|The Lighthouse||Sad Eyes & Crooked Crosses|
|Still No Information on Assyrians in Saddam's Palace
Zowaa News Update from Northern Iraq (Oct-Nov)
|Surfs Up||"how are you compensated for your work?"|
|Surfers Corner||An Invitation From the Journal of Assyrian Academic Studies
Assyrian Christmas Drive
Culture Without Context
|News Digest||Ben Elias Declares His Candidacy for Calif State Assembly
Modesto Denies Bingo Permits to Two Assyrian Churches
AANF Allocates over $35,000 to Culture/Education
Archaeological Site Reveals Bribery in Ancient Assyria
Nimrud Reliefs For Sale
|Assyrian Surfing Posts||Assyrian Midi Composers Exchange
Assyrian National Anthem
|Pump up the Volume||Recreation & Holiday|
|Back to the Future||Solar Eclipse of 763 B.C. & The Kurdish Attacks in 1914|
|This Week in History||Dr. Abraham Yousif is born in Kharput, Turkey|
Christmas day. Prepare for the Christmas day. Decorate your tree with colorful ornaments; spend hours in shopping malls. Buy tons of Christmas presents to please family and friends. To please yourself rather. Tell your children the story about the fat old man dressed in red, flying over our homes in a sledge drawn by deers. Don't forget to fill your stockings with candies and holiday goodies. Include the following in your shopping list: eggnog, champagne, and Johnny Walker. New clothes for everyone. You are definitely not to be seen in the church yard with the same clothes and the same yellow dress you wore last Christmas. Onward to Macy's - that it. Why not Nordstrom's? After all, it only comes once a year, and it's for a good cause. It's Christmas. A time for joy and celebration.
December 26. The day after. The day you remove the ornaments from the tree that you must now throw away. The sweater your cousin bought you doesn't fit. Your house is a mess. You wonder if they liked your presents. Santa is gone and so are his helpers. If you could only get your hands on that rascal nephew who spilled his eggnog on your new gray suit. What happened to all that thrill and excitement you had a week ago? A month ago? Was that it? Oh, now you remember. This year is just like any other in the past. Today is just like the other 364 remaining days of the year. But what's wrong? Is it just you who feels this way? What happened to the slogans of "Peace on Earth" and "Joy to the World"? Peace is broken everywhere: in the battle fronts of the Middle East, in the jungles of Asia, in the prisons of Africa, and in your own heart. You have no peace. Your heart is troubled. But why? Did you forget to include someone's name in your shopping list perhaps? Someone you never met in person or forgot to invite to your Christmas party? Suddenly you remember the name and sink in your seat with shame. You forgot the birthday boy.
Everyone called him Jesus of Nazareth (Esho Nasraya). With a plain appearance he traveled from one city to another, from one synagogue to the other. He associated with common working people, the sick and the blind, He cured those others rejected and forgave the ones others condemned. He lived with the poor and dined with the evil men. He wiped the tears of the prostitutes and washed the feet of this followers. He healed the wounds of his enemy and brought the dead back to life. He lived and died for peace. At 33 he was tried by the clergymen for sedition, handed over to the legal authorities, and led to execution on cross by an angry crowd of respectable citizens. He was crucified on a cross next to two criminals and died a few hours later in pain and agony.
This is the man for whom we celebrate Christmas. This is the man in whose name overcrowded malls sell merchandise and the ignorant masses go head over heel to beat the December 25th deadline. Ever year millions of "crooked crosses" are sold to thousands of disturbed souls with the sad eyes. None of this was meant to be.
What do you plan to buy for the birthday boy? It must be as valuable as the gift he offered on the third day after his crucifixion when he rose from the dead. A lofty donation to the church? A thousand dollars in cash? A cathedral in the name of a Christian martyr? No, of course not. He hated the perishable things. That leaves you with one thing- your soul. Enough of this foolish pride and misery. Receive His grace today.
"Come to me, all you who labor and are overburdened, and I will give you rest. Shoulder my yoke and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart and you will find rest for your souls."
