200th Anniversary celebrations of the migration of the Assyrian Aramean from West Asia to Kollam. The first international symposium was held at Kerala in September 2022 and HITS in collaboration with University of Kerala conducted the event, our staff representatives Dr Thejas, AP Languages presented a paper related to Syrian Christian Migration and Dr Joanna, Professor Civil, Department also graced the event and felicitated. As a sequel to this symposium and also coinciding with the one year completion of the 1200 anniversary celebration SLASS, Dept of Languages, HITS has hosted the conference.
This ICMC conference is unique and first of its kind conducted by University. Eminent members of the Thulasery Manapurathu Tharavadu members, especially with the constant and untiring support of Mr. Arun Babu Zachariah , Member of the , MCC, Dr. Joy Thomas, Prof. IISC Bengaluru, and other eminent experts in the field of migration Dr. Rev. John Prasad, Dr. Daniel Jeyaraj Director, Institute of Advanced Christian Studies, MCC, Dr. Daniel Jeyaraj, Professor Emeritus of World Christianity, Liverpool Hope University with all their constant guidance we were able to proceed with the conduct of this conference. I m proud to inform we received more than 65 papers from across the nation and globe and it includes papers from Dr. Charlambos Gasparis, Research Director, Institute of Historical Research, National Hellenic Research Foundation, Athens, Greece, Dr. Johannes Preiser-Kapeller Department of Byzantine Research/Institute for Medieval Research, Vienna. We are happy to note that we received papers on five themes related to the themes of the conference with focus on Migration and Spirituality, Migration and economic development, migration and societal development, migration and literacy, migration and transformation in language and culture. We also have poster presentations by students based on the themes which is exhibited near the premises of the conference. A documentary comprising the history of migration of Syrian Christians its evolution, and progress has been captured by the students of Visual Communication, by the guidance of Rev.Justin Jose, Student Chaplain and Dr. Nirmala, HOD Viscom, this is a tremendous effort by students and the entire production team, and also the staff of Dept of Languages Dr. Sonu Joseph and Mr Ben Milton for the voice over of the video documentary.
With the blessings of Almighty and prayers and wishes from His Grace The Most Rev. Dr. Theodosius Mar Thoma Metropolitan, Mar Thoma Syrian Church, I would like to end the overview of the event wishing all the best to the presenters and thank the Management for giving us an opportunity to host this international conference. Thankyou
The Abstract volumes was released by the Chief Guest Shri T. P. Sreenivasan and the first copy was received by the Pro Chancellor Mr. Ashok Verghese, Pro Chancellor, HITS. The felicitation was done by Dr. S. N. Sridhara, Vice Chancellor of HITS and Dr. Babu Zachariah, Representing Thallasery Tharavad. The Guest of Honour, Mr. Peter Alphonse, Chairman of State Minority Commission, Tamil Nadu delivered the speech on migration from the pre-historic era. He began his speech by saying that people should value the past, understand the present and should have a vision about the future. He called prehistoric men as insignificant humans who did not think about other species. Men became wise after the evolution of 'Homo Sapiens'. They gathered plants, hunted animals and jumped to the top of food chain. After cognitive revolution, they went from caves to silicon valley and from discovering places to planets. He says St. Thomas found receptive audience when he came to Kerala. He further stated that there are more than six million migrants in Kerala and nearly 10% of them are Syrian Christians. He concluded by saying that Syrian Christian community is oldest a developed community which has a great commitment to education. Chief Guest of the event Mr. T. P. Sreenivasan, former ambassador and permanent representative of India to the United Nations addressed the audience. He started off reiterating the fact that India is land which is open to all cultures. According to him, developed countries are more benefited from migration. Despite migration Indians retained their identity. Students of HITS entertained the audience with Margamkali dance performance, a traditional Syrian Christian dance.
During the Valedictory session , Dr. Alexander Jesudasan, Pro Vice Chancellor distributed prizes to the winners.
Best Paper Presenters and Poster Presenters presented on the five themes of the conference nd they were awarded prizes
Best Paper Presenters1. Mr. Shahin, Research Scholar, Hindustan Institute of Technology & Science. 2. Mr. K. Gabriel Karthick, Assistant Professor, Madras Christian College, Chennai 3. Mr. Eldhose Verghese, Independent Researcher, Pondichery University 4. Ms. Gayathri Paliath, Research Scholar, Hindustan Institute of Technology & Science 5. Mr. Akhil Ahmed, MA Englsh, Hindustan Institute of Technology & Science
Best Poster Presenters1. Ms. Varsha Nair and Linisha, III BA English, Hindustan Institute of Technology & Science.
Dr. David Easow, Head of School of Liberal Arts and Applied Sciences proposed the vote of thanks. He thanked the Dignitaries , Chief Guest, Guest of Honour, Key note speaker, Management , Dept Of Languages, Organising committee , Advisory External Panel Members, special invitees, session chair, presenters, students who performed margomkali dance, team who rendered the syriac invocation song and also the documentary team for their efforts. He added that overall, the International Conference on Migration Challenges and Prospects provided an excellent platform for scholars and experts to exchange ideas and knowledge on the historical and cultural significance of migration, with a special focus on the migration of Syrian Christians in the 9th century AD. The conference highlighted the challenges and prospects of migration and emphasized the need for policymakers to develop comprehensive and inclusive migration policies. The organizers deserve commendation for organizing such a successful and enlightening conference.