Tamuz 29, 6746 Volume II Issue 25 July 29, 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
TIDE OF TIMES
He was taking off his shirt, his eyes seeking the sun.
Then facing the
yellow shining orb nestled behind lazily scattered clouds, he smilingly
thought, "Even you the great sun have become old, you have lost your
power conquered by time. You are no longer the mighty one." "Try the
water, come on in, it's not too cold," she called out to him waving from
a distance, plunging into the blue lake surrounded by the lush green
He watched her shiny skin and her wet blond hair disappear
into the blue
of the lake. He touched the water with his fingertips and a cold wave
swept through his body, taking him back years. "You have to wait, it
needs more time to get cold. Don't take it out of the water! "commanded
the young man sitting beside him under the big apple tree. It was one of
those hot scorching summer days in Sersink, a town in the north of Iraq,
where to escape the crowded and hot small houses, they went down to a
stream gushing from a nearby mountain, to enjoy eating cold watermelon
which had been kept in the water.
"Yes, you're right. Let's in the meantime go and
take a look at the
apple trees we planted yesterday," on the way he said to his friend "I
bet you, I'll be the first to eat from the apple trees."
"You'll have to tend the trees first, love and nurture
them and watch
them mature, before you can eat their fruit," his friend continued.
Suddenly, his girlfriend's voice brought him back from
calling out to him in English, "Come on in, what are you waiting for?"
"I'm sorry, I don't know what I'm waiting for, but I must
go now," he
"Where are you going to?" she asked.
"I don't know," he answered.
On his way back, he walked along the only narrow road
that took him out
of the forest. He looked again up at the sun and thought, "I know since
the first day my eyes saw the light, you filled my heart with heat. I
know no dark night conquered you, you are always somewhere, oh great sun,
from whose light I tried to hide myself to protect my feet from burning
in your heat. I washed my body thousands of times from your sweat, but
you're still in my blood. Wherever I go, you are with me, without you
I have no shadow."
submitted by Bernadette Miraziz
G O O D M O R N I N G B E T - N A H R A I N
FOUR ASSYRIANS ARRESTED BY TURKISH MILITARY
(ZNDA: Chicago) The following is an official
communique from the
Assyrian Democratic Organization- ADO (Mtakasta/ US and Canada Branch-
released on July 13: P .O. Box 598144 Chicago, IL 60659 USA
Fax (847) 933-1776
On the basis of flimsy accusations, the Turkish military
on June 25,
1996, arrested four Assyrian men in Midyat/Tur Abdin. One of the four,
Yusuf Turker, was subsequently released. However, Gebro Tokgoz, Melek
Akyol and Adnan Kesenci remain incarcerated in Mardin, and may be bound
over to Diyarbakir for prosecution. Gebro Tokgoz is acting mayor of the
city of Midyat, home for most of the remaining Assyrians in the region.
Generally known as Suryani, the majority of the Assyrians of Turkish
Mesopotamia are members of the Syrian Orthodox faith. The three men
were charged with providing food and shelter to PKK guerrillas. This is
a standard accusation ploy by the Turkish military. In fact, Assyrians
once again find themselves on the millstone, caught in the middle of
the Turkish-Kurdish fighting. Since 1992, 30 innocent Assyrians have
been killed in this crossfire. The PKK threatens Assyrians who decline
to provide assistance on demand, while the Turkish military interprets
the slightest contact with PKK partisans as anti-government collaboration.
On closer examination, it appears that the present charges may have
been constructed by a pro-government kurdish Hezbollah group, seeking
to rattle and dislodge the remaining Assyrians. Ironically, the anti-
Christian campaign of ethnic cleansing in this region is not so different
from the anti-Muslim policy Turkey has harshly criticized in Bosnia.
We condemn these arbitrary arrests and demand the immediate release of
these law-abiding citizens. We call on human right organizations and
democratic governments and institutions to join in this protest, and to
demand the release of these Assyrians.
Please forward your protest to the Turkish Embassy in
1714 Massachusetts Avenue, NW
Washington, D.C. 20036
Tel.: (202) 659-8200
TURKISH GOVERNMENT'S CLASH WITH TERRORISM AND HUNGER
(ZNRU: Diyarbakir) Turkish security officials said Saturday
Kurdish guerrillas and 16 Turkish soldiers were killed in several
clashes in northeastern Bet-Nahrain. A statement from the emergency
state governor's office in Diyarbakir said the clashes had taken place
in Hakkari, Sirnak, Batman and Diyarbakir provinces between Kurdistan
Workers Party (PKK) militants and security forces. It did not say when
they had occurred or give other information. Meanwhile elsewhere,
hundreds of Turkish prisoners agreed to end a wave of politically-
damaging hunger strikes after the government partly accepted their
demands. Word of the deal came hours after three more prisoners had
died, bringing to eleven the death toll and raising the prospect
that security forces would intervene. Sonar, an Assyrian youth,
who was imprisoned in 1995 for alleged acts of terrorism against
Turkey , remains in such a prison. His whereabouts and health
condition are not known.
