Volume IV, Issue 31
Kanoon I  7, 6748                                                            December 7, 1998

T H I S   W E E K   I N   Z E N D A

The Lighthouse The History of the Aramaic Language
Good Morning Bet-Nahrain  Iran Releases Eleven Assyrian POW's
News Digest Assyrians in Switzerland Occupy a Church in Protest
Assyrian Television Program Via Satellite Proposed
Surfs Up "AUA is a very weak organization drawing little respect"
Surfers Corner ZENDA Interview with George Aryo
Calendar of Events Entertainment & Cultural Events
Assyrian Surfing Posts UCLA Library Middle Eastern Studies:  Assyrian Web Links
Khudra December 1998
Pump up the Volume Hatred & Prejudice
Back to the Future The Arameans & Isaac of Nineveh
Literatus The End of Mesopotamianness
This Week in History Maddinkha Journal of Tiflis
Bravo The Revs. Errico and Bazzi

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

ZENDA Says...

In light of the developments in the Assyro-Kurdish relations and the arrest of the Kurdish rebel leader, Abdullah Ocalan,  this week ZENDA presents an analysis of the Kurdish politics and an interview with Mr. George Aryo of the Assyrian Federation of Holland.  Mr. Aryo is an Assyrian representative in the “Parliament of Kurdistan in exile”.  PKiE was founded on 12 April 1995 in The Hague, Holland.   Much like its Assyrian political counterparts in Europe, PKiE works to bring the issue of political injustice committed against the ethnic minorities in the Middle East into arena of the international diplomacy.  Yet unlike  the Kurdish Parliament of Northern Iraq, dominated by the Talebani-Barzani forces, the Kurdish Parliament in Exile includes a substantial representation from the non-traditional Kurdish political and intellectual forces outside of Turkey and Iraq.

Yet, according to the British newspaper The Guardian, millions of Kurds in Turkey have been prospering in western and even central Anatolia. According to Henry Barkey and Graham Fuller one-third of the politicians themselves are of Kurdish origin and there are countless successful Kurdish businessmen.  Most Kurds just look for continued association with the Turkish state.

On the other hand, Abdullah Ocalan or "Apo" as he is affectionately known by his supporters, has become a heroic figure for the more radical Assyrian activists in Europe.  One such group is the Revolutionary Patriotic Organization of Beth-Nahrin.  The Assyrian supporters of Ocalan often quote him as saying: "The battle for Kurdish autonomy is not a battle for the Kurds alone, rather for all the oppressed peoples in Turkey."  In his plans, Ocalan has included the Assyrians, Armenians, and the Yezidis as equal beneficiaries of his guerilla warfare against the Turkish military forces.  Despite the opposition demonstrated by the main-stream Assyrian political groups in the U.S. and Europe, the appeal of Ocalan's call to war "against Turkish fascism" grows stronger in Europe.  For the Assyrian-Turkish political activists, frustrated with the trivial progress made by the diplomatic maneuverings in Geneva and Washington, Apo's charisma and promise of a "free democratic Kurdistan" remains a far more practical claim than the emergence of a new Assyria.



Aramaic was the language of Semitic peoples throughout the ancient Near East. It was the language of the Assyrians, Chaldeans, Hebrews and Syrians. Aram and Israel had a common ancestry and the Hebrew patriarchs who were of Aramaic origin maintained ties of marriage with the tribes of Aram. The Hebrew patriarchs preserved their Aramaic names and spoke in Aramaic.

The term Aramaic is derived from Aram, the fifth son of Shem, the firstborn of Noah. See Gen. 10:22. The descendants of Aram dwelt in the fertile valley, Padan-Aram also known as Beth Nahreen.

The Aramaic language in Padan-aram remained pure, and in the course the common language (lingua franca), of all the Semitic clans. By the 8th century B.C. it was the major language from Egypt to Asia Minor to Pakistan. It was employed by the great Semitic empires, Assyria and Babylon. The Persian (Iranian) government also used Aramaic in their Western provinces.

The language of the people of Palestine shifted from Hebrew to Aramaic sometime between 721-500 B.C. Therefore, we know that Jesus, his disciples and contemporaries spoke and wrote in Aramaic. The message of Christianity spread throughout Palestine, Syria and Mesopotamia in this Semitic tongue.

