Z I N D A  M A G A Z I N E
Neesan 18, 6750                  Volume VI                      Issue 8                     April 18, 2000

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T H I S   W E E K   I N   Z I N D A
The Lighthouse Seyfo Hungerstrikes & Demonstrations
Good Morning Bet-Nahrain A Christian Political Party in Baghdad?
Mor Zakka I Iwas Returns to Damascus
News Digest Swedish Parliament Recognizes Armenian-Assyrian Genocide
Surfs Up "you published an inaccurate news"
Surfers Corner Ashur Bet-Sargis to Perform in Europe
Milestones Katherine Bliss Anderer
Assyrian Surfing Posts Photos from the Kha b'Neesan 6750 Parade in Chicago
Mesopotamia:  A History Sourcebook
Literatus On the Northern Frontiers of Northern Iraq
Bravo Habib Afram
Pump Up the Volume Brain and Head
Back to the Future Ancient Budget Sheet & the Bakuba Camp
This Week in History To Mandan
Calendar of Events April 2000

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



Action in the form of hunger strikes and demonstrations is being held towards the commemoration of the 85th year of the genocide of the Assyrian-Suryoyo-Chaldean-Aramean people in the year 1915.

The most horrible crimes against humanity marked their place in world history as genocides, where whole communities and peoples were brought to the edge of extinction. Those who survived and escaped these tragedies, were condemned to live the rest of their lives with the darkest memories. It is known that history will repeat itself, if it is not researched and taught.

One of the nations that experienced this bitter tragedy is the ASSYRIAN-SURYOYO people. Our people who contributed so much world civilization, to human morals and values is unique in itself. However, the ruling powers brought a dark cloud of destruction, oppression, and flight over the Assyrians-Suryoye. After the chaotic days of the French Revolution, Europe brought forth three world powers: France, Russia and Great Britain. These powers managed to divide the world between themselves; the political era of Colonies all over the world reached its highest point. At the beginning of the 19th century however, a new power emerged: Germany. It tried to get a piece of the world power as well, but there was no room left. This resulted in one outcome: WAR! The first symptoms were the wars in the Balkans, Marokko and the Krim. The giant Ottoman empire was breaking up on the verge of crumbling.

This brought new alliances to life: Germany-Turkey , who tried to become a world power with their "Berlin-Baghdad Line" in mind. For this plan, 1,5 Million Armenians and at least 500.000 Assyrians-Suryoye had to be slaughtered by the "Young Turks" during World War I. The genocide on the Assyrian-Suryoye nation began: A wild storm of indescribable cruelties and massacres swept over this innocent Christian nation.

The injustice continued: During the Peace Conference in Lausanne the Assyrians-Suryoye were betrayed, denied and divided between new formed states which brought new massacres to those who survived the previous ones: The Assyrians-Suryoye of Hakkari where massacred by the Young Turks and the Assyrians-Suryoye of Simele by the Arab nationalists.

What was left were broken people raped from all their properties, rights and human dignity. The flight to the western world began, which brought another danger, that of assimilation. But it brought also FREEDOM OF SPEECH!!!!!

We are still alive and we demand our justice! The hunger strikes and demonstrations in the streets of Europe are the sign of the new awakening of the Assyrians-Suryoye:

1998, Brussels ( Belgium): Hunger strikes and Demonstration!

1999, Koln ( Germany) -Stockholm ( Sweden): Hunger strikes and Demonstrations!

Contacts were established with the local and national authorities, and they attracted the attention of the mass media. All this resulted in an official invitation in March 2000 by the European Parliament to present the Assyrian-Suryoyo National question.

Ladies and Gentlemen, the 24th of April is arriving!  Exactly 85 years ago our Assyrian-Suryoyo people were massacred.  From today, Monday 17th until Saturday the 24th of April, two HUNGER STRIKES are being held in Sodertalje (Sweden) and in Enschede (The Netherlands). At least 45 persons are participating in each of the hunger strikes. The hunger strikes will end in two mass demonstrations in Stockholm and in Brussels.

On the 18th of April a conference on the Assyrian-Suryoyo genocide, organized by "the Assyrians-Chaldeans-Suryoye-Union" (ACSU), will be held in Stockholm, Sweden.

