Volume V, Issue I
Shvadt  22, 6748                                                           February 22, 1999

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T H I S   W E E K  I N   Z E N D A

The Lighthouse What is Our Identity?
Good Morning Bet-Nahrain Baath Regime & the Chaldean Assyrians
News Digest Chicago Assyrians Reject Hafez al-Asad
Mayor of Istanbul Meets Leaders of Religious Minorities
AANF Middle East Financial Aid Program
Moffet & Saadi to Lecture in Chicago
Surfs Up "Your weekly magazine is on my 'Bravo' list."
Surfers Corner Clouds of Suspicion
Message in the Bottle An Assyrian in Bulgaria 
Desperately Seeking Adrianne
Assyrian Surfing Posts Towards an Assyrian Strategy for the Kurdish Question in Iraq
Nakosha Magazine : February Issue
Pump up the Volume Shoe & Heel
Back to the Future Shulgi and the Return of the Missionaries
Literatus To Fulfill A Great Dream
This Week in History Qasha Yosip de Kelaita
Bravo The New Editorial Board at JAAS
Calendar of Events Ashur Bet-Sargis in Germany
Graduation Party in Australia
Assyrian Academic Society Lectures in Chicago
Waterfront Magazine:  JAAS, January 1999
Book:  The Decline of Eastern Christianity Under Islam
Khudra February 1999

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


Last week we quietly ended our fourth year of service on the Internet and with this issue, quite enthusiastically, we begin a new volume of ZENDA.   Without reflecting too selfishly on the impact of our magazine on the social and political affairs of the global Assyrian communities and the Assyrian netizens in particular, we thank you for letting us into your hearts and email boxes.  Each week, hundreds of times our online pages are visited and we thank you for every click of your mouse and every printer paper upon which you have immortalized our effervescent bits and bytes.  No words can describe our joy of finding ourselves working on another issue of ZENDA five years after its inception on a cold dreary day in February.  Yet there is so much more to accomplish in the fifth volume of our magazine:  more thought-provoking articles, better Web access and Internet technologies to adopt, and more subscribers to enlist.  We are prepared to take these challenges and are confident that you will help us through every editorial and website in accomplishing our most prized goal- to become the official Assyrian news agency of the Assyrian organizations, churches and more importantly- people.   We feel that we come closer to our goal with every issue released and every encouraging message we receive.  We are confident that one day, in the future not so far ahead from this gray and cold day in February, we will "fulfill this great dream."  Until then, we thank you for paving the way.



If we ask our people how they prefer to be identified, whether Assyrian, Chaldean or Syriac (Maronites among them), I think it would be difficult to obtain an overall conclusive outcome. Personally, I deem that if we say we are Assyrian is naturally correct, but when we say Chaldean-Assyrian is naturally incorrect. What about the considerable section of our people who assume themselves Syriac? If we can not find an identity which is nearly acceptable to all, then we have to think more deeply and look for other alternatives. We have to look for impartial, genuine and authentic options rather than peer through a frame of jingoistic and nationalistic idealism. We have to look for answers that conquer the hearts and minds of our people without leaving out any group whether Assyrian, Chaldean or Syriac. In this matter it is the consensus that plays the main part and without prejudice or coercion.

We all agree that we are a nation, with rights to exist, and this nation stretches in today's world map between western Persia and the Mediterranean sea with its centre in Northern Mesopotamia. From my early education at primary school, I have learnt that the requirement for a nation to exist are four, nation, people, government and sovereignty.

We have the nation and we are the people. Government and sovereignty are interrelated and achievable. The closing decades of the twentieth century have seen the upsurge of our struggle and determination that we rule and no longer be ruled.  The blow of the seventh century invasion of our land has done a great damage resulting in our division and loss of our voice in world's affairs.

The world today knows the word SHALOM, but does not know the word SHLOMO/SHLAMA and unless we gather in northern Mesopotamia and declare a nation with a capital, airport, foreign ministry and foreign embassy, and tell the world that Jesus Christ used the word SHLOMO/SHLAMA not SHALOM the world will not listen. The main point to settle is our identity, whether Assyrian, Chaldean or Syriac. We have to use one word not a combined word because the latter would relegate us in term of ethnic national composition and will also leave out the third group. There are at least three approaches:

1- We have to compromise in the usage of the words Assyrian, Chaldean or Syriac, by considering them all. This means we use the three words for different purposes without leaving anyone out.

