Volume IV, Issue 30
Tishrin II 30, 6748 November 30, 1998
|The Lighthouse||The First Sermon After Exile|
|Good Morning Bet-Nahrain||Clinton's Letter on Iraq|
|News Digest||German Group Concerned About Northern Iraq|
|Surfs Up||"computer technologies here are very expensive"|
|Surfers Corner||Suria's Jajik|
|Calendar of Events||Entertainment & Cultural Events|
|Assyrian Surfing Posts||History of Plumbing in Babylon
Assyrian Levies in Habbanyia Photo Album
Assyrians... and Census 2000
The Banquet of Ashurnasirpal
The Assyrian Grammar By Rabi Hurmizd Juodo
Assyrian Society in the Time of Ashurbanipal
Book: The Church of the East & the Church of England
Lexicon of Sumerian Logograms
|Pump up the Volume||Clothes & Closet|
|Back to the Future||Aramaic During Achaemenids & Claudius Rich|
|This Week in History||The First Assyrian Book in Urmia|
|Bravo||Institute of Syriac Manuscript Studies|
All blue links throughout this issue are hyperlinks to other sections on this page or featured websites.
Iran's President Khatami at the 22nd Congress of the Assyrian
Universal Alliance held in Tehran between November 2 and 5. At
the end of his keynote speech on the first day of the conference,
President Khatami received a bouquet of flowers from the Assyrian
girl pictured here. Over 2000 Assyrians attended the opening
ceremony from 20 representative countries.
Photo Courtesy of Hamshahri Newspaper, November 4, 1998
The AUA Congress held a few weeks ago in Tehran was a turning point in the Assyro-Iranian relations since the departure of the Shah of Iran and Iran's Islamic Revolution in 1979. The AUA, in the 1970's had sponsored trips to Washington D.C. for Assyrian-Americans living abroad on the occasion of the official visit to the United States of the Shah and his wife, Farah. It had also aided Shah's government of Iran in supporting the Kurdish uprisings in northern Iraq against the government in Baghdad - a volatile situation mitigated by the signing of the Algiers Agreement between the governments of Iran and Iraq in 1975. As a result certain AUA officials were black-listed by the new post-Revolutionary government of Iran and forced to find refuge in Europe, Australia and the United States. The remaining AUA representatives took this golden opportunity to assume leadership of this political organization and by 1983 the AUA was clearly led by two different political camps working within the framework of this organization's 1968 charters. What is then the reason behind Tehran's sudden change of heart?
Thirty years ago a similar dissension troubled a different Assyrian institution. While the exiled Patriarch of the Assyrian Church of the East, Mar Eshai Shimmun, was shepherding his followers from a distance, certain heads of the Church in Iraq began a dispute over the legitimacy of the newly-adopted liturgical calendar of the Church. This dissension finally led to the division of the church into what are now the Church of the East and the Ancient Church of the East patriarchates. The former follows the western and the latter the traditional orthodox calendar. The government in Baghdad had realized the momentous role the church played in the political affairs of its Christian minorities. A dissension meant mass emigration, loss of credibility in the west, and public discontent.
Historically, the governments in the Middle East have devoted greater concern over the leadership of the Assyrian churches than their political parties and civic groups. In 1970 the government of Iraq issued a decree by which it revoked the ban on Mar Ishai Shimmun's entry into Iraq. After 37 years of exile the Patriarch returned to Baghdad, where he was received with great fanfare. His Iraqi citizenship restored, Mar Shimmun praised President Bakr of Iraq as "a great statesman." This week ZENDA publishes a portion of Mar Shimmun's speech delivered in Baghdad's Mar Zia Cathedral, commonly known as the First Sermon After Exile. In this important historical document His Holiness alludes to the increasing tension within his church in Iraq. Yet, Mar Shimmun's sermon, delivered in May 1970, convinced neither the Iraqi government nor the dissenting church officials of the religious and political repercussions of a pending disaster.
