Z I N D A  M A G A Z I N E
Tdabaakh 10, 6750                     Volume VI                      Issue 19                    August 10, 2000
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T H I S   W E E K   I N   Z I N D A
The Lighthouse Assyrians Take Part in Sydney 2000 Olympic Games
Good Morning Bet-Nahrain Did the Gulf War Achieve its Goals?
News Digest August 7th Commemoration in Central Valley
Stanislaus County Assyrians Unite in Stanislaus County
Assyrians Press Civil Rights Charge in Turlock
Surfs Up Christians residing in the regions of Isauria and Celicia
Surfers Corner New Issue of Hugoye Now Available
The Assyrian Relief Fund
Milestone Grace Solomon Crilly
Literatus Rise Up Mighty Assyrians...
Bravo! Lewis College Reaches Out to Chaldeans
Assyrian Surfing Posts AssyrianVoice
Syriac Language Software
Pump Up the Volume Pain & Illness
Back to the Future Ashurnasirpal in Lake Van & Sir Percy Cox in Bet-Nahrain
This Week in History The Massacre in Semel
Calendar of Events August-September 2000

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



15 July 2000
Media Release
Fairfield Community Arts Network

You've Come a Long Way...

Yes, two young Assyrian people will be seen by millions of viewers around the world during the Medal Ceremonies in Sydney 2000 Olympic Games. Nahren Al-jeloo and Sargon Karim have been chosen to take part in presentation of Medals, Flowers and Flags, by the 2000 Olympic games organisers.

Fairfield Community Arts Network (FCAN) was approached by the Medal Ceremonies committee and asked to encourage young people from the community to apply for Medal presentation positions, during 2000 Olympic games. Few young people from Fairfield community did so.

Nahren and Sargon are honoured and feel very proud to be selected for these positions. This is a special celebration for the Assyrian community, because most probably this is the very first time that two Assyrian young people have been given this opportunity. So look for these beautiful young people during the 2000 Olympic Games and salute them.

Following are brief biographies for Nahren and Sargon:

Nahren Al-jeloo was born in Kuwait where her parents had migrated to from Iraq. She and her family migrated to Australia in 1983 when she was eight years old. They lived in Melbourne initially and moved to Sydney later. Nahren completed her High School and left for Melbourne to study Visual Arts. She attended RMIT for a year then decided to return to Sydney, where she continued her Visual Arts studies at the University of Western Sydney in Nepean. While completing her Bachelor of Fine Arts, Nahren maintained her working relationship with FCAN and took part in few major projects such as Boghcheh (Bundle), Thirteen Moons and Border Crossings II. Currently Nahren is finishing her Honours Degree at the UWS, Nepean. She is working on two large-scale community arts projects initiated by FCAN. The Villawood Art project which intends to transform the urban environment of Villawood area through the arts, and production of Imagine a Place, a large mural for the Fairfield Public Library. Nahren works in multi media (video/sound installations) and has exhibited her work Nationally.

Sargon Karim was born in Iraq. He and his family were among the large population of Assyrians that left Iraq after the Gulf War. Sargon was fourteen when his family settled in Fairfield in 1994. Sargon is an active member of the Assyrian community and is a member of the Church of the East Youth Group, and TAAAS. Sargon practiced TEA KWAN DO for four years and has earned a first-degree black belt. In 1995 Sargon performed in Border Crossings multi media performance/installation presented by FCAN at the Belvoir Street Theatre and Fairfield School of Arts. This production was based on true stories of displacement due to the Gulf War, told by young Assyrian and Kurdish refugees. Sargon had major parts in Border Crossings II, now that we have crossed the border multi media performance /installation which was presented in Stockland Mall in December 1999. Currently Sargon is completing a Diploma of Business at the Wetherill Park TAFE and working on concepts for video productions with Border Crossings Group.

