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Volume VII
Issue 26
September 17, 2001
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This Week In Zinda

  The Difference
  A Tribute to America: Our Greatest Nation
  KDP Admits Torture of Assyrian Man

Chaldean-Assyrians Stopped at U.S-Mexico Border
Four Chaldean-Assyrians Escape Trade Center Tragedy
Assyrian Entrepreneur Sponsors Dinner in Honor of Clinton
Ashurbanipal Library Project at Mosul University

  "what sadness & outrage I felt"

Calls For Unity Among All Americans

  Assyrian Australians Meet Bill Clinton
  Nakosha Magazine's New Home Page
  Building & Tower
  Octagonal Prisms & Mar Shimmun's Citizenship
  The Descent into Urmia
  British Museum Lecture on Babylonian Magic
Play: The Architect and the Emperor of Assyria



Zinda Says


As America was just beginning to mourn the victims of last week's attacks, I was still struggling to find the strength to understand the events of the past few days. Too numb and confused, I could hardly write or work.

The large cup of black coffee in my hand was quickly losing steam. From my office window in downtown San Jose I stared at a flag at half-staff, atop a tall building. This was the first time that I was not hearing any planes flying overhead. It was an eerie feeling of the calm before the storm.

I began reflecting upon the what ifs: "What if the Assyrian communities in the United States become target of racial hatred shortly after the first few hundred bodies are pulled out of the rubble?, "What if this war campaign against the 'evil-doers' reaches Iraq and thousands of Assyrians perish in Baghdad and the North?"

I entertained many more what ifs before my lips touched the coffee cup again. My mind began to wander. The first hijacked jetliner crashed into the World Trade Center at around 8:45 in the morning. Some employees had to be savoring their first cup of coffee when that happened last Tuesday.

I then watched a group of children crossing the main street below, carrying their colorful backpacks to school. Just like the Assyrian kids in Turlock, Chicago, and Yonkers, New York that morning.

I was a Freshman in high school when the Iranian university students held dozens of Americans as hostages of their Revolution. Those days were unbearable. No matter how much I tried to explain in my broken English that I was Assyrian, prayed to Jesus, carried a cross, and loved America; the other students' revulsion for my very existence in their country increased with every passing hour. Older students would look for me after school, pick me up and throw me into a trash can as though discarding a hazardous material. My books were always damaged and I was always scared out of my wits.

After reading a dozen more emails from panicked readers, I decided to write something in Zinda Magazine for parents fearing for the safety of their children. "Where do I start?", I thought. I would explain who Assyrians are, where they come from, and that they are different from the people behind the killing of the innocent people in New York and Washington. Different? How? What makes a 14-year-old Assyrian in Dohuk different from a Palestinian youth in Ramallah? I started to outline my thoughts.

I walked toward the coffeemaker and poured my second cup. I added some cream this time.

The first two words were language and religion. Assyrians speak a different language and they're Christian. Then I began to write about the massacres, the Genocides, Seyfo, World War I… They killed our patriarch, they burned our villages, they raped our women, and made us walk for days and weeks to places we did not want to be.

I stopped again. What am I doing here? If I keep referring to the other guys as they, I should at least explain who these perpetrators of those heinous crimes were.

I realized what I was doing. I was profiling these transnational terrorists as non-Christian, ultimately Moslem. I was separating myself from my Moslem neighbors in the Middle East. I was explaining to our children that I am different, innocent, or even better because of my language, religion, and the fact that I too had been martyred and victimized. In so doing I was trying to show the world that I have already suffered the same evil and terror that the United States experienced last week. I was identifying with the hopeless man who jumped to his death from the 98th floor of the second Tower. If today Americans feel unsafe in their home, I have felt unsafe in my backyard for the last twenty six centuries.

I stopped writing.

I can't do this. What about the hundreds of thousands of Assyrians in Iran, Iraq, Syria, Turkey, Lebanon, Jordan, and everywhere else in the Middle East? I can't just sit here behind my computer screen and point fingers at them. I was in the middle of a dilemma. What should I do then?

