Tdabaakh 19, 6746 Volume II Issue 27 August 19, 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
TWO KEY PRINCIPLES NEEDED FOR A NEW DAWN
IN THE HISTORY OF THE ASSYRIAN NATION
Part 1 of 2
The following article is a macro level view of the Assyrian
journey in time. The emphasis is on two key factors that are essential
for the enlightenment and growth of our nation in the Twentieth and
Twenty First Centuries.
We all have been exposed to our rich heritage by our parents,
history books and what we have been taught throughout our life about
our culture, our language, our people, and our faith. We have been
exposed to our nation's florishment and success in certain eras of
history, starting in Mesopotamia from over 6000 years ago and its
continuation through the dark ages in between, where we have been ruled,
massacred and ignored by other nations and faiths. The interesting part
is that, through all of this, we have continued our existence and
identity, as the proud owners of an ancient culture that has not allowed
itself to die and vanish. We are one of the unique nations on the face
of the earth that even without a physical land to represent it, has
survived through the test of time and insisted on maintaining a unique
identity passed on from one generation to the other.
Where do we go from here and how do we pass the torch
given to us by
our parents to the next generation ? We have two choices:
a) The easy choice : Do nothing, give up hope, be the
last of our kind,
who were the chosen ones to represent this culture on earth, and lose
our identity in the society that we live in.
b) The hard choice: Pass the Torch to the next generation and try to fuel
it with whatever that we have learned in our life time.
If we are in the hard choice category, we have accepted
responsibility to bear until it is passed to the next generation. In this
journey, we wish not to be alone. We wish to unite, to make this choice
as promising and fulfilling as possible. WE DO NOT HAVE TO BE ALONE, IF WE
DO NOT WANT TO BE!! We are not alone when we know how to unite, communicate,
educate, and place a systematic infrastructure in place, together as a team.
It is scary for us as individuals to think of such an
and not feel helpless in the process. One person cannot do all the
things that will make a successful nation. But a nation, comprised of
united minds can!!!
Where is the start for us?
It is defined in these two key Principles :
1) The need for a financial infrastructure that would
fuel the engine
of any subsequent, humanitarian, social, cultural, political,
sub-infrastructure needed for the success of our nation.
2) Need for a democratically elected leadership that is
representative of our nation and its people. This body is to utilize
the financial infrastructure in the most efficient and focused way
to build the rest of the pieces needed. We need a democratically
elected leadership that is trusted and respected by our people.
The coexistence of the above two principles will allow
for a leadership
that enjoys an economical stability to govern in the best interest of
its nation, because it is a true representative of the Assyrian masses.
Additionally, the outcome is a systematic layout of fundamentals for a
nation to operate and plan for next generations. If we can complete
implementing these two key principles in our generation, we have
accomplished our duty during our life time. The result would be, the
opportunity given to the next 1st, 2nd, nth generation after us to build
on this foundation.
At times, in our past history, our fathers may have tried
own way to build a foundation as it is prescribed here, but have
failed because they have not implemented both of the above two
principles at the same time, or they have been repressed and
discouraged from within and outside before the completion of the plan.
We in the West who have access to certain levels of freedom,
people who can help the most to build this engine/infrastructure and
enjoy enough stability to complete the task at hand. The role of the
people in east, in our homeland and neighboring countries is even
more comprehensive. They need to inject their feedback in the building
process and be prepared to utilize it for their economic and social
well being. Additionally, Western Assyrian would use this engine for
further strengthening of the foundation in the West.
The best example of this model is the Jewish Zionist national
established in 1800's and the result of it being the state of Israel
in 1948. They did it in two generations!!!! This formula has been
proven by Jews, who were in a similar situation like us, being
persecuted and hated by the worlds of east and west. The difference is
that they started on applying these two principles effectively and
systematically in less than 150 years ago. So far the missing elements
for us have been our own lack of foresight and discipline to unite enough
to implement the above two key principles. Jews are a good case study
for us. Lets study their success and learn. How to get these two
Principle ONE: Financial/social infrastructure built up
Most important mechanism is the need for a taxation system
other government, on a yearly bases, that can collect the badly needed
funds to build the Assyrian nation's infrastructure. Fortunately, in
the west this can be implemented in the form of donations, hence,
indirectly, being subsidized in its nature. The means to collect these
taxes can be through dedicated fund raising organizations that are
chartered to implement the task at hand.
