ZENDA is a Weekly Assyrian Online Magazine
T H I S W E E K I N Z E N D A
Sex & Sexuality in Ancient Assyria
Good Morning Bet-Nahrain......... Iraqi Military Preparations in Kirkuk
Iraqi Children Go Back to School
Surfs Up.................................... "to look beyond our own shortcomings"
Surfers Corner............................ Stop the Killing of Iraqi Children
Assyrian Language Classes in Chicago
Indict Saddam Rally in Toronto
News Digest............................... Assyrian Film Documentary in Russia
Calendar of Events..................... Nineveh Choir Concert (Dec 20)
Issa Benyamin in San Jose (Oct 7-19)
Khudra..................................... October-December 1997
Entracte.................................... No New Entries
Intelligentsia.............................. Meetings & Classes
Assyrian Surfing Posts............... Assyrians & the Celtic Culture
Free Assyrian Screen Saver (Macs and Windows)
Pump up the Volume................. Fortune & Disaster
Back to the Future.................... Tiglath-Pilesar III and the Central Government
Chicago-area Assyrians in World War II
Literatus.................................. A Letter From Austin Henry Layard in 1849
This Week in History................ George Lamsa
Bravo...................................... Happy 80th to Esho Amrikhas
Greetings to Our 700th Reader
The Directory.......................... ZENDA News Soures
Bshena.................................... iiTRI, ISTP, WebTV, UOP, Australia, & San Jose
Salute...................................... Daniel, Firas, Lorine, Raman, Ashur, & Rich
----------------THE L I G H T H O U S E------------------
SEX AND SEXUALITY IN ANCIENT MESOPOTAMIA
Man's view of himself as superior in all ways to women was enshrined in the law and custom of the Mesopotamian civilizations. A woman was a property of her father and then of her husband. Civil legislation to observe some rights for women in Bet-Nahrain trotted a tortuous path between political aims on the one hand and polytheistic religious beliefs on the other.
The people of ancient Bet-Nahrain (Mesopotamia) cultivated a way of life which favored male dominance. In the entire history of Assyria there are only two women of considerable power mentioned: Sennacherib's wife, Naqi, and Sammuramat or Queen Samiramis (Shemiran). In Babylon, although the legal position of women was inferior, their scope of employment was wider. There were women scribes as early as 3000 BC. (world's first stenographers), hairdressers, shopkeepers, singers, cooks, spinners, and priestesses. Hebrew women had even less latitude than the Babylonians. In Babylon, a husband had the choice of pardoning his wife's adultery and allowing her to live, not so in Palestine.
In Egypt it was possible for a woman to divorce her husband,
a dispensation not granted to the women of Babylon. The most common
ground for divorce was the wife's barrenness, but a Babylonian husband
could divorce his wife for being a spendthrift or, if he preferred, reduce
her to the status of slave. In 2350, the Sumerian king Urukagina
ended the practice of polyandry or having two or more husbands at one time.
A few centuries later, there was no question of a woman having more than
one husband anywhere in Bet-Nahrain. Polygyny was quite another matter.
The Hebrews were most deeply dedicated to it. When the Assyrians
send an army against Jerusalem, Ezekiah bought it off with 30 talents of
gold, 800 of silver, and "all kinds of treasures, as well as his daughters,
his harem, his male and female musicians." In Babylon, a man was
not allowed more than one fully accredited wife at a time, but secondary
wives and concubines were a matter for his purse and his conscience.
Babylonians called their second wife an ashshetu or esirtu, meaning "rival."
In Babylon, if a man's legal wife was barren, it was incubment on her to
provide her husband with a substitute child bearer.
Scholars working on the first comprehensive dictionary of the Sumerian language were disconcerted to find a phrase, "He put a hot fish in her navel." Lovers throughout history have used the human navel as repository for a wide range of erotically stimulating objects, and, on balance, a hot fish seems no more improbable than the ice cubes fashionable in some circles today. On the other hand, "hot fish" may well have been ancient Sumerian slang for the penis.
It is clear than Mesopotamian knew about venereal diseases and how they were transmitted. "These white pimples...he has caught them from being in bed with a woman." One early source also describes something very close to infectious hepatitis.
Pregnancy testing was as commonplace in Bet-Nahrain as it is today, the results of course not as reliable. Bet-Nahraini physicians argued that "if the forehead of the mother-to-be is heavily freckled, the child she is carrying is a boy." But they did have a sure test for permanent sterility. "To know a woman who will bear from a woman who will not bear: Water-melon, pounded and bottled with the milk of a woman who has borne a male child; make it into a dose. To be swallowed by the woman. If she vomits, she will bear. If she belches, she will never bear."
For 30 days after giving birth the Babylonian woman was ritually unclean, as she was during her monthly period. For the regulation six days during which she wore a sanitary towel (Sumerian tug-nig-dara-ush or "blood bandage"), she contaminated everything she touched, whether the bread she made or the man who approached her. She was forbidden to go near the king. After her period she was instructed to purify herself by taking a bath or washing her hands.
Circumcision was not practiced in Bet-Nahrain. It was a common practice in Egypt and was later brought to Bet-Nahrain by the Hebrews. In general it was used to distinquish the children of Abraham from their neighbors.
