Z I N D A  M A G A Z I N E
Eelool 21, 6750                     Volume VI                      Issues 23                  September 21, 2000
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T H I S   W E E K   I N   Z I N D A
The Lighthouse The Two Halves:  Exclusion of An Assyrian Painting
Good Morning Bet-Nahrain Democracy & Pluralism:  Bahdanani KDP Style
KDP Leader on Inter-Kurdish Talks, Assyrians
News Digest U.S. Agents Detain 38 Chaldeans at U.S.-Mexico Border
Surfs Up "thank you for the latest issue"
Surfers Corner Assyrians Summoned by Iraqi Intelligence Directorate
Literatus Not Assyrian Enough
Bravo! The Making of the English-Akkadian-English Dictionary
Assyrian Surfing Posts Edward Hydo's Paintings
About Akkadian
The Library of Babylon
Pump Up the Volume Jail & Laboratory
Back to the Future Cayonu Settlement & the Nestorian Monument in China
This Week in History Dr. Petros de Baz
Calendar of Events Family Picnic in San Mateo, California

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



Exclusion of Rabel Shamuel Painting, "Assyrian Politics", from the Chicago 2000 Art Show

Censorship is the greatest enemy to an artist's mind and soul. It is the force that sucks creativity and character out of a piece of artwork and inputs disrespect and confusion. Censorship is also like a binding force, which combines reality and truth in one body. Censorship right away implements your ideas to the eye of the beholder through the means of silence.

The reality behind censorship is a very harsh one. Reality comes in contact with an artist when censorship occurs because of certain beliefs or ideas that the artist is trying to represent onto a canvas. It is an act that definitely lacks respect for the artist and for the artwork. That's what happened to me during the art show at the 67th Assyrian American National Foundation (A.A.N.F) held in Chicago from the period of August 30th through September 4th, 2000. Without my consent my "Assyrian Politics" painting was removed from the art show on Thursday, September 30, 2000.

Reality was hard for me during that period of time, but it led me to the truth. Through brainless human actions, the truth started to emerge a while after the painting was taken down. In this case the truth was not brushed to the side and waited for the dust to build upon it. I will never let my words, ideas, and actions to be suppressed!

Silence uttered the truth in an indirect way. Silence within a piece of artwork is a good way of reaching the eyes of the viewer and making them realize the soul purpose of the artwork. The A.A.N.F silenced my painting and now it speaks to the public with the intent to better educate the blind forces that suppressed it.

The A.A.N.F should be ashamed of itself. It let "Zowaa supporters" suppress the freedom of a speech and expression of a 19-year-old. This is an irresponsible act and only can be found in dictatorship regimes around the world. I'm not against Zowaa; neither is my family. I have the outmost respect for all the men that have worked with them and given their lives to such a worthy cause. But I will never respect the supporters of Zowaa who came and took my painting out of the art show. My painting consisted of two halves. The right side of the painting was described as the greedy and corrupt side and the left represented the good and confused. These foolish supporters immediately thought that the color that I used to represent the right side was some sort of an attack against Zowaa. It seems to me though that these supporters somehow believed that Zowaa is bad and corrupt because of the color I choose to use in the right half of the painting. How could such people represent such an honorable organization and diminish its image? What kind of supporters are these people? They are confused and lost. They are supporters of Zowaa just for the sake of being supporters with a lot of shallowness carved in their minds. I don't ask much from Zowaa. Although I do ask that you separate the men from the boys.

During the convention I wanted to have a meeting with the people that censored my art. I was not able to do that. All my pleas went into deaf ears. They had no time for the questions that were so eagerly waiting to be answered. I tried to ask certain individuals in the A.A.N.F about what had happened and one was more confused than the other. Or at least they acted like they were confused.

In conclusion, my goal in writing this is not to put any organizations down, but to let the people of our nation know what has happened to my artwork during the convention. In a way, I'm glad this censorship took place. The reason is because it only makes me a better artist and such a thing fuels the creativeness within me. I also want feedback on what I have written-- especially from the 19-year-olds like myself who are attending college.  I'm really interested in finding out what you have to say about the censorship that took place during this year's convention.

"Zowaa" is the Assyrian Democratic Movement or Zowaa Demoqratdaya Atouraya- the leading Assyrian political party in northern Iraq.  The Secretary General of ADM, Mr. Ninos Petyo, was a guest of the AANF at the Chicago Convention and is currently touring North America.




