Volume IV, Issue 28
Tishrin II  9, 6748                                                            November 9, 1998

T H I S   W E E K   I N   Z E N D A

The Lighthouse Archaeological Sites Affected by Unforeseen Emergencies
Good Morning Bet-Nahrain  First ADM "Zowaa" Conference of U.S. & Canada Branch
An Open Letter From Assyrian Patriotic Party
Ankarar Meeting Called Off
News Digest Clinton Signs Religious Persecution Law
Surfs Up "I call it a survival connection for our nation."
Surfers Corner Two Illinois Congressmen's Letter to Madeline Albright
Assyrian Schools in Northern Iraq
Calendar of Events Entertainment & Cultural Events
Assyrian Surfing Posts November Issue of Nakosha Magazine
"For Assyrian/Chaldean National Rights in Beth Nahrain"
A Biography of Tariq Aziz
Khudra November 1998
Pump up the Volume Judged & Condemned
Back to the Future Queen Semiramis & The Battle of Cirrhae
Literatus The Olive Tree
This Week in History The First Airplane
Bravo The David Perley Memorial Fund

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



The Mesopotamia Museum of Chicago is proposing the creation of an international fund to support the archaeological recovery of sites affected by previously unforeseen emergencies. The initial purpose of this fund would be to provide a central clearing-house for the rapid funding of University-sponsored digs of historical sites which are in imminent danger of being destroyed either by man-made or natural occurrences. These excavations should have either lost their original funding, or be in need of additional funds. In the future this project envisions offering funding not only for similar archeological rescue projects, but also other worthwhile research or publications projects whose work is threatened by unexpected shortfalls of funds and who need help to bring important work to completion. While the major focus will be work related to Assyria and Babylonia, topics of related interest (including, but not limited to, Sumer, Ur, Urartu, and Elam) will also be considered. The Mesopotamia Museum  of Chicago, the Casco Bay Assyriological Institute, and the University of Helsinki Department of Assyriology would jointly administer this fund. The creation of this fund is supported by the Assyrian Academic Society (of Chicago, Illinois, USA), The International Congress of Assyriology and Near Eastern Archeology), and Prof. G. Del Omo Lete of the Institut Interuniversitari del Proxim Orient Antic of the Universitat de Barcelona, Prof. Frederick Mario Fales of the Dipartimento di Storia e Tutela del Beni Culturali of the Universito degli Studi di Udine, and Prof. Guy Bunnens of the Department of Classics and Archaeology of the University of Melbourne. It is anticipated that this fund will initially utilize the modern-day Assyrian communities in Australia, Europe, the Middle East and the United States as a source for donations, but eventually expand to any and all donors (including individuals or corporations). The modern-day Assyrian community and the field of Assyriology have strong ties going back to the beginnings of the field, when Assyrians such as Hormuzd and Christian Rassam worked alongside, and later independently of, Sir Austen Henry Layard. The creation of this fund was driven by events in the area of Tishrin Dam and the Middle Khabur Reservoir, both in Syria.

The Tishrin Dam is being built on the Upper Euphrates River by the Syrian Government. This Hyrdoelectric dam is expected to be completed in December of 1997 and flooding of the area will begin in early 1998. Thirty archaeological sites are threatened. These sites, on the banks of the Euphrates river, have previously been partially excavated by several groups of independent and international archaeologists, including those from England, France, Australia, Germany, Belgium, Italy, Japan, Spain, Syria, the USA and elsewhere. Previous excavations of sites in this area have uncovered among other things an Assyrian palace with a remarkable collection of wall-paintings, an Assyrian temple, houses of Assyrian merchants and bureaucrats, ancient pottery and metal-working workshops, as well as the remains of fortifications and large cities from earlier periods when this area was the center of flourishing trade. Some sites go back to the beginnings of civilization in the western world. Although water will begin rising in January of 1998, it is expected that the sites on the highest ground may still be available until into the year 2000. This leaves at most two years to complete rescue excavations. Further complicating the rescue has been the limited availability of funding sources.

It is anticipated that situations as this will occur in the future. Hopefully, with the creation of this fund, the Mesopotamia Museum of Chicago will contribute in the fight to gather as much archeological information as possible before these sites are lost forever.