S U R F S U P !
"I wanted to inform you that Turlock...not L.A. received
in Womens volleyball. Thank you. I just wanted to clear this for you."
"Thanks for the consistent and informative weekly updates...May
suggest to place the heading of all topics at the beginning? This
will help to read the desired topics first... May I also suggest that
any attachments to be converted to text and included in your body text?.
This will ensure all readers to read the same text. Of course the
formatting of the original document might be an issue!
Santa Cruz, California
[In our future issues we will use your suggestions as
"technically" possible. We are limited to a certain number of
characters that can be submitted from our servers. A table of
contents will also take up extra space which we instead like to
use in bringing you news and information.]
"For those Assyrians who are criticizing Andre Agasi for
choosing Assyrian background, I say shame on you. Your comments
and criticism against Mr. Agasi indicate clearly that you are
nothing but a group of racists and hypocrites. Mr. Agasi or any
other human being is free to choose whom he wants to belong to,
and there's no shame for such behavior whatsoever. Why don't you,
you hypocrites, first remove the rafter from your eyes before you
attempt to remove the hair from you brother's eye. Those Assyrians
with this type of attitude are wearing a special type of eye
spectacles. They see themselves big and magnificent and the world
in front of them small and insignificant. Take off those spectacles
and you will see the real world. I hope you will then see the real
picture of you; small and insignificant!"
"I've got my Zenda, and I love it! We do have a
Bet-Shlimon; (I wonder whether he is an Olympic Athlete!) he is the
brother of our very own Arbil Bet-Shlimon."
San Jose, California
[Purely unintentional! Our fictitious story which
appeared in our
last issue, was just that: FICTITIOUS. Let us hope that our next
similar Olympic story to be written during "Sydney 2000" will not
be so fictitious.]
S U R F E R S C O R N E R
[ZENDA urges its readers to send a letter (you may use the following
sample letter) in response to the official statement sent from the
Assyrian Democratic Organization (Mtakasta). Please let us know if
you have mail out or faxed a letter so that we may know our readers'
level of interest in such social and political issues. We will
publish the number of responses mailed/faxed out to the Turkish embassy
in our next issue. Thank you.]
1714 Massachusetts Ave., NW
Washington, DC 20036
I was deeply distressed to receive
news recently concerning the
arrest of four Turkish citizens in Midyat/Tur Abdin on June 25th, 1996.
The detainees are named Gebro Tokgoz, Melek Akyol, Adnan Kesenci,
and Yusuf Turker. The cause for their arrest seems to have little
evidentiary basis. While Mr. Turker has apparently been released from
custody, I am very concerned about the denial of fundamental rights for
these four persons.
It is distressing to note that this is not the first time citizens of
your country who are of the Christian faith have been subjected to
abusive or arbitrary actions. Here in the West, we receive news reports
of the ongoing warring between the Turkish central authorities, and the
Kurdish rebels. The Christians are not part of that fight, and your
government should not penalize them just because they inhabit the
region. The Turkish Military also aware about the fact, that PKK
threatens also Assyrians (Suryanis) who decline to provide assistance
The history of the 20th century reveals that what was
once a vibrant
Suryani community in the southeast of Turkey has dwindled down to a
precious few. This 'disappearing' is largely the product of insensitive
Turkish policies towards the Christians over the past several decades.
Please open your mind to the impossible situation faced by those in
your population who are non-combatants. Law-abiding citizens should not
be summarily arrested or detained. I right in support of the immediate
release of these individuals.
N E W S D I G E S T
SADDAM ESCAPES BOMB EXPLOSION
(ZNRU: Jerusalem) Israel's state television said
Thursday that Iraqi
President Saddam Hussein narrowly missed death several days ago when a
bomb exploded in one of his palaces. It was not possible to verify the
report independently. Israel's Channel One, which did not give its
sources for the report, said a wave of arrests in the Iraqi army
followed, and added that ``some say'' as many as 300 people had been
executed including members of Iraq's elite Republican Guards. ``A bomb
planted in one of Saddam Hussein's palaces exploded several days ago.
Saddam, to his luck, had left the palace only five minutes or so before
the attack,'' the television's Arab affairs correspondent Ehud Yaari
said. ``The bottom line is it was the most serious attempt (on
Saddam's life) ever.'' Yaari said to date there had been six to seven
attempts on Saddam's life.
