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Volume VII
Issue 42
January 21, 2002
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This Week In Zinda

cover photo
cover photo

  Jonah: Fact or Fable?
  Frozen Body of Assyrian Freedom Fighter Found

Assyrians in Turlock Elect New President
Flowcom Bids For Froggy, Karl Suleman's Day in Court
Assyrian Speaks on Racially Motivated Crimes During MLK Day
Chaldean Family Holds Tight After Random Gun Violence Kills 3
Congresswoman Anna Eshoo Returns Enron's Money
Obituary: Alice Sargis

  Assyrians Stranded in Austria Need Your Support

A Report on the Atra (Homeland) Project
College Admissions & Financial Aid Program

  Pontifical Council For Promoting Christian Unity Guidelines For Admission to The Eucharist Between the Chaldean Church & The Assyrian Church of The East
  Assyrian Twin Sisters Score Highest on HSC in Australia

Rogation of the Ninevites

  Universe & Earth
  The Unfinished Dictionary & the Road to Evangelization
  American Oriental Society Annual Meeting in Houston




The Lighthouse



Many people feel that the account given in the Bible of Jonah is legendary, since even if there were a fish big enough to swallow a man, certainly no man would be able to survive three days in its digestive tract and then escape to the outside world.

However, again and again, Jesus referred to this as a historical event, and even pointed to it as a foreshadowing of his own death and resurrection.

There are, however, several documented accounts of people who have been swallowed by whales and large fish, and have lived to tell about it, even after several days. One species of fish, the "Sea Dog" (Carcharodon carcharias), is found in all warm seas, and can reach a length of 40 feet. In the year 1758, a sailor fell overboard from a boat in the Mediterranean and was swallowed by a sea dog. The captain of the vessel ordered a cannon on the deck to be fired at the fish, which vomited up the sailor alive and unharmed after it was struck.

Sperm whales can swallow lumps of food eight feet in diameter. Entire skeletons of sharks up to sixteen feet in length have been found in them. In February of 1891, James Bartley, a sailor aboard the whaling ship "Star of the East," was swallowed by a whale in the vicinity of the Falkland Islands. He was within the whale for more than forty-eight hours, and after he was found inside the whale, which had been harpooned and brought aboard the whaling ship, it took him two weeks to recover from the ordeal. Sir Francis Fox wrote as follows about this:

Bartley affirms that he would probably have lived inside his house of flesh until he starved, for he lost his senses through fright and not from lack of air. He remembers the sensation of being thrown out of the boat into the sea. . . . He was then encompassed by a great darkness and he felt he was slipping along a smooth passage of some sort that seemed to move and carry him forward. The sensation lasted but a short time and then he realized he had more room. He felt about him and his hands came in contact with a yielding slimy substance that seemed to shrink from his touch. It finally dawned upon him that he had been swallowed by the whale . . . he could easily breathe; but the heat was terrible. It was not of a scorching, stifling nature, but it seemed to open the pores of his skin and draw out his vitality. . . . His skin where it was exposed to the action of the gastric juice . . . face, neck and hands were bleached to a deadly whiteness and took on the appearance of parchment . . . (and) never recovered its natural appearance . . . (though otherwise) his health did not seem affected by his terrible experience.

Another individual, Marshall Jenkins, was swallowed by a Sperm Whale in the South Seas. The Boston Post Boy, October 14, 1771, reported that an Edgartown (U.S.A.) whaling vessel struck a whale, and that after the whale had bitten one of the boats in two, it took Jenkins in its mouth and went under the water with him. After returning to the surface, the whale vomited him on to the wreckage of the broken boat, "much bruised but not seriously injured."

There is, of course, a great deal of historical and archaeological evidence for the ministry of Jonah in Nineveh. Prominent among the divinities of ancient Assyria was Dagan, a creature part man and part fish. This was sometimes represented as an upright figure, with the head of a fish above the head of a man, the open mouth of the fish forming a miter as the man's sacred head-dress, and the feet of a man extending below the tail of the fish. In other cases, the body of a man was at right angles to the conjoined body of a fish. Images of this fish-god were found guarding the entrance to the palace and temple in the ruins of Nineveh, and they appear on ancient Babylonian seals, in a variety of forms.

Berosus, a Babylonian historian, writing in the fourth century B.C., recorded the early traditions concerning the origin of the worship of this fish-man. According to the earliest tradition, the very beginning of civilization in Chaldea and Babylonia was under the direction of a person, part man and part fish, who came up out of the sea. During Jonah's time, the people of Nineveh believed in a divinity who sent messages to them by a person who rose out of the sea, as part fish and part man, and they would undoubtedly have been very receptive to Jonah's ministry if he had been vomited out of a fish. H. Clay Trumbull wrote of this as follows:

What better heralding, as a divinely sent messenger to Nineveh, could Jonah have had, than to be thrown up out of the mouth of a great fish, in the presence of witnesses, say, on the coast of Phoenicia, where the fish-god was a favorite object of worship?

… The recorded sudden and profound alarm of the people of an entire city at his warning was most natural, as a result of the coincidence of this miracle with their religious beliefs and expectations.

Berosis gives the name of the Assyrian fish-god as "Oannes," while he mentions the name "Odacon" as that of one of the avatars of Oannes. Since the name Dagan appears frequently in the Assyrian records from earlier dates, and no trace has been found in them of the name "Oannes," it is possible that this name is a reference to Jonah, as the supposed manifestation of the fish-god himself. The name Oannes for Jonah appears in the Septuagint and in the New Testament with the addition of I before it (Ioannes). However, according to Dr. Herman V. Hilprecht, the eminent Assyriologist, in the Assyrian inscriptions the J of foreign words becomes I, or disappears altogether. Hence Joannes, as the Greek representation of Jonah would appear in Assyrian either as Ioannes or as Oannes. Therefore, in his opinion, Oannes would be a regular Greco-Babylonian writing for Jonah.

The preservation of the name "Yunas" or "Jonah" at the ruins of Nineveh also confirms the historicity of the Jonah story. As soon as modern discoverers unearthed the mound that had been known for centuries by the name of "Neby Yunas," they found beneath it the ruined palaces of the kings of Nineveh.6

Richard M. Riss
Christian Evidences

For Further Reading:

Ambrose John Wilson, "The Sign of the Prophet Jonah and Its Modern Confirmations," The Princeton Theological Review 25 (1927): 638. footnote 20.

H. Clay Trumbull, "Jonah In Nineveh," Journal of Biblical Literature 11 (1892): 10-12.




[An Official Press Release of the Mesopotamia Freedom Party]

A Declaration To Our People Concerning The Martyrdom Of Our Comrade Mihayel (Cudi)

The respected cadre and guerrilla commandant of our party, comrade Mihayel (Cudi), together with his guerrilla division lost his way through wind and snowstorm on 11.01.2002 on their way back from their duty.

Immediately after they managed to contact their headquarters through radio communication, help was sent to find them.

Under utmost difficult circumstances the search through 1 met high snow layer began. The quest took a long time untill they were found. Two of the three guerrillas could be rescued after immediate care, but for comrade Mihayel (Cudi) all help was too late. He died of freezing.

