DO YOU KNOW THE WAY TO SAN JOSE?
Here's the situation: there are nearly ten thousand of you out there driving or flying to San Jose, California later this week to swarm on crowded dance parties and the hotel lobby at the 68th Annual Assyrian National Convention. Do you know what else you will or will not be doing when not showing off your new dance moves?
Some local observers say that this year's convention promises to be the most crowded, politically-charged, controversial, and yes - fun-filled - national convention in recent history. To us that sounds like a lot of headache for the local organizers.
Crowd control seems to be the number one priority at this year's convention. While many past conventioneers have already written off this Labor Day weekend tradition as an expensive headache, the Assyrian American Association of San Jose is experimenting with a whole new registration process: unless you pre-register you don't get to party with the Silicon Valley folks. Three months ago everyone, including the Z-Crew, speculated that this bold attempt would anger many guests. There's even a flash animation produced to depict a violent scene at the convention. Yet, we were delightfully surprised when we discovered how many of you have given Jacklin Bejan and her crew in San Jose the thumbs up for this bold, new plan to minimize violence and unwelcome aggression.
It's customary to hear the exaggerated claims of the hosting affiliate of the Assyrian American National Federation on its myriad of cultural, political, and social events. Yet on the day of the occasion, most such activities get canceled. This year Zinda Magazine is somewhat involved with two of the most popular events: the Assyrian Genocide Conference on Friday and the Internet Conference on Saturday. Mr. Wilfred Alkhas of Zinda Magazine will be moderating both events. If the registration data for any of the seminars during the 4-day convention are any indication, then we suggest you show up early to get a seat in the front. With such notable speakers as Dr. Gabriela Yonan from Germany and Dr. George Kiraz of the now controversial Syriac Digital Library project, the educational events are certain to draw big crowds. To date 160 of you have signed up for the Internet Conference alone.
Here's a simple way to be sure you are spending your money wisely. Pick any 3 or more of the following non-dance party related events and you'll return home informed, galvanized, and proud to be Assyrian:
Wondering if you should sit at one of the Assyrian American National Federation's meetings during your stay at the Double Tree Hotel? Why not! Just take a box of Kleenex tissues with you! You'll be crying and at the same time laughing through the entire 10 minutes of your wasted time. Can't imagine any sane Zinda reader tolerating any more than 10 minutes of the circus-like atmosphere. Been there, done that! Never again.
If you enjoy the political talks and listening to our national leaders' empty promises in Diaspora, then we highly suggest the Sunday afternoon political meetings. This year, a few invited U.S. Congressional representatives will be presented with the news from the homeland and the current conditions of the Assyrians in North Iraq. You'll also have an opportunity to hear the Secretary Generals of the Assyrian Democratic Movement and the Assyrian Universal Alliance. Even the Assyrian representative in Iran's Majlis is coming to town. The man who will almost certainly steal the show on Sunday though will be Zowaa's Yacub Yosip.
To help ensure everyone get to enjoy this week's national convention, let's try to get along no matter what- whether it's at the political rallies or in the middle of the dance floors. Leave your inflated expectations at home and realize that none of these volunteers organize national conventions professionally. For those of you staying behind, we'll be back on September 10 with our unbiased report of the convention. And yes, we'll say it like it was.
Zinda Magazine will not be published next week. We'll be back on September 10.
THE 47TH RENCONTRE ASSYRIOLOGY INTERNATIONAL (RAI)
The 47th Rencontre Assyriology International (RAI) was held in Helsinki, Finland. It commenced on Monday, July 2nd, 2001, under the theme "Sex and Gender in the Ancient Near East". The President of the University of Helsinki opened the 47th RAI officially with a short welcoming speech. Other speeches included that of Prof. Simo Parpola who warmly welcomed the Assyrian attendees from the USA and Sweden. A photo of the participants was taken immediately after the opening session [http://www.helsinki.fi/science/saa/rai47.html].
Assyrians appearing in the photo are Fred Aprim and Hammurabi BarAsmar, in first row, third and forth from right, while Dr. Robert Karoukian is seen one row behind standing between the two. Norman Sulkha missed the photo session. The two Assyrian students at Helsinki Zack Cherry and Juliet Arvakhi are not in the picture, unfortunately, as they had school projects to attend. Zack is a vibrant Assyrian student from Sweden, he is working with Professor Parpola and specializes in the Akkadian language and is working on an Assyrian Akkadian - English Dictionary, which should come out this coming September.