We need to unite as a nation and use any possible
to each of us to be an ambassador that would encourage and make other
fellow Assyrians aware of their needed help to demand unity from our
fragmented cultural, social, political, religious factions. Use the
Twentieth century communication tools such as conventional/new media
(TV, Radio, newspaper, the WEB) to strengthen communication and grow
the sphere of knowledge about ourselves. The change of attitude to
become aware of our roots is essential for the comprehension and
execution of a taxation mechanism.
We need to create more successfully united organizations
enhance the existing ones with our support. Only then we can have a
focal channel of raising funds needed for the development of our
nation's future. Some of the examples of existing organizations today,
are likes of the Assyrian Aid Society chapters throughout U.S/Canada,
that have raised hundreds of thousands of dollars for the humanitarian
needs of our people in a global scale. This is achieved via systematic
means of fund collection through these chapters. Existence of such
infrastructures, needs to be understood, supported, and enhanced by people,
who subscribe to the formal taxation mechanisms in future.
-Part 2 of 2 will appear in our next issue
A small but proud Assyrian voice
G O O D M O R N I N G B E T - N A H R A I N
TURKEY CALLS OFF REGIONAL
SUMMIT ON NORTHERN BET-NAHRAIN
(ZNRU: Turkey) The Foreign Ministry of Turkey, in an apparent
within Turkey's Islamic-led coalition government, Wednesday ruled out
a regional summit to discuss northern Bet-Nahrain. An Iranian newspaper
reported Tuesday that Turkey's Islamic Prime Minister Necmettin Erbakan
had called for a summit between the two countries, as well as Iraq and
Syria, on northern Bet-Nahrain. Iran, Turkey and Syria have held periodic
talks since 1991 on northern Bet-nahrain where thousands of Assyrians live
under the protection of the United Nations. The three countries, while
divided by ethnic makeup and political systems, fear that a breakup of
neighboring Iraq among various ethnic and religious groups could trigger
unrest on their own borders. Turkey, Iran and Syria all have sizeable
Assyrian and Kurdish minorities. Tehran and Ankara are concerned about
armed Kurdish rebels finding refuge in northern Bet-Nahrain and using the
area as a springboard to launch cross-border attacks
S U R F S U P !
"In Zenda, Volume II, Issue 26, the author of your feature article
"ASSYRIAN AMERICANS RAISE CASH FOR MONUMENT", published from The
Chicago Tribune, Monday, July 29, 1996, states:
"Like half of the Lebanese, Assyrians are Christians.
"The history of
Assyrians began with the history of Christianity," Peters said. "Our
first patriot and the head of our church was St. Peter."
The part of the statement "The history of Assyrians began
history of Christianity" is not only false, it is patently ignorant!
Christianity started less than 2000 years ago, at a time when the
Assyrian empire had ceased to exist for over 400 years.
While it is true that Christianity virtually protected
by preserving our language, it is a far cry from it the start of our
history. Perhaps one might call it the start of the modern history of
the Assyrian people.
However, Hosanna's effort to memorialize the Assyrian
servicemen is worthy of our wholehearted support, and I intend
to support it."
San Diego, California
Mr John Hosanna's Address:
AMVETS Post 5
9042 N. Central Ave
Morton Grove, IL 60053
S U R F E R S C O R N E R
"I am writing with reference to your letter of August 1, 1996 regarding
Messrs. Gebro Tokgoz, Melek Akyol, Adnan Kesenci and Yusuf Turker. I
would like to take this opportunity to brief you on the relevant facts
and implications of their situation.
Foremost, according to the information received from relevant
authorities, Messrs. Tokgoz, Akyol and Turker were, in fact apprehended
by the police for aiding and abetting Mr. Hasan Bas, a member of the
PKK, an internationally recognized terrorist organization. After the
preliminary interrogation, Mr. Turker was released, Messrs. Tokgoz
and Akyol were arrested, and with regards to the case, Mr. Kesenci
turned himself in to police. Documents belonging the Kurdish Workers'
Party, or the PKK, as well as a gun were found in Mr. Akyol's office.