Present-day scholars claim that the Aramaic language itself passed through many stages of development:

  Old Aramaic                 975-700 B.C.
  Standard Aramaic         700-200 B.C.
  Middle Aramaic            200 B.C.-200 A.D.
  Late Aramaic                200-700 A.D.

which includes:

Use of the Aramaic language had become common by the period of the Chaldean Empire (626-539 B.C.). It became the official language of the Imperial government in Mesopotamia and enjoyed general use until the spread of Greek (331 B.C.).  Although Greek had spread throughout these Eastern lands, Aramaic remained dominant and the linqua franca of the Semitic peoples. This continued to be so until Aramaic was superseded by a sister Semitic tongue, Arabic, about the 13th century A.D. to the 14th century A.D., when Arabic supplanted Aramaic after the Arab conquest in the 7th Century. However, the Christians of Mesopotamia (Iraq), Iran, Syria, Turkey and Lebanon kept the Aramaic language alive domestically, scholastically and liturgically. In spite of the pressure of the ruling Arabs to speak Arabic, Aramaic is still spoken today in its many dialects, especially among the Chaldeans and Assyrians.

Before concluding, one more vital aspect of the Aramaic language needs to be mentioned and that is its use as the major Semitic tongue for the birth and spread of spiritual and intellectual ideas in and all over the Near East. According to the research and opinion of an outstanding Aramaic and Arabic scholar, Professor Franz Rosenthal, who in the Journal of Near Eastern studies, states: "in my view, the history of Aramaic represents the purest triumph of the human spirit as embodied in language (which is the mind's most direct form of physical expression) over the crude display of material power. . . Great
empires were conquered by the Aramaic language, and when they disappeared and were submerged in the flow of history, that language persisted and continued to live a life of its own ... The language continued to be powerfully active in the promulgation of spiritual matters. It was the main instrument for the formulation of religious ideas in the Near East, which then spread in all directions all over the world ... The monotheistic groups continue to live on today with a religious heritage, much of which found first expression in Aramaic."

The Rev. Rocco A. Errico, Ph.D., Th.D. & The Rev. Fr. Michael J. Bazzi, L.S.T.
Authors of Classical Aramaic, published by Noohra Foundation:  (714) 975-1944

For more information see:  F. Rosenthal, "Aramaic Studies During the Past Thirty Years", The Journal of Near Eastern Studies. Chicago: 1978, pp. 81-82.



An AUA Press Release:

The Secretary General of the Assyrian Universal Alliance, John Nimrod, was notified on 2 December 1998 that the Islamic Republic of Iran has released eleven Assyrian/Chaldean-Iraqi prisoners of war.  This gesture by the government of Iran was an action taken in observance of the Christmas holiday.  Bishop Ramsey of Iran was present at the release of POW's and later observed a Mass Service for the occasion.

We thank the government of Iran for this humanitarian gesture at this Christmas Season.  For additional information please contact the AUA office at (773) 274-9262.

Assyrian Universal Alliance
7055 North Clark
Chicago, Illinois 60626

The list of POWs released:

  1. Raad Matis Allahverdy
  2. Ramiz Elias Benna Baheena
  3. Latif Shimon Dakhd
  4. Richard Behnam Zeba
  5. Atheer Ibrahim Yousif
  6. Behnam Matti
  7. Jibrael Daniel
  8. Sabih Behnam Yacoub
  9. Beshar Matti Toma
  10. Lowie Baba Yalda
  11. Manhal Hanna Abbu

During the Iran-Iraq War (1980-1988) an estimated 40,000 Assyrian soldiers, mainly of Iraqi origin, were either killed or injured in action.  Through the efforts of the International Red Cross and the United Nations the Iraqi and Iranian government have begun the long process of the release of their POW's.  An undisclosed number of Assyrian prisoners of war remain in captivity ten years after the end of the most costly and bloody war in the history of modern Middle East.