It seems that the women of Bet-Nahrain were prone to reach for a man's testicles in a brawl, for the Assyrians legislated against it. "If a woman has crushed a man's testicle in an affray, one of her fingers shall be cut off; and if although a physician has bound it up, the second testicle is affected with it and becomes inflamed or if she has crushed the second testicle in the affray, both of her breasts and nipples shall be torn off." In Assyria, any man who struck a wellborn lady and "caused her to cast the fruit of her womb" was liable to a heavy fine, a beating, and a month's forced labor. If the lady was not wellborn, the only penalty was a fine.
Abortion was a criminal offense. For an Assyrian woman, the penalty was "to be impaled and not be given burial." If she died of the abortion, the same punishment was meted out to her corpse.
For contraception, Mesopotamian, as did the Egyptians, prevented the seminal fluid from entering the womb either by mopping it up before it reached there (by trapping it in a spongy or absorbent fabric inserted in the vagina) or by blocking off the cervical opening that connects the vagina with the womb (uterus). A contraceptive recipe may have included the mixture of crocodile dung with an unidentified paste or a glutinous compound of honey and sodium carbonate. They may have worked due to their absorbent texture in which case it would be used in the vagina to soak up seminal fluid.
In the days of Hammurabi, temples were staffed by priests, servants, artisans, and a number of highly respectable priestesses and nuns, what westerners refer to as "sacred prostitutes." The exact purpose of their profession is obscure; it may well have had its origin in fertility rituals. However, the temple priestess' earnings accounted for a substantial part of the temples' income. A harimtu (where the word "harem" comes from) was a semicircular "prostitute" and a qadishtu a sacred one. An ishtaritu was a servant of the goddess Ishtar. One Babylonian father advises his son, "Never take a harimtu to wife, her husbands are beyond counting; nor an ishtaritu, she is reserved for the gods."
When the Christian Church, solidly based on Hebrew foundations and in turn Mesopotamian cultures, took over the Western world as successor to Rome, social and sexual relationships became fossilized in the Judeo-Mesopotamian customs. The Church Fathers added their own laws and sex was transformed into a sin.
"Sex in History: The First Civilizations"
Assyrian Laws, G. R. Driver
Babylonian Wisdom Literature, Lambert
Everyday Life in Babylonia & Assyria, Saggs
Sex in History, Reay Tannahill
----G O O D M O R N I N G B E T - N A H R A I N-----
RECENT IRAQI MILITARY PRAPARATIONS IN THE KIRKUK AREA
(ZNIN: Baghdad) Earlier this month an Iraqi military force was installed in the Kirkuk on full alert. The Iraqi Minister of Defense, Sultan Hashim, visited the headquarters of the First Army Corps in Kirkuk on 28 August and 8 September. He met divisional and brigade commanders and ordered them to maintain their troops on high alert. He told them to be prepared for an extended battle. Last week the head of military intelligence of the First Army Corps met with military intelligence officers of various units. He ordered increased vigilance against any members of the Iraqi opposition infiltrating from northern Bet-Nahrain. The 64th tank battalion of the Adnan Division of the Republican Guard has already been moved to Qaranjir, east of Kirkuk. On 12 September, an unspecified mechanized brigade accompanied by 4 helicopters was brought to the village of Kalamiqal southeast of Kirkuk. Orders were issued to Saddam and the Republican Hospitals in Kirkuk to evacuate all patients and to cancel any surgery planned during the period 11 September to 1 October. On 9 September, the commander of the First Army Corps went on an inspection tour of the front-lines and on 14 September all retired officers aged 40-45 in Kirkuk were ordered into civil guards squads. A large number of Iraqi flags have been issued to units of the First and Second Army Corps.
IRAQI CHILDREN GO BACK TO SCHOOL UNDER SANCTIONS
(ZNAF: Baghdad) Four million children have started a new
academic year at schools around Iraq ravaged by seven years of economic
sanctions. As they went back to school on Saturday, an education
official said thousands of pupils would be forced to sit on the floor again
this year because of a lack of chairs, while others are squeezed together
on shaky benches. The education ministry, meanwhile, said it has yet to
receive 27 million dollars worth of school supplies ordered under the UN
"oil-for-food" accord. Under the deal which went into effect in December,
Iraq has been authorized to export limited amounts of oil to pay for its
humanitarian needs. The country has been under UN sanctions since its August
1990 invasion of Kuwait. Mothers are being forced to make schoolbags
from old cloth for their children, said the newspaper Al-Jumhuriya.
It said many of the children were deprived of milk or medicine, while "a
large number" of even the very young were working to help their families
make ends meet. Schooling is compulsory at the primary level in Iraq,
which once prided itself on its education system.
The children have to buy their own books and other school items at inflated prices because of the collapse of the local currency. A locally-made schoolbag costs 3,000 dinars, while an import sells at between 5,000 and 15,000, in a country where the average monthly salary is 5,000 dinars -- the equivalent of four dollars. A dozen crayons cost 1,000, a ruler costs 150 dinars and a 60-page exercise book sells for 250 dinars. Some parents can not even afford to send their children to school, while many teachers have abandoned the profession because the monthly salary of 6,000-7,000 dinars is not enough to live on. Meanwhile last week, in northern Iraq, seventeen Assyrian-operated schools began instruction of elementary level subjects to over 3500 Assyrian students. Donations collected through the efforts of the Assyrian Aid Society were used to print over 30,000 books and instructional materials for students in grades 1 through 6.
