Z I N D A   M A G A Z I N E

Volume VI                Issue I
Shvadt 22, 6749                                                                           February 22, 2000

T H I S   W E E K   I N   Z I N D A
The Lighthouse A Sigh of Relief
Good Morning Bet-Nahrain Mar Bidawid to Visit Vatican in March
News Digest An Assyrian National Congress Press Release
Pope's Visit Could Boost Christian Minorities in the Mid-East
Surfs Up "obsolete doctrination deprecated by the present renaissance"
Surfers Corner Deacon Badal Piro on Census 2000
Assyrian Surfing Posts Church of the East Priestly Liturgical Manual (Internet Edition)
The George M. Lamsa Library of Audio Taped Lectures
Assyrian Singer:  George Charbakhshi
Literatus An Ancient Warning
Bravo The Z-Crew
Milestones Germaine Badal Boucher
Pump Up the Volume Master & Servant
Back to the Future The Akkadian Immigrants and the Syriac Translators
This Week in History Assyrian Martyrdom at the Jewish Mount
Calendar of Events February 2000

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



This week, the sound of victory of the "Reformers" in Iran's general election was music to the ears of the Assyrian Universal Alliance members in the United States and Australia.  By winning 86 per cent of the votes counted so far, the reformers have won the majority of the seats in Iran's Majlis (Parliament). Furthermore, unconfirmed reports from Iran indicate that the AUA representative in Iran, Mr. Yonatan Bet-Kolia, has won the seat of the Assyrian Representative to Majlis.

Since the May 1997 election of the President Khatami, the AUA has been working toward strengthening its political dominance among the Assyrian constituency of the Islamic Republic of Iran.   In November 1998, AUA Secretary General, John Nimrod, and several other representatives of other Assyrian political parties traveled to Tehran to assemble at the annual AUA Congress.  To the astonishment of many political observers, President Khatami accepted John Nimrod's invitation to join the Congress on its Opening Day as its keynote speaker.  Khatami and Nimrod later discussed such issues as the rights of Christian minorities at workplace and the conditions of the Assyrian POWs from the Iran-Iraq War.

Shortly after Khatami's travels to Italy and France, the AUA's unique position in helping to diminish Iran's image as a clerical theocracy and religious dictatorship was threatened as the conservative hard-liners began to regain power in the government.  Last year, the liberalization policies of President Khatami met the religious hard-liners punch of disapproval and several "reformers", intellectuals, and dissenting students and writers were arrested.

With the majority of the seats in Majlis now in the hands of the reformers, the AUA can expect a slow but positive transformation toward a more open society in Iran.  For Khatami's government this translates to improving his country's image in the West and gradually expanding Iran's ties with the United States.  The popular leader of post-Khomeini Iran requires the support of his friends in the West, namely the leaders of the political organizations and the churches-- Mar Dinkha and Pope John Paul-- to initiate dialogue with the U.S. State Department.

The participation of the leaders of the Islamic governments in the Middle East and the former Soviet states (Russia, Ukraine, Georgia, and Armenia) at the upcoming Congress of the Assyrian Universal Alliance, to be held in Georgia, will be crucial in assessing Khatami and other Islamic states' desire to obtain the support of the Assyrian constituency in their struggle to enter the global free market.  




(ZNAF:  Rome)   His Holiness Mar Raphael I Bidawid, Patriarch of the Chaldean Catholic Church, will be carrying out a pilgrimage to Rome in March, according to the Vatican news agency Fides in an interview issued last week.  Mar Bidawid will be accompanied on his March 18 visit by 1,000 Iraqi faithful, both from within the sanctions-hit state and from the diaspora.

Pope John-Paul II in December canceled a planned pilgrimage to Iraq after Baghdad warned of security concerns in the face of almost daily bombing raids by US and British warplanes.  Last week the pontiff announced a special service, to be held Wednesday, so that he could carry out the pilgrimage to Ur "spiritually."  Msgr. Youssif Habbi, the Chaldean Patriarchal Vicar and Professor at the Pontifical Oriental Institute in Rome, explained that Catholics in Iraq are very enthusiastic and will join the Pontiff during this celebration, which will take place in the Vatican, following in Abraham's "footsteps."  Msgr. Habbi made these statements after presiding at a Mass for the closing of the "Ba 'utha Ninawa" feast,- the Rogation of Nineveh, attended by thousands of faithful who observed three days of fasting and prayer, which has become the most popular and solemn festivity of the Aramaic-speaking churches.

