T H I S W E E K I N Z E N D A
The Lighthouse............. This Eternal
Good Morning Bet-Nahrain... Congressman Ray LaHood's Letter to Alright
Surfs Up..................."our politicians to be a little bolder"
Surfers Corner.............Publication of ASSYRIA 1995
News Digest................US Lifts Ban on Travel to Lebanon
Ziggurat...................Assyrian Martyrs Day in Wisbaden, Germany
Calendar of Events.........Wisbaden Commemoration of Aug 7 Martyrs Day
Entracte................... No New Entry
Intelligentsia.............Meetings & Seminars
Assyrian Surfing Posts.....The Turkish Massacre of Assyrians in WWI
Pump up the Volume......... Commemoration & Anniversary
Back to the Future......... Sons of Esarhaddon and the Massacre at Narajan
Literatus.................. Oshana of Tkhoma
This Week in History.......August 1933
Bravo...................... Sargon Yaldaei
The Directory..............News Sources
Bshena.....................Philips and Maxim
Salute..................... Ashur, Raman, Firas, Phil, Rita, Norman & Adrin
THE L I G H T H O U S E
This August Seventh marks the Sixty-Fourth anniversary of the Massacre at Semel, a village ten miles from Dohuk in northern Iraq. Despite its enormous implications throughout the modern history of this small nation a majority of Assyrians remain unaware of the events which took place in 1933. The looting and massacres of 1915 through 1933 have left a legacy of distrust between the Assyrians of Bet-Nahrain (Iran, Iraq, Syria, and Turkey) and their Moslem neighbors. It is crucial that every Assyrian organization, national or religious, to raise awareness of the general public, both Assyrian and non-Assyrian, with unbiased discussions of the historical events leading to the murder of thousands of innocent Assyrians in Bet-Nahrain.
ZENDA in saluting the memory of the Assyrian martyrs from the early days of Christianity until as recently as this year, when the murders of the innocent Assyrians took place in Iraq, presents this week's issue in the hope that ignorance, internal prejudice and rivalry may one day be replaced with unity of thought and deeds.
Selections from historical accounts of the massacres in the past 1500 years are scattered throughout every section of this issue. We would like to caution our readers that, due to the graphic nature of some eyewitness testimonies, some material may not be appropriate for young readers. Parental guidance in determining the suitability of this material for your children is suggested.
THIS ETERNAL SUFFERING
THE RED GRAVEL OF KIRKUK (448 AD)
<<As related by the Greek Historian Sozomen>>
One of the most horrifying massacres occurred in the year 448, in Kirkha d'Bait Sluk (modern day Kirkuk, Iraq). The Persian king, Yezdegard II began a wave of persecution of Assyrians throughout Persia. A massacre of ten bishops and 153,000 clergy and laity took place...The slaughter in (Kirkuk) took place in several consecutive days. Local tradition still asserts that the red gravel of the hillock was stained that colour by the martyrs' blood and the martyrium built over the bodies remains to this day. The place where this massacre occurred bears the name of the Persian executioner, Tamasgerd, who was led by the sight of the endurance and faith of the people he was butchering to believe that their faith must truly be from God, and who joined them in their confession and fate. He was baptized in his own blood.
