Bride of Bakhdida
Bride of Bakhdida is the first of a planned ten St Ayles Skiffs that will be built by Geelong ethnic/CALD communities with the objective of drawing people together across cultural boundaries, some of which are historically fraught. Her name is that of the Syriac’s home city of Bakhdida which was 30kms from Mosel in Iraq and where the now Geelong Syriac community lived under ISIS for three years. The Syriac community took on to build a boat literally as a way to build their community together in their new home. Helped by Muslim Iranians and RGYC boat builders, their community built a boat and the boat built their community.
(The script on the name plate is Aramaic which is the language of the Syriac people throughout the Middle East. It was the language of the eastern Mediterranean at the time of Christ, it was pushed from common use by the invasion of Arabic nations over centuries but proudly maintained by the Syriac people.)