|Z I N D A
M A G A Z I N E
Voice (408) 918-9200 Fax (408) 918-9201
|Yaar 29, 6751 Volume VII Issue 12 May 29, 2001|
|The Lighthouse||An Interview with Dr. Ashur Moradkhan: Ashur Project|
|Good Morning Bet-Nahrain||Northern Watch
Fertile Marshlands in Southern Bet-Nahrain Disappearing
|News Digest||Assyrian Universal Alliance Declaration of the 23rd Congress
Assyrian Universal Alliance Elections
Exhibit in Delaware Gives Glimpses of Syria's Ancient Past
|Surfs Up!||"For Ishtar's sake don't do this again"|
|Surfers Corner||Protest Anti-Assyrian Article Written by Prof. Kelly
Zowaa Political Rally in San Jose
An Evening of Poetry and Art with Hannibal Alkhas
|Literatus||Hypocrisy At Its Best!|
|Assyrian Surfing Posts||TAAAS Youth Conference Photo Album|
|Pump Up the Volume||Sale & Purchase|
|Back to the Future||The Battle of Eclipse and the Kurdish Attack on Urmia|
|This Week in History||Rev. Isaac Adams|
|Calendar of Events||Hannibal Alkhas in Chicago|
SWIMMING AGAINST THE CURRENT OF
An Interview with Dr. Ashur Moradkhan
Two weeks ago Zinda Magazine learned that Dr. Ashur Moradkhan was leaving his home and family in San Jose, California and traveling to Northern Iraq. He had decided to stay in Bet-Nahrain for an indefinite period of time.
Dr. Moradkhan was the founder of the Assyrian Youth Cultural Society of Tehran (Seeta Sapreta d-Ileemi Atourayi) and a founder of the Assyrian Universal Alliance in the 1960's. Dr. Moradkhan is also credited with the conceptualization of AUA's four principles of Assyrian nationalism: one national goal, one name, one leadership, and one language for one nation (click here). In 1981 Dr. Moradkhan with the help of a software engineer at IBM developed the first set of Assyrian fonts in San Jose, California. He is also recognized for authoring a socio-political treatise entitled "The Assyrian Manifesto" -- a thorough, profound, and practical program and political agenda.
To learn more about Dr. Moradkhan's decision Zinda Magazine requested an interview. He kindly accepted the request, only days before his departure. The following is an English translation of the interview from the conversation conducted in Assyrian:
Z: A few days ago we
were informed that you are soon leaving for Northern Iraq.
M: On Friday, May 18, at 9:00 A.M.
Z: For how long?
M: For an indefinite period of time. I will return only if necessary or if it appears important to do so.
Z: What is the reason
for leaving and what is your program in northern Iraq?
M: I am weary of living in the comfort zone. I want to live the kind of life my fellow Assyrians live in the homeland. I want to stand by them and live among them. My program might appear simple, but is very long lasting in its consequences. Presently I do not find a strong link between the Assyrians living outside the homeland and those residing in Atour. There is hardly any participation in one another's space and no partnership between the two groups. I see a deep separation between them and this separation weakens both groups and results in many missed opportunities for our people.
Z: What is the missing
M: Consider nature. If the link between a stream and its source is cut off, the stream dries up and cannot contribute life-giving water to the orchard. The stream is like the emigrant population and the source is the native population in the homeland. If the emigrants do not establish firm connections with the Assyrians of homeland, they will become assimilated and lost. At the same time if the source is not in the form of an overflowing fountain with an abundant water supply, it will not have the strength to sustain a running stream. So there are two essential conditions or responsibilities: one for the resident population in the homeland, and the other for the emigrants abroad.
The indigenous population provides the conduit and is the activator; the running stream is the emigrant population. To elaborate the picture let us refer to another example from nature. It is the root that helps a sapling to grow and branch out. If the tree trunk does not receive nourishment from the roots, it will die. The link or the tie between the root and the trunk is essential for the life and rejuvenation of the tree. For our nation since the link between the two groups of Assyrians is weak, there would no progress.
Z: We have witnessed
that Assyrians abroad have been very generous with donations to the Assyrians
in the homeland. How can you say that there is no link?
M: Because the charitable activity has been in the form of aid to the needy for the purpose of feeding and clothing them. This has had two negative effects as far as the national aspirations of Assyrians are concerned. Each time the Assyrians abroad make a donation, they are reminded of the exile, killings, pillage, and the humiliation of our nation. This leads to a broken spirit and a sense of hopelessness as far as the goals of a national revival are concerned. So this group satisfies itself with derivative charity activities. Such diversions sap our energy and divert our thought from higher goals such as dedication to the national cause and an aggressive pursuit of it.
Charity creates a passive spirit. Those who say that “money is everything” are correct; but they forget that the value of money is in its use for productive ends. Otherwise it will end in futility. There is a saying “Do not give a man a fish; teach him how to catch fish.”
Charity has negative effects on the receiver as well. By the amount of charity that a person receives, by the same amount he/she becomes spiritually impoverished. He/she loses self-confidence in being capable of providing for himself/herself. That person loses the conviction that he can take on the responsibility of rebelling against his condition and of breaking the state of dependency. It is important to use charity only to the point of enabling a person to become self-sufficient. It must be a temporary means of support. It is essential that it be used to provide the means to enable a person to carry one's own survival load. This important point is not seen by our people. Emigrant Assyrians ask: have the charity donations been used to establish the infrastructure for self-sufficiency? But this important question stays on the mind and the heart of individuals. It is never addressed publicly and aggressively. Since this question remains unanswered, contributors become apathetic and donations diminish.