-----------------------S U R F S U P !----------------------
"First of all I want to send you the biggest Thank You from the The staff of Radio Qala Atouraya (Assyrian Voice) and especally head-editor, Roland Bidjamov, for re-establishing your most needed service! People like you are somebody to look up to...They want me to ask you to use your information with reference to you as source and what is the correct form to call you. The Radio airs its program on the territory of West and East Europe, Caucasus, Middle East on short (SW) and MW for hour once a week. If you are interested in the news from Russia and other Eastern countries we would be more than happy to send you some info. From Russia with love!"
[All material printed in ZENDA may be used for publication or news broadcast by local Assyrian communities throughout the world. Please use ZENDA NEWS AGENCY as your source. In the near future ZENDA will also bring news and information from the Assyrian communities in Central Asia via Radio Qala Atouraya in Russia.]
"After all these years i have now realised the importance
this wonderful and unique language. I would like to learn to read/write in
Assyrian. Would it be possible to do this over the internet. some sort of home study courses where i would get information and stuff over the internet. i am willing to pay for this service. thank u.. i'm sure there would be others interested in this sort of courses."
[Here are a couple of places you can begin your online
Robert Oshana's LEARN ASSYRIAN ONLINE: http://members.aol.com/assyrianme/aramaic/aramaic.html
Assyrian Academic Society's LEARN ASSYRIAN:
The article published in Zenda, issue 27, dated September 8, 1997, titled "Hrawi to Restore citizenship to Lebanese Emigrants" is a counter process to a political attack on Lebanon and Lebanese by Arab and Muslim's world in order to be free and reserve its democratic status.
The circle of war the Lebanese have been going through and dying from has not yet ended the war in Lebanon. Since April 15, 1975, the Arab nationalist parties from outside Lebanon and inside headed by Baath Party of Iraq & Syria, as well terrorists Islamic organizations and terrorists Muslim religious institutions headed by Islamic leader, Moussa Saddar, and the Palestinians terrorists organization called P.L.O. headed by the criminal Yasser Arafat waged a deadly war upon peaceful Lebanese in order to concord Lebanon's independence by attempting to change our Christian Lebanese president to an Islamic Lebanese president, and to convert the Lebanese cultural and Lebanese ethnic into an Islamic ideology and Arab culture have failed up to day.
Today, the same mentioned criminal organizations and criminal institutions have changed their evil strategist after their shameful losses in Lebanon in their lost of billions of U.S. dollars buying weapon and men in order to reach their assimilation goals. Today, they are using psychological and sociological wars strategist since Lebanon, and Christian Lebanese lost their elected president, late Bashir Gammael by a bomb assassination. Today, the war has renewed its cycle once again upon Lebanese and Lebanon.
The above mentioned criminal organizations and criminal institutions have been pouring again billions of dollars buying Christian Lebanese leaders, as they did to the leader of Lebanese Forces, buying Lebanese lands from Christian people, and have given Lebanese citizen to all Palestinians from all over the globe, and have given the Lebanese citizen to any Muslim who wish to have a Lebanese citizen in order to flip the population balance from Christian majority to Muslim majority, in order to win an so called democratic election, and carry on their assimilation process. They have been playing well their political cards in an absent and gap of Christian political balance in our Lebanese government.
Today Lebanese are suffering more deeply from such dangerous acts, awaiting for the Lebanese Forces, along with Christian leaders and Lebanese South Army to rush in saving Lebanon before it is too late.
Lebanon has not yet seen peace since the war stated in Lebanon on April 13, 1975. Over one million Lebanese killed, and over two million Lebanese injured badly either mentally or physically. Lebanon a nation with only three million and half in ten thousand square meter cannot continue to hold on its integrity, its independence and its democracy if the Lebanese Forces, Lebanese Leaders and Lebanese South Army don't act now, and counter today's way of war - the psychological and sociological war.
The only way to bring democrcy to Lebanon and save Lebanon is by persecuting all members in the Lebanese government, cancel all Lebanese citizenship issued after 1975. This can be done by renewing the Lebanese liberation either military or other means in order to reserve the culture of all ethnic groups in Lebanon, and to live free.
Ashur Simon Malek
"In respond to Mr. Mirza's little article in 9-15-97 Zenda,
it seems the only one inconvenienced was himself. The so called
"circus" he is referring to
regarding the Assyrian American National Federation 64th Annual Convention is
only called so by "clowns" like himself.
Our convention was organized and implemented by very educated
people who spent endless days and nights working together to make this a very
historical event. He somehow missed the point. He only mentions the parties that were held each night. Obviously, he is not educated enough to have attended our wonderful lectures and seminars that were offered and were so jammed packed with people trying to get in. Maybe he is a disgruntled person who couldn't get in to one of the sold out parties and therefore will be bitter to the end.