The Assyrian among the three groups always associated themselves with the Assyrian national cause and identified with it, politically, culturally and religiously. Always stood firm keeping the spirit of nationalism kindling and were never tamed by the creeping influence of the occupation. They kept aloof their culture, language, names (purely Assyrian and Christian) and resisted boldly the infiltration of a foreign alien culture.

They never appeased the occupying and colonising power but resisted with a heavy price and martyrdom. Therefore I feel convinced that the name Assyrian is the one we use for our national identity. The purpose of all our moves and motives must be aimed at uniting all our people to accept a satisfied deal or compromise. Therefore, in a unified national identity as Assyrian, we could unify our Churches in one national Church calling it the Chaldean Church.

In the same way, with a unified national identity as Assyrian and a unified national Church as Chaldean we could unify our different dialects by adopting the Syriac dialect as the formal and public language of our nation and our people. I personally speak the eastern dialect but an overriding pride of nationalism elates me when I try the Syriac because the roots are in it and it is very easy to adopt and lacks impurity found in the eastern dialect.  This is my personal view but we can revolve around this idea.

2- The nucleus of our nation will be established in northern Mesopotamia, the historic centre of our ancestral past and the largest current present. If we call the nation Nineveh then all its people will be Ninevites, thus overcoming the problem of identity. This suggested nationality term should be accepted by all the three groups and other matters raised by this approach can be settled also as in option 1.

3-The third option is practical but not attractive. Here we use the modern name Mesopotamia and all its people consequently will be Mesopotamians. Here we could adopt any latin languages and this is not a departure from reality. Some nations have adopted this system long time ago and the system has proved to be credible without the loss of national identity.

Dr George Habash
United Kingdom
2 February, 1999



With the permission of Radio Free Iraq Service

An article in the December 1998 issue of the Assyrian journal "Al-Muntada" highlights the repressive activity of the current Baa'thist regime in Iraq directed toward the Assyrian and Chaldean communities.

Its author, Ghassan Hanna, points out that as a result of Baa'thist policies, "every non-Arab ethnic group of Iraq had its share of attempts to deny, suppress, extinguish through forceful assimilation, or simple physical extinction, if all the above failed. Kurds, Assyrians, Turkomans, and Yezidis have all shared one way or the other those Ba'thi policies of Arab nationalism."

He enumerates Baghdad's policies to "solve" the "Assyrian problem." First, Baghdad has publicly denied the existence of any ethnic group apart from Kurdish and Arabic. It requires that all Assyrians (including Chaldeans, Syriacs, and those defining themselves as Church of the East) register their ethnicity as either Arabs or Kurds. Second, a campaign was unleashed through which Chaldean and Assyrians were targeted for arabization. Third, Assyrians were denied media access (radio, television and print) through which their national aspirations, culture, or language could be expressed.

The Decree for the Cultural Rights of Syriac-speaking people, issued in the early 1970s, was quickly forgotten. A radio station created as the result of this decree was closed after a few months. The two magazines allowed to be published printed 90 percent of their material in Arabic. No school was allowed to teach in Syriac. As Hanna points out: "With the restrictions on teaching in the Syriac language, no wonder that the government used that to blame it on the inability of the Assyrians to read and write in their own language." He adds that at present, at least 90 percent of the Assyrians are unable to read or write in their own language.

To counter the Baa'thist policies, Hanna calls on the Assyrian community in the United States to use its economic muscle to create a lobbying group to force Saddam Husseyn to ease off on its racist policies and to bring a halt to Baghdad's efforts to force Assyrian children to study the Koran. And Hanna argues that these groups should also form their own political organizations to advance their interests.

David Nissman
Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty



(ZNMW:  Chicago)  In a sudden move against the influence of the Syrian regime in the Diaspora, Assyrian and Lebanese communities in Chicago expressed their rejection of Hafez Assad's dictatorship, through a popular uprising last week.

In conjunction with the celebrations organized in Syria and Syrian-occupied Lebanon, to underscore the legitimacy of the Syrian President, pro-Syrian networks attempted to extend these manifestation of support to the regime to the expatriate communities. According to informed sources, the Syrian leader has expressly asked his artisans to extend the presidential referendum to the emigrants around the world. As of early February, Syrian diplomats and pro-Baathist activists worked on preparing the ground for a series of political manifestations in various major cities in the United States, including Chicago, Detroit, and some Canadian cities. On February 7, two dozens of pro-Syrian militants and members of the Arabist lobby erupted during a religious service at Saint Sarkis Church of the Assyrian community in Chicago. The militants aimed at distributing pictures of Hafez Assad and at holding a gathering of support to the dictator, in order to collect signatures for the referendum. According to local sources, the militants said they had obtained "an authorization from the Assyrian Patriarch Mar Dinkha. However the local priest, Rev Athanassios Yussef rejected these allegations. When the Arabist militant started to ask the parishioners to sign, "in support to Assad," a number of Assyrian and Lebanese Christian youth confronted them and asked them to leave the premises. The pro-Syrians responded with violence and threats. In response, the members of the community exploded against them and handed out slogans against Assad. Following the oral confrontation, fights erupted in front of the Church, and violence spread. Hundred of young Assyrians, many among whom were members of the Lebanese Forces, pushed the Arabists outside the area and chased them in the neighborhood.

