Z E N D A  M A G A Z I N E
[renamed Zinda Magazine in 1999]

Volume II                       Issue 8                      April 1, 1996

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A Weekly Online Newsletter Serving the Assyrian Communities Around the World

The following is Mar Shimoon Bar Sabbai's blessing for
the five bishops and one hundred clergy who along
with his Excellency had refused to worship the sun as
decreed by King Shapur II of Persia.
  "May the Cross of our Lord be the protection
    of the people of Jesus;
  The peace of God be with the servants of God,
    and establish your hearts in the faith of Christ,
     in tribulation and in ease,
     in life and in death,
     now and for evermore."

Mar Shimoon and his followers were executed on Good
Friday of the year 339 A.D.

                      THE   L   I   G   H   T   H   O   U   S   E
                             SUMERIAN DAYS

The Sumerians, like the Greeks, commenced the counting
of each day (U-mu), at sunset (Kid-da-at u-mu). Each
day, then, was reckoned as the period from sunset to
sunset. The months (Itu) were begun in the period of
the new moon (Bu-ub-bu-lum, literally the 'time of the
ravishment of the moon'), literally commencing at the
time of the moon's emergence in the heaven's following
its disappearance at the new moon (U-na-am, literally
the day of the moons renewal). The months were 30 days
long, with the first quarter occurring on the 7th, and
the full moon on the 15th. These days, together with the
period of the new moon, formed the sacred cycle of the
month. The Sumerians celebrated these aspects of the
moon's phases on the first, seventh, and fifteenth of
each month. These three days formed the monthly Essesu
Festival. The importance of these sacred days is
articulated in the Atrahasis myth, Tablet I, columns
204-207, as Enki sets about the creation of man:

-Enki opened his mouth and addressed the great Gods,
'On the first, seventh, and fifteenth day of the month
I will make a purifying bath'

The necessity for observation of these sacred days is
reiterated in a number of collected Mesopotamian
letters which refer to the necessity of 'passing the
first, seventh, and fifteenth as you have been taught.'
This observance, in the minimum, included a ritual bath:
a sacred immersion in the creative Waters of Life.

The first month of the year, Mas-Azag-Kur ("Nisannu"
in the Standard Mesopotamian Calendar), began in the
period of the first new moon following the yearly
barley harvest. The months would then proceed apace at
30 days each, spanning 12 months. This wholly lunar
cycle, however, invariably left a gap within the Solar
year to be filled. To cure this problem, and keep the
first month succeeding the barley harvest, the Sumerians
placed an intervening intercalary month known as Itu-diri
BEFORE the twelfth month, Itu-Se-Gur-Kud, the 'month of
the harvesting of the barley.' This intercalary month
was utilized only when, upon examination of the length of
time remaining in the barley season, it was determined
that Mas-Azag-Kur would not fall directly after the barley
harvest. Under the Meton Cycle, such intercalary months
would be utilized at a frequency of roughly seven  per
nineteen years.

In the same way they were able to unify their year with
the Circle of Life, so to did the Sumerians operate a
system of timekeeping quite literally within the confines
of a circle. Time was related to the degree of apparent
motion of the sun, Utu,  as it traveled across the heavens
each day. Each degree of motion was calculated as 4 minutes,
called one "Us".  The entire circle was said to comprise
12 'temporal hours', or "Beru", which were literally
double-hours of 30 Us each.

The Sumerians had no concept of daylight savings, though
they were well aware of the variances in the length of
daylight and  nighttime hours in the course of the year.
Though the Sumerian day was uniformly held to consist of
6 Beru, or 12 hours of temporal daylight; and 6 Beru, or
12 hours of temporal nighttime, adjustments to the real
as opposed to temporal hours was made. To this end, a
series of associations was expounded. For example, a
temporal hour of daylight plus a temporal hour of
nighttime always equals 2 REAL hours. Thus, a measurement
of the length in real hours of either daylight or night-
time will yield the solution to the length of the inverse.