The feast ended with the above-mentioned papal surprise. "It could not have happened at a better time. The Lord does everything well, and this is a further sign of grace and blessing that will undoubtedly bear fruit. The Holy Father gives constant proof of a totally paternal love for the people and Church of Iraq," Msgr. Habbi said.

The Vicar gave the faithful the news during the Mass. "I read the joy in everyone's eyes the joy. They almost began to shout in Church. In spite of the sad situation and the consequences of the embargo, fortunately, we still have room for joy. Mother Teresa of Calcutta was right when she said that if the gift of ourselves doesn't make us suffer, it means that we are not living love as it must be lived. It has been a happy coincidence that the news came when the feast was being held to celebrate the Lord's love for his people, which our people organize with magnificent songs composed by St. Ephraim and other Fathers of the Church."

"The Chaldean Church has chosen this year, precisely on the feast of Rogation, to call the faithful to the conversion, renewal and prayer to which the Jubilee invites us, and many of my parishioners -- 20,000 in total -- broke the fast they kept over these days at the end of today's celebration. You can imagine, then, the effect of my announcement," Msgr. Habbi explained. The Vicar said that "Patriarch Bidawid will undoubtedly celebrate a solemn Mass and this afternoon (February 16) and there will be a discussion on the possibility of extending the celebrations to all the dioceses of the country, given that in the near future, on March 18, the Jubilee of the Chaldeans will be held, which is included in the Holy Year's official calendar." Msgr. Habbi indicated that this "spiritual" pilgrimage does not rule out a "physical" pilgrimage some time later in the year. "I wouldn't go so far. I remind everyone with whom I speak that the year 2000 is only beginning. We must hope against all hope, as St. Paul says. Moreover, one of the Jubilee's objectives is, precisely, hope," the Bishop emphasized.

There are those in Rome who feel the need to launch a Christian campaign against the embargo that lacerates the Iraqi people. Mar Bidawid told Fides that a similar service would be held in Baghdad's Saint Joseph Cathderal on the same day.  Iraq is home to about one million Christians among its population of 22 million, most of them members of the Chaldean Catholic Church and the Church of the East.



The Assyrian National Congress Press Release

February 18, 2000

In the past, the Assyrian people had offered supreme sacrifices and displayed outstanding acts of heroism in confronting plots and treachery committed against them. The battles fought by our people were neither easy nor short, but they were capable of waging it and surviving all calamities. “To be defeated and not to surrender, that is victory.”

This performance of our people comes in the forefront of the positive factors that evoke optimism and confidence in the future. The capabilities of our nation are unbounded and its will unconquerable. Such a degree of nationalist consciousness, endurance, and bravery offers a sure guarantee to continuity of the Assyrian Nation an at the same time an appeal to the Assyrian people to measure up to their responsibilities in frustrating the conspiratorial schemes to mask our true identity.

At the present time, the Assyrian Nation faces two alternatives, life and death, considering that life alternative involves the acceptance of challenges and rejecting conspiratorial and capitulationist designs. One such a challenge facing our people is the decision taken last May 1999 by the U.S. Bureau of the Census. The slashing formula, Assyrian/Chaldean/Syriac, adopted by the Bureau masks the true and historical identity of our nation. It goes against the national and political name of the Assyrian people. Following the policy of “divide and rule,” the Baath regime in Iraq adopted a similar formula in 1972 against the Assyrians. Since last June, the Assyrian National Congress has taken the lead to oppose the decision of the U.S. Bureau of the Census. The ANC is awaiting a new decision by the Bureau. It is also pursuing a legal complaint against the Bureau in a U.S. federal court to overturn the “slashing category.”

The ANC, being true to its name and objectives, was the first Assyrian organization to oppose and challenge this unjust decision. The ANC and its affiliates will persevere in their efforts to stop the implementation of the new category and return to the Assyrian Category of 1990. The ANC is thankful for the support it is getting from its affiliates, Assyrian clergy, Assyrian organizations, Assyrian internet services, and thousands of Assyrians who have filed petitions and sent letters and e-mails of protest to the U.S. Census Bureau. Compare this courageous and unprecedented stand of the Assyrian people with the timid reaction of certain “political” groups which have abandoned our glorious Assyrian name and succumbed to the conspiracy at hand. These groups are reaping the indignation of our people for abandoning our historic national and political name.

