Z I N D A   M A G A Z I N E

Volume V                Issue 41
Shvadt 8, 6749                                                                           February 8, 2000

T H I S   W E E K   I N   Z I N D A

The Lighthouse Esarhaddon
Good Morning Bet-Nahrain Mar Bidawid on the Suffering of the Iraqi People
News Digest WLO Condemns SLA Officer's Assassination
J.C. Adams, Died in Glendale, California
Surfs Up "Is it a shame to be proud of your own artist?"
Surfers Corner A Message from the Tehran Assyrian Iranian Association
Assyrian Surfing Posts The Teaching of Syriac in Lebanon: An Overview
Report on Assyrian Academic Society's Dictionary Project
The Assyrian Screen Saver (Version 3.0)
Literatus Against Arousal
Bravo Nineveh Online
Milestones J.C. Adams
Pump Up the Volume Easy & Difficult
Back to the Future Shamshi Adad I & the Persecution of the Assyrian Jacobites
This Week in History The First Assyrian Winged-Bulls
Calendar of Events February 2000

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


(680-669 B.C.)

Ignoring the claims of his older brothers, an imperial council appointed Esarhaddon (Ashur-aha-iddina; 680-669) as King Sennacherib's successor. The choice is all the more difficult to explain in that Esarhaddon, unlike his father, was friendly toward the Babylonians. It can be assumed that his energetic and designing mother, Zakutu (Naqia), who came from Syria or Judah, used all her influence on his behalf to override the national party of Assyria. The theory that he was a partner in plotting the murder of his father is rather improbable; at any rate, he was able to procure the loyalty of his father's army. His brothers had to flee to Urartu (modern Armenia). In his inscriptions, Esarhaddon always mentions both his father and grandfather.

Defining the destruction of Babylon explicitly as punishment by the god Marduk, the new king soon ordered the reconstruction of the city. He referred to himself only as governor of Babylonia and through his policies obtained the support of the cities of Babylonia. At the beginning of his reign the Aramean tribes were still allied with Elam against him, but Urtaku of Elam (675-664) signed a peace treaty and freed him for campaigning elsewhere. In 679 he stationed a garrison at the Egyptian border, because Egypt, under the Ethiopian king Taharqa, was planning to intervene in Syria. He put down with great severity a rebellion of the combined forces of Sidon, Tyre, and other Syrian cities. The time was ripe to attack Egypt, which was suffering under the rule of the Ethiopians and was by no means a united country. Esarhaddon's first attempt in 674-673 miscarried. In 671 BC, however, his forces took Memphis, the Egyptian capital. Assyrian consultants were assigned to assist the princes of the 22 provinces, their main duty being the collection of tribute.

Occasional threats came from the mountainous border regions of eastern Anatolia and Iran. Pushed forward by the Scythians, the Cimmerians in northern Iran and Transcaucasia tried to gain a foothold in Syria and western Iran. Esarhaddon allied himself with the Scythian king Partatua by giving him one of his daughters in marriage. In so doing he checked the movement of the Cimmerians. Nevertheless, the apprehensions of Esarhaddon can be seen in his many offerings, supplications, and requests to the sun god Shamash. These were concerned less with his own enterprises than with the plans of enemies and vassals and the reliability of civil servants. The priestesses of Ishtar had to reassure Esarhaddon constantly by calling out to him, "Do not be afraid." Previous kings, as far as is known, had never needed this kind of encouragement.

At home Esarhaddon was faced with serious difficulties from factions in the court. His oldest son had died early. The national party suspected his second son, Shamash-shum-ukin, of being too friendly with the Babylonians; he may also have been considered unequal to the task of kingship. His third son, Ashurbanipal, was given the succession in 672, Shamash-shum-ukin remaining crown prince of Babylonia. This arrangement caused much dissension, and some farsighted civil servants warned of disastrous effects. Nevertheless, the Assyrian nobles, priests, and city leaders were sworn to just such an adjustment of the royal line; even the vassal princes had to take very detailed oaths of allegiance to Ashurbanipal, with many curses against perjurers.

