Z I N D A  M A G A Z I N E
Neesan  24, 6751               Volume VII                      Issue 8             Neesan 24, 2001

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Assyrian Interviews from SBS Radio - Australia
T H I S   W E E K   I N   Z I N D A
The Lighthouse A Chronology of Events Leading to the 1915 Genocide
Good Morning Bet-Nahrain Northern Watch
News Digest Chaldean Federation Joins Jewish Group at the Royal Tombs
Verisign Includes Neo-Aramaic For its Domain Names
Surfs Up! "An important event in the San Jose history"
Surfers Corner 22nd Anniversary Celebration of Zowaa in Turlock
The Ninos Aho Assyrian Poetry Fund
Middle East Studies Association's Assyrian Panel - 2001
Literatus Turkey Must Admit the Truth About Armenian Genocide
Assyrian Surfing Posts Assyrian Holocaust Resources
Assyrian Genocide.org
Pump Up the Volume Letter & Document
Back to the Future Tomb of Cyrus & the Segregation of Christians
This Week in History AUA's 5th Congress
Calendar of Events MESA 2001
All blue links throughout this issue are hyperlinks to other sections on this page or featured websites


Genocide is distinguishable from all other crimes by the motivation behind it. Towards the end of the Second World War, when the full horror of the extermination and concentration camps became public knowledge, Winston Churchill stated that the world was being brought face to face with 'a crime that has no name.' History was of little use in finding a recognised word to fit the nature of the crime that Nazi Germany, a modern, industrialized state, had engaged in. There simply were no precedents in regard to either the nature or the degree of the crime. Raphael Lemkin, the Polish-born adviser to the United States War Ministry, saw that the world was being confronted with a totally unprecedented phenomena and that 'new conceptions require new terminology.' In his book, Axis Rule in Occupied Europe, published in 1944, he coined the word 'genocide', constructed, in contradiction to the accepted rules of etymology, from the Greek 'genos' (race or tribe) and the Latin suffix 'cide' (to kill). According to Lemkin, genocide signifies 'the destruction of a nation or of an ethnic group' and implies the existence of a coordinated plan, aimed at total extermination, to be put into effect against individuals chosen as victims purely, simply and exclusively because they are members of the target group.

Rwanda & Genocide in the 20th Century
Alain Destexhe
New York University Press

Alain Destexhe is the former Secretary General of Doctors Without Borders.

T H E     S E Y F O    C H R O N O L O G Y
1907    Russia controls Urmia and Tabriz in the Iranian region of Azerbaijan.
1908   Young Turks (The Committee of Union and Progress) revolt and capture large majority in the Ottoman (Turkish) Parliament. 

11,000 Assyrians are killed in the hands of the Kurds in Turkey.

1909  April 27 Sultan of Turkey, Abdul Hamid II, is overthrown by the Young Turks.  Mohammad V succeeds his brother.
    British and Germans discuss the control of Baghdad Railroad.
1911  August 3 Italy declares war on the Ottoman Turks. 
1912  February 24 Italy bombs Beirut in the first act of war against the Ottoman Empire. 
  October 18 The First Balkan War breaks out in which the Turks are driven out of the Balkan Peninsula.

Greece acquires Macedonia from the Ottoman Empire.

1913  Jan 22 Turkey consents to the Balkan peace terms at the London peace talks and gives up Adrianople. 
  Jan 23 The "Young Turks" revolt in protest to the concessions made at the London peace talks. 
    The Second Balkan War begins.
1914 November 2 Russia declares war on Turkey. 
  November 5 The French and British declare war on Turkey. 
  November 14 Ottoman Sultan decrees a Holy War or Jihad against the Christians.  The decree is signed by the Turkish ministers.
  December Persecution of Assyrians in Turkey begins.
1915 January 1 Nuri, the vice-governor of Gavar District in Van Province, receives orders to kill the Armenian soldiers in the Turkish Army stationed in his district.
  January 2 Russian forces withdraw from Urmia; Kurdish and Turkish forces enter Urmia.
  January 8 Turkish and Kurdish soldiers attack Armenian and Assyrian villages in Urmia. They remain until January 29.
  February 19 British and French warships begin their attacks on the Turkish forts.
  April 1 Mass arrest and execution of Armenian civic leaders, activists, journalists, and intellectuals begins in Turkey.
  April 24 The Ottoman Empire begins the brutal mass deportation and persecution of the Christians in Anatolia.  1.5 million Armenians, 750,000 Assyrians (two-thirds of the entire population of Assyrians), and 350,000 Greeks perish between 1915 and 1923.  
  May 5 Russians defeat Turks in Sarikamish, killing 70,000 Turkish soldiers.  Russians re-occupy Urmia.

