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Volume VII
Issue 43
January 28, 2002
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This Week In Zinda

cover photo
cover photo

  Exploiting the Assyrian Presence in Iraq
  Zowaa Officials Meet with Kurdish Groups in Damascus
Former Lebanese Minister Killed Near Assyrian Church

Microtel Appoints Zaya Younan as President of CXR Telecom
General Election Results in Southern California
Syriac Orthodox Church Suspends Malankara Prelate
Singer Linda George: "Karl Suleman Destroyed My Career"
Flowcom Snaps Up Froggy ISP
Obituary: Alyce Simonian;

  Denied in The Homeland But Accepted in England

Advertize with Zinda Magazine

  Mihayel Cudi - A Biography
  Valentine Aivazov

Bet-Nahrain Global Satellite Television
The Eastern Christian Churches

  Country & Government
  Flax & the Wine Bottles Fit For Assyrian Kings
  Ogin Party in Arizona




The Lighthouse

A Commentary by John Joseph
Frederick MWehrey's

The Assyrian refugee problem in Iraq seemed to be resolving itself through repatriation more or less satisfactorily in 1921. Unfortunately for the Assyrians, 1921 was also the year when Turkish nationalists at Ankara started to defy their own Sultan and his government at Istanbul, repudiating the humiliating Treaty of Sèvres that they had signed with the Allies. Under the leadership of Mustafa Kemal, the Turkish nationalists were determined to save Turkey from dismemberment. Early in 1921 they adopted their National Pact for whose terms they continued to fight. Luckily for the Turks, their nationalist movement had coincided with the breakup of Tsarist Russia, and the war-weary public in Britiain and France was not in any mood to resume World War I with the Turks.

The first article of the National Pact declared that all Ottoman territories, whether within or outside the Armistice line, which were inhabited by a [non-Arab] Ottoman Moslem majority form a whole which does not admit of division for any reason in truth or in ordinance. This formula implied a claim to retain under Turkish sovereignty territories predominantly inhabited not only by Turks but also by Kurds; it laid claim over at least the greater part of the predominantly Kurdish province (vilayet) of Mosul. In 1921, the government of the Grand National Assembly at Ankara was already strong enough to begin to assert its authority over the Kurdish tribes immediately beyond the boundary of the Anglo-Iraqi administration. A new peace treaty was negotiated with Turkey at Lausanne, Switzerland. On November 20, 1922 the Lausanne Conference opened with the determination of the frontier between Turkey and Iraq on its agenda. Britain decided to involve the Assyrian refugees in Iraq in these deliberations.


At Lausanne the British made their last effort on behalf of the Assyrians with a view to settling them in their original homegrounds in Turkish Hakkari. At the meetings of the First Commission held on January 9, 1923, Lord Curzon, Britain's Minister of Foreign Affairs, spoke of the "Assyro-Chaldeans," stating that they were either "in Turkish territory or want to go back to the place in Turkish territory near Julamerk where they originally were." He hoped that the Turkish government would give full guarantees for their language, schools, customs, and religion. A British proposal called for the preservation of the Christian community's customs and traditions "under the authority of Turkey." The Turkish delegate met the British suggestion "with an absolute and clear refusal." Lord Curzon eventually had to concede that on certain aspects of the question of the minorities, the Powers gave way to the Turkish claims in their desire to secure a peace agreement. It was decided to conclude the peace between Turkey and the Allies by excluding the Mosul question from the agenda of the Conference and settle it by common agreement between Great Britain and Turkey. If not settled, the dispute would then be referred to the Council of the League of Nations for arbitration. Pending a decision to be reached, it was agreed to observe the status quo in the disputed territory of the vilayet of Mosul. [See map in THE MODERN ASSYRIANS OF THE MIDDLE EAST: p.170, or THE NESTORIANS AND THEIR MUSLIM NEIGHBORS, p.22.]

The contemplated negotiations between Great Britain and Turkey were continued at Istanbul on May 19, 1924; the 'Constantinople Conference' almost immediately arrived at an impasse. The Turkish delegate, Fethi Bey--then President of the Grand National Assembly--renewed his country's demand for the restoration to Turkey of the entire province of Mosul, almost the northern third of present-day Iraq. Sir Percy Cox, the former High Commissioner of Iraq, declined to discuss the Turkish demand and asked for a frontier that ran considerably to the north of the boundary of Mosul vilayet to include part of the prewar districts of the Assyrians. Sir Percy explained that the frontier of the new British proposal would admit the establishment of the Assyrians in a compact community within the limits of the territory mandated to Great Britain by the League of Nations. He 'thought' that the Turkish government would be prepared to meet the wishes of the British government to annex "suitable adjacent districts" in Turkey which were formerly ancestral habitations of the Assyrians, because the region was inhospitable and its administration and control had in the past been a constant embarrassment to the Turkish government. A bewildered Fethi Bey reminded Cox that instead of resuming the negotiations at the point at which Lord Curzon left them at Lausanne, he [Cox] was raising a new question--that of the future of the Assyrians. To secure the Assyrians' future, said Fethi Bey, "you ask for the annexation...of certain territories which are now under the flag of the Turkish Republic. To say that this demand does not astonish me would be a perversion of the truth." Faced with the serious claim of Turkey to regain the province of Mosul, the dispute was then placed by the British government on the agenda of the thirtieth session of the Council of the League of Nations.

After hearing the representatives of the two countries, the League of Nations Council decided to set up a Special Commission of Inquiry of three members to investigate the facts of the disputed area on the spot in order to assist the Council in reaching a decision. In the meantime the Turkish government attempted to extend its administration into the Hakkari district claimed by Great Britain. A Turkish force was sent there a few weeks before the arrival of the League of Nations Special Commission; it burned and plundered the reconstructed Christian villages, driving about eight thousand of the repatriated inhabitants southward into the Anglo-Iraqi territory, where most of their able-bodied men were serving as British mercenaries, better known as Levies.


After hearing both parties to the dispute and after much detailed investigation on the spot, the Mosul Commission pointed out that "The Assyrian question was the principal argument advanced by the British Government" in defense of the frontier that Britain advocated.. The Commission concluded that the British government's claim to a frontier beyond the Mosul vilayet was "not justified"; it decided not to take into account in its conclusions this principal British claim . To the Commission, the problem to be solved was not the future security of the Assyrians but the future status of the entire vilayet of Mosul. In its report to the Council of the League of Nations, the Commission pointed out its disagreement with the British view-- "so often put forward in British documents and speeches"--that the question at issue was the mere tracing of a frontier to the north of the vilayet of Mosul and not the fate of that entire province. The problem to be solved was not merely that of fixing a frontier line "as the British Government argues," but that of determining the fate of a large territory and a considerable population. It was true enough that the dispute related ultimately to a frontier question, but it was clear that the territory between the lines proposed by the British and Turkish governments respectively "is too large for it to be said that the question is merely one of delimitation." The entire vilayet could, under certain conditions, be returned to Turkey whose legal territory the province of Mosul still was "until that Power renounces her rights."

