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Volume VII
Issue 15
June 19, 2001
return to zindamagazine.com

This Week In Zinda

  Congratulations Class Of 2001!
  Northern Watch
U.S. Ambassador To Turkey Visits Diyarbakir
New Syrian Orthodox Church Consecrated
Christian Conference in Iraq Asks For Lifting of Embargo

Assyrian Girl Missing, Feared Drowned
Chaldean Bar Association's Meeting
Narsai David's Specialty Foods

  "Anyone Not Of Turkish Origin"

An Invitation To Join Ashur Project
The Nineteenth Bonham Carter Memorial Lecture

  Annals Of The Kings Of Assyria
Latest Issue Of Nakosha Magazine
  The Invitation
  Breathing & Breathless
  Ancient World's Biggest Tax Payers & The Astonished Assyriologist
  Mar Shimmun Ishaya Exiled to Cyprus
  CSSS Symposium in November



The Lighthouse


Zinda Magazine extends its congratulations to the Class of 2001. Here is a list of our subscribers or friends and/or family members of our ever-growing community of readers. Each individual represents the next generation of achievers who will continue the cultural heritage of the Assyrians into the 21st century. The challenges ahead are no less difficult than what we left behind us in the last century. Nevertheless, if the level of education attained by this small sample of students is any indication, our future rests in good hands.

It is our hope that every Assyrian graduate in 2001 will continue to learn and develop new skills for his or her own success and in the service of the Assyrian people. To improve the conditions of our people, we must first improve ourselves and strive to do more. It is also our hope that along the way, our magazine will continue to inspire the next generation of Assyrian educators, professionals, and activists to build on the great Nisibian and Edessan tradition of lifelong learning in advancing our future.



High School Graduates

Sargon Michael Benjamin
Jesuit High School
Carmichael, California
Sargon graduated 10th in his talented class, receiving Magna Cum Laude and is a part of his school's National Honor Society. He ran both track and cross country, was the sports editor for his school newspaper, and also served as one of the student body senators for the Senior class. He will be attending Santa Clara University this fall, majoring in Computer Science.

Naram Emanuel Kamber
Kalamazoo Central High School (with honors)
Kalamazoo, Michigan
Naram will be attending Western Michigan University in the fall to pursue undergraduate studies in mechanical engineering.

Bonne E. Lander
North Penn High School, Lansdale, PA
Bonne will be attending University of Miami, majoring in vocal performance.

Edessa Nazaradeh
Turlock High Scool, U.S.A.

Bendad Emanuel Thomas
Kathe Kolwitz High School
Wesseling, Germany

College / University Graduates

Annette Marie Atanous
B.A. in English
University of California, Los Angeles

Albert Gabriel
Post Graduate Certification in Facilities Management
UC Berkeley

Nahrain Emanuel Kamber
B.A. Chemistry
Kalamazoo College
Kalamazoo, Michigan
Magna Cumme Laude, Phi Beta Kappa
Nahrain will be attending Stanford University in the fall to pursue a Ph.D. in chemistry.

Allison C. Lander
Bachelor of Music, Cum Laude, Piano Performance
Ithaca College
Allison will be continuing studies at Ithaca to receive a B.A. in English.

Peter H. Lander
Master of Music, Trumpet Performance
University of New Mexico, Albuquerque

Robert Charles Samo
Bachelors of Arts in Journalism
San Francisco State University
Robert is continuing with his education at California State University, Fullerton for a second BA in
History and an M.A. in Broadcasting. Robert also worked in Zinda Magazine as a staff writer.

Dimator Shahbaz
Univercity of California Los Angeles (UCLA).
Bachelor of Science in Computer Science and Engineering.

Doctoral Degrees

Arbella Odishoo
Ph.D. in Psychology
California School of Professional Psychology
Arbella has a B.A. in Arts and Marketing.

Evelyn A. Enwiya
Juris Doctor
DePaul University, School of Law
Evelyn has an M.A. from University of Chicago and a B.A. from University of San Francisco.

