Volume IV , Issue 21

Tdabaakh 17, 6748                   August 17, 1998

T H I S   W E E K   I N   Z E N D A

The Lighthouse Forward onto the Next Millennium
Good Morning Bet-Nahrain  Saddam Getting Closer to Arbil
News Digest Kurdish Parliament in Exile Will Admit Assyrians
Assyrians Language Class in Yerevan
Surfs Up "It is silly to sit on the money..."
Surfers Corner Voices in the Wilderness Protest Sanctions Against Iraq
Calendar of Events Social and Cultural Events
Assyrian Surfing Posts Eamama Newspaper
A History of the Assyrian Cultural Club, Baghdad
The Meaning of Life, and The Epic of Gilgamesh
Pump up the Volume Peaches and Nectarines
Back to the Future The Coming of the Hittites & the Osrohene Kingdom
Literatus The Satan Worshipers of Northern Bet-Nahrain
This Week in History Dr. Joseph Cochrane
Bravo Assyrian Youth Group of Victoria

All blue links throughout this issue are hyperlinks to other sections on this page or featured websites.



Professor Richard Feynman, recipient of the 1954 Albert Einstein Award and the 1965 Nobel Prize laureate, was a distinguished theoretical physicist at Cornell University as well as the California Institute of Technology.  Professor Feynman in a series of lectures, which later were published in a book titled "The Character of Physical Law", talked about the relationship of mathematics to physics (or physical universe).  The following are few selected excerpts from his book in which he explains how the current approach in solving elaborate physics problems is based on the Babylonian mathematics and methodology:

"...there are two kinds of ways of looking at mathematics, which for the purpose of this lecture I will call the Babylonian tradition and the Euclidean or Greek tradition.  In Babylonian schools in mathematics
the student would learn by doing a large number of examples until establishing the general rule (i.e., the theorem).  Tables of numerical quantities were available so that they could solve elaborate equations.
Under the Babylonian system, everything was prepared for calculating things out.  But Euclid (under the Greek mathematical system) discovered that there was a way in which all of the theorems of geometry could be ordered from a set of axioms that were simple.  The Babylonian mathematics is that you know all of the various theorems and many of the connections in between...".  What Professor Feynman is
referring to here and in later passages is that to Babylonians mathematical rigors and cross application of the resulting theorems were of most importance; however, to Greeks ordering theorems under some generalized simpler axioms was what mattered.

In later passages, Professor Feynman continues: "...The method of always starting from axioms is not efficient in obtaining theorems.  In working something out in geometry it is not efficient if each time you have to start back at the axioms.  In physics we 'need' Babylonian method and not the Euclidean or Greek method.. .  We can deduce often from one part of physics, like the Law of Gravitation, a principle which turns out to be much more valid than the derivation.  This does not happen in Mathematics and under Greek methodology; theorems do not come out in places where they're not supposed to be...".  One of the greatest scientific minds of this century, Richard Feynman, knew what important contributions to physics and mathematics , and therefore to mankind, are made by the great Babylonians that cut across several millennia.

To become a great nation does not just happen.  Great nations do not materialize out of rhetoric and arm chair philosophizing.  If we look closely at all the great nations of the world today, we'll see that they have one thing in common: they are great contributors as well.  Every one of them.  They contribute to the progress of mankind in every aspect.  We, the Assyrians, have contributed greatly in the past, but somewhere we stopped.  In this complex and interconnected global society to once again become a recognized nation we must begin contributing to the global socio-economic system.  We need to contribute to science, mathematics, technology, politics, and economy just to name a few.  Those nations that do not contribute, do not have a place nor can obtain any status in the grand scheme of global and political intricacies.

I believe, for Assyrians, a de facto "Grand Agenda" is in place due to the sheer necessity. Some may not see it but it is there.  All we need to do now is to identify and put in place the true "leaders" and the "implementors".

Hannibal Joma
Calabasas, California



(ZNDA: London)  According to a report by the Iraqi National Congress Iraq's Republican Army has begun amassing troops around the city of Arbil  Mosul.  The Allahu Akbar corps of the Republican Army comprise the Adnan, Baghdad , and al-madina al-Munawara divisions.  Last week two members of the Kurdistan Democratic Party's Central Committee were assassinated and the KDP's Director of Finance with members of his family died as a result of an explosion in their house in Noohadra (Duhok).
Iraqi National Congress observers believe that these operations were carried out by Saddam Hussein's agents in retaliation to the reports that Massoud Barzani of KDP may visit Washington.