An article by the Assyrian International News Agency;  Posted 9-18-2000

On August 16, 2000, Mr. Masud Barzani, the leader of the Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP), addressed his Behdanani followers in Arbil on the occasion of the 54th anniversary of the establishment of the KDP. Excerpts from Mr. Barzani's presentation emphasizing democracy and pluralism as the cornerstones of KDP policy have been met with cynicism by Assyrians suffering under KDP occupation and Assyrians living abroad. According to Mr. Barzani "freedom of expression, pluralism, and religious and national rights are guaranteed and preserved" and the KDP occupied area "is a centre for religious and ethnic brotherhood and tolerance."

In reality, though, the Behdanani KDP has exercised a systematic campaign of persecution and intimidation against the Assyrian population in northern Iraq. The policies of land expropriation, assassinations, abductions, rapes, and tortures have been widely documented by international organizations such as the United Nations, Amnesty International, the Middle East Council of Churches (MECC) and the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC). Despite KDP promises, made under pressure, to carry out investigations, no crime against Assyrians has ever been resolved and no perpetrator ever brought to justice.

Last summer's attacks against the Assyrian villages in the Nahla district (AINA - October 16, 1999, November 30, 1999) by KDP forces have yet to be investigated or public apologies and compensation given by the KDP. The KDP's response to the widespread international outcry was to further intimidate and threaten the besieged villagers into formally writing that no such attacks or persecution ever existed (AINA - January 21, 2000). The KDP also compelled one Assyrian group under KDP occupation to declare "we never had it so good" in their denial of the Nahla attacks. The KDP is also believed to have created a supposed Assyrian News Agency that also denied the attacks ever took place. Involvement in the matter and subsequent independent confirmation of the attacks by the MECC envoy in Iraq as well as the ICRC, the UN as well as Assyrian organizations served to demonstrate the brutality of the KDP occupation as well as expose the primitive disinformation campaign used in the K! DP cover up.

The same pattern of Behdanani KDP intimidation of victims following KDP abuses is demonstrated in the murder of Ms. Helen Sawa by Mr. Azet Al Din Al Barwari, a KDP central committee member (AINA - June 19, 1999). Helen was a twenty year old young Assyrian woman who was forced by the KDP to work as a servant in Mr. Al Barwari's home in order to maintain her deceased father's KDP pension. Early in June of 1999, Helen's partially buried and decomposed body was found partly eaten by scavenging animals. Sources in northern Iraq have suspected Mr. Al Barwari of the KDP was responsible for the probable sexual assault and subsequent murder of Helen Sawa. Rather than face an investigation, Mr. Al Barwari has till now continued to enjoy his privileges as an upper echelon Behdanani KDP central committee member.

In keeping with standard KDP policy in such matters, it has been reported that in March and April, Helen's brothers were abducted and severely beaten in order to quiet Assyrian demands for an investigation. Although Helen's family had long ago buried, along with Helen's remains, any hope of ever finding justice under KDP occupation, the continued intimidation and threats against her brothers are presumably aimed at silencing any further international Assyrian community calls for an investigation and possible extradition of Mr. Al Barwari.

In his anniversary speech, Mr. Barzani also stated that "In its programme (sic), the KDP acknowledged the rights of the Turkoman, Assyrian, and Chaldean brothers." This oft repeated reference to Assyrians and Chaldeans as separate people represents a crude, persistent, and deliberate KDP policy of attempting to split Assyrians into different self-identifying communities, for the purpose of weakening Assyrian resolve and demographic significance. Such division has been rejected both by Assyrians under KDP occupation as well as mainstream international organizations and the various Church hierarchies. Most notable has been the recent statement by the Patriarch of the Chaldean Church describing his nationality as Assyrian and his sectarian affiliation as Chaldean. Similar statements by the Patriarch of the Assyrian Church of the East have repeatedly declared that "we are one people."

Such KDP rhetoric attempting to divide Assyrians has become increasingly infuriating in light of the various Assyrian communities including those who identify themselves as Syriac, Chaldean, and Maronite in the U.S. requesting their members to be tabulated together as one people in the 2000 U.S. Census under one category (AINA - June 13, 1999). It is widely believed that recognition by the U.S. government of the desire by the different Assyrian communities to be tabulated together and that irrespective of their self-identifying nomenclature, Assyrians, Chaldeans, and Syriacs are all one people has sent a stern warning to the Behdananis, Soranis as well as Arab governments throughout the Middle East otherwise bent on dividing the Assyrian people.