Did you miss our list of Class of 2001? It's not too late. Zinda will continue to add more names as we receive more information in the coming weeks. Please contact us at z_info@zindamagazine.com.

Good Morning Bet-Nahrain


(ZNDA: Arbil) On 12 June, Massoud Barzani, leader of the Kurdistan Democratic Party met with the Chaldean Archbishop of Arbil. Details of the meeting were not received at Zinda press time.

Courtesy of Tukish Daily News (June 20)

(ZNDA: Ankara) The U.S. ambassador to Turkey, Robert Pearson, visited Diyarbakir and stated that growth potential in tourism, agro-processing industries and the textile sector was noticeable in the region. Pearson and U.S. Adana Consul General Greta C. Holtz attended a cocktail party.

In a speech during the cocktail, Pearson indicated that this was his first visit to Diyarbakir, and said Diyarbakir, which has a rich historical inheritance, had passed through difficult periods but had a bright future.

"Many of the sites we visited in the city were historical, however we found Diyarbakir a modern city, ready for developments. The Southeastern Anatolia Project (GAP) contributes to the development of the city. We always try to introduce business opportunities to American companies in this region and are looking forward to intensifying the cooperation with business circles in Diyarbakir," Pearson maintained.

The Union of Turk-American Associations Chairman Orhan Kaymakcalan gave a brief statement on their union and stated that they were fighting against anti-Turk propaganda in the United States. "This year we chose to visit the Eastern and Southeastern Anatolia regions in order to emphasize that these regions are part of our country. We found great developments in the infrastructure, which will contribute to the intensification of trade relations with neighboring countries," Kaymakcalan added.

The following also attended the cocktail party, emergency rule governor Gokhan Aydiner, Diyarbakir governor Cemil Serhadli, Metropolitan Municipality Mayor Feridun Celik, Dicle University Rector professor Fikri Canoruc, Syriac Bishop Samual Aktas and representatives from nongovernmental organizations.

Courtesy of the Gulf News (June 19)

(ZNDA: Dubai) The consecration of the new Syrian Orthodox Church at Jebel Ali Village took place this week amid songs in the Syriac language. It began with the hoisting of the church flag, which was led by His Holiness Moran Mor Ignatius Zakka-I Iwas, patriarch of Antioch and all the East and the Supreme Head of the Universal Syrian Orthodox Church.

The parish is dedicated to His Holiness the Late Moran Mor Ignatius Elias -III and comes under the patriarch of Antioch and supreme head of the Universal Syrian Church currently based in Damascus.

Convenor of the reception committee Chevalier Cheeran Varkey said the new complex can accommodate 1,500. "We are very grateful to the Dubai government for granting us the land to build our own church. The foundation stone was laid on October 6, 2000, by His Grace Mor Gregorious Joseph Metropolitan," he said. The Dh3 million two-story complex has the church on the first floor and a multi-purpose prayer hall, parsonage and utility rooms on the ground floor. "Transport arrangements have been made for people coming for Friday mass from Sharjah and Dubai," Varkey said.

Courtesy of the Post-Standard Syracuse (June 16), Gloria Wright

(ZNDA: Baghdad) A five-day conference attended by more than 300 representatives of churches from around the world entitled "The Church at the Service of Humanity and Peace," was organized last month by the Chaldean Church, Iraq's largest Christian denomination. It called for an end to the decade-old United Nations sanctions against Iraq.
"Enough, enough, enough to this embargo imposed on Iraq for more than 10 years without any justification," the conference's final declaration says. "Enough to the embargo that is against God's law, which calls for mercy, forgiveness and human respect. The results of this embargo is a mass killing of a whole nation." Bishop James Moynihan of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Syracuse was invited by officials of Iraq's Armenian Orthodox Church to send a delegation to the May conference.

