Volume V, Issue 5
Adaar  22, 6748                                                           March 22, 1999

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T H I S   W E E K  I N   Z E N D A

The Lighthouse The Mesopotamian Origin of Easter
Good Morning Bet-Nahrain Kurds Protest Baghdad's Arabization Policies
News Digest 20 Assyrians Rushed to Hospital with Food Poisoning
Assyrian Brothers Jailed for Murdering Police Officer
Surfs Up "The lack of communication could bring destruction"
Surfers Corner Bet-Eil's 1998 Report of Assistance Program
Message in the Bottle Looking for Love in all the Wrong Places
Assyrian Surfing Posts Bet-Nahrain Students of Uppsala University, Sweden
AINA:  "Final Agreement Seen as Failure by Assyrians

"The Assyrian Conquest" by Immanuel Velikovsky
Assyrian American Association of Modesto, California
Pump up the Volume Oral & Verbal
Back to the Future The March to Memphis & the Shiomgvime Monastery
Literatus Mother Assyria
This Week in History Yusuf Dorna
Bravo The Kha b'Neesan Parade in Turlock
Calendar of Events Kha b'Neesan Party
Khudra March 1999

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



Spring has arrived and nearly every Assyrian will be celebrating the arrival of the new year and the Resurrection of Jesus Christ.  Easter or the celebration of the Resurrection occurs during the Jewish festival of the Passover (Paskha in Assyrian).  This festival begins on the 14th day of Neesan in the Jewish calendar.  In 325 A.D. the Council of Nicaea decreed that the Resurrection of Jesus Christ should be observed on the first Sunday after the first full moon following the vernal equinox (March 21).  Should the Jewish Passover and the Christian Easter occur on the same Sunday, the Council of Nicaea agreed that the Church would observe Easter on the following Sunday.  This year, for example, Paskha in the United States begins at sundown on Wednesday, March 31.

The English word Easter and the German Ostern come from Eostur, Eastur, Ostara, and Ostar.  These refer to the early pre-Christian festival of the rising sun and the season of new birth.  Much like the ancient Mesopotamians the early European settlers used this festival to observe the Feast of New Life in the spring. Ostern also refer to a place where the sun is supposed to rise in east (East, Ost). This symbolism was later used by the Christian churches to symbolize Easter as the new Life of the Risen Jesus Christ, the eternal and uncreated Light.  Based on a passage in the writings of Saint Bede the Venerable in 735 A.D., the term Easter was actually the name of an Anglo-Saxon goddess Eostre.  However, no such goddess is known in the mythologies of any Germanic tribe.  Modern research indicates that Eostre was indeed the Assyrian goddess Ishtar whose knowledge was brought to Europe by the Greek and Roman invaders after the collapse of the Assyrian empire in 612 B.C.

Some modern Assyrian traditions also originate in the pre-Christian days of Assyrian supremacy in the Middle East.  The baking of the elongated cake commonly known as Pasqa (same as Paskha), usually prepared on or before Good Friday (Assyrian Friday of Sorrow), and the dyed eggs presented to children on Easter Sunday, were common religious rites in ancient Mesopotamia.   The cake was baked during the celebration of Neesan in the honor of the goddess Ishtar.  Ishtar was the heavenly deity who symbolized love and fertility.  She brought her lover, Tammuz, back from the dead and in so doing rekindled the cycle of life after the dark and cold months of winter.  Ancient Assyrians associated the increase in the warmth and brightness of the day following the vernal equinox as an increase in the fertility of their lands and their women.  The eggs, symbolic of the continuous cycle of life and death, were then dyed to symbolize fertility in nature and abundance of life.

Cecrops, the founder of Athens, explains these traditions in his writing some 1500 years before the time of Christ.  He calls the Mesopotamian cake Buon (modern day "bun" perhaps) and explains that it was made of fine flour and honey.  In the Old Testament, Prophet Jeremiah notes the following, "The children gather wood, the fathers kindle the fire, and the women kneed their dough, to make cakes to the queen of heaven."

The Catholic Encyclopedia, Revised and Updated, Copyright 1987, Robert C. Broderick, Editor, Thomas Nelson Publishers

Francis X. Weiser, Handbook of Christian Feasts and Customs (New York: Harcourt, Brace & World, Inc., 1958).



(ZNRF: Prague)  On 10 March, Jawhar N. Salem, speaker of the house of the Iraqi Kurdistan National Assembly, sent a letter to UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan to protest what he called Iraq's systematic Arabization policies directed against Kurds, Assyrians, and Turkomans.