Their cases are currently ongoing...
In the 1960's, this lack of economic opportunity prompted
in the in the southeast, including members of the Suryani community,
to migrate to developed Western European countries. PKK terrorism,
beginning in 1984, certainly slowed the pace of much needed
development in this part of Turkey.
In Turkey's fight against PKK terror, the Government's
aim has been to
ensure the well-being and safety of all its citizens, regardless of
their religious affiliation. Modern Turkey has inherited, and
continuous to safeguard, the proud traditions of religious tolerance
and freedoms. Therefore, it is absolutely wrong to allege that Turkey,
in any way, persecuted or penalized the Assyrian inhabitants as
claimed in your letter. The above-mentioned citizens were arrested
not because they were Christians, but because they are suspected of
aiding and abetting PKK terrorists.
I hope this information clarifies the matter for you.
1714 Massachusetts Avenue, N.W.
Washington D.C. 20036
N E W S D I G E S T
AUA TO OPEN HEADQUARTERS IN TEHRAN
(ZNAS: Chicago) The Assyrian Universal Alliance
will soon open an
office in Tehran, Iran, under the direction of the Secretary of the
Asia, Mr. Yonathan Betkolia. In 1995 during an official visit by
John Nimrod, General Secretary of the AUA, to Iran, the Islamic
Republic government agreed to the establishment of the AUA Asian
Headquarters in Tehran.
D I R E C T O R Y OF THE N E W S S O U R C E S
ZNAR (Archeology Magazine)
ZNAS (Assyrian Sentinel)
ZNMN (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
Aug 29-Sept 2 AANF National Convention
Red Lion Inn Hotel
Assyrian Food Festival
Assyrian Church of the East
San Jose, California
Thru April 6 The Ain Ghazal Exhibit
Arthur M. Sackler Gallery
E N T E R T A I N M E N T
Aug 25 10th Anniversary Dinner
Assyrian Academic Society
900 East Rand Road
Des Plaines, Illinois
R E G U L A R C L A S S E S & M E E T I N G S
Assyrian Educational & Cultural Club at
Modesto Junior College
Founders Hall 108
The Church of the East
A S S Y R I A N S U R F I N G P O S T S
Isn't it time to brush up on your ancient Sumerian mythology?
thought so! Check out this week's website.
P U M P UP THE V O L U M E
Blight, Molding tepna [M]
Oil nephtda [M]
F = Feminine M = Masculine P = Plural
B A C K TO THE F U T U R E
B.C. (482) The Persian king, Xerxes or Khashayarshah,
razes the walls
of Babylon and expropriates its citizens, turning its god, Marduk,
<< Assyrians in Post Empire Era, Crone >>
A.D. (1890) Persian Crown Prince visits Urmie, Iran calling
Bishop of Urmie, Mar Gauriel. The royal visit was a gesture of good-
will between Iran and the Christian foreign powers which had settled
in the Azarbaijan region since 1930's.
<< Brief Survey of Assyrians in Iran, Ishaya >>
L I T E R A T U S
******** THE CURSE OF AKKAD ********
"The large fields and acres produced no grain,
The flooded fields produced no fish,
The watered gardens produced no honey and wine,
The heavy clouds did not rain.
On its plains where grew fine plants,
'lamentation reeds' now grow."
<< The Lamentations Over the Destruction of Sumer & Ur, Michalowski >>
T H I S W E E K I N H I S T O R Y
August 19, 1876: dies at 36 in Syria, George Smith, English
Assyriologist. Noted among Smith's many invaluable discoveries
were the tablets of the Epic of Gilgamesh.
B R A V O
Last Monday students of the Assyrian History Class in
California celebrated the completion of their 10-weeks long summer
class organized by Mr. Wilfred Alkhas. Topics covered included the
history of the Assyrian nation in the 19th and 20th centuries and
the rise of the Assyrian political parties after the Second World War.
The next class is scheduled to begin in late September.
W E L C O M E T O Z E N D A
Zenda welcomes our new on-line subscribers from:
Carlton University, Canada
Mississauga, Ontario, Canada
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:
Esha Tamras San Jose, California
Yolanda Bebla San Jose, 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 26, 1996.