Z I N D A M A G A Z I N E
|Yaar 30, 6750 Volume VI Issue 12 May 30, 2000|
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|The Lighthouse||Assyrians & the Church|
|Good Morning Bet-Nahrain||Saddam Planning "Lebanon II" in Northern Iraq
158 Mandeans Detained in Indonesia
|News Digest||A Church of the East Bishop Possible Victim of Extortion
"Move Over Sumer!," 6000-Year-Old City Found in Syria
|Surfs Up||"The more I read Zinda, the more confused I get..."|
|Surfers Corner||Requesting Your Presence at the Genocide Conference|
|Assyrian Surfing Posts||Assyrian Line Editor (Ver. 1.01) - html edition
Assyrian Youth Group of Victoria
Map of Pre-Flood Edenic Valley
Ms. Hos-McGrane's Grade 6 Internet Resources Page
|Literatus||Thea Halo's "Not Even My Name"|
|Bravo||John Joseph's "The Modern Assyrians of the Middle East"|
|Pump Up the Volume||Sentence & Chapter|
|Back to the Future||The Ancient Cylinder Seals & Malik Kamber's Newspaper|
|This Week in History||Rabita Shooshan Oshana|
|Calendar of Events||AANF Convention - Location/Reservation Info|
All blue links throughout this issue are hyperlinks to other sections on this page or featured websites.
ASSYRIANS & THE CHURCH
At a time when the disorderly scattered Assyrians are liably plunging into total annihilation and that the "light of the people" (the leaders, irrespective of class or category) are absolutely absent minded of how to implement a national rescue, or, to create among the masses an impulsive urge to successfully maintain the waning vitality of this great nation.
I am forced to divulge all the derelictions that led this people into an awkward degeneration. There were, as specified by history, so many hostile powers trying to demolish the Assyrians. But the ugliest foe that has so far inappreciably eroded the very fabrical structure of the bellicose Assyrians has been the unstable theocracy (religious circles). Even now the badly shattered Assyrians are obscurantly following the undisciplined principles exercised by the self-styled clerics whose motives are personal egoism.
How to materialize the above prologue.
In the year 400 A.D. the Christianized Assyrians were subdivided into three unscriptural denominations whose poisonous determination was geared towards uprooting each other. As the Middle East was under the occupation of non-Christianized powers (Romans and Persians) the schismatic groups started slandering each other by false reports to the ruling authorities which infuriated them to adopt severe persecutions against those self-seeking groups. As specified by history, millions of innocent Assyrians were brutally butchered by the ruling powers. Worst of all, the heads of the three antagonistic church groups indoctrinated the masses to spiritual passivism (something that was absolutely never called on by scriptures) in the face of the persecution. As proof of this, I would sat that in the year of 637 A.D., Umar ibn Khatab by no more than ten thousand irregular soldiers invaded and occupied Mesopotamia. At this time the hypnotized Assyrians had eighty thousand clerics and monks, most of whom led secluded hermitic lives. These Assyrian masses never resisted or arose as a whole to ward off from their threatened entity the relentless, savage incursions. Such untoward phenomenon continued persistently throughout the ages. The obstinate heads of church never realized that their peculiar standings tended Christianity as a whole in the Middle East to vaporize into a weak non-entity. Even now the heads of the churches are very actively trying to make the masses remain subservient to their fossilized dormant auspices. There is no room to enumerate all the conspicuous derelictions committed by the inconsistent factions whose whole prelates are very actively obdurate to sacrifice something to attain a unity-which is the only means to enable dispersed Assyrians to preserve their waning nationalism.
During the past century, by a progressive civilization, fifty-four African nations from a state of savagery-have now been fully cultured to have their own independence. The Assyrians, on the other hand, are still obscurantly following the very credulous principles that have so far fragmented them into a state of total disintegration. No people in this mutable world have been able to achieve formative aspiration before the eradication of the disruptive obstacles. Notwithstanding everything stated above, Assyrianism is still alive as symbolized by those undaunted giants in the North of Mosul who are amid numerous odds proclaiming that they--the legitimate survivors of the mighty Assyrians-are inhabiting the land of their ancestors. There is no power to divest them from that holy heritage. These Assyrians in the North are in urgent need of financial aid to enable them to construct their desolate villages and to make their domain impregnable. Is such essential aid forthcoming? Of course not. The reasons are as follows. . . (1) by a well organized scheme, 150,000 thousand dollars could easily by contributed monthly by the Assyrians of American and Canada. But the discordant political and social leaders are unable to materialize this holy effort as they are still under the spell of individualism. (2) Millions of dollars are being spent by the still dominant religious dignitaries of both divided parties for building churches and to enable them to have a life of lords at a time when the Assyrian "ship" is liably plunging into the eternity of irrevocable nonexistence caused by the uncharitable dispersion.