Samiramis Ziyeh



Exactly ten years ago, on 2 August 1990, Iraq invaded its oil-rich neighbour Kuwait. This invasion led to the outbreak of the Gulf War. After the war, the United Nations sent weapons inspectors to Iraq in an attempt to rid the country of its chemical and nuclear weapons. The international community tried to damage Iraq's economy and bring Saddam Hussein to his knees. Now, ten years on, the Iraqi leader is still firmly in the saddle, and is refusing to admit any more UN weapons inspectors. So did the Gulf War achieve its objectives?

Saddam Hussein's motives for invading Iraq were primarily economic. The Iraqi leader accused the Kuwaiti government of stealing oil. Because of over-production, oil prices remained low. The tensions between the neighbours were perceptible at the diplomatic level. The Kuwaiti government could see the invasion coming. Government leaders and senior army officials were leaving daily just before the occupation of the country. The Emir took refuge in Saudi Arabia. The people left behind in Kuwait were less well prepared due to press censorship. The defense of Kuwait was poorly organised. Correspondent Hetty Lubberding, who was in Kuwait at the time, was surprised about that:

"The day before the invasion, I went to the border between Kuwait and Iraq to see what was happening. But nothing was happening. I personally saw no Kuwaiti soldiers; they had all withdrawn. It's strange: when a hostile army is situated just across the border, you certainly expect some sort of defense".

Condemnation shortly after the invasion, the United States and the Arab League both condemned Iraq for its action. The Security Council ordered the immediate and unconditional withdrawal from Iraq. A week later, the United Nations brought in economic sanctions. Eventually, American troops arrived to liberate Kuwait. Operation Desert Storm was a major offensive operation against Iraqi troops inside Kuwait and in the south of Iraq, and Saddam Hussein was forced to capitulate. After the Gulf War was over, the Iraqi army had been almost halved in size. But Saddam Hussein remained upright. "It was clear that his domination would only be ended if he was jailed or murdered" says Henny Lubberding.

Little relief now, ten years later, the situation in the Middle East looks no brighter. Kuwait is billions of dollars poorer, and the economic sanctions against Iraq have not led to the downfall of Saddam Hussein. The damage Iraq has suffered has mostly affected ordinary people. The oil and food programme of the United Nations, which allows Iraq to export oil in return for food and medicines - has brought little relief. The cry for sanctions to be ended is growing steadily louder, even within the United Nations. At the moment, UN weapons inspectors are not carrying out any controls in Iraq, because the team led by Hans Blix is not being allowed into the country.

Natural causes in retrospect, it has to be asked whether the Gulf War really achieved its objectives. Would it have been better if America had continued the Gulf War until Saddam Hussein was overthrown? President Bush considered the fall of Saddam Hussein to be a byproduct of victory, but didn't state it as a goal. The Arab World also didn't urge this, for the disappearance of the Iraqi dictator could well have a harmful influence on the balance of power in the Middle East. The chance is slim that Saddam Hussein will still be eliminated from the equation by force. It's looking more and more likely that he will only leave the field due to  'natural' causes. In recent weeks, there have been strong rumours that he is seriously ill.

Saskia van Reenen


Courtesy of Modesto Bee - August 4; article by Suzanne Hurt

(ZNDA:  Modesto) Business is not so good this time of year at Hubert Isaac's print shop in Ceres, home to one of Stanislaus County's biggest Assyrian communities.

Assyrians just won't schedule weddings or parties today through Aug. 11, which is known as Martyr's Week. That means Isaac's shop, AA Printing, won't get any requests for Assyrian wedding invitations or party tickets.

"They don't order, we don't print," said Isaac, himself an Assyrian. "Everything kind of slows down until the middle of August."

While not all Assyrians mark the event, others living in California, the Mideast and throughout the world go through a kind of ritual mourning every August in honor of rebels and villagers killed in northern Iraq in 1933. At the time, Assyrians were asking for autonomy within the borders of Iraq, and rebels were fighting for a homeland, said Sargon Dadesho, president of the Modesto-based Assyrian National Congress.