Another matter of deep concern for Esarhaddon was his failing health. He regarded eclipses of the moon as particularly alarming omens, and, in order to prevent a fatal illness from striking him at these times, he had substitute kings chosen who ruled during the three eclipses that occurred during his 12-year reign. The replacement kings died or were put to death after their brief term of office. During his off-terms Esarhaddon called himself "Mister Peasant." This practice implied that the gods could not distinguish between the real king and a false one--quite contrary to the usual assumptions of the religion.

Esarhaddon enlarged and improved the temples in both Assyria and Babylonia. He also constructed a palace in Kalakh, using many of the picture slabs of Tiglath-pileser III. The works that remain are not on the level of those of either his predecessors or of Ashurbanipal. He died while on an expedition to put down a revolt in Egypt.

For this and other related articles published by Britannica.com CLICK HERE



(ZNDA:  Cincinnati)   In this month's issue of St. Anthony Messenger Magazine, published in Cincinnati, Ohio, His Holiness Mar Raphael I Bidawid discusses the dire condition of the people of Iraq due to the economic sanctions imposed by the United Nations.  In an interview with Carol Ann Morrow, assistant managing editor of St. Anthony Messenger, he reminds the American public of the Iraqi children, 5,000 of whom die monthly from diarrhea, pneumonia, breathing problems and malnutrition.  He insists that the economic sanctions in Iraq, imposed after the Gulf War, and the no-fly zone have led to a disaster for the Iraqi people.  Raphael I Bidawid, the Assyrian-Chaldean Catholic patriarch from Baghdad, believes that the U.N.'s position can be reversed.  In his recent visit to the United States, His Holiness enlisted the help of people of influence like Cardinal John J. O'Connor (New York), Dr. Billy Graham and former President Jimmy Carter.

Without a change in the U.N. policy, Bishop Thomas J. Gumbleton, an auxiliary bishop in the Archdiocese of Detroit, believes those who live will be intellectually impaired and emotionally destroyed. Gumbleton, who most recently visited Iraq in December, said the only way to eliminate the sanctions is for people to inundate the White House with phone calls, postcards and letters.

Until a change is made, Mar Bidawid remains firm in his commitment:  "The embargo is inhuman and immoral... It is disaster for the Iraqi people."



(ZNDA: London)  According to the BBC-London the Islamic militant group, Hezbollah, has honored fighters who carried out the assassination of the senior commander of the Israeli-backed South Lebanon Army last week.  Speaking at a ceremony for the fighters in Beirut, the Hezbollah leader, Sheikh Hassan Nazrallah, said the group should now prepare rockets for use against Israel.  Hezbollah ('the Party of God') emerged in the 1980s, to fight "for the liberation of the occupied territories and the ejection of the aggressive Israeli forces".

Colonel Akel Hashem of the South Lebanon Army died when a remote-controlled bomb exploded near his car on the road to his ranch in Dibel in the Israeli-occupied enclave.  Colonel Hashem, second most senior officer in the SLA after its 75-year-old commander Antoine Lahad, was branded a "criminal traitor" by the fundamentalist Shiite movement Hezbollah in a statement.

Israel's deputy defense minister Ephraim Sneh promised to avenge his death.  The colonel, 50, was a former Lebanese army sergeant before he joined the ranks of pro-Israeli militiamen.  He was reported to be about to become the SLA's chief, with Commander Lahad quitting the militia and moving to France.

The Executive Committee of the World Lebanese Organization issued the following press release last week:

New York, Information Office
February 2, 2000

In response to the joint attacks by Hezbollah and the Syrian occupation services against officers of the South Lebanon Army (SLA), and in response to the vitriolic campaign against Maronite Patriarch Mar Nasrallah Sfeir, the WLO declares the following:

1) The WLO consider the assassination of SLA deputy commander Colonel Akl Hashem and officer engineer Ghassan Risk as a terrorist act aimed at the security of the civilian population living in the security zone in south Lebanon. Such acts demonstrates clearly that the area must not and should not be surrendered to its bullies, the Fundamentalist Hezbollah, and military units under Syrian control. The killing of Hashem and Risk is a benchmark in the history of that area of Lebanon. This bloodshed indicates that only a local or national -but trusted- military force, under international umbrella, can guarantee the safety, security and freedom of the people of south Lebanon. The WLO, as it presents its sincere condolences to the families of Colonel Akl Hashem and officer Ghassan Risk, declares both of them as national Lebanese heroes. Upon liberation of the country, the WLO will recommend both officers to the highest distinctions of a liberated Lebanon.

