Volume II Issue 13 April 29, 1996
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A Weekly Online Newsletter Serving the Assyrian Communities Around the World
THE L I G H T H O U S E
OUR ASSYRIAN ROOTS
We recognize the ancient roots of Mesopotamian
civilizations, and we do not differenctiate between
the Assyrian, or Babylonian, or even the Sumerian
civilization. Rather, we perceive all ancient cultures
that flourished on Mesopotamian soil [Bet-Nahrain], as
more or less assimilated by the Assyrian to the point
that they are no longer ethnically separable from each
other. Legend has it that during their reign, the
Assyrians poured legions and settlers into the occupied
lands especially the southern area of Mesopotamia,
'Assyrianizing' it. Of course, this is legend, but
the fact remains that our Assyrian culture was able
to absorb all the other branches. What preceded the
Assyrians in Mesopotamia is regarded to be a part of
Assyrian culture, and what emerged, was a new unified
entity. Those civilizations that reigned in Mesopotamia
after the destruction of Assyria and Babylon, had their
influence on the region's basic civilizational structure
but not to the degree of severing its bonds with its
original people. In a sense, the ancient blood is
still streaming in the veins of the descendants of the
inhabitants of Assyria. They share a common history,
and a common racial-national designation. Atour (Assyria)
as a country no longer exists, but we have attachment to,
and are proud of, the soil upon which our Assyrian
ancestors trod, and by far more in the history of the
land of our beloved homeland which served as the cradle
for a succession of civilizations.
[An Excerpt from the article written for The Ashurbanipal
Libary Newsletter, Vol 2,#2 -1989]
G O O D M O R N I N G B E T - N A H R A I N
TALABANI & BARZANI DISAPPOINT U.S. REPRESENTATIVE
(ZNRU: Ankara) Rival Iraqi Kurdish separatist groups
were unable to reach a peace agreement in talks last
week with a U.S. delegation in northern Bet-Nahrain.
The feud between the Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP)
and Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK) has cost about
3,000 lives and split the region into rival zones. But
there have been no serious clashes for over a year.
U.S. State Department official Robert Deutsch met
separately with KDP leader Massoud Barzani and PUK
leader Jalal Talabani in northern Bet-Nahrain.
The Kurdish groups began fighting in 1994 over control
of the ancient Assyrian city of Arbil and the
distribution of revenues from a makeshift oil trade
at the Turkish border.
HASHISH SEIZED IN A CAVE
(ZNRU: Diyarbakir) Turkish forces killed 10 Kurdish
rebels and seized seven rifles and 700 pounds of
hashish in a cave in the Hakkari province of northern
Bet-Nahrain. Security sources say the latest death
tolls brings to 186 the number of Kurdistan Workers
Party (PKK) guerrillas killed during a large-scale
offensive which began April 5. Almost 19,000 people
have died in the PKK's 12-year fight for autonomy or
S U R F S U P !
"I recently began surfing through many irc's and I
have set up an Assyrian room on The Dalnet server. The
address is sanjose.ca.us.undernet.org and when you are
there, you join the room #assyria. I think it will be
a lot of fun if a lot of Assyrians are there!"
Cal State Univ Stanislaus
"Just read the message on the donation of close to a
million dollers from Budwiser to our nation. I was
wondering how we were able to achieve this milestone?
Was there an individual involve in permoting the idea?
If so I believe we should recognized his/her efforts."
San Jose, California
[According to the latest issue of Nabu Quarterly (see
last issue) the source of information for this article
was Mr. Eddie Rayis, an employee of Annaheiser Busch
Company, who may also have been the driving force behind
the Budweiser Calendar and the $1 Million contribution.]
"Thank you for your note, and for ZENDA, both of which
I received today. As to Assyrians in South America I am
afraid I don't have very much information. I know my
father has relatives in Brazil, specifically in Rio de
Janeiro. There also are Assyrians in Buenos Aires,
Argentina, with whom we are in touch."
