Volume II Issue 11 April 15, 1996
THE L I G H T H O U S E
Assyrianism is the recent awakening
of the national
consciousness of those people descended from the
original Assyrians. The word recent is used only in
relation to the length of history of the people of
Assyria, being a late 19th, early 20th century
phenomenon that has been gaining mementum.
It is an ethnic identity based on
and language. Religion also plays a part, either
minor or major, depending on one's viewpoint. The
greatest of these factors is history. The Assyrian
people share a history reaching back past 3000 B.C.
The bonds of such a history are something that I, a
fifth generation American without many ties to the
Old World (Ireland to be precise), cannot even begin
to understand on more than an intellectual level.
The geography shared by the Assyrians
is not as
powerful a factor as in some nations. Like the Jews
before Israel's creation, the Assyrians are scattered
across the globe, with many members living far from
the traditional homeland on the Tigris river. Yet
there are still a large number of Assyrians within
the confines of Assyria, and a diaspora is not
necessarily a bad thing for a nation to have. One of
Israel's great strength comes from Jews aboard who
identify with not only their home country, but also
As any dispersed community, the
dialects spoken by
Assyrians are varied. However there is still a
communal tongue, part of the Aramaic languge group,
which most Assyrians, regardless of religion speak.
Religious denominationalism is the touchiest of the
factors for the Assyrians. It acts as a unifying
factor, as Assyrians in Assyria are Christians while
their neighbors are mainly Muslim. Unfortunately,
all Christians are not the same. Assyrians are
Syrian Orthodox, Syrian Catholic, Syrian Catholic,
Nestorians, and Chaldean Catholics. The walls the
members of the various denominations have built around
themselves, and not the simple fact that Assyrian
belong to many denominations, in a great obstacle to
overcome. This division is the greatest internal
problem facing Assyrianism as a pan-children of Ashur
movement. Yet, for as long as the Assyrians are all
Christians within a Muslim nation, even a secular one
like Iraq, their commonality against the outsiders
should prevail. This is particularly true for as
long as Christians are regarded or treated as second
citizens in Muslim countries. Adversity and
persecution are prabably the greatest building blocks
for a people's ethnic identity.
Assyrianism also has the problem
that it was
primarily dominated by the Church of the East branch
of the Assyrians, and the movement has been associated
with that branch since then. This association has not
helped the movement to become a universal movement.
With the recent, East-West, Catholic-Orthodox detente
however, maybe this will not be as great an obstacle
as it seems now.
The only way to see whether the
common issues of
Assyrianism predominate over its diversity is to wait
and see. For the movement to succeed even a little
bit in its aims however, some of the pan qualities must
be embraced by all parties. To do this, a concentration
upon those issues that most bind the members should be
used. Not many peoples have such a long history, nor
do they have such historical distinction as the Assyrians.
Nabu Quarterly, Q2-1995 (an excerpt)
G O O D M O R N I N G B E T - N A H R A I N
EARTHQUAKE SHAKES NORTHERN BET-NAHRAIN
(RU: Turkey) - A moderate earthquake
measuring 4.2 on the
Richter scale shook northern Bet-Nahrain last Wednesday
There were no immediate reports of casualties or damage
resulting from the quake. The epicenter of the tremor
was in northern Bet-Nahrain (on the Iraqi side) and it was
felt in in the Catak and Bahcesaray districts of Turkey's
TURKISH FORCES ATTACK KURDISH REBELS
(Ru: Turkey) - Thousands of
Turkish troops backed by
air power pounded 300 PKK Kurdish separatist rebels in
a triangle formed by the boundaries of the provinces of
Tunceli, Diyarbakir and Bingol in northern Bet-Nahrain
(southeastern Turkey). In response to the bloodiest
fighting in the rebels' 12-year-old campaign rebel leader
Abdullah Ocalan ordered his forces to stay low. Last
December he had asked his forces not to launch raids but
fight back only if attacked. Turkey ignored the cease-fire.
According to figures from security officials, the death toll
in the week-long Bingol clashes stands at 122 rebels and 33
soldiers. More than 18,700 people have died in the PKK's
fight for autonomy or independence.
OCCUPY A NEW OFFICE IN JORDAN
(RU: Jordan) - A four-story building
on the edge of
Amman, Jordan is the new office of the Iraqi National
Accord (al-Wifaq), the first Iraqi opposition group to
set up in neighboring Jordan. Wifaq has presence in the
northern Bet-Nahrain and has offices in Britain, Syria and
Yemen. It is linked to the London-based Iraqi National
Congress (INC), the umbrella organisation of 30 parties.
