Vol IV, Issue 6

Neesan 13, 6748                   April 13, 1998

T H I S   W E E K   I N   Z E N D A

The Lighthouse Griffith's "Intolerance"
Good Morning Bet-Nahrain
plus The Northern Chronicles
A New Assyrian Athletic Arena in Nohadra
Surfs Up "not applaud if the Church of the East is recognized..."
Surfers Corner  A Middle Eastern Evening in Michigan
News Digest U.S. Council of Churches Deliver Aid to Iraqi Hospitals
Calendar of Events U.S. Assyrian National Convention
Assyrian Surfing Posts Pictures from the Chicago Kha b'Neesan Parade
An Assyrian Food Recipe
Margaret George
Pump up the Volume Movie Theater & Shows
Khudra All Martyrs' Day & Festival of Mar Auraha 
Back to the Future Assyrian Deportations and the Churches under Arab Rule
Literatus Assyria
This Week in History Two Anniversaries:  Mar Polous & Ashurbanipal Library
Bravo Gilbert Sangari



ZENDA Says...

Although we desperately tried to resist the "Titanic"-mania which has afflicted nearly everyone in its path of DeCaprio-frenzy dainty destruction we finally succumbed to the charms of this week's exclusive feature article and decided to bite our nails and just let it go.  ZENDA has already received information on the names of the Assyrians who perished with the Titanic in 1912 and their amazing stories which we will gladly share in the future pages of this magazine.



According to the National Box Office reports, in the past two months most of us movie-goers spent around $7.50 and about 3-hours 15 minutes each  watching the movie  “Titanic”.  Now that we know our film viewing threshold I would like to propose another film, “Intolerance”.

Directed by David Lewelyn Wark Griffith (D. W. Griffith), "Intolerance" has repeatedly been claimed by film critics as “the greatest movie ever made” and at the time of production, 1916, like “Titanic” it was the most costly ($493,800).  What drove this film's pricetag through the roof was one of the four interweaving stories entitled “The Fall Of Babylon”.

The Babylonian segment of the "Intolerance" is a story set in ancient Babylon, governed by the peaceful King Nabonidus (Carl Stockdale) and his son Belshazzer (Alfred Paget), a young mountain girl (Constance Talmadge) who falls in love with Belshazzer.  The evil and intolerant High Priest of Bel (Tully Marshall) conspires with the Persian ruler Cyrus (George Siegmann) to conquer Babylon.  The Persians attack and the young mountain girl is tragically caught defending Babylon, its ruler and her idol Belshazzar.

D. W. Griffith demanded accuracy and quality from his cast and crew.  When the time came to shoot the Babylon scenes he employed hundreds of set builders, painters, set designers and 2,500 extras to achieve the perfect backdrop.  The Babylon set, designed by Walter W. Hall after matte shots taken off the Tower of Jewels at the San Francisco Exposition in 1914, is an exact replica of the original Babylonian towers, in size and detail.  It is one of the largest, most elaborate exterior sets ever built for a single film.  With Griffith’s sweeping battle scenes and mass deployment of bodies in motion this silent-film brings ancient Mesopotamia to life and is sure to bring a tear in any Assyrian's eye.

The entire film, about 3-hours long, spans 2,500 years of hatred and injustice in history.  “The Fall of Babylon” comes in the last quarter and is the most spectacular of the whole film.  There is a rare release of only that part of the movie as a separate feature, redone comprised of  out-takes, newly shot sequences and a happier ending, but extremely difficult to find a copy of.

“Intolerance” does include medium violence, brief nudity and is questionable for children.  I hope you will enjoy this amazing film.

Helbard Alkhas
Santa Cruz, California

Mr. Alkhas, a ZENDA reader, is the Program/News Director at KSBW-TV 8, an NBC-affiliate in Salinas, California.  He began his TV Production career in a small San Francisco Bay Area studio working on the local Assyrian TV productions.  He has also been the recipient of the WAVE, two years in a row, for the making of the best TV commercials on the community channels.

"Intolerance" also features Lillian Gish in one of her early full-feature film appearances.  To view an excerpt from "Intolerance" Click Here (requires Apple's QuickTime).