As for the Assyrian Hakkari districts to the north of the vilayet of Mosul, the Commission of Inquiry felt that these formed "a territory which indisputably belongs to [Turkey]," emphasizing that the British solution was not "consonant with the principles of equity which should govern the desired settlement." In the commissioners' opinion, the most satisfactory solution would be for the Assyrians to accept the offer made by the Turkish delegate at the Constantinople Conference: "that they should be allowed to return to their former home"; in that case, added the Commissars, they "must continue to enjoy the same local autonomy as formerly." According to them, the Assyrians formerly enjoyed a considerable degree of autonomy under the government of their patriarch. They disregarded the Turkish position made at the Lausanne Conference where the question of autonomy for the "Assyro-Chaldeans" had met with an absolute and clear refusal by the Turkish delegation.


The commissioners realized that the Assyrians, like most of the other Christian and non-Arab Muslim minority groups of the disputed province, preferred to stay in British-mandated Iraq rather than in Turkey. Taking the much publicized case of the Assyrians into consideration, the commissioners made certain recommendations in their behalf which, besides those that they had in favor of the Kurds, were exceptional. In the last chapter of its report, the Commission made its "General Conclusions"; under a section entitled "Special Recommendations," which were "of vital importance for the pacification of the country and the welfare of its people," it wrote the following:

"Since the disputed territory will in any case be under the sovereignty of a Moslem State, it is essential in order to satisfy the aspirations of the minorities--notably the Christians, but also the Jews and Yezidi--that measures should be taken for their protection.

It is not within our competence to enumerate all the conditions which would have to be imposed on the sovereign State for the protection of these minorities. We feel it our duty, however, to point out that the Assyrians should be guaranteed the re-establishment of the ancient privileges which they possessed in practice, if not officially, before the war. Whichever may be the sovereign State [over the vilayet of Mosul], it ought to grant these Assyrians a certain local autonomy, recognizing their right to appoint their own officials and contenting itself with a tribute from them, paid through the agency of their Patriarch...."

Without the effective guidance of the mandatory power, the Commission recommended that it would be more advantageous for the province of Mosul to remain under the sovereignty of Turkey whose internal conditions and external political situation were incomparably more stable than those of Iraq. Should the province be awarded to Iraq, the Commission recommended that the mandatory regime continue for twenty-five years, unless Iraq were admitted as a member of the League of Nations before the expiration of that period.

When the League of Nations Council awarded the vilayet of Mosul to Iraq in its resolution of December 16, 1925, it defined the territory very strictly and in accordance with the recommendations of its Commission. It cannot be
overemphasized that when speaking of "the disputed territory" in its concluding chapter, the Commission meant the province of Mosul; this area certainly did not include the Assyrian district in Hakkari because the Commission had already established that that territory was "indisputably" Turkish. We shall soon see how official British documents continued to interpret the term "disputed territory," as it appeared in the above recommendations in behalf of the Assyrians, to mean the Assyrian homegrounds in Hakkari, claimed by Great Britain at the Lausanne and Constantinople Conferences and, therefore, the Special Recommendations concerning the Assyrians, applied to Turkey and not Iraq!


When the Permanent Mandates Commission examined the mandatory government's reports on Iraq, it put special emphasis on paragraph 4 of the Council resolution of December 15, 1925, the paragraph that noted the Special Recommendations. The paragraph was communicated to the Permanent Mandates Commission by the Council requesting that it be taken into consideration when annual reports on Iraq by Britain were examined. During its first
session on Iraq, the Permanent Mandates Commission took cognizance of the "somewhat uncertain" position of the Assyrians and invited the mandatory to furnish additional information regarding them on the points included in the special recommendations of the Mosul Commission. A year later, at its twelfth session (October 24-November 11, 1927), the Permanent Mandates Commission again recalled the recommendations and wanted to know what was
being done to implement them.

The British mandatory representative explained that in view of the final location of the Turko-Iraqi frontier, it was virtually impossible for Iraq to carry out the above recommendations. M. d'Andrade, the Portuguese member of the Mandates Commission, reminded his colleagues and the British representative that the recommendations of the Mosul Commission were made at a time when it must presumably have realized that "the frontier would not be fixed any further to the north than was eventually the case." The British representative conceded that fact but, he explained, the Mosul Commission perhaps did not fully realize the number of people who would be deprived of their ancestral homes, for whom the Iraq government would have to find homes. M. d'Andrade then wanted to know to what extent the specific recommendations of the Mosul Commission regarding the Assyrians had been or would be given effect to in view of the fact that communities of some size, entirely Assyrian in character, had been and would be formed.


Faced with this insistence by the Permanent Mandates Commission, the mandatory power seems to have tried to do away with the entire question of the special treatment of the Assyrians as recommended by the Mosul Commission; it tried to invalidate those recommendations and almost succeeded. In its report to the fourteenth session (October 26-November 13, 1928) of the Permanent Mandates Commission the mandatory power explained that the Mosul Commission's recommendations with regard to the Assyrians were "applicable to the Turkish Government," and had nothing to do with Iraq since the "disputed territory" had been "allotted to Turkey."

This British argument is presented as follows in the Special Report...on the Progress of Iraq...1920-1931 (Colonial, no. 58), an official report that has, unfortunately, served as a 'primary.' though misleading, source material for the scholar, including Frederic M.Wehrey now. "When the recommendations of the Commission of Inquiry in regard to the Assyrians were examined," said the British 'Special Report,' "one difficulty at once became apparent. The recommendations appeared to be based on the assumption that the Assyrians would return to their former homes north of the frontier, as is implied by the opening phrase 'Since the disputed territory will in any case be under the sovereignty of a Moslem State...' the Commission did not contemplate that, whereas the disputed territory would be under the sovereignty of Turkey, the Assyrians would remain under the sovereignty of Iraq."

In further support of their above misinterpretation, the British authorities restated the arguments they presented to the commissioners when the latter first arrived in Baghdad; arguments which, as we have seen, the commissioners found "unfair and not justified." Furthermore, British authorities had not only misquoted the Commissioners' report, they even took the position that the Commissioners had completely accepted the British arguments instead of rejecting them!