The delegation included Rick Hatem, a member of the L'Arche Community, and Dick Keough, a member of Pax Christi Syracuse, Cynthia Banas of Vernon and Anne Herman of Binghamton. Hatem and Keough also went to Iraq in January with a delegation of about 30 people sponsored by Conscience International, an Atlanta- based humanitarian group. Hatem said he came away from the conference with a deeper appreciation for Christians in Iraq, a country where the population of 23 million people is about 95 percent Muslim. Religious freedom is guaranteed in Iraq's constitution, but it is "easy for Christians to feel caught in the middle," Hatem said.

Some Iraqis hold Christians in their own country responsible for the sanctions imposed by the "Christian West," Hatem said. "At the same time, they're very proud to be Iraqis." The Christian church has been in Iraq since the first century, he said. Today there are about a million Christians in Iraq, comprising a variety of churches: Assyrian Orthodox and Assyrian Catholic, Syrian Orthodox and Syrian Catholic, Armenian Orthodox and Armenian Catholic, Greek Orthodox, Latin Catholic and Protestant denominations. Some of the churches perform their rites in Aramaic, the language of Jesus Christ, Hatem said. When Jesus worshipped, he spoke Hebrew, but "he used Aramaic in daily life." Hatem said the Iraqis he spoke with "said they are free to worship, but they also said there is more fanaticism today, probably across the board." The rise in fanaticism can be traced in part to the sanctions imposed, by the United Nations at the urging of the United States, after Iraq invaded Kuwait in 1990. The U.N. has refused to lift the sanctions until it is convinced Iraq has dismantled its weapons of mass destruction. Before 1990, the government of Saddam Hussein provided free health care and free education for every person in Iraq. Now, unemployment in some parts of the country stands at 60 to 65 percent.

"The middle class has been pretty much wiped out during the 11 years of sanctions," Hatem said. "... The sanctions are not affecting Saddam and his circle. If a person has money, they can find anything they want in Iraq." The Iraqi people are suffering, and struggling to survive. As they become more desperate, they become more fanatical, he said. "We're making it more dangerous for ourselves," Hatem said. "We're sowing the seeds of hatred." Keough said he returned from the May trip to Iraq believing there is a "need for healing and reconciliation" between the United States and Iraq. His dream is to get small groups of six to 12 Americans to go to Iraq to meet Iraqi people. He said he met with parents of a 7-year-old girl who died because the medical equipment she needed was barred under the sanctions. "I pledged to them to tell the people of this country what's happening," he said. "My focus is on the human life that is being destroyed."

News Digest

Courtsy of Toronto Star (June 18); Ian Robertson

(ZNDA: Toronto) Sumar Khawaja, an Assyrian sixth-grader, age 12, is missing and feared drowned in lake in Brompton, Canada. She attends St. Anthony's Catholic School in Brampton.

A Father's Day picnic at the popular Heart Lake Conservation Area has left a family fearing the worst after a 12-year-old girl vanished and is presumed drowned.

As relatives huddled on a tree-lined hill overlooking the small lake in Brampton's north end, Peel Regional Police divers waded into the roped-off swimming area off the main beach to search for Sumar Khawaja, 12.

Nearby, Butros Khawaja, 39, the missing girl's father, fell to his knees, raised his hands in prayer to the setting sun and cried out: "Please, God, please spare my child."

Choked with emotion, he was led away by cousin Ted Tallia back up the hill to rejoin relatives.

The missing girl's mother, Mariam, held closely by cousin Maray Tallia, pleaded in Assyrian: "My God, my God!"

Then, in English, the terrified mother said: "I can't tell you how good she is. She has lots of friends. She liked lots of things."

Ted Tallia said the extended family -- six adults and six children, including Sumar's sisters Milda, 14, and Ashtar, 8 -- went to the Heart Lake park to enjoy yesterday's pleasant early summer weather.

"It's just 10 minutes from their house," he said of the Khawaja family.

The family, he said, came to Canada from the Middle East 10 years ago and recently moved into a home near Dixie Rd. and Peter Robertson Dr.

Peel Regional Police Insp. Bob Strain later said the family "were on a little outing -- a little fishing."

While the adults prepared a meal near the beach, some of the children took one last dip before the picnic was to begin, Tallia said.