The programme follows:

10:00 a.m. Opening speech by "ACSU"-representative : O. Kaldoyo
10:30 a.m. Lecture on "Genocides" by Prof. Dr. Tomislav Dulic, Uppsala University
11:10 a.m. Lecture on "Respect and Tolerance" by L. Kantor, Stockholm University
11.45 a.m. Lecture the "Sayfo-Genocide by Sociol-Antropologist U. Bjorklund, Stockholm Universtiy
1:45 p.m. Account on the Sayfo by a 95 old survivor of the genocide of 1915
3:00 p.m. Opinion of the Swedish politicians present at the conference
4:00 p.m. Open forum with the Swedish politicians
5:00 p.m. Evaluation and Ending speech

The Assyrians-Suryoye demand JUSTICE and RECOGNITION!

Matay Arsan

* * * * *
A Press Release
8 April, 2000
To the World Public,

Eighty five years have passed since that bitter catastrophe of the great genocide against the Assyrian-Suryoye people in Asia Minor, the Ottoman Empire in 1915, and during the following years of WWI. The wounds however inflicted in those times which mark one of the darkest epochs of our history and all the pains caused by this have been passed on from generation to generation and are to be felt and soaring still today.  Although the genocide of 1915 had such a deep impact on the Assyrian-Suryoye people as to shake it in its fundaments this tragic fate and these terrible facts have remained largely unknown to the world public hitherto.

In a phase of globalization when boundaries and differences between people and between countries are lifted past and present genocides have come forth into the sphere of responsibility of all mankind. This applies especially today as the European Union (EU) has extended its boundaries, has widely opened the doors for Turkey and has intensively addressed the Near and the Middle East. Against this background the genocide of 1915 and following which constitutes a crime against humanity has meanwhile become also an European problem.

Today as we are approaching the 21st century there is everywhere talk of peace among individual human beings as well as among peoples and nations. In this spirit many powers and forces which have committed and are still committing crimes against humanity and which pose a danger to global peace are held accountable for their deeds. In the first months of the year 2000 the Holocaust against the Jews was once again set on the agenda of social and political dealings. In this connection many European states have apologised and asked forgiveness according to their guilt and active involvement in those terrible crimes.

However the genocide perpetrated against the Assyrian-Suryoye people remained unaddressed and/or simply forgotten. On this issue there is only dead silence. But in order to reveal and to clear up also this genocide states, international institutions and bodies as well as the world public have to open their eyes and to responsibly fulfill the task resting upon their shoulders. We demand the recognition of that genocide of 1915 and following during which more than 500,000 innocent people ­ i.e. TWO THIRD of the Assyrian-Suryoye people ­ were barbarously murdered, and that there shall be justice done by condemning the responsible Ottoman Turks and the feudal Kurds and furthermore by calling Turkey - being the legal successor of the Ottoman Empire - to account. Against that background we appeal to the world public to show solidarity with the Assyrian-Suryoye people and its just existence struggle for national survival and to come in active support for our demands below: Under the guidance of the United Nations (UN) and the European Union (EU) the said genocide of 1915 and following shall be brought onto international platforms for which purpose special conferences are to be set up.

Recognition of the national identity of the Assyrian-Suryoye people Recognition of the national, social and cultural rights of the Assyrian-Suryoye people irrespective of its place of residence.

The recognition of the genocide of 1915 and following against our people by today's Turkey as the legal successor of the Ottoman Empire and the full assumption by Turkey of her moral, conscientious, political, social and economic responsibility for all those crimes which were then perpetrated against the Assyrians-Suryoye as well as for all those crimes which she has been committing against our people until today.

The immediate stop of the national, social and cultural oppression against us, stop of the policy of annihilation against our Assyrian-Suryoye people and stop of the policy of denial of our national existence as well as the international support for fighting those intolerable abuses and injustices.

With shock, anger and resentment we condemn the perpetrators of the genocide 1915 and following which has left a great bleeding wound in the heart of the Assyrian-Suryoye people. Furthermore we appeal to every individual invoking peace, humanity and justice to condemn this genocide and to support the just struggle of the Assyrian-Suryoye people.

Co-ordination Committee for National Issues of the Assyrian-Suryoye people
2000 Hungerstrikes & Demonstrations




(ZNRF:  Baghdad)  According to a Radio Free Europe report published last week "informed Iraqi sources" were quoted by the London-based "Al-Zaman" newspaper, that soon an announcement is expected in Baghdad concerning the Baath party's formation of three political parties: a Nasirite, a Communist, and a Christian party.  As expected neither of the parties is expected to play a significant role in Iraq's political life.