A very interesting workshop took place during the afternoon session under the title "Cuneiform Computer Code Project". The purpose of the project is to study the Sumero-Akkadian Cuneiform writing system over the course of its usage (ca. 3000 BC to 100 AD) with a view to:
1. establishing a comprehensive character set suitable for encoding Sumero-Akkadian Cuneiform documents using up-to-date computer technology;
2. proposing an architecture to govern such an encoding on the basis of that character set;
3. determining for each character the fundamental representation in use from time to time and place to place, significant alternate variations, and cataloguing these according to some suitable standard.
Website address and the progress of the project could be viewed at: http://webhome.iprimus.ca/1042631
All suggestions regarding this issue could be addressed to:
During this same afternoon session, we were pleasantly surprised to see other Assyrians in the lobby, they turned out to be members of the Assyrian National Congress. The group had their organizational meeting in Stockholm, Sweden from June 29th - July 1st, 2001, and had decided to attend the 47th Rencontre Assyriology International that started immediately the Monday after. The group consisted of Dr. Sargon Dadesho, Mr. William Dadesho, Ms. Janet Shummon, Mr. Soro Soro, Mr. Daniel Benyamin, Mrs. Aglanteen Warda and Mrs. Doris Bebla.
It was very encouraging to see (12) Assyrian participants at the RAI, an issue stressed always by the organizers of the RAI. Prof. Parpola, in addition, could not emphasize enough to the importance that the Assyrians should show in good numbers in these gatherings and for the obvious reasons.
During the evening welcome reception hosted by the University of Helsinki for all the guests and participants in the 47th Rencontre, Dr. Sargon Dadesho was unexpectedly introduced to the over (200) invited guests and participants and gave a brief speech about the Assyrians of today and the persecution they are still experiencing in their ancestral homelands. He explained that Assyrians are comprised of different religious sects referred to as Nestorians, Chaldeans and Jacobites. He concluded by thanking the University of Helsinki for its wonderful work in the field of Assyriology and presented Prof. Parpola with a beautiful plaque of King Ashurbanipal with the Aramaic alphabet inscribed next to the Assyrian King.
On the following day, i.e. July 3rd, the Finnish National AAMU - TV station, Channel 2, aired a special presentation in connection with the opening of the 47th RAI. Wednesday, July 4th, the participants enjoyed a whole day trip to Estonia, of the former USSR, via the Nordic Jet Line. The itinerary included a short session and then a tour in the center of the capital city Tallinn with its various beautiful churches and later a special reception at Tallinn's "House of the Black-headed".
The sessions continued throughout the week at a rate of about twenty presentations per day. On Friday July 6th, 2001, an important workshop under the title "Continuity" was presented. The workshop was chaired by Prof. Simo Parpola and evolved around the MELAMMU project and its database. Prof. Parpola talked in general about the MELAMMU organization, its structure and importance. He emphasized that the Assyrian and Babylonian Intellectual Heritage project MELAMMU investigates the continuity, transformation and diffusion of Mesopotamian imperial culture from the thirteenth century BC until the advent of Islam. The project is expected to open many new perspectives and significantly contribute to the understanding of cultural evolution. A specific goal of MELAMMU is to document the shaping and survival of Assyrian ethnic and cultural identity up to the present day.
The project was initiated in 1998 by the State Archives of Assyria Center of Excellence of the University of Helsinki (SAA). Dr. Robert Whiting next explained the MELAMMU database in details. He showed how entries (information) into the database are delivered, how it is managed and posted.
For general information about MELAMMU visit: www.helsinki.fi/science/saa/melammu
The MELAMMU database is accessed through the following link: www.aakkl.helsinki.fi/proj/melammu/
The process of posting material in connection to ancient and modern Assyrian material is explained through a simple step-by-step process on the above site. Everybody can contribute to the database, but after the contributor delivers the material, a special committee from the University will review the material and based on the material's legality, authenticity, validity and importance, the committee will decide whether to accept and post the material as part of the database or ignore it.
During the RAI it was announced that the Iraqi Government had decided to revive the Ashurbanipal Library in Mosul (Nineveh) with a future goal of establishing an institute of cuneiform studies awarding Ph.D. and M.A. degrees. The project was rewarded to the University of Mosul, which is currently working out the final designs of the project for the purpose of constructing a great cultural institute including one department for displaying the discovered cuneiform texts and for those to be discovered in the future. Another department will contain everything published in the world concerning the Ashurbanipal's Library in particular and the civilization of Mesopotamia in general. One of the strategic objectives of the project is to contribute to the excavation of the major remaining part of the ancient library still buried, as many believe, in one of the wings of Ashurbanipal's Palace in Qoyunjuk Mounds (Nineveh). The University of Mosul is seeking to hold international conferences on the library in addition to concluding a number of scientific cooperation treaties and the exchange of researchers, specialists and graduates visits, along with books and publications with the scientific and academic circles interested in the subject of cuneiform studies.