Very strangely, the Permanent Mandates Commission, during its fourteenth session, without even discussing the interpretation--rather, misinterpretation--of the mandatory power, "recognized" that the recommendations made in 1925 by the Mosul Commission in favor of the Assyrian community had "become inoperative so far as Iraq was concerned." It will be remembered that during its twelfth session a year earlier, the Permanent Mandates Commission had stressed the fact, accepted by the British accredited representative present, that the Mosul Commission had made its recommendations in regard to the Assyrians "at a time when it must presumably have realized that the frontier would not be fixed any further north than was eventually the case." It is interesting to notice that the commissioner who had made this point clear, M. d'Andrade of Portugal, was not present at the fourteenth session when the Commission recommendations were distorted. In its final report on this session the Permanent Mandates Commission wrote the following curious conclusion on the Assyrian problem:

"Indeed the information contained in the annual report and the statement made by the Accredited Representative [of Britain] show that the district in which the homelands of the Assyrian were situated was allotted to Turkey by the Council resolution of December 16th, 1925, and that the Assyrians who have taken refuge in Iraq are not prepared to return to Turkey. It is noted with interest [that measures are] taken with a view to the final settlement of these refugees on lands which the Government of Iraq will put at their disposal."

Having thus silenced the members of the Permanent Mandates Commission by convincing them that the recommendations of the Mosul Commission were "inoperative so far as Iraq was concerned," the Commission took no steps to dispel the false hopes of the Assyrians based on the recommendations in their behalf, now declared void. The decision of the League of Nations was not communicated to the Assyrians, most probably having been suppressed by the mandatory government lest the feelings of the minority be aroused at the obvious misinterpretation of the recommendations. Not aware that their settlement claims had been forfeited, the Assyrians looked naively forward
to the day when their wrongs would be righted by the British mandatory power whose interests they actively served and whose regime they believed would continue for about twenty-five years.

When it finally dawned on the Assyrian leaders in 1930 that the mandatory regime was definitely due to terminate, they made representations and petitions to the British authorities and the League of Nations with a view to fulfilling and safeguarding their rights in Iraq where they had been made protégés of the hated mandatory. Petitions in behalf of the Assyrians brought the Special Recommendations of the Mosul Commission before the attention of the Permanent Mandates Commission and requested that the Council of the League be advised "to set up a special commission of inquiry to determine to what extent the recommendations of the Mosul Commission have been carried out." [The Kurdish nationalists sent the League of Nations and the mandatory government their own protests against the absence in the 1930 Anglo-Iraqi treaty of all reference to the maintenance of Kurdish privileges as recommended by the Mosul Commission and the various League of Nations resolutions.] In a petition that he sent to the Permanent Mandates Commission, the Assyrian Patriarch stated that it was the Commission of Inquiry's recommendations that had led the Assyrians to vote for Iraq when the plebiscite for the vilayet of Mosul was taken. "The Commission's recommendations, however, were not followed, and the mandatory Power had revealed its intention of leaving the Assyrians of Iraq in their present state of insecurity."

The Permanent Mandates Commission did another strange thing at this juncture. It did not remind the Assyrians of its decision that the Mosul Commission's special recommendations had been declared "inoperative"; instead, the Commission itself revived the question of those recommendations! Even before it was bombarded with petitions, the Commission at its nineteenth session drew the attention of the mandatory government to the recommendations of the Council, singling out the provision that the Assyrians "should be guaranteed the re-establishment of the ancient privileges which they possessed under the Turkish regime before the war." In the light of such encouragement and utterances-and confusion--the petitions of the Assyrians to the League of Nations do not seem to be far-reaching or unreasonable, as admitted by the high commissioner in a letter to the patriarch.

The patriarch was at Geneva in 1932, trying to bring to the attention of the Permanent Mandates Commission the crucial difference between the various formulae of the League of Nations in behalf of his people but it was too late now. Also in 1932 Iraq was admitted as a member of the League of Nations, the first of the 'Mandates' of the League of Nations to emerge independent. Just before his departure from Geneva, Mar Shamun received a letter from Nuri al-Sa`id, the Prime Minister of Iraq, who was also there, informing the prelate that upon his return to Baghdad he should go and see the Acting Prime Minister. For the first time since they were settled in Iraq, the Assyrians were to face the realities of the situation; for the first time they would be dealing with an independent Iraqi government and not through the British High Commissioners.

The patriarch was asked now to stop participating in his people's political affairs. The Iraq government backed those religious and tribal leaders who were opposed to Mar Shamun. Bickering among the Assyrians often became sharp between those loyal to the patriarch and those who wanted to accept matters as they stood, feeling that their best interests lay in adjusting themselves as far as possible to life in Iraq. The patriarch withheld his cooperation in the settlement effort, complaining that he was being "forced to submit to [a] policy which ignored the sacred minority guarantees given to the League of Nations" and that the treatment he and his supporters were receiving was "a real foretaste of the type of rule we had expected."

The government responded by summoning the 23-years-old prelate--who had spent the tumultuous years 1924-1928 studying in England--to Baghdad for "consultation." He was informed by letter by the Minister of the Interior Hikmat Sulayman (brother of a former vizier of the Ottoman Empire), that while the Iraqi government "desires to recognize your Spiritual See...over the Assyrian people...[it] cannot agree to transfer to you the temporal power and your position will be same as that of other spiritual heads of other people of Iraq." The Minister assured Mar Shamun of the government's "sincere desire to fulfill whatever is possible to see the Assyrian people satisfied and happy," and that "the Government by its declaration before the League of Nations has fully declared itself to this effect..."

Accompanying Hikmat Sulayman's letter was the text of a written guarantee that asked the patriarch to sign, promising that he would do nothing to make the government settlement scheme difficult and that he would "in all ways and at all times act as a loyal subject of the King."

The patriarch answered that his "dominant desire" was to see his people happily settled as loyal Iraqi citizens but refused to sign the written promise "since such an action would only mean that I am willingly withdrawing myself from the duty to my people." Emboldened by the League of Nations Special Recommendations that the Permanent Mandates Commission was still discussing in early1932, Mar Shamum overstated his patriarchal authority, defining it as a "a great historical and traditional usage" descended "to me from centuries past as a legalized delegation of the people...and it is only to them to take it away." He protested that he was "quite prepared to suffer any further injustice that the Government may put on me," but he would in no way "submit to the methods which have been used to make me sign documents which betray my people into accepting an unreal fulfillment of the promises and recommendations of the League of Nations."

Writing of the Patriarch's articulate English and British education, J.F. Coackley notes that "he was equal to appearing on the world's stage and pleading the cause of his people as one can hardly imagine any of his modern predecessors doing." Alas, his words fell on deaf ears on the world's stage; one wishes he were more articulate in Arabic, and a little less unbeding, in the Baghdad of seventy years ago.

[The above is an adaptation from the following three of my publications, which have extensive and detailed ocumentation, omitted here to save space: "The Turko-Iraqi Frontier and the Assyrians," in James Kritzeck and R. Bayly Winder, eds. The World of Islam: Studies in Honor of Phillip K. Hitti (3rd edition, London, the MacMillan Company, 1960), pp. 255-270; THE NESTORIANS AND THEIR MUSLIM NEIGHBORS: A Study of Western Influence on Their Relations (Princeton University Press, 1961; THE MODERN ASSYRIANS OF THE MIDDLE EAST: Encounters with Western Christian Missions, Archaeologists, and Colonial Powers (Brill Academic Publishers, 2000.)]