(ZNDA:  Chicago)  Monday 23 February 1998 marked the opening ceremonies of Sanharib Athletic Center for Basketball and Volleyball in Nohadra (Dohuk), North Iraq.  The Dohuk parliamentary representatives as well as the regional members of the Assyrian Democratic Movement (Zowaa) among hundreds of others were present to witness the opening of this athletic arena.  To stamp the Center's opening, a friendly match between Sanharib Basketball Club and the Zakho Club took
place.  The Sanharib Athletic Club is unique in organizing several women's teams and competitions.

Northern Chronicles:

March 15

March 16

March 17


"On behalf of myself and TAAAS, I would like to wish you a very happy Easter.  Thank you for all your great efforts.  Good bless you all.

Sharrukina Malek Rostamy
Purely Academic, Editor

Purely Academic is the quarterly magazine of the Assyrian Australian Academic Society (TAAAS).  To subscribe or learn more about this informative publication write to:  taaas@magna.com.au.   TAAAS under the leadership of its previous president, Suzy David, and its current visionary, Dr. Said Stephen, has become an exemplary Assyrian organization and an influential educational institution in Australia.

"The issue of non-Orthodox Churches in Russia (ZENDA 30th March 1998) concerns all Christians worldwide.  We should not applaud if the Assyrian Church of the East is recognised by the Russian new bill on religion but other Churches restricted.  The Christian faith is based in two doctrinal dogmas, the virgin birth of Jesus Christ and his bodily resurrection. This means the doctrine of God incarnate and the Trinity of God.  Anyone who confesses this belief is Christian, regardless to which denomination belongs-unity in diversity and Christ is not divided.  But confessing requires witnessing to Christ crucified and Christ  resurrected.

Denominationally I am not evangelical, but testamentally I am evangelist for I daily carry my own cross and follow Jesus-I live by the truth of the Gospel and take its truth to others. This is Christianity or discipleship.  The surge in Christian restriction and its analogy the Christian persecution- largely a muslim practice amongst a few others-is a current phenomenon and has only one purpose to counter the so powerful contemporary evangelistic zeal in preaching the Gospel of Jesus Christ our Lord and Saviour to the entire world.

A Christian can belong to any denomination but can not be Christian without witnessing the gospel. Similarly a Church can not be a Church without evangelisation.  Paul, the great Crusader for Christ Jesus says 'woe to me if I do not preach the Gospel'.  After the resurrection, Jesus Christ our vicarious redeemer admonished his eleven immediate faithful disciples to make disciples but not Christians. Read with me the closing verses of Saint Matthew's Gospel 'all authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptising them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you.  And surely I will be with you always to the very end of the age (NIV)'.  Shall we applaud a bill that restricts preaching the Gospel?  Etha brikha."

Dr George Habash
United Kingdom




In honor of Southfield's 40th Anniversary, the City of Southfield's Community Relations Department and the Chaldean Federation of America cordially invite you to An Evening in the Middle East (Chaldean) on Tuesday, April 21, at the Southfield Civic Center Pavilion (26000 Evergreen Road).

Enjoy the food, sights, music, and culture of the region!  And added by popular demand:  the always exciting and entertaining band THE BELLS.

INTERNATIONAL CAFE  will be open from 6:45 until 9:00 PM.  Reservations are required and tickets are $20 per person and only available in advance (See CALENDAR OF EVENTS)

Community Relations Department
City of Southfield


ZENDA Stands Corrected!

In our interview with Qasha Khamis of Moscow's Mart Maryam Church (Church of the East) we incorrectly identified his birthplace as Ain Nuna.  It should read Ain Nuneh (plural).  We also wrote about Mar Shmoni, whereas Shmoni was a female Saint and should had been identified as Mart Shmoni.  The Assyrian Church of the East continues to enjoy a special relationship with the Russian Orthodox Church as well as with Kremlin.  Qasha Khamis tells us that he feels the Assyrian community does not feel "as limited" as most other foreigners do.  ZENDA has also learned that a second Assyrian priest was recently stationed in Russia to assist the growing Assyrian-Russian community.