The AUA Congress in Tehran should not be written off as only an annual meeting. Our readers must have already stumbled upon a different perspective on the recent developments in the Middle East. The fact remains that the security and welfare of the Christian minorities in the Middle East will be used by the Islamic government in the region as an effective tool against the industrial nations' fear of the rise of Islamic Fundamentalism. With the passage of the "anti-discrimination" law in the U.S. Congress this month, more Mid-East countries will be targeted by the anti-Arab and Jewish lobbies in Washington.
The unity of the Assyrian churches- Chaldean and East, Syrian and Maronite, Old or New Calendar- and the acknowledgment of their western counterparts- Anglican, Roman, and Evangelical- is discussed and desired in Tehran, Baghdad, Damascus, and Beirut. Clearly, the Shiite Mullahs in Iran are as much interested in the welfare of the less than twenty thousand "Ashoories" as is Saddam Hussein in the well-being of the Assyrian children in Mosul and Assad's government in the future of the Qamishli community. While under constant fear of a portentous shift in the current policy the Assyrians in the Middle East should continue to pay their dues to the Turkish, Arab, and Persian caesars with the hope that the Assyrian leadership(s) in Diaspora can readily intervene when the local governments are toppled and the Augustian rule is abolished by Islamic Neros.
Five years after Mar Eshai Shimmun delivered his sermon at Mar
Zia Cathedral, he was assassinated in California. Four years
later, the Islamic Revolution in Iran set in motion the second
largest exodus of Assyrians from Iran in the 20th Century. During
the same year Saddam Hussein became president of Iraq and placed
"the great statesman" under house arrest. Hundred of Assyrian
villages and churches were demolished in northern Iraq. Today,
in the commotion caused by the presence of the U.S. and allied
forces in Persian Gulf let us only hope that a forethought message
of political and religious readiness from Assyrians in the west
is being clearly conveyed in Washington and London. The next
century must not be witness to a third and final exodus.
THE FIRST SERMON AFTER EXILE
Today is a day of great joy and happiness to us. After 37 years, today with God's happiness we are conducting this sermon in this blessed God's house, in this city where the Church of the East was born, in this country, which is the cradle of this church. Christianity spread to the world from this land. According to the promise given by Jesus Christ to King Ogar of Urhai after His resurrection; Apostle Adai, who was sent to St. Thomas the Apostle, comes to Urhai which was then an Assyrian kingdom, and reminds the King of the promise of Jesus. After the King believes in Jesus Christ, all the city follows his example and accepts Christ as their King and God. Other apostles followed -- one of them Apostle Tooma (St. Thomas). From this date the Church of the East was born. Christ Himself established this church when he gave the mandate: "Go and preach unto all people and baptize them in the name of Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Since that time this church was established on apostolic foundation , on a basis of the preaching of the apostles, on the basis of Jesus Christ Himself. For this reason it spread with remarkable speed throughout Asia. Ninety years after the resurrection of Christ, this church had 10 Episcopal sees. In the year 170 A.D. the church had 75 Episcopal sees. It was a great wonder how this church spread...
We would like to talk in brief to you as we pay this visit to you after 37 years. We are grateful from our heart to the President of the Republic [of Iraq], who together with his government, afforded us this opportunity to visit you this day and see you face to face and say this holy Qurbana (Holy Mass). There is no need to tell you since we know our sons are faithful to every country they have lived and are living in . but we repeat what we said the other day that, it is your duty as Christians, as we have been commanded by Jesus Christ to 'give unto Caesar what is Caesar's and unto God what is God's.' That is, we have to do our duty to God and his holy Church and at the same time do our duty to the authority on this earth. It is you duty, if necessary, even to sacrifice your lives for your country. This is a sacred duty on every one of you. Do all in your power for the progress of country and be obedient to your authority. We pray to the Almighty God at this time that this mighty step which was taken in this country, under the wise leadership of the President of the Republic, in bringing peace to the whole country by settling the Kurdish issue, that he makes this as a beginning for Iraq- this blessed country- and gives it peace and progress under the leadership of your government.