An ambiance of intifada was visible in the church, as masses were gathering in the parking lot, threatening to march against the Syrian consular representation in the city.  Following the incident, a number of political organizations in the city issued protest releases calling on the community to "mobilize against the agents of Hafez Assad." The Assyrian Lebanese Committee, a liaison commission between the two communities said "the Chicago intifada will teach the agents of the dictator not to attempt to export fascism into the Diaspora. Chicago is not Beirut!" said the committee. Other organizations and groupings stigmatized the "aggression by the Assad agents," and called for a nationwide rejection of these methods. The representative of the Lebanese Front in America, Mr. Karim Rizk, said "our communities in Chicago demonstrated to all of us, including to our people around the world, that we should not fear Hafez Assad and his intelligence services. We've won this battle here in Chicago, and we will take the struggle to all cities, with a campaign of awareness and organization." Rizk spoke on the phone with the leaders of the Assyrian Lebanese community.

Chamoun Iskandar
Mideast Newswire

Assad won his country's referendum for another seven-year term with 99.98 percent of the vote. He was the only candidate and has been in power since 1970.


(ZNTD:  Istanbul)  Two weeks ago, Ali Mufit Gurtuna, Mayor of the city of Istanbul, Turkey, held a breakfast meeting with the religious leaders of the Christian and Jewish minorities including the heads of the Chaldean Catholic and Syrian Orthodox churches. The breakfast meeting, held in honor of the religious leaders, was held at the Malta Kiosk in Yildiz Park.

"If we look at differences as nature's mosaic, we will see a great deal," Gurtuna told the religious leaders. Participating at the meeting were:

According to the Turkish government, Turkey has about 15,000 Syrian Orthodox followers and 40,000 Catholics of Roman, Greek, Armenian, Syrian and Chaldean rites.  The latter group is in union with the Vatican. Patriarch Bartholomew said the meeting was unprecedented. "In truth, we are unaccustomed to such kinds of gestures," the Orthodox Church prelate said.


An AANF News Release
February 13, 1999

One of the most critical objectives of the Assyrian American National Federation (AANF) is to promote education and sponsor educational opportunities for our youth, especially those in the Middle East region.  I am certain everyone will agree that the political and economical success of our nation is critically dependent on the education of our young Assyrians.

I recently met with enclaves of Assyrian communities and Assyrian youth while visiting Bet-Nahrain, Jordan, and Iran.  In my brief assessment, it is clear that our youth are being deprived from the most basic educational necessities in that region.  Problems are numerous and immense: they range from poor facilities, lack of qualified teachers to insufficiently of educational materials.  Although it is a monumental task, both politically and economically, to correct the problems, I believe AANF can provide some financial relief and mitigate few of the most critical educational needs of our young people in that region.

I have asked our Education Committee to draft a Middle East Region Financial Aid Program Plan to address this critical issue.  The plan will address the scope, program implementation, financial controls, progress reports, cost and schedule.  Upon request, the plan will be available for your review once finalized.  We have estimated that to begin this endeavor, we will require $60,000.00.  The success of this program hinges upon the support and assistance of every member organization and affiliate.  This program is the first step and we are confident that we can build more on this and ensure the success of our youth, hence, our nation.