Comrade Mihayel (Cudi) was buried on 13.01.2002 after a special ceremony on the grounds of our Homeland.

Short biography of the life of Mihayel (Cudi)

Mihayel (Cudi) was born in 1971 in the village of Hassana. Together with his family he fled to Holland in 1978 where they resettled. He completed his studies and became a police officer after 5 years in the police academy. In 1996 he became a member of the party and on the 1st of May 1999 he returned to the Homeland. There he was active for the party in Mossoul (Nineveh) and in other areas of the region. On the 11.01.2002 he died during one of his duties and became a Martyr.

Commemoration of Mihayel (Cudi)

To remember and mourn comrade Mihayel (Cudi), all over the Homeland and Europe mourning events are organised in Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, Holland, Sweden, Germany, Belgium, Switzerland, Austria.

We are inviting all the groups of our people, friends and sympathizers to commemorate comrade Mihayel (Cudi) and hereby recognise his struggle for the freedom of our people.

(Mesopotamia Freedom Party)
Central Committee

[Mr. Cudi was a military commander of the Assyrian guerilla freedom fighters and stationed in North Iraq in the mountains of Kandil. Mr. Cudi was a Chaldean-Assyrian.]

News Digest


Courtesy of Modesto Bee; based on stories by Patrick Giblin

(ZNDA: Turlock) On January 26 Dr. Fred Adams, a Modesto gynecologist, will be officially the new president of the Assyrian American Civic Club of Turlock, defeating Mr. Bill Julian and replacing Mr. Ramin Odisho. He was elected to office during general elections held on January 12.

Mr. Adams promised that if he were selected as the new president, he would get the club back in order.

"It will be given back to the people," said Peggie Jacob Hernandez, Adams' campaign manager for the top post at the beleaguered club. She also was elected recording secretary.

"Everyone is very excited about the future," she said. "The first thing that will happen is the club's finances will be put back on track."

Besides the position of president, club members also cast votes for vice president, board members and other positions in the club.

Every candidate who expressed support for Adams' campaign also was elected, Hernandez said.

"Our entire team won," she said. "Even the person we had running for the women's auxiliary won. It was a clean sweep."

The club has 1,200 members in the Northern San Joaquin Valley.

AACC has been under investigation by Turlock police for the past two years after members complained about financial improprieties. Detectives and district attorney's investigators have twice searched the club and the home of the current president, Mr. Ramin Odisho. During both searches, unspecified documents were seized.

Detectives also searched the Modesto home of Theresa Lazar and the Farmers and Merchants Bank, 3001 McHenry Ave., in connection with the investigation.

Last year, Police Chief Lonald Lott revoked the club's bingo permit after an audit of club records by the state revealed the club had not filed the proper nonprofit papers needed to run bingo games. Only nonprofit organizations can operate bingo in California.

Despite loss of the three-times-per-week bingo games, club members elected a new bingo director and bingo chairperson, Hernandez said. Hopefully, bingo will be brought back to the club because it was a great source of income, she said.

Mr. Bill Julian, a real estate broker, was an unsuccessful candidate for Turlock City Council in 1990. Information surfaced during the campaign that he was on probation after being convicted of misdemeanor physical abuse of one of his children.

In an interview with the Modesto Bee newspaper he commented that "I don't think a doctor is the right person for the position, because doctors are pretty busy and this club needs a lot of attention. I'm partially retired and, if I win, (I) plan on devoting a lot of time to getting the club in order." A few weeks before the elections Modesto Bee interviewed Mr. Julian and questioned him about about his conviction for misdemeanor physical abuse of one of his children 20 years ago. He said he was having an argument with his daughter and she slipped, fell and injured herself. "It was an accident, but the mother (his ex-wife) was uneasy with it and we ended up in court," he said. "Our culture demands from parents to take care of their children. We love our children more than anything else in the world."

Dr. Adams defeated Bill Julian, 320 to 185.

Ramin Odisho is the first president in the club's history to serve two consecutive terms, a feat managed by a change in the club's charter shortly before he ran for a second term. An attempt to change the charter again to allow him to run a third time was defeated earlier this year.



Courtesy of Australian Financial Review & Sydney Morning Herald (January 18-22)

(ZNDA: Sydney) Karl Suleman told a court on Friday that he could not explain why a series of cash payments totaling hundreds of thousands of dollars had been transferred from the investment scheme he operated to a joint personal bank account he operated with his wife.

In hearings before the Supreme Court in Sydney into Karl Suleman Enterprises, the company behind the $130 million investment scheme started 18 months ago by Mr Suleman and now in dissolution, Mr Suleman said check payments made to property group Kimberly Securities Ltd were in consideration for various properties.

These included a house at Point Piper, a series of apartments at Chinatown and three penthouse apartments at Pyrmont all of which are Sydney suburbs. There was also a pub or hotel in Sydney that Mr. Suleman did not know the name of. Another check for $250,000 "appeared to be the sale of unit 73 in a development to Vivienne Suleman''. He agreed this was his wife, a director of KSE. Unit 74 was sold to his daughter.

Counsel for the scheme's liquidators, Mr. Jim Thomson, said: "Is there any reason why these properties were put in your name rather than Karl Suleman Enterprises?''

Mr. Suleman answered that his accountant, Mr. Al Gaman, had advised him to do so.

The court also heard that some of the buyers of the Chinatown apartments were linked to Mr Suleman.

In response to questions from his own counsel, Mr. Tim Moore, Mr. Suleman said the payments to his personal bank account may have been for property.

He admitted he had been advised by his accountant.

Examined by the counsel for the Australian Securities and Investments Commission, James Thomson, Mr. Suleman told the Supreme Court how he started out selling shopping centre trolley collection contracts 10 years ago and progressed to his dream of developing the Froggy empire.

He ultimately raised $130 million from more than 2000 investors in under two years under the corporate umbrella Karl Suleman Enterprizes.

Prefacing all his answers with "privilege'' to protect the evidence from being used in criminal proceedings, Mr. Suleman told the court how in 1999 investors began to approach him and his colleagues with amounts of up to $100,000 for KSE to invest.

Contracts bearing Mr. Suleman's signature and promising investors fortnightly payments of $8000 were produced in court. Mr. Suleman said he did not draw them up, only signed them.

When asked what records were kept of investors' money and where the cash went, there were no clear answers.

It appeared KSE was a large cash bucket with few records. What records there were were kept by agents who attracted investments in return for a 10 per cent commission. There were no cash books and no receipts. The system worked on trust, some contracts and check stubs.

KSE agents wanted its commissions paid in cash. When money came in, amounts of between $10,000 and $100,000 were not banked, but instead looked after by Mr. Suleman and KSE employees David Varda and George Sabri.

Mr. Thomson asked: "Did you keep any records of how much they had to mind?''

Mr Suleman replied: "I never kept a record.''

A check of $5000 was paid to Mr. Suleman's sister-in-law as a commission for introducing investors. A further amount of $261,000 was made out to Mr. Suleman.

Mr Thomson: "Did you receive that?''

Mr Suleman: "I believe so.''

Mr Thomson: "For what purpose?''