The area now under control of the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) covers approximately 54 percent of the region of Iraqi Kurdistan and contains 3.6 million people. Outside of this "safe haven" lies 46 percent of the territory of Iraqi Kurdistan and almost 2.5 million people of Kurdish, Assyrian, and Turkoman ethnicity. It is this area which is the subject of Mr. Salem's letter of protest.

His letter states that the KRG "remains anxious about the well-being of their brethren who suffer the cruel practices of the Iraqi regime in the unprotected region," the "Kurdistan Observer" reported on 17 March. In that region, it suggests, the Kurdish and other non-Arab population is subjected to a policy of "ethnic cleansing," including being evicted from their homes, altering nationality, and introducing tribal Arabs into Kurdish lands. Moreover, it says, to eliminate all traces of Kurdishness, the Iraqi authorities have changed place names, removed archaeological evidence, and denied non-Arabs the right to purchase land there. The KRG argues that all of these actions violate UN Security Council Resolution 688, and it calls for the UN to intervene.

As reported by David Nissman for Radio Free Iraq



(ZNDA: Melbourne)  Twenty Assyrians in the Melbourne area of  Broadmeadows who had eaten a rice and meat dish at a christening were taken to hospital recently with acute food poisoning.  A mini emergency unit was set up at the medical center, as more guests were brought in about two hours after their meal at a local community hall.  All patients were seriously ill, suffering bad dehydration, plummeting blood pressure, severe stomach pains and diarrhea.  A hospital spokesperson confirmed that if the guests had not sought immediate medical attention they could have died.  The meal was prepared by the families who attended the function.

Reverend Nistorias Hirmiz who performed the baptism and several family guests from Sydney and Canada were among the victims and were taken to the medical center.  Eleven ambulances took the patients to the Northern, Western and Royal Melbourne hospitals.


(ZNDA-Fairfield)  Two Assyrian brothers, Gilbert and Richard Adams, were sentenced last month for their part in the attack on an unarmed police officer who had gone for a drink after finishing his night shift at Fairfield police station.

According to Justice James Wood the 25-year-old police officer, Constable David Carty, "lost his life for no reason in the attack which was so savage, he was partially scalped".

Gilbert Adams, 33, received a 28-year sentence for the stabbing murder of Constable Carty, in Fairfield, Australia after he was set on by other members of an Assyrian gang.  His brother, Richard Adams, 31, was jailed for two years and eight months, for maliciously inflicting grievous bodily harm.

Constable Carty's parents, John and Lorraine, who attended the 11-week trial, said they were "reasonably happy" with the sentences.  Officer Constable's partner, Michelle Auld, was also commended for her part in trying to fight off the knife-wielding members of this Assyrian gang- as she was screaming "leave Dave alone".  Ms. Auld had sustained serious head and face injuries.

A plaque to commemorate Officer Carty's memory was installed at the station as officers visit the Carty farm and Officer Carty's family.

Report by Amanda Phelan for the The Sydney Morning Herald.


"In our social and political lives, implementation of "Recognition" among various Assyrian factions seems to be one of the most important action is needed as of today. Recognition will open many doors of cooperation and communication for better progress. Since Assyrian nation need desperately to get together on a solid platform, therefore opening normal channels of talk and meeting between our organizations will serve positively our people, once Assyrian groups recognize each other.  Speaking of the recognition, our entire Assyrian nation has been struggling to get attention of the surrounding nations to gain their recognition. We still have long way to go to get their mercy to recognize us as Assyrian nation. The thing that is truly bothering is:

Why Assyrians do not recognize each other in their political & social organizations?

It does not make sense to complain the oppression of the Arab,  Persian, Turks and Kurds for not recognizing us as a nation, while we internally are not consistent with what we are calling. I believe it is worth a while to think about it, just think about it for a moment and set a plan starts with implementing the word "Recognition".

It is very smart political move, when at the time and place, some of us feel superiority, is to reinforce that with a humbleness toward others, as a sign of strength, and for the interest of people in general.

But the key thing is the final resultant of the scale direction. When the good things win, then it is good for every body. When the bad is winning, then it is time to negotiate and straighten things by using the power of brain, through the power of communication and humbleness. The lack of communication could bring destruction, I thing we need to avoid that said lack. Hence, please lets ask all of our political and social organizations to recognize each other as brothers and sisters, as political parties and as social clubs."

Kaiser Shahbaz

"...I find your weekly magazines very informative and refreshing.  May God continue to bless your efforts at providing for our peoples insatiable intellectual hunger."

Daniel Yonan

"...This is the joy of live, the being used up for a purpose recognized by yourself as a mighty one;
being a force of nature instead of a feverish, selfish little clod of ailments and grievances, complaining that the world will not devote itself to making you happy.