2) The WLO declares the leadership of Hezbollah as directly responsible for the assassination of Hashem and Risk, and considers the Syrian occupation as politically and legally responsible for the killings. The Syro-Lebanese joint security command in the country must assume the international responsibility of the assassinations carried out by their own apparatuses and by the Islamist groups of all creeds and affiliations. Hence, the killing and dismembering of Salwa and (pregnant) Sarah Yazbek in Kfar Abou, the kidnapping and beheading of Lebanese Army officer Naddaf, the execution of six Christian soldiers in the north, the torture, rape, and killing of sister Antoinette Zaidan, the bombing of Qolaia, as well as the assassination of SLA officers Akl Hashem and Ghassan Risk, is an ongoing massacre aimed at terrorizing Lebanon from its Christian population, particularly those opposed to the Syrian occupation and terrorist fundamentalists.

3) The WLO strongly stigmatize the wave of political and vitriolic attacks organized by pro-Syrian and Islamist forces in Beirut against the Maronite Patriarch and the Maronite Church for having delegated Bishop Maroun Sader to participate in the burial service of Colonel Hashem in south Lebanon. The WLO considers those attacks as a moral and political aggression against the entire Christian People in Lebanon and in the Diaspora. The WLO warns the Syro-Islamist cohorts that attacking Bkerke (seat of the Maronite Church) is a red line, beyond which they will find the fiercest resistance of millions of Lebanese inside the country in around the world. For what several Arab and Islamic dynasties have failed to achieve over 13 centuries -the subduing of the Maronite Church and community in Lebanon- neither Damascus nor Tehran will be able to achieve in this century.

The Executive Committee
The World Lebanese Organization (WLO)
New York

Photo of Colonel Hashem above courtesy of BBC-London.


Courtesy of Modesto Bee Newspaper, February 01, 2000

Mr. Adams was the son of Dr. Isaac and Sarah Adams. They came to the Turlock-Delhi area in 1911, seeking an area similar in climate and crops to their native Iran, according to "Streams in a Thirsty Land, A History of the Turlock Region."

Their son, John, was born Jan. 2, 1908, in North Battleford, Saskatchewan, Canada. He was a graduate of Turlock High School and attended Modesto Junior College.

He moved to San Francisco to pursue an interest in law, then moved to Los Angeles and began a law book business and ran it for nearly 50 years.

He was a Navy Signal Corps veteran of World War II.

He is survived by his children, Marvelle Sands and Neil Adams, both of Eagle Rock, John Adams Jr. of Santa Ana, Charles Adams of Alaska, David Valentine of Hollywood, Donald Adams of Reno and Christopher Adams of Shasta; brothers, Albert I. Adams, Arthur Adams and Henry Adams, all of Turlock, and Edward Adams of Modesto; sisters, Clara John of Chicago and Florence Essa Johnson of Oxnard; and 25 grandchildren, 13 great-grandchildren and one great-great-grandchild.

A funeral was held at 1 p.m. Friday at Allen Mortuary, Turlock. Burial was at Turlock Memorial Park, Turlock.


"I for one am so tired of watching the AssyriaVision program in central valley. I mean, what's the point when the only good and nationalistic people are the ones who work for the Bet Nahrin organization? So many people complain that all Mr. Sargon Dadesho talks about are the good things that he has done and the bad things that the other people and organizations have done!

A couple days ago Mr. Dadesho went over the list of the important Assyrian people of the century that was published in Zinda. He mentioned that there were 10 people who were selected by the Zinda readers but he forgot to (or maybe didn't want to) talk about one of these people, Ashur Sargis, who has a special place in the heart of the whole Assyrian nation. I would like to ask Mr. Dadesho why? Aren't you always preaching about forgiveness, love, and respect for each other as a nation? Aren't you the one who used to start his program with Ashur's songs or sing his songs in different events at Bet Nahrin? Maybe it's time for you to accept the fact that the Assyrian people have a lot of respect for their artists.