Such pervasive political rhetoric by leaders such as Mr. Barzani regarding the Assyrian people is deliberately designed to be and indeed does amount to a serious and flagrant affront to the Assyrian sense of nationhood and identity. With Behdanani, Sorani, and Kurmanji "Kurds" adhering to different languages, cultures, appearances, geographies, and histories, it is especially ironic that the leaders of these distinct peoples still do not recognize the inherent danger to their very own movements in deliberately promoting a policy of divisiveness amongst the Assyrians. Furthermore, with well researched articles on the violent Kurdification policies of the ultra-nationalist Kurds against non-Kurds such as the Zaza and Alevies of Turkey, readily available, Kurdish leaders should refrain from using such crude dividing tactics, lest they draw attention to their own "Kurdish identity". The savage and bloody national wars among the "Kurds", based on conflicting national identifications, ideologies, ethnicities, and goals as well as the brutal Kurdification policies against the Zaza and Alevies of Turkey, serve as a not so subtle reminder of the serious divisions amongst the Sorani, Behdanani, Kurmanji, and other "Kurds".

Excerpts from report by Iraqi Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP)

Source: Kurdistan Satellite TV, Salah al-Din, Translated from Sorani Kurdish

On September 10, Kurdistan Democratic Party leader, Mas'ud Barzani reaffirmed the KDP's commitment to the implementation of the Washington peace agreement and to giving impetus to the peace process. He also stressed the importance of the freedom of expression and practicing religion. He also said that the KDP is enjoying good relations with neighboring countries and it is highly regarded at the international level.

On the aggressions of the Kurdistan Workers' Party [PKK], leader Barzani said: We oppose the PKK's presence in Iraqi Kurdistan under any circumstances. [Unidentified reporter - recording]

In the presence of leader Mas'ud Barzani, the second session of the [KDP-led] Kurdistan National Assembly was opened today in Arbil... Later, at the request of the Kurdistan National Assembly, leader Mas'ud Barzani addressed the session...

On the peace issue, leader Barzani said:   It is about time to tell our people about the peace process. Leader Barzani was of the opinion that the Washington agreement is a historic document and it is the best agreement for the people of Kurdistan. We should not allow any alternative agreement to replace it.

[Barzani]   The Washington agreement is a whole package. It cannot be split up. Neither the PUK [Patriotic Union of Kurdistan] nor the KDP can pick and choose clauses that are in their interest and leave the others. When the agreement was signed, we explicitly told everyone that returning to the 1992 results does not mean returning to the agreement that was made [after the elections] between the KDP and the PUK. This means that the KDP had a majority of the votes. Whether other people accept it or not, recognize it or not, this is a reality that cannot be changed by the acceptance or recognition of this person or the other. The KDP had a majority of the votes. But we compromised and made it 50-50 in order to prevent problems and fighting and for the sake of the success of the experiment. Unfortunately, fighting took place and we suffered a lot of The British Broadcasting Corporation, September 16, 2000 casualties. Therefore, there is no excuse for us to repeat a failed experiment. The 50-50 arrangement stopped any development for the KDP and the PUK. We came to a standstill. Returning to that experience will not be a wise thing to do.

[Reporter]   Leader Barzani spoke about the KDP-PUK meetings held in Washington in June last year and this year, which were held to clarify all the PUK's different interpretations of the Washington agreement. In order to clarify the contents of the agreement, leader Barzani spoke about an important issue and expressed readiness to hold elections as soon as tomorrow.

[Barzani]   The Washington agreement gives us two options. Either we form a joint administration and government that starts the normalization process with the help of the parliament and holds elections; or the two administrations stay as they are and the parliament starts its work and then normalization starts and a new election is held. In both cases, holding another election is the only way to solve all the problems. Some people say that the KDP is not willing to hold another election. I am surprised by this. I declare to you and the whole Kurdish nation that if elections were held tomorrow, we would be ready for them, even without normalization. Elections need preparations, but if they were held tomorrow, we would be ready for them. We strongly want elections to be held and we are ready for them and we will accept the results.