The first conference of the Assyrian Democratic Movement Branch in the U.S. and Canada was held in Chicago, Illinois on October 24th and 25th, 1998. Under the banner of “All efforts towards strengthening the ties between our Assyrian people in the homeland and the Diaspora to solidify the bases of our national existence in our ancestral homeland,” the Assyrian Democratic Movement (ADM "Zowaa") leadership delegation of politburo members, Younan Hozaiah and Ishak Ishak, U.S. and Canada Branch leader Dr. Lincoln Malik and 26 Branch delegates attended the conference.

The meetings began with a minute of silence in honor of the Martyrs of the Movement and the Assyrian nation. The conference chairmanship, consisting of members of ADM leadership, started the meetings with a review of political conditions in northern Iraq and emphasized the importance of the role of the branch in representing the ADM in the U.S. and Canada. The meetings were then opened for discussions and representations from the delegates, who offered resolutions, to overcome obstacles and difficulties confronted during their organizing work in the diaspora.

The conference focused on the following topics:

a. Organizational conditions of the U.S. and Canada Branch.
b. Branch publicity programs
c. Branch finances
d. ADM relations with nationalist parties and organizations in the Diaspora
e. Branch relations with northern Iraq.

The conference studied in detail all topics on the agenda, and resolved comprehensive decisions, recommendations and programs that will evaluate branch efforts and endeavors to serve the cause of the Assyrian people.

The conference ended with democratic elections of the Executive Committee for the U.S. and Canada Branch. All participants in the conference pledged to work with conviction and determination to advance the struggle of the Assyrian people and the Assyrian Democratic Movement.

The results of the above election will be posted  in the upcoming issue of ZENDA.


Respected Brothers - The Leadership of Assyrian Democratic Organization
Respected Brothers - The leadership of Ashur Liberation Party

By this open letter we salute you and recognize your continuous efforts in our people's nationalistic pursuits in different areas namely political, educational, informational, social, etc...  These efforts would not have succeeded without your solidarity in your party's principles and your leadership for our people's right to keep it's identity and bring it (raise it) up to modern times.

At this stage the priority of our nationalistic requirements is, specifically to obtain a satellite channel through which our people would accomplish their link either between country and abroad or between future generations. Fulfilling this project cannot be accomplished unless our people unite in all their efforts.

Our nationalistic and historic responsibility towards our people motivated us to address to you this letter after our assurance that two independent projects to obtain two separate satellite channels were in existence.

Our brothers:  Independent Assyrian individuals and the majority of our people abroad join us in our belief that acquiring the two satellite channels is a negative step that would not succeed. The situation of our people reflects disagreement among themselves and have limited financial and technological resources.  All these reasons confirm that our people cannot cover the expenses of televising two channels at the same time thus leading to failure which will be a great disappointment for our people. As
these exists religious and political division among our people the two channels will lead to negative reaction instead of a solution.  As the channels will not be commercially supported the covering expenses will depend mainly, on our people.  Therefore, uniting the efforts to acquire one channel will assure the success of the project and its continuity to fulfill (meet) it's goals.

1) Support and enthusiasm of our people for one channel is necessary.
2) Economy in administration expenses (rental, personnel, equipment, etc.)
3) Contributions and support from organizations for continuity of one channel.
4) One channel will produce quality programs vs. divided efforts for two channels.
5) United efforts is the issue in building trust in our people.

Our understanding of these facts and believing in the national responsibility has motivated us, after dialogue with several concerned Assyrian personnel to address this letter to you inviting you to a join meeting attending both leaderships in addition to representatives of our political parties and others to
study the matter and find solutions before it is too late.  We expect your response as soon as possible.

Greetings and appreciation to all honest intentions for uniting efforts to fulfill the needs and goals of our people.

Greetings and appreciation to all national organizations - go forward!

Assyrian Patriotic Party
Assyrian Democratic Party
Shuraya Party


(ZNAF: Ankara) The summit between the rival Iraqi Kurdish factions Patriotic Union of
Kurdistan (PUK) and the Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP) that was planned the early part of November as part of the Washington accords seems to have been called off as a result of Turkey's reservations.  Massoud Barzani, leader of the Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP), who has been waiting weeks to receive a signal to come to the Turkish capital, will be welcomed in Ankara on Tuesday. However, no schedule was made for the arrival of PUK leader Jalal Talabani.

Apparently Turkey is not compromising on the usage of terms like 'Kurdistan,' 'Iraqi Kurdistan,' 'autonomy' and 'federalism.'  Western diplomats in Ankara criticized Turkish officials on their stance against the new deal signed in Washington.

