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Volume VIII
Issue 3
February 18, 2002
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This Week In Zinda

cover photo
cover photo

  Say Something Before It's Too Late!
Zinda Magazine Endorses Rod Blagojavich for Governor
  Oil-For-Food vs. Assyrian Property Rights in Iraq
  Assyrians May Be Recognized as A Minority in Turkey

Blagojevich: "Support Recognition For Assyrians In Iraq"
Suleman Assets Sent Offshore, Elton John Keeping His Money

  Tribute to George Bet-Atanous
Where's the Meat?
We Need Educated Church Leaders
Nothing About Us
Paul Warda

Armenian National Committee Supports Assyrian Campaign
Assyrians in Sweden Host Lectures by Yezidian Leader
Results of Voter Registration Drive in Chicago

  The First Modern Assyrian Bible
  Arsen Mikhailov
  Contemporary & Ancient
  The Great Fall & The Evil Dead
  William Daniel's Birthday Commemoration




Zinda Says


The odds of military action against Saddam Hussein are growing by the hour. Some observers are even discussing a showdown within the next few weeks. First, the Coalition air power will engage in the destruction of all communication and air-defense units, then the borders along the no-fly zones will be cleared of any remaining Iraqi military operatives in preparation for the internal uprisings from the northern Kurdish groups and southern Shiite factions. Ahmad Chalabi of the Iraqi National Congress, the main opposition group to Saddam, said last Friday that his group has almost 40,000 members ready to fight. The last stage is thought to involve the U.S. Special Forces acting as peace-keepers on one hand, and search teams looking for the missing Tyrant of Baghdad on the other.

The actual plan may be slightly different, but one factor remains unchanged: The Coalition Forces (U.S. & her allies) expect the people of Iraq to rise against their own government and topple Saddam without direct American involvement.

Saddam has only a few options to retaliate against such a plan. The most likely scenario is the use of his short-range (150 km) liquid and solid propellant missiles against the Kurds in the north and Shiites in the south and the major cities in Israel. Chemical and biological weapon will be the probable cargo of these rockets.

Even after Saddam is removed, a possible in-fighting among the Moslem groups may ensue which could possibly result in the death and destruction of Christian homes, looting and killing of our political and spiritual leaders in Iraq.

What must the Assyrians in the North do then? Should they support such an uprising and join the Kurdish and Shiites forces? Or Should they remain neutral and back off from any conflict?

These decisions can only be made by the leadership of the Assyrians in North Iraq. This is the Assyrian Democratic Movement and its capable leader, Rabbie Yacoub Yousip. We, the observers in the West on the other hand, ,must not assume a weak posture and continue watching the mass destruction of the Assyrian homeland from the comfort of our living rooms. We must take all necessary action to establish and maintain a secure environment for the Assyrians in the North and in Baghdad. Whether it is the dictator in Baghdad or the Kurdish and Shiites groups, through our efforts in the next few weeks one thing must be communicated very clearly to the non-Assyrian factions in Iraq: If you dare to harm a single Assyrian citizen of Iraq, you will have to deal with the fury of the Christian and pro-Democracy governments in the West.

There are hundreds of thousands of Assyrians living in the Northern No-Fly Zone and in Central Iraq. Whether they are members of the Church of the East, Chaldean Catholics, or from other Assyrian religious groups, to the average voters outside of the Middle East they are simply Iraqis. Simply said, the voters in America, Europe, and Australia do not recognize Assyrians as a Christian minority with no political, cultural, or religious rights in Iraq. Therefore, it is vital that we engage the media in America, Europe, and Australia in discussing the plight of the Assyrians in Iraq.

Zinda Magazine urges its readers to take action and begin an aggressive letter-writing campaign. Write to your local television stations, newspapers, government representatives, and especially non-Assyrian churches. Let them know who Assyrians are and explain the important fact that Assyrians as a Christian minority need the protection of all Christian groups, churches, and governments during these times. Encourage them to view Zinda Magazine's video "Assyrians in North Iraq" and ask them to visit Assyrian website (zindamagazine.com, atour.com, aina.org, nineveh.com, etc). Find out who the main reporters on the Iraqi issues in the major newspapers are and then email them directly. Do this everyday until someone asks you for more information.