[Reporter]   Leader Barzani explained the results of the last meeting of the KDP-PUK Higher Coordinating Committee for peace [HCC]. The PUK has accepted the results of the 1992 election, where the KDP polled 51 per cent and the PUK polled 49 per cent; expressed readiness to stabilize the situation in the Kurdistan region; and the return of the green list's MPs to Arbil; and revoke the illegal steps taken in Sulaymaniyah. The KDP in return should fulfill its financial obligations. Leader Barzani considered the results of that meeting as a good step in giving impetus to the peace process. But he mentioned the PUK's approach to the implementation of those decisions.

[Barzani]   It was a good step. Many obstacles were overcome. When it came to the implementation, issues like the venue of parliament arose. This is the place of the parliament. In order to avoid problems, our friends [KDP delegation to the HCC meeting] said: let us hold the first session in the official venue [Arbil] and hold the second in Sulaymaniyah and the third in Dohuk. I think that this exists in parliamentary systems. On the issue of MPs safety, we said that we will be responsible for their safety when the meeting is held in Arbil and you should be responsible when it is held in Sulaymaniyah. Neither we nor you should bring an army when we visit each other. We should overlook these minor points that are not even worth mentioning. The other issue that they put forward was the speaker of parliament. If they are really satisfied with the results of 1992, 51 per cent and 49 per cent, this should be reflected in everything; if not, it should be left to the parliament. Because if everything is decided prior to the parliament convening, then what is the use of the parliament. On the [KDP's] financial obligations issue, it was decided that a lump sum of 50m dinars was to be paid [to the PUK] as a loan and monthly payments to follow after that. They spoke about astronomic figures. If their figures were right and the KDP was receiving them, let them have everything. Whoever can afford this budget will not have any problems. Despite this, and when our friends returned and spoke about the positive atmosphere and the possibility of it developing further - [changes thought] - In fact, the issue is not whether the money should be for the KDP or the PUK. As far as we are concerned, the people of Sulaymaniyah and Garmiyan [PUK-controlled area of Kirkuk Governorate] are as important as the people of Arbil and Dohuk, if not more. They are our brothers and sisters. We deeply want to serve them, even without reaching an agreement. We are ready to participate in service projects for the people. We should not link that to any agreement, provided that the money is spent on services and nothing else. When our friends returned, we said that in order to prove that financial maters are not an issue, our dispute is not over this point, we increased the 50m dinars to 90m dinars and monthly payments of 12m dinars to the service sector. They say that this amount is small. At other times they say: we accept it... I call on everyone from inside and outside, even the PUK brothers, to come forward if they have anything better to help us do something better. I do not know what more we can do. We are ready for the parliament to convene, ready to fulfill our financial obligations, ready to accept that the parliament holds its second session in Sulaymaniyah, ready for elections, ready to cooperate in all other fields. I do not know what more we can do. If the intention is that the KDP dissolves itself, this is a dream and no-one will accept this. This is the state of the peace process. In the last meeting of the HCC, the PUK friends said: Let us stop these meetings until a change in the stance of one or both of us takes place. It is up to them when they want to meet. They are welcome, and it is also up to them if they do not want to meet.

[Reporter]   At the end of his address, leader Barzani said that the steps taken over the last two years since the Washington agreement were a good basis for confidence building between the two sides... Later, Leader Barzani spoke about some aspects of the people of Kurdistan's life. He started with the freedom of thought and expression. He said: Freedom has its framework and it should not undermine traditions and sacred values at a time when the Kurds have their own traditions and cannot be changed by few written lines. He reaffirmed that Kurdistan is a centre for religious and ethnic tolerance. Religiously, Muslims, Christians and Yezidis; and ethnically, Kurds, Turkomans and Assyrians are living freely. The Turkomans and Assyrians are enjoying their rights to a great extent.

[Barzani]   I think that our Turkoman and Assyrian brothers are enjoying their rights to a great extent. There are no favors in that. I don't like people saying that we gave you these rights. God gave us these rights, he gave us and them these rights. We did not give these rights to them. Today, governance is in the hands of Kurds. We have to prove that Kurdish rule is a humane one, they accord other people whatever rights they have themselves. But we still see some people, especially the so called Turkoman Front, deliberately creating hostility between Kurds and Turkomans. I think that those people should take these dreams with them to their graves. Kurds and Turkomans are brothers and there is no room for anyone to come and create an atmosphere of hostility between us. Illegal acts are not acceptable - I am saying this frankly. Sooner or later, law will prevail and unauthorized militias will cease to exist in Kurdistan. Illegal acts in Kurdistan should stop. The government is asked to implement the laws passed by the parliament concerning parties and arms. The KDP is at the disposal of the government to do that. I also call on all the allied parties to cooperate in order to achieve that. Let us have a civilized front. The KDP does not harbor hostility towards anyone. But we see some parties that breach some laws and three or four other parties contact them as if they are defending the oppressed and the KDP is the oppressor. Let us stop dealing with each other in this way. Whether other people like it or not, we will uphold the law and we are proud of doing that. But let us do it together.