CNN was now reporting that nearly 5000 people are believed to be missing in New York. New York State's Governor had ordered several thousand more body bags. I turned off my radio and placed both hands on the keyboard. I thought about it a little and it just hit me: "What would someone like Jesus do if he were working in G.W. Bush's cabinet?"

I pictured him sitting with Osama bin Laden inside a cave in the Firoz Koh mountains of Afghanistan. "Osama?", he asks in Aramaic, "Why did you do it?" The Saudi guerilla leader looks directly into Nazarene's eyes and says: "Every month over 5,000 Iraqi children die because of the U.S. imposed sanctions in that country. Why is that any less evil that what my freedom-fighters did in New York? Those men are now Martyrs, just like yourself. They died for a higher cause, just like you did on the Cross."

Jesus then stands up and looks down at Osama: "A Martyr is a witness, a sahda (shaheed) to God through self-sacrifice. He does not slaughter innocent civilians by smashing an airliner full of passengers into a busy New York high-rise building."

I paused for a moment. My hands were still on the keyboard. I turned back and looked directly at the cross shining on top of St. Joseph's Cathedral in downtown San Jose.

"There's no fooling ourselves here", I thought.

There will soon be a significant civilian casualty in the Middle East and with every bomb dropped over the nocturnal regions of the Cradle of Civilization many more Assyrian families will mourn the loss of their loved ones.

I felt powerless, angry, betrayed and did not want to be carrying the Cross of my non-Christian neighbors' sins to the Calvary of my own Martyrdom again. Why should I be the subject of their ridicule, be thrown into a trash bin in Phoenix, killed in a bombing attack over Mosul, and despised for the way I look and speak in Modesto?

My brother called me a little later and asked about our mother in Turlock. "She's okay, worried about us and the things I write. You know, same old, same old…" He then reminded me of the two statues of Buddha which were destroyed in Afghanistan by the Taliban leaders.

The Buddhists complained but took no action, no revenge. Last Tuesday the two Trade Center Towers collapsed as though someone exploded those same Taliban dynamites beneath their foundation. And now the whole world wants to take revenge on the Taliban leaders.

"Dude, that's Karma!", my brother said.

I retracted back to the conversation between Jesus and Osama. I prefer to call it "being witness to God" who uses us as the rod of His anger. This time he had chosen America as his rod. "Leave it to the guy upstairs", I thought. "Sooner or later the justice will be done."

I sipped my coffee one last time before glancing at St. Joseph's cross again. My mind wandered and I remembered the Franciscan monk who was also the chaplain of the New York City Fire Department. He was fatally injured by falling debris while he was giving last rites to a man in the World Trade Center.

A strange feeling overcame my entire body.

I began asking God for forgiveness: to forgive the American soldiers soon to be deployed in the Middle East, the thousands of innocent mothers and their children dancing in the streets of Baghdad and East Jerusalem; the terrorists whose cowardly acts were no less barbaric than the perpetrators of the Assyrian massacres, and finally for myself who still harbor the thoughts of revenge and death upon the enemies of my people and the missing five thousand.

At that very moment I realized where laid the difference between I and they.

Wilfred Alkhas
Zinda Magazine


The Lighthouse

On Thursday, September 13, over 1200 Assyrians from all Christian denominations and political affiliations came together at the Church of the East Hall in San Jose, California to pray and conduct a service in memory of the Americans whose lives ended as a result of the terrorist attacks on September 11. Present at this Prayer and Candlelight Vigil were Mr. Ron Gonzales, Mayor of the City of San Jose, City Councilman, Ken Jaeger; and Councilwoman Cindy Chavez.

The following is the text of the keynote speech given by His Excellency Mar Bawai Soro, Bishop of the Church of the East for the U.S. Western Region.


From Left to Right - Councilwoman Cindy Chavez, Councilman Ken Jaeger, His Excellency Mar Bawai Soro, and Mayor Ron Gonzales.


This country of ours - - the Greatest Nation - - that rebuilds other countries out of their war debris; this country of ours that manufactures airplanes and exports technology to other nations; this country that defends democracy with its might in all lands; this country of ours whose economic wealth feeds the hungry, supports the poor, heals the sick and the suffering in every region of the world; this country of ours that has received us Assyrians, like millions before us, has nurtured in us principle of toleration and moderation, and has awakened in us ideals of liberty and freedom; despite all that, this our country has been attacked, its very soul has been wounded and its daughters and sons have been killed.