"IT IS A GREAT FEELING TO FIND OUT THAT THERE IS SO MANY
ASSYRIAN ALL OVER THE WORLD ON LINE. I AM A REAL ESTATE
AGENT IN TURLOCK CALIFORNIA AND WOULD LIKE TO OFFER MY
SERVICES TO WHOM EVER THAT NEEDS IT.CHECK OUT MY HOMEPAGE
ON : http://www s2.sonnet.com.bella.htm
KEEP UP THE GOOD WORK ZENDA."
"I'm glad to have found your handy and useful
newsletter. As an attorney and editor, I'm pleased
to see anything that promotes Assyrianism and/or the
free exchange of information. I would appreciate it
greatly if you could place me on your e-mail list for
subsequent issues of Zenda. Thanks."
"I enjoy reading your weekly newsletter and appreciate
immensely your untiring efforts in creatng it. I am
working on a screenplay in conjuction with one of
Hollywood's screenplay writers, concerning the events
that took place in Iraq (or Bet Nahrain as you would
like to refer to it). The novel is based on real life
stories gathered of Iraqis from the year 1977 to 1992.
It depicts all the hardship that Iraqis indured as a
result of Saddam Hussein's reign in power. The novel
covers the miseries felt by Shia Iraqis, Kurdish Iraqis
and Assyrian Iraqis. Please forward any "real life"
stories you are aware of that Assyrians witnessed such
as deportations, mass executions (ethnic cleansing) or
chemical bomb attacks. I will make an exerted effort to
include as many of the real life stories as I possibly could.
We are hoping that the screenplay gets picked up by one
of the networks or cable television operators and transform
it into a 'made for TV movie'."
"Got my first issue of your newsletter and enjoyed
reading its contents. Am looking forward to the many
issues I expect to get in the future. Your selection
of international news concerning our Assyrian brothers
in all parts of the world is excellent. In a prior
issue sent to me by another of your subscribers, you
quoted a Reuters press release saying thet there were
250,000 Assyrian/Jews in Israel. It might be interesting
if you could follow up and this and see if you can find
out from whence these Jews came and whatever else you
can discover about them.
I am presently reading a copy of a book written back
in l841 by a medical missionary, ASAHEL GRANT, M.D.
[1807-1844]. The name of the book: "The Nestorians;
or, The Lost Tribes". In the book, by making comparisons
of the Nestorians of both Urmia and Kurdistan with the
known Jewish tribes in the same area, of their physical
features, customs, foods, language, and other factors,
the writer tries to convince the reader that the so-called
Assyrians (a/k/a Nestorians) are really the Ten Lost
Jewish Tribes taken into captivity by the Assyrians as
the story is related in the Old Testament of the Bible.
The University of Michigan library has an original copy
of the book and there is a company who will, for a
price, make copies of it upon request. The book also has a
library of Congress Number DS131.G77 and perhaps you can
check it out there.
The facinating thing I find about the book is the
description of the Assyrian people of both the plains of
Urmia and the mountains of Turkey (Kurdistan) at that time;
whether you believe the premise of his hypothesis or not.
The author's descriptions are very well done and challenge
the imagination of the reader and I'm sure some of your
subscribers might like to read the book, believe it or not.
Now that I read that there are 250,000 Assyrian/Jews in
Israel who do not know Hebrew and have to have a proposed
dictionary of Syriac to Hebrew, it really piques my
curiousity as to whether these are the Jews that Grant
describes as those living near the "Nestorians" in Kurdistan
and Urmia. I knew a Jew from Urmia who years ago would come
to the Assyrian churches to dinners because he knew the
language well and loved the food (dolma, kipti, rissah,
mashee. etc.) which I was taught to love. We have lost some
of these dishes during the diaspora of those ancestors to
Bagdad, Syria, Jordan, etc. where many of our older customs
and foods have had a strong Arab influence. I'm in my 82nd
year and the newer generations are quite different than the
ones who came to the US in the teens, twenties, and thirties,
before WW II. Anyhow, we are all of the same blood so I
have learned to eat dolma that is wrapped up like a cigar,
etc. and other variations of the foods I learned to love as
a child. I was born in Minneapolis, MN. in 1914 and mom and
dad came here in 1906; but grandpa (maternal) had come to
Chicago in 1902, so our perspective is a bit different.