A seven-day massacre by Iraqi troops began Aug. 4, when Assyrian rebels trying to re-enter Iraq were killed at a border village. When the massacre ended Aug. 11, an estimated 3,000 people were dead in the village of Simel, Dadesho said.

"It's a tradition among Assyrians that we stop our weddings and all the celebrations during this week. We honor the people who were massacred in Simel and other massacres of Assyrians over the centuries," he said. Over the next week, some local Assyrians will take the time to light memorial candles at churches and graveyards. Assyrians wearing black will attend ceremonies organized by political groups. The regional chapter of the Assyrian American National Federation is hosting an event Monday at the Assyrian American Civic Club of Turlock, and the Assyrian Cultural Center of Bet-Nahrain in Ceres is hosting a program Aug. 11.

A few Assyrians will close their businesses or take a day off work Monday. Many Assyrian organizations declared in 1970 that Aug. 7 is the day to mark the massacre. Ramin Odisho, president of the Assyrian American Civic Club of Turlock, won't go to work that day at his job as a subcontractor for local government agencies.

Numerous Assyrians won't dance or sing or attend any festive parties throughout the week. Filameh Givargis can't remember an August when she had to make a wedding cake for an Assyrian couple in the 10 years she's owned bakeries in Turlock, home to another strong Assyrian community. Most won't rent a hall at the Assyrian organizations for a wedding or party during Martyr's Week.

"No one would even dream of planning a wedding that weekend. It would be in very poor taste," said Bet-Nahrain President Janet Shummon. "That's a sad week in our history. You just don't do it."

About half the Assyrian population is believed to mark the event in some way. An outcry of indignation has been known to meet those who stray outside the boundaries accepted as proper for the week. A local Assyrian promoter wanted to rent a hall for a concert a few years back, but was refused, Odisho said.

"What we are trying to do here is to make sure our people will not forget that day," Odisho said. "They gave their lives for the cause they believed in: that was the Assyrian nation. That's why it's so important for us as Assyrian people to at least honor that day."


(ZNDA: Turlock) Three Assyrian organizations in Stanislaus County, California have formed a new group so they can present their concerns in one voice in their local government.

The Assyrian National Council of Stanislaus County met for the first time last Saturday for an 8 p.m. dinner at the Assyrian-American Civic Club, 2618 N. Golden State Blvd. in Turlock.

Council organizers said they hope to provide a unified representation of Assyrian concerns in the county. During the dinner, organizers presented the council's goals and plans.

For more information, call Charmaine Daniel at 525-7175.


Courtesy of Modesto Bee - August 4; article by Patrick Giblin

(ZNDA:  Turlock) A man was charged with a civil rights violation after assaulting a group of Assyrians eating at a fast-food restaurant, police reported.

After the man was arrested, police said, he attacked a prisoner in a patrol car.

The first incident was reported at 9:44 p.m. Sunday at Carl's Jr., 2980 Geer Road.

"A white guy approaches a table full of Assyrians and tells them to 'stop talking that language,' " police spokeswoman Rosemary Howser said. "He comes back and challenged two of the Assyrians to a fight, throws a wadded-up napkin at one of them, and then spits on their table before he leaves."

During the encounter, an employee of the restaurant called police, who arrested Terry Lee Gibson, 26, of Modesto as he was walking along Geer Road.

According to police, Gibson told officers that he believed the customers were talking about him in their native language. He reportedly said, "I'm tired of them people," and that he wanted to beat them up.

After being arrested, Gibson was placed in the back seat of a patrol car with another prisoner. They were to be driven to the Stanislaus County Jail in Modesto.

"Gibson was yelling and screaming and banging his head on the window of the patrol car, saying he was going to be trouble for them," Howser said. "He then head-butted the other inmate."

No information regarding the other prisoner was available from police, but he did not appear to be seriously hurt.

Gibson was booked on charges of assault and battery, challenging a person to a fight, and violating a person's civil rights. Bail was set at $1,500.