Ashur Sargis, we love you ..."

Ramona Sarkis

"Last week Dr. Dadesho had a program on Assyria Vision T.V. where he went over the list of the most important Assyrian persons of the Twentieth Century according to the Zinda Magazine readers. He mentioned all the names except for the 20th century's Assyrian Legend Ashur Bet-Sargis (Zinda Issue 39 - 01/25/2000). I'm pretty sure he did not miss it by mistake. Is it a shame to be proud of your own artist who has devoted his whole life for making the "immortal" songs for this nation? Or maybe it's some sort of jealousy that has infected our nation in many different ways!

Ashur Bet-Sargis is not only one of the most important Assyrian persons of the 20th century, but the only Immortal Assyrian Legend of all time."

David Y.

"I wrote a letter to the publisher of "The Assyrian Empire" and here is the response I got:

'Thank you for your interest in our book The Assyrian Empire. Most of your concerns should have been allayed by the title of our book: The Assyrian Empire: World History Series. I think that we can both agree that Assyria no longer has an empire, and thus the title indicates that this is a history book. It makes no claims to discuss modern Assyrians. In the same way that ancestors of Incan and Aztec populations still exist, but no longer have empires, this book covers the historical topic. Nowhere in the book, including the introduction, does it purport to do otherwise.

It is the position of this company that the author has done a fine job of discussing an often neglected topic. I am sorry that you chose to take offense to the book. I do not think that the author claims that the Assyrian Empire was a myth. There are unprovable aspects to that empire, due to scant evidence. This the author describes, because it is historical fact. Perhaps if you looked at our book in the context of a history text, rather than a commentary on modern culture, you might understand its purpose better.'

Bonnie Szumski
Editorial Director

Sargon Tavour

Ms. Szumski's response reflects her ignorance of the content matters of Don Nardo's book, as he clearly notes the following: "Like the Babylonians and other legendary Mesopotamian cultures, the Assyrians had long ago vanished from history's stage; and modern historians had no way even to prove their existence, much less to locate their remains."



We, the Assyrians of Iran, have associated ourselves to the principals of freedom and justice to advocate the cause of good will among Assyrians through out the world and in order to:

The Assyrians of Iran have been the cradle of cultural heritage, social traditions, and the rise of the nationalistic movements to manifest our Assyrian identity and to proclaim our ultimate goal.  We have never hesitated to disseminate our message and doctrines to our other brethren around the world.

The Assyrian minority in Iran has proven to be respectful and has valued other citizens.  Although sparse in its population, it has been given the right to elect its representative in the Iran's Parliament (Majlis).

We urge and call upon all heads and coordinators of the Assyrian mass media to gather in a universal forum, to discuss and spell out the means by which we may achieve our ultimate goal.

In the near future you will hear from us announcing the place and time of this sacred gathering.

Dr. Wilson Bet-Mansour
Committee on International Relations
Tehran Assyrian Iranian Association

Dr. Bet-Mansour was the Assyrian representative in the Iranian Parliament or Majlis from 1967 until 1975.  He has compiled a collection of color photos of the existing Assyrian artifacts and churches in Iran in a small but entirely informative book entitled "The Assyrian Historical Plates in Iran."  To learn more about the Committee on International Relations or the aforementioned book contact:

Tehran Assyrian Association
Kargar Avenue, 207
Nazari Avenue
Zip Code 13146
Tehran, Iran

Telephone:  982-164-08-165
Fax: 982-164-12-395


J.C. Adams

John Calvin Adams, whose father helped establish the Assyrian community in Turlock, died Friday at Glendale Adventist Medical Center in Glendale. He was 92 and had spent much of his adult life in Los Angeles.  See this week's NEWS DIGEST

Links to Other Assyrian Websites



A Babylonian song, ca 2000 B.C.