[Reporter] Leader Barzani repeated his earlier statement saying that if Turkomans have better conditions anywhere else, let them come and tell us about it. But this should be done through dialogue because we are not used to accepting forceful language from anyone... On the issue of internally displaced people, leader Barzani said:

[Barzani] We guarantee the security of the people from Arbil and Dohuk if they return [from PUK-held areas] to their homes. But I cannot guarantee the security of those who go from here [to PUK-held areas]. I urge the regional government to offer everything possible to them [the internally displaced people in the KDP-held area]. There should not be a limit on serving those people. Be sure that however long they stay, it is temporary.

[Reporter] ...On regional and international relations, leader Barzani said that there are strong fraternal relations with the Islamic Republic of Iran and Turkey. On Turkey, leader Barzani said that inappropriate acts by any person or group will not affect these relations. On relations with the Arab world, leader Barzani said: We attach great importance to these relations and we are trying to build a good network of relations. On international relations, leader Barzani said that the KDP's voice receives a special attention. On the complicated situation in Iraq, leader Barzani said: The situation in Iraq is very complicated. But it is in our interest to get our rights through peaceful means and through dialogue. On the economic sanctions and the current situation of the Iraqi people, leader Barzani said: We will do whatever we can to end the misery of the Iraqi people. The PKK issue was another part of leader Barzani's speech. He said: The PKK talks about peace and democracy, but they are always, and up until a few days ago, carrying out sabotage acts and planting mines and killing innocent civilians. At the same time, leader Barzani reaffirmed that we do not have any problems with the PKK apart from asking them to leave Iraqi Kurdistan in order to let the people live peacefully...



Courtesy of Associated Press; article by Ben Fox

(ZNDA: San Diego)  On Wednesday, U.S. Immigration and Naturalization Service agents held 38 Iraqi-Chaldeans at the Mexican border after small groups of them tried to walk into the United States without visas. Mexican police detained about 150 others in a Tijuana hotel room.

A letter from someone claiming to represent the group said the Iraqis are Chaldeans, who were tired of waiting in Tijuana for permission to enter the United States and decided to present themselves en masse at the border, according to an INS official speaking on condition of anonymity.

They were awaiting interpreters Wednesday at the San Ysidro Port of Entry, which links San Diego and Tijuana, Mexico, so they could explain their case to the Immigration and Naturalization Service, said spokeswoman Lauren Mack.  "They are very well, very calm, very quiet," Mack said.  One person inside held up a white sheet painted with the words, "We Want USA.''

U.S.-based Iraqis who had come to Mexico to see relatives in the group said the refugees had been there for two to four months trying to get visas.  "They are tired of waiting,'' said Romil Gewarges, a Phoenix resident visiting his sister-in-law and her family.

Gewarges said he didn't know how the group got to Tijuana, but he said living conditions in Iraq prompted them to leave. "There's no food, no medicine, basically they're starving,'' he said.

Another man standing outside the hotel said some had lived in Greece for several years before traveling to Mexico City and then Tijuana.  "All of them want to be in the United States,'' said Faris Mikha of San Diego.

Agents who say Chaldeans don't normally enter through Mexico are trying to determine how they arrived and whether they used smugglers.  It is unusual for such a large group of foreign citizens to attempt to enter together at San Ysidro, the world's busiest border crossing, said Louis Semon, a spokesman for the Customs Service.  Extra INS agents stood along San Ysidro's northbound walkway to check the documents of each person headed for the United States, delaying a usually quick passage.


Shlameh from Olympics City, Sydney - Australia.  Once again I am writing to thank you for the latest issue of Zinda and to say how much I appreciate your efforts and the efforts of other contributors in producing this magazine.
It is an effective medium of exchange for news and information about the Assyrians around the world.  Keep up the the good work...