(ZNAP:  Italy)  In Zurich, Switzerland, 60 Assyrians occupied a church in support of Abdullah Ocalan, the rebel leader of the Kurdistan Workers Party. The Assyrian men,  women and children entered the Fraumuenster Church at the center of Zurich on the afternoon of 21 November and announced the beginning of a hunger strike aimed at preventing Ocalan's extradition to Turkey.  The Swiss church officials abandoned attempts to forcibly remove the protesters after two of them doused themselves with gasoline.  Meanwhile hundreds of Turkish businesses announced a boycott of Italian goods to punish Italy for its refusal to extradite Abdullah Ocalan to Turkey.  Ocalan's PKK has fought for Kurdish autonomy in southeastern Turkey since 1984, a conflict that has resulted in the death of some 37,000 people.  Rome rejected a Turkish arrest warrant for Ocalan, who arrived on 12 November and sought political asylum.   The court cited Italian law forbidding extradition  of suspects to countries such as Turkey where they might face the death penalty.  The Macedonian Press Agency reported that the Assyrian protesters' aim was to sensitize the international public opinion over the oppression of the Turkish state.

According to the Swiss news agency the Assyrian protesters were of Turkish origin living in Germany, Belgium, Holland and Switzerland. The protesters told the Swiss media that the Kurdish minority is not the only population oppressed in Turkey.  They expressed their solidarity with the Kurdish PKK leader Abdullah Ocalan.  ZENDA sources in Europe indicated that the occupants of the church in Zurich were members of the Revolutionary Patriotic Organization of Beth-Nahrin who earlier this year organized a similar hunger strike in Belgium.  The Swiss media was surprised that the protesters resisted the Swiss police, an act seldom observed in this country.  The church officials opened a dialogue with the protesters and soon a "friendly atmosphere was established." The Assyrian protesters presented a Bible in the Assyrian language to the officials of Fraumuenster Church and thanked them for their sympathy of their cause.  The Assyrian protesters were heard by several magazines, radio, and televisions in Europe.

A few days later other members of the RPOBN joined the Kurdish groups in a mass demonstration in Bonn, Germany.  They waved the Assyrian flags in solidarity with the Kurdish organizers of this demonstration and spoke against Turkish government's oppression of its Kurdish and Christian population.  The Assyrian Democratic Organization or Mtakasta, in a press release, has also demonstrated its solidarity with Ocalan in Rome.


(ZNDA:  Germany)  The Assyrian Liberation Party held a public meeting in the city of Wiesbaden, Germany on the evening of 16 September to discuss the steps taken toward the start of an Assyrian television program broadcast via satellite- covering Europe and the Middle East.  The Party officials commented on the progress made in obtaining the necessary technology and the licensing from the Swedish government.  A request for financial support from other Assyrian organizations was also made.  Meanwhile, a second group in Europe has begun a similar effort to establish an Assyrian television channel in Europe.  Sources familiar with both projects note that both teams may combine their efforts and in working together reduce their operational costs.


"What's all the fuss about the Assyrian Universal Alliance (AUA) holding its congress in Tehran?  AUA is a hollow organization plagued by cronyism and corruption, typical of most Assyrian organizations in the West.  AUA has never sought to become a legitimate Assyrian organization, yet it has the amazing audacity to claim universal alliance for the Assyrian people. Disconnected from the Assyrian people, it is not surprising that AUA is a very weak organization drawing little respect and support from our nation.

Why would anyone take AUA seriously?  I wonder . . ."

Ramin Daniels
San Jose, California



In 1920 the new Turkish Parliament founded by Kemal Ataturk promised equal rights and representation for the Kurdish population in Turkey. Thirty Kurds were elected in the Turkiye Buyuk Millet Meclisi.  Not long after the establishment of the Turkish Parliament, a few of the Kurdish representatives were arrested, imprisoned and even assassinated.  The remaining group escaped from Turkey.  The wrath of Kemal Ataturk also affected the Christian minorities of Turkey ,as under his leadership, an estimated one and half million Assyrians and Armenians were massacred.