Then there is his accusation of the Man and Woman of the
Year who "accomplished nothing"??? Oh Buddy, You barked up
the wrong tree!!!! My Father, Aprem Rayis just so happened to be the one
chosen for the Man of the Year. I will not even go into what he has done
for the past 30 years for
his nation because everyone who has encountered him knows better. Unfortunately, Mr. Mirza has not been around long enough to have encountered him or to know better for that matter. As my father himself said, (who by the way has received numerous awards from non-Assyrian groups) "All the awards and recognition I have ever received was not why I worked for my Nation, It's because I love my people, and I would die for them at anytime and anyplace. But none of these have meant so much to me as this one from my people." As for Irene Warda, Assyrian Woman of the year, she has worked through various clubs and organizations devoting her time and her life to her people. So don't ever make a premature judgement about something you can't even identify with.
Now, about our young teenagers, This one I am going to
give Mr. Mirza one point credit for and then I'm going to rip it away.
One can't take a small percentage of these kids and stereotype them all.
We have very responsible, mature young people in our organizations and
our communities who work hard
for what they believe in. The other group that Mr. Mirza is referring to, while being criticized by you, need guidence and an understanding of their proud heritage, so they can walk the straight path with heads high. "Are you willing to spend your time and money straightening them out?? As a matter of
fact, most of those two or more ear looped young men do live in the chicago area---MR. MIRZA's HOME TOWN!! This would be a perfect opportunity to show his fine attributes!!!
We have fine educated well balanced young and old who
donate their time and effort into making sure that the "Assyrian Name"
lives on in history. Just take a look at the Assyrian Academic Society
of Chicago, a group of students and graduates whose efforts are constantly
recognized in keeping our culture
A point of Information--The organizers of this convention,
contracts with the hotel, by accident aquired some confidential information
from other hotels who critiqued the assyrian people during the conventions
and many of their thoughts were not good. This was in the early part of
1997. Proudly, I can say that the Hyatt Regency of Dearborn has sent out to
it's National chains all over the country a report to be very proud of.
Despite the small number of incidents they called us "a community whose
heritage and culture will surely be taught and learned in history books all
over the world." They called the organizers of this convention "a selected
few who were so professional and organized that one of them was offered a
permanent position as a Convention Services Coordinator for the hotel.
In closing, Mr. Mirza, your criticism leaves much to be
desired. We have
received numerous and endless reports of praise about the 64th Convention an
most of these were from non-Assyrians. Maybe that's why we can't identify
with one another. Because we are never able to look beyond our own
shortcomings and recognize the works and achievements of some great Assyrians
who work behind closed doors.
I hope and pray that the 65th convention will be even
greater than the
64th, and that Mr. Mirza, down there in Wheeling, Illinois can wheel himself
right down and become a member of an affiliate of the AANF and state his
claim in full view!!! Thank you."
[Mrs. Janey Golani, along with her husband, Ator Golani, were co-organizers of this year's Assyrian National Convention held in Detroit, Michigan. ZENDA took the liberty of editing Mrs. Golani's article to reflect her message in a third-person singular tone. We ask our readers to direct their comments to ZENDA so that we prevent a tit-for-tat situation in the future. Mr. Aprim Rayes, mentioned in Mrs. Golani's article, is a former Secretary General of the Assyrian Universal Alliance.]
"Regarding the AANF national convention, Martin Mirza makes accusations and assertions that are completely gratuitous and unfounded, and, frankly, irresponsible, as he gives the false impression that the convention is nothing more than a mobile Sodom and Gomorah. Let me say that having attended the last ten national conventions (and the last five California state conventions), I have not witnessed any of the things that Mr. Mirza alleges happen at these conventions.
The convention is a social event, and a vitally important
one, as it helps
to maintain the community bonds of our diasporic nation. The convention presents a range of programs and events suited for persons of all ages. Of course, the social parties are there, but there are lectures, workshops, the market, and many other activities (go to http://www.aanf.org for the complete calendar of events for this convention).
Mr. Mirza did not even attend this convention. On what basis does he make these wild accusations? Frankly, I am at a loss to understand Mr. Mirza's comments, for he very well knows, being the Chairman of the Membership Committee of the Assyrian Academic Society, that the Assyrian Academic Society organized the three day cultural program, which was very well received by the conventioneers.
Regarding the organizers of this convention, they did an admirable job and should be commended for their hard work. Regarding adult attendance, there is no indication it is declining, as the majority of attendees were families. Regarding teenagers,
1) no alcohol was sold to persons under the age of 21
at this convention,
2) there is no evidence of drug use
3) there is no evidence of promiscuity
4) I saw only one man with two earings
5) I did not see any indication of a new dialect of language being spoken, most of the teenagers I encountered were speaking plain Assyrian
and plain Midwestern English. I think Mr. Mirza does our teenagers a great disservice by falsely portraying them as derilects. Regarding the next convention, there is no indication that it will be any worse. Regarding the hotel, the Hyatt Dearborn has already asked the Federation to come back again, as they enjoyed having the Assyrians there."
[Mr. Jasim was a guest speaker at the "Detroit" convention where he enlightened his audience with a lecture on "A brief History of Assyrians" and held two Assyrian folk dance workshops.]