(ZNAF:  Baghdad) A delegation from the US National Council of Churches delivered 10 tons of medical aid to Iraqi hospitals on Saturday, saying it was shocked by the suffering of the Iraqi people.  "We have been profoundly shocked by the level of suffering of the Iraqi people," said the organization's
executive director Rodney Page.  "Malnutrition is widespread and there is a shortage of even the most common medicines. As a result thousands of Iraqi children are dying needlessly because of easily treatable diseases," he said in a statement.  Page is one of the seven-member delegation that arrived here Thursday with a shipment of relief supplies for Iraq, which has been under a trade and oil embargo since its 1990 invasion of Kuwait.  The council, which represents 53 million American Christians, has sent three million dollars of aid to Iraq since 1991.



April 21


An Evening in the Middle East 
Sponsored by the City of Southfield & the Chaldean Federation of America 
Entertainment:  The Bells 
Southfield Civic Center Pavilion & International Cafe 
26000 Evergreen Road 
6:45-9:00 PM 
Reservations Required. 
$20.00 per person: 
   Southfield City Hall Main Reception Desk     Mon-Fri   8AM-5PM 
   Parks & Recreation Building                        Mon-Fri    5PM-7PM 
                                                                    Saturdays  9AM-2PM 
For more information:  (248) 354-4854

April 24



St. Mary's Assyrian Chaldean Catholic Church

Entertainers:  Edmond & Assyria DJ's Emil & Jimmy 
Lou's Village 
1465 West San Carlos 
San Jose 
Admission:  $20 in advance/$25 at the door 
To purchase tickets: 
   Nancy Kaldani       408-448-2806 
   Hannibal Menashy  408-363-6950 
   Khalid Elias            408-972-544 
   Ramil Esho            510-713-0980 
No Children under 12 allowed

May 1

                                             BERKELEY, CALIFORNIA 

Lecture:  "Assyrian Americans at the Threshold of the 21st Century" 
Speaker:  Dr. Aryan Ishaya 
Alumni House Lounge, UC-Berkeley 
7:30 PM 
Refreshments Provided 
Sponsored by the Assyrian Foundation of America & University of California at Berkeley's Center for Middle Eastern Studies

May 2

                                 SAN JOSE, CALIFORNIA 

Personally meet Mr. Gonzales, a candidate for Mayor in the City of 
San Jose, register to vote, and obtain useful information about the City of 
San Jose and its services. 
Time:  11 a.m. to 3 p.m. 
Beta of the Assyrian American Association of San Jose 
20000 Almaden Road in San Jose 
Contribution: $20 per person (includes a kabob sandwich & drink) 
Co-Sponsored by ZENDA

May 22


"An Assyrian Evening" 
A Cultural Exchange Event Organized by German Cultural Organizations/Radio&TV 

  • Lectures & Interviews with Several University Professors , Students, & Representatives of Assyrian Organizations from Hamburg, Wiesbaden, Paderborn, Berlin, and & other German Cities are Expected to Attend 
  • Assyrian Dance Groups from Wiesbaden & Hamburg 
  • Appearance on Hamburger Fruehstueckfernseher Television Program 
May 22-25


Assyrian State Convention of California 
Sponsored by the Assyrian United Organizations of California 
Host:  Assyrian American Civic Club of California

May 23


The Fourth Assyrian Community Networking Conference 
Organized by:  Nineveh On Line 
1:00 PM 
DoubleTree Hotel (Formerly Red Lion Inn) 
Center Plaza, Modesto

July 4


Assyrian Olympic Games 

Sep 2-7


Assyrian National Convention
Sponsored by the Assyrian American National Federation








  Movie Theatre
 makhzaya d'United Artists 
 Theatrical Show
kheswana'd Miss Saigon  



April 5
Palm Sunday
April 10
Good Friday
April 12
April 17
All Martyrs Day
April 19
New Sunday & Festival of Mar Auraha
April 24
Mar Givargiz (St. George the Martyr)
April 27
Rabban Hormizd & Mar Pethon


BC (745-627)

As many as 4.5 million persons were deported in the Assyrian Empire from one community to another.  This type of exile, practiced by the Assyrian kings of the New Kingdom was intended to destroy the person's individuality and rebelliousness.  The Assyrian kings, in the long run, found themselves hated by groups in almost every region of their empire.

