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A Weekly Online Newsletter Serving the Assyrian Communities Around the World
Please accept our sincere apologies.
Due to some technical difficulty in our
local network, your first half of the second issue of Zenda was not transmitted
properly. You may have received only the second part of Zenda, since the last
issue was transmitted in two parts (i and ii). We can only transmit a document
with 20,000 or less characters. Our last issue containted over 35000 characters
and it had to be dissected and transmitted separately. We apologize for any
inconvenience to you and others who share your copies. Thank you for your
understanding. Our next issue will be sent to you on March 6, 1995. If you
also need the second part of this issue contact us and we will be happy to re-
transmit it to you as soon as possible.
The great storm howls above...
In front of the storm fires burn;
the people groan...
In its boulevards, where the feasts
scattered they lay...the people
lay in heaps...
"Alas for my city...alas for my house..."
Lamentation over the destruction of Ur, Sumer (2000 B.C.)
Once again we have buried our oppressed
minds, cushioned in comfort, under the
heavy blanket of apathy. Nothing seems to penetrate this layer of indifference
separating us from the reality of our lives. Our anguished eyes are so used to
the darkness that we can no longer see the rays of hope, no matter how selfishly
bantam. But do not let such deception move us from the true purpose of our
existence. We must overcome the night; we must tear up the blanket of falsehood
and reveal the truth.
With a resolute mind, we must enthusiastically
flash the first spark of hope and
brighten this dark and empty space of our conscience. It is time to cause pain
and suffering and reach for the waters of the Nahrain. We must control,
overwhelm, and possess. Enough of this self-pity that has aggrieved us for so
long. With all our passion and diligence we accomplish none and then "scattered
lay our people in heaps." Let our words thunder like the cannons with which our
Levies drove the enemies of humanity back to the mountains. The children of
Ashur must be heard.
Beyond this shadow of chaos and
insensibility, in which we have imprisoned our
desperate souls, there lies the source of light and the beginning of peace. I
want to move in all directions, free to live as myself and never have to carry
the price tag of my tormented past. All we need is a tiny spark of hope to
illuminate the skies- the Zenda of self-determination.
S U R F S U P !
"I...commend your on putting this (Zenda) together..."
-A. (San Jose)
"I finished reading Zenda.
I liked it---it gives you a lot of info about what's
going on...It would be great if all the students who get Zenda could communicate
with one another through Zenda."
-L. F. (Turlock)
"I looked over the first issue of
Zenda and I'm very excited to be included
among the subscribers."
-S. J. (Chicago)
"I've been forwarding Zenda to my
friends and they're now forwarding it to their
friends. What a snowball!!"
-Y. B. (San Jose)
"I LOVE IT!! I think it's
great!!! February 20th is too long, don't think I
-S. G. (Yonkers)
"Your efforts for such a noble cause
are greatly appreciated...looking forward
to receiving further issues."
"Your magazine was informative, well written, and concise."
"I can't tell you how excited I was when I received Zenda."
-N.A. (Palo Alto, California)
"I'm really excited...It looks good...What does Zenda mean?"
-V.H. (Berkeley, CA)
"I forwarded Zenda to all the new
surfers. I think I will be e-mailing in my
"I could give you a big sugary kiss right now..."
W E L C O M E T O Z E N D A
Zenda welcomes our new subscribers from:
California State University, Stanislaus Turlock, California
Modesto Junior College Modesto, California
University of California Santa Barbara, California
Stanford University Palo Alto, California
Yonkers, New York
Victoria, British Columbia, Canada
N e W s D i G e S t
-FIRE KILLS AN ASSYRIAN FAMILY IN CALIFORNIA-
San Jose (ZN)- On Saturday, February
18, an Assyrian couple and their children
perished inside their burning home in Milpitas, California (north of San Jose).
Investigators believe that the security bars kept Youkhana Elshi Shakhw, 39, his
wife Frida Alkhakos, 35, and their sons Ramsin, 10, and Raymond, 3, from
escaping the blaze which began around 6:00 am. Three years ago Frida and
Youkhana lost another son when their eldest, while playing with his father's
gun, accidently fired a shot and killed his brother. Fire investigators have
yet not determined the cause of fire.