MASSACRE AT SAIRT (June 1915):
<<Shall This Nation Die, Yousif>>
Djeudet Bey, military governor of Van, upon entering Sairt with 8,000 soldiers whom he himself called "The Butchers' Battalion" gave orders for the massacre of the Assyrians. The Chaldean-Assyrian diocese of Sairt comprises, exclusive of the Chaldean-Assyrians of the town, more than thirty villages, not to count a large number of other villages inhabited by Jacobite-Assyrians, of whose number we are ignorant. All these prosperous villages were pillaged, looted and burned, those who dwelt therein being put to the sword. The following is an almost complete list with the number of Chaldean-Assyrians inhabitants who were massacred:
. Mar-Cmoune 300
. Sadagh 2,000
. Hartevena 200
. Mar-Gourya 1,000
. Der-Mar-Yacoub 500
. Guedianes 500
. Jekend 500
. Hadide 1,000
. Ain-dare 200
. Redwan 500
. Berke 500
. Dehok 500
. Archkanes 500
. Ketmes 1,000
. Galwaye 500
. Der-Chemch 200
. Goredj 500
. Piros 1,000
. Artoun (Altahtanie) 500
. Tentas 500
. Dor-Mazen 300
. Tellimchar 1,500
. Der-Rabban 300
. Telnevor 500
. Charnakh 200
. Benkof 200
. Artoun 1,000
An Eyewitness Account: "A certain Youssouf, son of Kas Chaya, during this time had concealed himself in the Chaldean Cathedral. Driven out by hunger, the unfortunate man left his hiding place one night and came to a house, where his sister Mariam was. That very night a band of persecutors arrived. We all fled to the roof in terror. Youssouf, fearing for his life, hid himself under a mattress. One of the brigands, who was following us upstairs, discovered Youssouf. He pulled him from under the mattress, threatening him with death. Youssouf bravely made the sign of the cross and cried aloud: 'Jesus, into your hands I commit my soul.' He asked to see his little nephew, an only son among seven sisters, kissed him tearfully and bade us farewell.
With us there was also a boy of twelve, called Fardjalla,
who had escaped death on the first day, and whom we had hidden with our
men. Worn out by the excessive heat he had come out and joined us.
He, too, was seized and began to cry, screaming: 'Oh, they are going to
kill me.' His sister called out to him: 'Do not be frightened, dear, you
will be happy in Heaven.' The scoundrels then took the two poor Assyrian
boys outside the house, and shot them before its very door."
SLAUGHTERED LIKE A SHEEP (April 1997)
<<Jannette Yacoub: in an email sent to ZENDA"
"We would very much appreciate it if you could add to
the list of Assyrian
Martyrs the name of our only brother (God bless his soul) who was brutally
stabbed to death in his own house in Baghdad on the night of 12th April
1997. Yousif John (Youkhana) Yacoub, aged 35, unmarried. The brother of
Janette and Stella and son of John(Youkana) Yacoub and Nina Yagour Nister,
was stabbed in the neck, back and abdomen in his own house by three Arab men
(their profession- children school guards) - criminals are guarding
children- in a nearby school and their accomplice is (cleaner of the same
school). Yousif did not die instantly; he named his attackers to the police
together with the neighbours who witnessed this violent and tragic attack on
an innocent and unarmed person, and who was not involved whatsoever in
politics. In the beginning it appeared that it was merely a burglary that
went wrong. Yousif (GBHS) before he died gave the name and telephone number
of a relative, which the police never contacted. However, our relative who
lives in the same neighbourhood heard about the news on Sunday 13th April
while going to work, which was then too late.. the police had already toured
our house and cleansed it. It appeared Yousif needed medical attention, but
the police kept him for hours, they kept questioning him until his blood was
drained. After 2 weeks of Yousif's death, a high rank policeman (an
official of the Ba'ath party - Ameed Shurta - Emin) together with his wife
and children moved into our house and they are still occupying it, they made
it their home.
In a matter of second we lost our only brother, the house
and the house's
content. I pleaded with my relatives to save our family albums. A
collection of my mother's photographs taken in Moscow, where she was born,
and Iran before settling down in Iraq. But, the Iraqi police refuse to give
Let all the Assyrian know that my brother's killers are
on the loose, the
bloody cleaner is free and backed by the police - as the police put it - she
did not kill a soul .. (The cleaner's statement was that she asked 3 men to
beat my brother and steal money from him). Is this a justified statement.
The police also claim that one of the killers has escaped and the other two
are still interrogating them???
This kind of premeditated murder of innocent Assyrians
is now on the
increase and it seems that the Iraqi authorities are doing nothing to have
the murderers brought to justice. This crime was actually well orchestrated
by the Iraqi government. Recently, we heard that an Assyrian man was
hanged, he was accused of burgulary.??