Romeo Hanna



An Assyrian National Congress Press Release

September 10, 2000

The Government of Iraq follows a policy of political, cultural and educational discrimination against the Assyrians in Iraq. This state conducted discrimination deprives the Assyrian of their basic human rights.

Apparently this government policy extend to the right of rending Assyrian magazine! In early August, while the Assyrians were observing the Assyrian Martyrs week in commemoration of the Simel massacres carried out by the Iraqi Royal Army in August 4-11, 1933 in northern Iraq, several Assyrian intellectuals, clergy (from both Assyrian religious denominations: The Assyrian Church of the East and the Chaldean Catholic Church) and ordinary citizens were summoned by the "Postal inspectors", Iraqi security agents, in the cities of Baghdad and Mosul and questioned. about receiving Bet-Nahrain, an Assyrian magazine published in California, USA. The Bet-Nahrain magazine is the literary organ of Bet-Nahrain Organization, an educational and cultural association affiliated with the Assyrian National Congress (ANC). The Iraqi security agents wanted to know whether these Assyrians were affiliated with Bet-Nahrain Democratic Party (BNDP), an Assyrian political party affiliated with ANC, and whether they were regular subscribers to the magazine.

After holding them under detention for several hours, these Assyrians (names withheld by the ANC to protect their identity) were released with a warning that they should cut all their relations with the magazine. The editor of Bet-Nahrain magazine, Dr. Sargon Dadesho, himself a target of an Iraqi assassination plot in 1990 (the would-be assassin was arrested by the FBI in Modesto, California on February 13, 1990 and served five years in a federal prison), confirmed the fact that his staff has received several telephone calls from the relatives, who live in western countries, requesting the staff to stop sending the magazine to their family members in Iraq. The editor denied sending the magazine directly to any Assyrians in Iraq. He added: "it is obvious that Assyrian political activists in USA and Europe sent the magazine randomly to Assyrians in Iraq via the postal service.

The ANC condemns this inhumane act against those innocent Assyrians who were held and threatened in Baghdad and Mosul. Once again the Baghdad regime has exposed its brutal ethnocide policy against the Assyrians, the indigenous people of Iraq. We call upon all the world governments and human rights organizations to pay more attention to the plight of the Assyrian minority in Iraq.

The Information Bureau
Assyrian National Congress
P.O Box 3539
Modesto, California 95352
TEL: (209) 522-3229   FAX: (209) 538-2795

To view the scanned copy of the press release: click here


Shlama aturaye khubbane

We would like to let the beloved people of our nation know about Assyria TV, an assyrian satellite channel.  It broadcasts programs in the Assyrian language, both Eastern and Western dialects, twice a
week.  Broadcast and transmission times are as follow:

Every Saturday and Sunday
13:00 to 15:00 CET
12:00 to 14:00 GMT

Technical Information

Satellite:            eutelsat w2, 36 to the east
Frequency:        11.163 or 1.410 mhz
Polarisation:      horizontal

We are currently testing our broadcasting quality and will start presenting high quality programs from 1st of October 2000.

To do so though we will need assistance from active and independent Assyrian individuals that can find the time and effort to act as our reporters.  We would like to have reporters for our channel where ever our people reside.

Taoodi saggi lkul'laokhoon and we would like to say ieyo ( jehboo) to Zinda for the great work that keeps getting better every week.

Nineb Tooma
Assyria TV


Edward Hydo's Paintings

Samples, Contact Info, and Guestbook

About Akkadian

The Library of Babylon




Is being Assyrian a matter of what you wear?  Is it a matter of what music you listen to?  Is it even a matter of how you look?  My answer to all of these questions is no answer at all.  They don't deserve a response.  It's ridiculous to believe that these are the things that make an Assyrian an Assyrian.  Sadly though, I've crossed paths with too many Assyrians that put all of my worth in these insignificant points.  They look at me, my clothes, and how I am and they judge my integrity before I even have a chance to open my mouth.  It's ridiculous and it's wrong to be treated that way.  I can't even understand that way of thinking.