The Word Magazine, Volume I, # 4
The Youth Group of the Assyrian Evangelical Church of San Jose
San Jose, California
End of October
His Holiness Mar Dinkha came for a visit to Baghdad, Iraq. He was in Iraq to speak to different churches, such as the Chaldean congregations.
The Zowaa Media Bureau replied to a report published by "Middle East Newspaper" (published October 16). The report stated that Turkey had supplied arms to certain Assyrian groups in Iraq to fight alongside the Turks against PKK. The Zowaa Media Bureau responded to this report: there is no group that has taken arms from the Turks, and furthermore, no Assyrian group that has agreed to fight against PKK. The reality of Northern Iraq is that peace-keeping troops sponsored by the U.S., Britain, and Turkey are further helped by Zowaa and the Turkoman front. Our movement is NEUTRAL in the Kurdish in-fighting.
Famous Assyrian writer Aprim Shapira arrived in the Homeland. Zowaa representatives welcomed the author and marked the occasion of his four-day visit with media interviews and political gatherings at the Assyrian Educational Center at Nohadrah and Ashur TV in Ankawa. Shapira also presented a lecture on Assyrian political movements. Shapira also paid a visit to Labor * Housing Minister Yousip Yaqob and Francois Herrari, governor of Arbil.
Representatives of Zowaa leadership, including Toma Khashaba, Younan Hosaya, Ishmail Nanok and Yousip Putros visited the National Turkoman Party to congratulate them on the 16th year anniversary of their establishment.
Minister of Labor & Housing, Yousip Yacob, received Mr. Youkhanna Reyes and Mr. Francois, both members of the Aradin Society (Detroit, U.S.). They were received in the Dohuk. They discussed the facilitation of returning displaced Aradin residents to their villages in Northern Iraq. The Minister instructed the two officials to repair and amend the main highway to Aradin to make it easier for the villagers to re-settle.
The Zowaa Secretary General received his Holiness Abdu Ahad, Bishop of the Chaldean Church in Suleimaya, in the Central Political Office in Dohuk. Secretary General emphasized the efforts of Zowaa to support the Assyrian people living in areas that the Bishop mentioned.
A new Assyrian school was inaugurated in Dohuk, named Houdia. The school is fully staffed by an Assyrian administration and teachers. The school has seven grades and 227 students.
Minister of Labor & Housing, Yousip Yacob, was a member of a meeting of UN delegates presided by Pedon Sifan, UN Assistant Secretary General in charge of the Iraqi Program. A six-month plan was requested to be drafted and implemented by UN delegate in the region.
Other November Events
In Memory of Scholar Youkhanna Dolbani (1885-1969)
Zowaa Media in Nohadrah and Arbil broadcast special programs to mark the passing of the great Assyrian scholar.
Fifth Conference on the Syrianic Language
This three day conference was sponsored by the Assyrian Orthodox Coucil (Syria) and took place in Kamishli, Syria. A Zowaa representative was present. The Conference focused on poems, songs, folklore stories and folklore dances. The conference also had educational lectures on the language of Aramaic, a lecture on the original Syrianic names and villages that were traced back to the Aramaic language (presented by Father Barsoum Ayoub). Assyrianic poems were presented by the scholar Joseph Asmar. There was also a lecture on Cultural Arts before the time of Christ (presented by Father Mikhail Yakoub).
AAS Supports School Children
The new Assyrian students attending school in Arbil and Dohuk will now be supported by the Assyrian Aid Society, which is providing them with housing (dormitories), 3 meals a day, and transportation. These services are provided to students who are out of the area and is considered to be absolutely essential considering the extreme shortage of area housing.