Mr Suleman: "I don't know.''

Another check for $100,000 and a subsequent one for $150,000 were made to Roger Hide to enable Mr. Suleman to acquire a 10 per cent interest in a hair removal product. Money was paid out for "Ferrari and limos'', the latter used for photos to promote Froggy.com and to carry visitors from Melbourne.

Manoeuvring by bidders in the battle for the Froggy group of companies is intensifying as liquidators of the associated Karl Suleman Enterprises seek a sale of the music, internet and mobile operations this week.

Data communications company Flowcom said yesterday it had lodged a deposit with the liquidator of Karl Suleman Enterprises, advancing a proposal to take over the Froggy Internet service provider business.
But liquidator Paul Weston of Horwath's underlined that no contracts had been signed and he was still hopeful that several other parties would ``play catch-up''.

"Cash is always king in these sorts of deals. We want substantive offers now,'' Mr Weston said. The Flowcom proposal, while including a cash component, also seeks to recover monies owed to Flowcom, which is a Froggy creditor, Flowcom finance director Ed Goodwin said. Better known as a small broadband network operator serving the corporate sector than a consumer dot com business, Flowcom provided the underlying Internet service for Froggy.

"We have run the Froggy ISP while all this was going on. We are making sure of certainty for users,'' Flowcom chief executive Tom Amos said.

Despite the negative publicity surrounding the company and its founder, Karl Suleman, the Froggy branding would be kept by Flowcom, Mr Goodwin said.

"The subscribers are concentrated in the capital cities where the Froggy skywriting was most visible.'' Flowcom operated another consumer ISP in Melbourne, called Planet Internet, so was "not unfamiliar with the business''.

Mr Weston said there had been little interest shown by potential buyers in the Froggy music store and mobile phone businesses.

Flowcom, which reported a $10.9 million loss in 2001, has a debt facility with French telecommunications company Alcatel to build a broadband DSL network in Australia.

On Friday, the company announced it had raised $2 million in a share placement.

FlowCom is bidding against a range of parties, including OzEmail and Hotkey Internet Services, a subsidiary of US telco Primus. It has offered less than $100 for each of Froggy's 30,000-strong Internet customers.

Another bidder, TTA Holdings Australia, which has offered 85cents for every $1 owed to creditors in return for 60 per cent equity, has further detailed its offer to the liquidators. In a letter to Horwath's Mr Paul Weston, TTA revealed it was proposing a staggered return of funds to KSE, with 15 per cent to be returned immediately, 35 per cent within a year, and the remaining 35 per cent in two years.

Only the Froggy mobile operations are in liquidation. The Internet and music operations are going concerns.
The Froggy businesses are said to owe the in-liquidation Karl Suleman Enterprises $13 million by virtue of a loan KSE provided. The Froggy entities are said to owe another $3 million to other business creditors.

have also presented their offers. The TTA offer was made by company director Mr Jon Du Puy, who is being advised by information technology business consultants Frazer and Associates.

The offer documents reveal TTA is bidding for the Froggy Group by a deed of company arrangement, offering a return to creditors in return for 60 per cent of the company's equity.

The documents show TTA plans to float the Froggy operations on the Australian Stock Exchange within a year, linking the business with ``four or five other businesses in the same industry ... [which] would total at least $50 million''.

TTA is believed to be primarily attracted to the Froggy Internet service provider business, which boasts 30,000 subscribers.

The liquidators have said that the Froggy business will attract more funds if it is sold as a going concern than being wound up.

This would provide more money for KSE and other business creditors, and ultimately for KSE's creditors, many of whom are members of Sydney's Assyrian community.

Mr Du Puy is also is poised to take control of the previously Packer-backed software and call centre company Reply2, which is in administration, also by a deed of company arrangement.

The documents reveal TTA is seeking settlement of a deal for Froggy within 30 to 90 days.

"I am very sorry for what happened to the creditors, but I hope in the near future we can somehow get that money back," Mr. Suleman told reporters. "I'm about to lose my house, my mother's house, but that's fine. I deserve to lose my house so I can be able to save creditors. I'll be more than happy to lose my house. The main thing to me is to save my face, you know that's all."



Courtesy of Los Angeles Times (Jan 22)

(ZNDA: Azusa) More than 500 people from across the ethnic rainbow gathered outside Azusa City Hall yesterday for "Hands Across Azusa", the city's first Martin Luther King Jr. Day celebration.

As Kimasi Browne, director of Azusa Pacific University's gospel choir, led the crowd in verses of "We Shall Overcome," residents joined hands to form a giant circle of unity. In speeches, participants pledged to honor King's memory by rejecting the kind of racial hatred that has struck close to home.

The gathering comes after Molotov cocktails crashed through the windows of two homes and were tossed at another. None of the residents were injured during the late-night attacks on Dec. 5.

Investigators suspect that Latino gang members are responsible for the crimes, the possible result of racial fights in state prisons that have spilled into the community and have targeted innocent African Americans.

"We can bind together to fight this hate that has struck our city," George Younan, an Azusa Pacific University student, told the crowd. "We can come together to accomplish the dream of Dr. Martin Luther King."

Younan's father was shot and killed on October 17 in Sylmar, California in an incident his family believes was motivated by prejudice.

Councilwoman Diane Chagnon warned the crowd that the community cannot afford to be complacent.

"Today we see the power of a community united," she said. "The real test is when we leave. We need to stay united."


Courtesy of Detroit Free Press (Jan 15); based on article by Desiree Cooper

(ZNDA: Detroit) On a frosty January night, a group of men sat in the living room of a Farmington Hills home [in Michigan], solemnly fingering worry beads and sipping coffee. On the other side of the house, women sat by the fireplace, wearing black and sharing a heavy silence. A baby squealed, oblivious to the family's pain.

This was the Yono household, where extended family had gathered for support, as they do several times a week. The gatherings began in May, to mourn the death of a nephew, 23-year-old Sean Seman, who was killed in a drive-by shooting near the MGM Grand Detroit Casino. But as the year closed, the gatherings also embraced Nohada Yono, who, just two weeks before Christmas, lost her 63-year-old husband, Joe Yono, and her 28-year-old son Jack. They were slain on Dec. 14 in their party store on Detroit's east side.

"It's been a tragic year," said 51-year-old Sam Yono, speaking for the family. "We only hope that this year, the gun violence will end -- for everyone."

The family's string of tragedies didn't begin last year, but almost 35 years ago, soon after Sam Yono left his native Iraq and immigrated to the United States. It was 1968, and Sam was only 17.

"I wanted to come to America because it stood for freedom, justice and opportunity," three things that were often denied Chaldeans back home, said Sam. Chaldean-Assyrians began immigrating to the Detroit area in 1910, but the bulk arrived in the '60s and '70s, with more coming around the Persian Gulf War. Between 40,000 and 80,000 Chaldeans live in the metro area.

Sam was here only a year when his 18-year-old cousin Albert Yono was gunned down during a robbery at the family-owned Yono's Market on Detroit's west side. He was shaken, but tried to move on. After college, he married and bought a house in Detroit.