The Assyrian National Congress call upon all the Assyrians, including our beloved brothers and sisters in the Chaldean and Syrian churches, to stand firm against the “slashing” conspiracy to divide our nation. Our Assyrian Nation is living in a stage of resurgence and growth despite semblances which may, sometimes, delude the eyes from seeing the truth. This truth, this conception, coupled with the spirit of nationalism, are the most effective weapons for our people to be armed with, because it transfers them into the core of the course of the Assyrian history and in harmony with it. Let us steer through every storm, so long as our heart is right, our intentions fervent, our courage steadfast, and our trust fixed on God.

ANC, The Information Bureau


Courtesy of Nando Time; article written by Karin Laub- February 13, 2000

(ZNNT:  West Bank)  A 9-foot-tall red neon cross shines from the roof of Elias Taljiyeh's home in Bethlehem's Christian quarter, near Jesus' traditional birth grotto. Living in a now predominantly Muslim town, the Palestinian construction worker mounted the cross as a symbol of Christian pride. Some of his neighbors have affirmed their faith in the same way.

Taljiyeh and the people on Star Street belong to an imperiled minority whose ranks have been steadily thinned by conquest, conversion and emigration. A majority 15 centuries ago, Christians today make up only 2 percent of the population in the Holy Land.

Across the Middle East, Christian influence has waned, especially in areas of turmoil, such as Iraq and Lebanon. In Egypt, home to the largest Christian community - about 6 million Copts - numbers have held steady, but believers have been targeted by Islamic militants.

Still, with Mideast peace seemingly on the horizon, there are some signs the decline is slowing. And Pope John Paul II's trips to Egypt this month and to Israel and the Palestinian areas in March may be a morale boost, perhaps even a turning point.

"I hope this will give people encouragement to stay here, to live in the country of Jesus," said Nasreene Mishirki, a 26-year-old Roman Catholic who is a secretary in Jerusalem.

Christians in the Holy Land, most of them Arabs, weave a colorful tapestry. They belong to more than 60 ancient churches and newer groups, from the Syrian Orthodox who conduct services in Aramaic, the language of Jesus, to evangelical Protestant sects, a fairly new import from the United States. Some are devout. Others are Christian in name only, the label forced on them by a culture that views religion not as a private affair, but as a sign of tribal membership.

Some cling to tradition, like Anton Razzouk, a Copt, who tattoos believers in his Jerusalem souvenir shop with crosses as proof of pilgrimage, a service his ancestors provided free of charge 350 years ago. Others try to blend in, like Jack Khazmo, a Jerusalem publisher who made up neutral names in Arabic for his daughters, while their Christian names - Sarah, Anna and Mary - are tucked away with the baptism certificates.

Many worry about the future. Cheap housing and good jobs remain scarce - peace treaties have not brought the promised economic recovery - and the young are often forced to delay marriage or seek their fortune in exile. Joseph Habash, 56, a Jerusalem grocer, lost his three children to emigration. His two boys settled in Germany 17 years ago and his daughter moved to the United States. "They left because there is no life here," said Habash. Bernard Sabella, a sociologist at Bethlehem University, said more Christians with Holy Land roots now live abroad than in the land of their birth.

Half a century ago, Christians still accounted for more than 7 percent of the people between the Mediterranean and the Jordan River - 135,000 out of 1.8 million.

Tens of thousands fled during the 1948 Mideast war over Israel's creation. Since then, Christians have emigrated at a steady pace, though far fewer left Israel than the West Bank and Gaza Strip, which were wracked by another war, in 1967, and came under Israeli occupation at that time. George Abu Aita, 32, from Beit Sahour, a small Christian town near Bethlehem, moved to England 13 years ago to study. Then the intifada, the revolt against Israeli rule, swept the West Bank and Gaza. Universities were closed in areas that were hotbeds of violence, and thousands of Palestinians were imprisoned. Abu Aita saw no reason to head home after graduation.

He still doesn't. He owns a computer plant in Birmingham, and his homesickness is cured by two or three trips a year to Beit Sahour.