-----------------S U R F E R S C O R N E R------------------
STOP THE KILLING OF IRAQI CHILDREN
Nearly seven years after Iraq was forced out of Kuwait, United Nations sanctions have remained in place, causing the Iraqi people to suffer from poverty, malnutrition, and a collapsed infrastructure. The hardest hit are the most vulnerable, the Iraqi children as well as the elderly. These sanctions are causing the untold suffering of the Iraqi people.
Here are some facts: More than one million Iraqis have
died--more than 600,000 of them children--as a direct consequence of economic
sanctions, according to the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization
(FAO). As many as 12% of the children surveyed in Baghdad are malnourished,
28% have stunted growth and 29% are underweight.
The United Nations International Children's Education Fund estimates that 4,500 Iraqi children are dying each month from problems related to malnutrition and shortage of medical supplies. This is one child every ten minutes.
Dr. Leon Eisenberg of Harvard Medical School recently
wrote that the sanctions against Iraq represent a "disastrous example of
war against the public health...the destruction of the infrastructure resulted
in devastating long-term effects on health." Water is contaminated and
has been limited in the Iraqi society that had grown dependent on modern facilities, according to the New England Journal of Medicine, April 25, 1997 edition.
Since the onset of UN sanctions, there has been a six-fold increase in the mortality rate for children under five and the majority of the Iraqi population has been on a semi-starvation diet, says the World Health Organization (WHO).
UN sanctions are inhibiting the importation of spare parts, chemicals, and the means of transportation required to provide water and sanitation services to the civilian population of Iraq, UNICEF points out.
Wheat-flour prices in Iraq increased by 11,667 times since 1990, the Center for Economic and Social Rights reports.
Twenty percent of the Iraqi population lives in dire poverty and cannot come close to affording the astronomically rising prices, said the United Nations in its 1996 report.
"What I saw in Iraq was clear evidence of prevailing human suffering, which is unmistakable: unfortunately it is one of the consequences of economic sanctions. I asked to visit some hospitals without any prior warning, and I saw clear signs of deep suffering," said Yasushi Akashi, UN Undersecretary for Humanitarian Affairs after his 6 day mission to Iraq, on May 8, 1997.
Because of the terrible and horrible impact of UN sanctions on the Iraqi people, the Washington, DC-based American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee (ADC) has launched a campaign to remove the UN sanctions on Iraq. The ADC "Petition to Lift the UN Sanctions on Iraq" states: "Whereas, United Nations sanctions have caused the death of more than 1,000,000 Iraqis; at least 600,000 of them have been children; an additional 4,500 Iraqi children die every month; more than 12% of living children suffer from malnutrition; a full 20% of the Iraqi population is living in dire poverty; collective punishment is prohibited by international law; punishment of innocent people violates universal principles of human rights; current failed policy must be reviewed; starvation of civilians as a method of warfare is strictly prohibited by international law;" "We...hereby demand: The immediate lifting of all trade and travel sanctions imposed on civilians!"
Indeed, it is high time to lift the UN sanctions on the Iraqi nation. The innocent citizens of Iraq should not be forced to suffer the consequences of the Persian Gulf War because this war ended a long time ago.
ASSYRIAN LANGUAGE CLASSES IN CHICAGO
The Assyrian Academic Society would like to announce the beginning of the Winter Language Program in the city of Chicago, Illinois.
The winter program comprises the following courses:
1) Introductory Modern Assyrian I
Room Number C13
Rabi Zaia Kanoon
Wendesdays, 7 - 9 PM
2) Introductory Modern Assyrian II
Room Number C33
Rabi Zaia Kanoon
Thursdays, 7-9 PM
3) Advanced Modern Assyrian II
Room Number C37
Rabi Yoab Benjamin
Saturdays, 3-5 PM
Location: North Park University, Carlson Tower
Time: First classroom session begin this week. The first three lectures will serve as a review and to assure that all students are raised to the same level. You may register any time in the coming week by sending e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling 1-800-454-6979.
INDICT SADDAM RALLY IN TORONTO
The Canadian-Iraqi Coordination Committee (CICC) is planning
a rally for the indictment of Saddam Hussein and his regime. The
International Campaign to Indict Saddam Hussein and the Iraqi leadership
for war crimes and crimes against humanity, INDICT, was formally launched
on January 15th, 1997 in the British Parliament in London, and has been
presented in the US Congress and the European Parliament in Strasbourg.
Since its launch, INDICT has gained support from United States Congressmen,
European Parliamentarians, and several world leaders. The rally will
be held at Nathan Square, Toronto, Canada on Sunday October 5, 1997 from
2 to 4 p.m. The main speaker will
be Major General Louis Mackenzie. The Committee invites all Iraqis and friends in Canada and the US to join on this date for the cause of human suffering in Iraq. For further information call the CICC office at:
Tel (416)298-8656 (950)822-3945
-----------------N E W S D I G E S T-------------------
ASSYRIAN FILM DOCUMENTARY TO BE SHOWN IN RUSSIA
(ZNQA: Moscow) The independent television station, CNY "ZHYZN", has completed a forty-minute documentaries entitled "In the Name of Good" of which the first part is called "Assyrians-The Way Through the Centuries." The film documents a history of Assyrians in Russia and other C.I.S. Republics i.e. Georgia, Armenia. It starts with a brief history of the Assyrian people in Bet-Nahrain and then in the Caucasus. The massacres of the Assyrians, their lives and migrations to Russia are the main topics of this film. The documantery is filled with original newsreels and archive materials never seen in the West.