Life in the Ancient Near East, Snell

AD (640)

By this time the Arab armies had swept through much of the Middle East and North Africa.  The Assyrian Apostolic (Church of the East) and the Orthodox (Syrian Orthodox) Churches were forced to proceed with the terms of existence under the new Arab government.  Mar Ishu-Yav, Patriarch of the Church of the East, was the negotiator who secured the recognition of the two historical churches' melet status.  Each Church had the right to exist only upon payment of tribute, whereas no new churches could be built, and yet the worshippers remained exempt from military service.  The two Assyrian churches conceded to the new terms and continued to ignore one another's existence.

History of the Assyrian Church, Wigram




Introductory Classical Assyrian

alphabet and the vowel system, basic literacy skills & vocabulary 

Saad Sadi 
APR 4 JUN 27 


3-5 PM 

North Park Univ Carlson Tower 
Room C44

Introductory Modern Assyrian I

alphabet and the vowel system, basic literacy skills & vocabulary 

Zaia Kanoon
APR 9 JUN 25 


7-9 PM 

North Park Univ 
Room B-3

Introductory Modern Assyrian II

reading & writing,  & elementary grammar. 

Zaia Kanoon
APR 4 JUN 27 


3-5 PM 

North Park Univ 
Carlson Tower 
Room C42







80-Year Anniversary

April 15, 1918:  Mar Polous Shimun succeeded Mar Shimun Benyamin as the new Patriarch of the Church of the East.  Mar Benyamin was assassinated in the hands of Kurdish rebels while on a peace mission in the Persian Azerbaijan.  The consecration of Mar Polous Shimun took place in the Mart Maryam Church in Urmie, Iran.

April 15, 1979 :  "Marga", an Assyrian magazine, began publishing in Tehran, Iran, under the direction of Bishop Youhanna Issayee in Farsi and Assyrian.

10-Year Anniversary

April 17, 1988:  Ashurbanipal Library (7055 North Clark Street) with an impressive collection of books and documents opens its doors to the public in Chicago.



Next time you reserve a room at a hotel in the heart of the Silicon Valley or wait for your next appointment in the lobby of a Bay Area's Hi-Tech company look for a new magazine entitled SAN JOSE.  This impressive publication has become a favorite of the City of San Jose's hotels, recreational facilities, arts community and the Hi-Tech businesses.  However, what truly impressed the ZENDA staff was the fact that this lavishly designed and well-written publication is the brainchild of an Assyrian entrepreneur in San Jose- Gilbert Sangari.  Mr. Sangari, better known in the Assyrian community of San Jose for his financial and real estate savvy, is the Editor and Publisher of San Jose Magazine which began publishing last year. Moreover the entire Design Production and Art Direction of San Jose Magazine is handled by another multi-talented Assyrian, Homer Younan of Grafeex, a graphics/web designer in San Jose.  San Jose Magazine is published monthly and the annual subscription price is $17 in the U.S.  For more information visit:  www.sanjosemagazine.com




New Jersey

Poway, California



This Week's Contributors:
Firas Jatou Chicago, Illinois Good Morning Bet-Nahrain

Thank You For Referring ZENDA to a Friend:
Grace Yohannan Apopca, Florida
Hirmis Aboona Toronto, Canada
Sam Kosa San Diego, California


ZENDA Magazine is published every Monday. Views expressed in ZENDA do not necessarily represent those of the ZENDA editors, or any of our associated staff.  This publication reserves the right, at its sole discretion, not to publish comments or articles previously printed in or submitted to other journals. ZENDA also reserves the right to publish and republish your submission in any form or medium. All letters and messages require the name(s) of sender and/or author. All messages published in the SURFS UP! section must bear the name of the author(s). Distribution of material featured in ZENDA is not restricted, but permission from ZENDA is required.  This service is meant for the exchange of information, analyses and news. To subscribe, send e-mail to: zenda@ix.netcom.com with the message body "subscribe ZENDA Firstname Lastname". To unsubscribe, send e-mail to the above address, with the message body "unsubscribe ZENDA".


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