Perhaps some of your 300 subscribers may have some
on GRANT'S book, if they have been exposed to it, amd
perhaps they know more about the so-called "Assyrian/Jews".
This should be an interesting subject to investigate.
Please let me know what you need from me
to fulfill my
obligation on my subscription to your newsletter. If any of
your other readers wish to communicate with me, you are fee
to give them my e-mail ID. May I close with push'b'shana
and Alaha minookhun."
Polus Nweeya (a.k.a. Paul Newey)
S U R F E R S C O R N E R
What is going on in your community? Any lectures,
meetings, and parties? ZENDA wants to know. By
informing other readers you help bring our "virtual
community" closer to its core. We welcome all social,
religious, and political activities that pertain to
the Assyrian communities around the world. The
Assyrian nation, living and dynamic, colorful in all
aspects of its cultural and religious attributes, is
a breathing socio-political system stretched from one
continent to another. Let ZENDA help chronicle the
celebration of the millenium- our existence- with
every article you send, new reader you introduce, and
the community activity you mention to us. Stagnation
N E W S D I G E S T
TURKISH BOAT CARRYING ASSYRIANS IS STOPPED IN GREECE
(ZNRU: Greece) A Turkish speedboat with 12 Iraqi
passangers, possibly Assyrians, was stopped by the
Greek Coast Guard officers. The boat's captain was
identified as Amance Gorgu, 28, from Istanbul. The
"illegal" passangers included three women, three men,
and six children. They are currently in police
custody in Greece. The Turkish captain appeared before
a public prosecutor Wednesday to face charges of illegal
entry into Greece and smuggling illegal immigrants.
Greek officials say Turkish smugglers charge up to
$4,000 a person to ferry illegal immigrants across the
Greek border. Between 1992 and 1995, 22,900 illegal
immigrants have crossed from Turkey to Greece, 9,590
of them in 1995 alone. Not long ago a similar boat
carrying 18 Assyrian passangers sank in the waters of
the Mediterranean Sea and all passangers were killed.
ASSYIAN STORE OWNER KILLED IN
(ZNDA: San Diego) A 65-years-old Assyrian-Chaldean liquor
store owner was gunned down on April 18. Sleiman
Hallak who lived in the Skyline area of San Diego,
California, a member of the St. Peter Chaldean Catholic
Church in El Cajon, was an enthusiastic supporter of the
Assyrian-Chaldean community. Known as "pops" to his
clientele, Mr. Hallak was liked and well-respected in
the business circles. On April 18 at 10:30 a.m., while
Sleiman was tending to his business, an armed assailant
wearing a ski mask enters the liquor store, fires
several shots, takes some cash and runs away. Mr. Hallak
having received seven wounds to the head and chest dies on
the premises. Sleiman leaves behind his wife Suaad, seven
children and a number of grandchildren.
THE FILM "JESUS" IS AVAILABLE
(ZNDA: San Jose) The most widely translated film
history and on the life of Jesus Christ is now available
in Assyrian. Distributed by Campus Crusade for Christ,
an evangelistic and missionary Christian movement,
"Jesus" was dubbed in Assyrian by a group of Assyrian
artists in Lebanon. As many as 100 Assyrian-Lebanese
have been involved in the translation of this 120-minutes
long film which is also considered "the most accurate
film ever made about Christ." "Jesus" was filmed on
location in Isreal with a cast of 5000 Israelis and
Arabs, and every word spoken by Jesus is taken directly
from the Gospel of Luke. For more information and to
order a copy contact The Jesus Film Project:
P.O. Box 72007 San Clemente, California 92674-9207
D I R E C T O R Y OF THE N E W S S O U R C E S
ZNNQ (Nabu Quarterly)
ZNRU (Reuters): ClariNet Communications Corp.