If we think about these matters carefully and make them a part of our life, a great change will come over the attitude and trust level of our people, with great consequences. This is possible if there is an active and constructive connection between the Assyrians abroad and the Assyrians in the homeland.
Z: How can this connection
be established in the manner you suggest?
M: I am going to Atour to build a link between a family abroad and a family in the homeland. My program is not a theoretical one. It is a pragmatic one. I am not establishing a new organization. It is an economic and not a political scheme. It has no connection with political parties or various social organizations. But if it strengthens the existing Assyrian organizations, all the better. As I mentioned earlier the project is intended to establish a relationship between two families: one which is economic, social, emotional, and national; one which encompasses all aspects of life. An emigrant family will send a monthly contribution to a family in the homeland. The latter has the responsibility to utilize that contribution in one of the three areas: grain cultivation, fruit orchards, or animal husbandry (cattle, sheep, poultry). I am responsible to record the changes that result and convey them to the contributing family by means of records, reports, pictures, videos, and telephone contacts. This will keep the contributors abroad informed about how their contributions are used. They will be assured that their contributions reach the intended target, and see the beneficial results. Moreover, I will build personal relations between the two families in ways that are open to me.
Personal family ties create a feeling of partnership, joined lives, and social and national bonds. This kind of bond is a strong and enduring one. Whenever you plant a flower in your yard, a connection is established between you and that flower. You look it over daily to see how much it has grown and how beautiful the blooms have become. You eagerly feed and water it regularly. How much stronger will be your bond with that orchard planted in Atour with your partnership with an Assyrian in Atour. I believe that such closeness is the heart desire of every Assyrian. If we can improve the livelihood of Assyrians in the homeland so that their life will be secure and pleasant, we will have helped to curb further exodus of Assyrians from homeland. At the same time we will be establishing a haven for those Assyrians who live in destitution and hopelessness as refugees to return there. How effective this will be in opening new doors and strengthening our establishments!
I also plan to open a dental clinic together with a dental
lab where young men and women will receive training and in a dental van,
they can visit villages and make a living with this profession, at the
same time that they are rendering a valuable service. In the
field of dentistry, my hopes are even broader. God willing, and with
the support of fellow Assyrians it is possible to establish a dentistry
college where all the subjects will be taught in Assyrian. To wish
is to accomplish. If we want something bad enough, we can realize
Students who study in this college will have to pass their dental examinations in the Assyrian language. This will further elevate the Assyrian language to a scientific medium of communication. It is in the Assyrian nature to achieve perfection in whatever is attempted. The excellence of this college will entice Kurdish and Arab youth to learn the Assyrian language to be able to study in that college.
My final point is that any activity, from the most simple like purchasing a button to going to the moon, has to go through four phases to be successfully accomplished. These are: information, preparation, implementation, and consummation. Our people are generally informed about our past history and present condition. Our people know that our villages have been ransacked, our houses destroyed, our establishments are becoming disintegrated, and our people are becoming spread out geographically and weakened. With separation and estrangement, assimilation sets in. But people are ignorant about how to prepare for, and confront these problems. This is because such matters are not addressed. This has been our condition from the time of the fall of Nineveh until today. Read our magazines, watch our TV programs, listen to our radio broadcasts, or our lecturers; none speak of the preparation phase. This is because the preparation phase leads directly to the next, implementation. Our people are afraid of the future. That is why they do not want to take action. We are a nation that runs away from its future. That is why our national agenda has gone astray and is diverted from an effective action plan. We need a new direction. I am suggesting reaching out where our roots are. Let us move into the stage of preparation and stop living in the past.
Z: What is your advice
to the Assyrians?
M: I suggest to all active Assyrians to always aim at higher goals and not remain stagnant. Otherwise they will be like water in a swamp. The course of their action should be planned like the steps of a ladder to take them step-by-step towards a higher level. I advanced my sphere of activity from the Assyrian Youth Cultural Society to the Assyrian Universal Alliance. From there I climbed to an even higher level, that of the Assyrian Manifesto which was more profound ideologically than the previous levels. I am now returning to Atour to help in the reconstruction of villages, and to improve their viability. I have arranged that members of my family, my relatives, and close friends to contribute $20.00 on a monthly basis. The first installment is for 6 months that is, for $120.00 by which time a systematic routine for contributions can be established.
When I arrive in Atour, I will select a model village
and will attempt to achieve what I discussed above. This will be
a pilot project that will help to take care of possible problems, and prepare
for the next stage, which is to launch the program on a larger scale.
The goal is to prepare a comfortable life tailored to the needs of that
model village. Undoubtedly the family in the homeland will depend
on your contributions to improve its standard of living. But the
family uses your contributions to gradually become independent and self-sufficient.
Meanwhile a social and emotional bond is created by this partnership.
The emigrant Assyrian can no longer be blamed for living in the comfort
zone and expecting the Assyrian in the homeland to carry the burden of
maintaining the Assyrian identity.