Today, we Assyrians and non-Assyrians alike, motivated by religious, moral and civic obligations need to pray to God and seek healing and consolation.

We need to condemn terrorism and cowardness. In the same way, we need to support our government and country America, the Land of the Free and the nation that in God trusts.

Tonight, at this hour of mourning and of hope, of sorrow and of solidarity, we are reminded that as individuals and as a nation, our security comes from hoping and trusting in God. As a result, we have come together, and this nation is coming together, as one family, as one community, as churches, as synagogues, and as mosques, to pray to God for those who have died, for those who are still missing and lost in the ruins of destruction. And, for those who are consumed by worry and pain, we ask You Lord God to console them with Your Comforting Spirit.

Whatever uncertainties we may be faced with, my sisters and brothers, we shall commit ourselves to God, the Lord Who knows the past, Who knows the present, Who knows the future, and nothing is hidden from Him.

We ask You Lord, through Your Son the Prince of Peace, to help us secure and serve our nation, America, our president, military, and people, all the people, as we all seek the fulfillment of Your Kingdom on earth.

And, yes Mr. Mayor, we value your words and we commit ourselves to being Americans, to being truly faithful sons and daughters of this country - - a country that has opened wide its arms for us.

America is the Land of immigrants. And, immigrants have more than one consciousness; they are aware of two. It hurts and agonizes us to know that that which we have escaped from is now haunting America. But we are confident that God is with the people who love others and who serve others; and this country has served the world in that it has become the moral authority to every person seeking the ideals of liberty, freedom and democracy. And, somehow we know, indeed we trust, that God will not abandon America and leave it in the hands of those who are not even worthy of being alive. Yet, as Christians, we also pray that God's mercy enlightens their souls and edify their minds with truth and with the way of being real human.

We thank you Mayor Gonzales for being with us tonight, we also thank Councilman Ken Jaeger and councilwoman Cindy Chavez, also for being present here tonight. We look forward for future collaboration with your office and
with other officials and elected leaders of our community. The Assyrian People know that by cooperation and support, they become better community members and in doing so they are more able to serve their respective communities and the great City of San Jose. Only by being as such, members of the Assyrian community could also become faithful citizens of America.

May God almighty bless you all; thank you for joining us in this prayer service. May Lord God bless this country and increase peace and mercy, among all people.

Mar Bawai Soro
Assyrian Church of the East



The following is an Assyrian International News Agency (AINA) report posted on 18 September.

In a stepped up campaign of damage control aimed at countering the growing international criticism ofthe abduction and torture of Youkhana Khaie (AINA,7-30-2001), an Assyrian from the Chaldean community of northern Iraq, the Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP) released a statement to the public on August 27, 2001. Three days earlier, KDP strongman Mr. Masoud Barzani officially and personally responded to an Assyrian Universal Alliance (AUA) inquiry into the matter by Secretary General of the AUA John Nimrod (AINA, 8-19-2001). According to Amnesty International (AI), their official inquiry was also finally answered during the same period. The publicity generated by Mr. Nimrod's inquiry and numerous Assyrian media outlets has energized an emotional and angry Assyrian grassroots outcry as well as growing international recrimination of the KDP.

The July 19th "personal communication" by former Illinois State Senator John Nimrod of the AUA received the much delayed response from Mr. Barzani on August 24, 2001. According to the Behdanani strongman, "Our response to your concern has taken some times (sic) because we wanted to establish all of the facts of the case." In reality, though, Amnesty International had already inquired into Youkhana's abduction and torture as early as June 1. According to Amnesty International, KDP silence lasted nearly three months until a growing outcry from numerous Assyrian websites and organizations proved to be too intense for the KDP to continue to ignore.

As previously reported regarding the official charges against Youkhana, Mr. Barzani stated that Youkhana had been "willingly helping and assisting PKK terrorists." Mr. Barzani further added that "The PKK is an illegal and unlawful group in Iraqi Kurdistan." Citing article 168 of the Iraqi Criminal Law, the Behdanani tribal leader (?) stated that a "PKK armed defector testified to the authorities the collaboration and assistance given to them by Mr. Yokhana (sic) Khaie including military related equipment."