The 47th Rencontre Assyriology International ended officially on Friday July 6th, 2001. It was announced that the 48th Rencontre Assyriology International will be held in the University of Leiden, Netherland from July 1st - July 4th, 2002, under the theme "Ethnicity in Ancient Mesopotamia". The registration for the 48th RAI will be available on the RAI-website at: www.let.leidenuniv.nl/rencontre/
Registration fee is 70 Euros to be paid before April 1, 2002. After that date the registration fee will be raised to 75 Euros.
Registration form should be sent to:
RAI 48 TCNO
Assyriologie Universiteit Leiden
P.O. Box 9515
2300 RA Leiden - The Netherland
AUA AT MARBELLA
Part 7: "Sun Waves "
The 23rd Congress of the Assyrian Universal Alliance adopted 3 Resolutions, and proceeded to the election of its Executive Board. The Board then selected its Officers.
#1: Armenian Parliament
The A.U.A. Congress adopted a Resolution requesting the government of Armenia to grant "a seat to the Assyrian people in its Parliament to represent the Assyrian minority of Armenia." Three reasons are cited for the request: (1) "The Assyrian people … have resided in the country of Armenia for centuries;" (2) The Armenian and Assyrian people have experienced "common historical events;" and (3) "The Assyrian population in Armenia is of a considerable number." The third reason would have to be the rational justification. By one estimate, there are 8,000 Assyrians in Armenia, equal to between 0.03% and 0.04% of the population.
#2: Universal Declaration of the Rights of Peoples
This is a Declaration which had previously been adopted by the non-governmental group U.N.P.O. (the Unrepresented Nations and Peoples Organization). A.U.A. liked it enough to make it its own. This Resolution invokes the so-called "International Bill of Human Rights" (which includes not only the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, but also two International Covenants covering Civil, Political, Economic, Social and Cultural Rights).
The resolution reaffirms generally accepted values for "peoples" (such as the right to live in peace, to practice self-defense, to enjoy equal rights, to preserve a traditional way of life, and to self-identification; and the right to be protected against forcible dislocation, against mandatory birth control, and against genocidal practices).
The resolution goes further. Article 1 states that "all peoples have the equal right to self-determination," and "States shall respect this right and the principle of territorial integrity shall not unilaterally form an obstacle to its implementation." In addition, "All peoples have the right to their own adobe within their ancestral territory, where they can exercise their right to self-determination." Furthermore, according to Article 8, the right of self-determination includes the right to independent statehood where this is the only practical way to exercise self-determination.
Where people have been expelled, they should have the right to return. "All peoples have the right to reorganize and to form legitimate representative bodies. This may, if they so wish, include their diaspora." (Article 6). And peoples have the right to nuclear-free territory (Art. 13).
A great deal of the "Declaration of the Rights of Peoples" is pie-in-the-sky, and it greatly oversimplifies. This is all the more evident when one considers the long list of "peoples" who seek a solution to their quest -- northern Ireland, the Basques in Spain, the Corsican nationalists, the Albanians in Macedonia, the Palestinians, and the American Indians, just to name a few. Admittedly, the concept of international rights continues to evolve, and it may one day approach some of the claims advanced in this resolution. Mankind is far from there today.
#3. A.U.A. Declaration
The principal Resolution (auspiciously titled, "Declaration of the Congress") was developed by a special committee of six, headed by Dr. Eden Naby. This is a mish-mash statement which covers virtually every conceivable grievance of the Assyrians worldwide. It condemns the governments of Iraq and Turkey for a number of historical as well as current wrongs. It makes specific demands of them, as well as of Syria and of the interim government of north Iraq. Akin to a Manifesto, the Declaration lacks laser-like focus. In the way of the platform of a political party, it is a lengthy wish list, covering every imaginable ill.
The Declaration also encourages "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 protest violations and abuses of the human rights of the Assyrian People." It urges international bodies "to constantly consult the A.U.A. in the examination of Assyrian human rights in the Middle East, particularly in Iraq and Turkey." In addition, the A.U.A. supports "examination of the Iraqi security documents presently held in the U.S." to assess abuses against the Assyrian people, and will gather "relevant information" to ascertain the demographic changes in the Nineveh plain, result from forcible dislocation by the Iraqi government.
All these are laudable sentiments, yet none of them are self-executing. Each of them requires a specific implementation plan, and no such plan exists. The reasons are obvious: Lack of personnel, lack of financial resources, lack of wherewithal. The Declaration conveniently ignores this reality.
The A.U.A. is governed by a 15-member "Executive Board." Members hold three-year terms. Their election occurs according to an esoteric formula. Country members of the A.U.A. cast the lion’s share of votes, and they are entitled to a certain number of votes depending on a scale. This scale derives from estimated Assyrian populations in the member countries. It goes without saying that the "estimated Assyrian populations" are not exactly verifiable.