"That was 1973, and many of the convenience stores in the city were owned by eastern Europeans or Jews," said Sam. "But when they started selling their stores, my wife and I saw it as an opportunity. We took our $7,500 savings and bought a dinky drugstore on the west side and converted it into a party store."

To make ends meet, the couple took turns working up to 16-hour shifts. After a few years, they qualified for a bank loan to buy a $5,000 walk-in cooler. Their investment had begun to pay off.

Most of their lives were centered on the business, church and family. Sam's parents and siblings had immigrated, too, including his sister, Latifa. His older cousin, Joseph Yono, moved in with them, and often tutored younger family members.

Joe bought a store on Detroit's east side that he eventually ran with one of his three sons, Jack, and named it 3J's. Latifa married Jerry Seman and had four children, including one son, Sean.

Sam and his wife had seven children, who helped him in his growing chain of stores.

"Many Chaldean businesses are small," said Sam. "The way they make it is to hire family members who are willing to work long shifts and reinvest their salaries into the business to make it better. But it wasn't long before I was hiring a lot of kids out of high school and college in my stores."

Across town on Maryland near Mack and Alter, Joe and Jack carved out a living at 3J's. Despite the historical tension between the predominantly African-American community and the mostly-Chaldean party store owners, Joe was loved by the community.

"I moved into the neighborhood when I was in fourth grade," said Ronald Jackson, an African American who is now 28. "I went to Joe's store every day. But he wouldn't open early because he didn't want us to skip school by hanging out in his store."

Ron and Jack became close friends. Once they were throwing rocks in front of the store, when Ron's hit Joe's new car.

"He made me clean up the front of his store," Ron said, laughing. "Then he paid me $5. I was only 12, but after that, I would work for a few hours after school and he'd pay me. He told me not to spend all of my money on video games and snacks."

When Ron's grandmother had no money for food, Joe gave her groceries. "He was like that for everyone," said Ron.

Sam became a prominent businessman and civic leader: president of the Associated Food Dealers of Michigan; chair of the Chaldean Federation, board member of the United Way and New Detroit Inc., and an adviser to the Clinton administration on Middle East policy.

Things were going well. He sold his party stores and bought the Southfield Ramada Inn. He began to eye a parcel in southwest Detroit, where he could erect a 30,000-square-foot building on Vernor and Lansing to house shops and restaurants.

Then, on May 12, 2001, his 23-year-old nephew Sean was going to dinner with friends at Detroit's MGM Grand when a car pulled up next to theirs. The driver pulled out a gun, fired several shots and sped away. Sean, who was in the back seat, was killed.

Sean's 92-year-old grandmother took the news the hardest. She collapsed and died six hours later.

That week, the family attended a double funeral. Latifa was destroyed by the loss of her only son, who was to be engaged later that month. The family considered pulling up its Detroit roots altogether. But in the end, they decided to go forward with their development in Mexican Town to honor Sean's memory.

"If the pope can forgive the man who shot him," said Latifa Seman, "I can forgive the man who shot my son."

Police have no leads onwho Sean's killer is.

It was just another day at 3J's party store when Sam's cousin Joe and Joe's son, Jack, opened for business on Dec. 14. They'd been in the same location for more than 20 years. Once vibrant, the neighborhood now was full of empty lots and struggling families. But business was always brisk on Fridays, when many of their customers came in to cash their checks.

About 3 p.m., someone entered the store and went behind the Plexiglas to where the father and son were attending the cash register. The security door was open, as it often was. A gunman blasted both Joe and Jack in the face and made off with the cash.

On Dec. 18, the family endured its second double funeral in nearly eight months.

The killings not only rocked the neighborhood, but the city at large. Detroit community and religious leaders attended a memorial service in honor of Joe and Jack on Dec. 16 in Southfield, then traveled to the store where they joined hundreds of mourning neighbors.

The surrounding community cooperated extensively with police, leading to five suspects, all African American. Four have been arrested: Trandell Esters, 22; Cameron Williams, 24; Latoya Williams, 25, and Laron Harper, 21. Antonio Evans, 22, remains at large. Laron Harper lived in the neighborhood and knew the Yonos.

"Laron used to hang out in the store with the rest of us," said Ron. "It hurt us all to see him being a part of something like this. I just can't understand it."

"We lost an uncle in the war in Iran," said Nohada Yono, now coping with the killings of her husband and her son. "We lost a nephew in Baghdad on New Year's Eve to random violence. We can't blame this on the city, just on the wrongdoers."

Even as Sam has been dealing with his family's loss, he has insisted upon minimizing the racial aspects of the crime and has tried to remain focused on bringing the perpetrators to justice.

A New Year's Eve mass at the Mother of God Chaldean Cathedral in Southfield served as a reminder that hundreds of Chaldean store owners have been murdered in or around their Detroit businesses during the last 30 years. Most of the perpetrators have been African American.

"Anytime a human being's life is taken, we feel the loss, no matter what color," said Sam. "We need to look at the criminals who commit crime and deal with it."

Mike Cox, the deputy chief of homicide for the Wayne County Prosecutor's Office, agreed. "People who are getting high know that many party stores cash checks. They become a convenient target. Many are not smart criminals -- they just commit crimes that are geographically opportunistic," Cox said.

"I remember saying to Joe that the neighborhood was falling down," said Ron. "I asked him how long he would keep his store there. He told me that he couldn't leave because the neighborhood needed him. Now we all feel like we've been betrayed. One of our neighbors did this to all of us.

"There's a mentality out there that the Chaldeans shouldn't have stores in our communities," added Ron, who works for SBC Ameritech. "We have the same opportunities, but we won't sacrifice and do what is necessary to run a business ourselves. Joe taught me to expand my horizons. Because of him, I graduated from high school. He saved my life."

In the wake of the Yono slayings, 3J's remains closed. Outside the store, the community has left stuffed animals, candles, photos and cards to mourn the loss of Joe and Jack. Despite the outpouring of love and support, Sam feels strongly that the store should not be reopened.

"I hope it can be made into a community center," said Sam, "a place were people of different cultures can come together and learn about each other."

There is a $12,000 reward for tips leading to the capture of Sean's killer. Call Crime Stoppers at 800-773-2587. For tips as to the whereabouts of suspect Antonio Evans, call the Detroit Police Department's homicide department at 313-596-2260.

The Sean A. Seman Memorial Fund has been established to help gun violence victims and their families with medical, burial and living expenses.



Courtesy of San Jose Mercury News (Jan 15)

(ZNDA: Washington) Enron Corporation doled out campaign contributions since 1989 to nearly half the current members of U.S. Congress, raising questions about lawmakers' impartiality as they begin several investigations into the energy company's bankruptcy.

Enron is being investigated for its controversial collapse. Employees lost their retirement savings when Enron prevented them from selling company stock in their 401(k) plans as the company's value plummeted on Wall Street. Enron executives, however, were able to sell hundreds of millions of dollars of company stock before it became all but worthless.

Republicans have received most of the money -- 73 percent of the $5.8 million in federal political contributions made by Enron and its executives between 1989 and 2001, according to the Center for Responsive Politics. President Bush is the politician who has received the most from Enron, banking $113,000 during his presidential campaign and an additional $300,000 to stage his inauguration, according to the center's analysis.

