Z E N D A  M A G A Z I N E
[renamed Zinda Magazine in 1999]

Tishrin I  7, 6746                   Volume II                       Issue 33                     October 7, 1996

       *****    *****   *        *    ****          **
              *     *           * *     *    *      *      *    *
            *       ***       *    *  *    *      *    ******
          *         *           *      **    *      *    *         *
       *****    *****   *        *    ****     *           *
       A Weekly Online Publication of the ZENDA Assyrian Newsagency

                                   THE   L   I   G   H   T   H   O   U   S   E

                      63rd National Convention - Turlock, California
                   Hosted by Assyrian American Civic Club of Turlock

The second “Assyrian Youth Excellence pageant” was held on August 31
and September 1, 1996, during the 63rd National Convention, organized by the Assyrian American Civic Club of Turlock, California.

The program was an exploration of our youths’ achievements and excellence in different fields. The event was an indication of the rapid advancements of our youths, migrating from our homelands to this country, and at the same time the conflict in cultures, as viewed by them. It was a demonstration of a well organized presentation of our youth’s achievements and their plans for the future, humored by an artistic performance, at times so emotional, which  brought tears to the eyes of our audience. A unique opportunity to hear a well prepared assay and poem, indicating the awareness of our youth and their commitment toward the Assyrian family values and preserving our language and heritage. And finally the program highlighted the capability of our youth to achieve unlimited progress and leadership to the extend of representing this country’s youth to the highest office: that of the presidency of the United States of America.

The program was conducted in two phases as follow:

Phase One: Saturday, August 31,  Initially the concept, objectives and the process of the program were explained to the contestants and the judging panel and committee members were introduced. Then the contestants introduced themselves, talked about their achievements and finally took the tests on Assyrian history and literature, reading and writing. During a meeting, held later by the judging panel and committee members, the contestants qualifications and test results, at the first phase, were evaluated and scored.

Phase Two: Sunday, September 1,  During this meeting, held as a luncheon, the contestants introduced themselves and presented their achievements and talent and answered a random question. Based upon total scores during the two phases, the winner and two runner ups were selected and introduced to the audience.

We had 8 contestants, each praised for his/her achievements. These nominees along with their nominating associations were as follow:

Miss Laura Aghajan        Canada
Miss Helena N. Chanko         Assyrian American Assoc. of San Jose                 (AAA, San Jose)
Miss Anna M. Eshoo         Assyrian American Civic Club of Turlock                 (AACC, Turlock)
Miss Elizabeth D. George    AAA, San Jose
Miss Natasha Hermis        AACC, Turlock
Miss Bana Hermis        AACC, Turlock
Mr. James Petros        AAA, San Jose
Mr. Ashur E. Peyour        AACC, Turlock

Although we consider all our contestants as “Winners and the Pride of our Nation” but alike any other contest we selected those whose achievement and advancements were weighted higher. The winner and runner ups of the contest, as shown below, were presented with The “ Ashurbanipal Awards “ and cash prizes. The winner was also acknowledged and introduced as “ The Assyrian Youth of The Year and a Guest of Honor” at the convention banquet.

Miss Natasha Hermis                  Cash Prize: $1,000
   Nominated by: AACC of Turlock

First Runner Ups:
1. Miss Bana Hermis                Cash Prize: $  700
    Nominated by: AACC of Turlock

2. Mr. James Petros                Cash Prize: $  700
    Nominated by AAA of San Jose

Second Runner Up:
Miss Elizabeth George                Cash Prize:  $ 500
    Nominated by: AAA of San Jose

All the participants were presented with a certificate of participation in the “Second Assyrian Youth Excellence Pageant” and a book titled “ Folk Tales and Stories of the Assyrians” by our author Sarah Sayad Paz, a collection of sweet and sad corners of our ancestors lives. All cash prizes were funded by the sponsors and believers of our youth development.

Another noticeable achievement for the “Assyrian Youth Excellence Pageant” during 63rd National Convention, was its acceptance by the Assyrian American National Federation as an event to be held in all future conventions. With no doubt this new corner stone
will be an effective and instrumental cause for this program’s success and expansion in future. A program aimed and structured to encourage our youths’ advancements, which in term will benefit and secure the future of our Assyrian nation.