Sargon Lewie
Assyrian American National Federation

Following last issue's feature article on the plight of the Assyrian refugees in Jordan our office was contacted by the Assyrian American National Federation officials and we were informed about the educational assistance offered to the Assyrian Center in Amman, Jordan.  In response to the above Press Release an Assyrian-Jordanian writes the following to Mr. Lewie:
"We received your news release which has been mailed to our address in Jordan. We appreciate all financial support and activities taken by our Assyrian brothers from all the world . We think it is a major and important step to educate our Assyrian youth. Recently we mailed our report which included our activities and some pictures.  Also we provided invoices for the computer which we purchased besides some furniture for our cultural center.  We are seeking your support for more progress. We hope you succeed in your task for the greatness of our nation.   Sincerely, Khoshaba G. Odisho (abo-ashoor)"


Dr. Samuel Moffett, Professor Emeritus at Princeton Theological Seminary, historian and a Christian missionary, writes that: "The church began in Asia. Its earliest history, its first centers were Asian. Asia produced the first known church building, the first New Testament translation, perhaps the first Christian king, the first Christian poets, and even arguably the first Christian state. Asian Christians endured the greatest persecutions. They mounted global ventures in missionary expansion the West could not match until after the thirteenth century."  Dr. Moffett is the author of the two-volume work entitled The History of Christianity in Asia.  On March 7th, the Assyrian Academic Society will host a lecture entitled "The First Great Missionary Church: The Assyrian Church of the East" by Mr. Abdul-Massih Saadi, a Ph.D. candidate at the Lutheran School of Theology.  Dr. Moffett will be present as the keynote speaker at this event to be held at North Park University (see CALENDAR of EVENTS).  Mr. Saadi has received two Master of Arts degrees from the Lutheran School of Theology in Church History and the New Testament studies.  As the Director of the Institute of Syriac Manuscript Studies at the Lutheran School of Theology of the University of Chicago, he is presently cataloguing a thousands of Syriac manuscripts collected from the monasteries and churches in the Middle East.


"Your recent coverage of the Arameans was well done. I hope that you will have more material on them for they  are the people who have given us our mother tongue. Strangely some of us have questioned the very existence of the Arameans...Your weekly magazine is on my "Bravo" list.  I look forward to reading it and miss it when it is not there. Best wishes!"

Professor John Joseph

Professor John Joseph, the Lewis Audenreid Professor Emeritus of History at Franklin & Marshall College in Maryland, is the author of The Nestorians and Their Muslim Neighbors (Princeton University Press, 1961).

"Hi! Congratulations on your great newsletter, of which I am a reader.  I would like to inform you, though, that, in your HUDRA section of February 8, you neglected mentioning the celebration by the Maronite Church of the hermit Mar Maro, its founder, on the 9th of February.  As a conclusion, allow me to once more thank you for the good job you are doing, and hope you keep it up."

Solomos Solomou

"How does waving the Assyrian flag through the streets of Turlock on a float representing your business or organization at the Kha b'Neesan Parade sound?  It sounds great on a large scale of assyrians.  Invite local T.V stations also.

M. Benjamin

"It is said that 'hope springs eternal', but when hope is confused for fact, this is called 'wishful thinking'. The two lead articles in the February 8, 1999 Zenda, converge on a question which has always been of interest to me. Namely, the population chimera.

I recall a particular moment last fall in Teheran. I was present at a meeting where a number of Assyrians were seated across the table from some Iranian government officials responsible for promoting tourism in their country. Seeking to impress our Iranian hosts with our own importance, one of the freelancing Assyrians (from the U.S.) volunteered that "we have a world community of 3 million". A few moments later, not to be outdone, an Assyrian from Australia, even more effusive (and rash), offered that "there are 50,000 Assyrians in Australia. There are between 5 and 7 million Assyrians worldwide, and a big portion of them dream of returning for a visit to Iran. Not just 2 million Assyrians would come, but all 5 to 7 million of them would visit, if things are done right." Can't you just see the endless caravan of Assyrian tour buses shuttling from Mehrabad Airport to downtown Teheran and up country to Urmia?
The aim of this letter is not to point the finger at any individual. It is to ask the following:  Are we serving any purpose when we offer up such whoppers? What is the effect of such misstatements on our credibility with officials at the U.S. State Department, with members of various foreign ministries, or before U.N. agencies? Let us not pretend for an instant that any of these persons or groups accept such inflated and unsupported claims. Let us not imagine that their polite silence translates into acquiescence or assent, because it does not.

There is no doubt that the frequent repetition of misinformation is eventually absorbed and accepted as fact by many of our fellow Assyrians. But this does not affect the non-official world with which we must deal, and does little to enhance our reputation outside our own small circle.

When in the past I inquired about the "Assyrian" population of Jordan, I heard some Assyrians claim "50,000 or more". This is certainly at variance with the figure suggested by Zenda's "Lighthouse". Why such variance? Assyrians in Jordan would have every reason to identify themselves as such, because it would enhance their refugee status. There is no political reason why United Nations Relief Works Agency (UNRWA) would distort the facts by claiming an Assyrian population of just 14,000.