The most essential priority to be taken by the Assyrian clergy would be to urge their masses to centralize their attention to rescuing the "plunging ship", rather than building ornamental churches which saps the very economical strength of the people and/or averts their attention from the real dilemma at hand.
Three quotations to reprove the short-sightedness of the Assyrian leadership are 1) St. Paul in his epistle to Philippeans, Chapter 3, verse 17-19 says "Brethren be imitators of me and mark those after the pattern you have in us. For many of whom I have told you often and now tell you even weeping, are enemies of the cross of Jesus. Their end is ruin and their god is their belly, their glory is in their shame, their mind the things of the earth". 2) When Russia was invaded by Charles, King of Sweden, Peter the Great ordered that all church bells be melted and converted into guns and ammunition to save the country. 3) Ghandi the liberator of India said that "any religion or religious personnel that refrain(s) from contributing towards the perpetual well being of the people are not religions that would be preached by Jesus".
I swear by God that the issuing of this never untimely exhortative article is never to disparage any personage, but, is rather to incite the dormant Assyrian to desist following fossilized incantations sung by unscrupulous people, whose whole whims are never focused for fostering a viable scheme to reanimate the Assyrianism--as symbolized by those in Northern Mosul--whose holy initiative needs substantial aid from the Assyrians abroad.
Arise dear elite Assyrians and abhor the present loathsome inertia, which betokens a final frustration of a people, who, as listified by unearthed material, gave the world rudimental elements if the present universal technology.
Let your pivotal slogan be UNITY. Who ever does not subscribe to such a holy appeal has to be treated as a traitor to nation and church.
Shamasha Yousef Zaya
GOOD MORNING BET-NAHRAIN
158 MANDAEANS DETAINED IN INDONESIA
Courtesy of Radio Free Europe; Article by David Nissman
(ZNAP: Jakarta) The Mandaean Society of America issued an urgent appeal on 12 May, addressed to Indonesia, the UN High Commissioner for Refugees, and the International Red Cross, to prevent the deportation of the 158 Mandaean (also referred to as "Sabeans") refugees from Indonesia to Iraq. They were arrested in the process of being smuggled into a safe refuge in Australia.
The Baghdad newspaper "Babil," described the detained Mandeans as "traitors" on 24 April. The Mandaean Society of America notes that "if these people are returned to Iraq, they would probably face execution. Even if their names are given to the Iraqi authorities, their relatives might suffer severe punishments as well."
The Mandaeans are known as the Christians of Saint John and form the only Gnostic religious sect that survives in the world. Their name is Aramaic for 'knowledge', a translation from the Greek 'gnosis'. Their language, similar to Syriac, is Eastern Aramaic. Originally, they inhabited the marshlands in the Ahwar district of southern Iraq. Following the Gulf War, those who could left Iraq. They now live in exile in many parts of the world. Remaining in Iraq are still some 30,000-50,000 Mandaeans. As they do not accept converts for religious reasons, they have reached a point where their numbers do not increase.
Last year, between 13-14 June, the Mandaean Conference at Harvard University was organized by Dr. J.F. Coakley, Dr. Shafiq Abouzayd, Dr. J.J. Buckley, the Department of Near Eastern Languages & Civilizations, Harvard University and the Aram Society for Syro-Mesopotamian Studies. The participants discussed the history and the religion of this Aramaic speaking group based in southern Iraq and Iran.
(ZNDA: London) According to London's Observer and the Jerusalem Post, the Iraqi President Saddam Hussein has conducted secret talks with the Israeli government over the past 15 months. Saddam's representatives have repeatedly told the Israelis that if they work to end Iraq's diplomatic isolation, Baghdad will arrange for more than 300,000 Palestinian refugees living in Lebanon to be airlifted to new lives in Iraq and will tone down its hostile rhetoric towards the Jewish state. Lebanon's Palestinian population poses the most significant threat following the Israelis' planned withdrawal from the south of the country later this summer, and moving them to Iraq would solve a significant problem for Israel.
Nabil Musawi, a Shi'ite member of the central committee of the London-based Iraqi National Council (INC), told The Jerusalem Post that any such deal would lead to a full-scale civil war in Iraq. "We will not allow a single Palestinian into the country," he said. Musawi added that there are currently some 200,000 Palestinians in Iraq. He also revealed that two months ago the Iraqi regime decreed that Palestinians could own property in Iraq, specifically in the northern city of Kirkuk, claimed by both the Kurds and the Turkeman populations.