Without the historical background and perspective detailed above, Mr. Wehrey's account, unfortunately, perpetuates many of this complex history's half truths. He apparently has read The Nestorians and Their Muslim Neighbors but seems to have overlooked all of the above. Let us look at some of his statements and conclusions, quoted below, followed by my note:

· "By serving as a buffer, the Assyrians enabled Britain to preserve its interests in the Mosul province during frontier negotiations with Turkey and the League of Nations."

NOTE: Britain, as the mandatory power, did not have "frontier negotiations" with the League of Nations; it submitted its case, as Turkey did, to the League of Nation. As pointed out above, when Turkey and Britain failed in their "frontier" negotiations at the Lausanne and Constantinope conferences, they agreed to submit the Mosul vilayet problem to the League of Nations for arbitration. From the viewpoint of both Turkey and the League of Nations, this issue had nothing to do with the Assyrians, as clearly shown above. In its report, the Mosul Commission pointed out its disagreement with the British view, "so often put forward in British documents and speeches," that the problem to be solved was merely that of fixing a frontier line. The Commission stressed that its task was to determine the fate of a large territory and a considerable population. (See my critique of Professor Khaldun S.Husri's article, 'The Assyrian Affair of 1933' in International Journal of Middle East Studies, 6(1975) 115-117, titled 'The Assyrian Affair: a Historical Perspective.")

· "A League of Nations Commission, convinced that the majority of the inhabitants of the Mosul region preferred British over Turkish rule, awarded the Mosul vilayet to Iraq. Yet the bulk of the territory formerly inhabited by the Assyrians was allotted to Turkey. This decision created a new political context for Assyrian ambitions by officially precluding the return of the community to their former homes in Hakkari."

NOTE: 1. This is the most that Mr. Wehrey says about the Mosul Commission; there is not a word in this paper on how or why or on what bases the League of Nation became involved in this issue. 2. The choice was not "British over Turkish rule," but Arab over Turkish rule. The Mosul Commission found that the majority would opt for Turkish over Arab rule if the British presence as the mandatory power in Iraq did not continue for an extended period of time, hence the Mosul Commission's conditions attached to the Iraq award. 3. Prewar Assyrian homegrounds were part of Turkey proper; they were not, as Wehrey tells us, "allotted to Turkey." The Mosul Commission, never consider Hakkari as 'disputed territory,' as the British documents hold.

· "The permanent settlement of the refugee Assyrian community and its political rights under the government of Iraq became a major concern to the League of Nations. Increased attention by the League emboldened the Assyrian patriarch to redefine Assyrian identity in more autonomous political and territorial terms-a transformation that was calculated to preserve the traditional power of the patriarchy."

NOTE: Not a single word is said in the Wehrey paper about the Special Recommendations made by the Mosul Commission in behalf of the Assyrians in the vilayet of Mosul.

· "Perhaps unknowingly, the League had adopted a narrative that did not necessarily correspond to the realities of Assyrian life and did not reflect the self-definition of most Assyrians, but rather one that specifically served the interests of the patriarch.......Efforts by the Mar Shimun to emphasize the homogeneity and autonomy of the Assyrian community culminated in the submission of the Assyrian National Petition to the League of Nations on June 18, 1932...the National Petition was the product of elite self-interest and a rising trend of factionalism."

NOTE: 1. What the League of Nations representatives saw in northern Iraq was a people traumatized by the events of World War I, far removed from their ancestral homes. Their demands were basically, according to the League, due to a "profound uneasiness" about their future. 2. On September 22, 1932, the Nestorian patriarch sent to the Permanent Mandates Commission a petition in which he reminded it that its recommendations were not followed, and the mandatory power had revealed its intention of leaving the Assyrians of Iraq in their present state of insecurity. To
attribute this "profound uneasiness" as Wehrey does, to elite self-interest, and as serving the interests of the patriarch, does not lead to any understanding of this complex history.


Having said all this, it has to be pointed out that Assyrian claims-though based on one of the League's conditions of the Mosul award to Iraq-were such that they would not be granted to a minority by even a sovereign state, let alone by a nascent nation-state like Iraq, struggling for independence and for its very existence.

The accredited representatives of Great Britain who appeared before the Permanent Mandates Commission after 1930, rightly pointed out that the only solution for the Assyrians and the Kurds lay in their regarding themselves as Iraqis and being regarded as such by the Iraqi government; these representatives wisely discouraged the Commission from taking any unfortunate steps that might have a tendency to prevent the minorities concerned from regarding themselves as true citizens of the Iraqi state. But the tragedy of the Assyrian case was that until the end of 1930 the British government did not advise the League in the manner above. Until then the mandatory government had emphasized her position as mandatory power when her representative appeared before the Permanent Mandates Commission, while ignoring that position in her dealings with Iraq. This uncertain position of Great Britain was doubly tragic insofar as the Assyrians were concerned. Not only were they considered as a privileged minority by the League of Nations--owing to excessive British demands in their behalf after 1924--but also they were singled out by the mandatory power who permitted among them the growth of a loyalty exclusively directed toward Great Britain and a corresponding antipathy toward the Arab government that was even then theoretically, and was soon to become actually, their own. Thus the Assyrians--like the Armenians in Syria, where they were enlisted by the French mandatory government-- were put in an especially difficult position; they dared not to offend the mandatory power on whose good will their maintenance largely depended; on the other hand, they did not want to antagonize the neighboring population. The British commanders of the Assyrian Levies have reported that "the greatest persuasion" had to be used to have the Assyrians enlist. They "saw that by joining the levy force it would make it impossible for them to live side by side with Kurds afterwards, and they did not want to join for that reason."

As for the Iraqi nationalists, who were faced with a host of challenges, including rebellious Shi'te Arab tribes of the south, the Assyrians were nothing but refugees in their country, who owed Iraq immense gratitude with no special rights to claim. The country certainly did not owe them any special rights that other minorities of the land did not have. The Iraqi attitude toward the minority is best illustrated by Nuri al-Sa`id's observations on the Assyrian petition of July 17, 1932. He regretted that the "sympathy" which Iraq had shown the Assyrian refugees had "become a reason for encouraging them to put forward demands most of which are unreasonable..." Nuri al-Sa'id suggested that the Assyrians "should avoid anything likely to embarrass the Iraqi Government or arouse the jealousy of other elements of the Iraqi nation."