Most notable in the letter was Mr. Barzani's acknowledgment of Youkhana's torture while in KDP custody. On account of international observers as well as several family members eventually succeeding in visiting Youkhana, the KDP strongman was in no position to deny the scars already inflicted upon Youkhana. Mr. Barzani did, however, attempt to minimize the impact of his acknowledgment by stating "The other accusations of him being severely tortured are exaggerated." The letter did not in any way attempt to apologize for the savage beatings or make any pledge to investigate the perpetrators of Youkhana's torture. The deliberate sidestepping of the torture issue underscores the KDP leadership's acceptance of torture as an interrogation policy instrument as has been widely reported by international human rights organizations such as AI in the past.

For his part, Senator John Nimrod of the AUA was heartened by the long overdue setting of the trial date for September 2, 2001 and the statement by Mr. Barzani that "on your appeal, we would advise the authorities to consider his case on humanitarian grounds." The Khaie family's hopes were also buoyed because it had become clear that no real proof existed regarding the charges leveled at Youkhana. Moreover, Mr. Barzani's pledge to recommend consideration on humanitarian grounds was seized upon by Senator Nimrod as a clear indication that Youkhana would be released on September 2 perhaps as a face saving way out for the KDP. However, on September 2, the Khaie family's hopes were dashed as the trial was postponed because the presiding judge had been inexplicably sent on leave to Syria. No new date has been given and no parole has been granted to Youkhana who continues to languish under abusive conditions and the constant threat of violence. Still more, the diplomatic courtesy of an explanation has not been provided to Senator John Nimrod as well.

The KDP chieftain's letter also included an invitation to the AUA to "send an observer to attend his trial and we have called upon an independent inquiry by Amnesty International or any other human rights organization to establish the full truth of Mr. Yokhana Yalda Khaie's arrest and his condition during detention." In reality, the seeming openness of the KDP to invite AI turns out to be a disingenuous ploy to deflect growing criticism of KDP torture and human rights abuses since, according to AI itself, the KDP is very well aware that AI is unable to reach the KDP occupied portion of northern Iraq.

Due to their previous investigations in the region, AI has been banned from Syria, Iraq, Turkey, and Iran- leaving no remaining border to cross into the KDP occupied area in northern Iraq. In fact, following their 1995 human rights report on northern Iraq, AI was also banned by Mr. Barzani's KDP. In time, the political fallout from a self-described democratic organization banning a reputable human rights organization coupled with the realization that AI could never ever really reach northern Iraq anyway, led the KDP to cleverly reverse course and begin cynically inviting AI.

The KDP media campaign to stem growing international condemnation is likely to backfire and fuel still greater anger at the KDP. First, Mr. Barzani's open acknowledgment of Youkhana's torture is likely to further enrage Assyrians since it was not accompanied by any sort of apology or pledge to bring Youkhana's torturers to justice. Second, to Assyrians and the international community, the allegations of Youkhana being a PKK collaborator merely continues the KDP's tired and discredited excuse reminiscent of the reasons given for the midnight raids and beatings of Assyrians in the Nahla region of northern Iraq (AINA, 11-30-1999, 10-16-1999)). The disingenuous invitation for AI to investigate represents another unsuccessful disinformation ploy designed to give the appearance of KDP judicial openness and physically reach northern Iraq. Still more, the flippant cancellation of Youkhana's trial date without explanation or rescheduling demonstrates little concern for due process in a highly sensitive and charged case. All in all, the reaffirmation and tacit legitimization of the KDP's policy of torture and the abuse of due process sends an unequivocal message to Assyrians and the international community at large that the KDP rejects even the most basic tenets of civilized international governance.

News Digest


Courtesy of San Jose Mercury News (Sept 13); article by Julie Watson for Associated Press

(ZNDA: Tijuana) Hours after Tuesday's attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, an anonymous caller led Mexican immigration agents to 41 undocumented Iraqis waiting to cross to the United States, authorities said last week.
The 38 men and 3 women appeared to be Chaldean-Assyrians, alleging persecution in Iraq.