Again according to the Jerusalem Post, official sources in Washington, London, Amman and Jerusalem last week confirmed the contacts between the two countries and the Iraqi proposal. Senior US State Department sources told The Observer: "We know that this is being talked about. No agreement has been finalized but we are pretty confident it is going to happen."
An airlift moving the refugees - which would cost more than $100 million - would be funded by Israel and its supporters overseas, the State Department source said.
For the AINA press release on the fate of the Assyrian city of Karkuk: Click Here
A CHURCH OF THE EAST BISHOP POSSIBLE VICTIM OF EXTORTION
Reprint of a Chicago Tribune article by Matt O'Connor, May 26.
(ZNDA: Chicago) A woman who allegedly extorted tens of thousands of dollars from a church bishop after secretly videotaping an amorous exchange with him was charged Thursday in a 10-count federal indictment.
The indictment against Yasmeen Khan, 41, contains few details, but other court documents obtained by the Tribune allege she had blackmailed the bishop for months.
One of Khan's lawyers, Janis D. Roberts, denied the charges, saying that her client, who now resides in Rockford, "has obviously a very different version of the facts and the conclusions from those drawn by the government." She declined to comment further.
In court papers and at a bond hearing, authorities indicated the bishop, who wasn't named, was affiliated with the Assyrian Church and led a parish in the Chicago area, of which Khan was a member, until late 1998 when he was transferred to a diocese in Arizona.
In October 1998 Khan telephoned the bishop and invited him to her apartment on Chicago's North Side for dinner alone, according to the court papers.
Khan declared her love for the bishop and said she wanted to marry him, but he refused, though they "kissed several times," the criminal complaint said. On Nov. 10, the bishop again went to Khan's, authorities said. She and the bishop "engaged in consensual kissing and touching," the criminal complaint said.
Khan allegedly secretly videotaped their encounter, authorities said. The next day, he received a hand-delivered copy of the videotape as well as a threatening voice-mail message from Khan, the charges alleged. The day after the delivery, the bishop withdrew $17,000 in cash from his personal bank account, handed Kahn the money at her home and was given one videotape and numerous audio tapes, authorities said. Over the next several months, the bishop gave Khan an additional $41,500--though she was indicted Thursday for allegedly extorting a smaller amount of money.
"MOVE OVER SUMER!", 6000-YEAR-OLD CITY FOUND IN SYRIA
(ZNAP: Chicago) Archaeologists from the University of Chicago's Oriental Institute have uncovered the protective wall under a huge mound in Syria's Tell Hamoukar. This wall of a 6,000-year-old city suggests that urban civilization and complex government structure rose earlier than previously believed.
The discovery at Hamoukar suggests that ideas behind cities may have predated the Sumerians, said McGuire Gibson of the Oriental Institute. Among the features indicating the site was a full-blown city, not just a town: thin, porcelain-like pieces of pottery, indicating a sophisticated manufacturing technique, and huge cooking ovens, big enough to feed large numbers of people. There also were stamps to make impressions in wet clay - like primitive hieroglyphics - used to make tokens that served as records for trade transactions. The stamps were in the shapes of animals, including bears, dogs, rabbits, fish and birds.
If Hamoukar was developing into a city at the same time as the Sumerians were building cities, it's possible that ideas for urban development came from an even earlier culture, he said. "We need to reconsider our ideas about the beginnings of civilization, pushing the time further back,'' said Gibson, who plans to present the findings this week in Denmark at the International Conference on the Archaeology of the Ancient Middle East. Gil Stein, a Northwestern University archaeologist who specializes in the same region and time period, said he thinks the find is significant. "Traditionally, scholars had viewed southern Mesopotamia as the area where urbanized states first developed, before spreading to less advanced areas,'' he said.
This summer, the archaeologists will continue to dig in the hopes of finding portions or royal palaces and temples - structures that would confirm that the site is that of a previously unknown early civilization.
“It is unimaginable that Zinda Magazine would print this opinion piece without consideration to its authors. The Mesopotamian Forum's main responsibility is to quiet Assyrian and other minority voices from speaking against the massacres that Turkey committed during the 20th century and the inequality present today.
I would have hoped that Zinda have the understanding to only print material that is pro-Assyrian. And yes, I know that Zinda considers itself democratic in every way but it must acknowledge the fact that by printing anti-Assyrian material it is condoning the past actions of these peoples.
It is my sincerest hope that Zinda either retract the article immediately or place in its stead the multitude of replies and rebuttals from the different Assyrian forums present on the internet.