Once it is elected, the Executive Board (not the Congress) selects Officers for its next term. This includes the Secretary-General, the Deputy Secretary-General, 4 Regional Secretaries (Australia, Asia, Europe, and the Americas), and a Treasurer. It is also the Executive Board which appoints Committees.
Beyond this, the allocation of authority is generally vague. It is "the duty of the Executive Board to advance the cause of the A.U.A., to carry out its aims and purposes and … policies …" At the same time, "the Secretary General has vetoing power over the Executive Board," which veto can be overruled by a 2/3 vote at any of its meetings.
According to its own By-laws, the Executive Board must hold an annual Congress, and the Board may also call additional meetings.
Where’s The Beef?
In the course of the Congress, and particularly during coffee breaks, one sensed undercurrents of dissension from occasional comments of some delegates and observers. These suggested that a contested election was brewing. One also gathered that Sam Andrews would be challenging John Nimrod’s candidacy for a third term as Secretary-General.
Trying to sort out "the issues" is no simple matter. We’ve patched together what follows from information obtained at Marbella, as well as in the aftermath of the meeting.
There appeared to be two points of "challenge" aimed at John Nimrod’s re-election bid. One of these challenges was rooted in the incumbent Secretary-General’s "leadership style." The other challenge might best be described as the "Sam Andrews campaign."
You Want Leadership? You’ll Get So Much You’ll Be Crying ‘Uncle’
With variations, one heard several times the comment that "John is only one person, but he acts as if he is the entire A.U.A. He doesn’t involve us in the A.U.A. work, and he doesn’t account to us as he promised he would." John Nimrod is the 8th person to head the A.U.A., and I was curious to know how his style compared to that of his predecessors. One veteran board member said that "William Younan was a better communicator." Mr. Younan, the third of eight men to serve in the position, was elected to three terms. He actually served in the position for a 7-year period, 1971-1978, but he died before the completion of his third term.
Notwithstanding his now ripe age, Nimrod is a man constantly on the move. He logs infinite air mileage, and a considerable amount of it appears to be on his own account. The Secretary-General is not only a familiar face in Washington, D.C., but increasingly so in an array of locales, from The Hague to Geneva, and from Moscow to Tblisi. Widely known as "Senator" Nimrod due to his previous service in the Illinois State legislature, the Secretary-General cuts a regal figure, is articulate, has a broad grasp of the issues, and he marches to his own drummer.
For a long time, John Nimrod has gotten things done by taken personal initiative. However, a strong message has been relayed to him that the members of the Board will no longer be satisfied to serve as potted plants. This was a bone of contention at the Tehran Congress in 1998, and it was the subject of escalating rhetoric in Marbella. If Senator Nimrod is anything, he is a quick study. Presumably, the issue will be addressed prior to the next Congress (currently contemplated to convene in North Iraq).
I Was Really Important Once. I Want To Be Known Again
In an effort to better understand the Sam Andrews "candidacy" (in retrospect), I rely in good part on his own statements taken from an interview with Mr. Wilson Younan of Australia Radio. What follows are the components of Mr. Andrews’ critique, which he discussed not long after the Marbella meeting.
ONE. Mr. Andrews contends that John Nimrod has violated the clause in the A.U.A. Constitution which requires an annual Congress. This indeed appears to be a mandate under the By-laws. However, the same By-laws provide that "the time and place [of the next Congress] will be decided by the convening Congress." The Minutes of the previous Congress (in Tehran), give no indication that any time or place was decided for the ensuing Congress. Whether this is a criticism to be laid at the feet of the Board members or of its Secretary-General is not entirely clear.
Moreover, a current Board member observed to me: "Yes, this is provided in our Constitution, but John Nimrod is not the first one who has failed to arrange for an annual Congress." This is evident when one reviews A.U.A.’s history. Organized in France in 1968, the first Congress took place the following year. Assuming that an annual Congress has been a continuing requirement, the Congress in Marbella should have been the 33rd Congress, instead of the 23rd Congress. Nimrod was first elected Secretary-General in 1994, thus the failure of the A.U.A. to convene annually was a problem antedating Nimrod’s ascension to office.
TWO. Mr. Andrews complained that even though two and a half years had passed since the Tehran Congress, the A.U.A. board members did not receive the Minutes of that meeting until they arrived at the Marbella Congress, when 4 pages were handed to them. This seems a reasonable complaint, although unfortunately the A.U.A. By-laws do not address the subject.