We would like now to say a few words which concern regretful circumstances that occurred in the Church of the East, in particular in this country, in this city. Our Lord has told us that Satan will always work hard to spread mischief. Satan has not yet been chained; he has not been removed. As long as he remains on this earth, he will work hard to spread deceit and mischief in the Church of God. This he has done for the past two years in the Church of the East, particularly in this country. I would like to say only this word to those who left the holy church of God. We know that some have left being simple people not knowing what they were doing, not being familiar with the rules of the church and the teachings of Christianity. Being simple, they have been deceived. For those, we say the door is open for them, the door of the holy church is always open an it is open at all times. One of the basic principles of Christian faith is forgiveness. Therefore, for those who have left unknowingly, there is nothing for them to do except to come straight to the house of God. Let them come here and take their place among the rest of the sons of the church. But as to those who have taken the church rules knowingly for self-exultation and for securing positions for themselves, the canon laws of the holy church are clear, everyone knows them.
When a bishop or a Metropolitan does something wrong, which has very very rarely happened, he is suspended and stripped off his orders because of a very important case, as it happened in the case of Mansour Darmo. We prayed for years. We wrote letters; we worked hard. Even we went to India so that this "bitter cup may pass from this church." We did everything we could do but of no avail. Then we were compelled to suspend this man, according to the canon law. We did this within the knowledge and agreement of all other prelates of the church. Both the scriptures and the canon law teach us that a man who is suspended becomes an ordinary person, stripped off his orders. Afterwards any consecration or ordination or other sacrament of the church he performs is null and void. These are the teachings of the holy church. Every member of this church must accept them, just like the rules of a government. For example, if a man does not believe or is not adhering to the laws or constitution of an authority or government of a county, he cannot become a member of that political society of that country. Moreover, the canon laws are laws of God. This is what I have to say about those who have secured positions for themselves while knowing that these orders are not legal. But, as we said, repentance and forgiveness are one of the basic principles of the church of God; therefore, if they too return to the church, each individual case will be taken into consideration and if they deserve, they will given a place in the church of God.
In conclusion we pray to God that the Almighty Lord gives you the same opportunity and the same happiness that we witness now. We will see you again and again in this blessed county, if God wills. God bless you.
His Holiness Mar Eshai Shimmun XXIII
Catholicus Patriarch of the East
Re-Produced from the "Baghdad Observer", Tuesday, May 12, 1970. For this and other interesting articles regarding the late Patriarch of the Church of the East, contact Assyrian Voice of Canada at P.O. Box 421, Station "A" Mississauga, Ontario L5A-4C3 - Canada. Telephone: (905) 279-6206. ZENDA thanks the publishers of the magazine, Mar Eshai Shimun XXIII, for their permission to use a portion of their periodical.
GOOD MORNING BET-NAHRAIN
CLINTON'S LETTER ON IRAQ; ASSYRIANS NOTED
The following is an excerpt from a letter from President Clinton to the Speaker of the House of Representatives and the Senate President. For more information contact White House Press Office at (202) 456-2100.
November 5, 1998
Dear Mr. Speaker: (Dear Mr. President:)
...UNSC Resolution 1153 maintains a separate "oil-for-food" program for northern Iraq, administered directly by the United Nations in consultation with the local population. This program, which the United States strongly supports, receives 13 to 15 percent of the funds generated under the "oil-for-food" program. The separate northern program was established because of the Baghdad regime's proven disregard for the humanitarian needs of the Kurdish, Assyrian, and Turkomen minorities of northern Iraq and its readiness to apply the most brutal forms of repression against them. In northern Iraq, where Baghdad does not exercise control, the "oil-for-food" program has been able to operate relatively effectively. The Kurdish factions are setting aside their differences to work together so that Resolution 1153 is implemented as efficiently as possible.
The United Nations must carefully monitor implementation of Resolution 1153. As the current phase anticipates, infra-structure repairs in areas such as oil export capacity, generation of electricity, and water purification present increasing challenges to the U.N. monitoring regime.