Sumar's mother recalled her daughter shouting to her: "Mommy, just make me a sandwich and I'll be back in 10 minutes."

About 15 minutes later, around 4 p.m., the Khawajas realized Sumar was not visible in the water near the spot where her shoes stood.

Frantically, they searched the water and treed slopes around the lake, calling out Sumar's name.

Police were alerted at 4:18 p.m.

What should have been a tranquil end to a perfect day saw families being escorted from the park as the search expanded.

Sombre-faced Brampton firefighters and police officers waited patiently around the beach as a fresh team of divers entered the water.

Nearby, police with dogs began searching the woods and slopes of the conservation area.

As the late afternoon sun sank towards the trees on the west side of the lake, its glow on the water lit a path for the orange-suited divers.

At 9:20 p.m., the search was called off. Sumar's teacher recently said she hoped to get a poem written by Sumar published in a local newspaper.


(ZNDA: Detroit) John Akouri, the Washington press secretary and communications director to U.S. Rep. Joe Knollenberg, R-Michigan, will be the guest speaker at the Chaldean Bar Association meeting at 6 p.m. Monday in La Fendi Restaurant, 27060 Evergreen. Akouri, who recently met with the Oakland County Young Republicans in Southfield, said he expects to be a candidate for the Michigan Senate in 2002.

The San Francisco Chronicle - June 20

Courtesy of the San Francisco Chronicle (June 20) - Karola Saekel

(ZNDA: San Francisco) He's b-a-a-a-c-k. "He" would be Narsai David, president of the Assyrian Aid Society of America. Not that the ebullient media chef and cooking teacher ever went away, but his voluptuous chocolate decadence spread and other gourmet condiments that were a spin-off of his '70s restaurant-deli in Kensington had disappeared from market shelves.

Now, his niece and longtime collaborator, Soreya David, has revived the line and redesigned the packaging. There are mustards, nectarine chutney, a dill sauce and an Assyrian marinade, but, most prominently, that '80s best-seller, chocolate decadence.

It is so rich and smooth that in addition spooning it warm over ice cream or cake, it can be chilled and ladled out as instant truffles. Decadence also comes in chocolate-raspberry and a rich butter caramel. Narsai's specialty foods are available in upscale groceries like Andronico's and Mill Valley Market. Chocolate decadence is $7.99- $8.49 for 9 ounces.

Surfs Up!

"If you will pay attention, those taking decisions and applying them in the name of "the state" are being very hard nosed.

They do not accept that there could be Syriacs, Kurds, Greeks or Armenians living in Turkey and that they have exactly the same rights as anyone known as a Turkish citizen.

Sometimes citing "security" and at other times citing "people's reaction" they brazenly rough up the minorities.

I am not talking about measures against those that get involved in terrorism. They are correct. What I'm talking about is the general treatment meted out to anyone not of Turkish origin.

We should know that as long as we cannot escape seeing minorities as the enemies of the Turkish state, we will not be able either to leave them in peace or ourselves.

It is not laws, but heads that should be changed."

Mehmet Ali Birand
Turkish Daily News Staff

"I read with surprise and concern Jeff Atto' s e-mail concerning my humble person.

I am surprised to hear that some Assyrians in the USA are against freedom of speech (he urges you not to post my e-mails), but more concerning is his ostrich-like attitude of not wanting to hear (know) what others know about hidden (because dark) aspects of our people. I am not a supporter of Mr Kelly Ross (I even wrote against him !). My opinion is that a plant growing in a glasshouse will not withstand a gust of wind or of cold (Assyrians are that way when they refuse to learn the actual facts - "Agha" Petros ; New Year ...-).

Conversely a plant that has grown outside in the cold (...) can withstand hardships and disease.

Let Jeff Atto (whom I respect and forgive anyway) know that my great-uncle was one of Petros Ilia's bodyguard in Switzerland and he has told our family what his attitude really was.

French Assyrians know a lot of unavowable things about their self-styled leader; many of them have deserted Assyrianism because of him ! Jesus said to judge a tree by its fruit.