"Merry and utmost blessed Christmas of Our Savior and Lord and a happy new year 98 with full of success for all! Dear friends and brethren, receive and share my best wishes of blessings, peace, health and progress for all Assyrians and coworkers of the unique and excellent ZENDA magazine. May we enjoy spiritual uplifting and evangelical renewal in this holy time of Advent and towards a living joyful Christmas of our Mshikha through a constant realization of Heavenly Kingdom (Malkutha d'Shmaya) and fruitful orthodox Christian ecumenical testimony, service and enlighten by the Holy Ghost (Rukha di Kadisha) every day of 1998 like climbing Yacoub's Ladder. I hope to hear of you or even to visit you or welcome you sometime inshallah. Unfortunately I cannot read regularly (like upto August) or even print them, because I have no more weekly access to a P.C. (and none at home)...Perhaps we will set a new cultural Internet Center next year with my radiologist friend...Dr. Ibrahim Hermez of Mosul and his family and Dr. Manuel Malik de Tchara (Chaldean allergist) or of Dr. Sargon Bit-Chavor who all greet you fondly. We'd like to have your prints, publications, church and federation news by common post way. While I reorganize I haven't received any answer from St. Mary's Church or from Mar Sarguis. "In basma loukh." Do you know a singer called Julie Issa Thuma? I embrace you all in name of our roots and faith an of my Aramean ancestors...Sea una Navidad plean de Luz, Pazy Amor trascendentes en NS, J.C en elpio corazon Ardiente!"
Jose Luis Rufino (Yosef)
haweetoon baseemeh raba raba. thenanit minta ewin ana minokhon. any information about anyone in any of the above cities would be greatly appreciated. thanks again everyone."
ZENDA is entirely written, edited, and produced by teams of volunteer reporters, researchers, editors, and graphic designers. ZENDA receives no financial support from individuals or institutions and organizations. Our monthly Internet storage fees and costs related to the upgrade of our equipment and new software are paid by the ZENDA Staff and the generosity of our readers. All past issues of ZENDA will be made available on our official website.
The Assyrian Church of the East and the Roman Catholic Church have partaken in theological discussion over the last few years, with the hope of reconciliation. Each of them has acknowledged points of similarity in doctrine. On a parallel track, the Assyrian Church of the East is engaged in new dialogue along similar lines with Eastern churches, including the Chaldean Catholic Church, the Syrian Orthodox Church of Antioch, and the Coptic Church.
Cleavages dating back to the Council of Ephesus gave rise to these diverging
confessions, and led to a formal break from the old Catholic Church.
Ironically, the current talk of unity has generated contention within the
Church of the East and its leadership. Those who consider unity among all
churches to be the paramount virtue, approve of the changes adopted by
the new synods. Others feel that these changes can only lead to an encroachment
bound to dilute the dogmatic essence of the Church of the East, while also
undermining the national Assyrian legacy.
In answer to a broad solicitation, JAAS received several letters on this subject written in Assyrian. All of these appeared in the last issue (Vol.XI, No.1). In the forthcoming issue, we will publish letters on this
subject submitted to us in English.
We have sensed unusual reader interest on this subject, even before our publication in 1995 of "The Vienna Christological Formula in an Assyrian Perspective" (JAAS, Vol. IX, No.1). While the Journal does not take a partisan political or religious position, we welcome the opportunity to air attitudes regarding this subject.
Accordingly, the upcoming issue of JAAS will publish letters received on this topic and written in English. We invite the participation of anyone willing to share his or her position. Preferably, statements should be two pages or less in length, and double-spaced. Please mail to: Francis Sarguis, JAAS English Editor, P.O. Box 5715, Santa Barbara, CA 93150. Alternately, you may FAX it to (805) 565-0628. We ask that all submissions respect the rules of civility, avoid ad hominem invective and, where possible, furnish historical specificity.
Thank you in advance for your participation.
JAAS, English Language
AINA (Assyrian International News Agency)
AAS (Assyrian Academic Society)
ANC (Assyrian National Council of Illinois)
We have recently published the first issue of Culture Without Context,
a newsletter devoted to the dissemination of information about illicit
excavation and illegal trade in antiquities from countries of the ancient
Near East. This newsletter is a publication of the newly established Illicit
Antiquities Research Centre (IARC), funded by the McDonald Institute for
Archaeological Research in Cambridge, England.
We will be publishing the newsletter biannually and we welcome both formal submissions of articles and informal contributions of relevant information about specific objects, legal issues, etc. The next issue will appear in May 1998. If you would like receive copies of the newsletter the annual subscription is L5.00 (cheques payable to University of Cambridge).