Because with its financial contribution, the emigrant family is also giving of its time and energy. It is withholding funds from its own members to contribute to the survival and well being of a family in the homeland. The total effect is a joint endeavor that strengthens both families spiritually as well as materially. This partnership enables the family in the homeland to stand on its own feet and to protect the products of its labor. Undoubtedly a comfortable life requires clean water, heat, schools, churches, transportation, and other necessities. I am confident these will come slowly with the help of various national establishments and possibly foreign sources.
Z: How can our readers
take part in this project? How can one become a partner in the homeland
family farm project?
M: Please make your checks in the name of Mr. Yoel Baaba, but make sure that you write in the memo section “Ashur Project”. These funds will be set aside in the Assyrian welfare account for that project only. Send your checks to the following address:
Mr. Yoel Baaba
720 Evelyn Court
Alamo, CA 94507
Z: Dr. Moradkhan, thank
you for your valuable time.
May 18: Narsi David, president of the Assyrian Aid Society of America, meets with Dr. Rozh Nuri Shawes, the speaker of the Kurdistan National Assembly.
May 19: According to news reports from Mosul, two hand grenades were thrown into the Assyrian Communist Party headquarters in Tilkefe town, near Mosul. The Communist Party of Iraqi Kurdistan put the blame on the government in Baghdad.
Courtesy of Xinhua News Agency (May 21)
(ZNDA: Nairobi) According to the U.N. Environment Program (UNEP) around 90 percent of the Mesopotamian marshlands in southern Iraq, known as the fertile crescent, have been lost in the past few years as a result of drainage and damming.
A study by the UNEP scientists based on newly released satellite images indicates that the marshlands, one of the world's most important wetlands, located in southern Iraq with partial extension into Iran, are disappearing.
The U.N. agency said these vast wetlands which once covered between 15,000 to 20,000 square kilometers now cover less than 1,500 to 2,000 square kilometers. The decline is mainly due to the building of more than 30 large dams in the upstream as well as the drainage schemes implemented since the 1970s, the document said, adding that the dams have reduced the water volume available for downstream ecosystems and eliminated the flood waters that nourished the marshlands. The satellite images were taken in 1992 and 2000 and were given as a gift to UNEP by the U.S. National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), and over half of the images had never been analyzed by the scientific community before the UNEP study.
The images provide hard evidence that the once extensive marshlands have been drying up and becoming desert with vast stretches of salt encrusted. Klaus Toepfer, the UNEP executive director, said these findings on Bet-Nahrain has only been made possible by 'eyes-in-the-sky' as Iraq's difficult situation in the past decade has limited access to and hindered monitoring of events in the area. He said his organization is urging Iraq, Iran and other countries who are responsible for the marshlands to agree upon a recovery plan. UNEP is undertaking a scientific assessment of the area in collaboration with regional organizations to help demonstrate how improvements can be made, Toepfer said.
ASSYRIAN UNIVERSAL ALLIANCE DECLARATION OF THE 23RD CONGRESS
Assyrian Universal Alliance
The 23rd Congress
WHEREAS the Assyrian Universal Alliance (AUA) an umbrella organization for the Assyrian People worldwide, in recognition of the needs of the Assyrian People in the historical homeland (Bet Nahrain), expresses its concern about the political and human rights situation of the Assyrian People;
RECALLING the genocide and the persecution of the Assyrian People in the homeland by the former Ottoman controlled Rule;
RECALLING further the subsequent denial of there recognition and rights of the Assyrian People during the Lausanne conference and the League of Nations;
RECALLING further the subsequent massacres, persecutions and transgressions against the Assyrian People's physical and cultural rights including in the Simile massacre (1933) and elsewhere;
REALIZING the present situation of the Assyrian People in the safe haven region of Iraq (Northern Iraq);
The AUA declares the following:
1. We condemn steps being implemented by the Iraqi government to change the population demographics on the Nineveh Plain, the heartland of the historical Assyrian homeland. Specifically, this policy is underway in Telkeppe, Karamlesh, Bartelleh, Bakhdedeh, Telsqaf, Begopeh, Alqosh, Sharafia, Behendawaye, Batnaeh, and others;
2. We condemn the prevention of the repair and restoration of the historic buildings and homes of the Assyrian people in the homeland;
3. We condemn the destruction of Assyrian archeological sacred and historical sites, and ancestral villages;
4. We condemn the confiscation of Assyrian lands and properties and desecration and destruction of Assyrian churches;
5. We condemn the prevention of the construction of new homes in the city of Alqosh, on the mountain side, and the insistence of the Iraqi government on construction on agricultural land, which would have the effect of reducing land devoted to the raising of crops to support food production and employment;
6. We condemn the implementation of policy in Kirkuk, Mosul, Ein Sifneh and elsewhere to prevent Assyrians, Kurds, and Turkman from buying land for the construction of homes unless they are willing to change their legal (census) nationality designation to Arab;
7. We demand that in any resolution of Northern Iraq, in relation to government representation of the people of Northern Iraq, and in relation to a future democratic state of Iraq, that the numbers of representatives allocated to the Assyrian People take into account the population of the Assyrian People who have been displaced and forced to reside in the Diaspora;
8. We demand that the Iraqi government recognize the Assyrian People as the Indigenous People of Iraq;
9. We demand that in any local parliamentary election in Northern Iraq, the Assyrian people shall continue to be represented in a way to reflect our historic indigenous presence in Northern Iraq. The present point of reference shall be maintained.