I urge Jeff Atto to do the same. What have Assyrians gained so far ? Isn't it time to think a new approach to our future ? Anyway I thank you (Z- crew) for upholding the principle of freedom of speech and of the press.

I know you may chafe at reading some of my comments. If you have any doubt about my commitment to Assyrianism, you may ask Francis Sargis who knows me a little.

Keep up the good work.

Yours in Assyria (and no hard feelings to Jeff Atto) "

J.P Sliva

"I'm just catching up with my Zinda issues. It's terrific. I really enjoyed the article by Dr. Moradkhan. It was very refreshing. In my opinion Zinda needs to cover more issues related to the youth. You're immersing your readers in a lot of political stuff. In the mean time the youth of Assyria are withering away in the U.S. and Europe. "

Zari Charbakhsh


Surfers Corner


Dear Assyrian Friends:

The miserable condition of the Iraqi people is well documented and well known throughout the world. Unfortunately, what is not known or acknowledged is the condition of Assyrians. Today there are thousands of Assyrians languishing in miserable conditions in Amman, Greece, and other places waiting for a relative, friend or an organization to sponsor them to go to Europe, United States or Australia. Many organizations, churches, and individuals have been assisting our people at different levels.

There is another group of dedicated Assyrians who have chosen to stay in the land of their birth and maintain their national identity and keep possession of their homes and villages. These are the brave people who are securing our national identity and ensuring that our roots in Bet Nahrain remain alive. It is the patriotic obligation of every Assyrian irrespective of his or her church affiliation or country of origin to pledge and work hard to support these people to survive.

A couple of months ago, Dr. Ashur Mooradkhan approached me with an idea and asked for my help to implement it. The idea is very simple and practical. Establish a link between Assyrian families in Diaspora and those in the homeland. Each family donates $20.00 per month or $240.00 per year. This money will be used strictly to improve the conditions of the Assyrian villagers to create means of making a better life. Improve agriculture, increase sheep and poultry production, and create other cottage industries that keep the people economically self-sustaining. To ensure the implementation of these project Dr. Mooradkhan has volunteered to move to Iraq and live among Assyrians to coordinate these projects.

I was impressed with Ashur's idea and his dedication. For the first time we have an Assyrian who has lived almost 30 years in the United States and has voluntarily left his home, his family, his comfort and moved back to live among his own people for one purpose only. To be the link between us in the Diaspora and those in the homeland. He truly deserves the respect and support of all Assyrians.

Together, we developed a detailed implementation plan for his idea, secured the support of Zowaa in the North and the Assyrian Aid Society here. I pledged to support him by raising funds for his project. Dr. Ashur Mooradkhan (Dentist) left the United States on May 18, 2001, and is presently settled in Dohuk. Soon he will relocate permanently to the village of Bet Beden.

He has selected the village of Bet-Beden to be the model village where these projects will be implemented. He has hired a tractor to plough the abandoned fields and get them ready for planting. He has arranged to import 3,000 apple trees from Urmia to this village. Another project is the establishment of a dental lab where he will train young Assyrians to make dentures, partials, and other dental needs. We are working with Assyrian dentists and lab technicians to secure the proper equipment for the lab. He has been well received by the Assyrian organization in the North and the Assyrian people.

To help him achieve his objective, I have volunteered to raise funds for him. I am glad to announce that when I made a presentation of this project to the Board of Directors of the Assyrian Foundation of America, they approved the project and pledged $10,000. To date we have received $2,500 and the balance will be paid during this year.

With this letter, I am inviting you to join me in the support of this dedicated Assyrian who has sacrificed his personal comfort and family life to assist our needy brothers and sisters. Our request is simple and not a big financial burden. We ask each one to donate $20.00 per month ($240.00 per year) to support Ashur in this and other projects that will be initiated to help Assyrians to improve their capability to become self-sufficient.

Your donation is tax deductible. Please make your check payable to the "Assyrian Aid Society" and mark in the memo section 'Ashur Project.' Please mail your check to me at 720 Evelyn Court, Alamo, CA. 94507.