One wonders if Nuri al-Sa'id and the founding fathers of modern Iraq of the 1920s ever pondered this question in 1924: "Suppose the Mosul Commission of Inquiry recommmends to award the vilayet of Mosul to the Republic of Turkey instead of to Iraq?" As noted above, one of the recommended alternatives that the Council of League of Nations received from its Mosul Commission of Inquiry was that the entire vilayet could, under certain conditions, be returned to Turkey whose legal territory the province of Mosul still was "until that Power renounces her rights."

Interestingly, there was an echo of the League of Nations Mosul award in the media recently, as the Turkish leaders recalled the events of 1925 across their border. The Turkish Deputy Premier Bulent Ecevit, well aware of the conditions under which Turkey renounced its predominantly Kurdish territories to Iraq, was quoted in an Associated Press release from Ankara on November 8,1998, that the current Kurdish leader Barzani had confirmed that any solution to northern Iraq has to be within the territorial integrity of Iraq, adding that the Kurds "know the consequences of calling for an independent Kurdish state in this region." In 1992 Turkey had raised the question of annexing these northern regions if faced with the disintegration of Iraq, presumably that would be a move contrary to the agreements reached in 1925, when Turkey accepted the decision of the League of Nations in favor of Iraq.

Professor John Joseph

[Professor John Joseph is Lewis Audenreid Professor of History, emeritus, at Franklin and Marshall College, Lancaster, Pennsylvania. To order his book, "The Modern Assyrians of the Middle East", call Brill at 1-800-337-9255. To contact Prof. Joseph directly write to j_joseph@acad.fandm.edu .]




(ZNDA: Damascus) Last Sunday 20 January the Assyrian Democratic Movement participated at a meeting convened by six Kurdish groups including Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK), the Toilers Party, the Kurdish Islamic League, the Communist Party of Kurdistan, the Socialist Democratic Party of Kurdistan and the Islamic Movement of Kurdistan in Damascus, Syria. No other detail was released to Zinda Magazine at press time.



(ZNDA: Beirut) Last Thursday the Lebanese Tele-Liban TV confirmed the death of former minister Elie Hubayqah in a blast near an Assyrian church in the Mar Tiqla al-Hazimiyiah district in Lebanon. The explosion took place at 9:40 AM [local time] and led to the death of former Minister Elie Hubayqah and a number of his aides. The explosion caused the outbreak of a huge fire in the area and left several people wounded.

Several days before, Hubayqah reiterated his readiness to talk about any issue related to the Belgian Judiciary's file regarding Ariel Sharon's responsibility for the massacres of Sabra and Shatila camps in September 1982. Other information noted that the explosion took place when Hubayqah was about to leave in his Range Rover for Beirut to practice his hobby of scuba diving.

News Digest


(ZNDA: San Jose) Rancho Cucamonga-based Microtel International Inc. announced last month that Zaya Younan has been appointed president of its CXR Telecom subsidiary. Prior to joining CXR Telecom, Mr. Younan served as chief executive officer of CyberScan Technology Inc.

MicroTel, through its wholly-owned subsidiaries CXR Telecom Corp., based in San Jose, Calif., and CXR S.A., based in Paris, designs, manufactures and markets electronic transmission test instruments and data communications equipment to the telecommunications industry, including telephone companies, interconnect carriers, private networks, banks, brokerage firms and government agencies.

Younan's background includes extensive experience and a track record of success in planning and evaluating strategic alliances, mergers and acquisitions, as well as, in directing the sales, marketing, and new product development efforts of large-scale companies in a high technology environment. Prior to joining CXR Telcom, Younan served in executive posts as CEO of CyberScan Technology Inc., as President and CEO of Pronounced Technology Inc., as Executive Vice President at Lokring Corporation, and as Director of Sales and Marketing for TRW Inc.

At CXR Telcom, Younan will be responsible for developing and implementing strategies to expand profitable growth of the subsidiary's telecommunications presence within the United States market. Zaya will report to Microtel's Executive Vice President Graham Jefferies.

Commenting on the appointment, Graham Jefferies stated, "I am very pleased that we have been able to attract a candidate of Zaya's caliber to our company. We feel his experience generating growth within companies in our business sector is a perfect fit for our firm."

Jefferies continued, "We also believe that his wealth of business experience will be invaluable as we continue to grow our business and deliver new, exciting products to an international market. We see his appointment as the final piece in strengthening our executive management team at CXR Telcom and as a complement to our new Engineering Vice President and other sales positions that were added earlier this year."



(ZNDA: Los Angeles) Yesterday afternoon, members of the Assyrian American Association of Southern California voted in their organization's new Executive Committee and Board of Directors for the 2002-2004 term of office. After presenting the annual reports by the previous Executive Committee and the reports of the financial auditors, the AAASC members cast their votes for the following officers to serve for the next 2-year term:

Executive Committee

President Ms. Shamiram Tabar
Vice-President Mr. Joseph Essavi
Treasurer Frida Khaziran
Secretary No Candidates
Controller Juliet Bet-Joseph

Board of Directorrs

Mr. Noray Betbaba
Mr. Sam Badalof
Ms. Georgette Bit-Eivaz
Dr. Sonia Sarkif
Ms. Monaliza Lazarof
Ms. Nina Rasho
Ms. Lily Tomik

After the general elections, Ms. Thea Halo, author of "Not Even My Name" discussed and read from her highly-acclaimed book. Ms. Halo's book is now available in paperback.



Press Release

Archdiocese Of The Syriac Orthodox Church For The Eastern United States
Patriarchal Vicar

December 29, 2001

For Immediate Release:


On December 28, 2001 we have received an official notification from His Holiness Moran Mor Ignatius Zakka I Iwas, Syrian Orthodox Patriarch of Antioch and All the East, that Nicholovos Zachariah, the former prelate of the Malankara Archdiocese of the Syrian Orthodox Church in North America, has been suspended and relieved of all spiritual and temporal authority and responsibilities. This action has been taken due to the fact that Nicholovos Zachariah unilaterally chose to leave our Syrian Orthodox Church of Antioch and join the other faction in Kottayam in open violation of the purpose of his episcopal calling. By his action, Nicholovos Zachariah has chosen to be an outsider to the Universal Syrian Orthodox Church of Antioch. As such, he can no longer be entrusted with the spiritual direction of the Malankara Archdiocese of the Syrian Orthodox Church in North America which is directly under the Holy Apostolic Sea of Antioch and is not bound by the developments in our Church in India.



Courtesy of Sun Herald (Jan 27); based on a story by Matthew Benns

(ZNDA: Sydney) Karl Suleman was accused last night of leaving the aspiring Assyrian pop star, Linda George, 36, in the lurch. Ms. George claims that Mr. Sulmean had promised to launch her career with a specially recorded CD and appearances on Rove Live and The Panel.

Linda George, the top-rated Assyrian pop female vocalist, said she was flown to Sydney three times last year. During her last visit she waited for three months. She said men would telephone her hotel at night and make lewd sexual offers. "[Karl Suleman] has sabotaged my career,'' she told The Sun-Herald from her home in California.