The Iraqi Communist Party will be headed by Yusuf Hamdan, a former leader of the banned Iraq Communist Party. The Nasirite National Party will be led by Dr. Wamid Umar Nazmi; and the Christian Democratic Party by the archeologist Dr. Bahnam Abu-Al-Suf.

Report written by David Nissman for Radio Free Europe


Courtesy of the Syrian Orthodox Church News

(ZNSO:  Damascus)   On April 11, His Holiness Mor Ignatius Zakka I Iwas left the theological seminary at Udayagiri in India and returned from Nedumbassery to Damascus via Mumbai (Bombay). His Holiness and the metropolitans arrived at the Akaparambu Mar Shabor Aphroth Church where they were given a royal reception. After leading lenten prayers, His Holiness addressed the gathering and expressed his gladness in visiting the birthplace and parish church of the late Malankara Metropolitan Mor Athanasius Paulose. A large gathering lead by the metropolitans of the Malankara Church assembled at the Nedumbassery International Airport to see off the Patriarch of Syrian Orthodox Church and the metropolitans who accompanied him.



Press release from the Parliament Group of the Left Party of Sweden
14 April, 2000

The Genocide on the Armenian People is not forgotten!

The Holocaust Conference in January of this year in Stockholm was mainly dedicated to the remembrance of the Nazi genocide of the Jews in Europe during the Second World War. The Holocaust Conference did not observe other genocides which have occurred during the 20th century. It is important that other genocides and mass murders executed by different regimes will not fall into oblivion. We must investigate the mechanisms and structures behind genocides as a historical phenomenon. Condemnation is not enough. We must find out why genocides occur, Mr. Murad Artin, Left Party Representative and Member of the Swedish Parliament said when the Swedish Parliament on the 29th of March 2000 decided to formally recognize the genocide of the Armenians and the Assyrians, which occurred when the Ottoman Empire collapsed.

Mr. Artin also declared: "Unlike many other countries, the Turkish state does not recognize its crimes in the past, despite the fact that those are very well substantiated. A state which refuses to confront its past, its history, will get difficulties in coping with many problems of today."

The decision in the Swedish Parliament was a result of a member's bill initiated by Mr. Artin and supported by many parties (Left Party, Moderate Party, Christian Democratic Party, Centre Party, Liberal Party and Green Party).

The Committee on Foreign Affairs of the Swedish Parliament states in its committee report, which the Parliament accepted as its own on the 29th of March 2000:

"An official statement and recognition ot the Genocide of the Armenians is important and necessary. In 1985, the UN and the European Parliament established the fact that the Ottoman Empire had committed genocide against the Armenian People in the beginning of the 20th century. The Committee on Foreign Affairs is of the opinion that the greater openness that Turkey presents, the stronger Turkey’s democratic identity will be. It is therefore important that unbiassed, independent and international research on the genocide that affected the Armenian people will be accomplished. It is of great importance that an increasing openness and historical understanding of the events of 1915 and thereafter can be developed. An improvement in this respect would also be of importance for the stability and the development in the whole Caucus region.”

It is excellent that the Committee on Foreign Affairs as a whole, the Swedish Parliament and all political parties in Sweden now support this Statement. It is also of great importance that Prime Minister Göran Persson, in his concluding speech at the Holocaust Conference in January, declared that during future annual conferences other genocides will be investigated.

For further information please contact:

Hans Arvidsson 0046-8-786 46 61        e-mail: hans.arvidsson@riksdagen.se
Murad Artin 0046-8-7864449                e-mail: murad.artin@riksdagen.se
Address: Riksdagen, 100 12 Stockholm, Sweden


In the April 4th issue you published an inaccurate news regarding the celebration of the Assyrian New Year in Erbil.  Zinda Magazine stated that two big celebrations were organized in Erbil and Ankawa by BNDP and APP respectively and 6,000 Assyrians gathered in Ankawa which gives the impression that APP has organized a 6,000 celebration party in Ankawa. I, and this is my personal point of view, found it very disturbing to publish such an inaccurate information in your respected magazine. It was better that the Zinda staff spend some effort and listen to Ashur Radio and hear the whole truth directly from our home land rather than from doubtful sources. The truth is that Ankawa celebration, AS IT IS EVERY YEAR, is organized by ZOWAA who is the leader of our people at home.  Moreover, the figure was around 9,000 Assyrians in Ankawa and the video tapes of the celebration will soon reach U.S. to prove my point and I challenge BNDP-Mr. Sargon Dadisho branch and APP to prove their claims and provide us with video tapes of their "thousands of Assyrians" celebration any where in the world. I look forward to see more accurate news in your most Assyrian informative magazine and to correct the damage you did upon the people who give their lives for the sake of our great nation at home. Otherwise, the credibility of Zinda will be put on line.  Please accept my full respects and regards. God Bless The Assyrian Nation.