When the Minutes of the Tehran Congress were read in Marbella, there was an outcry from several Board members over their poor quality. They were incomplete or erroneous in several respects. Surely a provision will have to be implemented to specify a timetable when the Minutes of the previous meeting must be delivered to the Board members for their advance review. In addition, the By-laws should designate the individual who is primarily responsible for this task (presumably, it would be the Regional Secretary who is in the same Region as the Secretary-General for the Congress being reported).
THREE. Mr. Andrews expressed in the same radio interview his objection to the voting formula for election of board members. He does not like that the U.S. gets 130 votes compared, for example, to Armenia which gets 90 votes. I did not find any information to reveal how Mr. Andrews would like to modify the present system. But clearly, the system for the election of Board members is in dire need of streamlining.
Still, the inadequacies of the voting standard have been known for some time by the A.U.A. Board members. In fact, well before convening the 22nd Congress (in Tehran), Secretary-General Nimrod had contacted all members of the Board and asked each of them to submit a specific proposal which would improve the voting system. Simon Mirza and John Nimrod were the only Board members to present a proposal. Weight voting was discussed at some length at the Tehran Congress. In the end, the updated formula adopted resembled the John Nimrod proposal. While Mr. Mirza did not favor that formula, he points out that the measure was passed fair and square by an amendment to the Constitution. Mirza notes that the voting formula is not for one person to decide. Unless and until it is further modified according to the rules, Mirza states he cannot object to its application.
FOUR. In his radio interview, Mr. Andrews said that the aims of the A.U.A. (as spelled out in its Constitution) are not being adequately accomplished. He noted that Zowaa is doing the work in the homeland, which is what the A.U.A. was supposed to do. Therefore, A.U.A. should be doing more in support of Zowaa outside the homeland, and it is not doing this. This observation has considerable merit. But the call by Mr. Andrews for more A.U.A. support of Zowaa runs contrary to the report – unverified – that he has personally offered to work with one of the Assyrian organizations which challenges Zowaa’s authority in the homeland.
Mr. Andrews has had a colorful, somewhat roller-coaster career. He was the fourth Secretary-General of the A.U.A. He may best be remembered for the notorious "poisoning" incident of November 1978 which inaugurated his 3-year tenure in that office. Some may recall that the A.U.A. had convened its Congress in Sydney, Australia, where several A.U.A. Board members were poisoned and were fortunate to survive. Except for its near-tragic outcome, the incident has serio-comic overtones, somewhat reminiscent of the many failed efforts of the CIA to eliminate Fidel Castro. Based on accounts that we have read over the years, this was not the only time Saddam Hussein’s operatives epitomized "the gang that couldn’t shoot straight." According to an A.U.A. insider, this criminal activity was perpetrated by one or more of the A.U.A. delegates who had traveled from Iraq. Apparently, Secretary-General Sam Andrews created a sensation when he inexplicably re-invited these same delegates from Iraq to the next A.U.A. Congress.
Three years before the ill-fated "poison" incident, Sam Andrews is also recalled as a volunteer witness for the defense, at the trial which convicted David Malek Ismail of the murder of the Patriarch Mar Eshai Shimun XXIII. There has been speculation about the reason for Mr. Andrews’s appearance on behalf of the accused; but to our knowledge a definitive explanation has not surfaced. One thing that can be said is that Mr. Andrews got a severe grilling by the prosecutor on cross-examination. Aficionados can learn more about this from the file of The People vs. David Malek Ismail, Santa Clara County Superior Court [California], Case No. 61699, which also includes a provocative article from The Assyrian Quest (Peoples’Exhibit No. 47).
Towards the conclusion of his recent radio interview, Mr. Andrews is asked how he feels about the result of the A.U.A. elections in Marbella. He answers by noting that six A.U.A. voters refused to provide John Nimrod a vote of confidence. I am puzzled by this, because I was present during the election proceedings. The Congress elected 15 Board members; the Congress does not elect any officer. Immediately following the election of the Board members, these gathered in an adjacent room, where they selected their officers for the next term. It is my understanding that the selection to each office (including that of Secretary-General) was unanimous.
It is difficult to predict the future accomplishments of the A.U.A. Its challenge has always been enormous, in that it seeks to develop consensus among a patchwork of disparate organizations, many of them combative and or dysfunctional. On the other hand Mr. Andrews, a one-time rising star, may now be at the nadir of his career. A few short years ago, he moved from Chicago to Turlock, California, with the prospect of becoming a big fish in a small pond. Alas, when the Turlock organization (AACCOT) recently selected its five delegates to the 64th annual Federation Convention (August 2001), Mr. Andrews was a candidate but failed to make the cut. Things may not get better; Mr. Andrews may be drawing unwanted attention because of his position the past two years as Chairman of the AACCOT Bingo Committee. Authorities suspended the Club’s bingo license on August 8, 2001, citing failure to comply with non-profit status requirements. This is a severe blow to the Club’s substantial cash flow, but worse may be in the offing. Club insiders report that an ongoing investigation into allegations of mismanagement of Club funds (inevitably involving bingo monies) has been under way for several weeks. I have not seen any statement to suggest that Mr. Andrews has acted improperly. Though they may have been beyond his control, such circumstances have made it a rocky road for him.