In 1991 the Kurds joined the general elections in Turkey and were represented by the so-called "Democratic Party ( DeP)". Twenty one DeP representatives were elected to the Turkish Parliament. During the inauguration ceremonies, however,  two Kurdish parliamentarians, Leyla Zana and Hatib Dicle, shouted "Long live the brotherhood of nations”.  Immediately upon hearing this a few Turkish Parliamentarians attacked their the two female Kurdish Parliamentarians and pushed them off the stage.  Afterwards, the Kurdish Parliamentarians'  incessant efforts to bring the Kurdish Question to the public attention ended when the High Court of Turkey banned the DeP and  removed the Kurdish Parliamentarians from office. One Parliamentarian, Mehmed Sincar, was killed by the Turkish counter-guerilla forces.  Leyla Zana and four others were arrested and sentenced to 15 years in prison.  Five others and a sympathetic Turkish mayor were able to flee the country before their arrest.

Together with other Kurdish intellectuals and activists in Europe (PKK and CKP) the five former Kurdish parliamentarians have now founded the Parliament of Kurdistan in Exile.  During their initial discussions the founders agreed that the peoples of “Kurdistan”  include not only the Kurds, but the Assyrians (and Yezidis) also.  They approached the Assyrian organizations, federations and individuals of which only the Assyrian Federation in Holland presented Mr. George Aryo as an Assyrian representative to the Kurdish Parliament in Exile.

The following is an interview conducted by ZENDA's correspondent in Amsterdam, Mr. Matay A. A. Arsan, with Mr. George Aryo of the Assyrian Federation of Holland:

ZENDA:  Which Assyrian organizations were approached regarding the establishment of the Parliament of Kurdistan in Exile and how many Assyrians nominated themselves for the first election?

Aryo:  Several Assyrian organizations in Europe were contacted before the elections and we discussed the whole issue.  The Assyrian Democratic Organization (ADO or Mtakasta), which has the greatest influence in the Assyrian cultural organizations in Europe was positive in the beginning but surprisingly negative in the later stages of our discussions.   It advised its members and sympathizers against sending a representation.

Well, finally four Assyrians, including myself, nominated themselves and were elected.   The other three were:

The RPoBN members used to call themselves the Revolutionary Assyrians-Suryoye.

ZENDA: What were ADO's reasons not to participate?
Aryo: Well, they couldn't convince us with any rational political arguments and they told us that the Kurds are evil and Assyrians cannot work with them. This, I think, is more a village-mentality than a rational opinion.

ZENDA: Do you personally believe that this was ADO's true reason for not participating?
Aryo: No, I don't think so. I think they did not have faith in themselves and that they were not convinced of their capability to discuss our national question with other nations. I think this was the true reason behind it.

ZENDA:  Are you not concern that the Kurds are taking advantage of your presence in this Parliament as did the Turks in 1920?
Aryo: First, let me make this clear: we are talking about the Kurds of Turkey and not about those in Iraq. In the past the Kurds of Turkey did not govern themselves, rather were governed by others through religion. They did not have a national ideology. Today they have both a Kurdish leadership and their own national ideology. They are open-minded about other nationalities and especially to the Assyrians for the simple reason that we live in the same area.  Of course, not all Kurds of Turkey think in the same way! There are at least 50 thousand Kurds led by the Aghas who are the landlords paid and financed by the Turkish authorities.   They fight against their own people, their own freedom fighters, against their own struggle for independence! To return to your question of whether the Kurds will abuse our presence in this parliament for their own benefit, I wish to remind you of the words of Winston Churchill : "Britain has no everlasting friends, but everlasting interests!"  It is true that in politics there are no friendships, only national interests.  Whether we are in this parliament or not, the Kurds would have established it.  We say that we are a nation and that we are the true "owners" of Beth-Nahrin.  In the Parliament of Kurdistan in Exile, we discuss and decide about the future of this land with western- and non-western governments and organizations.  Our participation benefits the "Assyrian Cause", as we did not blindly become involved.   We had our demands as such:  The Assyrian people must have the same rights and privileges offered through participation in this parliament as the Kurdish people have in their cultural, linguistic, and media (radio and television).  This parliament has great authority over such things as  the Med-TV (the largest Kurdish television broadcast via satellite in Europe). We have our own Assyrian programs, produced by Assyrians and spoken in our own Assyrian language.  The national days such as Kha b'Neesan are celebrated together with the Kurdish celebration of "Nowrooz". The August 7- Assyrian Martyrs' Day-  must now be officially recognized. One of the most important demands was this: whenever and wherever this parliament communicates with other governments and organization,  not only the Kurdish question but the Assyrian Question must be discussed as well!  So far our demands have been met.