There is still a community of Christians residing in the regions of Isauria and Celicia, Turkey. The Christians (Pontian Greek, Armenian and Assyrian) reside there peacefully amongst the mostly Muslim population as the letter from the Office of the Patriarchate of Constnatinople (Istanbul) Turkey explained in his letter to me.

My family is originally from a region in what we know now as Cappadoccia, and emigrated south to Isauria. All of us residing in the West are really lucky and fortunate. We have all the modern conveniences known to man. I feel I would like to give something back to the people.

I would like to start a non-profit fundraising organization to also bring awareness of the population residing there and also of the other Christians-the Pontian Greeks from the northern areas of Turkey which were made popular to readers through the book by Thea Halo, Not Even My Name. This is a START! A good one!

I would also like to know how to also bring this to the attention of our communities. Isauria has a lot of buildup now of developers for tourism which is going on now as the representative of the Patriarchate explained.

I would like to know if there is interested parties to this and to creating a special separate directory of Greeks, Armenians and Assyrians for the usage of business and family networking here in the west.

Let me know your suggestions.

Elisabeth-Marie Conon di Isauria
Beverly Hills, California



The July 2000 issue of Hugoye: Journal of Syriac Studies is available (click here). The issue contains 4 papers delivered at the special conference on Michael the Syrian, held at Maarat Saydnaya, the headquarters of the Syriac Orthodox Church in Damascus.

The issue contains 1 book review, 3 project reports, 2 conference reports, 1 call for papers, and 1 announcement of a forthcoming conference.

The mirror site at Leiden University (The Netherlands) will be updated later this month.

George A. Kiraz, Ph.D.
General Editor

ARF Press Release

ARF conducted the Radiothon on Friday 28th July 2000 on SBS radio (97.7 FM, 8 pm - 9 pm) to raise money to help our needy Assyrians living in Iraq and to establish a dispensary unit to provide badly needed medicine to our people. Our target was $30,000 Australian dollars. This project will not only provide medical assistance to needy Assyrians but it will finance other projects which are also vital to our survival in Iraq.

The total money pledged is $23,900 and we expect this figure to reach $30,000 in the coming weeks with the efforts of our members and supporters.

This dispensary unit will be established in Erbil, Erbil is situated in the Northern part of Iraq and is in the centre of the district where Assyrians live. People from Baghdad, Kirkuk, Mosoul, Dohuk and Zakho can reach it easily.

This project will employ 2 Pharmacists on full time basis and it will be fully equipped. The dispensary will work as a business, yet it will provide free of charge for helpless Assyrians. The project will be self sufficient and all the profits will be allocated to finance other projects like a home for our elderly who have no one to care for them and to establish a compass like housing for Village students who have no where to stay when attending Universities or collages.

ARF as a responsible body for this project will monitor its progress continuously in order for it to succeed. The establishment of this and like projects is vital to our people in Iraq. ARF believes that similar projects can be established in other countries where Assyrians live to care for needy Assyrians.

Thank you for helping us in spreading the word about this project and for collecting the money on our behalf.  I will mail the names of people who donated along with a receipt book today.

Dr. Mariam Doreen Joseph
Sydney, Australia


Links to Other Assyrian Websites

News, Radio, TV.  Information pertaining  to Assyrians

Syriac Language Software



Grace Solomon Crilly, wife of Donald Crilly, born March 6, 1929, died of acute kidney failure in her home in Iselin, New Jersey on August 5, 2000.  Her parents were Elisha and Susan Neesan Solomon, both emigrants from Iran in the early part of the 20th century.

Elisha and Susan were charter members of the Knights of Assyria in Elizabeth, New Jersey, founded circa 1930. Grace and other offspring of Assyrian immigrants attended the meetings of the Knights of Assyria. Throughout the years, the two generations bonded at the Knights' monthly meetings and as a result Grace spoke fluent Assyrian all her life.

She graduated from Battin High School, Elizabeth, N.J. in 1946.  Because of her tireless work in her children's schools, the Parent Teachers' Association awarded her a lifetime membership.