10. We demand that the perpetrators of assassinations and other crimes against the Assyrian People be properly brought to justice and that increased security for the Assyrian People be made a priority so that mutual confidence towards the law enforcers of Northern Iraq is enhanced not only among the Assyrian People living in Northern Iraq, but also among the Assyrian People in the Diaspora.
11. We condemn the direction made by the Iraqi Government to those administering education in Northern Iraq to close those schools, which teach the Assyrian and Turkman languages. We further condemn the threats made by the Iraqi Government of strong punishment upon the parents/guardians who send their children to these schools. At the same time we applaud the courage displayed by the administrators of education of Northern Iraq in ignoring such directions and threats, and continuing to support the Assyrian and Turkman schools.
12. We condemn the continued cultural abuse of the Assyrian People living in Turkey and the threat to their physical, cultural, and economic well being.
13. We demand that the Assyrian People in Turkey be free to express their knowledge of their history without threat of prosecution or persecution.
14. We demand that the government of Turkey formally and officially recognize the genocide of the Assyrian, Armenian and Greek People during World War I.
15. We request of, and encourage the new government of Syria to increase the cultural rights of the Assyrian People and to support Assyrian institutions and organizations.
16. We are encouraged by the apparent improving cultural conditions for the Assyrian People in Iran. However, we express our concern about the application and implementation of Sharia law, which perpetuates legal inequality for the Assyrian People.
17. We request and encourage all Assyrians worldwide to make every effort to remain informed of conditions in our historic homeland, assist in monitoring abuses of Assyrian human rights, and join the campaign in protesting to violations and abuses of the human rights of the Assyrian People.
The AUA hereby resolves to engage or to support the engagement of programs that seek to document the violation and abuse of Assyrian human rights including:
A- Urging international bodies to pay specific attention to Assyrian human rights abuses and to this end to constantly consult the AUA in the examination of Assyrian human rights in the Middle East, particularly in Iraq and Turkey;
B- Examining or participating in the examination of the Iraqi security documents presently held in the United States of America, relating to the Iraqi human rights abuses against the Assyrian People;
C- Gathering relevant information in respect of the active demographic change of population in the Nineveh plain, which is implemented by the Iraqi government in an attempt to displace and there by to disproportionate the Assyrian population relative to the Arab or non-Assyrian population.
Adopted by 23rd Assyrian Universal Alliance World Congress
Office of the Secretary General
7055 North Clark Street
Chicago, Ill 60626 USA
The "2001-2003" officers of the Assyrian Universal Alliance were elected on May 18th, at the recent AUA Congress held in Marbella, Spain. According to Zinda sources the re-election of John Nimrod to the position of Secretary General emerged as a potentially disabling issue. The AUA's officers were divided in their allegiance to Mr. Nimrod, a former Senator from the State of Illinois. The issue had been pitting Pro-Nimrod and their antagonists even before the Marbella congress. A week after the Senator's re-election some of his more vocal critiques are quietly discussing plans to demand withdrawal of the Assyrian American National Federation's membership from the AUA. The AANF is AUA's biggest and most generous member.
Zinda sources explain that the group demanding a new leadership is led by the long-time AUA member, Sam Andrews.
At the recent Assyrian State Convention in Long Beach, California most AUA members present were hailing the re-election of John Nimrod as an important step toward continued consensus-building efforts set in motion in 1999. Sources from Europe, on the other hand, indicate that a small but increasingly important crack in the alliance between the AUA and the Assyrian Democratic Organization may be forming in Sweden and Germany.
Clearly, John Nimrod in his first 100 days will be spending many hours cutting deals with his friends and foes in Europe and America -- in time for the National Convention in San Jose, where AUA and AANF delegates and the leaderships of the Assyrian Democratic Movement from northern Iraq and the Assyrian Democratic Organization in Chicago and Europe are expected to arrive for important round-table talks.
For the AUA, John Nimrod has been a blessing and a curse. The AUA leadership is made up mostly of conservative members defending U.S. foreign policy on Iraq and the region. During his first term, Nimrod mobilized several internal groups and members, and cleaned up much of AUA's sullied reputation stemming from the 1980's internal divisions. But recently he has managed to alienate a few of his old friends, in California in particular. The infighting is viewed by observers to be as damaging as the factional differences of the early 1980's which led to the creation of two AUA entities. AUA was run under two completely separate leaderships until the mid 1990's when John Nimrod was elected as its new, and consensus-building leader. Today, Nimrod's foes are disenchanted with his behind-the-scenes working attitude and his inability to compromise with the more "radical" factions in the Assyrian political arena.
The newly elected officers of the Assyrian Universal Alliance are:
Senator John J. Nimrod (U.S)..........................................Secretary
Miss. Suzy David (Australia)........................................... Deputy Secretary General
Mr. Hermiz Shahin (Australia)........................................ Secretary - Australia
Mr. Yonathan Betkolia (Iran) ......................................... Secretary - Asia
Mr. Praidon Darmoo (U.K.) ......................................... Secretary - Europe
Mr. Carlo Ganjeh (U.S.) .............................................. Secretary - Americas
Mr. Youra Tarverdie (U.S.) .......................................... Treasurer
Executive Board Members:
Homer Ashourian ........................................................