(ZNDA:  London)  The current members of the Kurdistan Parliament in Exile, inaugurated in Netherlands in 1995, have agreed on increasing the size of their assembly by 65 new seats including 4 Assyrian representations.   Other groups represented will include the Kurdish Women's Union, Communists, Yezidis, Alavis, associations of Kurdish professionals, artists, and educators.  Elections will take place on August 25.  The ultimate goal of this parliament is to create the Kurdish National Congress
which will include all other major Kurdish political and cultural parties.  At press time ZENDA was uninformed of the identity of the candidates considered for the four Assyrian seats in the Kurdistan Parliament in Exile.  In northern Iraq, currently there are five "Assyrian" seats occupied by the members of the Assyrian Democratic Movement or Zowaa.


(ZNDA: Yerevan)  According to a report by the Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty a spokeswoman for the Assyrian community in the capital announced the establishment of an Assyrian language class in a school in Yerevan, Armenia.  The spokeswoman also appealed for the reinstatement of an Assyrian-Armenian teacher fired from a school in one of three predominantly Assyrian-populated villages near the capital.  She reported that the Assyrian community has shrunk in recent years from 9,000 to approximately 4,000, whereas many have been forced to emigrate for economic reasons. She also explained that "the Armenian state does everything for us not to leave the country."

Commentaries on last week's feature article:

"Do you have the updated status on the monetary funds that our organizations control in the name of the Assyrian Nation? Specifically those in Chicago. I know that not too long ago, several of them inherited good sums of funds from some Millionaire that recently passed away.

I would be interested to find out the following information:

     Breakdown of the budgets by organization?
     Plans for future developments?
     How is the money currently invested?
     Contact persons ( phones, E-mails ..etc.) per organization?

In the Chicago metropolitan area, we are in dyer need for some social developments. It is silly to sit on the money without giving it a chance for growth or investing in a building NOW, to keep up with inflation."

Sargon Yalda



During my Jesuits High School and University reunion held in Detroit two weeks ago I listened to Kathy Kelly speaking on what is happening in Iraq during the past eight years. During the two hours presentation the tears were flowing on my cheeks involuntarily and I was wiping them in a discrete
manner. Later on I found out that all present could not stop crying because what we heard were horrible stories of what is going on now in Iraq.

Please forward the information to your friends and support the works of these wonderful human beings who have dedicated their lives to remove the UN sanctions on Iraq.

Voltaire E Warda
Houston, Texas

Voices in the Wilderness members who fasted and vigiled in Baghdad, Seattle, WA, Guadalupe, CA and New York, NY were moved by the experience itself and by the many support actions which took place from July 25 - August 12.

Mil Rai and Andrea Needham, from VitW - UK, were joined by Umberto Greco of Bridges to Baghdad for a fast across from the UN headquarters in Baghdad, where they had an opportunity to meet with Mr. Denis Halliday, who recently resigned from his position as UN Humanitarian Co-ordinator for Iraq.  Mr.
Halliday expressed intense frustration over the imposition of sanctions.  AP and Reuters reports (August 15, 1998) state that UN General Secretary Kofi Annan also strongly disapproves of using economic sanctions that primarily affect civilian populations.

On their 19th day of fasting, representatives of the VitW Fast for Life in New York City, met with Mr. Richard Butler, at the UN, for forty minutes. Mr. Butler acknowledged that he has not visited any hospitals or sewage/sanitation facilities in Iraq. He said that security concerns prevent him from doing so.  Team members urged him to find a way to see for himself what is happening inside the hospitals.  "What the eye doesn't see, the heart doesn't feel."   Please read further for a few observations from that meeting, for details about our next delegations to Iraq, (September, 1998 and October, 1998) and for an invitation to Chicago members.   We look forward to remaining in touch with you.

Kathy Kelly
Voices in the Wilderness
1460 West Carmen Avenue
Chicago, IL  60640

Archbishop Dijbraeel Kassab, Chaldean Catholic Archbishop of the Southern Province of Iraq, will visit with Voices in the Wilderness members and friends on Tuesday, August 18, at 7:00 p.m.  See Calendar of Events.