Meanwhile, in the past week, thousands of Turkish troops backed by air power were involved in heavy clashes with Kurdish guerrillas after surrounding them in the mountains of eastern Turkey.



(ZNCW: Washington D.C.) President Bill Clinton signed into law a new measure to punish countries that persecute religious believers.  Clinton praised the law's flexibility in allowing him to decide how best to apply sanctions.

Clinton said, "I commend the Congress for incorporating flexibility in the several provisions concerning the imposition of economic measures." He added: "Although I am concerned that such measures could result in even greater pressures -- and possibly reprisals -- against minority religious communities that the bill is intended to help, I note that section 402 mandates these measures only in the most extreme and egregious cases of religious persecution."

The law gives the president the option of eight diplomatic actions and seven economic sanctions to use against countries found to be engaged in religious persecution. Such countries as Egypt and Turkey have been recently accused of abusing the human rights of their religious minorities.  The Coptics in Egypt, Assyrian and Greek orthodox monasteries in Turkey and the Bahai followers in Iran may be subjects of section 402 mandates mentioned above.  Some critics of the law contend that it is not strong enough, and point out that the president can opt not punish a country if US national security interests would be harmed. Other critics, mainly business groups, said the sanctions could cause a backlash against US economic interests overseas.  One such group, including the Coptic business owners in Egypt ran a full page ad in a Chicago daily last Thursday, warning of the ramifications of unjustified sanction against the government of Egypt.


"Sorry to tell you that Barbara Boxer is the worst candidate for CHRISTIANS, she is totally bankrupt as per Christian morals; check the Bible and compare her words.  I hope you will be more careful in your endorsements and understanding Christian morals and Godly values to avoid misleading or misunderstanding what people actually stand for. For the sake of Christianity, I hope she loses."

Joseph King

Last week, Senator Barbara Boxer of California won a landslide victory over her opponent, Matt Fong.  Zenda congratulates Assyrian Congresswoman, Anna Eshoo, for her magnificent victory in last week's elections.  She easily defeated her three rivals and won a fourth term in office as the Representative for the 14th U.S. Congressional District.  For an analysis of last week's elections please see next week ZENDA.

"Close to fifteen months ago, we started a rescue project named Karmela.  As you remember, Karmela's project came to our attention from Assyrian Link and got worldwide attention through the Internet.  Karmela's case was the first case of an individual Assyrian person in need of help and the first case of the significant role the Internet could play in saving a life.

November 10 is the one-year anniversary of Karmela's bone marrow transfer.  Thanks to all of you, wherever you are, we were able to save a life of a young Assyrian woman.

Karmela's project brought to our attention the need for an Assyrian humanitarian organization with no bonds to any church, political group or club with the goal of helping ALL Assyrians no matter where they are.  During the fund raising everyone was talking about this and how desperately we needed such an organization.  However, like many other projects this was forgotten and will probably stay forgotten until the next disaster.

Karemla is presently living in London and recuperating from her ordeal.  Due to her condition and continuous treatments, she has decided to stay in London and hopes to reunite with her children in the near future.  She believes that her exceptional recovery was due to two strong forces, her belief in Jesus and the prayers and help of all her brothers and sisters.

They say bone marrow transfer is like a new birth.  It is the death of the deadly bone marrow and the birth of the new bone marrow.  Therefore, I would like to wish Karmela a Happy Birthday from all of us and wish her a healthy and long life.

As for our nation, I pray for only one thing: Unity.  Unity is how we can reach for the stars and how we can save our nation from dissolving and disappearing after so many years of survival.

And finally- as for Internet, many might call it the devil's instrument but I call it a survival connection for our nation."

Lena Mushell
San Jose, CA

"Dear Dr. Doreen Joseph:  I have enjoyed your article in ZENDA and wish to congratulate you sincerely for the courage you have shown in your writing.

With reference to the Bible, 2000 years ago when Christ died on the cross, the curtain of the temple (which was a symbol of intervention between God and human beings) was torn in two from top to bottom.  I believe that your article and the reflection of others views have torn another curtain once again, which is hung by some of our church leaders between their spiritual missions and bitter facts of their acts. I support you fully and will stand by you for your logical revelations.  In part of your article, great emphasis was given to “Assyrian politics and politicians”. I would, respectfully, like to mention the following points, which you might consider for attention in your future articles.

1) What would be your answer if someone were to ask “What is your definition about politics and what do you mean by “Assyrian politics”?