They were loaded in on a bus and sent to Mexico City where they were to be housed in a federal detention facility while their cases are being studied, said Rodolfo Valdes Gutierrez, head of Mexico's Immigration Office in Tijuana.

An additional 28 Iraqis, also Chaldeans who have been working with a Mexican refugee-assistance group, were allowed to remain in Tijuana while the United States processes their asylum petitions, Valdes said. That group includes members of six families, including a four- year-old girl, said Lilliam Jimenez of Corporacion Corazon, which is sponsoring the group during its stay in Tijuana.

Tuesday's attacks in the United States have led Mexican immigration authorities to give special scrutiny to anyone of Middle Eastern origin, Valdes said.

''We have been in contact with U.S. authorities, and, yes, they have asked that we be more vigilant,'' said Raul Zarate, a spokesman for the National Immigration Institute's station in Tijuana. ''But no one is saying these foreigners are terrorists.''

Security remained tight all along the 2,100-mile border as U.S. inspectors checked every suspicious bag and searched all vehicles.

On Tuesday, Mexican immigration agents received an anonymous phone tip that the Iraqis were staying in a shabby border hotel waiting to cross into U.S. territory.

Drawn by San Diego's Chaldean community, Iraqi Christians have used Tijuana as a transit point on their way to the United States for several years. The Chaldean-Assyrian population in San Diego is among the largest in the United States, second only to Detroit, Michigan.

Last September, approximately 130 Iraqi men, women and children were held in a Tijuana hotel for several days while U.S. officials decided whether to allow them to cross the border.

Many of the 28 have family members among last year's group, all of whom were eventually admitted provisionally into the United States. They said Tuesday's attacks in New York City and Washington have increased their uncertainty.

"I don't know what's going to happen to us," said Sami Habib Petty, 41, who owned a auto body shop in Baghdad. With his wife and their four-year-old daughter, Petty hopes to make it to Detroit where his wife's family lives.

The group, all from Baghdad, included several students and at least one former member of the Iraqi military. They said they had relatives among the 41 sent back to Mexico City.

[A 1997 survey by respected pollster John Zogby said there were 219,765 Arabs and Chaldean-Assyrians in Wayne, Oakland, Macomb and Washtenaw counties, Michigan. Chaldean-Assyrians from Iraq first came to Detroit in 1920s, attracted by jobs in the auto industry.]


Courtesy of Detroit Free Press (Sept 14); story by Patricia Montemurri & Amy Klein

(ZNDA: Detroit) On the 83rd floor of the World Trade Center, David Halibu owned and operated a stock day-trading firm, named after Naneva Street in West Bloomfield where he grew up and where his grandparents still live.

His cousin from Clawson, Amos Sheena, worked at Naneva Capital, as did friends Ronei Foumia and Fawzi Nona, who moved from the Detroit area to join the growing firm.

At work Tuesday morning, they chatted about the office football pool when an explosion made the room sway and its occupants stumble.

What was going on, they wondered?

Seconds later, a coworker burst in, his body smoking, his skin melting off his back and arms. They had him roll on the floor and patted him with wet cloths. On a television set, they saw their building, a crater carved out of one side.

Some said to stay in the office and keep the door closed. Halibu opened the door and yelled out: "Is there an exit?" Somebody yelled back -- yes! -- and 18 Naneva Capital coworkers and friends started the hot, tedious trek down the Trade Center's north tower stairwell -- a march that would take close to an hour as smoke filled their lungs.

In the stairwell, Halibu's cell phone rang with frantic calls from Detroit area relatives relaying details of the escalating mayhem. Single-file and pressed against the wall, they made room for firefighters heading up. They never saw any firemen come back down.

"Innocent people going up and innocent people coming down," said Amos Sheena, 28, a Clawson High and Wayne State University graduate.

The descent was relatively orderly, but at the stairwell's bottom they emerged to chaos. Security guards and police told them not to look at the bodies scattered around the atrium under falling glass and debris. Get out, they shouted, you can't help them, move on.

"It was like instant shock, and that was our first view of the war," said Halibu, 25, a graduate of Brother Rice High School in Birmingham.