Finally, stay informed! Educate yourself about the Assyrian political groups, leaders of our churches, and pay attention to their speeches and actions. Are they working toward the unity of the Assyrian nation or the promotion of their group's agenda? What are the spiritual leaders of the Assyrian nation in Baghdad, Damascus, and Chicago doing to support our people in Iraq? Do you agree with them?

It is our hope that after the demise of Saddam Hussein all Moslem and Non-Moslem citizens of Iraq will work together to build a better future for every Assyrian, Kurdish, Turkeman, and Arab person in that country. Nevertheless we must also heed the lessons from the past and remember the acts of violence committed by the Moslems against the innocent Assyrian population. Until peace is restored in the Assyrian homeland, it is our obligation to serve the Assyrians in Iraq with our grass-root activism in the West, informing our governments and the citizens of the world about the political struggle of the oldest Christian nation in the Middle East and the only indigenous people of Iraq - the Assyrians.

Please act now and send your first letter today!



(ZNDA: Chicago) On 6 February Zinda Magazine, world's largest and fastest growing Assyrian news medium, announced its endorsement of Congressman Rod Blagojevich (pronounced "Bla-GOYA-vich") for Governor of the State of Illinois in the 2002 Election.

Congressman Blagojevich comes from a background to which many Assyrians families can relate: his father was a prisoner of war during World War II. After the war, his father came to this country with no money. He didn't even speak English. But he got a job at a Chicago steel plant, worked hard, and together with Rod's mother, saved for 15 years to send Rod and his brother to college.

Rod learned the value of hard work from his parents: shining shoes at age 9, delivering pizzas, working in a meatpacking plant, even spending two summers on the Alaskan Pipeline to earn money for college and law school. When you have lived the American Dream, you have a responsibility to make sure other people get the same opportunity.

As a member of the Assyrian Caucus in Washington, Congressman Blagojevich has often urged other colleagues in the Capital Hill to endorse resolutions in support of the Assyrian rights in the Middle East and at home in Illinois.

Rod Blagojevich's Goals:

* Making sure every child can read at grade level by the 3rd grade
* Take steps to ensure that every senior citizen in need benefits from affordable access to prescription drugs.
* Creating over 250,000 new jobs for Illinois.
* Using the State to attract 200 million in private investment to areas left behind by the boom of the 1990's.
* Supporting Mayor Daley's O'Hare expansion, creating 195,000 new jobs.

Rod Blagojevich is also endorsed by:

The AFL-CIO, Citizen Action, Illinois Democratic County Chairman's Association, Illinois Federation of Teachers, IVI-IPO and the Sierra Club.

Zinda Magazine hereby asks its readers in Illinois to vote for Congressman Blagojevich, a staunch ally of the Assyrian people, in the 2002 Election.

For more information:

(773) 681-8900
Rod Blagojevich for Governor
3254 N. Lincoln Avenue
Chicago, IL 60614



The Lighthouse


Sub-Commission on Prevention of Discrimination and Protection of Minorities

48th Session, item 6
Written statement, submitted 8 August 1996

1. Six years of an effectively applied economic boycott could not fail to take its toll, even if its authors carefully sought to cushion the effects of the UN sanctions regime for the Iraqi population in that they exempted from the beginning food, medicine and other humanitarian supplies. These programs in favor of the Iraqi people (and the way they were handled) developed a dynamic of their own with some unforeseen consequences. The longer the sanctions lasted and produced ever graver effects on Iraq's inhabitants and social fabric, the more effective aid grew into a humanitarian, moral and political imperative. In light of the growing donor fatigue - due to the increasing needs created by natural and man-made disasters taxing the world community's relief resources - it was also indispensable to devise ways and means for financing these humanitarian aid programs for Iraq without reliance on already burdened foreign taxpayers.