Yours in Assyrianism,”
This puts a tremendous responsibility on your shoulders, and I honestly think you realize the scope of this heavy task, and you are acting upon it. Among many areas Zinda brings awareness to me is my heritage, and that has been my biggest point of confusion. The more I read Zinda, the more confused I get about who I am, and where do I come from. In my own language I call myself Soraya. In Iran I was called Ashouri. In U.S. I am called Assyrian. All along I thought we are only one nation, which different nations call it different names, but when I hear different debates about Soroyo, and Soraya, and chaldean, and many others, that I have heard in the past few months, I really don't understand the relations. May be in the past this topic has been discussed, and there are no questions among older readers of Zinda, but for the new members like me this could be a very frustrating issue, and some times could a turn off. When I hear all these different references about my assyrian background, I feel like I am not what all these years I thought I was. This becomes extremely harder when there is no proof attached to these references, so I don't know what to believe.
To make it short, I would like to suggest, that if you have discussed this topic in detail in previous publications, please make a big reference in your web site, so it catches every one's attention because there are always new comers like me who need this education. If this hasn't been discussed in detail, may be you can start a weekly forum for all reader's participation. Let this be discussed, argued, and fought over as much as possible, because I don't see any subject with higher priority than our identity. As I mentioned earlier, there will be no union so long as the majority is not educated, and doesn't read from the same page.
Keep up the good work”
REQUESTING YOUR PRESENCE @ THE GENOCIDE CONFERENCE
We are The Assyrian Australian Academic Society based in Sydney. We are currently involved in sponsoring a major conference & seminar on the "Persecutions and Massacres of the Syriac Speaking Christians."
The Centre for Comparative Genocide Studies at Macquarie University and the Department of Semitic Studies at the University of Sydney will be jointly hosting an international seminar on the subject of the fate of the Assyrian people after the collapse of the Assyrian Empire (612 B.C. - 2000 A.D.).
Contrary to popular belief, the Assyrians did not disappear as a distinct group of people after the conquest of their homeland (the mountainous regions of northern Iraq, north-eastern Syria, and south-eastern Turkey). The Syriac-speaking Assyrians were amongst the first Christians and it is their faith that is in great measure due to their survival and the repeated attempts at their destruction over the centuries.
This unique seminar, held in conjunction with the VIIIth Symposium Syriacum and the VIth Conference on Christian Arabic Studies, will be devoted to the history of persecution and massacre which the Syriac-speaking peoples of the Middle East (variously known as Assyrians, Chaldeans, Syrian Orthodox, Suryianis, Arameans) have endured, particularly in the Twentieth Century.
These are the details:
Louren David Majidi Ann
+61 2 9822 1778 OR +61 2 0404 124 930
+61 2 0413 854 936
For more information and registration form: Click Here
TAAAS Media & Public Relation Committee
Links to Other Assyrian Websites
Assyrian Line Editor
(Ver. 1.01)- html edition
Create Text in Assyrian Language (Syriac) for the Internet
Assyrian Youth Group
"A Generation Ahead"
of Pre-Flood Edenic Valley
Discovered in Yorghan Tepe, Iraq in 1930-31
NOT EVEN MY NAME
by Thea Halo
From a Death March in Turkey to
a New Home in America
A Young Girl's True Story of Genocide and Survival
Not Even My Name is the unforgettable story of Sano Halo's survival of the death march at age 10 that annihilated her family-as told to her daughter, Thea-and the poignant mother-daughter pilgrimage to Turkey in search of Sano's home seventy years after her exile. Sano, a Pontic Greek from a small village near the Black Sea, also recounts the end of her ancient, pastoral way of life in the Pontic Mountains.
The dreadful realization that something was amiss came little by little to Sano's village. Strangers began to inhabit the fields and forests, always watching from a distance like birds of prey. Turkish soldiers made periodic raids to seize men for slave labor in foul, lice-infested camps, where most died of disease, malnutrition, and exposure. Then in the spring of 1920, Turkish soldiers pounded on doors with the butts of their rifles and shouted the proclamation issued by General Kemal (Ataturk): "You are to leave this place. You are to take with you only what you can carry..." On their death march, victims lay where they fell and buzzards hung over their heads. So ended the three-thousand-year history of the Pontic Greeks in Turkey.
Stripped of everything she had ever held dear, even her name, at age fifteen Sano was sold into marriage to a man who brought her to America. He was three times her age. Not Even My Name follows Sano's marriage, the raising of her ten children, and her transformation from an innocent girl who lived an ancient way of life in a remote place to a nurturing mother and determined woman in twentieth-century New York City.