In addition, there were specific relations observed
between and among the months of the year. Specifically,
in the month of the Spring and Autumn Equinoxes, the length
of daylight and nighttime real hours was assumed equal.
Conversely, in the month of the Summer Solstice daylight
was held to be twice the length of nighttime real hours,
and in the month of the Winter Solstice, Nighttime was
held to be twice the length of the daylight real hours.
In addition, the month preceding the equinoxes were held
have the same ratio of daylight to nighttime real hours as
the month following the Equinoxes, and the month preceding
the solstices was similarly held to possess the same ratio
of daylight to nighttime real hours ratio as the month
following the Solstices. With this complex system of
relations, the calculation of the length of real daylight
and nighttime hours was extremely simplified for these
ancient peoples.


[Mr. Sullivan, a ZENDA reader, maintains the contents of
the website mentioned above.  His article was written in
response to our recent installment "The Arrival of Spring"
in Literatus (Vol. II #7)]

              G O O D   M O R N I N G   B E T - N A H R A I N


(RU: Baghdad) Iraq accused the United States of
interfering in its internal affairs by planning talks
with rival Kurdish factions in northern Bet-Nahrain.
State-run newspapers carried a foreign ministry statement
lambasting the U.S. aerial protection of Kurds and its
attempts to reconcile the rival factions. Robert Deutsch,
head of the northern Gulf affairs section at the U.S.
State Department, is planning to visit northern Bet-
Nahrain in mid-April to end fighting between warring
Kurdish groups. Fighting has erupted between the two
main Iraqi Kurdish factions, the Patriotic Union of
Kurdistan (PUK) and the Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP).
The PUK this week urged the KDP to renew peace talks
with U.S. mediation and consolidate their cease-fire.
Thursday, Turkey's parliament approved a three-month
extension of the mandate for the U.S.-led Operation
Provide Comfort that protects the Kurds from attacks
by the Iraqi government in Baghdad.


(RU: Kuwait) A U.S. official accused Iraq of misusing
talks on limited oil exports to try to regain control
of northern Bet-Nahrain. Edward Gnehm, deputy head of
Washington's mission at United Nations headquarters in
New York, said any limited resumption of Iraq oil exports
under a U.N. oil-for-food plan would not lead to an
easing of Gulf War sanctions against Baghdad. On March 18,
Iraqi and U.N. negotiators wrapped up their second round
of talks on how to implement U.N. resolution 986
permitting Baghdad $2 billion of oil sales over six
months. Iraq is under stringent U.N. trade sanctions,
including a ban on its oil exports, imposed after it
invaded Kuwait in 1990. The two sides are scheduled to
resume the talks April 8.

                                           S U R F S  U P !
"It seems that every issue I read reassures me that
there maybe light at the end of the tunnel.  This is
one of the greatest revolutions that's ever happened
in the Assyrian world.  The fact that we have this
vehicle to communicate with one another across space
and time, not knowing who most of the recipients are,
sharing of our beliefs, thoughts, hopes, dreams out
of our love and concern for Assyrian people and

I was very much moved by this issues message from
Vivian Younan, the article you included as her writing
fills my heart with joy that Assyrians can be so
effective in their writing and sharing of talent,
knowledge and beliefs.  I wish such writings can be
accessible to the world outside ZENDA's subscribers
so they too can experience such writings.

I was especially moved by the line "but do not ever
forget that the present is the key to tomorrow".  I am
so glad to have read this line, written by someone else,
for I so much believe in it, and I am so much against
our dwelling in our past and wasting energy over what
no longer is, instead of using our energy of what there
is today and what we can make happened tomorrow with
the help of GOD and our savior Jesus as our foremost
leader in all of our battles.  This leads me to mention
that I am a little concerned about one statement in
Vivian Younan's message in which she states ", and you
will realize that she really is ALL POWERFUL, and ALL
KNOWING".  The uppercase to direct your attention to
where my concern is.  While  Vivian is speaking about
mother Assyria, I believe that only GOD is All powerful
and All knowing and no one else is, and I strongly
believe that unless all Assyrians believe in that, all
of our efforts will go to waste, for we are nothing and
can do nothing unless he is first and foremost in the
lives of everyone of us.