"You would really need to have a good reason to come back (for good)," Abu Aita said in accentless English as he sipped coffee in the lobby of a Bethlehem hotel.

Emigration slowed in recent years, as Israel and the Palestinians signed a number of interim peace accords; some expatriates have even returned. "If you ask people who intend to leave what will make them stay, they say they need peace, a secure future for their children," said Sabella, the sociologist.

Open borders with the Arab world could revive some smaller congregations, such as the Syrian Orthodox, the Lebanese Maronites and the Egyptian Copts. The top Syrian Orthodox cleric in the Holy Land, Metropolitan Mar Sewerios Malki Murad, said some in his flock of 7,000 defected to other denominations because ties to the mother church in Syria have been severed since the 1967 war.

If Israel and Syria reach a peace agreement, the Syrian-based patriarch and Syrian pilgrims could visit Jerusalem. "Every day will be like a feast here," said Murad, sporting a sweater in cardinal red over a black robe, his raven hair covered by a black hood embroidered with white double crosses.

But for now, those are just dreams. At the congregation's convent, St. Mark's, in the Old City of Jerusalem, Murad shared lunch - lamb stew on steaming bowls of rice - with three of his five monks, one 86 years old, another brought in from Iraq after protracted negotiations with Israeli authorities. Monks-to-be are not knocking on the convent's door. The community's Aramaic day school closed in 1967 for lack of money, space and students. For the churches, one's gain is another's loss, and rivalries over holy sites and real estate further undercut the Christians' bargaining position.

"The divisions among us make us easy prey," said Noha Taljiyeh, 20, a Bethlehem housewife and sister of Elias, the construction worker with the cross on his roof. Sitting in her family's small grocery on Star Street and deftly cracking pumpkin seeds between her front teeth, Taljiyeh said she wished clergymen could at least agree on one date for Christmas - now there are three - and share the holy sites without rancor.

For many Christians, guarding the turf is just one battle. Survival becomes even more complex when Israel or the Palestinian Authority are involved - or both, as is often the case in East Jerusalem, which was annexed by Israel after the 1967 war but is claimed by the Palestinians as a capital.

Khazmo, the publisher and a leading member of the Syrian Orthodox Church, said that in trying to protect the dwindling real estate assets of his congregation, he sometimes has to negotiate with Israeli officials - an implicit recognition of Israeli rule in East Jerusalem. As a Palestinian nationalist, he hopes the sector will one day become his people's capital. "I support a Palestinian role in East Jerusalem, but if you want to talk about reality, the Israelis are here," said Khazmo, who publishes a political news weekly, Al Bayader, which was banned from 1982 to 1986 by the Israeli military censor.

Christians have not suffered religious persecution by Israel or the Palestinian Authority, but relations are often ambivalent, or dictated by political gain.

In a recent dispute over a plot of land outside the Basilica of the Annunciation in Nazareth, Jesus' hometown in Israel, the Israeli government backed Muslim demands to build a mosque there. Angry Christians said the Muslims won because of greater electoral clout. Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat, an observant Muslim, has taken pains to portray himself as a worthy guardian of Christian interests. In the Nazareth dispute, he unexpectedly sided with the churches. Christians are represented beyond their numbers - 45,000 out of 2.5 million - in the Palestinian Cabinet and parliament.

Arafat has attended Christmas Eve celebrations in Bethlehem every year with his Christian wife, Soha, lighting the tree in Manger Square. All this, Arafat hopes, will bring international support when he tries to win control of East Jerusalem and its major Christian shrines in peace talks this year. For the Polish-born pope, his first visit to the Holy Land is a personal pilgrimage, and perhaps more important, an appeal to the region's Christians to stay put.

If the message is not heard, "there is worry among many people that the Christian holy sites might become museums," said Wadie Abunassar, a Roman Catholic Church spokesman in Jerusalem.

Z-Crew:  Mazin Enwiya


Assyrians, A Self-Deluded People -- With sorrowful heartache I am once more heavily burdened, as deduced from the apathetic status quo of the disorderly dispersed Assyrians, to divulge the very facts of how this self-deluded people are quite insensibly plunging into inescapable non-existence. As a matter of fact it is obligingly reasonable to say, that the melancholy rivalism the Assyrians are involved in, may arouse the dormant Assyrian to unshackle himself from being further entwined in chaotic destructiveness caused by superstitious leaders whose whole obscure whims are never beyond personal interest.