Mass arrest and persecution of Assyrians and Armenians in Hakkari and Kharput, Turkey.  Only one-half of 160,000 Assyrian refugees reach Urmia.

  July Russians retreat again and 18,000 Assyrians & Armenians follow them into Russia.
  August 21 Italy declared war on Turkey. 
  November 22 The Anglo-Indian army, led by British General Sir Charles Townshend, attacks a larger Turkish force under General Nur-ud-Din at Ctesiphon but is repulsed.
    Mesopotamia (Bet-Nahrain) falls to Britain.

Zinda News From Northern Iraq

April 2:  The opening of the Assyrian Cultural Center Hall in Dohuk.

April 11:  A delegation of the liaison bureau of the Turkoman Front in Dohuk visits the Assyrian National Party, Assyrian Democratic Movement and the Bet-Nahrain Democratic Party.

April 15:  On the occasion of Easter a delegation of the political bureau of the Turkoman National Party of Iraq visits the headquarters of the Assyrian Democratic Movement and the Bet-Nahrain Democratic Party.

Elsewhere, a Kurdish Islamic League Political Bureau delegation visits the Assyrian Democratic Movement, Bet-Nahrain Democratic Party and the Chaldean Bishop for the Arbil region.

April 19:  Umar Botani, the official in charge of the KDP National Relations Central Office receives Romeo Hakkari, Secretariat of the Bet-Nahrain Democratic Party.

At the invitation of the commander of the Peace Monitoring Force (PMF) the Assyrian Democratic Movement delegates join the representatives from the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan [PUK], the Kurdistan Democratic Party [KDP], and the Turkoman Front, in a banquet held in Arbil.

The foundation stone of the dormitory buildings for the Assyrian Students at the Nisibin School is placed and the project inaugurated.  The project is sponsored by the Assyrian Aid Society with the total projected cost of U.S. 72,000 dollars.


Courtesy of The Detroit News

(ZNDA:  Detroit)  The leaders of the Chaldean Federation of America and the Jewish Community Council of Metropolitan Detroit joined together last week for the first time when they gathered for a private tour of the "Treasures from the Royal Tombs of Ur" at the Detroit Institute of Arts.  Led by exhibit curator Elsie Peck, the board members from the two groups explored their common ancestry. "The Chaldean people are descendants of the ancient civilization of Mesopotamia, including the town of Ur," said Sam Yono, past chairman of the Chaldean Federation.  "The Jews trace their ancestry to Abraham, who also came from Ur." David Gad-harf, executive director of the Jewish Community Council, said he anticipates this gathering will lead to future joint endeavors between the two groups.


(ZNDA:  New York)  VeriSign, the company charged by the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) with registering and administrating the .com, .org., and .net domain names, which act as addresses for Web sites, announced last Friday that it has added support for an additional 180 languages, bringing the total number of languages available in which domain names can be registered to more than 350.   Modern Syriac or Neo-Aramaic is one of these languages.  Since early November, when VeriSign first began offering multilingual domain names, hundreds of thousands of non-English domains have been registered, with many companies registering the phonetic equivalents of their names in other languages, according to VeriSign.  The new domains allow users whose languages do not rely on the Roman system of letters and numbers to create and register domains in their native writing systems, the company said.  The new domain options now include the languages used by roughly 80 percent of the world's population, VeriSign said. The company also said the multilingual domain-name program is not yet final and that some domains registered now might be invalidated when the program is finalized. Until then, users can start registering domains in Old English, Old Icelandic, Neo-Aramaic, Inner Mongolian, Tamil, Bengali, Armenian, and Esperanto, among others.
This is in reaction to Mr. Nicholas Al-Jeelo's email in last week's Surfs Up. I totally understand where Mr. Al-Jeelo's coming from. He has a good point in defining the meaning of nationalism and how some of us really do not understand it or many of us are practicing it in the wrong way.  But if he had lived in the Bay Area for as long as I have, he would have agreed that raising the assyrian flag was an important event in San Jose's history!   It's really sad but compared to some of the assyrian events organized by our assyrian cultural organization (such as New Year's party), or the events taking place in an assyrian church hall (Bingo and hosting an upcoming non-assyrian party featuring persian singers), the raising of the assyrian flag should be considered the greatest event in Silicon Valley.