The group plans a unit to deal with problems facing Iraqis
in Jordan, home to over 30,000 of whom as many as 14,000
may be Assyrian. Military defectors like former Iraqi army
chief of staff, staff-Lt. Gen. Nazar Khazraji, and Brigadier
General Najeeb al-Salhi who fought in the 1991 Gulf War,
are among heavyweights who have joined Wifaq and live in
Amman. In early April a Damascus-based former Iraqi military
intelligence chief, Gen. Wafiq al-Samerai, decided to settle
in Jordan. Iraqi sources said Samerai, who enjoys good
relations with the Iraqi National Accord, might work with
them. Wifaq relies on funds from Arab Gulf states hostile to
Saddam and branches in Europe as well as its own resources.
S U R F S U P !
"Mr. Atour Golani wrote telling me about the "Zenda"
newsletter serving Assyrian communities around the
world, and I would like to receive it. My father,
George (or Jorge) Warda is an Assyrian and he recently
was in Detroit for the Assyrian Congress. He doesn't
read English too well, but I am sure he will happy to
know that Assyrians will be in touch with him every
week. And of course I will be able to tell him,
in Spanish, what the newsletter says."
Uruguay (South America)
"Shlamlookh, I'd love to subscribe to the electronic
magazine no Assyrian should be without, as long as it's
written in English! (I'm not up on my aleb, beet)...
Awit roba basema."
Louise Rasho, Aturata
"In your April 1st issue I noticed
a letter from a
Ninos Younan from Toronto, Canada. I do not know another
Ninos Younan in Toronto, can you please let me know the
source of the letter. Also in the report on the Nineveh
Star soccer team, Zenda reported that it was of Chicago,
it actually is a team in Toronto. Keep up the good work.
[We stand corrected. The letter
was sent by Mr. Samir
Younan. Also, we take pride in reporting on the activities
of the Nineveh Star soccer team of Toronto.]
"Thank you for your reply. I enjoy
reading and would like
to keep Zenda mail. Unfortunatly, My computer erased all
the messages i had due to the fowarding of all the Assyrian
link mail. Ccan you plase foward the previous Zenda that
explains how to remove my name from the assyrian link?"
[To remove your name from the AssyrianLink, simply send
a new message to firstname.lastname@example.org and in the body of
your message write "Unsubscribe to AssyrianLink." You
may leave the SUBJECT blank.]
"I have just recieved a note from
Dr. J.F. Coakley (author
of the Church of the East and the Church of England)
about a special issue release of the Bulletin of the
John Rylands University Library of Manchester (vol.78,3
-1996) entitled: THE CHURCH OF THE EAST: LIFE AND THOUGHT
Please note: this is a one-shot deal. I am placing an order
in a couple of days and need to get a feel for how many to
purchase. Since this is from England, I would like to place
a large order to save on shipping. Depending on how many I
order, the price will fluctuate. Rough price is $15-$25 per
volume. Please let me know if you are interested in getting a
copy. This will not obligate you to purchase. I merely want
to know the level of interest. If you have any questions,
you may call me at (847) 298-3037 or contact me via e-mail."
[Mr. Dekelaita's email address is
ZENDA encourages its readers to place orders for this
and similar publications in order to increase an interest
among scholars to publish on topics related to the Assyrian
culture and politics.]
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?
In an article written by the Assyrian
Poet, Jean Alkhas,
it was noted that the ASSYRIAN FLOOD "according to a
scholar of the cuneiform writings" took place in
4750 B.C. "Hence," continues Jean, "by adding the
Christian year 1955 to 4750, we can call this the
year 6705 after the Flood (Gilgamesh Magazine, Vol 34,
1955). The name of the scholar has never been
identified and there exist no scientific proof that
the Assyrian Flood did take place in 4750 B.C.
Also, according to tradition, the temple of Ashur was
first built in the city of Ashur (Assur) in 4750 B.C.
N E W S D I G E S T
ASSYRIAN ARTIFACT SOLD AT AN AUCTION
(SC: Los Angeles) According to an
article in the COLLECTOR
MAGAZINE an important Assyrian relief fragment was sold on
December 8, 1995 at Sotheby's for $5,667,500 to an anonymous
buyer over the phone. The piece was from Mr. & Mrs. Klaus G.