Dr Neil Brodie
Dr Augusta McMahon
Editor, Culture Without Context
(ZNDA: San Jose) Union
City Council member, Ben Elias, has declared his candidacy for California
State Assembly. Elias, an Assyrian from the San Francisco Bay Area
kicked off his campaign on December 2nd in an effort to capture the majority
of votes in the 18th District which includes Union City, Hayward, San Leandro,
San Leranzo, Castro Valley, Sonol, and Pleasanton. All areas are
within the San Francisco/East Bay Area of Northern California. If
elected Elias will become the first Assyrian elected to the California
State Assembly. For more information and learning about ways to support
Elias 98 Campaign write to email@example.com or visit http://www.alphapc.com.
(ZNMB: Modesto) Last week the Modesto City Council decided
that bingo, unless sponsored by someone who already has a city license,
will be illegal at the request of police and the city attorney. Modesto's
legal authorities will review the licensing
procedures for churches and non-profit organizations that make money from bingo in order to determine how much money current bingo games generate. The city now charges operators $50 a year for the permit. Two Assyrian churches lost their permits in November. The Assyrian Church of the East Mar Zaia Parish lost its permit because it had trouble with nonprofit certification and Church of the East Federation Bingo lost its permit when police became suspicious of the organization's three name changes. Mayor Richard Lang has stated that the two suspended Assyrian churches can proceed if they work out their legal problems. Church of the East Federation Bingo (2549 Yosemite Blvd. Modesto, California) lost its Bingo permit on November 7 after police became suspicious when the it changed its name several times. The operation, originally associated with St. Mary's Holy Apostolic Catholic Church in Hughson, was at various times known as Church Federation Inc., Church Federation Bingo and Church Federation Mission Inc. In September, St. Mary's filed a lawsuit against several church members and board members of the bingo operation, demanding that they account for hundreds of thousands of dollars in bingo revenue believed missing. The Assyrian Church of the East St. Zaia Parish (1457 Mable Avenue, Modesto, California) lost its permit Nov. 26 because of problems with its nonprofit certification. Apparently the church did not have a separate nonprofit status for its bingo business and its officials may not have been aware of Modesto's regulations for bingo halls when the property was annexed into the city in June 1995. Church of the East Federation Bingo will not get its permit back unless it proves that it is associated with St. Mary's, but the Assyrian Church of the East can reclaim its permit once it obtains the required nonprofit status.
Twenty Two Assyrian Schools in Northern Iraq
$ 10,000.00 Assyrian Students in Baghdad
$ 5,000.00 Assyrian Students in Tehran's Mart Maryam School (formerly Madrashta d'Shooshan)
$ 5,000.00 Assyrian Ladies in Northern Iraq, Towards the Purchase of Sewing Machines & Equipment
$ 3,000.00 Assyrian Academic Society in Chicago: Assyrian Dictionary Project
$ 1,700.00 The late "Biba" Edward Yousif's Tombstone, Assyrian vocalist
$ 1,000.00 The Monument for the Assyrian American Veterans in Chicago
In other news ZENDA has learned that Mr. Ramin
Odisho, president of the Assyrian United Organizations of California, was
appointed as the Regional Director of AANF's Western Region. A well-debated
issue at this meeting was the selection of next year's Annual Convention-
a tie between Connecticut and New York. A decision will be made within
the next couple of weeks.
(ZNAP: Damascus) Dutch archaeologists have unearthed a sprawling 3,400
year-old administrative center of the Assyrian civilization and found evidence
that bribery was thriving at the time. The 13th-century B.C. site in Rakka
about 340 miles northeast of Damascus comprises of a 15-foot high, 2 story
building with two bathroom, 2 toilets and a tiled floor. A special
archive of an interior minister was found, listing data about "employees
accepting bribes, names of senior officials and a name of an Assyrian princess."