Your generosity will be much appreciated. This is a humanitarian undertaking. The project is not associated with any political or other organizations. It is purely a labor of love to help our needy Assyrians.

Very truly yours,

Youel A Baaba
Ashur Project


The President and Council request the honour of your company at The nineteenth Bonham Carter Memorial Lecture

Dr Alastair Northedge "The Abbasid palaces of Samarra" &
Professor Robert Hillenbrand "The medieval Islamic architecture of Mosul"

at the British Academy, 10 Carlton House Terrace, London SW1
Thursday, 21st June 2001 at 5.30 p.m.


5.30-6.15 p.m.

6.15 p.m.

6.45-7.30 p.m.

Dr. Northedge


Professor Hillenbrand


(Please note: AGM 6th December 2001)

Please confirm your acceptance to:
Mrs. Joan Porter MacIver, The BSAI Secretary
10, Carlton House Terrace, London SW1Y 5AH
Tel. 01440 785 244 or e-mail: TheBSAI@aol.com

Jan Picton



The circular concerning the state guarantee for the rights of the Assyrian-Syriac people issued by Turkish Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit last week was found far from sincere. Representatives of the Assyrian-Syriac people said that these types of announcements mean nothing unless practical steps are taken as well.

Meanwhile, it was learned that the Prime Minister did not issue this circular of his own initiative, but as the result of the international outcry and complaints from tourism firms in Turkey against a repressive circular issued by the Turkish Interior Ministry which forbad anyone from visiting Syriac villages.

Evaluating the circular issued by the Turkish government concerning the return of Syriacs to the land from which they had been driven, Assyrian-Syriac representatives said that a call to return on its own meant nothing and called for concrete steps to be taken.

The representatives, commenting on the circular concerning a state guarantee of return carrying Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit's signature, said that this was a positive step from the aspect that it was the first circular issued concerning Syriacs in Republican history, but that this circular was not the same as state guarantee. They said that it was necessary to urgently make the necessary legal and constitutional changes for people to live freely and democratically and called on the oppression against the language and culture of the Assyrian-Syriac people to end.

The representatives said that just as a circular would not be sufficient to get the Syriac people to return, they did not believe it would lead to any solutions either.

George Aryo, representative of the Syriac people on the Kurdistan National Congress (KNK) pointed out that Turkey had greater and more serious problems to tackle, and continued to say the following: "The problem in Turkey is not just the Assyrian-Syriac problem. There are greater societal problems. Among the foremost of these if the Kurdish problem. If you ask me, the sincerity of a state which issues a circular about the Syriacs but does not publish a single word concerning the Kurds which were forced to migrate from the same settlement areas is open to question."

The Syriac representative responded to Ecevit's words that "the Syriacs are under the legal guarantee of the state" by saying, "I don't think that anyone in Turkey feels that they are under legal guarantee," pointing out that neither the murderers of over 50 Syriacs nor those who were responsible for the burning of their villages and churches had yet been found. Aryo said that that the state had not carried out the democratic steps which all of society was expecting from it, and said that, before doing this, the invitation for Syriacs to return would remain far from sincere.

Aryo also noted that it was interesting that such a circular be published at a time when the Assyrian-Syriac people in particular were raising their voices and debating returning to their homeland., adding, "If Turkey is genuinely resolute and determined to encourage return, we will be of assistance to them on this subject. But first, it is necessary to give some guarantees."

Chairman of the Assyrian-Chaldean-Syriac Union (ACSU) Fikri Aygur said that the circular brought nothing new, pointing out that they had the same rights in Turkey right now but that the problem was with implementation of those rights. "There was no state guarantee for the more than 50 Assyrian-Syriacs murdered by state forces," Aygur said, continuing to add the following: "In fact, great question marks concerning how able the government will be to implement this guarantee have been raised by the prosecution of Diyarbakir Priest Hn. Yusuf Akbulut ten months ago and the prohibition against entering or leaving the Assyrian-Syriac villages near Tur Abidin one month ago."