ASSYRIANS AND COMPUTERS COME TOGETHER IN CHICAGO
(ZNDA: Chicago) The Assyrian Academic Society (AAS)
presented a two
part lecture on "Assyrians in the Computer Age". Part I, entitled
Assyrians and the Internet, covered a historical background, general
information, definition of terms used, and a brief demonstration
of how to log onto some popular Assyrian Web Pages. Part II, entitled
"Teach Yourself Modern Syriac", was presented by Shamasha Lawrence
Namato, who unveiled his new multimedia software package for self
teaching the Assyrian Language using a Personal Computer. The 170 MB
Audio-visual CD, comes in two separate parts- Reading and Writing-,
each part containing nearly fifty sections. An ideal tool for any age
and skill level to sharpen one's knowledge of the Assyrian Language,
each lesson plan contains phrases pronounced in Assyrian and translated
in English. The cost of the CD package is $49.95. More contacts
information will be provided in the near future.
ASSYRIAN MAN DROWNS IN THE WATERS OF
LAKE TAHOE, CALIFORNIA
(ZNDA: San Jose) According to unconfirmed reports,
the body of Mr.
Edward Essa Gavilan of San Jose, California, was found in the waters
of Lake Tahoe early last week. At press time the cause of death is
reported as a sudden heart attack while Mr. Gavilan was swimming not
too far away from his family. Edward, 28, is survived by his wife and
a 10-years-old daughter.
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
August 4 Assyrian
Martyrs Day Commemoration
-organized to assist the needy Assyrian families of
Georgia (former Soviet Republic)
Speaker: Rev. Benyamin Bet-Yadegar from Georgia
Assyrian Catholic Church Hall
San Jose, 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
Thru April 6 The Ain Ghazal Exhibit
Arthur M. Sackler Gallery
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
Imagine you meet an Assyrian! What would your first impressions
Access the new Assyrian homepage entitled "Home Truths", a new Monthly
Column by Ninva Ponsonby, and find out for yourself.
P U M P UP THE V O L U M E
F = Feminine M = Masculine P = Plural
B A C K TO THE F U T U R E
B.C. (9000) Inhabitants of the Middle East begin
to settle permanently
at sites with year-round sources of game, fish, and water.
<< Ebla: An Empire Rediscovered, Matthiae>>
A.D. (3rd century) Shapur I of Persia founded Jundishapur
Ganta Shapirta) at the site of an ancient city near the present
Iranian city of Ahwaz, as a prisoner-of-war camp, for soldiers
captured in the war with the Roman emperor, Valerian. This camp
gradually grew into a metropolis and a center of sciences studied in
Greek, Sanskrit, and Assyrian (Syriac). A school was set up to teach
medicine, mathematics, astronomy, and logic from Greek texts
translated into Assyrian.
<< Science & Civilization in Islam, Nasr >>
L I T E R A T U S
******** Ancient Proverbs of Bet-Nahrain ********
1. A canal in the direction
of the wind brings water in abundance.
2. An ordinary citizen in
another city becomes its chief.
3. A stranger's ox eats
grass, one's own ox lies down in the pasture.
<< Religions of the Ancient Near East, Mendelsohn >>
T H I S W E E K I N H I S T O R Y
August 3, 1903: born, Sale Salvatore, in Salamas, Iran. Sale is
recognized as a prominent 20th century painter whose biography has
appeared in the Who's Who publications.
B R A V O
The first Assyrian catalog of ancient artifacts, wearables, jewelry,
music, and much more is available through Vov Alep Company of
Claremont, California. Mr. Walter Ebrahimzadeh of Vov Alep has also
produced a webpage at the following URL: www.vov-alep.com .
For more information contact Walter at 116 North Harvard Avenue
Claremont, CA 91711 (909) 624-9908.
C O N N E C T I O N S
Tammuz, the fourth month of the Assyrian calendar year,
is also the
name of a Mesopotamian deity. Known as Dummuzi in Sumer, Duuzi or
Tammuz in Assyria, the lover of Ishtar is said to have spent half of
each year in the Underworld until he was "resurrected" and brought
to life by his lover in the month of Tammuz. This semi-annual event
was celebrated during the ritual of Taklimtu and was later developed
into the modern Assyrian festival of Nusardil during which water is
sprayed to symbolize the safe return of Tammuz from the Netherworlds.
W E L C O M E T O Z E N D A
Zenda welcomes our new on-line subscribers from:
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:
Sargon B Yalda Chicago,
Christoph Aktas Sunnyvale, California
Albert Gabrial Hollister, California
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, August 5, 1996.
Due to some technical difficulties there may be a delay
in the delivery
of our next issue. Please contact ZENDA if you do not receive 8-5-96
issue by Wednesday 8-7-96. Thank you for your cooperation.