Halibu crouched by himself against the base of the building and prayed. Dust and smoke choked him. Minutes later, he tried to run farther away. The first image to emerge from the dust cloud was a man at a pay phone. Halibu asked him if he wanted to team up, so they could look out for each other.

The man said he couldn't because he was trying to find out what happened to his child in day care nearby. Halibu kissed his hand and wished the stranger good luck. Then, his cell phone dead, Halibu ran into a furniture store where the owner let him call home.

His father had not heard from him since he saw the TV broadcast of the tower's collapse, Halibu said, "and I know they think I'm dead."

At home in Orchard Lake, Dr. Shakib Halibu had banged his head against the wall in despair, praying as he watched the building collapse.

Minutes later, the colleagues were separated, choking and blinded by the enveloping dust of the tower's collapse. Sheena ran toward the Brooklyn Bridge from what he said "felt like a ghost chasing me."

"I'm . . . asking God for mercy, 'David, where are you? David, where are you?' " the father recounted Thursday.
The phone rang. "I'm safe, Dad," David Halibu cried.

Meanwhile, Foumia, convinced he would be a sitting target on the Brooklyn Bridge, instead began to make his way to SoHo, zigzagging north on side streets to his apartment on Sixth Avenue. When he stopped to pour water over his head, he heard a familiar voice -- David Halibu's.

"I was crying and hugging and we were all covered in this debris," Foumia said.

Sheena and Nona, meanwhile, had crossed the Brooklyn Bridge, afraid to stop or look back for fear of being trampled or smothered.

They lost each other in the suffocating cloud but linked up again in Brooklyn, where they wandered aimlessly, said Sheena, "like you're fleeing a country under attack."

After a while, they waited for a bus to Queens and ended up taking shelter at the apartment of Halibu's ex-girlfriend, whom they ran into at a Wendy's restaurant.

On Thursday, all four of the young men safe at relatives' homes after renting a car to drive back to Michigan, they said they felt like refugees. They reflected on their ordeal, their good fortune and their future. Halibu's business was in shambles: "I was so busy before. Now, I guess I'm not too busy."

All his coworkers were accounted for. Colleague Manu Dhingira, a New Yorker, is alert and recuperating from third-degree burns at a New York hospital.

Halibu fielded calls from old friends.

"Yes, I'm alive," he told one well-wisher.


Courtesy of Sydney Morning Herald (Sept 15), Stories by David Humphries & Mark Robinson

(ZNDA: Sydney) Internet and telecommunications entrepreneur Karl Suleman puts his checkbook where his praise is for Bill Clinton.

Such is the Froggy group [www.froggy.com] chief's attachment to the former US president that he parted with at least $235,000 to stay as near as he could during Mr. Clinton's Sydney visit last weekend.

Mr Suleman successfully bid $150,000 so his table would include Mr. Clinton at the Westmead Children's Hospital fundraiser in Randwick on Saturday night. Members of the local Assyrian Universal Alliance chapter in Australia and His Grace Mar Melis Zaia were among the guests sitting next to Mr. Clinton (see this week's BRAVO).

With Froggy as the dinner sponsor, he hosted Mr Clinton on his luxury harbour launch on Saturday, where Mr. Suleman learned the former president is a devotee of Mahatma Gandhi.

That prompted him to successfully bid $50,000 that night for an autographed photo of Gandhi as a gift to Mr Clinton.

On Sunday, he paid $7,000 to join another 43 businessmen at a fundraising dinner at Double Bay, with Mr Clinton the special guest and the Australian Labor Party the chief beneficiary.

The five-course Raffles Ballroom dinner, which included $20,000 in Grange (``not the best year,'' said one guest), cost $7,000 a head. That covered the hotel bill and the former US president's $200,000 fee for his companionship and a 45-minute dinner speech on the challenges confronting the world.

The businessmen made a $138,000 donation that night to Mission Australia and a 1.5 million-dollar donation to the party.

The Clinton dinner, in terms of its fundraising result, is believed to have been equalled only by a notorious lunch in Perth in the 1980s, when a handful of local millionaires contributed a million dollars to the ALP for an opportunity to persuade the then prime minister, Bob Hawke, against taxing gold.

