Tamuz 15, 6746 Volume II Issue 23 July 15, 1996
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A Weekly Online Publication of the ZENDA Assyrian Newsagency
THE L I G H T H O U S E
ASSYRIANS OF SYRIA
Syria is an Arab republic, primarily Muslim, with a population
million. Along with Lebanon, Jordan, and Palestine it was created by
the League of Nations as a result of the defeat of the Ottoman Empire
in World War I. Life for Assyrians was much more agreeable in Syria
than it had been in Iraq until Syria asserted its independence from
France in 1946.
After escaping from all the massacres and atrocities in
the Assyrian refugees came to the Khabour River region without any
possessions but willing to start a new life in a new country. In
many cases, the husband would leave first and later send for his
wife, children, and other dependents. By September 1935, some 6000
Assyrians had been settled in the Upper Khabour region.
The villages were built with much dependence on the Khabour
which was used for transportation and irrigation. Since the rainfall
is often too light and irregular for any crops, irrigation from the
river is vital.
The first homes in the new villages were huts resembling
called sugarloaf houses. These houses had to be constructed of clay
and straw since timber was not available. Several of these structures
are still standing. Today, new homes are built of stone and block.
The original settlement was in Tell Tamer approximately
150 miles from
the Syrian-Iraqi border. From that one village, the Assyrian settlement
has expanded village by village on both sides of the Khabour river to
Tell Hormoz comprising 34 Assyrian villages.
Education is given priority in the villages. Each
village has a
school offering at least up to 6th grade. The children then transfer
to a schools at a village in the vicinity where they can complete up to
9th grade. Students complete their high school education in the city
of El Haseke, about 20 miles away. Students have the opportunity of
continuing their education, tuition-free, at nearby colleges.
Initially, Assyrians were primarily engaged in agriculture.
the new generation of Assyrians are very well educated and are
choosing professional careers. The majority of young people now
have attained some level of higher education.
Presently, there are approximately 50,000 Assyrians residing
Additionally, there are as many as 1,000,000 Syrianis who in large
part claim to be Assyrian. Syrianis speak a slightly different
Assyrian dialect but have the same alphabet. Syrianis are ardent
supporters of Assyrian nationalism. During Syriani holiday celebrations,
Assyrian national songs figure prominently.
Editor of Assyria Political Review
G O O D M O R N I N G B E T - N A H R A I N
TROOPS ATTACK PKK REBELS IN THE HAKKARI
(ZNRU: Diyarbakir) Turkish security forces killed 34 Kurdish
during clashes last week in northern Bet-Nahrain, according to the
security officials in Turkey. 27 guerrillas from the Kurdistan Workers
Party (PKK) were killed in Hakkari province and 7 elsewhere.
Earlier in the week, the office said 24 PKK rebels died in fighting
with troops. It gave no information on army casualties. More than
19,500 people have died in the PKK's 12-year-old campaign for autonomy
or independence. The rebels declared a unilateral ceasefire in December
but clashes have continued. Police detained 10 PKK rebels in Turkish
tourist resorts this week on suspicion that they were preparing to
launch bomb attacks in the Aegean and Mediterranean coastal regions.
The group has in the past attacked tourist targets to damage Turkey's
lucrative tourism industry. The Islam-based Welfare Party of new Prime
Minister Necmettin Erbakan ran a strong second throughout northern
Bet-Nahrain (Turkish provinces) in recent general elections behind a
pro-Kurdish party, and the party is eager to strengthen its appeal to
SATELLITES DISCOVER THE BIBLICAL PISHON RIVER
(ZNDA: Sydney) According to an article in the Biblical
Review with the aid of recently released orbital satellite photographs,
archaeologists believe they have discovered the River Pishon, associated
with the Garden of Eden. Genesis (Breeta) 2:10-12 relates that the
river watered the Garden of Eden split into four rivers, including the
Pishon. The photographs clearly show the channel of a previously
undetected river, which crossed the Arabian Peninsula from about the
10,000 BC until 3500-2000 BC, when it dried up. Dubbed the Kuwait
River, the river channel provides testimony to a lengthy wet period
in the Bet-Nahrain region. Its location and the surrounding geology
of the area present some strong similarities between this dry riverbed
and the Bible's River Pishon. The Garden of Eden is believed to have
been located in southern Bet-Nahrain.
S U R F S U P !
"I am a 15 year old student who loves to read Zenda every Monday.
Being born in this country I want to learn more about Assyrian culture
and news. In your July 7th issue somebody mentioned something about an
electronic magazine. Are you going to make an electronic magazine that
is going to be sent out like Zenda every week?"