2) If, today, there is a movement that can be called “Assyrian politics”, our “politicians” should be able to explain where the “Assyrian politics” is located with regard to the following:

    a) In relation to the highly complicated and well advanced politics of the entire world.
    b) Within these “politics”, which achievable goals and desires are feasible to be proposed?

3) Is it possible to identify any persons amongst we Assyrians, who are fully qualified, trusted and supported by the majority so that we can stand up and push aside some interloping Mullahs of the Church and transfer power to these well qualified and expert politicians?

4) Those people, who consider themselves politicians and their organisation to be political, do they have the competency to step into an arena of “Assyrian politics”?

These questions and many simple questions like these need logical and clear answers; otherwise it would be useless to discuss “Assyrian politics” and whether to support persons or groups who are unwise and irresponsible. In my view, an uneducated priest who can hardly understand the Bible can only be trusted by a small, simple but faithful people. But in politics it can't be like that at all… Only those that understand economics, science and international economic relationships can enter. If they know these fundamentals then they have to combine their knowledge with our sociology, culture and national desires. When they know all of these then they have to learn what strategies to use in politics, economics, and military power and, with strong national support, challenge the super powers and today's powerful imperialists. Even then, without the support of a few powerful countries, we will never be able to fulfill the political and human rights of our own scattered nation. Otherwise, it would be better that we do not play with the lion's tail else we pull our nation from the pits and place them into a well !!! Let us agree that we can say that the current activities performed by some people or so called “Assyrian organisations” is like a game played by kids who are trying to build a sandcastle. If you agree with me once again, then let us become wiser and courageous, to tear these curtains of these politicians once again from top to bottom. We have hundreds of political actors amongst our people but we don't have one single politician. Finally I would like to say that the only hope left for us is our young generation. As our duty, we must, far from all fanaticism strive to mobilise them by faith in God, education, truthfulness, courage and leave Assyrian survival in their strong hands and wish them to be blessed by God."

Alfred Abramian
Sydney, Australia

"I've been reading ZENDA for 3.5 years now.  I enjoy and treasure it so much that I've kept every issue.  I love the variety of news and information .  Every now and then there will be an article referring to our nation in such a negative manner that I think what was this person thinking when he wrote these lines?  Surely we don't need to get more depressed about our state in this world than we already are.  But surprise.   I am about to do just that.

As an Assyrian brought up in an Islamic country, I was taught by my parents to be proud of my nation, and my legacy.  It was always fun for  me to explain to someone asking where I come from, and who I am.

When I came to live in California, and had an Assyrian community around me, I appreciated them more and felt almost at home.  Then I watched Assyrian families, speaking in English, Persian, Arabic at home!  The children preferring English and speaking it always.  When I asked why?  I was told:  "We want our children to speak English without an accent."

This is strange!  In Iran, we studied and spoke Farsi at school, but at home it was Assyrian, and we grew with perfect accent in both languages.  Is there something wrong with the learning ability of our children here, that prevents them from being bi-lingual?

I still remember some Turkish from a 3 months stay in Urmiyeh at the age of 8yrs.  At 12, I was studying English and Arabic at school too.  Our neighbors were Armenian, so I learned some Armenian also.  Are our children growing up in USA, at the age of computers, TV. and super education not interested in their roots, and knowledge?  Or are simply not smart enough to handle more than one language?

My father was a graduate of American School in Urmiyeh, and yet he spoke 5 languages fluently and would switch from one to other smoothly.

I don't see how the youngsters growing up today, with a limited vocabulary, can be an example for their children, to learn and speak Assyrian?  This old language, with its many dialects and changes has survived, will it be gone in the next 2 generations?

Lets face the problem today, and take the responsibility of taking care of the most valuable inheritance we have received from our fathers, and keep it alive for generations that will follow.  Lets not make lite of this.  I've heard Assyrian speakers with Ph.D.s that could not speak Assyrian.  Lets say "Ana Atouraya Eiyen", with love and pride, because its right and worthy to do so!"

Germaine Merza
San Jose, California



(ZNAI: Chicago)  U.S. Congressmen Rod Blagojevich and Ray Lahood of Illinois jointly wrote the following congressional letter to Secretary of State Madeline Albright.  Their ongoing concern for the Assyrians of Northern Iraq prompted them to seek a solution to the latest injustice being perpetrated against the Assyrian community of the U.N.-controlled region of Northern Iraq.