Hoping to avoid the taint of Enron's money and allegations of conflict of interest, several members of Congress are vowing to send their contributions from Enron to funds for the thousands of employees who lost their jobs and their retirement savings in the company's collapse.

Representative Anna Eshoo, a Democrat from Palo Alto, California and of Assyrian-desent, received $1,000 from Enron in the 2000 election cycle, because of her seat on the Commerce Committee. But early last year Eshoo returned the donation, along with a $1,500 contribution from Dynegy Corporation, saying it was inappropriate to have taken money from energy companies that she believed were gouging California during the state's electricity crisis.



Alice Sargis, 77, of Akron, Ohio died Thursday, Jan. 17, 2002, at the Ohio Masonic Home in Springfield, Ohio.

She was born June 4, 1918, in Burnsville, W. Va., the daughter of Carl and Grethal (Gainer) Ball. She was a member of the Order of the Eastern Star for 36 years, and resided in Franklin Township for 40-plus years. She was a great lady and did for everyone. God rest her soul after suffering from such a long illness. She will be deeply missed by her devoted husband - Shaul Sargis.

Survivors include her husband of 56 years, Shaul Sargis, and several nieces and nephews. She was preceded in death by her parents.

A gathering of family and friends was held Monday, Jan. 21, from 12 to 1 p.m., at the Ohio Masonic Home Chapel in Springfield, Ohio. Burial was at the Masonic Home Cemetery. Memorial gifts may be made to the Ohio Masonic Home, 2655 W. National Rd., Springfield, Ohio 45504.

Surfs Up!


"I am sure that you are aware of the fact that in recent years many Assyrian (Christian) families, young women and men have emigrated from Iran to the United States. Positive response to their written pre-application has granted them a 6 month residence permit in Austria through the HIAS Organization. During their stay in Austria, they are interviewed and the reasons for their emigration are passed on to the US Embassy in Vienna, Austria in order to obtain the right to asylum in the United States. Unfortunately, the events of September 11th, 2001 in the United States, have negatively affected the emigration cases; emigrants are being refused asylum and cases are being delayed. As a result of this, people are suffering in the following ways:

· Very high costs of living and housing; many have run out of money as they counted on staying a maximum of 6 months in Austria;
· The cold weather conditions are affecting the children and elderly and they have no medical insurance;
· No schooling for children and youngsters;
· They are not allowed to take up legal work in Austria and;
· The 6-month residence permit obtained for Austria is a D-visa which is commonly known as a visa given in order to apply for asylum in the United States, this in turn creates problems when these asylum seekers are faced with going back to their home countries.

We therefore, kindly ask you, if you are in a position to help in any way you can, financial assistance or support of any kind is needed. Also please contact the responsible Humanitarian Organization and inform them about the situation of these people. These people are in desperate need, especially children and large families.
For your information these people get together at the Assyrian Church in Vienna.

"Whoso stoppeth his ears at the cry of the poor, he also shall cry himself but shall not be heard" (Proverbs 21:13)

Blessed be the God and the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Jesus.

Shepherd of the Church
Rev. Adnan Zaya

Surfers Corner


Dear Assyrian Supporter:

Let me first thank you for your positive response in supporting the ATRA project. Your financial assistance has meant a lot for us and the Assyrian people in Northern Iraq.

Dr. Ashour Moradkhan and I had a successful meeting with Mr. Narsai David, President of the Assyrian Aid Society to define their working relationships.

Dr. Ashour Moradkhan returned to Garbia via Teheran and Urmia. Friends of Dr. Moradkhan in Teheran donated $3020.00 to Atra Project. Dr. Moradkhan reports that on his arrival he met with Mr. Yacoub Yosip, Secretary General of Zowaa and the president of the Assyrian Aid Society in Iraq. They agreed on the projects outlined by Dr. Moradkhan.

Last year, Dr. Moradkhan accomplished the following:

1. Visited 52 Assyrian villages and gathered information on the number of residents, existence of a school and/or church, main sources of income, pressing needs of the villages, and other pertinent information. This will help us to develop programs to be responsive to the needs of our brothers and sisters.
2. In the village of Bebedeh a 37kV electric generator was installed in a specially built power house, providing power to all 24 families in the village. It has additional capacity to operate pumps for irrigation.
3. In the village of Dhouri, individual water tanks were installed on the roof of every house to provide continuous running water for the villagers.
4. Dr. Moradkhan came to the United States to attend the convention of the Assyrian Nation Federation to solicit financial support from its affiliate members. So far only silence from all the affiliates.
5. Dr. Moradkhan went back to Northern Iraq via Teheran and Urmia last December. A few close friends in Teheran gave Dr. Moradkhan $3020 to support his project.
6. Presently, he is busy helping residents in three villages to plant apple trees. We are embarked to plant 10,000 apple trees. These orchards will become a great source of income to these villagers.
7. Last December, we were able to transfer over $7.000 to Dr. Moradkhan for his orchard projects. We expect by the end of February to make another transfer of 8 to 10 thousand dollars.
8. Presently, we have identified individuals in these areas who will be working to solicit funds for the project: San Francisco Bay, Los Angeles, San Jose, and Turlock/Modesto.

Presently, Atra project is undertaking the planting of over 10,000 apple trees in three Assyrian villages. Such orchards in a few years will be a great source of income to the residents of these villages.

Dr. Ashour has been touring other Assyrian villages to assess their immediate needs and evaluate what Atra project can do to help.

With this memo, I am appealing to those who paid their first six months dues to please send us a check for the balance of the yearly support. Most importantly, I am asking each one of you to do your best to recruit at least one more supporter for the project.

We can only thank you by saying may God bless you and your family.

Youel A Baaba
Atra Project, USA



The Assyrian Student Union Association of America, along with the Assyrian Academic Society are hosting a very important program on College admissions and Financial Aid. The program is scheduled to be held on Sunday, January 27th from 4:00-8:00 in the Assyrian National Council Office on Peterson Avenue. Ms. Grace E. Zaya, the Chair of Education and Counseling Committee and her team have been working diligently for the past few weeks to put this program together and they have done a wonderful job thus far. Please support their hard work by publicizing this program to your friends and family. The program is free and open to the public.

For your information, financial aid advisors have been selected to help Assyrian high school students fill out FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) forms. Tables will be set up for the purpose of College and University Admissions Counseling. Additionally, literature on standardized exams and college admissions will also be made available. The primary focus is on High School students. Again, your support is invaluable. Please circulate the email announcement below to anyone whom you think would be interested to attend. Thank you.

Nadia E. Joseph
Membership Committee
Assyrian Academic Society

Assyrian Student Union of America in conjunction with Assyrian Academic Society Hosts:

College Admissions Workshop
Sunday, January 27, 2002
4:00-8:00 p.m.
Assyrian National Council of Illinois
2450 W. Peterson, Chicago, IL 60659

Financial Aid Advisors will be available to help parents and students fill out financial aid applications (FAFSA) and provide information on loans, grants and scholarships. Students will also be able to obtain information on different Chicagoland universities.