My brother was slaughtered like a sheep, all the neighbours
saw the 3 Moslem
men and their accomplice ..a woman (who are well known to the neighbourhood)
the neighbours could not do anything but to ring the police. It is clear to
me that all these crimes are organised by the government. As I said the
woman is free, the police informed our relative that one man has escaped,
the other two - claimed to be still - under investigation. Our house is
occupied by a highly ranked -Emin- and his family. Can I or any woman go
back to Iraq to reclaim the house, Can I fight a Sadam's government. For
sure they do not want Assyrian people to own properties, and if we are not
driven out, our lives are threatened to death.
[Ms. Yacoub, a ZENDA reader, is a Sumerian and Akkadian scholar in London, England.]
G O O D M O R N I N G B E T - N A H R A I N
(ZNIA: Chicago) The Assyrian International News Agency (AINA) has received the following letter from the office of U.S. Congressman, Ray Lahood, a Maronite of Lebanese descent. A group of Assyrians, including AINA, had earlier visited the Congressman in Pioria, Illinois and this letter was written as a result of that meeting:
CONGRESSMAN RAY LAHOOD
18th DISTRICT, ILLINOIS
July 8, 1997
The Honorable Madeleine Albright
Secretary of State
2201 C Street, NW
Washington, DC 20520
Dear Madam Secretary:
I am writing to express my concern over the persecution
of the Assyrian
Christians in Iraq by Iraqi government forces, as well as Kurdish groups.
In addition, I am concerned about the levels of humanitarian relief aid
available to the Assyrians.
Recently, there has been increased focus by some human
on the treatment of the Assyrians at the hands of the Kurds. In fact, many
of the documented attacks have occurred inside the U.N. "Safe Haven" in
Northern Iraq. These attacks on Assyrians is greatly troublesome and
disturbing, especially since our country has actively tried to put a halt
to this type of marauderous activity.
The plight of the Assyrians is made even more difficult
by the fact that
much of the humanitarian relief aid flowing into Iraq goes to Kurdish
groups. Not only must Assyrians face the threat of attacks from Iraqi and
Kurdish forces, but they must also struggle for daily survival because they
receive little or no humanitarian aid.
The estimated one to two million Assyrians currently living
Iraq, as well
as their friends and relatives living here in the United States would be
most grateful for your attention to these matters. I hope that you will be
able to help address the Assyrian needs, and I look forward to hearing from
you regarding this issue. Thank you for your attention to this matter.
Member of Congress
S U R F S U P !
"I received a call from the U.S. Catholic Conference (USCC)
D.C. I have known this group for several years, having worked with them in
their past efforts to assist Assyrian refugees who had escaped Iraq and who
were stranded especially in Turkey.
A number of our people who fled Saddam's Iraq left everything
their rush to save their lives. Many of them have been lingering on the
island of Malta, with almost no visible means of support. The possibility
for their return to Iraq is zero. Most have been too traumatized, and in
any case they would face several reprisals if they ever managed to go back.
Some were fortunate enough to be accepted for settlement
by countries such
as Australia and New Zealand. But the United States has had a poor record
in this regard, even though many of these persons had U.S. ties which
should have favored them.
There is usually a two-step process in efforts for resettlement
in the U.S.
First, the individual must be "referred" by the United Nations High
Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR). Once this referral is made, then the
second step is for the U.S. Immigration & Naturalization Service (INS) to
proceed with an 'adjudication'.
The typical difficulties have been encountered here. First, the UNHCR failed to 'refer' many of the refugees, hence their cases never even got to the INS stage. Moreover, as for the ones who were 'referred', the INS did "adjudicate" them, but turned them down.
A new District Director for the INS has been appointed
in Rome, Italy
(which is the governing district for Malta), and he is supposed to be more
open-minded about reviewing cases such as those of our people in Malta.
USCC is taking on the project of going to Malta, personally
our refugees, and preparing to present the best case it can for each of
them before the INS.