Congress of the United States
Washington DC, 20515                                                                                    October 29, 1998

The Honorable Madeleine K. Albright
Secretary of State
2201 C Street NE
Washington, DC 20520

Dear Secretary Albright:

We write to alert you to the current situation in Northern Iraq. At the present time, the Kurdish authorities who have de facto control over that region have refused to grant permission to local Assyrians to establish their own secondary schools. This delay comes at the beginning of the school year. Meaning that all Assyrian secondary students are prevented from attending classes.

The freedom to establish and maintain Assyrian schools is a critical issue for the Assyrian People in Northern Iraq. As their identity and existence are under constant threat, these schools are vital to keep Assyrian culture alive. In the wake of the Gulf War, the establishment of independent Assyrian primary schools was a needed improvement. Now, six years later; these primary students are graduating, and are ready to attend secondary school. But they are prevented from doing so because the Kurdish authorities
still have not granted permission for Assyrian secondary schools to operate.

With each passing day, these children see their opportunity to get an education and escape poverty slipping away. Just last month, Congress voted to allocate U.S. resources to support opposition to Saddam Hussein's regime. But our support for an alternative to Hussein's dictatorship is hollow if we do not insist that the opposition also uphold democratic values and respect the rights of all people. We urge you to articulate, clearly and forcefully, to the Kurdish parties in Northern Iraq that continued U.S. support is dependent on their respect for the rights of all peoples in their area of influence. Furthermore, we urge you to communicate that the Assyrian schools issue will be a crucial test of their commitment to these principles.

Thank you for your attention to this matter. We look forward to hearing from you on this issue.


                        Rod K. Blagojevich                                    Ray Lahood
                        Member of Congress                                  Member of Congress

Both Congressmen Blagojevich and Lahood, also endorsed by ZENDA, won another term in office in last week's elections.


With the establishment of the UN Safe Haven in northern Iraq immediately following the Gulf War in 1991, the Assyrian and Kurdish communities became free of central governmental control and were finally able to establish their own schools. For the Assyrians, it marked an historic first where eventually
over 5000 students were being taught an entire school curriculum in the Assyrian language. English, Arabic, and Kurdish were also taught as secondary languages. The implications for reviving an otherwise previously repressed language, culture, and identity were immediately felt and Assyrians throughout the world rallied to the support of our new schools.

Now after six years, these students have completed their primary education and are awaiting the beginning of the next intermediate level. Whereas the Ministry of Education had previously certified the Assyrian primary schools, the Ministry now has refused to allow Assyrians to continue their Assyrian
curriculum into the intermediate level. Beginning October 1, 1998 Assyrian students are now compelled to continue their education in an all Kurdish language curriculum. Closing our Assyrian schools at this critical time would destroy the single greatest Assyrian educational achievement in recent

It would be a devastating blow to maintaining our language and culture in an area where the Assyrian language has been routinely oppressed. In addition, having had only introductory classes in the Kurdish language, closing these schools would place Assyrian students at a distinct disadvantage vis a vis their Kurdish counterparts and would make their advancement to higher education nearly impossible.

Assyrian Americans are deeply concerned that the Ministry of Education's refusal to approve Assyrian schools marks yet another example of Kurdish attempts to block Assyrian cultural expression. Kurdish officials have reportedly stated that the decision not to approve Assyrian schools is political and aimed at limiting Assyrian cultural aspirations. Unfortunately, there has been a long-standing pattern of Kurdish attacks against the Assyrian language. Tragically on May 12, 1996 in Ankawa, Iraq Kurds killed two
Assyrians in an attack against Assyrian students resisting a previous attempt to Kurdify the curriculum.

Assyrian schools are of vital interest to the existence of the Assyrian culture in Iraq. In addition, these are the fields where pro-Western, democratic ideals are cultivated. Assyrian Americans are proud of the
courage their fellow Assyrians have shown in northern Iraq in providing for their own education. They urge their representatives to remind the Kurdish authorities that democratic ideals necessitate a free educational system. They also urge them to remind the Kurds that the United States will not condone Kurdish oppression of Assyrians but rather the United States demands equal and democratic treatment of all of the communities in Iraq. Because the academic year has begun on October 1, 1998 this issue is extremely time sensitive.