Amanoil Y. Korel



The Assyrian Aid Society in Europe will be organizing various musical performances by the legendary Assyrian vocalist, Ashur Bet-Sargis throughout Europe, until the middle of May.  Bet-Sargis' first concert was on held on the Assyrian New Year's Day (April 1) in Wiesbaden, Germany where more than 300 Assyrians and their friends enjoyed his music and celebrated the beginning of the Assyrian year 6750.

One week later, the Assyrian Aid Society celebrated the Assyrian New Year and the 21st Anniversary of the founding of Assyrian Democratic Movement (Zowaa) in Holland.  Ashur Bet-Sargis delighted a large crowd in Hengelo, Holland.

Fans of Bet-Sargis music can meet this great entertainer at the following concerts in Europe:

April 23
in Essen
6:30 pm
Langemarckstr. 9

April 30
in Berlin, celebrating the Syrian Orthodox Easter
Großer Saal unter der Kirche am Hohenzollern Platz
Nassauische Straße 67 in Berlin
7:30 pm
Adults: 20,-DM
Children, from 8-15: 10,-DM

For more information please contact:
E-Mail: atakhsh@zedat.fu-berlin.de
Tel:    0179-29 111 93

The proceeds from this party will be sent to our Assyrian Children in Nord Irak (northern Iraq), in particular to the Nsibin School in Nohadra (Dohuk).

May 13
No further information at press time

Ashur zum Singen in Deutschland und in Österreich

Christlich Assyrische Kinder in Nord Irak brauchen unsere Hilfe!!  Wußte Sie, daß wir Assyrische Schulen im Nord Irak haben, in denen unsere Kinder ALLE FÄCHER in der SYRISCHEN SPRACHE lernen?  Assyrischer Hilfsverein versucht mit verschiedenen Programme diese Schulen zu unterstützen!

Der Assyrische Hilfsverein e.V. lädt Sie zu einer Feier mit dem berühmten Assyrischen Sänger; Ashur Bet Sargis

am: 23.04.2000 um 18:30
in: Langemarckstr. 9

Zum Ersten Mal in Berlin:
Der Assyrische Hilfsverein in Deutschland ladet Sie zu einer Feier mit dem berühmten Assyrischen Sänger; Ashur Bet Sargis in Berlin ein

am: 30.04.2000, feiern wir alle zusammen den Syrisch Orthodoxen Ostern
Einlass: 19:30 Uhr
Adresse: Großer Saal unter der Kirche am Hohenzollern Platz
Nassauische Straße 67 in Berlin

Erwachsene: 20,-DM
Kinder ab 12: 10,-DM

Für weitere Informationen schreiben Sie bitte an:
E-Mail: atakhsh@zedat.fu-berlin.de
oder rufen Sie an:
Tel: 0179-29 111 93

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

Die nächste Veranstalltung mit dem berühmten Sänger, Ashur Bet Sargis wird
am 13.05.2000 in Östereich

Stattfinden, mehr Informationen dazu wird so bald wie möglich veröffentlicht!!


Katherine Bliss Anderer

Born to James and Shamiran Anderer of San Francisco on January 7, 2000


Links to Other Assyrian Websites



Historical Parallels

As the Assyrian/Chaldean/Syriac people debate their fate and national rights in their homeland of Bet-Nahrin and northern Bet-Nahrin has once again become the focus of their national aspiration, it is very useful to look back and see what one of their giant national martyrs from the past century wrote about the same region in 1925.

The following is the original article of Martyr Dr. Fraidoon Atturaya published in "Zarya Vostoka", a Soviet newspaper and re-published in Meltha Magazine, Vol. 2., No. 1, 1996. The article accompanies an introduction by Mr. Ronald Bidjamov, an Assyrian-Russian commentator from Moscow. While the world has changed significantly since then, there are still much to learn about the events that shaped the Assyrian history in the first quarter of 20th century -- from an "Assyrian" national perspective.