USCC will be represented in this effort by an individual
who was sent to
Istanbul a few years ago for the same purpose. Prior to the USCC effort,
the Iraqi Christians in Istanbul had been rejected at an 85% rate. After
the USCC intervention, the acceptance rate was raised from 15% to 35%.
There is reason to believe that in the case of Malta, the participation of
USCC can be very successful.
While the principal USCC representative going to Malta
will be serving as
an unpaid volunteer, she will be more efficient if USCC can provide her
with an assistant. The cost of the assistant is estimated to be $3,000,
and USCC would welcome any contribution to help defray this cost. Without
such contributions, there will be no funds for an assistant.
Please contribute something to this very specific and
You can make your check out to: USCC - Migration and Refugee Services,
and mail as follows: USCC-MRS, P.O. Box 5715, Santa Barbara, CA 93150."
[Last week ZENDA contacted Mr. Carlo Ganjeh, AANF Director for the Western Region and former president of the AUOC. Mr. Ganjeh has faxed a copy of this letter to Mr. Sargon Lewie, president of the Assyrian American National Federation and Mr. Ramin Odisho, president of the Assyrian United Organizations of California, demanding an immediate response to this matter.
Also, since the distribution of the information regarding Mrs. Karmela Darmozadeh's bone marrow operation in London (see last issue) ZENDA has learned that thousands of dollars have been raised across the United States, by the Assyrian individuals, social and religious organizations. Thanks to the generous outpouring of contributions from Assyrians around the world Mrs. Darmozadeh's family is "quite optimistic about Karmels's operation to take place very soon."]
"Thank you for your courteous reply to my post concerning Malcolm Karam. I have spoken to him and he will be delighted if you subscribe him to hard copies of Zenda and advise him that you have corrected the previous misinformation concerning him (or implying that he was not among the living anymore by calling him the "Late Malcolm Karam"). My gratitude and thanks for your thoughtfulness to us elder Assyrian Octogenarians (khwardicknee) - Raba shlamee and Alaha minookhun."
I loved your interview with Rev. Benny and all the info
about Assyrians in
Georgia. I hope the article did touch some of our friends hearts,I know it
did mine. I also would like to ask you about the latter part of the newsletter which was in MIME. I received it in that format and I don't know how to convert it,or if it takes any kind of software. I have downloaded a file from aol I think it will take care of them in the future ,however I want to know if you can E-mail me that portion or send me a print copy of it. I will appreciate it either way,and please tell me the file I downloaded from aol will take of decoding in the future. As always keep up the good work and thank you for your help.
Los Angeles, California
[To our readers: Do not let a single ZENDA issue or article, map or jpeg, pass you by. We will gladly re-submit any of our previous issues or articles as often as requested. Please allow 10 days for the delivery of your requests.
The map of Georgia was emailed in jpeg via a textfile.
If you are unable to decode this file please refer to http://www.odci.gov/cia/publications/nsolo/factbook/map-gif/gg-150.gif
, a map produced on the Central Intelligence Agency website.]
"The 40th anniversary of Mtakasta, the Assyrian
(ADO), is an opportune time to salute all of its activists both here and in
our homeland. Kudos to the staff of Zenda for the special issue
commemorating ADO's 40th anniversary which included an insightful interview
with Mr. Ninos Gaboro, ADO's representative in the US (Zenda Vol. III #
21). I also applaud Mr. Gaboro's candidness and his enlightened attitude
towards our national affairs.
But I have a quibble, since at times Mr. Gaboro does not
seem to practice
some of what he preaches. Is Mr. Gaboro - entrusted with the very public
position of representing ADO in the US and with his over thirty years in
the Assyrian political arena - so naive as to believe that the Syrian
security apparatus is not informed of his true identity? So are we once
again only keeping the Assyrian people in the dark? And what kind of a
message are we sending here? That even living in Diaspora our political
figures are still afraid of the governments ruling our homeland? I tend to
believe that we Assyrians need our politicians to be a little bolder, a bit
In the same issue of Zenda, we were informed that four
have been imprisoned in Syria for no apparent reason other than trying to
help our people by supplying drinking water to the Assyrian villagers in
the Khabour region. This calls for us Assyrians in the West to send a
clear message that we will not tolerate such treatment of our people in our
homeland. It is high time that ADO initiate a grass roots mobilization of
the Assyrians in Europe to collect 10,000 signatures on a petition
demanding a fair public trial of the imprisoned Assyrians if the government of
Syria has a case against them, or their immediate release otherwise. This
will undoubtedly energize the Assyrian activists in the US to mobilize the
Assyrian communities here and collect another 10,000 signatures from the
Assyrians in this country.