Why is that the way?  Is it because I don't fit their ideal picture of an Assyrian?  Maybe I don't look like the majority of my people.  Actually, no maybes about it, I don't.  But should that take away from how much I love my culture or how proud I am to be an Assyrian?  I thought being an Assyrian meant that you could see another Assyrian and feel like family without even saying two words to each other.  That is one thing that I thought separated us from other cultures, our love for one another.  But when we lose this love because of small, petty differences, we lose what we are.  We lose everything that we've tried so hard to hold on to, our unity. I don't want to be treated specially or be held above anyone.  All I want is to not to be put down.  All I want is to not be judged.  All I want is to be accepted by all of my Assyrian family without having to prove my loyalty or love for my culture just because I don't look "Assyrian enough".  And what hurts me most is that it's not whites, blacks, or hispanics putting me down; it's my own people.

I know how much I love being Assyrian and I try to convey that to the people around me, but the ones that won't even listen to me are the ones that I'm ashamed of.  I don't know whether I feel worse for myself or for the people that are judging me.  But regardless of the reasons for this or how this makes me feel, it has to stop.  Now, this article focuses on me and my experiences, but it speaks so much more of certain Assyrian people.  We will never amount to anything if we're too busy holding each other down.  In closing, all I can say is that we need to stop.  We need to stop conflicting with one another so that we can start helping one another.  And only by helping one another will we rise again.

Alfred Younan

Mr. Younan is a member of the Assyrian Student Union of America. His article appeared in the first issue of this organization's newsletter "Mezalta" in August.   Mezalta is a monthly newsletter, edited by Mr. Youssouf Youkhanna and designed by Mr. Ramsen Neesan.




The University of Helsinki's Assyriologists and linguists are working on a comprehensive "English-Akkadian-English" dictionary to be published in May 2001.  Akkadian is an ancient semitic language, spoken by the inhabitants of Mesopotamia (Bet-Nahrain) until the advent of Aramaic language around 1000 B.C.

The EAE Dictionary will comprise 13,000 Akkadian (ancient Assyrian) and 17,000 English entries.  It will include words attested in ancient Assyrian texts and Assyrian equivalents for all concepts found in a modern dictionary of comparable size.  It will include idiomatic expressions, the language of the imperial period (Neo-Assyrian), and a key to the cuneiform signs.

Professor Simo Parpola of the University of Helsinki is the Editor-in-Chief of the EAE Dictionary and his editorial staff include the graduate students from the University of Helsinki.  EAE Dictionary will be published by Werner Soderstrom Oy in Helsinki.

This project is made possible by a grant from the Mesopotamia Museum of Chicago.

For more information contact:  Dr. Norman Solhkhah at (847) 699-9000.
Modern Assyrian
adi  -or-  adi-ya



BC (9000)

The Cayonu settlement appears near today's Diyarbakir in northern Bet-Nahrain.  The animal bones found here indicate a shift from the use of wild animals to the use of domesticated ones.

Nissan, The Early History of the Ancient Near East

AD (770's-820's)

Two Assyrian Patriarchs hold the most conspicuous position in the ecclesiastical history of the Eastern Church.  During the Patriarchy of Timothius the missionaries of the Church of the East penetrated the Mongolian territories, and Patriarch Hananeshoa successfully evangelized the Gospel of Jesus in China and erected the now famous Nestorian monument.

Rev. Joel Warda, The Flickering Light of Asia


September 25, 1974:   dies, Dr. Petros de Baz, a cousin of General Agha Petros, in Amman, Jordan.  As an official UN representative Dr. Petros assisted the Assyrians of the Khabur region in Syria and the Palestinian refugees.

Oct 22

Mar Narsai Parish - Church of the East
Organized by the Daughters of the Church
Picnic starts at 11:00 AM 
Coyote Point Park in San Mateo
(After you pass the booth, turn right at the "Y" Junction)

Kabob plate:  rice, kabob, tomato, herbs, and bread
$7.00 adults, $5.00 children
Beer and soft drinks, pastry and desserts available for sale.
There will be music, games and prizes for young and old.

Bring your semavar, dessert table spread, Nar-takhta (Backgammon), and smiley faces to enjoy a wonderful day together with your fellow Assyrian friends.

Oct 27-31

3RD Annual Meeting of the Assyrian & Babylonian Intellectual Heritage
Radisson Chicago
Contact:  Dr. Norman Solhkhah at 847-699-9000

Jul 2-6

International Congress of Assyriology and Near Eastern Archaeology 
"Sex and Gender in the Ancient Near East"
University of Helsinki

Registration Form:  click here

 Thank You!

Albert Gabrial (California)...Linda Michaels (California)


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