Arousal is coming upon me like a wild bull,
It keeps springing at me like a dog,
Like a lion it is fierce in coming,
Like a wolf it is full of fury.
Stay! I pass over you like a threshold,
I walk right through you like a flimsy door,
I span you like a doorway.
I turn back your approach like a hobble,
I drive out the fieriness of your heart.

From Distant Days:  Myths, Tales, Poetry of Ancient Mesopotamia,  Benjamin Foster


Nineveh Online

Last month, Nineveh Online received the Britannica.com's award for the "web's best site" on the general topic of Nineveh.  Mr. Albert Gabrial and his informative website was praised with the following message:

"Britannica.com is contacting you because our editors have selected your site as one of the best on the Internet when reviewed for quality, accuracy of content, presentation and usability.  We know quality is always difficult to accomplish and maintain. Congratulations on being a selected member of the
Britannica Internet Guide."

Congratulations to Mr. Gabrial and his team at nineveh.com !



BC (1809)

Shamshi-Adad I chooses the city of Ashur as the seat of his new kingdom.  He then appoints his son, Iasmah-Addu, as the ruler of the city of Mari on the river Euphrates.  According to the Mari archives, Iasmah-Addu was lazy and immature.  Shamshi-Adad writes this letter to his son: "How much longer must we keep yo on a leading rein?  You are like a child, are you not a grown man, have you no hair on your cheek?  How much longer will you fail to direct your own household properly?"

Ancient Near Eastern Art, Dominique Collon

AD (610-641)

At the beginning of the 7th century Heraklios ascended the throne of the East-Roman Empire.   After he defeated the Persians and conquered Mesopotamia, he forced his way into Syria in 612 A.D.  In 629
A.D. he occupied Damascus. Following that he tried earnestly to restore the religious unity in his empire to unite the Syrian, Armenian, and Coptic Christians with the Byzantines. This happened on the one hand through promises and on the other hand through threats. Very often he used ruthless oppression through which many Syrians, Copts, and Armenians became martyrs. The persecution of the Syrian Church by the Byzantine Empire did not end until the appearance of Islam.

"A Short Overview of the Common History of the Syrian Church with Islam through the Centuries"
Patriarchal Journal Vol. 33 - June 1995 - No. 146, pp. 322-344.


February 12, 1852:   The first set of the Assyrian winged-bulls were put on display in London's British Museum of Art.  The colossal statues were discovered by the British archeologist Sir Henry Layard and his Assyrian assistant, Hormozd Rassam.  Rassam later went on to discover other Assyrian artifacts in northern Bet-Nahrain.

Feb 10

"The birth of the multinational: 2000 years of ancient business history, from Ashur to Augustus"
Prof Karl Moore 
6:00 PM
School of Oriental and African Studies
Russell Sq WC1. Brunei Gallery
Enquiries 020-7935-5379, e-mail PEFund@compuserve.com

Feb 19

"Symbolism in Assyrian art"
Paul Oakes
11.15 AM
British Museum, Great Russell St. WC1. 
Gallery talk in Room 19

Feb 19-20

Sponsored by the Assyrian Australian Academic Society
Members $120 and Non-members $145 
Beachcomber Pacific Resort
Toukley NSW (90 minutes North of Sydney) 
The buses will depart at 7am on the 19th and return at 4:45 pm on the 20th
For more information:
   Ramsin Jajoo - 0414 838 410
   Assyat David - 0419 469 076

Feb 28
"From the Dead Sea Scrolls to Arabic Birth Magic:  The Fallen Angels & Gilgamesh Rise Again"

A lecture by Professor Martin Schwartz
Contact:  510-642-8208

Mar 28

"Reading and writing cuneiform past and present"
Christopher Walker
6:30 PM
British Museum, Great Russell St. WC1. Lecture theatre.
Tickets 7.50 pounds
Contact 020 7323 8566

Apr 12

"Egypt through the Assyrian annals"
Paul Collins
6:00 PM
British Museum, Great Russell St. WC1. Lecture Theatre
EES and BM Dept. of Egyptian antiquities.
Non-EES members contact the EES 020 7242 1880

May 27

Double Tree Hotel
2:00 PM-10:00 PM PST
Organized by: Nineveh On Line
Click Here for more information
What is MIDI?  Click Here


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