This is another critical period in our history.
Will we Assyrians of the
West get our act together to show our solidarity with the Assyrians in our
homeland and to affirm our commitment to their well being? Or are we again
going to sit idly by and watch them be persecuted and victimized?
San Jose, CA
Our Lebanese Assyrians were the backbone of The Lebanese Forces in Lebanon. However, the leaders of Lebanese parties that formed The Lebanese Forces back in eighties, gave no attention at all in helping the Assyrian community, especially Assyrians who born in Lebanon. The Assyrians who born in Lebanon did not get a Lebanese citizenship, and found themselves stateless in their own homeland.
A lot of Assyrian people were so easily driven by emotions and continued to contribute their support, and not realizing of being the victims. A lot of Assyrians died in Lebanon as a direct support to the Lebanese Forces.
There were a lot of incidents where Assyrians became victims
as a result of disrespect by the part of The Lebanese Forces to the Assyrian
community for they view them as second class citizens. This
caused The Lebanese Forces to be responsible for kidnapping a lot of Assyrians
who they felt that their interest were at risk, such a kidnapped happened
to Mr.Benyamine Souto, and his staff, and many others. Mr.
Souto was a president of Assyrian club in Ashriefieh, Beirut.
The Lebanese Forces, Intelligent unit were informed that Mr. Souto helped
a lot of non-Lebanese Assyrians, especially Iraqis to
leave Lebanon by preparing their travel documents. The Lebanese Forces send a force of over 100 heavily armed men, and took Mr. Souto by force and many others. Since then, Mr. Souto have been suffering badly from the beaten he received. The names of Assyrians were given to the Lebanese Forces by an Assyrian residing currently in Chicago after the division and collapse of the Lebanese Forces in 1983.
The Lebanese Assyrian community in Lebanon did not have any political, military or even a true social structure during the civil war in Lebanon (April 15, 1975 - 1990). This lack of interest by many Assyrians can be pointed for being deprived from learning of their heritage, and as the result the new generation that came during the fifties have not yet learned their true identity.
Ashur Simon Malek
S U R F E R S C O R N E R
ZENDA readers are invited to respond to the following
request(s) by either
directly writing to the author(s) or sending a reply to ZENDA.
ASSYRIA 1995: PROCEEDINGS OF THE 10TH NEO-ASSYRIAN CORPUS PROJECT
The Neo-Assyrian Text Corpus Project announces the publication
following: ASSYRIA 1995. Proceedings of the 10th Anniversary Symposium of the Neo-Assyrian Text Corpus Project, Helsinki, September 7-11, 1995.
Edited by S. Parpola and R. M. Whiting
Helsinki 1997 | 8.5 x 11 in | Pp. x + 389 Paper | $50.00 |ISBN 951-45-7703-5
For more details, including a list of the contents, see
Copies of ASSYRIA 1995 can be ordered from Eisenbrauns, P.O. Box 275, Winona
Lake, IN, U.S.A., and all orders and queries should be directed to them. This volume is not published or sold by the Helsinki University Press (unlike State Archives of Assyria volumes), and writing to the Helsinki University Press or the Neo-Assyrian Text Corpus Project will only delay your order. Orders may be placed by e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org or by using the order form on Eisenbrauns web page:
N E W S D I G E S T
US LIFTS TRAVEL BAN TO LEBANON
(ZNRU: Beirut) Last week, US secretary of state Madeleine
Albright announced the lifting of the ten-year-old travel ban to Lebanon
and its replacement with a "strongly-worded travel advisory." See:
Z I G G U R A T
Im Namen aller assyrischen politischen Parteien, assyrischer
assyrischer Vereine, die in Wiesbaden taetig sind, laden wir sie herzlich
zum Gedenktag der assyrischen Maertyrer ein.