Assyrian International News Agency
Chicago, Illinois


Nov 14

Organized by the Assyrian Aid Society (United Kingdom Branch)
Location: Assyrian House, Ealing
Time:  8:00 PM
Entertainer:  Nawfal Shamoun from Germany
All proceeds will be sent to the Assyrian Aid Society in Northern Iraq
Our aim is to raise a minimum of £10,000 < > ~ $16,000.

Nov 18

Lecturer:  S. Parpola,  Asian and African  Studies, University of Helsinki
Location:  University of Toronto
Presented by:    The Canadian Society for Mesopotamian Studies
The Society was founded in 1980 to stimulate interest among the general public in the culture, history, and archaeology of Mesopotamia (ancient Iraq and parts of Iran, Syria, and Turkey). Each year it presents a symposium and lecture series. 
For further information, Grant Frame at gframe@chass.utoronto.ca

Dec 3-6

A Sample of Presentation Topics at MESA '98: 
Gary David, Wayne State University
"Becoming Americanized" vs. "Becoming American": Concepts of Assimilation and Acculturation in the Arab and Chaldean Communities of Detroit
Daniel P. Wolk, University of Chicago
The Emergence of an Organized Assyrian Diaspora: The Role of Discourse Against the Khachaqoghé ("Thieves of the Cross")
Ninette S. Fahmy, University of Exeter
Human Rights of Minority Groups and the Copts of Egypt 
Magnus Bernhardsson, Yale University
Reclaiming History: Iraq, Britain and the Samaraa Antiquities (1918-1936)
Various Presentations on:
Settlements and Settlement Policy in Northern Mesopotamia from the Third Millennium to the Ninth Century AD [4 presentations]
Selcuk Aksin Somel, Bilkent University
Chrypto-Christianity in the 19th Century Ottoman Empire

To Register Click Here

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, gruit 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

Links to Other Assyrian Websites

November Issue of Nakosha Magazine

"For Assyrian/Chaldean National Rights in Beth Nahrain" by Ghassan Hanna

A Biography of Tariq Aziz

Judged Criminal:  kha masklana deena
Condemned Killer:  qadtoola mkhayva

Cycles & Observances of the Eastern Assyrian Liturgical Calendars

Sanctification of the Church
St. Eugene (Mar Augen) & His Companions
 Renewal (Hollowing) of the Church
Annunciation to Zachariah
St. James (Mar Yacu) The Mutilated
 Annunciation of the Virgin Mary
St. Yako Mepaska
St. Mary's Visitation to Elizabeth
St. Jacob of Sarug

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 (800)

According to an Assyrian inscription recently discovered in Turkey the wife and then mother of Assyrian monarchs marched into Anatolia to battle the Urartian kingdom.  Some believe this may have been the legendary Assyrian queen, Semiramis (modern Shamiram) as told by Moses of Khorene.  He has been often ridiculed for relating a story about Semiramis' march to Armenia and falling in love with its ruler, Ara, who was tragically killed in the war between the two nations.  Heartbroken she decides to spend much of the rest of her life in Armenia and builds a city there.

The Legacy of Mesopotamia, Dalley

AD (1st Century)

The Battle of Carrhae takes place in 53 B.C. between the Persians (Parthians) and the Romans.  Mesopotamia and the entire region once occupied by Assyrians was now divided between these two powers.  For the next three centuries the Assyrian kingdom of Adiabene with the city of Arbella (today's Arbel) as its capital was either in the domain of the Persians or the Romans.

The Heritage of Persia, Frye


The Story of My Great-Grandmother

And so I write,
I write in the way that most people cry
that sobbing that turns into a one long dragging breath
That is how I write,
violently….without reason once it begins
and the words flow like tears
they build on each other until there is that heaving rhythm
and there is no end
not until it is all out of me…..

I write because I have to
It is either these words
or silence
and what is silence if not acceptance of the facts?
And the facts?
We as Assyrians, know that facts are misleading
that facts can splinter a nation
that facts are misjudged and mistaken (for truth)
and so I write
because of the stories I’ve heard,
stories that have spilt out of the lips of those who came before me
This is the story of my great-grandmother…

Itwa oo Litwa
There was a woman once
her back pressed up against the bark of an olive tree
Her shawl wrapped around her with trembling young fingers
she stared out into the darkness
She remembered that she had a name once
She thought of the time when she was not simply flesh
waiting for the execution.

He had come for her with his clan walking behind him,
solemn faces asking for her promise…
The dancing that followed!
The oldest men sitting in the corner singing stories
their words pushed into the night air
as all around her, bodies circled into motion
Holding his hand, she vowed…
He had come for her
and she had followed..