Dr. William Piroyan .................................................... Iran
Mr. Atour Golanie ...................................................... United States
Mr. Fowzi Toma ....................................................... Iraq (North)
Mr. Simon Mirza ....................................................... United States
Mr. John Yonan ........................................................ United States
Mr. Peter Simon ....................................................... United Kingdom
Mr. Arsen Mikhaillov ................................................ Armenia
(ZNDA: Delaware) Ancient artifacts, including a million-year-old flint ax, have been gathered from Syrian museums for exhibition for the first time outside that country.
The 385 items range from a gold, lapis and copper breastplate to a 4,200-year-old stone statue of a king of Mari, who presided over the prosperous city when it was a major Euphrates trade route between northern Syria and southern Mesopotamia.
The exhibit also includes ceramic vases, detailed mosaics, fine jewelry, remnants of delicate cloth, and a medical manuscript thought to be 500 to 700 years old.
Titled "Syria, Land of Civilizations," the exhibit will run from July 14 through October 21 at the FirstUSA Riverfront Arts Center in the newly developed waterfront area in Wilmington, Delaware.
"Syria is where our modern way of life first emerged," says Richard Zettler, a University of Pennsylvania curator and anthropology professor who is the exhibit's guest curator. "We can see humans evolving from hunters and gatherers to settled village farmers, cities and states first arising and the world's earliest empires emerging."
"Two weeks is a long time to be away from my Zinda. For Ishtar's sake don't do this again. At least give us a warning so we can take our vacations when you're not there. I really enjoy your e-zine. BTW, I admit to being a Zinda addict. Know of any good therapists in California?"
Oh my, aren't we a bit "khoomteneh" over such a "nooqza psheeta". Perhaps it would help if we mention that Z-Crew, each "shavoo'a" utilizes over a dozen "poshaq-mille" to construct the PUTV section. These "khabreh khateh" do exist and have for thousands of years.
Here's one for our reader, Michelle. Your name is a French feminine form of the name "Michael". And "Michael" is the Latin form of the Aramaic word "Mikha'el" meaning "One who is like God". Your name is indeed Assyrian. Now, wasn't that worth your Internet Space?
Grace E. Zaya
I did have a (short) glimpse of the (long!) article published on your web pages concerning the Assyrians' being the forefathers of the Germans.
No doubt the article is well documented but it nonetheless is misleading. Let me tell you this.
This very notion is not new to me. I came across it during my stay in the USA in the late 1970's while I was reading a free magazine called "Plain Truth" published by the respectable "Worldwide Church of God" whose headquarters are ( were ?) in Pasadena, California (not far from you it seems).
At first I was surprised to read such a strange thing (I was born in Germany, I speak some German, I know some Germans and I can make the difference between Semites and Germanic people). But being open-minded I did some research on the subject and found out the following.
1) this theory is part of a wider theory dating as near back as the XIX the century called "Anglo-Israelism". That theory started as a question of how come was Great Britain such a blessed nation as far as wealth, power, prestige (grossly overlooking the abject poverty in which the British commoners lived ...).
It was THOUGHT that such blessings looked quite similar to those promised by God Jehovah to His people the Israelites. (...)
To cut a long story short the British (Anglo-Saxons), Irish (Celts), the Danes (Germanic !) that compose the North American people are (along with the British) descendants of the Ten Lost tribes of Israel (who were ACTUALLY carried away and dissolved in the Assyrian nation). But for that theory the Germans are not descendants of Israel but of their "enemies" the Assyrians.
To make matters worse Assyrians and Germans have a few things in common like efficiency in warfare (that was a main argument to establish a kinship in the eyes of advocates of that SPURIOUS -and old-fashioned -theory).
2) there is more than meets the eye in that theory. Indeed IF it WERE true THEN the Middle Eastern Natives speaking Sureth are just FRAUDS when they claim to be Assyrians ... Do you see what I mean ?
Indeed Sureth, a Semitic language, is a far cry (grammatically ...) from German or any other Germanic language; moreover when you compare bas-reliefs, paintings or even statues of ancient Assyrians, they all portray people with dark, curly hair, dark eyes ... hardly the Germanic type.
Well I will not spend more time discussing this ERRONEOUS theory (though I am willing to discuss it further with whoever so wishes by e-mail or whatever).
My aim is to give a warning to responsible Assyrians not to succumb to temptation to usurp the accomplishment of the German nation for the benefit of Assyrians.
Association Assyrophile in whose voice I speak DOES NOT ADHERE to such bogus (though interesting food for thought I admit) theory aiming at giving answers to theological debates now obsolete.
My message is to warn Assyrians against giving the world an image of NON KNOWLEDGEABLE people who claim ANY OLD THING that flatters their ego."
Association Assyrophile de France
"May I ask what kind of success is the Assyrian United Front taking particular pride in (Press Release of the Assyrian United Front, April 30, 2001)? Has this front succeeded in winning the majority vote of the Assyrian people to serve as the legitimate representation for the Assyrian nation?