Aug 18

Archbishop Dijbraeel Kassab, a Chaldean Catholic Archbishop from Iraq, meets with the members of the Voices in the Wilderness
7:00 PM
1460 West Carmen Avenue
For more information call 773-784-8065

Aug 31

An Anhinga Productions by Fernando Arrabal 
Theatre of Yugen 
2840 Mariposa Street 
Phone: (415)621-0507 
Tickets $10.50-$12.50 ($8.50 students & seniors) 
Call (415)621-7978 for advance tickets and information 

Theatre Of Yugen was founded in 1978 by Artistic Director Yuriko Doi to bring traditional Japanese aesthetics to American audiences. It is one of the few companies in the United States working with the 600 year old Japanese theater forms of Noh and Kyogen.
Web Page: Click Here

Sep 2-7

Sponsored by the Assyrian American National Federation 
3580 East Main Street
(203) 573-1000;  (800) 541-0469 for Reservations- Outside CT
Fax: (203) 573-1349

Sep 11-24

For more information see ZENDA:  JUNE 8: SURFERS CORNER


Hurrian settlements in Bet-Nahrain during mid-2nd millennium B.C.   Hurrians settled between the Tigris and Euphrates rivers during the mid-second millennium B.C.  The Pharaohs of Egypt sought marriage alliances with them and the Hittites feared them.  More than 100 objects excavated by Harvard between 1927 & 1931

Harvard University's Semitic Museum
-cuneiform tablets
-beaded jewelry
-lion statuettes from the temple of Ishtar at Nuzi

Links to Other Assyrian Websites

Eamama Newspaper

A History of the Assyrian Cultural Club, Baghdad

The Meaning of Life, and The Epic of Gilgamesh

 Basket of Peaches:  qanizqa d'khokheh
 Juicy Nectarines:  doorqeeneh miyaneh

Cycles & Observances of the Eastern Assyrian Liturgical Calendars

 Transfiguration of the Lord (Geelyaneh d'Maran)
 All Churches
 Assumption of Mary (Shoonaya d'Mart Maryam)
 All Churches
 Shmuni and Her Sons
 Rabban Yosep Busnaya (ACE), Mar Shimon Bar Sabbae

AAC = Ancient Assyrian Church of the East
ACE = Assyrian Church of the East
CCC = Chaldean Catholic Church
MCC= Maronite Catholic Church
MOC = Malankara Orthodox Church
SKC = Syrian Knanaya Church
SOC = Syrian Orthodox Church


BC (1595)

King Shamshu-Ditana of Babylon is defeated by the Hittite invader, Mursili I.  The Hittites were Indo-European speakers (in contrast to Assyro-Babylonians who were Semitic speakers) from Anatolia (modern Turkey).  After their victory, the Hittites withdrew from Bet-Nahrain (Mesopotamia).  A new group of Mesopotamians, the Kassites (also Semitic), then began their 400-year rule in Babylon until their final defeat by Assyrians (from northern Bet-Nahrain)  and Elamites (western Iran) in 1155 B.C.

The Near East, Maisels

AD (195)

This was the year of the first campaign of Septimus Severus (103-211) into the Assyrian kingdom of Osrhoene.  During the Roman civil wars of 193-94 Edessa [Assyrian "Urhai" (City of Life)] supported Gaius Pescennius Niger, governor of Syria, who made peace with the Parthians before being defeated by Septimus Severus. Severus then created two new provinces out of the conquered territories beyond the Euphrates, to serve as buffers for the province of Syria against the Parthians in Iran.  Severus allowed the Assyrian king, Abgar VIII (177-212),  to retain his domain, which by this time was reduced to a small area around Urhai. The kingdom of Osrhoene was finally abolished in 249.

The Roman Near East, Miller



"The devil is so cruel that anyone who seeks happiness must concentrate on appeasing him," the teacher told his pupils.  "You can safely ignore the worship of God because he is too compassionate to take revenge."  The teacher then led the class in passionate prayer to a peacock statue, the symbol of Satan.

The secretive Yezidi sect of Iraq believes the peacock was created at the time of the prophet Abraham, long before the dawn of Islam 1,400 years ago.  Adi Musafer, a Muslim mystic, began this sect in the 11th century by opposing the Sunnis and Shiites who accused a man named Yezid of killing Hussein, grandson of the prophet Mohammed.  Years after Adi and his followers had settled in the ancient Iraqi province of Nineveh, the people distorted Adi's teachings by adding a number of superstitions and by declaring Yezid a prophet sent by Satan to keep their religion on course.

The Yezidis live by strictly enforced rules of behavior.  For example, men must grow thick mustaches, spitting is forbidden as an insult to Satan, and female adulterers are killed.  After 1000 years of self-imposed isolation in the mountains of Northern Iraq, contact with the world is eroding their seclusion.  Many of the 70,000 Yezidis are becoming doctors, professors and engineers.  They speak a Kurdish dialect called Kirmanji, and use Arabic as a trade language.  Nearly all Yezidis worship the devil, and there are no known Yezidis Christians.

When Khader awoke, he could still remember his dream.  In it, he was a boy again.  Mr. De Kakatia, the Assyrian man who conducted Khader's small school for Yezidi boys in northern Iraq was telling the boys stories about Jesus.  Khader had always looked forward to those times.  He wished now he could remember more of the stories.