Northern Iraq: Kurdish Reconciliation
...On September 16 and 17, Massoud Barzani, President of the Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP), and Jalal Talabani, Chairman of the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK), met for the first time in more than 4 years in talks held at the Department of State. Secretary Albright, welcoming the two leaders, congratulated them on the courageous step they were taking on behalf of their people. She expressed the United States deep concern for the safety, security, and economic well-being of Iraqi Kurds, Shias, Sunnis, and others who have been subject to brutal attacks by the Baghdad regime. She also made it clear that the United States will decide how and when to respond to Baghdad's actions based on the threat they pose to Iraq's neighbors, to regional security, to vital U.S. interests, and to the Iraqi people, including those in the north.
While in Washington, Mr. Barzani and Mr. Talabani signed a joint
statement committing themselves to a timeline to improve the regional
administration of the three northern provinces in the context
1996 Ankara Accords. Over the next 9 months, they will seek to unify their administrations, share revenues, define the status of their major cities, and hold elections. A key component for the success of
this program will be continued meetings between the two leaders. To make this possible, both parties have condemned internal fighting, pledged to refrain from violence in settling their differences, and
resolved to eliminate terrorism by establishing stronger safeguards for Iraq's borders.
The Washington talks followed 6 months of intensive diplomatic efforts including a visit to northern Iraq by Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of State David Welch and consultations in Ankara and London by both Kurdish parties. Since the Washington talks, we have continued to work closely on these issues with the Iraqi Kurds and with Turkey and Great Britain. Both leaders met with U.N. officials in New York and they were together hosted by members of the House of Representatives Committee on International Relations...
The United States firmly supports the unity and territorial integrity of Iraq. Supporting the rights and welfare of Iraqi Kurds within Iraq in no way contradicts this position. In their joint statement, the Kurdish leaders clearly enunciated this principle. The United States is committed to ensuring that international aid continues to reach the north, that the human rights of the Kurds and northern Iraq minority groups, such as the Turkomen, Assyrians, Yezedis, and others are respected, and that the no-fly zone enforced by Operation Northern Watch is observed...
Iraq remains a serious threat to international peace and security. I remain determined to see Iraq comply fully with all of its obligations under U.N. Security Council resolutions. The United States looks forward to the day when Iraq rejoins the family of nations as a responsible and law-abiding member.
I appreciate the support of the Congress for our efforts and shall continue to keep the Congress informed about this important issue.
WILLIAM J. CLINTON
GERMAN GROUP CONCERNED ABOUT NORTHERN IRAQ
(ZNDA: Berlin) On 28 November, a cultural program about Assyrians
entitled "Schwarzer Bock" was held at Radisson Hotel in Wiesbaden,
Germany. Mr. Ralf Faust of the Arbeiter Samariter Bund
Deutschland (Good Samaritan Federation of Germany or ASB) welcomed the 80 people attending this event. Dr. Gabriele Yonan, presented a lecture on her latest research findings concerning the history of the Assyrian massacres. Ms. Adrin Takhsh's lecture, entitled "the Current Condition of the Assyrians in the Middle East", provided information on the Assyrian schools and students in northern Iraq. Following these presentations a few minutes were spent in discussing the conditions of the Assyrian children in northern Iraq. Mr. Faust and Mr. Schottner, the Executive Committee of the Foreign Aid Office's Middle East Information Department, spoke about the work of ASB in northern Iraq. At this time a request for donations to support the building of the Nisibin Middle School in Dohuk was made. The ASB has established a special account for the Assyrian children in northern Iraq:
BLZ: 370 100 50
This is ASB's sixth year of operation in support of the humanitarian projects in northern Iraq, in particular those concerning the welfare of the children.
"The Assyrians of the Republic of Tatarstan are pleased to greet you. Before the decay of the USSR Tatarstan was a part of it. But today it is a sovereign state. The Assyrians live mostly in Kazan, the capital of Tatarstan. The first representatives of our nation arrived in 1918. Today the Assyrian population in Kazan is disastrously small 150 people and no more than 190 people in the whole Republic of Tatarstan.