Arise gentle Assyrians and desist from following credulous exhortations imparted to you by self-opinionated teachers who are straining to persuade the masses to remain subservient to an absolutely obsolete doctrination deprecated by the present renaissance. How long, dear Assyrian, will you defy reason and be in subordination to superstitious dissentions preached by unscrupulous leaders? The most essential measure, as required by the desperate situation the Assyrians are involved in, would be to foster a formidable unification among the discordant political parties, as well as, the religious dignitaries. This is the only way to enable this shattered people to have a chance to reanimate their failing national life-force and to be able to support the bravery of those in Northern Iraq who are so persistently amid ferocious odds; preserving the very sanctuaries of our forefathers.

Dear Assyrians, be extremely resolute in refusing or disobeying the flimsy tales of those unpolished persons whose assertions are always to intensify the feeling of diversity among the masses. These individuals are absolutely prejudicial to the integrity of the present Assyrians.

In conclusion, I would say the Assyrian ethnic entity needs crucial sacrifice to maintain its validity, which is so far unrecognized by the UN.

Shamasha Yousef Zaya



February 16, 2000

 As a Deacon for the Holy Apostolic Catholic Assyrian Church of the East for the last 10 years, I have tried not to associate with Assyrian political organizations due to my personal views. I have always felt that the politics of our nation should be left to the politicians, while the religious and educational matters remain in the hands of the clergy. However, due to the debate caused by questions regarding our Assyrian name and identity, I feel that it is my duty and responsibility, not only as a true-blooded Assyrian but also as a member of the clergy, to educate my own people and church members, as well as others regarding this matter. Our Assyrian political organizations now are voicing their concerns regarding the year 2000 census. However, many of these organizations were very late in taking the appropriate actions expected by virtually all Assyrians. Furthermore, without regard for their ancient past and the atrocities perpetrated against the Assyrian nation, and without concern for what example they are setting for future Assyrian generations, some of the representatives of these organizations were among those willing to sacrifice our name and identity by accepting the Assyrian/Chaldean/Syriac title for the census. This angered me tremendously and made me very ashamed of their actions.

Therefore, I would like to clarify this matter and offer the insight of an Assyrian born and educated in the United States with a deep respect, conviction and concern for his church and nation's past and future. I am 27 years old and have both a B.S. and M.S. degree in Physiology from U.C. Davis. More importantly, my father is Monsignor (Chorepiscopa) Badal S. Piro, who for 30 years was the officiating priest at Mar Addai Parish in Turlock, CA. Therefore, one can see that I am not only educated in secular matter from a prestigious university, but I have an impeccable training in the theological and historical fields of our church and nation. First and foremost, we are ASSYRIANS. No other name, identity, ancestry, and ethnicity better describes us. Although we belong to various Christian denominations, the binding factor that keeps us together is our nationality and language. This is something that we must never feel ashamed of and denounce. More importantly, we must never allow it to be corrupted by political and religious groups working for their own selfish agendas. As Assyrians, we owe this not only to our sacred forefathers that suffered and died because of their nation and Christian faith, but also to our children, who one day will be the representatives of our people throughout the countries of the world. We are all brothers and sisters and children of Mother Assyria.

Secondly, those factions that would like to elevate the term "Chaldean" to the national status given to the Assyrian race as well as other nationalities, are doing so as a way of denying their own ancestry. Were they not Assyrians before converting to Roman Catholicism during the 16th century? Were they not all members of the Assyrian Church of the East for centuries before Papal encroachment into the Middle East? Did they not all recognize the Catholicos-Patriarch of the Assyrian Church of the East as the head of their faith and nation? During the 1990 census, did these people not check the "Assyrian only" category? Then explain to me as well as all other Assyrians how within the last decade, a new nationality/people developed claiming themselves as Chaldeans. The Chaldean church and its hierarchy falsely claim they are descendants of the ancient Babylonians. We all know this is a sham to promote their divisive cause, and we should not be fooled by their erroneous claims. The Chaldean name was placed upon those Assyrians who converted to Roman Catholicism (due to Papal influence of varying degrees) by Pope Eugene IV in the 16th century, in order to distinguish them from their Assyrian brothers and sisters who steadfastly remained in the faith they had received from the Apostles. The Assyrian Catholics were forced to recognize the "Patriarch of Babylon of the Chaldeans" as their new head. The Church of the East Assyrians were called "Nestorians" because of their unwillingness to excommunicate St. Nestorius (Patriarch of Constantinople, 428-431 A.D.) due to his theological views hundreds of centuries before. Although members of both churches are Assyrian and of Assyrian descent, until this day these false and inappropriate titles have only deepened the divide between our churches, possibly eliminating all hope of unifying our nation.