Froggy Music flew her to Sydney to work on recording songs and a video for her first English language album. For her final three-month trip, she stayed at the Sheraton On The Park hotel and was told she would be promoting the album on television.

"For six months I lost loads of money, tours in Europe and Canada, and I am going to be suffering for what happened to me,'' she said. ``For me it was a dream they killed.''

She eventually recorded one single. She said she then found herself isolated in her hotel room, unable to promote the CD and subjected to lewd, late-night phone calls from men she believed belonged to Mr. Suleman's entourage.

"A lot of things that were said to me are so disgusting I cannot tell my family about them,'' she said.

The singer said she had trusted Mr Suleman because she had known him when he was a drummer in a band, long before the dyed hair, Ferraris and luxury cruisers.

When she arrived in Sydney she was taken to a couturier and treated to designer clothes. By the end, she was fighting for her living expenses.

After leaving Australia Ms. George found that the visa she said she had been promised had not been obtained and that she had been in the country illegally.

She maintains Mr Suleman and his friends were surrounded by women who drove BMWs and wore expensive clothes.

Paul Weston, of official receiver Horwath's, confirmed that his firm had questioned Mr Suleman over allegations that money had been spent on presents.

His partner, Neil Cussen, said: ``It is a paper trail. We need the community to come forward with hard evidence such as receipts.''

Mr Suleman's spokesman said on Saturday: ``There have been a number of highly defamatory allegations circulating in the community. A lot of people are going to lose a lot of money and there is a lot of bitterness there.''

Earlier this month, Ms. George appeared on a live show at the studios of the KBSV-AssyriaVision studios in Ceres, California and made similar remarks regarding Mr. Suleman and the Froggie music and entertainment group.



Courtesy of Australian Financial Review (Jan 25); article by Mandy Bryan

(ZNDA: Sydney) FlowCom Ltd is the new owner of Froggy Holdings, the Internet service provider caught up in the collapse of Karl Suleman Enterprises. KSE liquidators Horwath Sydney finalized a deal last Thursday, according to sources close to the negotiations. The terms of the deal have not been revealed.

FlowCom is the network provider of the Froggy Internet business, which is considered one of the more valuable parts of the Froggy Group, which also has mobile phone businesses and music stores.
FlowCom operates a small, business-focused ISP in Melbourne called Planet Internet. Its interest in taking over Froggy Holdings is believed to be largely a bid to keep Froggy as a customer.

Some rival Internet service providers had also hoped to take control of Froggy's 30,000-strong subscriber base, although iPrimus said recently it was only interested in the business ``at the right price''.

One-time bidder OzEmail had withdrawn from the negotiating table before Tuesday, when KSE's liquidators and lawyers called for final offers, instead opting to launch an aggressive campaign to win over Froggy's customers.

The Froggy entities owe creditors $16 million. Only the Froggy mobile operations are in liquidation the ISP and music businesses are still going concerns.

The KSE liquidator is also seeking buyers for some of the group's luxury assets.


Alyce Simonian of New Britain died Friday after a short illness. She was born in Yonkers, N.Y., and was formerly employed at Ellis Coat Co. and American Bazaar, where she worked as a seamstress. She retired in 1979.

She is survived by her husband, George; two sons, George P. Simonian Jr. of New Britain and Peter E. Simonian of Florida; a sister, Sophia Hamp of Worcester; three grandchildren, Rebecca Anne Simonian, Elizabeth Louise Murphy and George P. Simonian III; a great- grandson, Andrew William Simonian; and several nieces and nephews.

A sister, Helene Haddad, and two brothers, Andrew Sargis and Edmund Sargis, died before her.

The funeral took place at the Armenian Church of the Holy Resurrection, 1910 Stanley St. in New Britain. Burial was held in Fairview Cemetery. A private prayer service was held at the Erickson-Hansen Funeral Home, 411 S. Main St., New Britain.

Surfs Up!


"The London Borough of Ealing is using Assyriac, as well as English and other languages, to make its official announcements regarding the upcoming parliament and local government elections for the year 2002. Last summer all British citizens, including Assyrians residing in Ealing, received this official message not only in English but also in our beloved national language.

Can any one imagine that such deep-rooted, noble language of an advanced and historic culture, which has spawned today's civilization could be denied in its homeland and recognized in foreign countries?. Is it conceivable that an indigenous people could be deprived of its basic rights, be hounded by security police or even imprisoned because of claiming the right to use one's own language, while at the same time a foreign country provides that same people protection, work and study opportunities and the freedom to speak one's mother tongue? Not only this, but this foreign country allows him to practice his culture and customs, to establish his organizations and political parties, as well as supporting him financially and legally.

I am sure that for most of us, as Assyrians, the answer will be YES. Such contradictions in our times are a reflection of the contrast between democratic countries and dictatorships. Facts, reality, truth, open-mindedness in understanding the differences and accepting others are the main principles of democracy, while falseness, betrayal and intolerance characterize oppressive regimes. Neither of them can rule without these principles and traits.

Assyrians living in democratic England display a diverse ethnicity, have their own language, culture and traditions. They represent fact, reality, an acceptable truth, and this sanctioned by the government, thus generating for Assyrians the rights of being different, of practicing their language and culture and of receiving the protection of the law. It matters not that there are no more than four thousand Assyrians living in Ealing as long as they represent truth and an acceptable reality to those who govern. Consequently, their rights can not be reduced or denied since all British citizens, including the Assyrians of Ealing are treated equally under law. As a country of law and commitments, England subscribes to international laws and human rights treaties, and it will not deprive its Assyrians citizen of their ethnic rights. However, it should kept in mind that no democratic country and human rights treaties will protect, defend or support Assyrians if they themselves remains silent and fail to claim their rights for themselves. We must thank those few Assyrians in Ealing who raised their voice to the local government and succeeded in having their language included in the official papers.

The number of Assyrians living in their homeland, i.e., Iraq and other Middle Eastern countries, is considerably greater that the four thousand who live in Ealing. They also have a different ethnicity and clearly form part of a nation with deep roots in history and civilization. Nevertheless, for the dictatorial rulers these facts are false and unacceptable and, therefore must be rejected and resisted. The eyes of the tyrannical regimes can neither see nor understand such differences and consequently cannot coexist with them. Therefore, sooner or later Assyrians in their homeland will either submit to absorption into "Pan Arabism Pot" or they will resist and be deported. In April 1985 Amnesty International reported that " on 6 February 1985 three members of the Assyrians In Iraq were executed without trial. They were among a group of 153 Assyrians, member and supporters of the Assyrian Democratic Movement, have been arrested for demanding national and equal rights and for urging the government to cease its policy of wiping out the Assyrian community in Iraq". To be an alien in a foreign country is normal; to be so in one's homeland is loathsome. These are the results of a tyrannical regime.