Wann: Am Sonntag, den 10.08.1997 um 17:00
Wo : Wiesbaden--- Syrisch.Orth.Kirche
Aschiersteiner Str., Willy Brandt Allee 14
C A L E N D A R OF E V E N T S
Aug 10 Commemoration
of the Semel Massacre
Sponsored by all Assyrian political parties and churches
in Wiesbden, Germany
Syrisch- Orthodoxe Kirche (Syrian-Orthodox Church)
Willy Brandt Allee 14
Assyrian National Convention, Detroit-Michigan
Schedule of Cultural Events
Thursday, August 28
1:00-2:30 pm Assyrian Dance Workshop
2:30-3:30 pm Video: The Sumerian Kingdom of Ur
3:30-4:15 pm Lecture: Science & Medicine in Ancient Assyria
4:30-5:15 pm Lecture: Assyrian Sci & Med during the Arab Period
Friday, August 29
1:00-2:30 pm Assyrian Dance Workshop
2:30-3:30 pm Video: Babylon: the Gate of the Gods
3:30-4:15 pm Lecture: Art in Ancient Assyria
4:30-5:15 pm Lecture: Assyrians in the Computer Age
Saturday, August 30
1:00-2:30 pm Assyrian Painting Workshop
2:30-3:30 pm Video: Ashurnasirpal, The Assyrian King
3:30-4:15 pm Lecture: History of the Church of the East
4:30-5:15 pm Lecture: History of the Assyrian National Tragedies
For more information contact Atour Golani, 1997 Convention
Through In the Presence of the Gods:
Art from Ancient Sumer
Mar 8,1998 The Smart Museum of Art
5550 South Greenwood Avenue
E N T R A C T E
Aug 26-Sep 2 Assyrian American National Convention
Hyatt Regency Dearborn
Fairlane Town Center
All Single,double,triple,quad rooms: $95 per day
Reservations: (313) 982-6880
Reservations must be made by August 7
I N T E L L I G E N T S I A
CHICAGO Eastern Church History Class
"A New Exposure to the History of Eastern Christianity
Instructor: AbdulMasih Saadi
North Park College
Carlson Tower, Room C43
3225 West Foster Avenue
June 25-Aug 13
7:00-9:00 pm; weekly (9 weeks)
Registration Fee: $ 80:00 (tax-deductible)
Tuition reduced based on financial need.
1-800-454-8979 or email email@example.com
Sponsored by the Assyrian Academic Society of Chicago
Assyrian Athletic Club Soccer Development Program
Warren Park Gymnasium
Western Avenue & Devon Street
HARVARD 1997-98 Syriac Classes Taught by Dr. J.F. Coakley
Instructor: J. F. Coakley
Basic Syriac grammar and syntax with selected readings from
the Syriac Bible and other early texts.
Readings in Syriac I
Historical and theological texts, and early poetry
Readings in Syriac II
Special attention to exegetical texts and to reading manuscripts.
NORTH Assyrian Boy Scouts
HOLLYWOOD Assyrian American Association of Southern California
5901 Cahuenga Blvd
North Hollywood, California
9:30am to 12:30pm
Contact Sargon Gewargis @ firstname.lastname@example.org
(818) 891-3705 after 7:30 pm
Assyrian Student Union
California State University, Northridge
Assyrian American Association of Southern California
5901 Cahuenga Blvd
North Hollywood, California
Contact Sargon Gewargis @ email@example.com
(818) 891-3705 after 7:30 pm
SAN JOSE Nisibin School
Assyrian Language Classes
AAA of San Jose BETA
20000 Almaden Road
Assyrian Language Classes (Adults)
Taught by Dr. Ashur Moradkhan
AAA of San Jose BETA
Mondays & Tuesdays
AAA of San Jose BETA
20000 Almaden Road
Maestro Nebu Issabey's Nineveh Choir Practice
AAA of San Jose BETA
TORONTO Nisibis School
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
The Turkish Massacre(s) of Assyrians During the First
as related by Ben S. Benjamin (see Nineveh Online)
P U M P UP THE V O L U M E
English Modern Assyrian
Anniversary yoo/ba/va [M]
F = Feminine M = Masculine P = Plural
B A C K TO THE F U T U R E
Kind Esarhaddon forces his Persian vassals to swear allegiance to his sons after his death. For 17 years Ashurbanipal ruled from Nineveh and Shamash-shum-ukin from Babylon.