On my many trips to Australia, and in detailed discussion with a wide range of Assyrian activists there, I have always come away believing that our approximate population in that country is around 25,000. In other words, the figure reported in the Sydney Herald (based on an Assyrian source) appears accurate. Therefore, what is the reason for a claim of "50,000 Assyrians in Australia."

This week, I prepare to travel to Argentina. This is a very large country, and I would love to meet Assyrian groups there. I have tried all known ways to identify where  I might find Assyrian émigrés there. So far, and after exerting much effort, I have identified only a couple of individuals. No churches! No associations! No informal groups! Just a couple of guys named Jorge and Jose (not Givargis and Yosip). Yet most Assyrian Population charts issued by our groups will no doubt claim several thousands of Assyrians in Argentina.

We are currently witness to a bizarre ritual in Washington, D.C., where grown-ups are debating when the word "is" actually means "is", and when the word "alone" actually means "alone". Assyrian head counts seem to have that same parsing and surreal character. While I have no doubt that thousands of Assyrians did emigrate to South America countries over many decades of this century, the fact is that most of them have evaporated into their adopted societies. Only a Don Quixote would now say that these long-gone folks remain a legitimate part of any Assyrian head count supplied for political reasons. Why have we never been challenged about these off-the-wall population claims? Mainly, because it has never mattered much one way or the other to the officials who have heard them.

It is the responsibility of certain key Assyrian organizations to set the record straight and to present our case with integrity. The AUA, the American National Federation, the Assyrian Democratic Movement, and the Assyrian Democratic Organization are some of the groups which come to mind. These groups are supposed to advance our cause, but it is illusory of any to think that the cause is advanced when it is built on fiction.

No one suggests that the task of these leaders is an easy one. But I would submit that the chance of their success is not enhanced if they rely on transparent claims. Bloating population figures probably makes a lot of us "feel good". But this is like eating popcorn and it is devoid of any real consequence. Exaggerations of this sort are akin to sandcastles; not only are they unproductive, they are probably harmful. The expectations of many are raised on false hope. Our potential gets distorted beyond all reason, and our leaders are guaranteed to be labeled failures for their inability to achieve impossible goals.

Francis Sarguis



Passerby's can watch an artist sketch on a piece of white paper on any street in Toronto, transforming that blank page into a meaningful image.  We, the Assyrian Voice of Canada Organization, intend to mimic an artist's intention by bringing to you the readers various historic Assyrian moments.  These will be articles about the great sacrifices and works of the last Assyrian King- His Holiness Mar Eshai Shimun XXIII, and the Assyrian people.  In this third issue of our magazine, "His Holiness, The Assyrian Martyr, Mar Eshai Shimun XXIII" we have included various articles that can assist you in seeing part of that image.

In November 6, 1975 the Assassination of our last Assyrian king and the attempted murder of His Holiness' Family by an ethnic Assyrian, David M. Ismail of London, Ontario let many North Americans to believe that Assyrian nationals have not adapted toward a more civilized behaviour after immigrating to western countries.  Many Assyrians, especially those coming from the Arab and Kurdish-influenced areas, cannot clearly see the great damage that has been inflicted on the international Assyrian cause.  Our intrinsic establishment of an autonomous Assyrian state in our homeland of Mesopotamia was harmed.  The Assassination of H.H. caused great dismay to many in the Holy Apostolic Church of the East and to its associated Assyrian political organizations, prompting many of its members to leave.

We believe that the assassin, David M. Ismail, was used as a tool by enemies of Assyrian Freedom, who seduced him to their cause with lies.  Ismail was chosen to carry out the assassination because His Holiness had long admired his father's efforts in serving the Assyrian people and Ismail was also thought to a trusted follower of His Holiness.  However, Ismail also possessed some other dangerous personality traits such as a propensity towards intertribal discrimination , a lack of understanding of the effect his actions would bring, plus a severe lack of higher education and judgment skills, Thus he was very easily manipulated.  We find it very ironic that, though the Assyrian Church of the East may excommunicate any of its members from the Chrch if they are found guilty of murder, to say nothing of the murder of a Catholicos-Patriarch, yet subsequent to his release from prison, David Ismail has been warmly received by some of the Church's clerics and lay leaders.  This only adds to the confusion and dismay of many of those who are familiar with the case, and insults the memory of a holy and revered man.