Henry Hormozian
Committee Chairman

                    G  O  O  D    M  O  R  N  I  N  G    B  E  T - N  A  H  R  A  I  N
From:      Anna Eshoo, 14th District, California
    Congress of the United States
    House of Representatives
    Washington, DC  20515-0514

To:    The Honorable William Clinton
    President of the United States
    The White House
    1600 Pennsylvania Avenue
    Washington, D.C. 20500

September 18, 1996

Dear President Clinton,

Given the recent escalation of conflict in Iraq, I write to request your assistance in obtaining and securing aid for the Assyrian communities and villages in northern Iraq.  As you know, Assyrians are a proud people, with a strong Christian faith, a distinct language, and a rich cultural heritage spanning over 7,000 years.  Assyrians have endured centuries of persecution because of their ethnicity and faith, and today suffer the same brutality under Saddam Hussein as do the Kurds.  Yet because they do not have the same world recognition, Assyriansreceive very little of the humanitarian aid that goes to the region.

As the only Member of congress of Assyrian decent, I believe the U.S. government must take stronger action to ensure the security of all innocent people living under the threat of Saddam Hussein, including Assyrian.  The Kurds control much of the flow of aid in the area and even the Red Cross is unable to guarantee privately raised U.S. funds will reach the Assyrians.

As you pursue a solution to the conflict in this troubled region, I ask that you continue to respect the needs and integrity of the Assyrian community.  Please inform me of the steps your Administratincan take to alleviate the suffering of Asyirnas in northern Iraq.

                  S   U   R   F   S     U   P   !
"For the past month I have been questioning our congresswoman Anna
Eshoo profile on Assyrian Contacts at AOL.  After reading her profile I have noticed that there was nothing mentioned about our Assyrian community. So I requested some document to prove all the work she has done for our community. She asked me to call her and to talk about these issues on the phone, but i refused and insist on legal documents.  I haven't received them yet and she stopped replying to my request.  On your next issue October 7, 1996, you have mentioned that she requested for aid for the Assyrians in northern Iraq, It's about time that she is doing something."


"Can you bring Zenda TV to the Chicago area ?

Edmond Daniel

[Certainly. ZENDA TV is produced in San Jose, California and can be
pre-recorded and delivered to any location. For more information
write to ZENDA and let us know if you would like to sponsor our
weekly community program in your local area.]


"I vote in 'Being an Assyrian first and Christian second'. Who believes in God?  My teacher "Rick" asked us in Sociology class.   Few students of about 200 raised their hands.  Rick asked "Why?  Is God observable, is God measurable?"  No one could answer this question. If we make a hypotheses and say "God is a soul and the creator of universe", than this hypotheses should have expected relationship between variables with other things being equal.  "God is a soul" so, the two variables we have "soul a dependent variable and God an independent variable"  However, if we come to "Operation Definition", we find out that God can not be observable nor can be measurable, and there for, this hypotheses "God is a soul and the creator of universe" can not become a theory, for it does not carry any validity and reliability.  Therefor, why should we believe in God?

The article of "Doris Babassi - San Jose, California" published in
"Zenda" issue number 31 argued that we should put Christianity first
and Assyrian second!  The writer defends God, Christ, and Christianity with deep emotions rather with scientific prove. The writer placed the democracy second and the absolutism first by enforcing that we should believe because the writer stated that:
* Our empire collapsed  for lack of belonging to God
* Our unity been divided for lack of belonging to God
* God left us with pride
* Christ will give us salvation
and goes on until the writer seem to enter in a state of deep emotion, and depression.  If we say IQ test is valid, than we have to observe and measure it, but we can  not..... Can we say that who ever believe in God is the one who have fears, and the direction might be an irony to say that believing in God is an equal as to belonging to a communist society. Emil Durkheim in his sociological perspective stated "Structural Functionalism" as society being an organism or like a clock with all parts inside working together in harmony, balance and equilibrium. Unfortunate society is not living in harmony, balance and equilibrium, because it seem to have other directions as some belong to "Conflict Theory" driven by power and living in battleground.... and others seem to belong to "Symbolic Interaction" where an individual interpreted his/her own world and attach meaning and significance to them.....