2. Accordingly, the United Nations Security Council adopted successively improved "oil-for-food" resolutions SCR 706, 712 and 986, providing notably for covering the external costs of related humanitarian aid programs (1). Thereby, an old and unsettled question, i.e. "Who owns Iraq's oil?", seems to have been overlooked, if not prejudiced without due process - at the expense of the "internationally protected" Assyrian (2), Kurdish, Turkoman and other landowners, and in favor of the Iraqi State. Alternatively, being alerted to this delicate legal problem by way of an internal UN memorandum dated April 1992, the authors of said resolutions seem to have not only recognized the pitfalls but left it to the courts to finally settle eventual claims. For SCR 986 provides immunity against seizure only while "petroleum or petroleum products", or proceeds from them, are "under Iraqi title", suggesting that the Iraqi State, in the event, would have to carry the burden of proof that it has good title for the petroleum resources located in Iraqi territory, i.e. that it obtained these rights with due process and in line with Iraq's international obligations.

3. In 1932, when the League of Nations carved Iraq out of the remains of the Ottoman Empire, Iraq incurred permanently binding international minority protection obligations which were supposed to protect also the Assyrians. These freely accepted obligations cover not only such specific human rights as freedom of practicing the Assyrian's Christian beliefs, language privileges and preferential employment stipulations but, most importantly, the obligation of the Iraqi State to respect the land ownership and other private property as it existed prior to Iraq's independence (3). Some of these rights and special privileges concern in particular the Northern part of Iraq, called the Mosul Vilayet which was conditionally attached to the Kingdom of Iraq in 1925 (4). Iraq thus incurred international obligations which it could not alter unilaterally, and from which it could be relieved only by the League of Nations or, in the event, by the United Nations acting as the League's succesor in accordance with UN General Assembly resolution 24 (I) of 12 February 1946.

4. The conditions under which Iraq obtained its independence have never been altered. The circumstances which gave rise to these international minority protection and other conditions have essentially remained. According to testimony published by the UN Human Rights Commission's Special Rapporteur on Iraq, past and present human rights conditions in Iraq have provided no justification for abrogating any of Iraq's related international obligations (e.g. E/CN.4/1993/45, §§89-126; E/CN.4/1995/138, p.8). Iraq's constitutive international obligations, too have thus remained fully binding (E/CN.4/367/Add.1), in as much as the ruling on South-West Africa, handed down by the International Court of Justice, by analogy, applies to Iraq:

"These obligations represent the very essence of the sacred trust of civilization. Their raison d'être and original object remain. Since their fulfilment do not depend on the existence of the League of Nations, they could not be brought to an end merely because this supervisory organ [i.e. the Council of the League of Nations] ceased to exist. Nor could the right of the population to have the Territory administered in accordance with these rules depend thereon." (ICJ Reports, 1950, p.133).

5. In the above-mentioned internal UN memorandum of April 1992, these legal elements are summed up as follows:

With regard to the oil ownership question, these documents provide a prima facie ownership case in favor of some Turkish citizens and Kurdish tribes in whose ancestral lands the largest oil field, in Kirkuk, is situated. Accordingly, the seizure protection wording of Resolution 712, paragraph 5, may not stand in a tribunal. It is thus advisable to execute Resolutions 706 and 712 either exclusively on the basis of oil pumped from uncontested Iraqi fields not in the Mosul Vilayet area or on the basis of corresponding agreements with the Turkish Government and the involved Kurdish tribes."

6. In addition to the Turkish and Kurdish landowners, the Assyrian community - whose diaspora has a strong foothold in the American economic and political scene - is known to have also significant land claims not only in the Mosul Vilayet but all over Iraq. In this light, serious legal challenges to the UN's "oil-for-food" program are conceivable. Those UN departments which are financially dependent on a smooth implementation and operation of SCR 986 no less than those concerned about the humanitarian fate of the people in either the government- or the Kurdish-controlled part of Iraq would thus be well advised to prepare for alternative solutions. This seems to be the more indicated as SCR 986 can be seen:

1. as a new source of economic and political power, and thus as a direct cause for further infighting between those who have essentially lost the confidence of the people yet continue to be supported by outside forces for "governing" Iraq's non-government-controlled Northern Governorates;

2. as a bailout of the cash-short United Nations;

3. as a formal UN-sponsored transfer of title to the Mosul Vilayet's oil resources from the present, internationally protected Assyrian, Kurdish and Turkoman landowners to the Iraqi State without consultation, compensation or due process; and

4. as being incompatible with the U.S. Constitution in as much as it would deprive U.S. citizens to seek protection for their property rights from a U.S. Court.