Your loyal reader
[Our next step is to publish ZENDA on our future web site
and make it
accessible as an e-zin (electronic magazine). Each issue can then be
printed and made available as a weekly magazine to all non-internet
readers. How does "sometime before the end of the Assyrian year"
"I have an idea that I would like to share with you. Would it be
possible to periodically include information on Assyrian Cultural/
Religious traditions of the past and how they have carried over
into the present? Topics could range anywhere from the importance
of eating Dukhrana, to perhaps a section looking at the origins and
meaning of marital customs and practices, birth/death ceremonies, etc..
My observation is, that generally, we tend to take such issues for
granted, whereas other cultures have produced volumes of work in
defining and qualifying their unique traditions.
Importantly, I think this would be a good way to reach
to Assyrians and non-Assyrians who may find an interest in pursuing
the art of conducting scholarly research on the cultural dynamics of
Assyrian communities. If there is any way in which I can help you,
I will most certainly oblige. By the way, I am very proud of you
and the work that you are producing on a weekly basis. Its achievements
deserve a standing ovation. Thank you for sharing it with me. I will
be in touch in two weeks.
Nadia E. Joseph
[Our best ideas have come from our readers. Beginning
ZENDA will add a "monthly" section entitled CONNECTIONS. In this
column we will feature the "origins and meaning" of today's common
religious and cultural practices, and those we left behind.]
"I,for one, totally agree with you. I am also truly
ashamed of Andre's
attitude. My cousin and I went to see Andre when he was in Sydney,
(Australia) a few years ago. We asked him for an autograph and my
cousin asked him something in Assyrian. He just looked at us, then
turned away, completing ignoring the question, and us!! He really
proved he was attempting to erase from his memory that he too is an
Assyrian - by ignoring us. Instead of taking up the opportunity of
showing his pride in his unique Assyrian heritage....he chose the
opposite, and only degraded himself in doing so!! With these actions,
he is slowly losing his own nation's support.... - Maybe someone
should subscribe him to AssyrianLink and let him catch up on how
advanced us Assyrians are and always will be....!!!!"
"What is shameful is that you deny people the freedom
whatever identity they desire. If his mother is Armenian, and he
chooses his mother's lineage as his identity, then so be it.
There is absolutely no shame in that at all. Many cultures
are matrilineal and not patrilineal. If you believe we are a
great people, then you must know that all people of all cultures
and heritages think they are great. Andre Agasi is fortunate to be
be able to choose either his father's or his mother's lineage
(or neither, for that matter). It is his God given right and freedom
to choose and no one should speak ill of it.
San Diego, California
"Please be ware that Andre Agassi Mother is not Armenian
she is Eastern European.Secondly,if you read the article very carefully
would see that the Journalist is the one stating that Andre is Armenian
and he is not been given an opportunity to fully explain his heritage in
details, simply because the journalist is more interested in when Mr.
Agassi is playing who and where.. The most important thing we could do
is sned our journalists to interview Mr. Agassi and set the record
straight. Thirdly ever since we the Assyrians became christians, we only
have one God, who is true God and the creator of all, so please do not
make any remarks to our sports gods because we have none and will never
have any other gods...........Forthly we as a small nation do not win by
disassociating ourselves from our brothers and sisters, after all things
San Jose, California
"After such announcement the Assyrian God of Sports has
and he is loosing left and right. The power of prayers of the Assyrians.
Andre should announce that he is Assyrian-Armenian. If he doesn't the
hell with him, who cares about him."
S U R F E R S C O R N E R
Please note the MS-Word document attached to this week's
you fail to receive or properly convert the document to a readable
format please notify ZENDA. The attached document is entitled
znpag~1.doc and includes information and an application form for the
1996 Assyrian Youth Excellence Pageant to be held at this year's
Assyrian National Convention in Modesto, California.
N E W S D I G E S T
IRAN TO ENFORCE DEATH PENALTY ON OFFENDERS AGAINST
JESUS AND MOSES
(ZNRU: TEHRAN) Iran has started enforcing a tough new
penal code which
includes wider use of the death penalty for crimes ranging from spying
to insulting religious sanctities, Tehran radio said Wednesday. It
quoted head of judiciary Ayatollah Mohammad Yazdi as saying the law
would allow officials to ``seriously combat social corruption, theft
and disruption of social order.'' The law, passed by parliament in the
past year and approved by the clergy-based Guardian Council, officially
took effect on Tuesday after a trial period. The law sets the death
penalty for insulting prophets, including those of Judaism and
Christianity, Shi'ite Muslim saints or Islamic sanctities.