Assyrian empire was destroyed by believing in other and not in our own unity.  Religion is a best mean to destroy any empire, and Assyrian with their strong emotions walked out from their battleground and gave our civilization in the name of God, Christ, and humanity to Muslims, and Arab and they turned Middle-East into a zoo and war zone.  We should believe in unity of Assyrian first.  We should respect and commemorate our Assyrian martyrs..  We should not sell ourself.  We should not label ourself as Arab Chaldean.....  We should build our self-esteem and help each other to return to our identity and sense of belonging to who we are.  We should examine our actions with validity and reliability to prevent mistakes, deceptions and destruction of our own Assyrian family."

Ashur Simon Malek
Ontario, Canada


"Please don't send negative comments about my article (Are Assyrians
Truly Christian)to Zenda. This is indirectly insulting God and it is
dragging His name and word through the mud.  I didn't make up stories; I studied the Bible and I thought now that we are close to the Second Coming of Christ, I can advise our people. My mistake! Now if you have comments send me an e-mail. You can ask Zenda's staff to provide you with my address. I can answer you personally.  I am asking God to forgive me for causing people to mock his word which is about eternity of mankind."
Doris Babassi
San Jose, California


"It was a late rainy September night, when Assyrians from all over Austria headed to Vienna for a very special occasion.  Joy had filled their hearts and showed on their faces.  For a few hours the warm voice of Mr. Evin Agassi with his wonderful lyrics and melodies made us forget we were in exile or refugees or what ever.  It was as if  we were back in Bet-Nahrain. One could clearly hear the Assyrian blood boiling...when dancing Sheikhanee, Belatee etc...  A German visitor couldn't hold back his enthusiasm; he jumped up on the stage, grabbed a microphone  and said that this evening was unbelievable. He told us that he had never seen anything similar, "I don't understand a word of what is spoken but it is wonderful". He also thanked the Assyrians present  for their kindness and hospitality.  We returned
his compliments by warm applauding.  What can one say except that it  was an  unforgettable Assyrian night in Vienna.

Bernadette Miraziz
Vienna, Austria

              S  U  R  F  E  R  S      C  O  R  N  E  R
"Has our alphabet become but a simple symbol of faith which is upheld by theoretical acts and not practical actions?  Do we expect our alphabet to leap off of that painting on our walls and teach itself to us or our sons and daughters?  I would love to see Zenda one day convert to a partial or complete use of our own alphabet.  This would serve to challenge its readers to become up to date with our own language.  Certainly Zenda stands to lose many readers; of this risk I am aware.  However, I believe that the risk to gain our own writing, reading, and speech is more compelling than maintaining a faith that our alphabet will be learned eventually by those who choose to learn it on their own time and pace. To move towards a more "practical action" I would like to suggest that the words introduced in the Pump Up The Volume section be incorporated within the text of the same or subsequent issues of Zenda.  Through this fashion the readers will be challenged to, not only look up the meaning of the word or phrase, but also to use the word or
phrase more often than not.  For instance, by simply conducting a word search throughout the text of an issue of Zenda which has been prepared for publication, the editor may find a word or phrase is repeated many times in the overall text.  That English word or phrase will then be the phrase of choice to be replace by its Assyrian counterpart.

Please consider this and I thank you for your consideration.

We are proud and hearty, but we are also lazy and apathetic.  If we are not lazy, then we are people and, for most, our psychology
requires repetition to learn a subject.  Language, if it is to be
learned, requires great repetition, not a "simple mention" in the Pump Up the Volume section.  This could be a great addition to the Pump Up The Volume section's role in teaching our wonderful language to our wonderful people.  Thank You Dearly."

Frank Chamaki
Turlock, California

[ZENDA's main objective is to bring news and information to as many
Assyrian individuals, families, and organizations as is   electronically and timely possible.  Our reader has a very  interesting suggestion; it will be given serious consideration in  the preparation of our homepages on the world wide web, where both  English and Assyrian alphabets can be incorporated in our articles.]