Political parties create fronts to maximize their chances of winning elections. In the case of Assyrian political parties, fronts are established to issue press releases. It appalls me every time to see how clueless our so called Assyrian political parties are when it comes to understanding politics."
Like many of you I’m an Assyrian who loves his nation and it breaks my heart when I see that we are changing for the worse. I have been a member of the Assyrian Church of the East for more than forty years in our sacred homeland Bet Nahrin. It wasn't until five years ago when I moved to the United States that I decided to stop going to the church of my ancestors. I was amazed when one of my cousins told me that the church's hall is used for Bingo instead of religious, history, and language classes (the same hall that we have our religious and cultural events). My cousin also told me that he was a member of the church for more than 3 years and not even once the parish has visited him because he's neither wealthy nor recognized in the community.
The Church of the East has had an amazing treasured past in the history of Christianity. A clear understanding of its history would lead us to realize that its zealous missionaries went forth from Mesopotamia for their main goal; to give the message of our Lord and to convert to Christianity people scattered over the Asian continent. Our forefathers even shed their blood for their Christian faith, and the love for their nation. Obviously, a lot of things have changed today. Our churches are not only a Bingo center but are getting into the entertainment business as well! The San Jose church is now renting the hall for non-Assyrian parties. What's happening to us? Why not rent the hall for more decent events such as Assyrian history/language classes, cultural/professional seminars, or even a childcare center for our hard worker Assyrian families who are already paying thousands of dollars per month for baby-sitting their children. His Holiness Mar Dinkha IV has always emphasized on the importance of retaining our Assyrian language, our customs, and traditions, as these are essential elements of our identity.
We must pursue the greatest struggle, as we have done for centuries, to preserve our sacred values, traditions, and customs. Wake up Assyrians and live up to your forefathers’ noble values. I hope someday one of the Assyrian priest will do exactly as our Lord Jesus Christ did based on John 2:13-22."
I used to live in that neighborhood and I am sure it's not 70. Also, in the other issue there was another information that bothered me a lot. It was about the Armenian principal of the secondary school in Verin Dvin who as they say "impeded the development of the Assyrian language program and fired a teacher who was one of the few specialists in the field". It is total lie. Rumors.... I can't believe that people can be so jealous of her that..... I personally know this woman very well and I know that in her school all the teachers, parents and children love her a lot. I can say that even the whole village knows her and love her, because of the things she had done for the school and the Assyrians with all of her heart. She was a student of that school, later she became a teacher of the same school and later on the Assyrian teachers chose her to be the principle of the school because there was no difference whether it would be an Armenian or Assyrian and she was the right one for that position. All because they grew up together and their main interest is to build a good society. Of course, there would be people who would be jealous.
That school is in the first place with everything in our Artashat Region. By everything I mean, the educational progresses, organizational parts of very interesting cultural "shows" or how you call it. You have seen the pictures of the dancing and singing groups of Assyrian children. The principle is very devoted to her school and for her there is no difference Assyrians or Armenians. It's just the contrary of what was written in the article. She is putting all the efforts to develop the Assyrian language. And not only language, but the history of Assyrian people, the organization of cultural groups and so on (I would like to mention that these things have been well developed just the period of time she started to work as a principle).
I understand that a lot of information can be false and wrong, because people do not want to see other people's success or there could be millions of other reasons and we even knowing the truth can not stop them. I understand that, but it hurts me a lot. Anyway, sorry for writing so ..... I just felt that you would understand what I mean. Thank you for your time and God Bless...."
PROTEST ANTI-ASSYRIAN ARTICLE WRITTEN BY PROF. KELLY ROSS
We call your attention to an article on Assyrians written by Kelly Ross, a teacher at the Los Angeles Valley College. The article contains extremely offensive, derogatory and anti-Assyrian language, and explicitly questions whether we are Assyrians. According to Mister Ross, he wrote this article for his Assyrian students, to "educate" them about their erroneous beliefs. We believe this is a serious matter of concern, as this article is extremely demoralizing for any student to read, and makes an Assyrian student ashamed of his culture, ancestry and heritage.
These are some of the words used to describe Assyrians in this paper; they are Mister Ross' own words and, we must assume, his feelings about Assyrians as well.
Disturbing, appalling, inflated, self-serving, deceptive, unhelpful, far nastier, ambiguous, misrepresented, "call itself 'Assyrian'" , unseemly, terror, brutality, extermination, disappearance, denigrate, belittle, anti-religious, murderers, bizarre, strange, shame, invented, dishonest, force, massacre, deportation, falsehood, absurdly, self-flattering, tragic, disgraceful, shameful, belittle, insulting, not worthy, moral appropriateness, reprehensible.
You can read the full article here: http://www.friesian.com/notes/note-n.htm We ask that you help us in removing this article from the curriculum by sending the petition below. Please visit the link below, fill out the fields including your full name, address, email and subject of the email and hit send.
Assyrian International News Agency
Last week, our regular contributor, Mr. Fred Parhad, successfully collected hundreds of signatures during the Assyrian State Convention in Long Beach, California. He is to meet with the President of the Los Angeles Valley College this week and bring this matter to the attention of the College Administration.
Zinda Magazine urges its readers to sign the electronic
petition at the AINA site (Click
Here) to discourage further distribution
of false information about the Assyrians, in schools and colleges.