Until 1997 there were no Assyrian organizations or official national representatives. For 80 years of our lives in Tatarstan it was hard to save and develop our language and culture, do to the small number of the Assyrian population. However, we were able to resist complete assimilation.
Today, because of the democratic reforms that have been taking place in our country during the last fen years, the Assyrians of Tatarstan have found possibilities for reviving our culture and language, and adjusting the relationships with Assyrians of other countries. While scattered all over the world Assyrian communities can still contact each other and share cultural values.
In January 1997 we began to edit a magazine for the Assyrians of Tatarstan called Bahra or Light. In September 1997 an Assyrian Sunday School, where one can study our language, culture and history, was opened. In the beginning of 1998 the Public Organization of Assyrians, Bahra, was founded. We are in the very beginning of reviving national traditions and language, so naturally we are having some difficulties finding our native language teachers and school supplies. But we are convinced that we manage to do a lot for our nation.
We know that basically today the Assyrians of America and other highly-developed countries communicate by international computer network «Internet», and there are even network conferences. But, unfortunately, computer technologies here are very expensive and it is difficult to use «Internet», so we have decided to use mail.
This year we celebrated the Assyrian New Year of 6748 for the
first time, among other holidays that Assyrians in Kazan always
celebrate together including Christmas and Easter. The Assyrians
of Kazan live as a big family. We would like to send our greetings
to all our compatriots. Good luck in all your deeds. Tell us
about your activities and life as Assyrians in your country.
Arsen V. Savva
Telephone/Fax: +7 (8432) 686-140
ZENDA Magazine encourages Assyrian individuals, churches and organizations
to contact the small Assyrian community of Kazan, Tatarstan and
establish permanent channels of communication to assist them through
moral and cultural support. We suggest using regular mail and
the address shown above.
We know, what Iranian government wants to show the world that Iran is a liberal country and a good country for "Christians" to live in. But please let us not forget our people who don't have any future, when they would be sent back to Iran? About a year or two ago, Mar Yukhana of Catholics in Iran wrote a letter to the European Governments. In this letter he wrote about how good the Iranian government was for the Assyrians!! Right then the Swedish and German governments wanted to send back many Assyrian refugees from Iran! By the time the Assyrian activists wrote a letter on these governments and told them, that Mar Yukhana had to write such a letter, because he was afraid of his own life and so on. My question is, how should our activists react this time? What can you explain to the European governments, that many Assyrians, activists and non activists from all over the world went to Iran, organized an Assyrian Conference over there and so on? Did Senator Nimrod think about every these Assyrians over here?"
During our squabbles and, as most of us have no experience in politics, we have no power of compromise, which is the A, B, C of democracy, one thinks that he is right and everybody else must accept his judgments and adopt his idea. It is at this stage that some of us will look for a scapegoat. I am therefore sad to see that Dr Joseph's attitude, although some places vague, it was not clear what she was trying to say. Her article disturbed the hornets nest. I am sad to see the church leaders being made our scapegoat. The church carried the traditions for generations. Yes, the church leaders are not very well educated, even in church matters, but then neither were our forefathers, grandparents and most of us. The fact that our church leaders are from among us, so were would they get their education. The knowledge of our church leaders is mostly from the Holy Bible and the tradition handed down through generations. Nobody can attempt to compare the information technology of today with what our forefathers had in the mountains of Hakkari.
During January 1990, I visited the north of Iraq, for the last time, prior to settling in the UK. In Amadia, while visiting some Assyrians, I found the priest and the village elders were the only ones that had the respect of the community. No politician or educated leaders could survive the rule of dictators, but the church leaders can soldier on, doing their best, as they have no computers or Internet facilities. The church was and still is the bonding force keeping the Assyrians together. I am sure religion kept the tribes of Israel in Diaspora for the past centuries together in spite of the varied countries and languages. During my teaching years in the seventies in Sulaymanya University, I was told about Kurdish peasants of Jewish origins. Religion kept them going, today they live in Israel with other Jews from all over the world. I am sure this could be a lesson for us Assyrians in diaspora. The zionist movement worked and is still working very hard to unite the Jewish people, without using religious leaders as a scape goat.