                                         N   E   W   S       D   I   G   E   S   T


(ZNUS: Washington)  Assyrian-Americans have written to the State
Department claiming that the Kurds who fled Saddam Hussein's persecution are in turn persecuting the Assyrian Christians who are among the refugees huddling in the mountains along the Turkish-Iraqi border. In their pleas, the Assyrians say that as their brethren fled from their homes in northern Iraq during the Kurdish rebellion, some were killed because ''they were cold'' to the Kurdish cause. The letter writers ask the United States to set up separate camps for the Assyrians, who, they say, make up 15 percent of the refugees, to enable them to hold religious services without fear of ''intimidation '' by the Muslim Kurds.


(ZNBN: Ceres)  Last month, in response to the military attacks and fighting in northern Bet-Nahrain, the Assyrian National Congress held an Emergency meeting at the Bet-Nahrain complex in Ceres, California. The attendees unanimously voted to invite the Assyrian political leaders, heads of organizations, of churches, and the activists in the creation of a new parliament in northern Bet-Nahrain. The Assyrian Parliament would lay the foundation for the establishment of a collective leadership under which all future efforts will be decided.

A committee was later formed to deliver the ANC invitation and
Dr. Sargon Dadesho, the ANC president, delivered the message during a live show on KBSV-23 (AssyriaVision). The invitation was extended to the newly elected president of the Assyrian American National
Federation, Mr. Sargon Lewie; General Secretary of the Assyrian Universal Alliance, Senator John Numrod; Representative of the Assyrian Democratic Movement (Zowaa), Dr. Licoln Malik.

The Assyrian National Congress was created "to bring together all political parties, organizations that are dedicated to our national cause under one collective leadership, here in the United States and around the world."


(ZNWS: Baghdad)  At the height of his recent military confrontation with he U.S. over the Iraqi army's push into northern Bet-Nahrain, Saddam Hussein made sure his top brass showed up at last month's Babylon Festival.  The annual celebration is part of the Iraqi leaders's effort to portray himself as the modern-day successor of King Nebuchadnessar, whose biblical empire stretched from Kuwait to Israel.  Saddam Hussein has used bricks stamped with his name and the seal of Iraq in the restoration of Nebuchadnessar's ancient palace in Babylon, 60 miles south of Baghdad.  He cited the claim that Nebuchadnezzar's father was an ancient tribal leader in what is now Kuwait as further justification for Iraq's 1991 invasion of that country.

                 D I  R  E  C  T  O  R  Y  OF THE  N  E  W  S   S  O  U  R  C  E  S
ZNAD (Assyrian Democratic Organization)
ZNBN (Bet-Nahrian Inc/ KBSV-TV "AssyriaVision")
ZNDA (Zenda: zenda@ix.netcom.com)
ZNRU (Reuters)
ZNSJ (San Jose Mercury News)
ZNUP (United Press International)
ZNUS (US News & World Report)

                       C   A   L   E   N   D   A   R     OF     E   V   E   N   T   S

Thru April 6    The Ain Ghazal Exhibit
                Smithsonian Institute
                Arthur M. Sackler Gallery
                Washington D.C.

Nov 13          Babylon & Syria in the time of XENOPHON
                Lecturer:  M. Stolper
                Oriental Institute
                University of Chicago
                Chicago, Illinois

Jan 15          Ashur & Marduk:  The State Gods of Assyria & Babylonia
                Lecturer:  G. Frame
                Near and Middle Eastern Civilizations
                University of Toronto
                St. George campus
                Toronto, Canada
                8:00 p.m

Mar 12          Guardians of the Gate:  The Assyrian Winged Colossi
                Lecturer:  A. Harrak
                Near and Middle Eastern Civilization
                University of Toronto
                St. George campus
                Toronto, Canada
                8:00 p.m

April 9         Recent Excavations at Gordion, Turkey:
                An Achaemenid Persian Imperial Town in Central          Anatolia
                Lecturer:  T.C. Young, Jr.
                Royal Ontario Museum
                Toronto, Canada
                8:00 p.m
 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
                 Fall 1996 Session
                 "Assyrian Biographies"
                 Instructor:  Wilfred Alkhas
                 BETA:  Assyrian American Association of San Jose
                 20000 Almaden Road
                 San Jose, California
                 8:00-9:00 pm
                 Info:  Wilfred_Alkhas@3mail.3com.com

Fridays          Assyrian Educational & Cultural Club at
                 Modesto Junior College
                 1:00 pm
                 Founders Hall 108
                 Modesto, U.S.A.