Many countries did not even know that Assyrians still exist! We have visited Russia, Europe, the Middle East, the Caucasian countries, and South Africa.  And wherever this parliament was the Assyrian question was discussed also! This is a great accomplishment for our people. When there is no voice for our people, especially from the homeland, then this work will not be permanent . From every corner and region our voices must heard- loudly.

ZENDA:  There was a second Parliamentary election. What happened?
Aryo: More Assyrians were elected. We are stronger and we are a unanimous voice. The new elected officers are:

ZENDA:  How much  influence does PKK exert in this parliament?
Aryo:  PKK is the biggest force in this parliament with the largest number of representatives- twelve in all.  They do much of the work and so far they have shown a great concern for our people.

ZENDA:  For most Assyrians, particularly those living in the USA and Australia,  the PKK and Barzani are considered "murderers of our people”.  Can you comment on this?

Aryo: The information that reaches our people in the USA and Australia is often one-side and subjective. Because of the distance our communication is poor, and in many cases, we do not reach each other at all.  From the beginning PKK has thought of our people as an oppressed people and the oldest inhabitants of Beth-Nahrin. PKK believes that our people must receive as much attention as that of the Kurdish people.

The PKK has never been hurt by our people and therefore it considers us more as a friend then as an enemy.  But what Turkey and Barzani want from our people is that we stand up with weapons and fight against the PKK. They want us to take up arms against the PKK and prevent them from coming to our villages. Our people prefer to stay neutral  and refuse to fight against the PKK and do not listen to either Turkey and Barzani.  The Turkish government and Barzani started their dirty games and politics by killing innocent Assyrians and destroying buildings, and blaming the PKK. This is how the PKK operates: they kill somebody or act on something and then immediately claim responsibility for their action in a press release.

Our people in the USA and Australia receive their information from the Assyrian Democratic Movement (ADM or "Zowaa”).  ADM operates and lives in the area controlled by Barzani, who in turn maintains a close relationship with Turkey.  Zowaa is forced to spread this kind of wrong information.  This is wrong.  Zowaa is a political organization for the entire Assyrian nation! And it should refuse any such cooperation.

Maybe some will think  I am anti-Zowaa or they might think I am a follower of PKK.  This is absolutaly not true. Above everything, I am Assyrian! And the Assyrian National Question is for me holier than everything else!  I know Zowaa and its leaders well.  They too know me personally. I have helped Zowaa in the past  and I will still help Zowaa because of the simple fact that they are active in our homeland.  But Zowaa must have a policy for our nation and must recognize the friends and the true enemies of our people.  My view of the PKK will be the same as their view of my people!  I will be as open-minded and understanding towards them as they are towards my people.

Many more Kurds live in northern-Mesopotamia/Assyria  than Assyrians. We must be able to work together. Many nations were enemies in the past.  Today they work together. Look at the European countries and think back to fifty years ago. I have this to say to our people and the Assyrian organizations in the USA and Australia: We must be long-term thinkers. We must realize that the Kurds have been in Assyria/North-Mesopotamia for over 100 years too. If we want to live there in Assyria/Mesopotamia then we must begin to establish communication with them and have our demands. I cannot imagine how will can return and live there without any contact and communication with the Kurds unless we build a wall around ourselves.

ZENDA:   As you may have noticed our people have a negative view of the term "Kurdistan" in reference to northern Bet-Nahrain.  How do you feel about this?
Aryo:  I think that is a narrow way of viewing the situation. Kurdistan exists!  Can we say that Erzurum and Sivas are Kurdistan, but Nineveh is not!  If we handle this case in an organized way, then we can  call it Assyria!  By the way, the Kurds are not so hard-headed when it comes to the name “Kurdistan”.  More and more are beginning to use the term "Mesopotamia”.

We must face the fact that 95% of the inhabitants of North-Mesopotamia/Assyria are Kurdish!  When we do not do anything about our Cause, then they can name it whatever they want. We should not blame the Kurds for calling that land “Kurdistan”.  We have not stood up for "Assyria!"  The young Kurdish girls, boys, men and women return back from their comfortable western life, from Australia, Europe, and elsewhere,  to go and fight for Kurdistan.  Our people just stay in their homes in Chicago, Stockholm, Sydney, and Paris and shout: "Assyria or Beth-Nahrin/Mesoptamia is ours!"