Perls collection. This rare gypsum relief was from Room 1
of the northwest palace of Assurnasirpal II. It shows a
kneeling figure of a winged guardian divinity. According to
Richard M. Keresey, Sr. Vice President of Sotheby's
Antiquities Dept. in N.Y. the relief had highest price paid
for an antiquity at auction in America and the second highest
(SC: Chicago) The 43rd Rencontre
Internationale will be held in Prague, Czech Republic
from July 1 through 5, 1996. The chief theme of this
conference is proposed to be the Intellectual Life of
the Ancient Near East. The philology, history,
archaeology, literature, and religion of that region
will contribute to the research on the main topic of
discussion. For more information see:
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
SC (soc.culture.assyrian) newsgroup
UP (United Press International)
ZN (Zenda: email@example.com)
C A L E N D A R OF E V E N T S
Two Plays by William Daniel
"The Meeting" & "Tdalaboota"
Santa Clara University
Santa Clara, California
Assyrian State Convention of California
San Jose, U.S.A.
May 24-25 Memorial Weekend Games
2nd Assyrian Community Networking Conference
San Jose, U.S.A.
Nineveh Choral Concert
Conducted by Maestro Nebu Issabey
Santa Teresa High School Auditorium
San Jose, U.S.A.
The ARAM Conference
Cambridge, Massachusetts, U.S.A
RENCONTRE ASSYRIOLOGIQUE INTERNATIONALE
Praque, Czech Republic
Assyrian Olympics of California
San Diego, California
Thru Aug 15
"Beirut: Uncovering the Past"
Profiles recent UNESCO archeology efforts
The British Museum
August 12-14 SyrCOM-96:
Second International Forum
on Syrian Computing
Dept of Asian and African Studies
S-751 20 Uppsala
Fax: +46 18 181094
Aug 29-Sept 2 AANF National Convention
Red Lion Inn Hotel
Fridays Assyrian Educational & Cultural Club at
Modesto Junior College
Founders Hall 108
Thursdays Nineveh Choir: Maestro Nebu Issabey
BETA: AAA of San Jose, U.S.A.
A S S Y R I A N S U R F I N G P O S T S
P U M P U P T H E V O L U M E
Junk peekhar [M]
Idiot boora [M]
Stupid sakhla [M]
F = Feminine M = Masculine P = Plural
B A C K T O T H E F U T U R E
B.C. (668) King Ashurbanipal writes:
"the god Ninurta
gave me all the wild animals an dordered me to hunt
them. I killed 450 big lions, 390 wild bulls and
200 ostriches. I also caught alive 30 elephants,
50 wild bulls, 140 ostriches and 20 big lions."
<<Lorna Oakes, The Assyrians
A.D. (1987) David Yonan, an Assyrian-German
musician, debuts at the age of 13, performing in the
Youth Competition held in the Berlin Philharmonic Hall.
Since then he has been invited to perform in Poland,
Switzerland, Denmark, England and the U.S.
<<Assyrian Directory, Grafeex,
L I T E R A T U S
*** THE BIRTH OF MAN ***
ca. 3000 BC
Without the sperm of a male
she [Ninmar] gave birth to offspring,
to the embryo of mankind.
When she had broadened its shoulders,
she made a hole in the head
for the mouth
and enclosed its body in an amnion...
<<T. Jacobson, The Harps That
T H I S W E E K I N H I S T O R Y
April 17, 1988: ASHURBANIPAL Library
is established in
Chicago. Today it houses the the largest public
collection of books and journals related to the Assyrian
April 21, 1652: dies, Pietro
Delavale (sp), Italian
emissary to the Persian king and an Assyriologist;
married to an Assyrian woman
B R A V O
Reverend Shmuil Dinkha of the Assyrian Church of the
East, San Jose, California has completed his latest
literary work: Poems of Man, Land, and Life. All
250 poems are compiled and translated from 22 other
languages into Assyrian by Rev. Dinkha.
Pages: 477; Babylon Printing
For more information write to:
Rev. Shmuil Dinkha
680 Minnesota Avenue
San Jose, CA 95125
W E L C O M E T O Z E N D A
Zenda welcomes our new on-line subscribers from:
Instituto de Estad stica, Uruguay
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:
P.O. Box 59422 Chicago, IL 60659
Matthew O'Hara Chicago, Illinois, USA
Sargon Tavour Los Angeles, California
Mark Tehmi Berkeley, California
Hannibal Givargiz Tehran, Iran
ZENDA will continue to print your
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We urge you to submit your community
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Our Next Issue will appear on Monday, April 22, 1996.