Those interested in reading the full text of Resolution #3 (The A.U.A. Declaration) should consult the May 29, 2001 edition of Zinda Magazine. That same issue includes a complete list of the newly-elected 15-member A.U.A. Board, as well as an Opinion piece by Zinda’s Editor regarding current A.U.A. politics.
U.S. & BRITISH PLANES ATTACK NINEVEH, DOHUK, & ARBIL
Courtesy of Reuters News Service (Aug 27)
(ZNDA: Baghdad) According to Iraqi army, U.S. and British planes attacked the provinces of Dohuk, Arbil, and Nineveh and killed one civilian and injured three others in a raid today (Monday). "U.S. and British aircraft flew from Turkish territory and targeted civilian and infrastructure facilities, killing one citizen and injuring another three," a military spokesman said in a statement carried by the Iraqi news agency.
An earlier communique that said the Iraqi army had shot down a U.S. aircraft over the Basra area in the south. The U.S. military confirmed that one of its unmanned Predator reconnaissance planes went missing in the southern no-fly zone (below 33 parallel). Two similar Western attacks on Iraq earlier this month killed and injured civilians, Baghdad said. Washington said the raids were against upgraded Iraqi air defences.
ZINDA MAGAZINE'S REVERED READER, PAUL NEWEY, DIES AT 87
(ZNDA: Chicago) Zinda Magazine learned last week that Mr. Paul Davis Newey, the 87-year-old resident of Chicago and one of the earliest readers of this magazine, passed away on August 23 in Chicago.
Paul Newey was a dedicated Assyrian activist, and a recognized crime-fighter in the city of Chicago. He was a former chief investigator for Cook County States Attorney Benjamin Adamowski (1956-1960), and a Senior Counselor of the Illinois State Bar and the Chicago Bar Association.
Mr. Newey is survived by his sons, Paul, Davis, Dean, Arthur, and his daughters Jennifer and Katelyn, and Beverly; brothers Donald, Carl and the late Harold; and sister Marie Degaard.
Funeral services were held on Saturday 10 AM at Mar Gewargis (St. George Cathedral) Apostolic Catholic Assyrian Church of the East, 7201 N. Ashland Ave. Interment Elmwood Cemetery.
For a biography of Mr. Newey see http://www.edessa.com/profiles/paulnwy1.htm.
I'm a 23 yr old MBA student and I'm dating a non-Assyrian. My parents are having a fit. Any ideas?
That's a tough one for sure. What can I tell you? Of course most Assyrian parents want us to be with our own and I want that for myself as well even though I'm born and raised here in the US. Being with an Assyrian guy is great no doubt.
But realistically, I have to say that it's more important to find your soul mate rather than wait around for just an Assyrian mate. Being with an Assyrian makes it easier in the sense that he'll integrate with your family and traditions not to mention the language factor. Being Assyrian alone doesn't mean that things will be a smooth ride all around it just makes that part of your life smoother. Assyrian or non-Assyrian, you'll have the same sorts of issues in a relationship some will be highlighted more than others.
You have to evaluate what your priorities are in being with someone. Are you in it for the here and now? Are you in it for the long term (marriage)? Do you just want to date and have fun?
I think it's important to go out and taste all of the good things that life has to offer (and I'm NOT referring to sex, drugs and rock-n-roll). It's ok to date and learn about yourself in the process ie what you like, what you don't like etc. It sounds like you're doing that, furthering you education and reading Zinda magazine! Being exposed to a variety of cultures and people the "real" world might make you appreciate your own culture even more
SO what am I trying to say here? It's ok to date non-Assyrians and your parents need to understand that they can trust you and that you aren't doing anything rash. The fact that you are open about it with them is excellent---even if it is causing some tension it's best to be honest and upfront rather than run around in secret. And make this point to them would they rather you go out in secret?
As long as this guy is treating you right and you are happy and are connecting with him for the right reasons (not because you are rebelling) then be confident in your decisions. At the same time I want to remind you that you're young and not to rush into anything and don't limit yourself to opportunities either like when your parents want to drag you to an Assyrian function go with them .and be open & positive about it. It's important to maintain your cultural ties, even if you date non-Assyrians.
Good luck and let me know what happens.