According to the ideology of the Iraqi Ba'ath party, concepts such "Assyrians" are purely products of imperialism and of local reactionism. For the ruling Iraqi regime, Assyrians do not exist as a different ethnicity. More so, the Assyriac or (Syriac) language is merely considered Arabic except with a different accent, and it is said to differ from real Arabic only in regard to religion. (For more details, see my book "Assyrians in Iraqi Contemporary Thought"). This is the fundamental principle of Ba'ath and of racialist Arabs in their false allegation that Assyrians are Christian Arabs. In order to conceal such unacceptable tyrannnical policies from human rights organizations and to improve its horrible record in human rights abuses, the Ba'ath ruling party has issued many resolutions with regard to Iraqi minorities rights which are no more than a piece of a paper, purely lip service and in no way genuine.

Moreover, the Ba'ath party has found a handful Assyrians who are controlled by an inferiority complex and pant over the "generosity of the leader", particularly among clergymen who are no more that dwarfs and timeservers among our Great and Sacrificed Church. These opportunists provide a convenient spiritual cover in the legitimisation of a totalitarian policy of Assyrians Arabization. However in order to formalize such a mania, the Iraqi government has issued a resolution giving the "right" to any Iraqi to change his identity (or ethnicity) to Arab nationality (or ethnicity), in which it is very clear that small minorities, such as Assyrians, are main target. We have previously congratulated the "Assyrians Arabists" for such privilege and at the same time we have reminded them of the old Arab saying "Man Yankur Assluhu Fala Assel Lahu, Wa Man La Assel Lahu Fahuwa Naghal " which translates as follows: "He who denies his descent has no descent at all. Hence that person is a bastard". But let us remember the honest and noble Arabs do not accept bastards among them.

One more recommendation to "Assyrians Arabists" "who have Arab blood flowing in their veins" is that if they have a chance and sufficient courage to read the book "Fe Sabeel Al Ba'ath" (For the Sake of Ba'ath) written by Michael Aflaq, the godfather of Ba'ath. Aflaq addressed the Christians Arabs in these terms "You can never be a worthy, faithful and loyal citizen of your country unless you understand and accept Islam as a spirit for you, because Arab is a body and Islam is its soul". Ironically, even Mr. Aflaq, the misfortune godfather, changed his religion from Christianity to Islam but he never was a faithful and loyal citizen to his country, Syria. He died as stateless person in Iraq. I am sure the same fate, if not worse, awaits the "Assyrians Arabists".

Finally, while talking about fundamental principles of dictatorial regime, I would like to recall an old Arab allegory for our readers:

There were two honey retailers in the same market. The first one was honorable and reliable in his trade, offering pure honey at a reasonable price but day by day his business declined until finally he went bankrupt. The second one was deceitful and untruthful, swindling his customers by selling adulterated honey and at a higher price than his colleague. His enterprise grew day by day until he monopolized the honey market. The first man made a demand appealing for justice. The astonished ruler asked him whether anything was wrong with his honey. The retailer replied, "Not at all, I used to offer pure honey in a highly esteemed way, while my competitor offered his adulterated honey in a dishonest and hypocritical manner". The ruler then shouted angrily at him:" Go and do the same".

The first time I heard this story was in early 70s from the renowned writer Shamasha Giwarkis De Asheta who concluded that a despotic ruler cannot govern without falsifying facts, accepting imposture and legerdemain, deceiving people and forcing them into submission. Today the wisdom of the allegory helps us understand the policies of Arabization toward the small and peaceful Assyrian nation."

Aprim Shapera

Surfers Corner


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Email us at ads@zindamagazine.com.




"A young, energetic and dynamic man, transformed into an eagle, flies to liberty... he spreads out his wings and glides over the peaks of the high mountains of Bethnahrin down to the valleys and plains to Urhoy, Hassana and Midyat… he rests on the banks of the Tigris and looks upon Babylon and Nineveh, which conquer his heart for eternity. This affectionate heart, he has sacrificed for his people and his beloved homeland. His name… Mihayel Cudi!"

Mihayel, called Cudi by his friends, was born on 2 February 1971, to parents Mesut and Hana in the village of Hassana, close to the Turkey's border with Iraq. In 1978, when Cudi was 7 years old, his family fled increasing oppression and discrimination to settle in the Netherlands. He completed his primary and secondary schooling and then moved on to College. After his graduation he attended the police academy for 5 years, finishing successfully. In 1994 Cudi was recognized and introduced officially as a policeman in the Netherlands. He was one of the first of our people in the Netherlands to choose an occupation in the national service area. Above all, Cudi ranked among the pioneers in his job as policeman.

Although he lived far away from the events and traditions of his people, his heart was always with his people and his homeland. Thus he did not hesitate, after he heard in 1994 of a new movement within his people, to get into contact with the Dawronoye (revolutionaries). At the end of 1996 Cudi became a sympathizer of the Mesopotamia Freedom Party (GHB), which was at that time still an organization. In 1997 a stronger sense of responsibility for his people awakened within him. For this reason Cudi quit his job as a policeman and, instead of that, aspired to be more active for the Patriotic Revolutionary Organization of Bethnahrin (PROB). Since his home was in Amsterdam, his first activities were in the regional area of this metropolis. He later expanded his activities and obligations to the whole of the Netherlands.

In the beginning of 1998 Michayel Cudi decided to become a professional cadre of the organization and in the summer of the same year he visited the homeland, together with a group of reporters from Dutch television, in order to do a documentary on the Suryoye in Turabdin. But after some days there, he became very sick due to the strong heat and the climate. As it was the first time in 20 years that he had seen his homeland, Cudi absolutely wanted to visit his village Hassana. His intentions and his longings, however, were defeated by the Turkish military, which did not let him visit the village and he returned to Europe very disappointed. As a representative of the PROB, Cudi went to Iran to take part in the congress of the Assyrian Universal Alliance (AUA) in November 1998. There he was able to see the possibilities for our people in the near future and to become more conscious of our national situation.

After his return from Iran Cudi was give different tasks and positions in the organization. Hence he was active in many parts of Germany, Belgium and Holland for the party within the public. Mihayel Cudi participated in March 1999 in the first organizational national conference of the PROB and there decided to return to the homeland. After many detours, Cudi arrived on 1 May in the mountains of Bethnahrin and there, within his heart, he celebrated his reunion with his homeland.

Passing through systematic military education in the homeland increasingly strengthened Cudi's abilities within the military arena. Thus he was designated, after a very short time, to be in charge of 10 guerilla-fighters (Manga). After the termination of the military formation, Cudi was later entrusted with other functions. In cities such as Sulaymaniya and Mosul (Nineveh) Mihayel Cudi worked successfully in the field of public relations. Cudi then returned in December 2001 to the military headquarters of the party, in order to help with the winter preparations. At the same time he participated in military and political training.