Mikael G.


We cordially invite you to the 22nd anniversary celebration of the Assyrian Democratic Movement.

Please join us as our special guest as we reflect on the achievements of this past year and discuss the future agenda of
Zowaa and Assyrians in our homeland.

Our featured speaker will be Mr. Yousib Shakwana and Mr. Rommel Eliah.

Date:  Saturday, April 28
Location: The Gardens Motor Inn
  1119 Pedras Road
Time:  4:00 pm

We sincerely hope that you join us for this important forum.

Charles Givargis
ADM Representative
Central Valley Chapter


The 4th Endowment Fund at Harvard University
Cambridge, Massachusetts

The Assyrian language poetry has served the community as a means of honoring the past, examining the present, and imagining the future. Whether in times of pleasure and plenty or in times of want and persecution, Assyrians have written poetry that is preserved in stone and clay, parchment and paper, audio tape and video cassette. Assyrian poetry, as no other medium, from the epic of Gilgamish to the melodious songs of William Daniel, to the love ballad of the young man, has helped to keep the vernacular and the classic Syriac on the living tongue.

Driven into Diaspora, the Assyrian nation can aspire to honor its poets in the ways available to a stateless nation: but in the words of a by-gone poet,

"A mere flower to the writer in his lifetime is far more rewarding
than thousands of wreaths placed on his grave after death."

In the spirit of Naoum Faik who spoke those words, this fund has been initiated by Mr. & Mrs. Elias Hanna of Worcester, Ma. Mr. Hanna wishes to honor his teacher, Ninos Aho, a living Assyrian poet who composes in all three forms of our language - Classical Syriac, vernacular Eastern Syriac and vernacular Western Syriac. The Assyrian community joins the Elias Hanna family in honoring this poet in his lifetime. Ninos Aho, a son of Tur Abdin, raised in Qamishli, Syria, symbolizes the indefatigable spirit of the Assyrian nation: a man of learning, perseverance and strength of belief in his people. He is a man of strong words who achieves his goals. For these qualities the Assyrian community honors him. And through him the Assyrian community wishes to honor all Assyrian poets, composers, singers and writers by having their works collected and preserved as part of Harvard University's rich collection of materials about Assyrian culture, history, art.

You can help in two ways:

1. Send your contributions ($50, $100, $500 and more) to support this cause to Dr. Micheal Hopper.
Widener Library - Room S
Harvard University
Cambridge, Ma. 02138
Make checks out to Harvard College Library for the Ninos Aho Assyrian Poetry Fund.

2. Let us know of collections of taped poetry & songs. We would like to have or copy your old Assyrian 78, 45, and 33 1/3 RMP records.

Ninos Aho Assyrian Poetry Fund
Harvard University


Middle East Studies Association of North America Panel
"The Assyrians of Iran - From Contributions to Diaspora"
co-sponsored by the Assyrian Academic Society & the Society for Iranian Studies

Date: 17-20 November 2001
Place: Hyatt Regency Hotel, San Francisco
Participants:  Dr. Arian Ishaya - Urmia to Baquba: From the Cradle of Water to Wilderness
                    Dr. Eden Naby - With Help from Friends: Zahrira d Bahra - The First Newspaper in Iran
                    Dr. K. Shakeri - Living in Purgatory: The Assyrians of Iran in the Twentieth Century
                    Mr. Ronald Thomaszadeh - Iranian Assyrians in the Azarbaijan Crisis of 1945-46
                    Discussant:   Prof. Houshang Chahabi - political science - Boston University

Centuries of ebb and flow in Assyrian culture and achievement in Iran may be nearing an end during the coming decades. The latest period of cultural resurgence occurred during the first part of the 19th century when a revolution in education took place resulting in widespread literacy among Assyrian women, as well as men, and the publication of the first printed newspaper in all of Iran, the Assyrian language newspaper, Zarira d Bara. The downward turning point for this community came during World War I at a time when a country churning with political turmoil could not and would not protect the physical and human rights of its Christian citizens. In the aftermath of the massacre of Assyrians in Northwest Iran, a forced diaspora occurred from which the Assyrians of Iran never fully recovered. Instead, their cultural institutions, though in the process of partial recovery during the 1950s, shrank in the face of diminishing cultural rights which have culminated after 1979 in state minority policies that further voluntary immigration. In this panel we will examine key cultural and political events in the development of the Assyrian community of Iran. The aim of the papers is to bring to the discourse new and hitherto unexamined sources that pertain to key periods of 19th and 20th century history. Materials from French, British, and American diplomatic archives, a rare oral history collection from survivors of the Massacre, the first examination of the Demokrat Crisis from an Assyrian perspective and consultation of surviving issues of an unconsulted 19th century newspaper form the basis for the papers to be presented.