The video version of this documentary will be twice as long (80 minutes) and dubbed in Assyrian, English and Arabic. The video tapes will be available for shipment in the coming months. ZENDA will bring information as it becomes available from its sources in Moscow. Any Assyrian organization interested in the local distribution of this video may contact ZENDA.
FATHER BENNY BACK IN GEORGIA
(ZNDA: San Jose) The family of Father Benny Yadgar
in San Jose has informed ZENDA that he has arrived in Georgia safely and
he has been able to secure the passage of nearly 300 pounds of medicine
to the Assyrian localities in Georgia. Father Benny is a priest of
the Chaldean Catholic Church and during his short stay in the U.S. was
able to collect $122,250.00 for the needy Assyrian families in the Republic
of Georgia. On the night before his departure he thanked ZENDA for helping
his cause and asked that the ZENDA readers be acknowledged for disseminating
his message of charity. Meanwhile in Georgia two UN observers and their
interpreter were seized by unknown elements in the Zugdidi area of northern
Georgia, close to the border with the Georgian region of breakaway Abkhazia.
One military observer was released to deliver a ransom demand for the release
of the remaining observer and interpreter. According to UN sources, about
7,000 dollars were paid in ransom. The United Nations says that its policy
is never to pay ransom. The UN observer mission in Georgia is monitoring
the peace process between Tbilisi and the breakaway region which fought
off Georgian troops in a bitter 1992-1993 conflict. The two sides signed
a peace declaration on August 14 renouncing use of force in resolving their
differences, but failed to resolve
the issue of Abkhazia's final status. The Assyrian villages are located in the central and southern regions of Georgia. A team of Assyrian volunteers in San Jose, California, will oversee the administratia of Father Benny's Assyrian Georgian Relief Fund. For more information contact Yolanda Bebla at email@example.com or write to P.O. Box 24828 San Jose, California, 95154.
US CONGRESS ADOPTS RESOLUTION TO INDICT SADDAM HUSSEIN
(ZNIF: Washington) On September 11, 1997, the House International Relations Committee passed a resolution to Indict Saddam Hussein for war crimes committed since the Gulf War. The Resolution (H.Con.Res.137), co-sponsored by Congressman Ben Gilman, Chairman of the International Relations Committee and Congressman John Porter, Co-Chairman of the Congressional Human Rights Caucus, received very bi-partisan support and was passed by the Committee unanimously.
The Resolution calls upon the President of the United States and the Secretary of State to endorse the formation of an international criminal tribunal for the purpose of prosecuting Saddam Hussein and all other Iraqi officials who are responsible for committing crimes against humanity. The crimes include unlawful use of force, crimes against peace, crimes committed in contravention of the Geneva Convention on POW's, and genocide. The Resolution also calls them to work actively and urgently within the international community for the adoption of a U.N. Security Council resolution that establishes an International Criminal Court for Iraq.
The Resolution denounces and condemns the litany of human
rights abuses against the citizens of Iraq and Kuwait, including the on-going
ethnic cleansing of the city of Kirkuk. The Indict Campaign was launched
in London, Washington D.C., and Strasbourg. It received support from Tony
Blair, John Major, Margaret Thatcher, President Clinton, EU Commissioner
Emma Bonino, MEP and EP Leader of the Socialist Party Pauline Green, Danielle
Mitterand, Nobel Peace Prize Winner Jose Ramos Horta, and many others.
More than one hundred
human rights and environmental organizations all over the world have expressed their support for this effort. Full House consideration of this Resolution is expected as early as next week.
THOUSANDS MARCH FOR BASHIR GEMAYEL DESPITE BAN
(ZNSH: Beirut) Following a memorial service held last Sunday to mark the 15th anniversary of the assassination of the Maronite president-elect Bashir Gemayel of Lebanon, thousands of people marched to the site of his death in Ashrafieh, defying an explicit government ban. The crowd chanting "Bashir still lives among us" waved flags of the Lebanese Forces and pictures of Samir Geagea, the jailed Lebanese Forces leader. The 15-year-old Nadim Gemayel delivered a speech calling on his father's followers to act on their beliefs. "It is time, in the name of the man who died for us, to stop talking and start acting, because the days of empty words are over", Nadim said, drawing thunderous applause. In 1982 the Syrian government decided to eliminate Bashir Gemayel shortly after his election and before his swearing in. On September 14, Bashir was meeting with a group of Phalangists at the party's Ashrafiye branch in East Beirut. He was killed in a bomb blast planted and set off by Habib Tanious Shartouni, a member of the pro-Damascus National Syrian Socialist Party which favored the merger of Syria, Lebanon, and Palastine. According to Washington Post only Bashir Gemayel's prominent nose, the dimple on his chin, and his hexagonal wedding ring could be identified from his remains. A Phalangist militia leader, Bashir Gemayel, and Israeli Prime Minister, Menachim Begin, had mounted an effort to drive the PLO and the Syrians out of Lebanon.