The Solomon family were members of Greystone Presbyterian Church, Elizabeth.  In addition to her husband Donald, she is survived by her daughter Suzanne Longson, her son Donald, and two grandsons:  Peter and Paul Longson.

Suzanne Crilly Longson
August 8, 2000



While every morning I rise and give glory to Almighty God for my life, I praise His name that I was born an Assyrian.  I continuously remind myself what sufferings my people have endured and are enduring so that I can still shout out to the nations of the world, "I AM ASSYRIAN" and "ASSYRIANS ARE ALIVE".  Yet at night when I sleep, my heart and mind our troubled that I may wake up the next day and discover that my identity and ancient ancestry as an Assyrian will have been changed by members of my own nation.  These individuals, who claim that their actions are in the name of unity, are actually traitors who betray the Assyrian nation and its cause.  Well, it is now the time for us to rise up like the mighty Assyrians that we are and unite as one and root out these traitors that work to destroy our glorious name, and cut them out of our midst like a surgeon cuts out a cancerous tissue.

 The week of Monday August 7th marks a very sad and holy period in our nation's history.  All of us know of the Simeleh massacre and the injustices that were perpetuated against our people.  Several devastating days of hate all vented against a people who refused to deny their Assyrian heritage and Christian faith.  The Simeleh massacre has passed into history as one of the ghastliest scenes of all times.  To quote a British officer in the service of the Iraqi Government:  "I saw and heard many terrible things in the great war, but what I saw in Simeleh is beyond human imagination."  The Assyrian population of the village of Simeleh was indiscriminately massacred:  men, women, and children alike.  In one room alone, 81 Assyrians from Baz were barbarously massacred.  Priests were tortured and their bodies mutilated.  Girls were raped and women violated and made to march naked before the Arab army commanders.  Holy books were used as fuel for burning girls.  Children were run over by military cars.  Pregnant women were bayoneted.  Children were flung in the air and pierced on to the points of bayonets.   In Dohuk 600 Assyrians were killed (The Assyrian Tragedy, p. 53-54).  It is estimated that 3000 Assyrians were massacred during that week in 1933.

 Beloved reader, today we are able to call ourselves Assyrian because our forefathers have purchased our inheritance into this mighty nation with their own sacred blood.  We remain Assyrians because our holy martyrs, with their irrefutable sacrifices, have kept our Assyrian identity and name alive among the nations of the world.  Today, we are Assyrians because those that came before us, with an unwavering love for their Christian faith and Assyrian ancestry, have safeguarded their heritage not only for us, but for generations of Assyrians that follow.

 One does not need to examine the trials and tribulations our people have endured for the sake of their Assyrian identity and Christianity over the last two millennia, to realize how much our forefathers have suffered for the Assyrian cause.  Just look at the events of the last century and you will see why I am completely against (as all true Assyrians should be) the U.S. Census Bureau's decision regarding a slashing formula, and why I support those Assyrian organizations that have taken action and filed suit against the Census Bureau.  We must never allow our Assyrian name to be corrupted by political and religious groups working for their own selfish agendas.  Do not be fooled by religious and political leaders who tantalize us with sweet-sounding claims of unity.  The only unity that is possible is under one name:  ASSYRIAN.  We are not Chaldean.  This is a misconception spread by individuals who deny their Assyrian ancestry as well as its glorious history.  We are not Syriac.  This is a dialect of the Aramaic language.  How can a language be elevated to national status?  We are Assyrians because those that came before us gave the supreme sacrifice to make sure that the Assyrian name and identity live on.  And it is our duty as Assyrians to make sure our name, identity, and language remain pure and unchanged not only for our children, but our children’s’ children.