I am of the opinion that my life belongs to the community, and as long as I live it is my privilege to do for it whatever I can.

I want to be thoroughly used up when I die, for the harder I work the more I live.

Life is no brief candle to me.  It is sort of a splendid torch which I have got hold of for a moment, and I want to make it burn as brightly as possible before handling it on to future generations."

Janey Golani

Mrs. Golani is an active member of Detroit, Michigan's Assyrian community and a long-standing officer and representative of the Assyrian American National Federation.  Mrs. Golani's husband, Atour, is an energetic officer of the AANF and actively involved in the affairs of the Assyrian Universal Alliance.  Janey Golani is also the daughter of Mr. Aprim Rayis, who as the Secretary General of the AUA guided this organization during its tumulus years in the early 1980's.



Greetings in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ,

The Welfare Committee of the Bet-Eil Assyrian Church is pleased to report that the following donations were made in 1998 to assist the Assyrian communities:

Assyrian Refugees in Jordan                       $ 4,500.00
Assyrians of Iraq                                       $ 4,000.00
Assyrians of Georgia                                  $ 2,330.00
Assyrian Refugees in Turkey                      $ 1,000.00
Assyrian Welfare Committee in Canada       $    500.00
Assyrians of Turlock                                  $    300.00
                      Total:                                 $ 12,630.00

We would like to take this opportunity to thank those who helped us last year and at the same time wish all the Assyrians a happy new year.

Let us not forget our brothers and sisters who need our help.  If at one time they had homes and jobs, now they are impoverished in foreign lands.  It is our duty to help them live with dignity.

In a few weeks we will celebrate the Resurrection of our Savior.  As a new beginning and for the salvation of our nation we pray:

Praise be to the Lord, for he has heard my cry for mercy.
The Lord is my strength and my shield; my heart trusts in him,
        and I am helped.
My heart leaps for joy and I will give thanks to him in song.
The Lord is the strength of his people, a fortress of salvation
        for his anointed one.
Save your people and bless your inheritance; be their shepherd
        and carry them forever.
                                                                        Psalm 28:6-9

If you wish to learn more about this committee and our activities, please contact us at:

Bet-Eil Assyrian Church
P.O.  Box 54184
San Jose, CA 95154
Tel: (408) 559-5919     Fax: (408) 559-1618

Thank you and God bless you.

The Welfare Committee
Bet-Eil Assyrian Church
San Jose, California


Henry...Sagittarius......31.. 5'6"..Black hair..Brown eyes..Body sculptured by Jean Claude Van Damme Inc..(wink)..Full of muskels and brains too.."I pump you up"..(smile)..Single..Great sense of humor..Romantic..Boom bastic..Sparkling smile..Juicy lips..Computer Technician/quality control at Pyramid Systems..."Lookin for love in all the wrong places".."Hello it is me you're lookin for"... Just a few verses that were in my head..hehehhe.  Oh, yeah..If you would like to leave a comment or letter of any kind to me please don't hesitate to leave a message at henrys@avn-net.com

Links to Other Assyrian Websites

Bet-Nahrain Students of Uppsala University, Sweden
"AINA: KDP-PUK Final Statement and Assyrian Lands"
"The Assyrian Conquest" by Immanuel Velikovsky
Assyrian American Association of Modesto, California




BC (667)

Tirhakah the Nubian, upon hearing the news of the death of King Esarhaddon marches north to Memphis in Egypt and begins forming a resistance army to drive the Assyrians out of this region.  Esarhaddon had left the government of Egypt to the native princes and his Assyrian officers.  These governors made no attempt to resist and fled eastward hoping for the arrival of support from Nineveh.  The Assyrian army under King Ashurbanipal arrives after a long journey and engages Tirhakah's army at Karbaniti.  The Nubians and the Egyptians suffer great losses and retreat to Memphis.  Ashurbanipal proceeds and enters Memphis.  After restoring the order and his rule in Egypt King Ashurbanipal returns to Nineveh.

AD (6th Century)
Shio, one of the "thirteen Assyrian fathers" builds the Shiomgvime Monastery in the country of Georgia. The church was built for Mar Yokhana (John the Baptist).  Because of its simplicity in style, the form of its architecture is called the "free cross". The
fresco paintings inside the monastery belong to the end of the 19th century.