Aygur said that a call made through a circular was definitely not enough to make the Assyrian-Syriacs who had spread across the world return, and added the following: "The policies of societal prohibitions, pressure and fear and the inequality practiced are the basic reasons that the Assyrian-Syriacs left their country. For the Assyrian-Syriacs who left their country seeking salvation as a result of these practices to return again, it is necessary to remove all these routines from the law, and especially from practice."

Aygur said that returning was one of the basic desires of the Assyrian-Syriac people but that it was necessary to break the lack of trust created by past experiences in order to achieve this.

Aygur additionally said that it was necessary to grant the same rights to the Assyrian-Syriac people as those granted to the other non-Muslim peoples under the Lausanne Treaty and for them to have status as an ethnic community in order to return.

Aygur said that it was not possible for the Assyrian-Syriac people to take this repeated guarantee seriously unless it shows that it is different from the other guarantees offered. He said that he viewed the Assyrian-Syriac people as one of the various cultures living in Turkey and that therefore, they would not believe in any guarantee or decision regarding the Assyrian-Syriac people as long Turkey failed to democratize.

Meanwhile, officials from the Mor Gabriel monastery in Midyat said that the circular concerning the return of Syriacs to their villages was "both too late and too insufficient." Not wanting to give an opinion on the circular, monastery officials said, "The situation and what is happening are well known. If they really want the Syriacs to return to their land, why don't they do what is required?"

Releasing a statement concerning the circular, the Mesopotamia Freedom Party called attention to the ban through the end of the year against Assyrian-Syriacs visiting their villages or historical sites, stressing that the issue was not simply one of mistaken implementation.

The statement said that anti-democratic practices against the people of the Republic of Turkey had become systematized and that national, ethnic, religious, societal and individual rights and freedoms had been destroyed. In response to Ecevit's statement about being "under legal guarantee," the statement said the following: "Then is it necessary to ask, didn't the Assyrian-Syriac people begin to rapidly emigrate following the mandatory Islam religious classes brought by the 1982 Constitution? What will be the status and form of the guarantee that the Assyrian-Syriac people are under if the existing constitution is a constitution which was drawn up by the September 12 military regime and society was forced to accept it? It is necessary to ask Prime Minister Ecevit, who said that 'Syriac citizens migrated of their own free will because of terrorism' what justifications he will use to defend the prohibitions that exist today. In the current situation, with the armed clashes at an end and the PKK adopting a strategy of democratic change, why are some circles in the Turkish Republic still imposing violence?"

The Mesopotamian Freedom Party said in its statement that the Assyrian-Syriac people had experienced must pain in the 20th century and called attention to the practices implemented after 1980. The statement said: "As long as everyone has a need for democracy, then cultural difference must be seen as a richness and a constitution which recognizes the identities and values of the people and protects the rights of societal segments in Turkey and develops tolerance between religions and sects must be drawn up. All political parties and thought must be left free."

Syriac journalist Yawsef Beth Turo said that it was not possible for the Assyrian-Syriac people who had spread to over 70 countries of the world to take these types of calls seriously unless serious steps were taken. Beth Turo said that it was also far from realistic to not speak of the other peoples and cultures which had been pushed from their land in Turkey and said that the circular was a symptom of instability.

Beth Turo said that Ecevit's words about "state guarantee" were definitely words that would remain far from implementation, adding that not only the Syriacs, but also the Kurds, Armenians, Laz, Circassians, and other peoples were deprived of legal guarantees in Turkey. "We want action, not words," Beth Turo said. Beth Turo said they had been taking international initiatives for two years now to prevent the destruction of their villages and historical legacy, adding, "The officials of the Republic of Turkey have never seen these values as a wealth of Turkey that they should stand up for them or put them to the service of the country. This is why Turkey can only earn the sympathy of the Syriac people in proportion to how much it protects these values by loving and standing up for them on its own initiative, not because of the imposition and force of European countries."