Thank you and I look forward to the next release."

Esha Tamras
San Jose, California

"Reading Janey [Golani]'s article brings to my mind
what I always thought about it, and that thing is, for
a long time Assyrians have been migrating to North
America and some Assyrians have lived here for so long
and some even born here. When will the time come that
we start to learn that we need Democracy in our life, in
our society? Can't we see that the power of the Western
part of the world is in practicing freedom and democracy?
>From reading her article it looks like we didn't change
a lot from the way we've been thinking in the past 20
years.  I think Janey is right and the issue still, as
old as the time I was living back home, is that Everybody
wants to be a leader!!!!!!)."

Ninos Younan
Toronto, Canada

"The work you are doing for the Assyrian Community is
impeccable!  Keep it up."


                              S U R F E R S   C O R N E R
GAP:  What's the significance of the year B.C. 4750
      in the calculation of the Assyrian Year 6746?

Hint, hint!
      The Temple in the city of Ashur (Assur).

Submit your answer before next Sunday.  Either an
educated or a wild guess is welcome.
                                  N E W S    D I G E S T


Sculptor Fred Parhad's monument of Queen Shamiram of
Assyria is coming to Chicago. The Department of Cultural
Affairs in Chicago will meet to discuss the site of the
Assyrian monument on April 11, 1996. The site requested
by Mr. Parhad is downtown Chicago, where it is hoped the
monument will get the most exposure.  Mr. Fred Parhad,
who also sculpted the Ashurbanipal sculpture in
San Francisco in 1988 plans a new monument portraying
the Great Assyrian Exodus of 1915.  For information
contact  Fred Parhad
         1220 Conn  RD
         St. Helena, CA 94574

or write to Robert Dekalaita at rdekela@orion.it.luc.edu


(SC: Chicago  )  On March 16th, The Nineveh Star soccer
team of Chicago has reached the semi-finals of the
Soccermania Senior men Indoor Soccer Tournament with a
record of 5-2-2.  The Star is in the third place to face
the Wolfpack S.C. in the first place.

            D I R E C T O R Y  OF THE  N E W S  S O U R C E S

RU (Reuters):  ClariNet Communications Corp.
SC:  soc.culture.assyrian    newsgroup
UP (United Press International)
WS (Wall Street Journal)
ZN (Zenda:  zenda@ix.netcom.com)

       C A L E N D A R    OF     E V E N T S

April 12-14     The Assyrian Art Exhibition 1996
                Toronto, Canada
                (416) 972-0106  Voice
                (416) 650-1983  Fax

April 27        Two Plays by William Daniel
                "The Meeting" & "Tdalaboota"
                Santa Clara University
                Santa Clara, California

May 24-27       Assyrian State Convention of California
                Fairmont Hotel
                San Jose, U.S.A.

May 24-25       Memorial Weekend Games
                Chicago, U.S.A.

May 25-26       2nd Assyrian Community Networking Conference
                Fairmont Hotel
                San Jose, U.S.A.