Saturdays        Nisibis School
                 The Church of the East
                 Toronto, Canada

                 Nisibin School
                 10:00-12:00 pm
                 BETA:  Assyrian American Association of San Jose
                 San Jose, California

SUNDAYS          Assyrian Boy Scouts
                 Assyrian American Association of Southern California
                 Assyrian Club
                 5901 Cahuenga Blvd
                 North Hollywood, California
                 9:30am  to 12:30pm
                 Contact Sargon Gewargis @ fishtale@juno.com
                 (818) 891-3705 after 7:30 pm

                 Assyrian Student Union
                 California State University, Northridge
                 Assyrian American Association of Southern California
                 Assyrian Club
                 5901 Cahuenga Blvd
                 North Hollywood, California
                 Contact Sargon Gewargis @ fishtale@juno.com
                 (818) 891-3705 after 7:30 pm

  A  S  S  Y  R  I  A  N     S  U  R  F  I  N  G     P  O  S  T  S
Assyrian Teen Network

               P  U  M  P    UP THE   V O L U M E
                   ENGLISH                ASSYRIAN

                Conversation            swaa/daa            [M]
                Speech                  mam/la              [M]
                Speaker                 mal/la/la           [M]
F = Feminine     M = Masculine      P = Plural
             B  A  C  K     TO THE      F  U  T  U  R  E

B.C. (879) Ashurnasirpal II chooses Calah as the capital of the          Assyrian empire.

<< Assyrian Sculpture, Reade >>

A.D. (489) Roman emperor Zeno orders the closing of the famous Assyrian school at Urhai (Edessa).  The school was then moved to the city of Nisibin where the Assyrian Church of the East was supplied with patriarchs and bishops for future generations.

<< The Death of A Nation, Yohannan >>

              L    I    T    E    R    A    T    U    S

                    *** MY ALPHABET  ***

I recall one day standing in a room of my father's home
A young boy standing there all alone
Gazing at the wall before me where a painting for so many years had existed
On that day its presence upon my attention, it had insisted

"What is that?", of my father I went and questioned
"It is the alphabet of our people", he proudly mentioned
"Khzeelakh bakhtee, broonan bet garvis oup bet haveh Atouraya", he  explained
"Hee, bet meghim la Nineveh min eedatid nookhraya", she maintained

I recall one day standing in that same room of my father's home
An older boy standing there all alone
With no mother and no father to show me the way
  Carrying with me only this painting
I will stray

I know with great detail the language of my hostess land
As for my own language,
I carry this wonderful painting from my father's home
In my hand!

I fear the day when while standing in that same room of my father's  home
When I am an old man standing there all alone
Should my son or daughter ask (not as) me of the same question
Like their grandfather will I simply but proudly mention
"It is the alphabet of our people"?

Frank Chamaki
Turlock, California

    T  H  I  S    W  E  E  K     I  N    H  I  S  T  O  R  Y

October 10, 1910:  The first Assyrian Drama group is established in Tibilis (Teflis), Georgia.

                      B     R    A     V     O


On October 4 a baby girl was born to Albert and Nancy Gabriel. ZENDA and its contributing staff wish to congratulate the Gabrial family on such joyous occasion.  Albert & Nancy, two avid ZENDA readers, live in Holister, California.  Albert has been a pioneer in furthering Assyrian presence on the internet, most notably through the creation of eBabylon BBS and the Nineveh Online web sites.

      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:

       Ashur Simon Malek    Ontario, Canada
        Ninos Bebla        San Jose, California
        Albert Gabrial        Hollister, California
        Lena Mushell        San Jose, California

Our Next Issue will appear on Monday, October 14, 1996.

In our next issue:  Report of the Upsala University Conference