-AN ASSYRIAN SPORTS CHAMPION IN CANADA-
Canada (ZN)- Zaya Younan, an Assyrian
from Canada has captured the Canadian
Featherweight Boxing Championship in British Columbia. Mr. Younan will be
competing in the world's boxing championship if granted Canadian citizenship
within the next few days. A minimum of 3 years of residency is required to
complete the term of naturalization in Canada. The Assyrian champion has only
lived in Canada for two and half years. The world boxing competition, to be
covered by TSN network, will take place in Argentina.
-THE FIRST ASSYRIAN AMERICAN BBS-
California (ZN)- The first Assyrian
American electronic bulletin board, under
the direction of Albert Gabriel, has begun operation under the name e.BABYLON.
At this time, organizers are contacting Assyrian organizations and churches to
introduce the system and receive news and information. To find out more about
e.BABYLON write to: P.O. Box 2551 Hollister, California 95024 U.S.
-A NEW MESOPOTAMIAN CALENDAR-
Canada (ZN)- Budweiser Co.
, the giant beer-brewer in the U.S., is marketing
its product through the introduction of a new wall calendar with a unique theme-
Mesopotamia, where beer-brewing began millenia ago. The pictures used in the
production of the "Mesopatamian" calendar were compiled by Eddy Rayes, an
Assyrian employee of the said company. Readers of Zenda may send request a
calendar by contacting Firas Fatou at <email@example.com>.
-IRAQI GOVERNMENT DETAINS AN ASSYRIAN DOCTOR-
Chicago (AG)- An Assyrian doctor,
Nahrain Yousep, was recently detained by Iraqi
officials for refusing to perform amputations on individuals accused of crimes
against the state, reports the Assyrian Guardian of Chicago. According to U.N.
and U.S. State Department sources, hundreds and perhaps thousands of Iraqis have
had hands, feet or ears amputated, without anesthetic. Many Iraqi doctors have
also reportedly fled the country to avoid having to perform such operations.
-AN ASSYRIAN FIGHTER IS KILLED BY KURDISH TERRORISTS-
Chicago (AG)- Assyrian Guardian
of Chicago reports that Zia Y. Zia, an Assyrian
fighter, while defending the headquarters of the Assyrian Democratic Movement in
a Northern Iraqi village, was killed in an attack by certain Kurdish fighters.
The attack took place on November 17, 1994, and the identity of the Kurdish
assailants has not been revealed yet. Talabani and Barzani, leaders of the
Kurdish political parties in Northern Iraq, deny any connection with this
-AANF DELEGATE MEETS WITH THE ASSYRIAN COUNCILS IN IRAN-
San Jose (ZN)-In January, an Assyrian
American National Federation delegate
under the direction of the AANF president, Mr. Yatroum Zaya, met with the
Assyrian Iranian Councils in Tehran and Urmia. The purpose of this meeting was
to establish ties and exchange information with the Assyrian organizations in
Iran. Currently, there are 7 councils (Motveh), 2 youth centers (in Tehran and
Urmia), and a Graduate Students' Association actively promoting the welfare of
Assyrians in Iran.
-IRAQ'S SECRET SYSTEM FOR EVADING UN SANCTIONS-
Paris (NY)- Hundreds of trucks are
carrying almost crude oil through Kurdish
territory in Iraq's northern region into Turkey or to Iran. Iraq allows Kurdish
rebels to collect a tax on each truck passing through the region, with much of
the revenue funneled to Kurdish political leaders who fight against the Iraqi
army. Oil executives say exports have expanded with the tacit support of
Turkey, Iran, Jordan, and others in the region that believe the sanctions
against Iraq have been in place too long and are costing them too much in lost
trade with Baghdad. The United States has steadfastly refused to consider
lifting the U.N. sanctions, saying Iraq has failed to comply with resolutions
passed by the Security Council during the Persian Gulf conflict. The U.N.
currently allows Iraq to export only about 75,000 barrels of oil a day to
Jordan. Under this arrangement, money is deposited in Jordan's central bank to
cover Iraqi costs for the purchase of medicine and food. Through its secret
routes, Iraq has raised the total amount of oil it exports to about 200,000
barrels a day, bringing it revenue of more than $700 million in the past year.