2nd ASSYRIAN/ARAMEAN/CHALDEAN/SYRIAC CULTURAL FESTIVAL
Gütersloh, 22 august 2001
Through this letter we extend to you our invitation to the second Assyrian/Aramean/Chaldean/Syriac Cultural Festival. The festival will take place on the 8th September, 2001, at the "Dopatka Halle" in the city of Leverkusen, Germany.
This event, which will be visited by approximately five thousand persons, is dedicated to the culture and tradition of the oldest people of Mesopotamia. Various aspects of the culture such as folklore dances music, choirs, paintings, traditional clothes and products, books etc. will be available to the public.
We are looking forward to welcoming you in this festive day of September at the "Dopatka Halle" in Leverkusen.
Address: Robert-Blum Str. 8
NEW BOOK, MESOPOTAMIA: THE INVENTION OF THE CITY
Courtesy of the Independent - London (Aug 26)
Because of Saddam Hussein, British and American pilots every day look down from the cockpits of their jet fighters at Eden, the home not of mankind but of civilisation. They do this because they patrol southern Iraqi airspace, and their view includes the evocative land where the Tigris and Euphrates join together to run into vast marshlands, which in turn dissolve into the Persian Gulf. Just north of the marshes, between the Euphrates and the margins of the Arabian Desert, lies the site of the first city known to mankind: Eridu. If an F-14 were to fly from this 7,000- year old city north-west up the alluvial plain towards present-day Baghdad, it would sweep over a terrain dense with exceedingly ancient history - for the shadow of its wings would flash over the sites of Ur and Uruk, Akkad and Nippur, and the great city of Babylon.
Gwendolyn Leick is an anthropologist and Assyriologist who writes about the ancient Near East and conducts tour parties there. In this substantial and methodical book she surveys 10 of the most important cities of Mesopotamia, beginning with Eridu and ending with Babylon, a historical journey of 5,000 years.
Each chapter systematically surveys a city, giving the history of its archaeological discovery and an account of the traditions and legends surrounding it. Together the 10 chapters constitute a mosaic of Mesopotamian history, which is in effect the history of the beginnings of urban life. It comes as no surprise to find that almost everything required by organised urban life, from writing to the existence of a large civil service, was born in the cities of this fertile plain. Nor does it come as a surprise to find mankind's earliest beliefs taking shape here - of how, for example, the wise man of Shuruppak, aided by the god Enki, survived a flood by building an ark and taking the seeds of life in it; and of how the great king of Akkad, Sargon, was illegitimately born to a priestess who put him in a reed basket and floated him down the Euphrates, where he was found by a waterman who raised him. One of the earliest of mankind's many dying-and-resurrecting-god myths tells how Inanna (later called Ishtar) was trapped in the underworld by her sister, and because she was the goddess of eros and procreation, like her later avatar Aphrodite, her absence caused the world's libido to vanish. "No bull mounted cow, no donkey impregnated jenny," laments a Babylonian retelling of the myth, "no young man impregnated a girl in the street." A ruse by Enki secures her resurrection, and sex comes back to the world, and with it life.
The level of engineering skills and artistic achievement attained in Mesopotamia's cities is staggering. From water conduits to ziggurats, and from beautiful tile pavements to the majestic scope of lofty walls enclosing miles of gardens and large public spaces, there is hardly anything lacking which any other pre-electricity age has attained. There are wonderful works of literature too - most famously the Epic of Gilgamesh, although by far the greatest part of surviving writings deals with less glamorous material: chiefly, legal and accountancy matters. This gives evidence of highly developed economic and government systems, but is not always useful for throwing light on the inner character of the human and especially social realities of ancient city life.
To take one intriguing example: the gagum or cloisters of Sippar were communities of women living a segregated life within the city. The gagum generated many volumes of records relating to the financial and legal affairs of the cloistered ladies who, despite having some sort of quasi- religious function, were able to conduct businesses in their own right, and did so with gusto. Yet the exact nature of their role and status is lost to view, as with so much else in the Mesopotamian world; all one has is fascinating glimpses of ambiguous possibilities.
Most folk think of Egypt when they think of ancient times, because its remains are still visible, and the European powers of the 19th century were eager to claim its treasures for their museums. But as Leick convincingly shows, Mesopotamian antiquity has as much interest as, and even greater importance than, Egypt; and her welcome book helps redress the balance of knowledge in its direction.
Progressive Assyrian Magazine
After twenty years as the editor of Nineveh Magazine, Mr. Julius Shabbas is passing along the torch to Dr. Robert Karoukian of San Francisco, California. Below is an article printed in the current issue of Nineveh Magazine by another distinguished Assyrian scholar and educator, Dr. Joel Elias.