A Political Rally of the Assyrian Democratic Movement (Zowaa)
Speaker: Mr. Rommel Eliah
Zowaa Representative in the U.S. & Canada
Topics: Reports of Zowaa's accomplishments in the homeland (Northern Iraq) and its future agenda
Sunday, June 10, 2001
Hall of the Church of the East (Awana)
680 Minnesota Avenune, San Jose, California
For more information call 1-800-MY ZOWAA
ADM - U.S./Canada
The Assyrian Academic Society in conjunction with the Assyrian Universal Alliance Foundation and the Assyrian American Civic Club of Chicago proudly invites you to join us for dinner and an evening of art and poetry celebrating the seventy-first birthday of Rabbie Hannibal Alkhas.
Rabbie Hannibal will exhibit his expressionist works and will discuss his contributions to Assyrian art. In addition, Rabbie Hannibal will recite from his collection of selected poems.
The exhibition will also be open to the public from 2:00 to 6:00 p.m. at the same location. (SEE CALENDAR OF EVENTS)
Read Via Delarosa's interview with Mr. Alkhas entitled "My paintings combine the past, the present and the future": CLICK HERE.
HYPOCRISY AT ITS BEST!
Most of us look with reverence to our glorious past. Our ancient history is used as the primary fuel for our Assyrian pride. The victories of our ancient ancestors are exploited and used as if we owned it. To a certain extent it is ours. However, this past, like any other, has been established and respected. The ancient Assyrians have more than proved themselves to be who they are. One has to ask oneself what else is there? We can only use the fruits of our forefathers for so long as the basis for who we are. Now it's our turn to prove ourselves to be strong, progressive thinking, selfless Assyrians that work for the betterment of our nation.
As I set out to become this progressive Assyrian who wanted to work for the Assyrian people, I found one crucial problem. There is a serious lack of support from Assyrian organizations to the youth organizations. When I speak about lack of support, I’m not talking about bogus lip service or public statements addressing how these organizations want to help and support the youth. There's an abundance of that. I’m referring to something a little more productive than general and empty “focus on the youth” statements.
These organizations whose mission is to help and benefit the Assyrian community are, for a lack of a better phrase, a bunch of hypocrites. Most of them have been on a campaign to get the Assyrian youth more involved in the community. That's a great idea if you only stopped at the surface of that statement. When penetrating the surface with a feather, it seems as though this is their platform in the imaginary competitive election to see who does more for Assyrians. So let's speak in terms of their own understanding. In order for this campaign to succeed, the organizations have to actually- and this may be a foreign concept to some- TAKE ACTION. Going out and putting action behind the hot air the “leaders” of our community blow will do wonders. Working side by side with these high school and university organizations will benefit the community more than just talking about it.
Ethnic organizations at universities and colleges can be very beneficial to the community. They put on events on topics relating to Assyrians. What's great about having school organizations is that they're accessible to people of other ethnicities and communities who wouldn't otherwise know about the Assyrians. Students as part of these school organizations work tirelessly on the events and look to other Assyrian organizations for help. With this, I've found that the people who are leaders of these non-youth organizations also need some lessons in basic manners. When a student contacts someone from these organizations for guidance and help on an Assyrian related event, the courteous thing to do is to respond. Taking three seconds out of their busy schedule may seem very difficult to do. However, not responding to this student is like discouraging potential leaders of the Assyrian community in loving their nation enough to work for it.
Also, these students work hard in preparing for any of these Assyrian related events. If these organizations are not helping these students along the way, the least they could do is show up for the event at the end.
Although this is only one person's rant based on her own experiences with the leaders of these organizations, take it to heart. It's a serious defect that needs to be fixed!
Ms. Alkass is a student at DePaul University in Chicago and a member of the DePaul University's Middle East Student Association. On May 26 and 27, MESA organized a Human Rights Conference to discuss the Assyrian Genocide of 1915 and other persecuted groups in the Middle East. Of Chicago's nearly 100,000 Assyrians only less than a dozen attended the conferences. None of the attendees were representatives of Chicago's local Assyrian political, academic, or religious organizations.
Writer, producer, director Henri Charr has over a decade of experience making highly profitable films for domestic television and overseas distribution. His solid track record encompasses a diverse slate, from thrillers to dramas, action-adventures to family comedies. Charr’s films have been some of the most shown titles on HBO, Showtime, The Movie Channel, Cinemax, TNT, TBS, Animal Planet and other channels. Worldwide, they have been translated into every major language, released theatrically and aired on international TV.
Mr. Char graduated from Columbia College in Chicago. His first film, The End of the End, won the prestigious Chicago International Film Festival for Best Short. He was later invited to serve on the Festival's Jury. The American Film Institute honored Charr as one of the "most promising young filmmakers", funding his next film, Janice. It launched a career that has now spanned more than a decade, with award-winning educational films for the International Film Bureau, documentaries like the Assyrian Legacy and commercial features like Fatal Encounter starring Karen Black.
In the early 1990s, Charr made Under Lock & Key, Caged Hearts and Cell Block Sisters--a trilogy of action films that have since become cult classics.