7. In contrast, if the landownership rights in the Mosul Vilayet in particular would be respected by all concerned, significant opportunities for effectively safeguarding and promoting human rights in the Mosul Vilayet and beyond could quickly be turned into reality. Inspired by the positive experiences made by the United Nations with interim administrations in Cambodia, Eastern Slavonia and elsewhere, corresponding steps are called for to be taken in- and outside of the UN System by the appropriate bodies (E/CN.4/1994/NGO/48; E/CN.4/1995/NGO/52).

8. Most urgently, the power to distribute humanitarian aid must not be left in the hands of those who no longer have the confidence of the people. In order to provide the necessary de-mining, rebuilding and other services, including the equitable distribution of humanitarian aid, it has become indispensable to replace the present power structure in the Mosul Vilayet with an interim administration which is to be militarily supported by the Allies and which is also acceptable for the neighboring peoples and governments.

9. This sanctions-free and self-financed interim administration must adaquately reflect Middle East customs and traditions, and it must ensure freedom, liberty and justice for all. As such, it would have to provide the necessary services and security, giving the local inhabitants the opportunity to effectively pursue the reconstruction of their villages, churches and homes, and ensuring their civil, human, and property rights. Authorized to develop the local resources and to trade freely, the necessary financial means would no longer depend on ever scarcer taxpayer money. Thus, these resources could finally become a source of regional stability, security and economic well-being.


(§) Like the preceding Written Statement "A European Solution to Turkey's Minority Problems" (submitted to the Sub-Commission on 11 August 1995 by another NGO in consultative status with ECOSOC, i.e. the International Committee for European Security and Cooperation), this paper, on grounds which have not been clarified, has yet to be published by the UN Secretariat. Curiously, the editor of these and the other preceding Written Statements (published by the UN), while attending the March 1996 session of the Commission on Human Rights as duly accredited Representative of a third ECOSOC NGO, i.e. the Germany-based World Society of Victimology, was prevented from exercising his functions at the UN in Geneva by an administrative ukase, without due process and in violation of ECOSOC Resolution 1296 (XLIV). This suggests precedent-setting illegal interferences with the work of the United Nations by influential third parties.

(*) prepared in cooperation with John Nimrod, Secretary-General, Assyrian Universal Alliance (7055 North Clark Street, Chicago, Il. 60626, U.S.A.; t:1773-2749262, f: 1773-2745866) and the CORUM Research Group (box 2580, 1211 Geneva 2, Switzerland, t+f:4122-7400362, e: swissbit@solami.com).

(1) in addition to various UN administrative costs and compensation payments for damages incurred in the course of Iraq's occupation of Kuwait.

(2) Assyria is not to be confounded with Syria, even though the Assyrian Empire of some 4000 years ago did indeed embrace all of what is now modern Syria - and much more. Assyria was destroyed as a political system in 612 BC but not as a nation, not as a race and not as a language. However, there are definite and continuous traces of Assyrians throughout history since 612 BC. They were among the first to embrace Christianity in the first century AD, and as a consequence they have suffered persecution and massacres. During the First World War they were invited by Great Britain as an ally, helped win a decisive battle against the Ottoman Empire and were caused to lose two thirds of their population in that war. The British had promised the Assyrians independence, autonomy and a home for all Assyrians. Instead the British mandate in Iraq was terminated and the Assyrians were released to the Iraqi Government, covered by the international minority protection guarantees written into the Declaration of the Kingdom of Iraq of 30 May 1932. Since then Iraq has failed to comply with most articles of its still binding 1932 Declaration (see also: E/CN.4/1995/NGO/52). In particular, Iraq has violated article 14 (covering land ownership rights), and it ignored special rights and privileges that were accorded to the inhabitants of the Mosul Vilayet which, in 1925, were placed under the conditional and limited authority of the Kingdom of Iraq.

(3) Declaration of the Kingdom of Iraq of 30 May 1932, article 14 (E/CN.4/Sub.2/1992/NGO/27).