<<The Ancient Near East, Hallo & Simpson >>
The massacre of Assyrians in the city of Narajan in modern-day Yemen took place in the hands of the young Jewish king, Usuf Asar. Over 2000 Assyrians were brought into a church, including the clergy and deacons. The executioners piled up wood outside the church building and set it alight, burning the church and every Assyrian inside.
<<Holy Women of the Syrian Orient>>
L I T E R A T U S
OSHANA OF TKHOMA
The father of Oshana was Boodugh, of the village of Muzraiga. He was a priest, and reputed to be the most learned man of the disrict, thought his learning amounted to no more than an ability to read fluently the ancient Syriac, and to translate with more or less readiness into the modern. We have no reason to suppose that he made any efforts to enlighten his people, or even to instruct his own children; though the latter, by bearing their father called a Rabbie, and by watching him as he pore over his old manuscript books, had some desire early awakened to become "learned" also.
In the autumn of 1864, the fierce Koordish chief, Bader Khan Bey, having three years before sacked the adjoining valley of Tiary, laid a plan to subdue and pillage the people of Tekhoma. The Nestorians there had repeatedly provoked the Koords to aggression, trusting to their own well-known bravery, and ridiculing the idea that any one would venture to attack them in their strong-holds. They had, however, some previous intimations of the approach of Bader Khan Bey's army, and time to make some unusual preparation for resistance.
But they had greatly mistaken the foe with whom they had to deal. The Koords swept through the valley like a tornado, and resistance was utterly vain. They villages were sacked and burnt, many thousands of sheep and cattle driven away, and their families scattered as chaff before the wind. No pity was shown to age or sex. The young and vigorous were dragged into captivity, while infants and the aged and infirm were butchered without remorse. Children, tossed into the air, were cut in two while falling. Some lost their arms, by the merciless twisting of cords which bound them. Some had their breasts stamped with red hot irons. The hearts of miserable victims were torn out before they ceased to beat. Many died under the tortures inflicted by their cruel invaders, in the hope of compelling them to disclose their treasures. The smiling homes of Tekhoma became a desolation, and thsoe who survived this wholesale massacre were made houseless, half-naked, starving wanderers. It drew tears from our eyes to see these unhappy beings flock down to us and their more favored brethren on the plain of Oroomiah, pleading for a morsel of bread and shelter from the storms of the approaching winter.
The father and mother of Oshana fled in terror with their children on the approach of the Koords, and took refuge in a ravine high up the mountain side. The Father, having thus looked after the safety of his family, felt that he must venture down, with his wife, to secure his liraryk, which, consisting of ancient Syriac manuscripts, he regarded with very peculiar affection. Leaving their three children, Shlemon, Oshana, and Gulee in the care of a sick uncle, they set out on their perilous enterprise, but were soon despatched by the daggers of the Koords.
The ruffians next discovered the hiding-place of this afflicted family. The sick uncle and the orphan children were again compelled to flee for their lives. Shlemon undertook to carry his little sister Gulee on his shoulders; but being himself a mere child, his strength soon gave way, an his failing limbs trembled under their burden. The uncle, apprehending that both of the children might thus fall into the hands of their pursuers, directed Shlemon to abandon his little sister, and try only to save himself. Shlemon obeyed with many tears, and clambered on in wild affright over the rocks and precipiees. Owing to their superior knowledge of the country, they were at last able to evade the bloodthirsty Koords, and to reach a place where they could breathe freely. A kind Providence also watched over Gulee, who, with another little girl, was saved, they hardly know how, and was afterwards found among the smouldering ruins of the Tekhomian villages.