Tony Khoshaba

To the Reader

Recently some Assyrian and other newspapers have published a number of articles about the so called "Mosul issue". It is not just a casual concern for this issue bears on the economics of at least three countries of the region. Today it is 70 years since Iraq included Mosul Vilayett in its boundaries, but certain political circles in and beyond this region are trying to resume the "Mosul issue" in pursuit of some political goals.

It is known that Assyrians were a real political force of the period when they positively worked for the decision over the Mosul issue in 1926. Yes, it was the "Assyrian factor" that turned the scales. Great Britain managed to keep for its mandated Iraq its "favored North", while Turkey took it out on Assyrians taking hold on their native lands in the Hakkiari mountains.

The current position of Assyrian public organizations, political parties and prominent national workers on this problem is known.

They all, as a rule, work for the united Iraq. On the other hand, some Assyrian "politicians" among those fighters in the immigration can be engaged in some unscrupulous games against their own nation over the Mosul issue in a new history spiral. But it is saying the history wheel never runs back. And actually, it is true...

But let us think back on a very dramatic period and look at the "Mosul issue" honestly like Assyrians should do, actually through the eyes of Dr. Fraidoon Atturaya, the loved son of the suffer-ing nation. In the years before his tragic death in the autumn of 1926, Dr. F. Atturaya published a number of bright analytical articles in "Zarya Vostoka" newspaper in the Soviet Transcaucasian territory. He wrote on Assyrian affair including the Mosul issue.

We suggest reading the article by Dr. Fraidoon Atturaya, entitled as "On the northern frontiers of Iraq", published in "Zarya Vostoka" newspaper dated from June 7, 1925.

Roland Bidjamov

* * * * *
In my previous article, "The Kurdish Uprising in Turkey" written in March 20, above all I pointed out:  "The British will probably try to send unlucky Assyrian battalions to capture Sandjak Hakkyari, which they lost to Turks last autumn.  This way they will try to regain the strategic heights to defend the Mosul oil".

Forty five days had hardly passed since then when what we had foreseen was partially realized.  A very important cable was sent from Angoral (the old name of Ankara, the capital city of Turkey [editor]), on April 16:

"Gangs of Aissors ("Assyrian battalions" referred by F. Atturaya) have appeared to put down the locals on the frontier Turkish territories. Assyrians assisted by the British soldiers seized ground in Urmia and Salmas.  Besides, the British negotiated this issue with the Persian government."

The government of Angora sent a protest to the British government.  Later, there appeared new confirmations of this information from the same Angora source on April 25 and 27 (articles in the official Turkish newspaper "Soon Saat"). After all, a cable from Hammadan of May 15 did not at all confirm the seizure of Urmia and Salmas, neither did it deny the Angora information about the further build up of the Assyrian army by the British in Mesopotamia as well as about putting on more combat battalions totaling nearly 15,000 soldiers.

Therefore, while the Kurdish uprising went on, obviously inspired and sup-ported by the British in Northern Kurdistan, Assyrian regular battalions led by the British officers and equipped with modern military vehicles, were put forth in North and North-East in order to regain native territories of highland Nestorians in Sandjak Hakkyari, Urmia and Salmas.

The cables also said that this Assyrian operation was very successful, for Kemalists1 were fighting back the rebellious Kurds.  In a short while Assyrians came to seize parts of Sandjak Hakkyari of the Van Vilayett and then took Urmia and Salmas in Northwest Persia.2

To offer a more accurate analysis of the events in Upper Mesopotamia and in north-west Persia, after the Kurdish uprising was curbed, I should like to look at some facts from the recent past of our small but very restless nation.

The Assyrians in Urmia and Salmas in Persia, Hakkyari and in Northern Mosul in Turkey were drawn by force into the imperialistic war of 1914-1918.  It happened due to the actions of the Russian and British agents, and on the other hand, due to the pressure felt from the Enver of Turkey3 and the feudal Persia. Assyrians were told falsely that they would "enjoy independence under the patronage of one of the world powers in the Middle East for what were about to do for the Allies". In 1916 the Russian military command organized two Assyrian battalions to be sent to the mountains to fight the Kurds who were on the side of Turkey.