Kurdish Observer
19 June 2001


Assyrian Surfing Posts

Annals of the Kings of Assyria

Latest Issue of Nakosha Magazine

Pump Up the Volume

Breath (ing) Nap/sha Feminine Ana benshame win m'hawa baseema: I'm breathing fresh air.
Breathless Lih/tda Feminine Aw M'bar rikhta b'12 meeleh, weeleh bilhatda qa khamsha daqeeqeh: After running for 12 miles, he was breathless (breathing hard) for 5minutes.


The Bet-Eil Assyrian Church Youth Group proudly presents "The Invitation"--a collection of original contemporary Assyrian Christian music. This CD is a breakthrough in Assyrian spiritual music and can be enjoyed by audiences of all ages. "The Invitation" strives to increase the public's appreciation of Assyrian spiritual music. There are nine original songs infused with contemporary instrumental arrangement. The total cost of $14.00 includes shipping and handling. To order your CDs please email us at theinvitation@zindamagazine.com , or call us at (408) 568-9900. Send your check to:

Bet-Eil Assyrian Church Youth Group
P.O Box 54184
San Jose CA 95154

Please make your checks payable to: Bet-Eil Assyrian Church.

Thank You,

Bet-Eil Assyrian Church Youth Group

Back to the Future

(500 B.C.)

The Persian empire was divided into regions for the purpose of furnishing supplies for the king and his army. For four months out of the twelve, the supplies came from Mesopotamia and the rest of the Persian territories were responsible for the remaining eight months.

The Histories, Herodotus

(A.D. 1872)

While working on the translation of a few tablets he had found in Ashurbanipal's Library in Nineveh, George Smith suddenly realizes he is reading the familiar story of the Flood. He was so overcome with excitement that he rushes around the room and begins tearing off his clothes.

Mesopotamian Myths, McCall

This Week In History

JUNE 21, 1933

The government of Iraq denies the "Iraqi" citizenship of Mar Shimmun Ishaya, Patriarch of the Church of the East and exiles His Holiness to Cyprus. Less than two months later, the Iraqi army aided by the Kurdish troops attack Assyrian villages and massacre over 3000 villagers in what was later termed the Simmel Massacre.


Calendar of Events


 Share your local events with Zinda readers.    Email us or send fax to:  408-918-9201


Dance Party



June 24

Sponsored by: 
Assyrian Academic Society 
Assyrian Universal Alliance Foundation 
Assyrian American Civic Club of Chicago 

6:30 PM
Eden 's Banquet Hall 
6313 N. Pulaski (Between Peterson & Devon) 

Ticket Price: $30

To reserve/purchase tickets call: 

Assyrian Universal Alliance Foundation
Homer Ashurian:   773-274-9262 

Assyrian American Civic Club of Chicago
Joseph Tamraz:     773-743-4027 

Assyrian Academic Society 
Tony Khoshaba: 630-285-0633

June 25-27

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
British Museum

July 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

Until July 15

" 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

Closed Mondays!

July 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

September 19

The Zi-Pang Trio
The Kufa Gallery
26 Westbourne Grove

Entrance Free
Contact  fran@hazelton.greatxscape.net

November 8 thru
March 17, 2002

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

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

November 21-23

Sponsored by the British School of Archaeology in Iraq
British Museum's Clore Centre
Gt Russell St WC1

Cost To Be Determined

Contact Dept of Ancient Near East 020 7323 8315
or email:  TheBSAI@aol.com, tel 01440 785244.

Coincides with Ancient Near East week at the British Museum: 
"Whodunnit in Assyria. For full details contact: Sam Moorhead, Education
Department, The British Museum, London WC1B 3DG, tel. 020-7323-8432

November 24

Sponsored by Canadian Society for Syriac Studies (CSSS)
Five Lectures on the Origins of Syriac Christianity
Syriac hymns by two Church Choruses
Middle Eastern Food
University of Toronto
More information to be provided in the upcoming issues


Thank You!

Zindamagazine would like to thank:

Dr. George Kiraz
(New Jersey)

Petr Kubalek
(Czech Republic)


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