The Iraqi delegate to the U.N., Nizar Hamdoon, dismissed the report saying that
any border trade with Iran and Turkey had been minimal. "It is minute, and I
don't think it really amounts to anything," he said.
-IRAQ . . . WHAT OIL EMBARGO?-
New York (RU)- U.S. officials, responding
to a New York Times report that Iraq
may be selling 200,000 barrels of oil a day in violation of a strict U.N.
embargo, acknowledged some leakage but claimed the sanctions were generally
holding up. White House press secretary Mike McCurry said U.S. estimates of
Iraqi oil exports are "in the neighborhood of 80,000 to 100,000 barrels a day,"
noting that Iraq was selling a far more lucrative 2.5 million barrels a day
prior to its 1990 invasion of Kuwait and the subsequent embargo. But he added:
"It is nonetheless troubling that Iraq is finding ways to evade the sanctions
regime that has been in place." Secretary of State Warren Christopher said the
State Department would look into the news report to "see if we can't make the
embargo, which has been really quite effective, even more airtight."
-CIA ASSISTED IN IRAQI MILITARY BUILDUP-
New York (RU)- The New York Times
reports that the Central Intelligence Agency
secretly helped Carlos Cardoen, a Chilean arms dealer, sell sophisticated bombs
to Iraq in the mid-1980's. Howard Teicher, a former National Security Council
advisor on the Middle East from 1982 to 1987 shed some light on the Reagan
administration's active role in Iraq's military buildup. According to Teicher,
the CIA "authorized, approved, and assisted" Cardoen's efforts.
-ARCHEOLOGISTS AND THE THIEVES OF BAGHDAD-
Baghdad (RU)- Western scientists,
against the will of their governments, have
gathered in Iraq to stop trafficking in antiques. Professor Hideo Fujii of
Kokushikan University in Japan and Professor McGuire Gibson of the Oriental
Institute in Chicago plan to distribute a list of looted artifacts to auction
houses in an effort to stop the trade. There are 10,000 registered
archeological sites in Iraq, guarded by only 600 security personnel and two
cars. To date, 4,000 objects have disappeared from Iraqi museums. If
convicted, smugglers of antiquities in Iraq face death by hanging.
-SADDAM LIVES THROUGH ANOTHER COUP-
Baghdad (WS)- Iraq's Saddam Hussein
survived another coup attempt last month.
Twenty Iraqi air force and army officers were executed for plotting to
assassinate the Iraqi leader and his eldest son.
-OPPOSITION GROUP REPORTS FIGHTING WITH IRAQI ARMY-
Cairo (AP)- Rebels opposed to Iraqi
President Saddam Hussein have been fighting
his army since February 10, 1995 in southern Iraq, an opposition group said. It
was the first time the Iraqi National Council (INC)-an umbrella organization for
the Shiite, Kurdish, and Arab Sunni groups that oppose Saddam-claimed large-
scale fighting with the army was under way. The battle near Quran, about 250
miles south of Baghdad, started Friday and continued Sunday, the London-based
council said in a statement faxed to the Associated Press in Cairo. It gave no
further detail. The report could not be independently confirmed. Quran is in
the heart of the marshes of southern Iraq, where pro-Iranian Shiite rebels have
been operating since the end of the 1991 Gulf War.
-TURKEY SAYS 51 REBEL KURDS KILLED IN BATTLE-
Turkey (RU)- On February 19, Turkish
security officials said that Turkish troops
killed 51 Kurdistan Workers Party guerrillas in a weekend battle in on and
around Kizilbogan mountain on the border between Diyarbakir and Bingol provinces
in southeast Turkey, inflicting one of the highest rebel death tolls in a single
clash in recent years. The army has been concentrating its efforts since
October on a massive drive against some 3,000 rebels holed up in the densely-
wooded mountains of Tunceli province, north of Diyarbakir province. The focus
shifted to Diyarbakir last week when troops killed 33 rebels near the town of
Dicle. The Kurdistan Workers Party has been fighting for a separate state in
the region since 1984. More that 14,000 people have been killed in the
-ASSYRIAN STATE CONVENTION IN PASADENA-
Los Angeles (ZN)- Zenda has confirmed
that the next Assyrian State Convention in
California will be held in Pasadena, California (near Los Angeles). Mr. Sargon
Ishaya, as the chairman of the convention committee, will organize the
convention hosted by the Assyrian American Association of Southern California.