--------C A L E N D A R OF E V E N T S------
Oct 7-10 Issa Benyamin's Calligraphy
Classes (Open to Public)
3 Days Only: Oct 7, 8, & 10
Familiarity with Assyrian Alphabet is Required
$ 20.00 per person (for books and supplies)
Oct 12 A Celebration
of Issa Benyamin's Art
Church of the East Hall (Awaana)
San Jose, California
Oct 17-18 An Exhibition of Issa Benyamin's
San Jose, California
Oct 25 A Discussion
on "The Assyrians": The Second of Joan Grande's Series of Gallery Talks
on the Development of Civilation.
British Museum, London
Coffee Bar (inside the museum)
Nov 22-24 Middle East Studies Association's
31st Annual Meeting
San Francisco, California
Hyatt Regency San Francisco
-Christian Persian Notables: Patrons and Leaders in East Syrian Christian Society
-Iraq and the Assyrians, 1925-1933
-Dawn at Tell Tamir: The Assyrian Christian Survival on the Khabur River
-The Future of Iraq
-Recognized Religious Minorities in Iran
-An Ethnic Perspective on State Formation in Iraq
-Lebanon's Culture and National Identity
-Sons of Noah in Eastern Christian Tradition
Dec 11-13 British Association for Near
1997 Annual Conference
University of Durham
Dec 20 Maestro
Nebu Issabey's Nineveh Choir
San Jose State University Music Hall
Through In the Presence of the Gods:
Art from Ancient Sumer
Mar 8,1998 The Smart Museum of Art
5550 South Greenwood Avenue
A presentation of 43 4,500-year-old Sumerian temple offerings, including statues from Tell Asmar, tablets, carved stone vessels, and relief panels showing banquet scenes.
----------------------------K H U D R A--------------------------------
Oct 10 Dokhrana
'd Mar Elia (Elijah the Prophet)
Oct 17 Anniversary of Mar Dinkha IV's Consecration (1976)
Patriarch of the Church of the East
Oct 31 Dokhrana 'd Mar Elia (of Hirta or Khirata)
Nov 1 Dokhrana 'd Mar Mikha d'Alqosh
Nov 3 Dokhrana 'd Mar Gewargis, Sahda (The Martyr)
Nov 19 Commemoration of Mar Yacoub m' Pasqa
Nov 22 Dokhrana 'd Mar Odisho d'Urmi
Dec 7 Annunciation of the Virgin Mary (Soobara)
Dec 8 Immaculate Conception
Dec 13 Mar Yacub d'Nsiven (St. James of Nisibin)
Dec 20 King Abgar V
Dec 22 Mar Yousip (St. Joseph)
Dec 25 Christmas (Julian Calendar)
-------------------------E N T R A C T E-----------------------------
Dec 31 New Year's
Assyrian American Association of San Jose
Entertainers: Black Cats & Franco
Santa Clara, California
------------------------I N T E L L I G E N T S I A-------------------------
CHICAGO Introductory & Advanced
Room Numbers C13 & C33
Instructor: Rabbie Zaia Kanoon
Wendesdays, Thursdays, & Saturdays
Location: North Park University, Carlson Tower
firstname.lastname@example.org or 1-800-454-6979.
Club Soccer Development Program
Warren Park Gymnasium
Western Avenue & Devon Street
HARVARD 1997-98 Syriac Classes Taught by Dr. J.F. Coakley
UNIVERSITY Elementary Syriac
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
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 @ email@example.com
(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 @ firstname.lastname@example.org
(818) 891-3705 after 7:30 PM
SAN JOSE English as a Second Language & Conversational English (Adults)
Instructor: Jacklin Bajan
AAA of San Jose BETA
Nisibin School for Children (Classes begin on 10/6/97)
AAA of San Jose BETA
Instructor: Jacklin Bajan
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-------
Assyians and the Celtic Culture in Britain
Free Screen Saver: Assyrian Art
---------------------P U M P UP THE V O L U M E---------------------
English Modern Assyrian
F = Feminine M = Masculine P = Plural
---------------B A C K TO THE F U T U R E------------------
A series of civil wars began a new phase of imperial consolidation in Assyria. Resources were used in ensuring the prosperity of regions under Assyrian control. By 750 this had resulted in the absence of a strong central government. Assyria was once again under the attack of its neighbors in the north, east, and the west. Tiglath-Pileser III, after an uprising, accedes the throne in 745 and revives the aggressive policies of Shalmaneser, pushing the frontier of his empire forward in all directions. With a strong central power he repulses the enemies of Assyria until his death in 727.
<< Assyrian Sculpture, Reade >>
With the attack by the Japanese at Pearl Harbor, Assyrian women in Chicago organize the Assyrian American Red Cross and the American Assyrian Society and find employment in numerous defense plants. Hundreds of Assyrian men joined the armed forces. 14 men were killed in action. At this time the Assyrian community of Chicago consisted of 15 to 20 thousand Assyrians who lived primarily on the north side of Chicago.