Zinda Magazine thanks Mr. Julius Shabbas for his dedication to furthering Assyrian journalism in the last quarter of the past century, and congratulates Dr. Karoukian on continuing the accomplishments of his eminent predecessors.
THANK YOU, JULIUS SHABBAS!
After nearly twenty years of being Editor of Nineveh maga-zine, Julius Shabbas is taking a well-deserved rest. The work of an editor of a magazine is not well understood by those who have not been involved in the job. Every article submitted to the magazine was reviewed by Julius with extreme care, and changes and improvements were often recommended. This involved explanations and discussions with the author, often extensive. Other articles could not be used for various reasons, and this also meant communication with the author. Creating the layout of the magazine is a laborious and time-consuming project, involving extensive work with the printer and typeset-ter. Photographs, drawings and maps have to be specially pre-pared. The details are endless. Finally, all the magazines have to be separated by zip code according to strict postal service regulations, and every magazine to a foreign country individu-ally packaged. As soon as an issue is sent on its way, work for the next issue begins immediately without pause to meet the new deadline.
I mention all this so the reader will have some idea of the enormous effort, time and energy that Julius put into every is-sue, year in and year out. And it was all voluntary, no money was ever paid him for all this work. Why did he do it? Only if you know Julius personally can you understand the answer. His passion for the Assyrian people bums with an intense and unquenchable fire. Their tragedies, martyrdoms, contributions to civilization and Christianity are on such an epic scale and yet seem to be so little known to the world and even to many Assyrians. He wanted to devote himself to bring the story of the Assyrians to as many people as possible. But what could one person do? Opportunity came when the Assyrian Founda-tion of America. of which Julius was one of the earlier mem-bers, supported the publication of a magazine. Through Nine-veh magazine, Julius found the ideal medium for expressing his great knowledge and his deep feelings for his beloved As-syrians. It has truly been a work of love. The countless hours that went into every issue were his gift to his people. The magazine is now sent to many countries throughout the world and the response from readers has been very gratifying. As-syrians everywhere should be grateful to this man who gave so much of himself Thank you Julius Shabbas for your unselfish labors on behalf of your people.
After almost twenty years of this demanding work, a person can become tired and need to take a respite, and Julius and I are taking one. We are fortunate in having Robert Karoukian willing and able to become the editor of Nineveh. We have known, and been friends with, Robert for many years and have the greatest admiration for his intelligence and knowledge of Assyrians, and his friendly and pleasant personality. He is to-tally devoted to the Assyrian people, which is why he has taken this job despite a very busy life as a medical doctor. We all wish him the very best and offer our prayers and encour-agement for success in this important undertaking.
An Assyrian by the name of Pan-Ashur-Lumur, eighty years after the fall of Nineveh, was appointed secretary of the Persian king, Cambyses (Kambujiye).
Assyrians After Assyria, Parpola
Mar Touma Odou, Matropolitan of the Chaldean Catholic Church in Urmia, publishes "Gramatike d'Lishana Swadaya" in Urmia.
AUGUST 31, 1971
A group of young Assyrians in Jönköping, Sweden publish the Neesha (Goal) Magazine in three languages - Assyrian, Arabic, and Swedish.
Share your local events with Zinda readers. Email us or send fax to: 408-918-9201
August 28 - Sept 3
ASSYRIAN AMERICAN NATIONAL CONVENTION
Sponsored by the Assyrian American Association of Houston
The Assyrian American Association of Houston is currently embarking on a project to build the Holy Apostolic Catholic Assyrian Church of the East by the name of St. Mary's (Aramaic translation: Omra D'Matmaryam). At this time, we are in process of purchasing 1.6-acre piece of land in west Houston in order to build the church.
Entertainment: Tamras Tamraz
General Addmission: Adults: $50.00/Children: $30.00
Sargon Youhannazad at (713) 972-1637
WALTER AZIZ "AWAY" TOUR PARTY
Presented by the Assyrian Social
A PERFORMANCE OF SUMERIAN STORIES
The Zi-Pang Trio
MELAMMU: THE ASSYRIAN AND BABYLONIAN INTELLECTUAL HERITAGE
Sponsored by the University of Bologne
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
4TH ANNUAL FOOD FESTIVAL
Assyrian Cultural Center is inviting all Assyrians and non-Assyrian to attend the Food Festival 2001 to enjoy good food, Assyrian music, dance, Art Gallery and more.
9:00 AM - 5:00 PM
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:
FIRST UNIVERSITY OF TORONTO's CSSS SYMPOSIUM
Sponsored by Canadian Society for Syriac Studies (CSSS)
Zindamagazine would like to thank:
Dr. Mariam Doreen Joseph
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