This annual event, hosted by one of the eight affiliate organizations forming
the Assyrian United Organizations of California (AUOC), will take place between
Thursday, May 25 and Monday, May 29, 1995.
-ASSYRIAN NATIONAL COUNCIL PURCHASES A PRE-SCHOOL-
Chicago (NQ)- The Assyrian
National council of Illinois (ANCI), after an effort
spanning a period of over 9 years, has purchased the Kiddie Kollege Pre-School
in Chicago which it plans to eventually turn into an entirely Assyrian school
"to implant the basics of the Christian faith, Assyrian culture, and family
values". The opening ceremony of the school took place on June 18, 1994, with
the blessings and attendance of His Holiness Mar Dinkha IV, the Patriarch of the
Assyrian Church of the East.
-DR. COAKLEY LECTURES IN CHICAGO-
Chicago (NQ)- Dr. JF Coakley, author
of "The Church of the East and the Church
of England (Oxford, 1992), lectured to an Assyrian audience of about 100 at the
newly built Assyrian Social Club on November 19, 1994. The lecture was
sponsored by Nabu Books and the Cultural Committee of the AAA of Chicago. Dr.
Coakley, presently teaching Syriac at Harvard University, presented a capsule
version of his book, the product of over 10 years of research and an
indistinguishable guide to Assyrian-British relations during the 19th and
earthly 20th Centuries. During his brief stay in Chicago, Coakley attended mass
at Mar Giwargis Church and exchanged a friendly chat with His Holiness Mar
Dinkha IV. He described the Church service as a "moving experience." Coakley
happily agreed to return and present another lecture in Chicago during the
Assyrian National Convention.
-KHA B'NEESAN FESTIVAL (CHICAGO-STYLE)-
Chicago (ZN)- Plans are under way
to organize the Neesan Festival under the
direction of the Assyrian American National Federation's Midwest Regional
affiliates and non-affiliate organizations and churches in the Chicago area.
Details will be furnished in future issues.
-CONFERENCE ON MIDDLE EASTERN CHRISTIANS TO BE HELD IN CHICAGO-
Chicago (NQ)-Evangelicals for Middle
East Understanding (EMEU)will hold a
conference with the theme "Christ in the Middle East Today" in Wheaton College,
Illinois, from March 9 through March 11, 1995. Participating in the conference
will be a number of church leaders and theologians, including a Coptic bishop.
Previous conferences were held in Washington D.C., and in the Middle East. For
more information, contact Rev. Donald Wagner, EMEU, 847 Chicago Avenue.,
Evanston, IL 60202.
-1995 ASSYRIAN NATIONAL CONVENTION IN CHICAGO-
Chicago (NQ)- The Assyrian American
National Convention will be held in August
1995 at the Sheridan Hotel in Downtown Chicago. Hosted by the Assyrian American
National Federation this year's convention will feature an Assyrian book and art
show, a lecture by Dr. J.F. Coakley of Harvard University on the Epic of
Gilgamesh , and a lecture by Professor Lou Bolchazy of Loyola University.
Robert Biggs, an Assyriologist, is also likely to accept an invitation to
lecture on ancient Assyrian literature. Mr. Daniel Benyamin, author, poet, and
publisher, will also speak on the state of modern Assyrian literature.
-SARGON DADESHO AWARDED $1.5 MILLION-
Chicago (ZN)- Dr. Sargon Dadesho
of Ceres, California, editor of the Bit-Nahrain
magazine, has been awarded judgment, by the US District Court in Fresno, against
the Iraqi government for an attempted assassination in 1990. The judgment for
$1.5 million was awarded by default, since attorneys for the Iraqi government
did not contest.