During 1995 I visited California. I was sad to find out that
some of our Assyrian brothers and sisters were still functioning
with tribal and village mentality. I hope and pray to god that
we will not end up like our kurdish friends. A report by a kurdish
organization from Europe (1997) said that in the years after the
Gulf war, more Kurds were killed by their own people (kurdish)
than Saddam killed in all
his years of power!!!!!. I hope we do not stoop to that level whenever we have a homeland. Here in the UK, I met Assyrians 'slagging' each other on mainly personalities and not principles. I am very sorry to say that only very few of us are really true Assyrians rising shoulder high above the rest of us (these are few and far between). I hope the famous arabic saying 'the arabs agree to disagree' does not turn out to be the sad reality for us Assyrians.
Please let us, with cool heads, patience and the power of compromise join forces to study and tackle our problems, the urgent and short term as well as the long term objective of UNITY, to approve an acceptable agenda and a time frame to work on. I am sure our church leaders will not throw spanners in the works. God bless you all."
Dr. Awshalim Lazar Khammo
Leeds, United Kingdom
SURIA'S ZAZICH (JAJIK)
Ron David writes: "This delicious spread is one my mother (Suria David) made often and we would have it on toast in the morning or at night with Assyrian tea."
16 ounce package small curd cottage cheese
2 large packages (6 or 8) ounce cream cheese (room temperature or soften in microwave)
2 heaping tablespoons butter (room temperature or soften in microwave)
1/3 cup fresh cilantro - chopped
1 1/2 cups fresh dill - chopped
2 hot banana peppers - diced
Mix all ingredients, chill and enjoy.
Like to see more Assyrian food recipes? Click Here.
CALENDAR OF EVENTS
MIDDLE EASTERN STUDIES ASSOCIATION CONFERENCE
A Sample of Presentation Topics at MESA '98:
To Register Click Here
AAS GENERAL MEETING
The Assyrian Academic Society Annual General Body Meeting
ASSYRIAN ART FOR NORTHERN IRAQ
Artist: Edvin Takhsh
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.
NEW YEAR'S EVE PARTY
Assyrian Aid Society / Santa Clara Chapter
NEW YEAR'S EVE PARTY
1999 New Year's Eve Dinner Dance Party
NUZI & THE HURRIANS: FRAGMENTS OF A FORGOTTEN PAST
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
MEETINGS & CLASSES
1031 McHenry Ave. Suit # 18
|Conducted in Assyrian
Call (209) 578-5511
||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
ASSYRIAN SURFING POSTS
Links to Other Assyrian Websites
History of Plumbing in Babylon
Assyrian Levies in Habbanyia Photo Album
Assyrians, Chaldeans, Syrian Orthodox Church and Census 2000
The Banquet of Ashurnasirpal
The Assyrian Grammar By Rabi Hurmizd Juodo
Assyrian Society in the Time of Ashurbanipal
Book: The Church of the East & the Church of England
Lexicon of Sumerian Logograms
PUMP UP THE VOLUME
||Closet Door: taar'a d'pardisqa|
||Expensive Clothes: lvishta dteemanta|
Cycles & Observances of the Eastern Assyrian Liturgical Calendars
Mor Zokhe (Nicolas)
Annunciation of Mary
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
BACK TO THE FUTURE
The Achaemenid rulers in Persia encouraged the use of Aramaic as a lingua franca since its script was simple, and thanks to the Assyrian kings, widely in use throughout their new territory. Aramaic texts have been found in Persia, Upper Egypt, north-west Turkey, and the Greek Islands.