When the October revolution in Russia broke out and the Russian troops had to withdraw from the Persian and Mesopotamian front, the Assyrians began to concentrate their forces in Urmia and Salmas. In February 1918 the Persian Cossacks attacked and the Assyrians destroyed them, taking over Urmia and Salmas. Then they prepared themselves for battle with Ali Assan-Pasha's troops which were marching to Urmia from Van and Mosul.

From February until July 1918 the Assyrian people fought with regular Turkish divisions and irregular Kurdish gangs -- to survive in the world.  The fighting went on for about six months.  The Assyrians defeated the enemies 16 times over this period, capturing some 1,000 prisoners.

Having used up all their military supplies, the Assyrians, totaling 99,000 (including 20,000 Armenians from Van), moved toward the South to unite with the British. First, they had to walk nearly 1,000 miles to Baghdad. Over 16,000 women and children were left dead on the road. In Hammadan the "allied" Assyrians were disarmed by the "friendly" British and were furthermore sent to Bakuba, Mesopotamia.

In 1919, under the pretext of returning Assyrians to fight for their native lands, the British again organized 6 infantry and cavalry battalions from the remaining Assyrians and sent them regrouped into police force, which suppressed the rising Kurds or Arabs in Mesopotamia in the following 6 years. In the meantime, the British did not keep the promise they had given Assyrians to take over Hakkyari, Urmia and Salmas, nor did the Assyrians enjoy any "independence". They became indignant, especially those who were greatly influenced by the Persian culture.  In 1921 Assyrians left the front-line -- some returned to Persia, some went off to Baghdad, and some fled even to North America. Thus, the highland Assyrians finally split with Urmians in Persia.

When Assyrians returned to Persia, they met bad fortunes again. This time, the Persian government instructed its consuls abroad to carry secret or open negotiations with the German colonists and Transcaucasian sectarians on capturing the former Assyrian territories in Urmia and Salmas that ware deserted in 1918.

Meantime, Reza-Khan's government allowed only 5,000 Assyrians to return to their native land for they proposed that "Assyrians should not be over 10% of the entire Muslim population in Urmia and Salamas." The remainder of the Assyrians had to face the hateful British again as they tried to clutch the last straw in the conflict. There was a strong tendency to move to the Soviet Union then, but they failed to do this.

Therefore, the unjust national policy of the Persian government made the miserable Assyrians of Urmia and Salmas face the British again. Since 1922 the Assyrians in Mesopotamia, mired between the Turkish hammer and the Persian anvil, have fallen victim to the British imperialists. The latter made use of the former's hatred and desperation to pursue their own interest in the oil-rich land of Mosul and to defend their strategic routes from Turkey.

The British had prepared the Kurdish uprising in the Eastern villayetts of Turkey, largely inhabited by Kurds, especially after the Armenians had been ousted. They planned it actually for the arrival of the League of Nations committee in Mosul in February 1922 to participate in a "free" plebiscite decision on the controversial question. The British implied by this scheme that the Committee should know if the Kurds of Mosul were satisfied with them. And this attitude would be shown in the events in Turkey itself. The British desired for all the world to learn who and what Kurdish tribes were after.

But this was only one third of the victory as the remaining two-thirds should be completed in the future. It is never enough to gain something; it is more important to prepare a fertile ground to hold it down after all.  For this purpose, Baldwin's government more active on the international scale than its precursor, headed by the socialist opportunist MacDonald, was trying to set up two buffer states (at least in autonomy with Iraq) in the north-east of Mosul. This buffer territory was to include both Kurds and Assyrians on the way to build up a solid wall just in case of a Turkish invasion. It must be remembered that this aspect of the question was very important for Baldwin and its aggressive conservative government in case of escalation of conflicts in the Middle East (what seemed to be almost predictable) Therefore every British strong-hold on the northern frontiers of the "independent" Iraq seemed very important indeed. Thus, the creation of a buffer state for the Kurds to the north of Mosul and a similar Assyrian state to the north-east was a very essential instrument in the political situation that happened in the Middle East.

North America or the United Kingdom certainly would be unable to safely import oil from Mosul without securing transportation in passages over Jesir ibn Omar down in the Tigris river valley, and over Julamerk down the Upper Zab river and also through the northeastern gates from Urmia-Soudjbulakh. For this purpose the British could use the mandated highland tribes and the British oilers would hardly make investments into this rich oil well scheme. The Monopolist financiers never like to take a risk. Although the Assyrian newspaper said in Constantinopol that an international oil company was set up to exploit those wells in Mesopotamia and Persia, it never would be launched until this business was fully secured over the years in this land of milk and honey.