Labor was represented by non-paying guests, Mr Beazley, his deputy Mr Crean, the Premier, Mr Carr, his Treasurer, Mr Egan, the party's NSW general secretary, Mr Eric Roozendaal, Mr Robertson and his predecessor, Mr Michael Costa, now an Upper House MP.

Mr Clinton arrived during pre-dinner drinks and did not stay for the cigars and ports at night's end.

But he was photographed with each guest and signed mementos.

Guests said his speech and conversation made clear that he saw his own politics as nearest Labor's in Australia.

He also urged innovative security policies to deal with new threats, such as international terrorist Osama bin Laden's communication with agents via the Internet.


Courtesy of al-Thawra Newspaper (August 26); related story translated from Arabic by Fredrick Aprim

(ZNDA: Baghdad) Last month President Saddam Hussein reviewed several prototype designs of the
Ashurbanipal Library Project and the Saddam Institute for Cuneiform Studies, scheduled for construction in Nineveh Province, Iraq. The project consists of a library designed according to the Assyrian style, a lecture hall, a service center and an institute for cuneiform studies.

The architectural designs presented to President Hussein depict the dual nature of Assyrian society's scientific and military attributes.

The prototypes were presented by the Dean of the College of Engineering in Mosul University and few staff architects at the University who worked on the designs. The Architects emphasized the point that when studying Assyrian history, they found the close relationship between the words rifle and pen.

"This complex will be a pivotal point for archaeological studies and a center to attract not only Iraqi archaeologists but also archaeologists and scholars throughout the world to view the depth of the Mesopotamian civilization and its role in the world renaissance and its positive impact on humanity", writes al-Thawra Newspaper in Iraq.

President Hussein has instructed the team of architects to construct the designs so they would "reflect the ancient Iraqi cultures and represent the honorable values of the Islamic civilization, which continued and flourished in our present era."

Surfs Up!

"I cannot begin to tell you what sadness and outrage I felt when I witnessed what happened here in NYC."

Vian Younan, M.D.

"Thank you for being such a professional organization, and thank you for encouraging our Assyrian organizations to release their statements of US Support to their local media.

I pray for those of us still in the homeland, and now more than ever, for those of us in the US. I pray for all the Assyrian merchants, and for God to guard them against being targeted as a victim of a hate crime.
Finally, God Bless America! "

Eva Safar

"Thank you for keeping us updated and in particular for letting us know that our Linda George is ok. My heart sank even further than it had when I saw her name on the CNN screen. "

Zaineb Istrabadi, Ph.D.
New York

"Thank you for your prompt and well reasoned responsive message to the attack on Tuesday. We here in the Washington, DC area are grateful for your prayers and support. "

S. Kumbera
Washington D.C.

"An Assyrian International intellectuals link is to be established in Canada, United States, Australia, Europe, Russia, and the Middle East and where intellectual Assyrians are available. This has been under discussion for the last few weeks. Invitation is open only to those who at least have published articles, or any book in any language, up to the highest academic degrees. You will be updated."

Albert Nasser

Surfers Corner


The following are excerpts from speeches given last week in the Detroit, Michigan area in lea of the 11 September attacks in New York City and Washington D.C.

Detroit leaders are concerned about the harassment and threats being leveled at this area's Chaldean community.

Shirley R. Stancato, President of New Detroit

"During this horrifying and tragic time for our nation another tragedy is occurring. Americans of Arab and Chaldean descent are being harassed and threatened in retaliation for an action they took no part in and do not support. Before this injustice escalates, we need to remind our community that no people should be labeled and condemned based on the actions or allegations made regarding others who share their place of origin. I doubt that any of us would want to be held responsible for our entire ethnic group. As a multi-cultural coalition, dedicated to improving race relations in this region, we are compelled to stand-up against the wholesale harassment of this segment of the American family. Now, as perhaps never before, we need to put aside our differences and unify as Americans."

Father Manuel Boji, Chaldean leader and pastor of Mother of God Church in Detroit

"I hope that that people in the United States stay together and understand that these attacks are not by humane people."