In the mid-l990s, Charr shifted his focus to family fare and won immediate international acclaim. My Uncle: The Alien was a selection at the Brussels Festival of Fantasy, Thriller and Science Fiction Films. It was broadcast on HBO domestically and has been in popular re-runs since.
In 1997. Charr created and Executive Produced Hollywood Safari, a TV series for the whole family. Based on his very successful film of the same title. The hour-long show ran from 1997 through 2000 and helped launch Animal Planet as a major cable outlet.
Charr followed up with Little Heroes,
a rip-roaring action comedy. Televised on Animal Planet from Dec 17, 2000.
to March 11, 2001, as Movie of the Month", film was so popular it became
a franchise that spawned two sequels. Little Heroes 2 will
air later this summer.
Little Heroes 3, with an international cast and Crew, premiered in January 2001
Charr now heads Prototype Entertainment, a multimedia company developing and producing films and television for the global marketplace.
Mr. Charr attended the Assyrian State Convention last week and his film, Little Heroes, was well received by his fellow Assyrians. Proud of his Assyrian heritage, Mr. Charr produced the most complete film documentary on the history and the civilization of Assyrians entitled "The Assyrian Legacy" featuring movie superstar, George Kennedy.
Lydians and Medes fought a battle in Mesopotamia in the first battle for which a date has been established. The battle stopped at its height as there was a total solar eclipse on this day (May 28).
"This Day in History", National Post
A Kurdish force of 10,000 attacks Urmia in Persia (modern Iran), and kills, loots and carries off over 1000 Assyrian prisoners. Soon after, the Turkish Pasha of Rawandoz sacks the towns of Alqosh and Tel Kepe, and pillages the monastery of Rabban Hormizd, killing many monks and a bishop.
History section of Atour.com [click here]
June 2, 1900: Rev. Isaac Adams, an Assyrian from Urmia, graduates from a Medical School in Michigan.
TAKA ARDISHAY WEEKEND
Dinner on Saturday -
Picnic on Monday - Lots of fun, food, and music
Tickets $35 for adults (less for students)
Location: Church Ballroom of St. Thomas Assyrian Church
ZOWAA POLITICAL RALLY
A Political Rally of the Assyrian Democratic Movement (Zowaa)
Speaker: Mr. Rommel Eliah
Topics: Reports of Zowaa's accomplishments in the homeland (Northern Iraq) and its future agenda
Sunday, June 10, 2001
Hall of the Church of the East (Awana)
For more information call 1-800-MY ZOWAA
7TH ANNUAL GRADUATION CEREMONY
Hosted by the Assyrian Church of the East
Hanging Gardens Banquet
Deadline for registration is June 10, 2001
AN EVENING OF ART & POETRY WITH HANNIBAL ALKHAS
Ticket Price: $30
To reserve/purchase tickets call:
Assyrian Universal Alliance Foundation
Assyrian American Civic Club of Chicago
Assyrian Academic Society
BRITISH MUSEUM LECTURE SERIES
Conference Under one sky: "Astronomy and Mathematics in the ancient Near East- Babylonian and Egyptian astronomy and its mathematical background"
Contact Department of the Ancient Near East
XLVIIe RENCONTRE ASSYRIOLOGIQUE INTERNATIONALE
International Congress of Assyriology and Near Eastern
Registration Form: click here
NATIONAL MUSEUM OF HISTORY
" Between the Tigris and the Euphrates: Mesopotamia"
About 300 artworks on loan from Le Louvre in Paris celebrate the great civilization of Mesopotamia. The show spans different periods, from the emergence of the first villages of the Fertile Crescent during the neolithic period to the encounter with the Greeks and Alexander the Great.
For more information: (2) 2361-0270
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.
A day to commemorate the Assyrian martyrs throughout history.
August 28 - Sept 3
ASSYRIAN AMERICAN NATIONAL CONVENTION
A PERFORMANCE OF SUMERIAN STORIES
The Zi-Pang Trio
November 8 thru
March 17, 2002
AGATHA CHRISTI & THE ORIENT
Revealing Agatha Christie the archaeologist and how her discoveries in the Near East influenced her detective writing.
The hitherto unknown interests and talents of the great crime writer are told through archaeological finds from the sites on which she worked with her husband Max Mallowan at Ur, Nineveh and Nimrud. Important objects from these sites in the Museum's collections are combined with archives, photographs, and films made by Agatha Christie herself.
Personal memorabilia and souvenirs of travel in a more leisurely age are only some of the exhibits which range from first editions of those novels inspired by her other life to a sleeping compartment from the Orient Express, from a lethal 1930s hypodermic syringe to a priceless first millennium ivory of a man being mauled to death
Admissions £7, Concessions £3.50
West Wing Exhibition Gallery Room 28
MIDDLE EAST STUDIES ASSOCIATION CONFERENCE
Middle East Studies Association of North America Panel
Hyatt Regency Hotel, San Francisco
Dr. Arian Ishaya - Urmia to Baquba: From the Cradle
of Water to Wilderness
THE NIMROD CONFERENCE
Sponsored by the British School of Archaeology in Iraq
Cost To Be Determined
Contact Dept of Ancient Near East 020 7323 8315
Coincides with Ancient Near East week at the British Museum:
Dr. Arianne Ishaya (California) ... Tony Khoshaba (Chicago)
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: firstname.lastname@example.org.