Assyrian Holocaust Resources

Assyrian Genocide.Org



The world cannot let 20th century's first mass crime against humanity go unacknowledged

Armenians throughout the world are celebrating the 1,700th anniversary of the adoption of Christianity as Armenia's state religion. This action by King Tirdat in 301 A.D. established Armenia as the first nation to accept Christianity as a whole, and not as a sum of its parts.

Pilgrimages are being made to ancient holy sites in Armenia, Lebanon, Jerusalem, Iran and Turkey where Armenians lived through the centuries. Ancient biblical maps show the Armenian people are descendants of Noah, whose ark rested on Mount Ararat in historical Armenia.

Additionally, religious exhibitions and concerts, and meetings with other religious leaders of the world will take place in countries with large Armenian populations. Pope John Paul II will visit Armenia in the fall.

Contrary to the joy this celebration brings, there exists the sad and cruel memory of the 1915 genocide perpetrated by the Ottoman Turkish government upon the Armenians living in their ancestral homelands. This first genocide of the 20th century became the prototype for others.

Turkey's continued denials, threats and human rights violations toward any person or country that dares to acknowledge the Armenian genocide sets a bad example to others, that this type of behavior works. Recently, a Christian Assyrian priest, the Rev. Yusuf Akbulut, was arrested in Turkey for acknowledging the Armenian genocide as a historical fact. Last October, U.S. national security interests effectively were threatened by Turkey if Congress passed the Armenian Genocide Resolution. (At then-President Clinton's urging, the House canceled the vote.)

What kind of message does this send if a country like Turkey can threaten a superpower like the United States? It is a known fact that Turkey repeatedly violates the human rights of journalists or anyone who speaks openly about the Armenian genocide by jailing them in order to suppress their freedom of speech and expression.

Turkey must be made to understand the historical truths about the Armenian genocide of 1915, as facts, and be willing to change its national policy of denial, initiated in 1923 by Kemal Ataturk, the leader of "modern" Turkey. Until Turkey can acknowledge that Ataturk misled the Turkish people, they will continue to believe in a lie that is self-destructive. The truth, 86 years after the fact, will release Turkey of guilt by association.

U.S. President Harry S. Truman once said, "Justice remains the greatest power on earth; to that tremendous power alone we will submit."

Earlier, President Theodore Roosevelt said, "Sympathy is meaningless unless accompanied with indignation, and indignation is useless if it exhausts itself in words instead of taking shape in deeds."

The time has come for Turkey to face its history and come to terms with reality. The United States and other world leaders must take the responsibility to help Turkey understand and to lift this heavy burden from its shoulders. A ceremony commemorating the Armenian genocide will be held at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday at Monument Square in Troy.

Lucille Sarkissian
Albany, New York

Igar/ta   (g as in 'great') 

BC (522)

The Tomb of Cyrus (Korosh) in Pasargade owes its distinction design to the stepped profile of a Mesopotamian Ziggurat.

Anshan & Pars:  Early Achamenid Dynasty, Stronach

AD (908-932)

Caliph al-Muqtadir bi-Amrallah forces Jews and Christians to distinguish themselves from Moslems.  Christians had to wear black or gray garments, a special belt around the waist, and a cross on their breast.  They were not allowed to have a horse as a mount, but only a mule.  They were also not allowed to ride astride, but only on one side.

The Dhimmi, Bat Ye'or

April 26, 1972:  The Fifth Congress of the Assyrian Universal Alliance opens in Geneva.


Apr 28

22nd Anniversary Forum
The Gardens Motor Inn (1119 Pedras Road)

4:00 PM 

Featured speakers are Yousib Shakwana and Rommel Eliah. 

Discussion will center on the achievements of Zowaa in the past year and the 2001 agenda.

Apr 29

Lamont Forum
Lamont Library, Harvard University

Sponsored By  The Department of Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations
Harvard University & The Beth Nahrain Assyrian Organization
Worcester, Massachusetts

Click here for more Info

May 6

The Assyrian Academic Society in conjunction with the
Assyrian Social Club present: 

"Food in the Myth and Legend of Mesopotamia."