These opinions have been formed after researching various articles that proposed that His Holiness' assassination was planned by foreigners, with the assistance of others who are in his places of leadership in Assyrian affairs.  While you may doubt these allegations or the evidence used to support them, we ask you to continue to read our magazine, and to do your own research to determine the real truth.  We welcome your articles and pictures to wish to share your opinions with all Assyrians, everywhere!

Assyrian Voice of Canada
Ontario, Canada


Welcome to ZENDA's newest section where you are encouraged to loosen your grip on your self-imposed isolation.  Think big!  Think London, Istanbul, and Tokyo.  Fly through the fiberoptics of your phone cables to a new friend in Uruguay and search for the one you left behind in Madrid.  Use an online translation program and amuse your new Assyrian-Italian pen-pal with a few Italian phrases:  "Il mio nome è Ashur. Ho occhi marroni e vivo in Chicago. Dove vivete?"  Share your life in Sydney with an Assyrian in Finland.  Let the Assyrians everywhere know who you are, where you live, and what makes you laugh and the things that make you go 'mmm...  Perhaps you have doubts about your identity, your past, the meaning of life and so on.  What does it all mean anyway?  Who cares!  What is important is that we can communicate, that we reach out for one another.  Let the magic of the Internet warm your heart and bring you closer to someone in Russia, Hawaii, and even Amman.   Send us your personal messages, pictures of yourself and your family.  Tell us about your city, your church, and your hobbies.   Find a new boyfriend, your future wife, someone interested in reading Shelley, in making Baklava, or just writing to you.

ZENDA is thinking BIG.  Very BIG.  You know where we're going with this...Right?  Stop reading in between the lines and just act casual.  Crack open a can of Pepsi, play some Ashur Sargis, and let your fingers skate on the sticky surface of the keyboard:  "Hi, my name is Atorina.  I live in Wiesbaden.  That's in Germany.  I can't stand listening to Assyrian music, but I love to dance Sheikhani."  Here's another one: "24 year-old brown eyes, looking for a mature Assyrian guy (was that an oxymoron) to rock my world in Chicago..."  Alright, let's not get too carried away.  But you get the idea.  You can call this ZENDA's Personals section.  Whatever!  Before you activate your email program and begin your message under the heading "Unsubscribe", we like to remind you of the fact that more and more of you are finding friends and spouses (or perhaps significant others) through the Internet.  At least two ZENDA staff did last year.

Here's a link to Peter's personal website.  He lives in Bulgaria with his family.  Why not bombard his email account with messages like "What on earth are you doing in Bulgaria?"   Peter's Kingsar's Palace

Teklad writes:  "I am an Assyrian living in Canada. I am looking for a long lost friend of mine by the name of Adrianne Alkhas. If by any chance you know this person please let me know. I thank you in advance."

See how simple it is.  You write a message with your email address, ZENDA posts it and then we let our readers write to you directly (to your email address).  You can thank us later, of course  :)

Oh, one more thing.  The choice for the title of this section had nothing to do with Kevin Costner's new movie.  It was decided at a Sting concert last summer in California...for those of you old enough to remember The Police.  Several readers came up with the idea for this section in '98.  We liked it and decided to add it as a new regular section to our Volume V.  It's fresh, wild, and risky.  Isn't that what ZENDA is all about?   Enough said!  Loosen up your hold on reality and discover the new Assyria- a global village with a thousand Ninevehs and Babylons in every state and country.  It's time to synchronize our beats to the rhythm of the longest Assyrian circle dance in history.  And it all begins with a single message in the bottle.

Links to Other Assyrian Websites

Towards an Assyrian Strategy for the Kurdish Question in Iraq
Nakosha Magazine : February Issue


 swa/na  OR  saa/wil/ta
Red Shoes:  swaneh smooqeh
Heel of her shoe:  eqba d'swanoh


BC (2093)

Shulgi becomes the new king of the Sumerian city of Ur.  For the first 23 years of his reign he completes such civil projects as building and staffing of temples and royal palaces.  Beginning with his 24th year in power he begins campaigning north as far as Erbil and builds an empire extending into the territories once occupied by Sargon of Akkad.  He ruled over Bet-Nahrain for no less than forty-eight years.

The Chronology of Shulgi, Albrecht Goetze

AD (1928)

With the return of the American missionaries to Urmiah the ruined churches and schools were rebuilt.  By this time there were four "Assyrian Evangelical Churches" built, and the Fiske Seminary for women and the American School for Boys reopened.  Twenty elementary and intermediate schools throughout the Assyrian village of Urmiah and a modern hospital in addition to a school for nurses served the educational and medical needs of the Assyrians.