ZNSC (soc.culture.assyrian) newsgroup
ZNUP (United Press International)
ZNDA (Zenda: firstname.lastname@example.org)
C A L E N D A R OF E V E N T S
General Membership Meeting
Assyrian American Assoc. of San Jose
BETA: 20000 Almaden Rd, San Jose
May 24-27 Assyrian
State Convention of California
San Jose, U.S.A.
May 24-25 Memorial Weekend Games
May 25-26 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.
June 9-11 The ARAM
Cambridge, Massachusetts, U.S.A
July 1-5 RENCONTRE
Praque, Czech Republic
July 4-7 Assyrian
Olympics of California
San Diego, California
Thru Aug 15 "Beirut: Uncovering
Profiles recent UNESCO archeology efforts
The British Museum
August 12-14 SyrCOM-96: Second International
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
REGULAR CLASSES & MEETINGS
Mondays Assyrian History Class
"Assyrian History: 18th Century thru Present
Instructor: Wilfred Alkhas
BETA on 20000 Almaden Rd, San Jose, Calif
Class begins on June 3
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
Akkadian Translation Service
P U M P U P T H E V O L U M E
Geology ydaa-aar-aa [M]
History taash-ee-taa [M]
Note: pronounce "aa" in "baahra" (light)
F = Feminine M = Masculine P = Plural
B A C K T O T H E F U T U R E
B.C. (4000) City of Uruk in southern Bet-Nahrain
included two major religious centers: Kullaba and
Eanna where Anu and Innana (Ishtar) are worshipped
respectively. The city covered an area of 400
hectares and according to a legend its walls were
built by its legendary king Gilgamesh.
<< Cultural Atlas of Mesopotamia, Roaf >>
A.D. (December 1958) Mar Paulos II Cheikho is elected
Patriarch of the Chaldean Church.
<< Ashurbanipal Library Newsletter, April 1989 >>
L I T E R A T U S
*** THE LAWS OF UR-NAMMU ***
If a man divorces his primary wife, he must pay her
one mina of silver.
If a prospective son-in-law enters the house of his
prospective father-in-law, but his father-in-law later
gives his daughter to another man, the father-in-law
shall return to the rejected son-in-law two fold
the amount of bridal presents he had brought.
<< The Ancient Near East, Pritchard >>
T H I S W E E K I N H I S T O R Y
April 29, 1972: Malik Yakub Malik Ismael is Awarded the
Assyrian Star Medal of Honor at the Congress of the
Assyrian Universal Alliance.
May 1, 1847: Opening of the Assyrian Room at the
Louvre Museum in Paris, France
B R A V O
From Nabu Quarterly: Fourth Quarterly 1996
Chicago- Peter Jasim and Firas Jatou have completed
a computer program which can search through any text
field written for a database such as the entire
commercially available WhitePages directories in the
United States and abroad. This will enable these two
members of the Assyrian Academic Society, to find all
last and first names that may be recognized as Assyrian
(i.e. Younan, Esho, etc).
W E L C O M E T O Z E N D A
Zenda welcomes our new on-line subscribers from:
Centennial Contract Services
Assyrian Australlian Academic Society
Paderborn University, Germany
San Jose, California
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:
Vivian Hammi San Diego, California
Youab Benyamin Chicago, Illinois
Albert Gabriel Hollister, California
Nabu Quarterly Chicago, Illinois
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 and church
activities, personal accomplishments, and meeting/
school events to Zenda no later than Sunday, 12:00 PM,
Pacific Standard Time.
Our Next Issue will appear on Monday, May 6, 1996.