<<Nestorian Biography, Sketches of Pious Nestorians, 1857>>
T H I S W E E K I N H I S T O R Y
Aug 4- Fighting breakout between the Iraqi army (Arabs and Kurds) and the Assyrians returning from Syria (occupied by French forces). Hundreds of Assyrians re-cross the Khabour river, including Malik Loco and Malik Yacu. Others who flee to Diarabun are rounded and killed.
Aug 5- Iraqi army is ordered to "exterminate"
Every Assyrian male found is shot on site.
Aug 7- Assyrian villages are looted and burned in northern Iraq.
Aug 9- More Kurdish and Arab solders are sent to northern Iraq to disarm Assyrians.
Aug 10- Thousands of Assyrians gather in the village of Semel, where they are forced to disarm and surrender.
Aug 11- Kurdish and Arab solders, under the direction of Bakir Sidqi, attack Semel and kill every Assyrian man. Women are forced to wash the blood off the Police Station, if refused, they too are gunned down. Priests are dragged with ropes and shot outside the city. By 2:00 pm every man is killed; Iraqi solders leave the village to take a lunch break and allow Kurdish and Arab inhabitants of nearby villages to enter Semel and loot the Assyrian homes.
Aug 12- The Iraqi army returns to Semel
to bury the dead in a mass grave. They then
turn to the surviving women and rape girls as young
as 11-years-old. For days women and their children survive on water-
melon seeds and water alone. For his triumph in northern Iraq, Bakir
Sidqi receives a grand reception in Baghdad and is promoted in ranks.
B R A V O
In these days of national grief, when all our attentions must be focused on the meaning of the blood of the martyrs it is only appropriate not to congratulate ourselves for the deeds accomplished by the living. Yet, at ZENDA, we could not remain uncognizant of the efforts of the Assyrian American Association of San Jose's Executive Board to alter the "screen credits" shown at the beginning of ZENDA's Two-Part Special "The Massacre." Finally, in response to Mr. Sargon Yaldaei's inquiry (current president of the AAA of San Jose) as to the appropriateness of "promoting ZENDA" on his Association's TV program, ZENDA has decided to withdraw the show from Atour TV's August 4th and 11th showings, and allow other Assyrian TV programs to air "The Massacre" at a later date.
the D I R E C T O R Y
ZNAA (Assyrian Academic Society-Chicago)
ZNAD (Assyrian Democratic Organization)
ZNAM (Archeology Magazine)
ZNAP (Associated Press International)
ZNBN (Bet-Nahrain Inc/ KBSV-TV "AssyriaVision")
ZNDA (Zenda: firstname.lastname@example.org)
ZNMN (San Jose Mercury News)
ZNNQ (Nabu Quarterly)
ZNNV (Nineveh Magazine)
ZNSH (Shotapouta Newsletter)
ZNSJ (San Jose Mercury News)
ZNSM (Shufimafi Lebanese News)
ZNTM (Time Magazine)
ZNUP (United Press International)
ZNUS (US News & World Report)
W E L C O M E T O Z E N D A
Zenda welcomes our new on-line subscribers from:
S A L U T E
Zenda wishes to thank the following individuals whose contributions appear in this week's issue:
Ashur Simon Malek
Ontario, Canada The Lighthouse
Raman Mikhael Chicago, Illinois Good Morning BN
Adrin Takhsh Berlin, Germany Ziggurat
Firas Jatou Chicago, Illinois News Digest
Dr. Norman Solkha Chicago, Illinois News Digest
and the following individual(s) for introducing ZENDA to our new readers:
San Jose, California
Phil Darmo Sydney, Australia
In Our Upcoming Issues:
Sep 8: Assyrian National Convention Report
Sep 15: Issa Benyamin: Letters in Motion
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