 As a deacon for the Assyrian Church of the East, the true church of the Assyrian nation, and whose father is a priest of this glorious church, I have the utmost respect for the laws and traditions of this institution, as well as its hierarchy.  For centuries, this church has been the force behind the survival of the Assyrian nation.  And while it is true that Assyrians now belong to various Christian denominations, the sole reason they can call themselves Assyrians and Christians is because of the tremendous sacrifices martyrs of the Holy Assyrian Church of the East have made for both Christ and the Assyrian race.  The Assyrian Church of the East has been a beacon of hope and spirituality for the Assyrian nation.  Yet when I see my own church leaders standing idly by while the world passes them, and rumors of corruption and sexual misconduct arise, and every decision they make goes contrary to the teachings of our most ancient and sacred church, I no longer can keep silent and feel that it is my duty to speak out against the status quo. Whether I am right or wrong is a decision you as a reader will have to decide.  And although I have many faults of my own, I have every right as an educated Assyrian to protest the decisions being made by my church as well as political organizations that are detrimental to the Assyrian name and people.

Furthermore, I was absolutely appalled to see one of my church's bishops and priests discussing on Bet-Nahrain television the reason for our church's “nouveau” policy of sending its priests and bishops to Rome/Vatican so that they may become “educated”.  I was also tremendously saddened when they were describing how our Assyrian people are "in the dark" and how the Church of the East "lacks education".
Nowadays, members of the Assyrian nation are educated and are able to make up their own minds without the influence of the clergy.  Individuals no longer turn to their priests and bishops for guidance, as they did years ago.  We attend prestigious universities and obtain a first-rate education, allowing us to obtain professional positions of employment that bring us material wealth.  Therefore, since we have become more independent through education and have the mental capacity to decide what is good for ourselves without the help of the clergy, we are able detect the faults that are present not only in the Church, but Assyrian organizations as well.  We see the corruption and it truly upsets and saddens us, causing us to voice our concerns and take a stand to correct the wrongs.  Therefore, I feel that it is very arrogant and naive of an individual to state that Assyrians are “in the dark” and lack “education”.

Secondly, the Assyrian Church was an organization centuries ahead of its time that was open and tolerant to many beliefs and promoted novel ideas to educate its members.  Its success can be witnessed by its flourishing during the Abbassid Caliphates, when many Assyrians were promoted to high level government positions during Arab rule.  Furthermore, as quoted by A. Mingana, a prominent Assyrian theologian, the Assyrian Church had realized that the atom was the smallest physical particle and that the earth revolved around the sun centuries before these discoveries were made by Bohr, Copernicus and Galileo.  And while the Roman church considered such ideas as heresies, the Assyrian church promoted these ideas centuries before they were scientifically proven in the West.

 Additionally, the Assyrian Church had prominent learning centers, such as the schools of Nisibin and Edessa (Orhai), where instructors of Christian theology, inspired by divine thinking rather than earthly philosophy, taught students that would carry on the traditions of the church.  These learning centers were the envy of the Western world.  Not only was theology taught at these institutions, but secular subjects as well, such as medicine, astronomy, and science.  When the Roman church was still in its infancy, the Assyrian Church of the East, with its strict monasticism, had developed an active missionary prowess that would allow the penetration of the good news of the Gospel into areas such as Malabar and Trichur, India, Armenia, Turkestan (southern USSR today), Tibet, central China, Mongolia, Siberia, and Japan.  Even today, there is a bustling community of Christians in India that claim their Christian heritage from St. Thomas and recognize the Patriarch of the Assyrian Church of the East as their head.

Therefore, it is not the sacred institution of the Church that lacks education, as I have discussed above, but the individuals who are elevated to the hierarchy of the church.  I find great fault in this policy, where uneducated individuals who know very little of their Assyrian history and the Church’s history and theology, are ordained priests and bishops.  The responsibilities they must fulfill become too great for them to handle, and many wrong decisions and actions are taken due to their lack of education.  This is something that will not be corrected by sending them to the Vatican for education, but rather by finding learned individuals who are absolutely committed to the Assyrian nation and Church.