(4) To the South, the Mosul Vilayet borders on Iraq's Baghdad Vilayet, to the West on Syria, to the North on Turkey and to the East on Iran. It includes the Diala District, as defined in the League of Nations inquiry of 1925. According to the last available census (1920), its surface is 91009 km2, and its inhabitants were 579713 Sunnites, 22180 Shiites, 14835 Jews and 55470 Christians, i.e. mostly Assyrians (Report by HM's Government to the League Council on the Administration of Iraq for the year 1929, p.71).




Courtesy of Zaman Turkish daily newspaper (Feb 5); translated by Dr. Racho Donef for Atour.com

(ZNDA: Ankara) According to the new Bill on Pious Foundations, which has been presented to the Ministerial Council for signature, for the first time the Lausanne Peace Treaty signed on 24 July 1923 is being violated. (1) In the bill prepared by the Directorate General of Pious Foundations, Assyrians (2) have been listed among minorities living in Turkey.

According to the Lausanne Treaty, in force for 79 years, [only] the Greeks, Armenians and Jews were recognised as minorities. (3)

In the reasons for the Bill, prepared under the leadership of Pious Foundations Director-General Nurettin Yardimci, it is stated that groups which have cohesive race, language and religious characteristics and want to live together among the majority are identified as congregations [cemaat] (4). "In our country there are four non-Muslim [communities] which fit to this description: The Greek, the Armenian, the Jewish and the Assyrian communities". The law on minorities was specified in the Lausanne Treaty signed on 24 July 1923. According to the Lausanne Treaty, among the non-Muslim in Turkey only the Greeks, the Armenians and the Jews were defined as minorities. In the Turkish legal lexicon, the terms minorities and congregations are used synonymously. It is worthy of note that in the Bill only the Assyrians are viewed as "minority". The new Pious Foundation Bill, which is awaiting government approval, completely changes the status of the pious foundations belonging to minorities.

If the Bill becomes law, the regulation, in operation since 1936, prohibiting minority foundations' acquisition of property, will be abolished. From 1 January 2002, in conformity with the views of the ministries of Internal and Foreign Affairs, property that was confiscated by the Pious Foundations Directorate will be listed as property of the minority foundations.

Since 1936, minority pious foundations were not able to acquire property under any circumstances.

In Turkey there are 165 non-Muslim pious foundations: 77 Greek, 52 Armenian, 19 Jewish, 10 Assyrian, 1 Bulgarian, 2 Georgian, 3 Chaldean and one belonging to an artisan guild. The Greek community has 54 schools: 44 primary, nine middle and high schools and one theology school. (5) The Armenian community has 32 schools: 22 primary, 5 middle schools and 5 high schools. The Jewish community has five schools: four primary, one high school.

According to the "Directive on Foreign Schools" formulated in 1953, there is a prohibition on these schools on opening branches or even increasing the number of classes. If the new Law on Pious Foundation passes, these schools will be able to acquire property and set up branches.


There are 5,700 pious foundations administered by the Directorate General of Foundations, which were all remaining from the Ottoman period. Furthermore, there are 160 Community and Artisans' Foundations established by minorities.

(1) This is not correct. Turkey has violated the Lausanne Treaty almost from its inception.

(2) The newspaper uses the term Suryani, in Turkish. The designation 'Assyrian' is considered the most appropriate rendering of the term.

(3) This is not correct either. The text of the Treaty does not identify particular minorities. It has been the practice, however, to treat those three ethnic groups as recognised minorities.

(4) The term can also be translated as 'community'.

(5) Most of these schools are not operating because of the lack of students and the Halki Theological Seminary was closed by the authorities in 1973.

News Digest


[ZNDA: Washington) Congressman Rod R. Blagojevich (D-IL, 5th Congressional District) is circulating a "Dear Colleague" letter in the House of Representative asking for official constitutional recognition of Assyrians by the current or future government in Iraq. The following is the full text of Rep. Blagojevish's letter:

December 11, 2001

Dear Colleague:

The Assyrian community, including Chaldeans and Syriacs, are the indigenous Christian people of Mesopotamia. The approximately 1.5 to 2 million Assyrians residing in Iraq constitute the third largest demographic population in the country. However, the Assyrians in Iraq are not officially recognized as a people. The Iraqi constitution only recognizes Arabs and Kurds, and, consequently, Assyrians are referred to as "Christian Arabs."