June 1          Nineveh Choral Concert
                Conducted by Maestro Nebu Issabey
                Santa Teresa High School Auditorium
                San Jose, U.S.A.
                8:00 pm

June 9-11       The ARAM Conference
                Harvard University
                Cambridge, Massachusetts,  U.S.A

Thru Aug 15     "Beirut:  Uncovering the Past"
                Profiles recent UNESCO archeology efforts
                The British Museum
                London, England

Aug 29-Sept 2   AANF National Convention
                Red Lion Inn Hotel
                Modesto, U.S.A.
April 12        St. Mary's Annual Church Party
                Assyrian Catholic Church
                Scottish Rite Center
                San Jose, California
                Entertainer:  Walter Aziz/Haroot Band
                              Nights of Babylon DJ
                Donation:  $30.00

April 14        Neesan Dinner Social
                at Jora's Restaurant
                1250 Aviation Ave, STE 235
                San Jose, California
                6:30 PM
                Donation:  $15.00
               REGULAR MEETINGS
Fridays       Assyrian Educational & Cultural Club at
              Modesto Junior College
              1:00 pm
              Founders Hall 108
              Modesto, U.S.A.

Thursdays     Nineveh Choir:  Maestro Nebu Issabey
              BETA:  AAA of San Jose, U.S.A.
              7:30-9:00 pm

   A S S Y R I A N   S U R F I N G   P O S T S

No new sites
          P U M P  U P  T H E  V O L U M E
        ENGLISH                ASSYRIAN
        Flood                ma-mo-la      [M]
        Tornado              kroo-khee-ta  [F]
        Earthquake           ro-daa-naa    [M]

Note:   pronounce "mo" in mamola as in English "motel"
F = Feminine     M = Masculine      P = Plural

        B A C K    T O  T H E    F U T U R E

B.C. (1650) The period of Hurrian domination in the
history of ancient Assyria begins. The vassal-governors
of Ashur are elevated to royal status, claiming direct
descent from an ancestor called Adasi.

<< G. van Driel, The Cult of Assur, Studia Semitica
   Needlandica, vol 13, 1969 >>

A.D. (1905) A book entitled the Awakening of the Arab
Nation by Najib Assuri of Syria calls for the
armed rising of an Arab state in the Middle East.

<< Zeine, The Emergence of Arab Nationalism, 1966 >>

                                   L  I  T  E  R  A  T  U  S

           *** A SUMERIAN RESURRECTION ***
        From the "Descent of Ishtar into the Netherworld"

One sprinkled upon her [Ishtar] the food of life,
 the other, the water of life.
Innana arose.
Inanna is about to ascend from the nether world,
The Anunnaki seized her (saying):
   "Who of those who have descended to the nether world
     ever ascends unharmed from the nether world!"

                      T H I S    W E E K   I N    H I S T O R Y

April 1, 1886:  born, Sargis Osipov, Assyrian linguist
                in Tbilisi (Tiflis), Georgia

April 1, 1988:  members of the Cultural Wave of Nisibin
                celebrate first anniversary of their
                grouping, with 89 members present at the
                Kha b'Neesan celebrations in San Jose,

                                       B   R   A   V   O

Volume nine, Number 2 issue of the Journal of the
Assyrian Academic Society is out.  To receive your
copy write to:

    JAAS P.O. Box 4102, De Plaines, IL 60016-4102

Smaple articles from this issue:

  -Italian policy toward Assyrians & Kurds
  -Amulets and the Assyrians of Kurdistan
  -Verb tenses in Assyrian Aramaic
  -The first modern Assyrian printed book

Congratulations to the editors of this semi-annual
publication whose focus is the language, culture,
and history of the Assyrian civilization.

                       W E L C O M E   T O   Z E N D A
Zenda welcomes our new on-line subscribers from:

                Washington D.C.
                Chicago, Illinois

                     A C K N O W L E D G E M E N T S
Zenda wishes to thank the following individuals &
organizations whose contributions appear in this issue:

Robert Dekalaita                Chicago, Illinois
Daniel Sullivan                   Twin Rivers

ZENDA will continue to print your comments and
suggestions free of editing, as they appear in our
mailbox.  All letters will be printed in our SURFS UP!
section unless directed otherwise.

We urge you to submit your community events, personal
accomplishments, and meeting/school times to Zenda
no later than Sunday, 12:00 PM, Pacific Standard Time.

Our Next Issue will appear on Monday, April 8, 1996.