What practical goals did the British military command and its diplomats pursue when the British troops took over in Hakkyari of Van, Urmia and Salmas in North-west Persia?

1. Undoubtedly since the British wanted to take Hakkyari in the past few years, they pursued only one goal, namely, to strengthen their presence in this mountainous region which commands over the entire Mesopotamia.  If one can control the highlands and passages here, this very rich plain would be one's own.

2. This control can only be accomplished if this area is inhabited by a people who could be easily sold on the idea of independence, and who would simultaneously be against the state which certainly tries to deprive this people of this legitimate right.  In this case the Assyro-Chaldean people in the Upper-Mesopotamia (like Kurds in Northern Kurdistan) due to national, religious and social contradictions between them and the Turks can be this people -- to be used by the British as a reliable barrier against the Kemalist Turkey they needed historically.  For this purpose they sent the Assyrian battalions to Hakkyari, Urmia and Salmas.

3. The British inspired the Assyrians and the Kurds to rise in an attempt to shape their autonomy,  independent of Turkey and Persia and still dependent on the British. In this way they wanted to keep the oil and cotton fields of Mesopotamia and finally the great strategic paths to India, Persian Gulf and the Suez canal.

4.  Finally, the recent journey of the young Assyrian Patriarch Mar-Shimmun to London to visit Archbishop of Canterbury and the rumors about the setup of the "independent Assyria" certainly had a connection with this new intrigue, which could end in a tragic way for the miserable Assyrians especially if the British upheld their perfidious policy.

Turkey and Persia did their "best" to bring this little nation over to the British side by their inadequate national, religious and agricultural policy.  The London City financiers were craftily using the crystal position of the historical nation and turning it into a powerful instrument in their struggle with the revolutionary Turkey on its frontiers with Iraq.

Dr. Fraidoon Atturaya

1After Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, Turkish president (1923-1938)
2Further confirmation of the seizure of Urmia and Salmas or the defeat of the Assyrian forces had not
   reached us until recently -- F. Atturaya
3Enver Pasha, head of the triumvirate governing Turkey at the time


Habib Afram

A diplomat, poet, author, businessman, and president of the Syriac Universal Alliance (elected 1999), Habib Afram will be visiting the United States and will be speaking before audiences at leading universities and Assyrian communities.  The series is being coordinated through the Beth Nahrain Assyrian Organization (the Massachusetts affiliate of the Assyrian American National Federation) in cooperation with many individuals across the country.  The topic of Mr. Afram's lecture will be "the continued presence of Syriac-speaking Christians in an evolving Middle East."

Mr. Habib is one of the leading activists of the community living in Beirut, Lebanon and is the author of several modern political texts on the Christian presence in the Middle East.  Among his recent accomplishments has been the recognition of the Syriac Universal Alliance before the UNPEC.

The following is Mr. Habib's lecture schedule in the U.S. (April - May 2000):
Contact Info
Georgetown University April 27 Ms. Zero Akyol 
Univeristy of California, Los Angeles April 28, 3 pm Mr. John Hajjar
University of California, Berkeley
Center for Middle Eastern Studies

Bade Museum, Pacific School of Religion 
1798 Scenic Ave., Berkeley
Co-sponsor:  Assyrian Foundation of America
April 30, 3 pm Prof Joel Elias
Monterey Naval Post-Graduate School May 2,  12-1:30 pm Prof. Ralph Magnus
Columbia University
The Dag Hammerskold Room
420 W. 118th Street (SIA)

New York
May 4, 7 pm Dr. Reeva Simon



BC (2400)

A small clay tablet found from this period records the rations allotted to a total of 40 men in the course of five-day week.  The text on this "Sumerian Budget Sheet" indicates that each of the men received rations equivalent in value to two units of barley per day.  The tablet is in the British Museum in London.

Numbers & Measures in the Earliest Written Records, Frieberg

AD (1915)

The Bakuba Camp or the "city of refuge" was erected near Baghdad by the British Administration in Mesopotamia for the 40-50,000 Assyrian refugees arriving from Urmia and northern Iraq.  Each person was given the same food allowance as a British soldier.

The Assyrians & Their Neighbors, Wigram


April 18, 1920:   The Assyrian refugees in Bakuba Camp are transferred to the Mandan Camp in Mosul.