Rev. Stephen Kallabat, pastor at Mar-Addai Chaldean Catholic Church in Oak Park

"This is a time to rebuild and not destroy. If we give ideas to those people, we will be just like those who tried to destroy our country and our people."



Assyrian Surfing Posts

Nakosha Magazine's New Home Page
[ http://www.nakosha.org ]

Pump Up the Volume

Building BIN/YA/NA Masculine Tall Bulidings: Binyaneh raameh
Tower MAGH/DA/LA Masculine Water Tower: Maghdala's Mee-ya



Former U.S. President, Bill Clinton, was invited to visit Australia last week. Mr. Karl Solomon, Principle of the Froggy Holdings Group, was the major sponsor of Mr. Clinton's visit. The main purpose of this visit and the special star-studded dinner last Saturday -- 8 Sept. 2001-- was to raise money for the Westmead Children's Hospital.

A number of Assyrians attended the special dinner including: Mr. Wilson Younan, head of the Assyrian program on SBS Radio; members of the Assyrian Universal Alliance (AUA), among them myself and Ms. Suzy David, Deputy Secretary General of the AUA. Ms. David was seated next to Mr. Clinton's along with other members. On the other side of Mr. Clinton was Mr. Karl Solomon and His Grace Mar Meelis Zaia, Bishop of the Assyrian Church of the East.

It was a wonderful and historic night for our Assyrian nation; especially since Ms. David conversed with the President about the Assyrian Question and presented him a detailed submission on behalf of the Assyrian Universal Alliance, together with a letter of endorsement from Senator John Nimrod, the Secretary General of the AUA.

President Clinton was very pleased with the submission and promised to consider the Assyrian issues raised in this document.

Hermiz Shahen
AUA- Australia

Back to the Future

(1110 B.C.)

During the reign of Tiglath Pileser I royal inscriptions were written on perfect octagonal prisms.

Discoveries at Ashur on the Tigris, Haper et al

(A.D. 1970)

The government of Iraq issues a decree restoring Mar Ishai's Shimmun's Iraqi citizenship. He was exiled to 37 years earlier.

The Assyrinns, The Rod of My Anger, Haddad

This Week In History

September 21, 1915

Assyrian families accompanied by their tribal fighters begin to leave the Hakkari mountains and descend upon the lower regions of Urmia, Iran. A majority of this population initially resided around the Salamas and Khoi regions.


Calendar of Events


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


Dance Party




Sept 19

The Zi-Pang Trio
The Kufa Gallery
26 Westbourne Grove

Entrance Free
Contact  fran@hazelton.greatxscape.net

Sept 29

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
3119 south Central Avenue

Thru Oct 14

"El Arquitecto y el Emperador de Asiria (The Architect and the Emperor of Assyria)," 
in Spanish with English interpretation, through Oct. 14
Warehouse Theater
1021 Seventh St. NW. 

Oct 13-17

Sponsored by the University of Bologne
Focus of Papers to be presented:  Historiography
Assyrian Presenter:  Dr. Eden Naby

Oct 23

Dr. Yonan will be addressing the Swedish Parliament in Stockholm on the important events in the last 100 years of Assyrian history.

6:30-9:30 PM

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

November 24

His Lordship Restaurant 
199 Seavall Drive
7:30 PM

Entertainment:  Edmond and His Band. (Ninef)
$45.00 Per Person

For reservations contact Flora Kingsbury at 925-672-4534.

December 2

Daniel Wolk, Univeristy of Chicago
"Family Reputation as a Foundation of a 'Community' among Assyrians in Chicago"
1:00 pm
Marriott Wardman Park
Washington, DC

For more info re AAA Meeting in Washington visit: http://www.aaanet.org/mtgs/mtgs.htm

December 6

"Medicine vs. Magic in Babylonia"
Lecturer:  Mark Geller
British Academy, 10 Carlton House Terrace, SW1.
5:30 PM

Contact: Joan Porter MacIver, c/o British Academy
Telephone:  01440 785 244.        bsai@britac.ac.uk

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

Thank You!

Zindamagazine would like to thank:

Jeff Atto

Michael Benjamin

Jan Picton
(British Museum, London)


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