The question regarding the Assyrian Church of the East, also called the "Nestorian Church" needs to be addressed at this time. Neither Nestorius nor his followers founded the Assyrian Church of the East in Persia. This is a misconception actively spread by the Roman Catholic Church and believed by many Assyrians. Rather, the Orthodox theology Nestorius preached was that of the Assyrian Church, founded centuries before his birth. He believed that the Virgin Mary should not be called the "Mother of God" rather she should be called the "Mother of Christ". Additionally, he did not claim the existence of 2 persons in Jesus Christ, as the Roman Catholics and Chaldeans falsely maintain. In contrast, he believed in the dual natures of Christ, one divine and one human, each performing their own purpose in the one man Jesus. Rome therefore placed the misnomer of "Nestorian" and "Nestorian Church" upon the Assyrian Church of the East, as a way of demeaning our faith and denomination for not bowing to Roman influence in the Middle East. St. Nestorius is considered by the Assyrian Church of the East as a martyr who suffered for Christianity and the true Orthodox faith without shedding blood. Many ancient theologians of the Holy Apostolic Catholic Assyrian Church of the East have commented on this matter, stating that St. Nestorius was not of our race, his features were not like ours, he did not speak our ancient Aramaic language, and by the time he was born, our church had a developed faith and theology that was spreading like wildfire throughout Persia, the Middle East, and Asia due to its missionary zeal. Thus, Nestorius' theology supported what the Church had been preaching centuries before, and not the other way around as claimed by Rome.

Thirdly, the term Chaldean denotes a religious denomination rather than an ethnic group, as explained above, and the word Syriac is a dialect of the Aramaic language. Thus, it is ignorant and utterly ridiculous, and unconstitutional according to the United States of America, to elevate a religious denomination, especially one less than 400 years old, to the status accorded to nationalities and races. Throughout my hometown of Turlock, CA., as well as the rest of the United States, Assyrians belong to various Christian denominations, such as Church of the East, Presbyterian, Evangelical, and Catholic, to name a few. Yet all of them proudly state that they are Assyrian, and for whatever reason they have splintered into different churches, they never deny their glorious and ancient past. We are blessed that we no longer live in countries where persecution and religious and ethnic discrimination is a normal way of life. Dear reader, think of our oppressed brothers and sisters living in Northern Iraq, with no food, money, education, or decent shelter! With all of the freedoms we have in this country, how can we let our ancestry, identity, name, and language slip right through our hands!?

This is the time for all of us to forget our petty political and religious squabbles and stand up together as one and fight for our race and identity. I am proud to be an Assyrian, and whatever decisions are made regarding the 2000 census, I shall never deny who I was and who I am. Therefore, I urge all members of the Assyrian family to make your voices heard to your Assyrian political organizations, your churches, US district representatives, as well as the United States Census Bureau and demand an "Assyrian Only" category. And for those that would like to deny their ancestry and heritage and want to corrupt the pure Assyrian name by adding Chaldean or Syriac, do so independently from the Assyrian category. For it is people like you, those that promote division, that do more damage and harm to our nation than any outside force. We must never allow these types of individuals, many of whom who are uneducated, to speak on behalf of our great nation.

Deacon John Badal Piro, B.S., M.S.
Turlock, California


Germaine Badal Boucher

60, passed away on January 8th in Hayward, California.  Germaine was a member of the Assyrian Church of the East in San Francisco and the Assyrian Foundation of America in Berkeley.   She is survived by her sister Florence Adam; and brothers Phrydon, Alfred, and Ferdinand Badal.