ZENDA:  What do you think about our magazine?
Aryo:  I am very glad that ZENDA is an independent, progressive and an open-minded Assyrian magazine.  It is good that it reaches many non-Assyrians through the Internet all over the world. But what pleases me more is that although many of our people are in body and mind far away from our national question, there still are Assyrians, like the staff of Zenda, who still have that fire of true patriotism. My deepest respect and thanks go to you.  I hope that you continue to walk on this sacred path of Assyrian nationalism. Shlome and iqore (regards and respects) to all your readers.  Fushun bashlomo o b h’ubo d–Athro.


Dec 13

The Assyrian Academic Society Annual General Body Meeting
Elections of new officers for 1999
Assyrian National Council Office
2450 W. Peterson Ave.
(773) 262-5589. 
All are welcome.

Through Dec 23

Artist:  Edvin Takhsh
Place:  Ruedesheimer Commerzbank

A portion of the proceeds from the sale of the Takhsh art pieces will benefit the current projects of the Assyrian Aid Society in northern Iraq.
Donations will be made to:
                            ASB-Deutschland e.V. 
                            Kontonr.: 1888
                            Stichwort: "Assyrer"
                            BLZ: 370 100 50
                            Postbank Köln

Dec 31

Assyrian Aid Society / Santa Clara Chapter 
Awana of the Assyrian Church of the East
680 Minnesota Avenue
Entertainer:  Ramsin Sheno
Dinner by Jora Babaian of  Jora Restaurant
Adults $45.00 if purchased in advance / $50.00 at the door.
$25.00 for kids under 12. 
For tickets and more info call:
Fouad Sada              (408)296-3456
Neil Karaman           (408)944-1711
Sam Karaman          (408)563-0418
Banni Babella           (408)495-1674
Youkie Khanania      (408)226-9724
Fred Aprim              (650)685-8808 
All Proceeds will benefit the Assyrians in northern Iraq.

Dec 31

1999 New Year's Eve Dinner Dance Party
Assyrian American Association of San Jose
Marriot Hotel, Santa Clara
Entertainers:  Ogin & Black Cats
Full dinner, fruit buffet, after midnight coffee and chocolate service
Two alcoholic or four soft drink beverages
Tickets available at BETA, 20000 Almaden Road, San Jose
(408) 927-8100 or  (408) 927-9100
Members:          $80.00   Non-Member:  $85.00       (November 7-28) 
Non-Members:  $85.00   Non-Member:  $90.00       (November 29-December 29)


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


 Internet Class for Assyrians
 Mondays 7-8 PM
Quick Internet of Modesto
1031 McHenry Ave. Suit # 18 
Modesto, California
Conducted in Assyrian 
Provided by Nineveh Online
Call (209) 578-5511 
Click Here
Aanya Meetings
7:30-9 PM Assyrian American Assoc of San Jose
20000 Almaden Road 
San Jose, California
Young College/Post-College Assyrians in the SF Bay Area are invited to join 
Call 408-927-9100

Links to Other Assyrian Websites

UCLA Library Middle Eastern Studies:  Assyrian Web Links


Racial Prejudice:  tnanoota tdohmeta
Hatred of People: saaotdoota b'nashe

Cycles & Observances of the Eastern Assyrian Liturgical Calendars

 Mart Barbara
Mart Juliana
 Nativitity of Mor John the Baptist
Mor Zokhe (Nicolas)
Annunciation of Mary
Immaculate Conception
 Mar Behnam & Sarah & 40 Martyrs
 The Revelation of Mor Joseph
Feast of Mar Yosip (Joseph)
 Christmas Fast
 Glorification of the Virgin Mary
 Martyrdom of Bethlehem's Children

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
SCC = Syrian Catholic Church of Antioch
SKC = Syrian Knanaya Church
SOC = Syrian Orthodox Church


BC (1000)

By this time a number of Aramean states in Upper Bet-Nahrain (Syria, Turkey, and Iraq) had emerged.  The Assyrians mobilized to re-conquer the areas occupied by the Arameans.  These lands were then governed by Aramean kings acting as Assyrian governors.  The influence of these Aramean governors in the Assyrian imperial machinery and its socio-political structure was significant.  The latter use of Aramaic language as the official language of the empire was a clear evidence of the Aramaism of the Assyrians.