Because we have entered a new century and millennium, does that give us the right to forget what our people have gone through for their faith and nation?  Absolutely not!!!  And while the Pope and Rome have prospered and the Vatican has grown powerful, was it a Vatican education and Papal loyalty that stirred in our forefathers’ hearts when our people fought like the ancient warriors of old when faced with annihilation at the hands of the Turks and Kurds?  Was it the Pope that taught the late Mar Benyamin Shimun to be the fearless leader he was for the sake of his people?  Was a Roman Catholic theology responsible for his unwavering faith in Christ and loyalty to his Assyrian flock, when even the knowledge of the murder of his brother was imminent if he joined the Allies for the survival of his people?  Were our people in the dark, as stated by certain bishops and priests, when our mighty Assyrian warriors rose up as giants to fight the evil surrounding them?

Where was the Vatican and the Pope when Mar Shimun was at the forefront of the Assyrian migration, like a lion on the attack with his rifle at his side, leading his so-called uneducated people through the hostile valleys so that the Assyrian nation could survive?!  Where was Christian charity from the Vatican when the mighty Assyrian tribes of Thiari, Tkhooma, Jilu and Baz were valiantly fighting battles, not for land, money, or forced religious conversion, as did Rome, but for the survival of the nation of Assyria?!  Where are our religious and nationalistic leaders who can inspire and give hope to a persecuted people, as did the late Mar Eshai Shimun, whose life was dedicated to the preservation of his down-trodden people?  Where are the leaders like Mar Shimun whose entrance into Baghdad in 1970 after 37 years of exile, not only shook the city to its foundations, but the country of Iraq itself?  Where are the leaders like Mar Yosip, who led our great nation and church during troubled times, and whose meek and pure heart surely contrasts the arrogant egos of today’s clergy?

Beloved Assyrians, we do not need leaders, whether in the Church or Assyrian organizations, whose education has taught them to deny and forget their Assyrian ancestry and what our nation has gone through for the survival of its people.  We need educated individuals who are committed to the Assyrian cause of preserving our great name and heritage.  Now is the time for the Assyrian Church of the East to stand up and fulfill its duty to its people, irregardless of denomination.  It must become a leader once again and guide the Assyrian nation through the difficult times ahead.  The Church must be actively involved in teaching the Assyrian youth our language and culture, so that we do not lose this precious element of our race to foreign influence.  How can we expect our children and grandchildren to carry on the traditions and culture of our people, when we ourselves are not fulfilling our obligations to our nation?  We must set examples for them to follow and encourage and support them when they want to participate in Assyrian associations, rather than disregarding their opinions.  Because without the youth, the future of the Assyrian nation is bleak, and we will only have ourselves to blame.

Furthermore, the Church must undergo a transformation within, so that it can become a sacred institution teaching the Assyrian people the moral and ethical roles of a Christian.  And if it is found that the hierarchy and leaders are not able to fulfill these obligations, they should be replaced immediately by qualified individuals who are able to do so.  Now is the time for Assyrian organizations, regardless of political association, to come to forefront and fight the good fight for the preservation of our people.  We must not allow the sacrifices and sufferings our people have endured to go in vain.  We must never allow our name to be changed and corrupted.  Rise up mighty Assyrians and awaken from your deep sleep, because now is the time that we must take hold of our future and continue the glorious works of our forefathers of keeping the Assyrian name pure and unchanged and alive among the nations of the world.

Deacon John Badal Piro
B.S., M.S., Pharmacy Intern



One of Michigan's oldest historically black colleges, Lewis College of Business, is reaching out to a new student population -- Chaldean Americans. Beginning Sept. 5, Lewis plans to offer classes and an associate's of arts degree at the Community Educational Center near Seven Mile and Woodward in Chaldean Town. The classes will mark the first time Lewis has specifically marketed its services to ethnic groups other than African Americans, said Frank Gillespie, director of student services. "We want to expand their educational opportunities ... and try to bridge the misunderstandings between blacks and Chaldeans," Gillespie said. Tensions between African Americans and Arabs and Chaldeans have been high in recent months following the case of the death of Kalvin Porter, a black man who fought two Yemeni immigrant employees at a Detroit gas station and died May 14, 1999. One Yemeni man was acquitted and the other's case was dropped for lack of evidence in May.