Links to Other Assyrian Websites



If a king does not heed the justice of his land, Ea king of destinies
   will change his destiny and keep after him with adverse intent.
If he does not heed his nobles, his days will be short.
If he does not heed a minister, his land will rebel against him...
From a Babylonian tablet found at King Ashurbanipal Library in Nineveh



What better way to celebrate our birthday than to celebrate our team at Zinda Magazine.  Very briefly, we would like to introduce our "News & Information" team that brings you the articles and news feeds every week without interruption (you really don't want to know about our insane "techies" shown on this week's cover photo).   The final draft is then sent to our "Technical" team that transforms our writings into HTML, JPEGS, and Hyperlinks.  It takes nearly 50 hours of research, editing, and design to produce a single issue of Zinda Magazine.  Zinda Magazine is truly the result of the dedication of over 20 volunteer reporters, researchers, artists, and editors.

Thank you Z-Crew and thank you Z-readers for making us the most influential Assyrian medium of information.

* * *

R.C. Samo
RC was born in 1978 in San Francisco and grew up in Huntington Beach, California.  He's currently a Senior at San Francisco State University, double majoring in Journalism and Ancient History with an emphasis in the Near East.

Mazin Enwiya
Mazin was born in Baghdad in 1964.  He was sent to Italy to receive his High School education.  After spending nearly 3 years in Italy, his family emigrated to the US, where he earned a B.S. in Geology and M.S. in Environmental Science. In 1995, Mazin married Helen Khoushaba and they just recently had their first child- better known as the first Z-Baby.  Mazin is currently employed by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency as an Environmental Scientist.

Adrin Takhsh
Adrin was born into a politically-active family in Iran.  She is currently working towards her Masters in Political Science and Ethnology from Free University of Berlin.  If not working on her thesis or arguing with her professors, Adrin is usually somewhere in Germany lecturing on the status of Assyrian woman and helping the Assyrian Aid Society in Germany.

Firas Jatou
Firas refers to Assyria as his place of birth.  Our 30-year-old Toronto-resident is married and has a Masters degree in Electromagnetics from University of Toronto and works as a Senior Design Engineer at Amphenol Canada.  Firas moved to Canada in 1982.  He is credited with the establishment of the first major Assyrian website, Assyria Online, in late 1994.  He was also among the half-dozen readers of the first issue of ZENDA Magazine.  We've come a long way since those early days of 14.4 Baud modems.

Juliet George
Our resident Miss Numbers is a Forecast Analyst at E & J Gallo Winery in Modesto.  She has a B.A. in Mathematics and M.S. in Statistics.  When not taking care of her baby-boy Nicholas, Juliet writes about her observations of the Assyrian social activities in California's Central Valley and teaches at the St. Thomas Assyrian Church in Turlock.

Raman Mikhael
Go to any Assyrian chat room or email server at any time and there is a good chance that Raman is there to welcome you.  Born in 1963 in Dora (a mainly Assyrian town) in Baghdad he is the 7th of 8 children in the Michae family that emigrated to the U.S. in 1974.  He received a B.S. in Mathematics and Computer Science from the University of Illinois at Chicago in 1990.  Raman is a computer programmer/analyst and is also involved with the Assyrian Academic Society and the Assyrian International News Agency.  He's currently the Technical Editor of the Journal of the
Assyrian Academic Society (JAAS) and chairman of their Public Programs committee.  Raman is married and is an accomplished painter of Assyrian themes.

Michelle Badal
Michelle obtained her B. S. in Electrical Engineering from San Jose State University and is currently working as a product marketing engineer in a semiconductor company in Silicon Valley. Her past and present involvement in the Assyrian Community include membership in AANYA, Assyrian American Association of San Jose, and Maestro Issabey's Ninevah Choir.  Michelle is very interested in fine arts and art history.  She draws, paints, and takes drawing and art history/philosophy classes.

Marian Younan
Marian was born in "Bet Nahrain" and moved to the West at the age of 7. While her memories of Iraq are distant, Marian carries a love for her homeland that is uncompromising. Marian graduated from the University of California, Davis two years ago. After working as a radio news reporter, she was recently appointed Associate Vice President of Public Relations at a high-tech marketing firm. Her activities in the Assyrian community include frequent submissions to Zinda Magazine and Ninveh Online. She is also known for her poetry, which has been published in the Journal of Assyrian Academic Society (JAAS) and Nabu Quarterly. Marian was elected Secretary to the National Executive Committee of the AANF in 1996, making her the youngest person to rise to such a position. Currently, Marian helps the efforts of the Assyrian Aid Society and the Assyrian Democratic Movement (Zowaa), which according to her, are "the true modern day warriors."