The Ancient Near East, Kuhrt

AD (660)

Against his will, Isaac of Nineveh was consecrated Bishop of Nineveh.  It is said that shortly after his consecration two litigants were brought to him; one demanding immediate payment and the other more time to repay the debt.  Mar Isaac quoted the Gospel, "of him that takes away your goods, ask them not again."  The creditor replied: "Leave the Gospel alone for now."  The Bishop responds: "If the Gospel will not be obeyed then what am I doing here?"  Not long after, he resigned his post and retired to the desert of Skete in Egypt where he wrote his many ascetic works.

The Death of A Nation, Yohannan



"Clearly the maintenance of the Assyrian state was related to the success of its military machine.  As long as the army could back up the royal demands, goods flowed from subject provinces to the agricultural heartland of Assyria.  The new capitals and expensive monuments were dependent upon the continued effectiveness of the generals.  The army, however, could not establish a functioning imperial system to integrate the conquered territories.  When enemies struck a mortal blow at a weakened Assyria, not only did the empire dissolve, but the Assyrian heartland itself was reduced to its very basis of agricultural subsistence.  The population of Assyria was no longer predominantly Assyrian and the traditional nobility had long before been systematically removed as a hindrance to royal centralization and military efficiency.

No reformulation from such a collapse was possible.  Most of the people in the countryside and in what remained of Assyrian cities were Arameans and others who had been incorporated within the empire, many forcibly imported.  These people did not think of themselves of of their culture as Mesopotamian, as is indicated by the increased use of Aramaic alongside Akkadian, which is eventually outweighed, in Assyria.  One reason for the overt display of "Mesopotamianness" by the Assyrian warrior kings may well have been the attempt to stress traditional ties with a past that they themselves were undermining but that separated them from a subject population that had only partly shared those traditions."

The Collapse of Ancient Mesopotamian States & Civilizations, Yoffee


December 15, 1913:  The first issue of the "Maddinkha", a bi-monthly newspaper, is published in
Tiflis (today's Tbilisi), Georgia (in the former Soviet Republic). Rev. Grigorious was the the editor-in-chief of this Assyrian publication.

From The Calendar of the Assyrian Society of University Graduates in Tehran, Hannibal Giwargis.



The authors of this week's feature article are also the authors of a popular book entitled "Classical Aramiac" that teaches Classical Aramaic grammar based on the Eastern Aramaic alphabet for English speaking people.  Dr. Errico is the founder and president of the Noohra foundation, a non-profit, non-secterian, Aramaic biblical research organization in Irvine, California.  Dr. Errico was a student of the late George Lamsa who translated the Bible from ancient Aramaic or Pshitta (simple) texts to English.  Dr. Errico is fluent in Aramiac, Hebrew, and Spanish.  He holds a Doctor of Philosophy degree from the School of Christianity in Los Angeles, and has received a Doctor of Divinity freom St. Ephrem's Institute in Sweden.

Rev. Michael Bazzi is a pastor of St. Peter Chaldean Catholic Church in San Diego, California.  He was born in Telkepe, a suburb of Nineveh, Iraq.  He completed his studies in Rome and has received a Masters Degree in Pastoral Theology.  He has served the Michigan and Southern California parishes since his arrival to the United States in 1974.  Rev. Bazzi is fluent in Aramaic, French, and Italian.


 The Chameleon Tree
 Summer Institute of Linguistics
Buffalo Grove, Illinois

This Week's Contributors:
in alphabetical order

Hidoo Hidoo Chicago, Illinois Good Morning Bet-Nahrain
Adrin Takhsh Berlin, Germany News Digest

Thank You For Referring A Friend to ZENDA:

Dr. Nancy Khammo United Kingdom
Tony Khoshaba Chicago, Illinois 

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  require 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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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
ZNPR:  Palestinian Review
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)
ZNCW:  Catholic World News