Aramaic in the Achaemenian Empire, Greenfield
A representative of the British East India company arrives in Baghdad as the first British Resident in that city. Claudius James Rich was only 21 when appointed to a military cadetship in the Company's service 4 years before. He had a competent knowledge of Arabic, Persian, Turkish, and Assyrian languages. After visiting India he returned to Baghdad and remained there until his death of cholera in Iran in 1821. A year before his death Assyrian residents in Mosul had brought to Rich's attention the sculptures and artifacts they had found in the nearby areas. Rich had discovered the ruins of Nineveh.
The Rise of Civilization, Oates
"I have heard Assyrian-American often asking how come, as a minority, assyrians in the Middle East have been able to maintain their identity and traditions for thousands of years, but in America, they become assimilated within 2-3 generations. They say this because they observe the younger generation in America speaking English rather than Assyrian, not frequenting Assyrian churches and events, and more and more of them marrying non-Assyrians.
As an anthropologist, I think differently. What surprises me is not the extent of assimilation, but, on the contrary, the persistence of social arrangements and cultural values in the Assyrian-American communities. I began to observe this when I was doing research on the Assyrian-American community of the Turlock-Modesto area in the early 1980's. What surprised me was that even though Assyrians at that time constituted only 2% of the Turlock population, yet unlike other ethnic groups in that area, such as the Swedes and the Portuguese, and even to some extent Mexican-Americans, Assyrians were highly organized in terms of having churches which conducted services in Assyrian and according to the ancient rites, they had a substantial civicl club where, besides the regular local meetings and bingo sessions where Assyrians and non-Assyrians participated in large numbers, they also held annual conventions which brought Assyrians together from all over the country. I also noticed that the Assyrians had their own radio and TV programs. These are things that Assyrians themselves took for granted, but were unique and needed to be explained."
Dr. Arian Ishaya
San Jose, California
From a lecture by Dr. Ishaya, given on May 1, 1998 at the Center for Middle Eastern Studies of the University of California at Berkeley. For a complete text of this lecture see Nineveh Magazine, Volume 21, No 3. For subscription to Nineveh Magazine write to P.O. Box 2620 Berkeley, CA 94702 U.S.A.
THIS WEEK IN HISTORY
November 30, 1840: The American Missions Press publishes the first Assyrian book in Urmia, Iran entitled "Mazmora d'Davood" or Psalms of David, in Classical Assyrian.
From The Calendar of the Assyrian Society of University Graduates
in Tehran, Hannibal Giwargis.
INSTITUTE OF SYRIAC MANUSCRIPT STUDIES
A collection of over 200,000 pages of unknown Syriac documents on microfilm, assembled over a period of 40 years by the Syriac scholar, Arthur Voobus (died in 1988) is now in the care of the Lutheran School of Theology at the University of Chicago Campus. Considered the largest Syriac manuscripts collection in the world, this literary treasure contains documents of significant importance to students and researchers in the fields of history, theology, linguistics, and literature. Earlier this year, this well-known school of theology appointed an Assyrian scholar, Abdul-Massih Saadi, Ph.D., as the Director of its Institute of Syriac Manuscript Studies which maintains the Syriac collection. Through the generous financial and moral support of a few Assyrian individuals and the Assyrian Academic Society in Chicago, the work on the translation of these manuscripts has already begun and the following objectives are to be met in the next few years:
The Institute of Syriac Manuscript Studies is supported by specially designated gifts. To offer your support for greater understanding of the origins and message of the Bible through the study of ancient Syriac Christianity and culture and to promote research in Syriac studies, send your contribution to:
Institute of Syriac Manuscript Studies
Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago
1100 East 55th Street
Chicago, Illinois 60615
Attention: Abdul-Massih Saadi
WELCOME TO ZENDA
This Week's Contributors:
in alphabetical order
|Tomy Doomany||Cupertino, California||Assyrian Surfing Posts|
|Albert Gabrial||Turlock, California||Assyrian Surfing Posts|
|Tony Khoshaba||Chicago, Illinois||This Week in History|
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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")
ZNIF (Iraq Foundation)
ZNDA (Zenda: firstname.lastname@example.org)
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)
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