David Chibo
Our 27-year-old Design Engineer is also Chairperson of the Assyrian Youth Group of Victoria in Australia.  In his free time he writes for Nakosha Magazine, transforms Assyrian letter fonts to the UNICODE standard, and translates a 167 A.D. New Testament Bible written in Estrangelo.  David says that he's most inspired by King Ashurbanipal and the inscription that he had engraved onto the entrance to the first library in the world, at Nineveh:  “For the sake of distant days” - Ashurbanipal 635 B.C.

Evelyn Enwiya
Evelyn is a second year law student studying at DePaul University in Chicago, specializing in International Human Rights Law under the guidance of Prof. M. Cherif Bassiouni, 1999 Nobel Peace Prize nominee. When not participating at the International law conferences in Europe and Washington D.C., Evelyn digs into the Internet news sources for our Good Morning Bet-Nahrain and News Digest sections.

Attiya Gamri
With Attiya the business of Assyrian Cause is a serious business.  She travels extensively to the Middle East and reports on the conditions of the Assyrian communities in Iran, Syria, and northern Iraq.  Attiya is a reporter for the Assyrian television program aired through MED-TV.   Here's an advice from the rest of the Z-Crew:  Don't let Attiya catch you idle and not taking care of THE business of the day- everyday.  Attiya lives in Holland.

Matay Arsan
The other member of our Dutch Connection is an active participant at the Assyrian political and cultural activities in Europe, and an incredibly active reporter for Zinda Magazine.  Oh, and did we mention that he is a medical student in Holland?  Our Z-Crew looks forward to free medical care in the near future :)

Maha Hermes
Maha is usually somewhere between San Francisco, New York and Berlin when she's not promoting Zinda Magazine and our upcoming multimedia products.  She recently accepted a position at a start-up company in Silicon Valley and will be helping Zinda in its major 2000 marketing campaign.

From all of us at Zinda Magazine, thank you for reading Zinda!  We look forward to 5, no 50, more years of serving our readers throughout the world!



BC (2800)

There is hardly any data on the first migration of speakers of early Akkadian language in Mesopotamia.  Whether the movement of Akkadian-speaking people into Mesopotamia took place around this time or much earlier, we do not know.

Babylonians, Saggs

AD (815)

The Syriac-speaking scholars, Hunain ibn Ishaq, Thabit ibn Qurrah, and Ibn Muqaffa, begin the translation of Greek and Syriac works into Arabic at Baghdad's Bait al-Hikmah (House of Wisdom), built by caliph al-Mamun.

Science & Civilization in Islam, Nasr


February 23, 1915:   The Ottoman soldiers attack the Catholic Mission in Urmia and arrest sixty Assyrian youth activists who had taken refuge at the Mission.  The youth were moved to an area of the city known as the Jewish Mount and immediately executed.


Feb 27

Ninous Aho 
Yosip Bit Yosip
Benyamin Malko 
Kouroosh Bit Yosip 

7:00 p.m. 
Almaden Community Center 
Camden Avenue,  next to Camden public Library 
Admission is free
Refreshments will be served

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

June 26-30

Department of Semitic Studies
University of Sydney


Jacklin Bejan......................California.............Calendar of Events
Sheren Jasim..........................Chicago...............................Surfs Up!
Shamasha Lawrance Namato............Chicago.....................Assyrian Surfing Posts

Zinda Magazine thanks Mr. William Mikhail for sending a copy of the book "History of the Church of the East" written by Metropolitan Mar Aphrim of India and translated to Arabic by Mr. Mikhail.


ZINDA Magazine is published every Tuesday.  Views expressed in ZINDA do not necessarily represent those of the ZINDA editors, or any of our associated staff.  This publication reserves the right, at its sole discretion, not to publish comments or articles previously printed in or submitted to other journals. ZINDA reserves the right to publish and republish your submission in any form or medium. All letters and messages  require the name(s) of sender and/or author. All messages published in the SURFS UP! section must be in 500 words or less and bear the name of the author(s). Distribution of material featured in ZINDA is not restricted, but permission from ZINDA is required.  This service is meant for the exchange of information, analyses and news. To subscribe, send e-mail to: zenda@ix.netcom.com.

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