<< Assyrian Americans Who Served in the Armed Forces
of the U.S., Hosanna >>
----------------L I T E R A T U S-------------------
A LETTER FROM SIR AUSTIN HENRY LAYARD IN 1849
"Excavating in Assyria appears to me to be a work of a peculiar nature. It is one of those undertakings which, like a scientific expedition into Egypt or any other country containing antiquities of a highly interesting nature, belongs exclusively to the Government...the objects to be discovered cannot have any intrinsic value for their beauty, and altho the sculptures of Assyria show a wonderful comparative knowledge of the arts, when the time and country of their execution are taken into consideration, they are undoubtedly inferior to the most secondary works of Greece or Rome...The national honour is also concerned in competing with the French in deciphering the cuneiform inscriptions. To accomplish this task materials are necessary. The French have theirs in their Khorsabad inscriptions. We must seek for them at Nimroud. I think with the results which my communications with Major Rawlinson will probably lead to, we shall have a better chance than our neighbours...The sculptures, which may be discovered at Nimroud, are really of a secondary consideration, altho there cannot be a doubt that specimens would be a most valuable addition to a Museum which contains relics of all other nations of antiquity..."
Later in a letter to the Prime Minister, Sir Robert Peel:
"On the banks of the Tigris not far from Mosil there is gigantic mound called Nimrud. My agent has succeeded in opening it here and there, and hs labours have been rewarded by the discovery of many interesting sculptures, and a world of inscriptions. If the excavation keeps its promise to the end there is much reason to hope that Montagu House (the British Museum) will beat the Louvre hollow."
<< The Conquest of Assyria, Larsen >>
[Within two years of writing of this letter Layard and his Assyrian archeologist companion, Hormuz Rassam, were able to discover the ruins of Nimrud and Nineveh. Layard left Bet-Nahrain in 1851 and Rassam continued his expedition.]
----------T H I S W E E K I N H I S T O R Y----------
September 22, 1975: died, George Lamsa, Assyrian Biblical and linguistic scholar who translated the Bible from Aramaic (Pshita) to English. Lamsa's Bible may be purchased from most Christian Bookstores.
-------------------------B R A V O---------------------------
HAPPY 80TH TO ESHO AMRIKHAS
A warm birthday greeting to Esho Amirkhas of San Jose, California who celebrated her 80th birthday last week. Mrs. Amirkhas enjoys reading ZENDA at home and has been a vocal supporter of our journalistic efforts in the San Jose community. A devout Christian, Mrs. Amirkhas was an active member of the Assyrian community of Abadan, Iran. Today she lives with her daughter, Germaine Tamraz, also a ZENDA reader and is actively involved in her Assyrain church and social activities.
GREETING TO OUR 700TH READER
Last Thursday with the addition of our newest subscriber in California our list of Assyrian ZENDA readers reached 700. Now at an average rate of five new subscribers per week ZENDA remains the fastest growing Assyrian magazine online or "offline." Of course we could have not done this without the constant support of our existing readers who introduce their friends and relatives to our weekly magazine. ZENDA is now enjoyed by our subscribers in 24 countries. Each week tens of reports and articles are submitted by our "volunteer" reporters and sourcers from several countries in North America, Europe, Central Asia, and Australia. For our part we have remained true to our motto of "consistency in service, reader satisfaction, journalistic objectivity, and open-mindedness." Undoubtedly our policy has worked. It is estimated that there may be as many as 8-10,000 Assyrian email addresses currently in existence - all potential ZENDA readers. Seemingly an ambitious goal, but so did our aim of becoming the official and the most credible news agency for today's Assyrian communities. We are diligently working to include 300 more subscribers before our 3rd Anniversary in February 1998. We hope that you will continue your support and help us bring together the scattered communities of Assyrians of Diaspora- one email address at a time.
----------------------the D I R E C T O R Y------------------------
ZNAA (Assyrian Academic Society-Chicago)
ZNAD (Assyrian Democratic Organization)
ZNAF (Agence France-Presse)
ZNAM (Archeology Magazine)
ZNAP (Associated Press International)
ZNBN (Bet-Nahrain Inc/ KBSV-TV "AssyriaVision")
ZNIF (Iraq Foundation)
ZNDA (Zenda: email@example.com)
ZNIN (Iraqi National Congress)
ZNMN (San Jose Mercury News)
ZNNQ (Nabu Quarterly)
ZNNV (Nineveh Magazine)
ZNQA (Qala Atouraya- Moscow)
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----------
iiT Research Institute
University of Pacific, California
---------------------S A L U T E------------------------
This Week's Writers & Reporters:
Firas Jatou Chicago, Illinois Calendar of Events
Lorine Mirza San Jose, California Calendar of Events
Raman Mikhael Chicago, Illinois Assyrian Surfing Posts
& We Thank The Following Individuals For Referring Us to New Readers:
Ashur Simon Malek
Rich Samuel Chicago, Illinois
In Our Upcoming Issues:
Dear Reader: We have been informed that new information
has been discovered on the life of Dr. Freydoun Atouraya, author of the
Urmie Manifesto. ZENDA has decided to postpone the publication of
next week's article to bring you a revised article which should include
information from these newly discovered documents.
Would you like to know more about a particular topic on
arts, history, language, politics, etc. Drop us a note!
P.O. Box 20278 San Jose, California 95160 U.S.A.