For more information, please contact the AAS at (773) 461-6633; or Grace E. Zaya at grace@aas.net.




Rome, July 20th, 2001

The origin of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity is closely linked with the Second Vatican Council. It was Pope John XXIII's desire that the involvement of the Catholic Church in the contemporary ecumenical movement be one of the Council's chief concerns. Thus, on 5 June 1960, he established a "Secretariat for Promoting Christian Unity" as one of the preparatory commissions for the Council, and appointed Cardinal Augustin Bea as its first President. This was the first time that the Holy See had set up an office to deal uniquely with ecumenical affairs.

At first, the main function of the Secretariat was to invite the other Churches and World Communions to send observers to the Second Vatican Council. Already, however, from the first session (1962), by a decision of Pope John XXIII, it was placed on the same level as the conciliar commissions. The Secretariat thus prepared and presented to the Council the documents on ecumenism (Unitatis redintegratio), on non-Christian religions (Nostra aetate), on religious liberty (Dignitatis humanae) and, together with the doctrinal commission, the dogmatic Constitution on Divine Revelation (Dei Verbum).

In 1963, the Holy Father specified that the Secretariat would be made up of two sections dealing respectively with the Orthodox Churches and ancient Oriental Churches on the one hand and with the Western Churches and Ecclesial Communities on the other.

In 1966, after the Council had ended, Pope Paul VI confirmed the Secretariat for Promoting Christian Unity as a permanent dicastery of the Holy See. Cardinal Bea continued in office as President until his death in 1968. In 1969, Cardinal Johannes Willebrands was named President to succeed him. Twenty years later, he retired and became President Emeritus. Cardinal Edward Idris Cassidy was then named President of this Pontifical Council.

In the Apostolic Constitution Pastor Bonus on 28 June 1988, Pope John Paul II changed the Secretariat for Promoting Christian Unity into the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity (PCPCU); this new designation took effect on 1 March 1989. The purpose of this Council is to promote dialogue within the Catholic Church and with other ecclesial communities. It cooperates with the World Council of Churches (WCC), whose headquarters are in Geneva. From 1968, twelve Catholic theologians have been members of the "Faith and Order" Commission, the theological department of the WCC. It also sends PCPCU observers at various ecumenical gatherings and in turn invites observers or "fraternal delegates" of other Churches or ecclesial Communities to major events of the Catholic Church. At present, the PCPCU is engaged in theological dialogue with the following Assyrian Churches:

The Chaldean Catholic Church
The Church of the East
The Malankara Churches
The Syrian Catholic Church

The Assyrian Churches deal with the "Eastern Section" of the Pontifical Council.The Pontifical Council is under the direction of the Cardinal President. He is assisted by a Secretary, a Joint Secretary and an Under-Secretary.

The Catholic Committee for Cultural Collaboration, founded in 1963, promotes, between the Catholic Church and these Assyrian Churches, exchanges of students, who wish to follow theological studies or other ecclesiastical disciplines at Catholic or Orthodox institutions. An international Committee for the awarding of scholarships, which depends on the Committee, meets every year in March. Presently Bishop Mar Bawai Soro of the Church of the East is completing his theological doctorate in Rome.

The following document outlined in July of last year is a guideline for the admission of the Eucharist between the two Assyrian churches, Church of the East and the Chaldean Catholic Church. The Eucharist or the Communion (Qorbana Qadisha) is a Christian sacrament in which consecrated bread and wine are consumed as memorials of Christ's death or as symbols for the realization of a spiritual union between Christ and the faithful or as the body and blood of Christ.

* * * * *

Given the great distress of many Chaldean and Assyrian faithful, in their motherland and in the diaspora, impeding for many of them a normal sacramental life according to their own tradition, and in the ecumenical context of the bilateral dialogue between the Catholic Church and the Assyrian Church of the East, the request has been made to provide for admission to the Eucharist between the Chaldean Church and the Assyrian Church of the East. This request has first been studied by the Joint Committee for Theological Dialogue between the Catholic Church and the Assyrian Church of the East. The present guidelines subsequently have been elaborated by the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity, in agreement with the Congregation for the Doctrine of Faith and the Congregation for the Oriental Churches.

1. Pastoral necessity

The request for admission to the Eucharist between the Chaldean Church and the Assyrian Church of the East is connected with the particular geographical and social situation in which their faithful are actually living. Due to various and sometimes dramatic circumstances, many Assyrian and Chaldean faithful left their motherlands and moved to the Middle East, Scandinavia, Western Europe, Australia and Northern America. As there cannot be a priest for every local community in such a widespread diaspora, numerous Chaldean and Assyrian faithful are confronted with a situation of pastoral necessity with regard to the administration of sacraments. Official documents of the Catholic Church provide special regulations for such situations, namely the Code of Canons of the Eastern Churches, can. 671, §2-§3 and the Directory for the Application of Principles and Norms of Ecumenism, n. 123.

2. Ecumenical rapprochement

The request is also connected with the ongoing process of ecumenical rapprochement between the Catholic Church and the Assyrian Church of the East. With the 'Common Christological Declaration', signed in 1994 by Pope John Paul II and Patriarch Mar Dinkha IV, the main dogmatic problem between the Catholic Church and the Assyrian Church has been resolved. As a consequence, the ecumenical rapprochement between the Chaldean Church and the Assyrian Church of the East also entered a further phase of development. On 29 November 1996 Patriarch Mar Raphaël Bidawid and Patriarch Mar Dinkha IV signed a list of common proposals with a view to the re-establishment of full ecclesial unity among both historical heirs of the ancient Church of the East. On 15 August 1997 this program was approved by their respective Synods and confirmed in a 'Joint Synodal Decree'. Supported by their respective Synods, both Patriarchs approved a further series of initiatives to foster the progressive restoration of their ecclesial unity. Both the Congregation for the Oriental Churches and the Pontifical Council for the Promotion of Christian Unity support this process.

3. The Anaphora of Addai and Mari

The principal issue for the Catholic Church in agreeing to this request, related to the question of the validity of the Eucharist celebrated with the Anaphora of Addai and Mari, one of the three Anaphoras traditionally used by the Assyrian Church of the East. The Anaphora of Addai and Mari is notable because, from time immemorial, it has been used without a recitation of the Institution Narrative. As the Catholic Church considers the words of the Eucharistic Institution a constitutive and therefore indispensable part of the Anaphora or Eucharistic Prayer, a long and careful study was undertaken of the Anaphora of Addai and Mari, from a historical, liturgical and theological perspective, at the end of which the Congregation for the Doctrine of Faith on January 17th, 2001 concluded that this Anaphora can be considered valid. H.H. Pope John Paul II has approved this decision. This conclusion rests on three major arguments.

In the first place, the Anaphora of Addai and Mari is one of the most ancient Anaphoras, dating back to the time of the very early Church; it was composed and used with the clear intention of celebrating the Eucharist in full continuity with the Last Supper and according to the intention of the Church; its validity was never officially contested, neither in the Christian East nor in the Christian West.