The Nestorians and Their Muslim Neighbors, Joseph



Tribunal of most high!
O source of all being!
Why did you turn away your face?
How long you will stand by,
And your eye by seeing,
Cruelties wiping out our race?

What could this infant tell,
What could be its sore sin,
What flame could have fanned your passion?
Out of womb into hell,
You cast it and all kin,
You reveal your love in this fashion?

Lo! above this village,
Blood-thirsty eagles call,
As they soar all around every hour,
Waiting for the pillage,
Of bodies that should fall,
To pounce, to tear, to devour.

Enemies on the ground
Enemies in the sky
Hemmed in fast, all about, by the foes.
Friends that were all around,
Have left us and gone by,
To suffer all alone in death throes.

O Ashur Ninevite!
Marduk of Babylon?
You have had many appellations.
Jehovah see our plight,
Do help me fall upon,
And destroy this foe of the nations.

My strong arm and my bow
Were your gifts, and sorrows
Of a heart so tortured night and day,
Do help me overthrow,
With my sword and arrows
This pest - or my talents take away.

To rescue all my kind,
To fulfill a great dream,
I may lose my young life.  Let it be.
I may die, I don't mind,
If only I redeem,
This small shoot, root of the holy tree.

A selection from William Daniel's epic poem, Kateeny Gabbara.
Translated into English by the author.  Original in Assyrian.


February 25, 1952:  dies, Qasha Yosip de Qalaita, Assyrian clergy, teacher, school principal, author of books on the Assyrian language and grammar.  He was 82.



Journal of the Assyrian Academic Society recently distributed its first of the two semiannual issues and with its announcement of the new editorial board completed the transition from the previous group.  The following individuals were appointed to assist in the publication of this resourceful and scholarly journal:

Editor                                  Nadia Joseph
English Language Editor        Edwin Gania
Assyrian Language Editor      Oraham Yalda Oraham
                                           Zaia Nimrod Canon
Technical Editor                   Firas Jatou

Miss Nadia Joseph is also the president of the Assyrian Academic Society.  Mr. Gania, an attorney in Chicago, is credited with the publication of the Assyrian Political Review in Washington D.C.  Misters Oraham and Canon are authors of several Assyrian books on language and poetry.  Mr. Canon is currently the chairman of the Education and Counseling Committee of the AAS.  Mr. Jatou, a pioneer in Assyrian presence on the Internet, is the graphics editor of Nabu Quarterly magazine and the AAS website.  To subscribe to JAAS contact:

Assyrian Academic Society - JAAS
P.O. Box 3541
Skokie, IL 60076
Attn:  Nadia E. Joseph


Feb 6 - May 5

A presentation of 140 artifacts excavated in the 1920's by Sir Leonard Woolley at the 5000-year-old Sumerian site.

Frank H. McClung Museum

Feb 27

Entertainers:  Geliana Esho ,Basel Patto & the Babylon Band
Aurora Reception Hall
149 Donald Street, East Brunswick
8:30 PM
Admission (includes food and drinks):  $30.00 Adults/ $20.00 Children
for more information contact Sami Kamber: 9359-2043/041-353-3732

Feb 27

"The Chicago Assyrian Dictionary Project"
Speaker:  Dr. Martha T. Roth, Editor in Charge of the Assyrian Dictionary of the Oriental Institute of the University of Chicago

6:00 PM
Mesopotmian Museum
6307 North Pulaski

Mar 6

Ashur Bet Sargis in Concert
Sponsored by the Assyrian Aid Society in Germany
6:30 PM
Address: Mathäus-Müller Platz 4
66343 Eltville am Rhein
For more Information please contact: 
Adrin Takhsh  030-322 55 32 or 0179-29 111 93
Edvin Takhsh: 06722-910 390 or 0171-70 89 426
Alfred Babakhni: 06124-4301

The proceeds from this event will benefit the Assyrian Children in northern Iraq, and Dohuk's Nsibin School, in particular.
Der Assyrische Hilfsverein e.V. lädt Sie zu einer Feier mit dem berühmten Assyrischen Sänger; Ashur Bet Sargis
am: 6. März 1999 um 18:30
in in Bürgerhaus Eltville am Rhein
Adresse: Mathäus-Müller Platz 4
             66343 Eltville am Rhein

Der Erlös dieser Feier wird zu günsten unserer Assyrischen Kinder benütz;
ganz speziffisch, wird der Erlös der Nssibin Schule in Dohuck-Nord Irak zu
Helfen kommen