Guest Speaker:  Dr. Michael Abdalla, University of Agriculture, 
Poznan, Poland.

Time: 5:00 PM
Assyrian Social Club (Eden's Banquet Hall)
6313 N. Pulaski Rd.
(773) 478-8808

The lecture will be presented in English with concluding commentary in Western Syriac (Turoyo).

May 6
Objects from one of the most important archaeological finds

The Detroit Institute of Arts
5200 Woodward Avenue

Adults $8, Children $5:  includes audio tour and museum admission

May 20

"Standardizing the Modern Assyrian Language: A Linguistic Challenge?"

Guest Speaker: Mr. Zaia Kanon, Assyrian Language Editor
Journal of the Assyrian Academic Society (JAAS). 

Raabi Zaia Kanon's lecture will consist of two parts:

Part one: The incorporation of foreign words into conversational Assyrian.
Part Two:  The standardization (Showyuta) of modern Assyrian. 

Zaia Kanon is a graduate of al-Mustansiriyah University (Baghdad, Iraq). He specializes in Linguistics and Assyrian Literature and has authored several books of poetry in Assyrian. He has written extensively in Arabic and Assyrian and is also proficient in Classical Syriac. He worked with scholars in many capacities to compile research for
the Encyclopedia of Syriac Literature, Volume I which was published in Baghdad, Iraq in 1991.  Mr. Kanon’s recent publication entitled, Halaqat fi l’Tarikh al-Mahfootha focuses on the continuity of Assyrian history. 

Location: Assyrian National Council Lecture Hall, 
2450 W. Peterson Avenue
6:00 PM

Refreshments will be served. 

If anyone would like to purchase a copy of the video tape, please send an email to: webmaster@aas.net; or call (773) 461-6633.

May 24
KALU SULAQA :  Bride of the Ascension Festival

This year marks the 600th anniversary of the remembrance of the men and women who died in 1401 A.D. when Timurlane attacked the Assyrian villages near Nineveh.  Each year children dress-up as brides and grooms and go to homes in the neighborhood to collect sweets.

Nakosha "Assyrian Holidays" Calendar
May 25-28

Click on the photo for more information

Hyatt Regency Long Beach
Rooms at special convention rates
(562) 491-1234 or 1-800-233-1234
Reservations should be made no later than May 10th
Single and Double Occupancies $109.00/night 
Triple and Quadruple Occupancies $134.00/night. 

PICNIC:  Rainbow Lagoon Park

Please mention that you are attending the Assyrian United Organization of California's Convention when making your reservation.

For more Info contact Shamriam Tabar at shamiramt@hotmail.com

AUOC's 35th Annual Convention Website

Jun 2-3

Dinner on Saturday -
Catered dinner (American) and Middle Eastern music (a mix of Assyrian, Turkish, Greek and Armenian)

Picnic on Monday -  Lots of fun, food, and music

Tickets $35 for adults (less for students)
After 9:30 - 10 PM,  just $15 for dancing.

Location:  Church Ballroom of St. Thomas Assyrian Church

Jul 2-6

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

Registration Form:  clickhere

Jul 22 

A festival celebrating the descent of the god Tammuz to the Underworld and the end of spring in Bet-Nahrain.  It is customary to sprinkle water on friends and family members, wishing for Tammuz' safe return to his beloved Ishtar.

August 7

A day to commemorate the Assyrian martyrs throughout history.

August 28 - Sept 3
November 17-20

Middle East Studies Association of North America Panel
"The Assyrians of Iran - From Contributions to Diaspora" 
co-sponsored by the Assyrian Academic Society
& the Society for Iranian Studies

Hyatt Regency Hotel, San Francisco

Dr. Arian Ishaya - Urmia to Baquba: From the Cradle of Water to Wilderness
Dr. Eden Naby -: Zahrira d Bahra - The First Newspaper in Iran
Dr. K. Shakeri - Living in Purgatory: The Assyrians of Iran in the Twentieth Century
Mr. Ronald Thomaszadeh - Iranian Assyrians in the Azarbaijan Crisis of 1945-46
Discussant:   Prof. Houshang Chahabi - political science - Boston University

Zinda Article:  CLICK HERE
For more information CLICK HERE

 Thank You!

Dr. Eden Naby (Harvard Univ.) ... Marian Younan (California)


ZINDA Magazine is published weekly.  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:  z_info@zindamagazine.com.

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