The archive belonged to Ashour Adin, considered the most powerful man in
the Assyrian state after the king in the Middle Kingdom. The discovered
texts indicate that the center was used as a border for trees, encompassing
a tower, a palace and a workshop. The Dutch team also found 140 other
inscriptions in cuneiform writing, dating back to 1200 BC.
The Nineveh pieces were originally displayed in the throne room suite
of the palace of Sennacherib. Once part of a single
relief depicting a soldier leading a horse, they are the fourteenth and fifteenth sculptures to have emerged in the past two years. John M. Russell, a Columbia University archaeologist who in 1990 photographed the reliefs at the Nineveh museum, speculates that all 100 of them have been broken up and offered for sale. One of the Nineveh fragments recently surfaced in London in the possession of a British resident who bought it from a dealer in Brussels. Russell discounts the possibility that the Iraqi government is involved. "All evidence I have is that the state officially deplores this...and is doing everything it can to reclaim the fragments," he says. "The isolated nature of Nimrud and Nineveh makes them vulnerable to thieves."
See also: "Stolen Stones: The Modern Sack of Nineveh" by John Malcolm Russell.
Recreation/Entertainment poor/ga/ya [M]
Holiday aar/yaa or shaal/waa [M]
F = Feminine M = Masculine P = Plural
A solar eclipse is recorded in Assyrian documents to have taken place in this year. Astronomers believe that it occurred exactly on June 15th. Therefore, this year has been used as the basis upon which most ancient Assyrian dates are calculated.
Centuries of Darkness, James
The Kurdish tribes of Beisades, Tchekaks & Harkais attack Urmie and Salamas in northwestern Iran. A number of proclamations appear in Urmie, demanding the immediate removal of the Russian forces from Urmie. Russian generals invite the Assyrians of this region to volunteer in assisting the Russians in their defense of the area. Assyrians accept.
Shall This Nation Die?, Rev. Naayem
I went to Iraq earlier this year as part of a peace delegation. On the
plane to Amman, I heard an elderly Arab man say, "When George Bush dies,
I pray he goes strait to Heaven." "Why?" I ask. "So he will
see face-to-face all the lovely Iraqi children
he has caused to die," the man answered.
...there has been little attention paid to the humanitarian crisis...the sanctions have caused. One notable exception was a 1996 interview between Lesley Stahl of 60 Minutes and former U.N. Ambassador Madeleine Albright. Stahl asked Albright to explain the U.S. policy in light of the devastation Stahl had personally witnessed in Iraq. Albright responded: "It's a hard decision, Lesley, but we think the price...is worth it."
The price is an estimated half million children who have died from malnutrition
and disease attributable to U.N. sanctions. "More Iraqi children have died
as a result of our sanctions than the combined toll of two atomic bombs
on Japan and the
recent scourge of ethnic cleansing in former Yugoslavia," says John Mahoney, executive director of The Link (a journal published by Americans for Middle East Understanding).
He knew children would begin to die. And he knew that when they did he would get cover, excuses and sympathy from countries waiting in line for Iraq's business.
And the man who once patted the head of a little British hostage as TV watched knew something else. The very corpses of Iraqi children he killed would become as asset. He could give orders. Their coffins would be dragged into camera range.
New York Times
December 17, 1866: born, Dr. Abraham Yousif, in Kharput, Turkey. Dr. Yousif served as an Army doctor in the U.S. military and represented the Assyrian nation in the Paris Peace Conference (1919).
San Jose, California
This Week's Reporters:
Assyrian Surfing Posts
Arbella Issabey Santa Clara, California Assyrian Surfing Posts
Carlo Ganjeh San Jose, California News Digest
Firas Jatou Chicago, Illinois Surfers Corner
Lena Mushell San Jose, California News Digest
Marian Younan Davis, California Good Morning Bet-Nahrain
Spencer Harringoton Archaeology Magazine News Digest
Tony Khoshaba Chicago, Illinois News Digest
William Berry Union City, California News Digest
Thank You For Referring ZENDA to a Friend:
Homer Younan San Jose, California
ZNAA (Assyrian Academic Society-Chicago)
P.O. Box 20278 San Jose, California 95160 U.S.A.
The Directory of ZENDA News Sources