Mar 7

"The First Great Missionary Church:  The Assyrian Church of the East"
Speakers:  Dr. Samuel Moffett, Princeton Theological Seminary
& Mr. Abdul-Massih Saadi, Ph.D. Candidate, Lutheran School of Theology

Time:  3:30-7:30 PM
Place:  Anderson Chapel (Corner of Foster & Spaulding)
North Park University

Mar 13

Conducted by Mastro Nabu Issabey
An Assyrian American Association of San Jose Event
Also: an honorary award presentation to a renowned Assyrian singer
Santa Clara Convention Center Theater
5001 Great America Parkway
8:00 PM (SHARP)
Tickets:   $ 20.00 To purchase your tickets call:
Nancy Isaac:       408-229-2100          Josephine Malhem:  408-323-1816
John Khangaldy:  408-978-8743          Ramina Ziyeh:        408-448-6225
No Tickets will be sold at the door.

New Releases of Books, CD's, & Magazines

Journal of the Assyrian Academic Society:  Volume XII, No 1 
(January 1999)
 Bimonthly Journal devoted to research on Assyrians
P.O. Box 3541
Skokie, IL 60076
(773) 461-6633
The Decline of Eastern Christianity Under Islam: >From Jihad to Dhimmitude 
by: Bat Ye'or. 
A 522-page book, translated from the French by Miriam Kochan and David Littman.
London, Associated University Presses, and
Cranbury, NJ, Fairleigh Dickinson Univ Press.


 Internet Class for Assyrians
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 Adult Assyrians in the SF Bay Area are invited to join 
Call 408-927-9100
Computer Skills
10 AM-1 PM
Victoria, Australia
235/237 Sussex St.
Nth Coburg
The basics of computer use from fiirst time users to more advanced
Contact 9344 4791 for detail

Cycles & Observances of the Middle Eastern Christian & Assyrian Liturgical Calendars

Rogation of the Ninevites
Ma'alto: Entrance of Our Lord into the Temple
 Feast of Mor Bar Souma (A.D. 457)
St. Severus of Antioch
The Feast of Jonah
Memorial of Mar Aba the Catholicos & 1 Person
Anide:  Commemorating all faithful departed
Feast of Mor Severus of Antioch (A.D. 460-538)
Memory of H.E. Mor Timotheos Ya'qub
Memorial of the Departed
Feast of St. Ignatius Elias III (A.D. 1932)
Great Fast
Qotne: Sunday of the Feast of Cana
 Fifty-day Lent begins
Week of Mysteries Begins (15-19)
Memory of Mor Yulius Elias Qoro (A.D. 1962)
Feast of Mor Ephrem the Syrian (A.D. 306-373)
 Garbo: Sunday of the Leper
 St. Peter's Holy Throne at Antioch (A.D. 37)
Great Lent
 Feast of St. Matthew, the Evangelist
St. Ephrem the Syrian (A.D. 306-373)
 M'Sharyo: Sunday of the Paralytic

AAC = Ancient Assyrian Church of the East
ACE = Assyrian Church of the East
CCC = Chaldean Catholic Church
COP = Coptic Church
MCC= Maronite Catholic Church
MSO = Malankara Syrian Orthodox Church
SCC = Syrian Catholic Church of Antioch
SKC = Syrian Knanaya Church
SOC = Syrian Orthodox Church


 Addison Wesley Longman
White Oak Semiconductor

This Week's Contributors:
in alphabetical order

David Chibo Australia Assyrian Surfing Posts
Carlo Ganjeh California News Digest
Ghassan Hanna California Good Morning Bet-Nahrain
Andreas Schmidt  Germany News Digest
Ashour Shamoun Canada Surfers Corner
Adrin Takhsh Germany Calendar of Events

Thank You For Referring A Friend to ZENDA:

Monica Benjamin California
Ramin Daniels California
Vladimir Moghaddasi California

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The Directory of ZENDA News Sources
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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)
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ZNCN (ClariNews)
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ZNDA (Zenda: zenda@ix.netcom.com)
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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)
ZNRF (Radio Free Iraq)
ZNRU (Reuters)
ZNSH (Shotapouta Newsletter)
ZNSJ (San Jose Mercury News)
ZNSM (Shufimafi Lebanese News)
ZNSO (Syrian Orthodox News "SOCNews")
ZNTD (Turkish Daily News)
ZNTM (Time Magazine)
ZNUP (United Press International)
ZNUS (US News & World Report)
ZNCW:  Catholic World News