Secondly, the Catholic Church recognises the Assyrian Church of the East as a true particular Church, built upon orthodox faith and apostolic succession. The Assyrian Church of the East has also preserved full Eucharistic faith in the presence of our Lord under the species of bread and wine and in the sacrificial character of the Eucharist. In the Assyrian Church of the East, though not in full communion with the Catholic Church, are thus to be found "true sacraments, and above all, by apostolic succession, the priesthood and the Eucharist" (U.R., n. 15). Secondly, the Catholic Church recognises the Assyrian Church of the East as a true particular Church, built upon orthodox faith and apostolic succession. The Assyrian Church of the East has also preserved full Eucharistic faith in the presence of our Lord under the species of bread and wine and in the sacrificial character of the Eucharist. In the Assyrian Church of the East, though not in full communion with the Catholic Church, are thus to be found "true sacraments, and above all, by apostolic succession, the priesthood and the Eucharist" (U.R., n. 15).

Finally, the words of Eucharistic Institution are indeed present in the Anaphora of Addai and Mari, not in a coherent narrative way and ad litteram, but rather in a dispersed euchological way, that is, integrated in successive prayers of thanksgiving, praise and intercession.

4. Guidelines for admission to the Eucharist

Considering the liturgical tradition of the Assyrian Church of the East, the doctrinal clarification regarding the validity of the Anaphora of Addai and Mari, the contemporary context in which both Assyrian and Chaldean faithful are living, the appropriate regulations which are foreseen in official documents of the Catholic Church, and the process of rapprochement between the Chaldean Church and the Assyrian Church of the East, the following provision is made:

1. When necessity requires, Assyrian faithful are permitted to participate and to receive Holy Communion in a Chaldean celebration of the Holy Eucharist; in the same way, Chaldean faithful for whom it is physically or morally impossible to approach a Catholic minister, are permitted to participate and to receive Holy Communion in an Assyrian celebration of the Holy Eucharist.

2. In both cases, Assyrian and Chaldean ministers celebrate the Holy Eucharist according to the liturgical prescriptions and customs of their own tradition.

3. When Chaldean faithful are participating in an Assyrian celebration of the Holy Eucharist, the Assyrian minister is warmly invited to insert the words of the Institution in the Anaphora of Addai and Mari, as allowed by the Holy Synod of the Assyrian Church of the East.

4. The above considerations on the use of the Anaphora of Addai and Mari and the present guidelines for admission to the Eucharist, are intended exclusively in relation to the Eucharistic celebration and admission to the Eucharist of the faithful from the Chaldean Church and the Assyrian Church of the East, in view of the pastoral necessity and ecumenical context mentioned above.

Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity
20 July 2001


Assyrian Surfing Posts

This week Assyrians celebrate an important religious feast - the Rogation of the Ninevites (Ba-outa d'Ninevaye). For more information on the origins and the reasons for this important national celebration read the following articles from past issues in Zinda Magazine:

Rogation of the Ninevites

Ba 'utha of the Ninevites

The Reason For The Rogation Of The Ninevites

Pump Up the Volume

Universe TWEE / LA
Masculine Universal Love : Khooba Tweelaya
Earth AAR / AA Masculine Earthly Wisdom: Khakhimoota Aar-aa-neta



(ZNDA: Sydney) Assyrian twin sisters from Smithfield, Australia - Evon and Lena Younakhir (Benyamin) have achieved results of over 90 percent in their Higher School Certificate (HSC) exams.

Their achievements is all the more remarkable because the sisters arrived in Australia from Iraq just under three years ago.

The twins, 21, had been taught some English by their father, Yousif, an English teacher in Iraq. After the initial culture shock, Evon and Lena adapted well to school life at Fairfield High School.

At the beginning they had difficulty adapting but they are very serious with their life and are studying all the time," proud father Yousif said.

The results paid off, with Evon scoring 99.45 and Lena 92.65 in the HSC.

No one was more surprised at her high result than Evon.

"I didn't expect to get a result as high as I did," she said. Considering that I only arrived in Australia two years and 10 months ago. I thought it would be excellent to get a result in the 90's, but I never imagined I would get 99.45."

Evon added that she enjoyed study, particularly science and mathematics.

Evon and Lena who are spending the summer working as process workers, are applying to Sydney University to be pharmacists.

"I taught my children when they were young that they should always go forward and study," Yousif said.

In fact, study runs in the family. The girls' mother, Juliet, has a Bachelor in Statistics and worked as a primary school teacher in Iraq. Son Michael, 22, is studying accountancy at Wetherill Park TAP and another son, Benyamin, 16, is at Fairfield High.

Yousif has a Bachelor in English and taught in Iraq and has taught English for 20 years. He now works as a security guard. "When I arrived here the most difficult thing to understand was the Australian accent," he said. "It was a culture shock. The girls found this too, but they soon adapted very well."

The following are two exclusive essays written by Evon and Lena for the readers of Zinda Magazine:



I am Evon Binyamin. I recently completed the Higher School Certificate at Fairfield High School. The subjects that I studied in year 12 are English as a Second Language, physics, chemistry, mathematics extension I, mathematics extension II, Arabic continuers and Arabic extension. I have achieved a very high and unexpected result considering that I have been in Australia for just two years and eleven months. I received a mark of over 90 in five of my subjects and I was the first in NSW in both Arabic continuers, having 97%; and Arabic extension, having 48 out of 50. These results allowed me to get a UAI (University Admission Index) of 99.45. My future plans are to start my tertiary education and study Pharmacy at the University of Sydney.

Before coming to Australia, my family and I lived in the city of Duhok (Nohadra) in the north of Iraq. I completed my primary and intermediate education there. Then I enrolled in Meedia Girls High School in Duhok to complete my high school education. However, when I was in year 11, my family decided to travel to Turkey. Therefore, I could not complete my high school certificate.

My family and I spent two years in Turkey where I had to work to help to provide a living for my family. Then in 1999 we were granted the visa to travel to Australia and we arrived in Sydney in February of the same year.

Having the dream of completing my high school education, I enrolled in the Fairfield High School Intensive English Centre (IEC) on 8 February 1999. I studied in the IEC for one term, then I joined a bridging class (Equity program) designed by the school to assist students of non- English- speaking backgrounds in their future education. The focus of the course was English language. At the end of this course I received certificate III in spoken and written English; and I was ready to commence my senior studies (year 11) in 2000 when the new HSC was introduced.

Finally, I would like to add that I was amazed by the results I got. I always wanted to get satisfactory results but I never expected these. It was challenging to accustom to the new life and the system of teaching upon arrival to Australia but I worked hard to do my best and it has been rewarding. Of course, I would not have achieved anything if it weren't for the support of all my family members who always stood by my side and provided me with a suitable environment to study. I am also grateful to all my teachers at Fairfield High School for their efforts and commitment to provide students with the best education. I would also like to thank all relatives and friends who were willing to give me advice whenever I asked for. I believe that motivation and hard working in any field are the key to success. I also wish the Assyrian community a bright future and all the best in their lives.



My name is Lena Binyamin. I was born in Baghdad, Iraq. I lived in the north of Iraq in the city of Duhuk with my family. I finished primary and three years of secondary school in the same city. In 1995 I enrolled in Media Girls High School. I didn't complete year 11 there because my family and I traveled to Turkey in 1997. We spend two years in Turkey, during these years I had not undertaken any kind of learning, instead I worked to support my family.