IBRAHIM'S "DEATH AND BIRTH"
(ZNDA: Chicago) Ibrahim Yalda Ibrahim's new book
entitled "Death &
Birth" is now available from the author at:
5536 West Madison Street
Morton Grove, Illinois 60053
Ibrahim's book contains several modern Assyrian poems,
by Nineveh Press in Chicago (1995, 102 pages).
D I R E C T O R Y OF THE N E W S S O U R C E S
ANMN (Mercury News)
ZNNQ (Nabu Quarterly)
ZNNY (New York Times)
ZNRU (Reuters): ClariNet Communications Corp.
ZNSC (soc.culture.assyrian) newsgroup
ZNTN (Turkish News Agency)
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
N e w D a t e s & U p d a t e s
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
Thru April 6 The Ain Ghazal Exhibit
Arthur M. Sackler Gallery
E N T E R T A I N M E N T
July 21 12th Annual Scholarship Awards Dinner
Assyrian Universal Alliance Foundation
Edens Banquet Hall
6313 North Pulaski
(312) 274-9262, FAX (312) 274-5866
Questions? Write to GYQS35A@prodigy.com
R E G U L A R C L A S S E S & M E E T I N G S
Mondays Assyrian History Class
"Assyrian History: 19th Century thru Present "
Instructor: Wilfred Alkhas
BETA on 20000 Almaden Rd, San Jose, Calif
Class begins on June 3
Assyrian Educational & Cultural Club at
Modesto Junior College
Founders Hall 108
The Church of the East
Ages 4 thru 14
Assyrian Language, History, & Arts
9:00 am - 12:00 pm
BETA on 20000 Almaden Rd, San Joe, California
A S S Y R I A N S U R F I N G P O S T S
N e w S i t e (s)
Nineveh Online's new URL
P U M P UP THE V O L U M E
Secret raa-zaa-yaa [M]
Event qavamta [P]
F = Feminine M = Masculine P = Plural
B A C K TO THE F U T U R E
B.C. (2279) Sargon of Akkad's twin sons succeed
him as king. They
reigned for 22 years and continued to expand their father's empire
consolidating southern (Sumerian) and northern (Assyrian) city-states
of Bet-Nahrain. According to the ancient omen legends, both
brothers were killed by their own courtiers using cylinder-seals (the
long spikes on which seals were mounted before being attached to a chain
worn around the neck.)
<<The Ancient Near East, Simpson>>
A.D. (1969) A group of Assyrians establish the Assyrian
Association of America on the occasion of the safe return of the
<< Soorgada d'sheeta msheekheta 1995, Hannibal Givargiz
L I T E R A T U S
******** Babylonian Census ********
The following is an excerpt from census of the inhabitants
1 man Ahu-sina, young, who is living in the house of Ipqatum,
1 man Warad-kubi, son of Inbusa, who is living in the house of Etel-pisa,
the divination priest
1 man Belsuna son of Utul-Iar, who is living in the house of Belanum son
Kurhitti-musteser, his brother
Kubburum, pupil at the school, his brother
who are stationed with Nabi-Sin
who is living in the ...;
<< Early Mesopotamia, Postgate >>
T H I S W E E K I N H I S T O R Y
July 15, 1918: Assyrian army, under the command
of Agha Potros de Baz,
defeat the Ottoman troops in Solduz (northwestern Iran) and force them
to retreat back to the Turkey-Persia border.
B R A V O
Furat Dinkha, a ZENDA reader, received a Bachelor of Arts
Science from Carleton University, specializing in international and
strategic studies. Furat explains that "during my time at Carleton, I
studied and learned a great deal about my culture and my nation's history
as well. The education and experiences I acquired in university were
so great, enlightening, and wonderful that I wish every one of my
brothers and sisters are blessed with the opportunity to study in an
institute of higher learning." Furat plans to pursue further studies in
Congratulations to our reader Firas Jatou and his new
bride Shoshan (Sue)
who were married last Saturday in Toronto, Canada. Firas is the
founder of Assyria Online www site and currently resides in Chicago,
W E L C O M E T O Z E N D A
Zenda welcomes our new on-line subscribers from:
Las Vegas, Nevada
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:
Henry Hormozian San Jose, California
Albert Gabrial Hollister, California
Mishel Younan San Jose, California
Furat Dinkha Ottawa, Ontario
ZENDA prints 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 the activities of your local and
Assyrian communities, 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, July 22, 1996.