She loved him, in her own way..
loved him as much as one could love
when life was hard
when you drank the water left behind in the footprints of horses
when you carried food on your back and kept your eyes hidden
She loved him…
and when he finally succumbed to the pain and died
She could not follow him there

Now this,
Now this cold passage, this void, this sudden plunge…
She remembered the terror of the villagers
when the news came that an attack was planned
The news of the coming horses traveled quickly throughout the huts
and suddenly the rush of packing gold, packing memories
the pain of deciding what to keep and what to leave behind..
And her own decision:
8 months pregnant, a widow with two small daughters..
What would she keep? What would she leave behind?
How could she flee as fast as the others? With no horse and a swollen belly?
And those brown eyes, those two amazed faces staring at her…
Staring at her and asking in their own way, fragile words strung together in
the night air:
What answers? What good-byes?

She clutched her stomach and leaned further into the olive tree, pressed her
face down into the soil.
They would be safe, taken care of….they would grow and live and have children
of their own
Bnooni ou Bnati.. will they know my story?
Oh…the pain was getting worse as the cold air drew in….
The darkness….she had never noticed the black of the hills around the village,
the village had always been so full of life..
and now, there was nothing.
She rubbed her belly, pulled in her shawl and skirts.
She would not cry.
She remembered the faces, could almost see them like small gods hovering
around her.
Yah Yimmeeee
She heard the pounding hooves like angry voices in the hills
closing her eyes she sank further into the ground and prayed...
Yah Alla-hah

Marian Younan
San Jose, California


November 15, 1913:  For the first time, the Assyrians living in the plains of Urmia witness the flight of an airplane- a Russian "Kozminski".



This endowment was established in 1979 by the family and friends of David B. Perley to honor an active and devoted member of the Assyrian-American community.

The man for whom the fund is named was born in Harput, now in Turkey. He came from an educated family of town priests belonging to the Syrian Orthodox Church (Jacobite). As the persecution and massacre of the Assyrians during World War I drove the Assyrians subject to Ottoman rule to seek sanctuary in diaspora, David Perley found himself in New England.

He studied, worked and lived in Massachusetts and New York but took much time from his law practice to serve the Assyrians organizations established to help a dispersed community preserve its heritage. He also wrote widely on the history of his people. This fund is intended to serve the causes David Perley respected:

The Assyrian Heritage, Its Preservation and Dissemination of Information about Assyrians.

Terms of the Fund

The purpose of the David B. Perley Memorial Assyrian Fund is to promote the development of research materials on the history, culture, literature and language of the Assyrians since the 17th century. Specifically, the Fund uses income from the endowment to subsidize the publication of works devoted primarily to the Assyrians and second for the acquisition of archival materials, collections and other rare historical materials.

Decisions regarding expenditures are undertaken by a three member ex-officio committee composed of the head of the Middle East Division of Harvard Libararies, a member of the faculty from the Department of Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations , and a member of the Assyrian community.

Assyrians and friends of Assyrians are encouraged to support this fund through donations. All donations are fully tax-deductible. Donations may be made to Harvard University and sent to:

   NELC- Harvard University
   6 Divinity Avenue
   Cambridge, Ma. 02138

(To make donations in appreciated securities etc. please write first.)

How Can You Help?

Assyrians and friends of Assyrians can help to build and maintain the goals of the Perley Fund in several ways:

-If you or your family have books, photographs, documents such as birth, marriage, citizenship or other papers, consider donating them to the Harvard collection. The Perley Fund can help with shipment or other expenses.

-Do you know of any serials collections or other rare materials that the Harvard Libraries can acquire on microfilm? The Perley Fund can be used for such preservation.

-Make a contribution to the Perley Fund so that there will be adequate money available to buy, maintain, and preserve the record of our past.

-Contribute so that the Fund can subvent the publication of books about modern Assyrians to encourage useful and scholarly research.


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This Week's Contributors:
in alphabetical order

Youkhannan Bet-Dodo France Good Morning Bet-Nahrain
David Chibo Australia Assyrian Surfing Posts
Dr. George Habbash United Kingdom News Digest
Tony Khoshaba Chicago, Illinois Assyrian Surfing Posts
Raman Michael Chicago, Illinois Surfers Corner
Andreas Schmidt Germany Good Morning Bet-Nahrain
Andreous Younan Modesto, California Good Morning Bet-Nahrain

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