There are possibly 70,000 Yezidis living in northern Iraq.  Others live in Syria, Turkey, Armenia and Georgia, but most of them have migrated to Germany.  Unlike other Kurds, the Yezidis' religion is a strange mixture of Islam and Zoroastrianism.  They believe Satan is the active, malevolent element of the
Creator.  The Yezidis worship Satan in order to appease him, since he would otherwise harm them.  In Yezidi belief, God is kind but does not involve Himself with mankind; so He can be ignored.  The Yezidis remain aloof from their neighbors and seek no new converts.  Because of persecution by the Iraqi government and invasion by the modern world, the Yezidi sect is shrinking away.

There are almost no Christians among the Yezidis.  However, from the late 1920s to the 1940s, an Assyrian evangelist had worked among the Yezidis through a small boys' school.  At that time, five Yezidis believed in Jesus and were baptized.  All were active Christians, and they had to leave the area.  But there may be many more secret believers still living in the northern mountains of Iraq.

Global Prayer Digest
August 30, 1993
Frontier Fellowship, Inc.
P.O. Box 90970
Pasadena, CA 91104


August 18, 1905:  dies, Dr. Joseph Plump Cochrane, an American Missionary physician in Urmiah, Iran, where he established the first modern hospital and medical school in the region.  Many Assyrian physicians and nurses who completed their medical education here were trained by Dr. Cochrane.



They are on the air every Wednesday night, publish a monthly newsletter, and run a monthly party.  Now they are on the Net.  The Assyrian Youth Group of Victoria, Australia, in an effort to keep in touch with all Assyrian youth both within Melbourne and abroad, have established their Internet site.  The organizers of the website are hoping hat this will beak down any communication barriers between the AYGV an the Assyrian youth of Melbourne.  Keeping up with its image, the AYGV website is youth orientated and gives an idea of what this group has been and is working on.  the main page contains a number of options.  There is a language set up option which will allow you to view the webpage in Assyrian.  By choosing the Nakosha link you can view all the back issues or email letters to the staff of the magazine.

The most spectacular page in the site is the photo album, which contains photos from parties and other gatherings the group has run.  To know what the group is working on and up coming events, all you have to do is click on the logo and you are taken to the activities page.  There is a guest book which all visitors are asked to sign.

Over the next month, the page will have a number of new options introduced to it.  These options will be links to new pages within the AYGV's website and to other Assyrian sites.

August 1998

ZENDA is pleased to announce that the Assyrian Youth Group of Victoria, Australia has recently joined the world-wide community of ZENDA users and will regularly publish our articles for the benefit of its readers in Australia and abroad.  ZENDA articles are currently translated from English to Turkish, German, Swedish, Dutch, French, Arabic, and Assyrian languages through the efforts of several Assyrian magazines and radio and television programs in Australia, North America, and Europe.

To read Nakosha Magazine CLICK HERE.


 Dublin, Ireland


This Week's Contributors:
in alphabetical order

Marko Puljic Chicago, Illinois News Digest
Sargon Yalda Chicago, Illinois Calendar of Events

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   reserves the right to publish and republish your submission in any form or medium. All letters and messages  equire the name(s) of sender and/or author. All messages published in the SURFS UP! section must be in 500 words or less and 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.

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The Directory of ZENDA News Sources
ZNAA (Assyrian Academic Society-Chicago)
ZNAD (Assyrian Democratic Organization)
ZNAF (Agence France-Presse)
ZNAH (Al-Ahram Newspaper, London)
ZNAL (Al-Hayat, London)
ZNAI  (Assyrian International News Agency)
ZNAK (American Kurdish
ZNAM (Archeology Magazine)
ZNAP (Associated Press International)
ZNBN (Bet-Nahrain Inc/ KBSV-TV "AssyriaVision")
ZNCN (ClariNews)
ZNIF (Iraq Foundation)
ZNDA (Zenda: zenda@ix.netcom.com)
ZNIN (Iraqi National Congress)
ZNLT (Los Angeles Times)
ZNMN (San Jose Mercury News)
ZNMW (Mideast Newswire)
ZNNQ (Nabu Quarterly)
ZNNV (Nineveh Magazine)
ZNNY:  New York Times
ZNQA (Qala Atouraya- Moscow)
ZNRU (Reuters)
ZNSH (Shotapouta Newsletter)
ZNSJ (San Jose Mercury News)
ZNSM (Shufimafi Lebanese News)
ZNSO (Syrian Orthodox News "SOCNews")
ZNTM (Time Magazine)
ZNUP (United Press International)
ZNUS (US News & World Report)