Apr 23

Sponsored by the Patriotic Revolutionaries of BethNahrin & Museium Jannink

Museum Jannink
Haaksbergerstr 147 

The gallery opens officially on March 17 by the Syrian Orthodox Church's Bishop Yulius Cicek who lives in the Mor Afrem Monastery in Holland.  Gedeputeerde Overijssel dhr. Jan Kristen and Wethouder dhr. M. Swart from Enschede will also be present.  The opening ceremony will also feature Beth Nahrin folk music.

Phone: 053-431 9093 
Fax: 053-430 5492 

Apr 23

An Assyrian Aid Society Event
6:30 pm
Langemarckstr. 9
Adults: 20,-DM
Children, from 8-15: 10,-DM
For more information please contact: 
E-Mail: atakhsh@zedat.fu-berlin.de
Tel:    0179-29 111 93

Apr 30

Celebrating the Syrian Orthodox Easter
Großer Saal unter der Kirche am Hohenzollern Platz
Nassauische Straße 67 in Berlin
7:30 pm
Adults: 20,-DM
Children, from 8-15: 10,-DM
For more information please contact: 
E-Mail: atakhsh@zedat.fu-berlin.de
Tel:    0179-29 111 93

May 22-26

"Near Eastern Archaeology at the Beginning of the 3d Millen. AD" 
Hosted by Carsten Niebuhr Institute and the University of Copenhagen. 

Contact:  Secretary of the 2ICAANE
Carsten Niebuhr Institute
Snorresgade 17 - 19
DK-2300 Copenhagen. 
Tel. +45 35 32 89 00; Fax. +45 35 32 89 26
e-mail: 2icaane@coco.ihi.ku.dk.

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

Jun 10-11

Sponsored by the Association of the Assyro-Chaldeans of France
Champions & players will be honored at the party following the games

Participation Fee:  300 Franks per Team
For farther information:
Association des Assyro-Chaldéens de France :
Tél : + 33 1 39 90 87 11
Fax : + 33 1 34 19 84 72
E-mail : acc_f@club-internet.fr

Centre Socioculturel des Assyro-Chaldéens de France
Tél & Fax : + 33 1 34 04 26 47

Nuri Yaramis
Tél : + 33 1 39 33 48 74
Fax : + 33 1 39 33 41 40
Mobil : + 33 6 89 88 85 83

Suphi Oguz 
Mobil : + 33 6 81 90 92 47 

Jun 26-30

Department of Semitic Studies
University of Sydney

For more information on speakers and papers click here

Jul 2

An international conference on the subject of the fate of the Assyrian people after the collapse of the Assyrian Empire (612 B.C. - 2000 A.D.).

The Centre for Comparative Genocide Studies at Macquarie University & the Department of Semitic Studies at the University of Sydney

Merewether Building, 
City Road
University of Sydney

9:00 am - 9:05 am:      Official Welcome 
9:05 am - 10:30 am:    Presentation of papers 
10:30 am - 11:00 am:  Morning tea
11:00 am - 12:30 pm:  Presentation of papers 
12:30 pm -  2:00 pm: Luncheon 
2:00 pm -  3:30 pm:    Presentation of papers 
3:30 pm -  4:00 pm:    Afternoon tea 
4:00 pm -  5:00 pm:    Conference Review and Resolutions

For more information & Registration Fee Detail click here

Jul 10-13

"Nomadism and Sedentarism in the Ancient Near East"

College de France
52 rue Cardinal Lemoine

Contact: chrinico@club-internet.fr or fax 33-1-48-87-82-58

Christophe NICOLLE
Chaire d'Assyriologie
College de France
52 rue Cardinal Lemoine
75005, Paris - France

Jul 26-30

The Syrian Orthodox Archdioceses in Canada and United States
Led by His Holliness Patriarch Ignatius Zakka I
Hosted by St. Ignatius Church, Portland
Marriot in Portland

Agenda:  Review of the past 50 years of history of the church in North America to identify and cement the strengths and work on improving

In addition to a spiritual and cultural festival, a cruise on the Columbia River, a bus trip to Cascade Range, etc. are planned. Click Here

Dr. Eden Naby........................Harvard University....................Bravo
Andreas Schmidt.........................Berlin..........................News Digest

Adrin Takhsh..........................Germany......................Surfers Corner


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