Although Turkey actively suppresses the truth about the slaughter of almost 3 million of its Christian minorities-Greek, Armenian, and Assyrian-during and after World War I, and the exile of millions of others, here is a rare, first-hand account of the horrors of that genocide. But Sano's story is also one of triumph. A brilliant and mesmerizing memoir written in haunting and eloquent prose. Not Even My Name weaves a seamless texture of individual memory that evokes all the suspense and drama of the best-told tales.
The Book Review by The Inside Flap
Thea Halo is a writer and painter who has won awards for her poetry ad esays, and has exhibited her paintings in galleries in New York City and elsewhere. She lives in New York City.
To order Not Even My Name: Click
New Book by Prof. John Joseph:
The Modern Assyrians of the Middle East
Encounters with Western Christian missions, archaeologists, and colonial power
This is a revised edition of the author's The Nestorians and Their Muslim Neighbors (Princeton University Press, 1961). Early in the nineteenth century, the Aramaic-speaking "Nestorian" Christians received special attention when American Protestant missions decided to educate and reform them to help meet the challenge that Islam presented to the growing missionary movements. When archaeologist Layard further publicized the historic minority as "Assyrians", the name acquired a new connotation when other forces at work in the region - religious, nationalistic, imperialistic - entangled these modern Assyrians in vagaries and manipulations in which they were outnumbered and outclassed. The study examines Western Christendom's current position on Islam, with emphasis on the Roman Catholic Church and the World Council of Churches. The revision draws on a wide variety of sources not used in the original. Readership: All those interested in Middle Eastern minorities, particularly the modern Assyrians and their ancient church, or in missions to the Muslims world, and the ecumenical movement since World War II.
John Joseph, Ph.D. (1957) in Middle Eastern History, Princeton University, is Lewis Audenreid Professor of History, emeritus, at Franklin and Marshall College, Lancaster, Pennsylvania. His published works have been mainly on Christians of the Syriac tradition.
Publication date: May 2000
Not yet published
Bound (approx. 320 pp., approx. 2 maps)
ISBN 90 04 11641 9
List price EUR 76.- / US$ 94.- / DGL 167.48
Price for subscribers to the series EUR 68.- / US$ 84.- / DGL
Studies in Christian Mission, 26
To order this book: Click Here
Brill Academic Publishers
BACK TO THE FUTURE
The cylinder seals were used to protect property and safeguard legal transactions. Later they were associated with the protection of their owner and were used in rituals against sickness, miscarriage, black magic and slander. The stones from which they were made also had special properties: lapis lazuli from Afghanistan mean power and divine favor.
Cultural Atlas of Mesopotamia, Roaf
Malik Kamber founded the "Khouyada Oumtanaya" (National Unity) newspaper in Lebanon.
Beyond the Call of Duty, Parhad
June 1, 1890 : dies, Rabita Shooshan Oshana of Salamas, Iran. Mrs. Oshana was among the first women in Iran to have become a school principal. During an attack by a school teacher, Mrs. Oshana was badly injured and days later passed away from the severity of her injuries.
20TH ANNIVERSARY OF MESOPOTAMIEN-VEREIN WIEN
Dance Party and Soccer Tournament
"Crushed between Empires: Romans
and Syrians of Dura-Europus"
FOOTBALL (SOCCER) TOURNAMENT & PARTY
Sponsored by the Association of
the Assyro-Chaldeans of France
Participation Fee: 300 Franks
Centre Socioculturel des Assyro-Chaldéens
EIGHT INTERNATIONAL SYMPOSIUM SYRIACUM
For the first time in 32 years this international conference is taking place outside of Europe & in Sydney
More than 100 eminent Syriac scholars from different parts of the world will be attending
For more information:
For more information on speakers and papers click here
ASSYRIANS AFTER ASSYRIA
Persecutions & Massacres of the Syriac Speaking Christians
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.).
Dr Gabriele Yonan - Germany
For more information & Registration
Fee Detail click
For more information: Click Here
46th RENCONTRE ASSYRIOLOGIQUE INTERNATIONALE
"Nomadism and Sedentarism in the Ancient Near East"
College de France
Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org or fax 33-1-48-87-82-58
38TH ANNUAL SYRIAN ORTH ARCHDIOCESES CONVENTION
The Syrian Orthodox Archdioceses in Canada and United
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
SYRIAC UNIVERSAL ALLIANCE MEETING
Speakers include representatives from the Office
of the President of Lebanon
For more information:
|Aug 30 -
ASSYRIAN AMERICAN NATIONAL CONVENTION
Hilton Hotel & Towers
George & Dana Brown..............Florida..................Assyrian
Sheren Jasim....................Chicago....................The Lighthouse
Ahuno Zac Gabriel........Australia.....................News Digest
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: email@example.com.
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