In the early morning of 11 January 2002 a group under the control of Mihayel Cudi was sent to a village, which was not that far away, in order to get some needed logistics. As they began to haul their loads upon their backs and climb the mountains again to return, the climate was the mild winter weather they were used to. Later, however, within a short time, the clouds began to get denser. By the time they reached the top of the mountain-pass a snow-storm caught Mihayel Cudi and his two companions by surprise. This violent tempest caused them to lose their way and obstructed their sight. Laboriously, the three comrades tried to fight through the meter-high snowfalls. The ice-cold winds of the high Kandil mountain-range whipped repeatedly onto their faces, causing the body temperatures of the three to gradually drop and thus, ever more, their limbs began to freeze.

About 1 km from their destination the three sank powerless into the snow and, with their last breath of strength, they succeeded in radioing their headquarters, to tell them of the emergency. Immediately a group of guerillas was sent from the base to help them. Cudi, who had lost one of his shoes during the heavy march, was therefore powerless without noticing this and froze ever more quickly as he struggled through the snow. By the time the guerilla search group arrived, Mihayel Cudi's body had frozen completely, to the point of immobility. While the fast remedial measures taken for the lives of the two other comrades were successful, Mihayel Cudi died on the way - carried by a friend. The freedom fighter and political cadre of the GHB - Mihayel Cudi - became, on the evening of 11 January 2002, the party's second martyr. On 13 January 2002 Mihayel Cudi was buried with full military honors, wrapped in the flag of the GHB, in the mountains of his homeland.

All his friends and all those who have loved and come to value him, knew Cudi as a cheerful, sincere and always responsible-minded human with a content smile and an even more content heart.

Mihayel Cudi leaves behind his wife and his two small daughters... Ishtar and Ilona.

For further information: www.bethil-online.com


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:

Bet-Nahrain Global Satellite Television
[http://www.betnahrain.org/assyriasat/assyriasat.htm ]

The Eastern Christian Churches
[ http://www.cnewa.org/ecc-introduction.htm ]

Pump Up the Volume

Country AT-RA
Masculine Country of Iraq: Atra 'd Iraq
Government OOGH-DA-NA Masculine Government in exile: ooghdana b'galooyanoota



Valentine Aivazov is a young talented Assyrian photographer and lives and works in Kislovodsk, Russia - famous for its health resorts and mineral water. A dentist by profession he is also an Alpine-photographer and has greatly enjoyed mountain climbing since childhood. Zinda Magazine is pleased to display in this week's column a few of Mr. Aivazov's landscape photos taken from his trip to the Caucasus.

The Lights at the Foot of the Mountain

In November 1996 Mr. Aivazov, as a member of a two-man expedition team, climbed atop Mt. Elbrus. The Latvian Bruno Shults carried out this trip with a mountain bike and Valentine Aivazov accompanied him as a guide and operator. Mt. Elbrus is the highest point of Europe. Two main Mt. Elbrus summits are about 11 km (6.8 miles) to the North from the Main Range, inside European territory. The Main Range is a state border between Russia and Georgia.

Caucasian Canyon

The result of this journey to the peak of Mt. Elbrus was a film made for the Lettish television and a book, that was published in autumn 2000 in Latvia. There are about 40 photos taken by Valentine Aivazov in this book.

The Return

Valentine has already been back to Elbrus a few more times since the 1996 expedition and exhibited his work at the "Photographi Pyatigoria" in Stavropol in 1999. In June 2000 a private exhibition of his photos took place in Kislovodsk.

Fiery Chariot 1

Mountains ,unusual forms in nature, and people as part of the surrounding world are most often the objects of Aivazov's themes. His work represents the regions which are difficult to access in more extreme weather and climate conditions and Climate. Even for those familiar with the Elbrus terrains there is always an element of surprise hidden among Aivazov's photo collection.

Fiery Chariot 2

Among the Elbrus pictures there is a unique photo that was taken at the dawn of the first day of the year 2000. The photo was shot from the slope of Mt. Elbrus. It's exclusivity is not only due to its timing, but also in the extraordinary colors of the dawning of the new millennium.

All of the photos are permeated with the delicacy of their author's perception, with his ability to see and to represent nature. Every photo is imbued with its own spirit, easily felt by the viewer.

Fiery Chariot 3

Aivazov's photos illicit a response and stir up emotions. The people in his photos do not dominate the scene, rather become an organic part of the surrounding nature, beautifully joined into the magnificence of the North Caucasus.

It is no wonder Valentine Aivazov is being called the new "rising star" in the art of photography. Mr. Aivazov is planning several more exhibitions, competitions and of course trips in the near future.

Victoria Aivazova

Back to the Future

(5000 B.C.)

The first recorded uses of flax come from Southern Mesopotamia, where the crop was grown. Its use spread across Europe, Africa and Asia before coming to North America.

(A.D. 1725)

According to champagne expert Francois Bonal, winemakers in Bordeaux have been using the Biblical names for the different sizes of wine bottles since the early Eighteenth Century. Some of these names refer to the names of the Mesopotamian rulers. This practice has been common since 1940's.

A Shalmanazar or Salmanazar bottle is equivalent to 12 bottles, a Balthazar is equal to 16 bottles, and a Nebuchadnezzar is the largest bottle being equal to 20 bottles.

Francoise Peretti, The Champagne Information Bureau, London SW1.



Calendar of Events


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


Dance Party




 February 9

Assyrian Aid Society of Arizona Proudly Presents:
Ogen BetSamo
Music by Dani Shamoon (from Canada)

8:00 PM
St. Nicholas Serbian Orthodox Church
11640 North 16th Pl., Phoenix
(corner of CaveCreek and Thunderbird)

$20 per person (no discount for children)
Appetizers and refreshments will be served!

For Tickets Contact:
Yousif Aziz      (602)799-5636 
Youkie Khaninia  (480)963-2121
Nahrain Lazar    (480)857-0939 
Steve Enwia      (602)722-9670

 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:

Alphonse Odisho

Deacon Genard Lazar

Kevin Toma


ZINDA Magazine is published weekly.  Views expressed in ZINDA do not necessarily represent those of  the ZINDA editors, or any of our associated staff. This publication reserves the right, at its sole discretion, not to publish comments or articles previously printed in or submitted to other journals.  ZINDA reserves the right to publish and republish your submission in any form or medium.  All letters and messages  require the name(s) of sender and/or author.  All messages published in the SURFS UP! section must be in 500 words or less and bear the name of the author(s).    Distribution of material featured in ZINDA is not restricted, but permission from ZINDA is required. This service is meant for the exchange of information, analyses and news.  To subscribe, send e-mail to:  z_info@zindamagazine.com.

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