Majorie Harris, right, president of Lewis College of Business, speaks with Asaad Yousif Kalasho, founder and president of the Community Educational Center in Detroit.

So far, only 12 students have signed up, but the college hopes to get as many as 30 students enrolled by fall, Gillespie said. Along with classes for an associate's degree, Lewis also plans to offer computer, introductory business and personal finance courses. Students will pay tuition of $246 per credit hour. Lewis instructors will teach students at the community center. That's a key aspect of the program, said Asaad Yousif, executive director of the community center. "Most students wouldn't get their degree if Lewis didn't come here," he said. "Lewis seemed to understand our needs and they wanted to reach out." There are about 150,000 Chaldean Americans in Metro Detroit, Yousif said. The Community Educational Center also offers a variety of classes in English, U.S. citizenship, health care, economics and other topics. The college also works with the UAW and International Credit Repair to offer personal finance classes to employees at Ford, General Motors and DaimlerChrysler plants. Lewis has an enrollment of 300 students. Lewis offers two-year business administration degrees in accounting, marketing and management and has office and computer information systems degrees for medical office assistant, legal administrative assistant, medical administrative assistant and other clerical fields at its college campus on Meyers. The college also offers one-year certificate programs in medical billing and medical office assistant. Started in Detroit by Dr. Violet T. Lewis in 1939, Lewis is Michigan's only original historically black college still in business.

Call the Community Educational Center at (313) 867-0562.



BC (867)

King Ashurnasirpal campaigns against the rebels in northern Bet-Nahrain.  He marches through Commagene or Kummuh and continues north as far as Malatia (Milid).  He then turns south-east to Amadiya and Diarbekir where he crucifies 3,000 men and captures the capital city of Damdamuna, killing 600 in process.  He then returns to his capital in Calah (Nimrud).

The Kingdom of Armenia, Chahin

AD (1920)

Sir Percey Cox in his report on the administration of Iraq for period October 1920 through March 1922 states:  "Assyrian Levies were being raised by the British military and civil authorities on the strict understanding that this move was intended for the reoccupation of their homes in Turkey.  These Levies were used against the Kurds, the Turks, and the Arabs who all aimed at undermining British authority in Iraq...  In justice to the Assyrians it must be added that during the first three months of this year, when a Turkish attack was always a possibility, they have proved their strategic value on the Iraq frontier.  In March, over 2,000 enlisted in the Levies within three months.  It is far from improbable that this instant response on the part of a people whose qualities as fighting men are renowned was the main reason which induced the Kemalists [Mustafa Kemal, later Attaturk] to abandon their projected attack.  Led by British officers, they are a native force second to none.  Their quickness in picking up discipline and their mettle in battle has surprised and delighted all who have been concerned with them."

The Assyrian Tragedy, Annamasse


August 11, 1933:   Although the massacre of the Assyrians in northern Iraq had already begun, the mass killing of the civilians was officially inaugurated on the 11th of August.  The massacre zone was 15-30 miles from Mosul which was linked up with telephone, telegraph, and by other means of communication.  The Minster of Interior, Hikmat Sulaiman, pretended that he only heard of the massacre on the 14th of August when orders to stop it were given as its object had already been fulfilled.

Arabs and Kurds were armed by the Iraqi government and offered one pound for every Assyrian head.  They were also told that all means employed against the Assyrians were lawful and Government would take no action against them.

Between August 7 and 11, sixty five out of ninety five Assyrian villages were sacked, destroyed or burnt to the ground.  In Dohuk, the town crier, under the orders of the Arab mayor informed the public that anyone helping an Assyrian will be severely dealt with.  Under this same Arab mayor, 500 unarmed Assyrians were killed in Dohuk.

The Assyrians massacred during August 1933 were 3,000.  No relief was afforded by the British authorities.

The Assyrian Tragedy,  Annamasse

Aug 30- 
Sep 4

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