In the 2nd of February 1999, I arrived in Australia, and within a week I enrolled in Fairfield High School IEC (Intensive English Centre), for two terms in which I was taught basic English then I studied a bridging course designed to prepare new comers for HSC (Higher School Certificate) years.

In 2000 I started year 11 in the same school and in 2001 I studied year 12. The subjects that I studied in year 12 were: 2 units of English as a Second Language, 2U Chemistry, 2U Physics, 2U Mathematics Standard and 2 Units of Information Processes and Technology.

In addition to that, I studied 3 units of Arabic Language in Saturday School of Community Languages in Liverpool.

When I did my exams I thought the Highest UAI (University Admission Index) that I could get would be in the 80s, but I was amazed when I saw my UAI which was (92.65). It was the greatest news for my family and me as well.

My plan for future is to study at the University of Sydney. My first choice is Pharmacy and the second choice is Bachelor of Medical Science.

Finally, I would like to thank my parents and my brothers and sister for their non-stopping support. I also would like to thank all my teachers and I wish the very best of luck for every student in their exams.

Back to the Future

(660 B.C.)

King Ashurbanipal begins collection of Sumerian and Akkadian texts for his magnificent library in Nineveh and orders the production of several dictionaries corresponding to the languages spoken in Bet-Nahrain. In 1976 the University of Pennsylvania began the "Sumerian Dictionary" which is still not finished. Slow is of course normal in the dictionary business. The Oxford English Dictionary took 44 years. After 31 years, the University of Toronto's Dictionary of Old English -- the pre-Norman vocabulary -- is still only a third done and won't be completed until 2019. Short of money, the Dictionary of American Regional English and the Dictionary of American Slang are both stalled at the letter O.

(A.D. 1991)

Approaching China across the Eurasian land mass, after the Tianshan mountains, one is confronted by the mighty Taklamakan Desert, with its sinister epigraph: If you go in, you won't come out.

At Kashgar (Kashi to the Chinese), the Silk Road divides into two branches, skirting the northern and southern hem of the desert. For those who survived the trip, the oasis of Dunhuang, east of the desert, must have been an fine sight indeed. Marco Polo, having journeyed 30 days through the Taklamakan, was one of them. "The people are for the most part idolaters, but there are also some Nestorian Christians and Saracens," he wrote of the place in his Travels.

Eleven years ago, excavating a meditation cave in the northern part of Dunhuang's Mogao grotto complex, archaeologist Peng Jinzhang made an exhilarating discovery: four beautifully preserved pages of white-linen paper filled with a script that he could not identify. Scholars at Beijing University helped him solve the mystery. The language was Syriac, and the pages from the Psalms in the Old Testament.

Peng's find confirms Polo's observation that Christians did indeed live, pray and die in Dunhuang's Mogao grottoes - one of Buddhism's most hallowed sanctuaries and an unparalleled repository for the cultures and creeds that funneled into the Silk Road here on China's doorstep eight centuries ago.

The Syriac Bible find, announced recently, is only one of several illuminating discoveries made by Peng and his team during their six-year excavation of the northern part of the Mogao grottos - a complex of about 750 caves carved out of the sandstone cliffside along the Daquan River 25 kilometers south-east of Dunhuang, in China's Gansu Province. Among the 243 excavated caves - the monks' living quarters, meditation and burial chambers - the team found moveable wooden types for the Uyghur language, unique documents written in the obscure, defunct Phags pa and Xixia languages, Persian silver coins, and countless other artifacts. "Our work confirms that the Mogao grottoes were an integrated complex, where monks lived as well as prayed and studied," says Wang Jianjun, a member of Peng's team.

Threads Of Silk Road, Erling Hoh



Calendar of Events


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


Dance Party




 March 6
La Societe Canadienne des Etudes Syriaques

"Resafa-Sergiupolis:  From A Roman Desert Castle to A Christian Metropolis"
Lecturer:  Dr. Stephen Westphalen, Univeristy of Gottingen

University of Toronto
St. George Campus
8:00 PM

[Zinda Magazine is a proud Corporate Sponsor of CSSS.]

March 11-13

Clore Education Centre, British Museum. 
Ticketed event. 
Contact Department of the Ancient Near East,  British Museum
London WC1B 3DG
email: ancientneareast@thebritishmuseum.ac.uk
Fax: 020 7323 8489

March 17

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

March 24

212th American Oriental Society Annual Meeting
"Religion and Historical Record: the Process of Forgetting Assyrian History"               
by Dr. Eden  Naby

The J. W. Marriott
5150 Westheimer Road

Visit the following website for further topics in ancient Assyrian & Near Eastern studies:  http://www.umich.edu/%7Eaos/2002/program2002.html

April 15-19
Third International Congress on the Archaeology of the Ancient Near East

Sponsored by Université de Paris 1
Panthon Sorbonne
Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique (UMR 7041) and 
the Ecole Pratique des Hautes Études (IVe section).

Purpose: To promote cooperation and information exchange between archaeologists working in the ancient Near East, from the eastern Medi-terranean to Iran and from Anatolia to Arabia, and from prehistoric times to Alexander the Great. 

Contact: Victoria de Caste, Secretariat,
email: 3icaane@mae.u-paris10.fr

May 1
La Societe Canadienne des Etudes Syriaques

"Bar-Hebraeus & His Time:  The Syriac Renaissance & the Challenge of a New Reality"
Lecturer:  Prof. Herman G.B. Teule, University of Nijmegen

University of Toronto
St. George Campus
8:00 PM

[Zinda Magazine is a proud Corporate Sponsor of CSSS.]

May 10-11

The Editorial Board of "Melta" Bulletin and a stirring group of the Assyrians of Russia decided to hold an International Scientific Conference "The Assyrians Today: Issues and Perspectives". The Conference will take place in Moscow on May 10 - 11, 2002.
The Conference program will highlight the following aspects:

- The issues of the Assyrians in the Middle East.
- Assyrian Communities in Diaspora.
- Perspectives of development.
- The way to the rapprochement of the different tribal and confessional groups.

[see Zinda Magazine's 14 January 2002 issue]

February 28, 2002 - deadline for submission of Abstracts and Registration Forms.

Address:        P.O. Box 18, Moscow, 129642, Russia
Telephone:    (7-095)-935-0155, -233-5387 (S.Osipov);  (7-095)-131-2575 (R.Bidjamov);  (7-095)-163-9418 (E.Badalov).

Telefax:         (7-095)-935-0155.
E-mail:          melta@aport2000.ru

July 1-4, 2002

"Ethnicity in Ancient Mesopotamia"
Leiden University
Dept of Assyriology & Nederlands Instituut voor het Nabije Oosten

Registration Form:  http://www.let.leidenuniv.nl/rencontre/mailform.html 
Registration Fee:  Euro 70 by April 1, 2002

Thank You!

Zindamagazine would like to thank:

Nicholas Al-Jeloo

Michael Binyamin

Bernadette Miraziz


Stavros Stavridis


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