Where a tigress roams
Next to a river of plenitude

Where a Mediterranean wind
Rocks the cradle of civilization

Where a seed was sown
And a harvest for eternity

Where a bull pulled a plow
And changed the scape of land

Where a word was written
And a history begun

Where a man sought immortality
Only to find his humanity

Where a star was counted
And a heaven measured

Where a second was reckoned
And an hour defined

Where a wonder of the world
Hangs forever in memory

Where a glass first magnified
And a hidden world appeared

Where a king arose
To be a king of kings

Where an iron sword
Brought light to savage lands

Where a scholarly ruler
Built a house of knowledge

Where twelve wise men
Followed a shining star

Where a word from the Son
Was brought to millions

From ashes to glory
From glory to ashes
You have lived and died
You have died and lived

From the beginning of time
To the end of time
Glory to your people!
Glory to your name!

Peter BetBasoo
December 2, 1997


March 28, 1888:  born, Yosuf Dorna in Amidya (Diyarbakir- southeastern Turkey).  Mr. Dorna was a founding member of the Assyrian American National Federation and was the president of this organization from 1935 until 1954.  



Reprinted with the permission of Modesto Bee Newspaper.  Report by Patrick Giblin- March 15

(ZNDA:  Turlock) For the first time in its 52 years, the Assyrian-American Civic Club will hold an Assyrian New Year's Day Parade.

The Assyrian New Year is April 1, but the parade will be held April 4 to coincide with a similar event in Chicago. The parade will welcome the year 6749 on the Assyrian calendar.

"I would guess that there are about 15,000 Assyrians in the Modesto, Ceres, Turlock and Merced region, so it should attract a lot of people," said Turlock City Councilman John Lazar, a club member.

Said parade committee member Claudia Brimoanbi: "We want the community to get to know us."

The parade, coming on Easter Sunday, will start at 3 p.m. at Donnelly Park, proceed west on Hawkeye Avenue and then north on Golden State Boulevard to the Assyrian-American Civic Club at 2618 Golden State Blvd.

Assyrian organizations throughout the state have been invited to design floats or other entries for the parade, she said.

A program at the club will include a short presentation on the meaning of the Assyrian New Year, presented in both English and Assyrian, and pamphlets on the Assyrian culture will be distributed, Brimoanbi said. Food and music also will be featured. The entire program will be free and open to the public.

Turlock's Assyrian-American Civic Club, with 1,250 members, is the largest Assyrian organization in the United States.


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

Mar 27

Assyrian American Association of San Jose
Entertainment:  Walter Aziz and his band
7:30 p.m.
Crowne Plaza Hotel
282 Almaden Blvd
$45 (complete dinner and dessert )
Tickets can be purchased from BETA on Wednesday from 7:30 to 9:30 PM
For more information:  927-8100 or 927-9100

Apr 4

Easter Sunday
3 p.m. at Donnelly Park

Apr 8

An Exhibit of Sources for the Study of the Assyrians in the past 200 years
Middle Eastern Division 
Widener Library

Apr 24

Assyrian Students Association of California State University, Stanislaus 
Assyrian American Civic Club in Turlock 
Featuring Ashor Farhadi and the Generation X Band 
Tickets:  $20 per person/$25 per person at the door (includeS dinner) 

All proceeds from this evening's party go to the Narsai David Scholarship 
Fund benefiting Assyrian students at California State University, Stanislaus. 

For ticket information:         Elki Issa at  (209) 667-3507  Day 
                                                           (209) 537-9651 Evenings 
                                   Jouliet David at  (209) 667-3736

Jan 28,

Divine Liturgy in the Eastern Assyrian Rite (Chaldean and Malabarese)
Basilica of St Cecilia in Trastevere


 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 Class
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

 4th Sunday of the Great Fast
Sunday of the Canaanite Woman
Feast of the Forty Martyrs of Sebaste
Forty Martyrs
 Feast of the Holy Cross;  Feast of King Abgar
5th Sunday of the Great Fast 
Sunday of the Hunch-back Woman
 Memory of Mor Osthatheose Sleebo 
Feast of the Cross
6th Sunday of the Great Fast
Sunday of the Healing of the Blind Man
Memory of H.E. Mor Yulius Gheevarghese
Annunciation of the Virgin Mary
Suboro, Annunciation to the Mother of God
The Fortieth Friday 
The Raising of La'zar (Lazarus)
Feast of Hosannas
Oosh'ane (Palm Sunday)
Naheere (Lights)- Based on the Parable of 10 Vigins
 Commemoration of the Virgin St. Mary

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


 A T & T
 Uppsala University

This Week's Contributors:
in alphabetical order

Jackie Bejan California Calendar of Events
Michael Hopper Harvard University Caldendar of Events
Rita Pirayou California Surfers Corner

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