D I R E C T O R Y OF THE N E W S S O U R
C E S
AG (Assyrian Guardian): Chicago
AP (Associate Press)
NQ (Nabu Quarterly): Chicago
NY (New York Times)
WS (Wall Street Journal)
ZN (Zenda Reporters): Toronto, Chicago, San Jose
For a comprehensive list of available Assyrian books contact:
Nabu Quarterly & Nabu Books
P.O. Box 59422 Chicago, Illinois 60659
Contact Robert DeKelaita (708) 298-3037
Subscription to Nabu Quarterly: US ($20.00), Overseas & Canada ($30.00)
Assyrian Guardian (Monthly) P.O. Box 59609 Chicago, Illinois 60659 U.S.
C A L E N D A R OF E V E N T S
May 25-29, 1995 California State Convention
Pasadena, California U.S.
June 8-10, 1995
The Syriac Conference
Washington D.C. U.S.
Aug 31-Sept 4,1995 Assyrian
Sheridan Hotel Chicago, Illinois U.S.
June 9-11, 1996
The ARAM Conference
A C K N O W L E D G E M E N T S
Zenda wishes to thank the following groups & individuals for making this issue
of Zenda possible:
San Jose, California
Pauline Jasim: Chicago, Illinois
Firas Jatou: Toronto, Canada
Natali Aziz: Palo Alto, California
Carlo Ganjeh: San Jose, California
Nabu Quarterly: Chicago, Illinois
Assyrian Guardian: Chicago, Illinois
W H Y N O T A S K Z E N D A?
What do our subscribers think of
a meeting of the "Assyrians on the Internet" at
the next Assyrian National Convention in August 1995? Send us your comments.
Reader: How would you say "surfers" in Assyrian?
Zenda: "Surfing" is an internet-lingo
referring to the sport of water wave-
riding. Since surfing on the waves of the information superhighway is a new
occupation we could embrace the methodology used here and invent a new Assyrian-
Internet-lingo. In the modern Assyrian language Shedtkhoota is used to refer
to the surface of the objects and also suggest simplicity of one's demeanor.
How does "shdteekhaye" (dt is used in place of the ninth letter in the Assyrian
alphabet) sound to you?
A reader had asked about the early history of the Assyrian journalism:
Zenda: Modern Assyrian journalism
began in the second half of the 19th Century
with the publication of 4 newspapers and magazines in Urmia. Zahrire d'Bahra
(Rays of Light), a bi-weekly publication, appeared in 1849. Qala d'Shrara
(Voice of the Truth) appeared around 1897 and was followed by Assyrian
Missionary Quarterly and Urmia Orthodekseta. The first Assyrian journals in
Iraq appeared in 1940's and 50's: Lisan al-Mashriq (The Language of the East)
in 1946 and al-Najm (The Star) in 1950. Zenda recommends the following article
for further reading on this subject:
Yoab Benjamin, "Assyrian Journalism:
A 140-Year Experience", Journal of the
Assyrian Academic Society (Chicago, 1993), Vol VII, no. 2, pp. 1-28.
With this issue Zenda introduces
two news sections: "Pump Up the Volume" and
"Back to the Future." With every new issue three Assyrian words will be listed
to incease our readers' knowledge of the Assyrian language. Two historic
events, of pre- and post-Christian era, will help us better undersand and
analyze today's events and be reminded of our long and rich history.
P U M P U P T H E V O L U M E
Refrigerator "maqra, mqarneeta" (q as in qoodme "tomorrow")
B A C K TO THE F U T U R E
BC (1595): Hittites (in ancient Turkey) invade central Mesopotamia (Bet-
Nahrain) and capture Babylon. After the fall of Babylon 36 Kassite kings rule
over Babylon for a period of 576 years and 9 months (according to the Babylonian
Kings List). Not much is known about the origin and the language of the
Kassites who many have come from the mountainous areas of Western Iran.
AD (1842): Bader-Khan Beig,
an Ottoman Amir, begins the invasion of the Hakkari
region in southern Turkey and the massacre of the Assyrian population. Several
thousand Assyrians are killed.
What's the word in Assyrian for ... ??
Who were the ... ? What did really happen in ...? Well, why not ask Zenda?
Write to Zenda at firstname.lastname@example.org and let us know
about your community's activities. The materials published in Zenda are not
edited and your stories and articles will be published as received, unless
Would your friends like to receive
their own copy of Zenda via email? Send us
The next issue of ZENDA will be sent to you on February 20, 1995.