Furthermore, Assyrians pushing for greater recognition are persecuted by the government and are restricted from free cultural, linguistic and religious expression in Iraq in particular, and the region in general. The Assyrian community has faced systematic terror campaigns in Iraq and Assyrian political leaders have been assassinated. Since the Gulf War, Kurdish tribes tied to the ruling parliamentary parties have illegally occupied most of the Assyrian villages razed by the government.

The current War on Terrorism should serve as a reminder of the need for strategic allies worldwide. The United States will benefit by maintaining a supportive relationship with the Assyrian community in Iraq, as well as the Assyrian coalition, who have made great sacrifices to oppose the regime of Saddam Hussein and will continue to work for a unified, democratic, and secular government.

On the reverse is a copy of the letter to President George W. Bush and Secretary of State Colin Powell urging official constitutional recognition for the Assyrian community as a distinct, indigenous people in any future Iraqi reforms.

If you have any questions or need further information on this issue, please feel free to contact David Stricklin at x54061 or via e-mail at david.stricklin@mail.house.gov. Thank you for you consideration.


Rod R. Blagojevich
Member of Congress



Courtesy of AAP News & Australian Financial Review (Feb 15)

(ZNDA: Sydney) The Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) is currently investigating several "agents" working for Mr. Karl Suleman in his KSE group of companies and investments. Mr. Paul Weston, who along with Mr. Cussen is appointed by ASIC to oversee the liquidation of KSE, says "We've moved in the Supreme Court to secure what we call worldwide asset freezing orders in relation to a number of parties" referring to these "agents".

So far actions have been taken against seven such individuals. Mr Weston said three of the seven people who have had their assets frozen were no longer in Australia. Two were believed to have several aliases, and possibly citizenship in other countries, which could make it more difficult to track them. He also said further asset freeze orders could be expected in the coming weeks. The so-called agents were believed to be earning about 10 per cent commission.

Mr Weston and Mr. Cussen would not reveal how much money the agents might have, or where that money might be held. However, Mr Weston said it was common knowledge that some funds were being held in the United States. Working for the the Australian insolvency specialist, Howarth Corp, both men said that they would enlist the assistance of offshore law enforcement agencies to seek the whereabouts of two individuals who promoted the scheme. It is believed that millions of dollars of the 130 million Australian dollars invested in Karl Suleman Enterprizes have left Australia. About $A65 million still has to be accounted for.

Mr Cussen said the liquidators had received two expressions of interest for the chain of Froggy Music stores this week and up to 45 parties had made offers to buy the Froggy Mobiles companies, which include a chain of Froggy mobile phone stores.

The sale of Mr Suleman's ``lifestyle'' assets continues. These include a Lamborghini, three Ferraris, two jet planes and a $3 million Princess motor cruiser, named King, as well as a number of Sydney properties and several racehorses.

The liquidators are also trying to retrieve $300,000 in investors' funds transferred by Mr Suleman as part of an agreement to fund an upcoming concert by Elton John in Sydney. ``We will be negotiating with [the concert promoters] to try to retrieve those funds,'' Mr Weston said. A reported $A300,000 was paid to British pop singer, Elton John, by Suleman's Froggy companies for his forthcoming tour of Australia. Elton John's Australian promoter, Kevin Jacobsen, said on 14 February that the sponsorship money had already been paid to the singer under a deal that had been signed and sealed, and it would not be paid back. The sponsorship agreement for the April tour was worth $A600,000 and Suleman had already paid half.

Surfs Up!


"Thank you for reproducing from the Assyrian Star the article about George Bet-Atanous, that wonderful Assyrian patriot who passed away in Tehran last year. For those Assyrians world wide who are not yet subscribing to the Assyrian Star, having the achievements of this man appear on Zinda will help inform people of the debt owed to him.

Everyone ought to know where we get our flag. Now they have a chance to know.

I think we ought to carry the tribute to this man beyond words of praise: we ought to set up an endowed prize in his name to be used at the Assyrian American National Federation conventions for scholarships during the Youth Excellence Pageant. Through this, we will remind people each year who this man was in order to inspire our
would be professionals that it is perfectly possible to combine a successful professional career with creativity and vision for our own community."

Eden Naby
Honorary Editor
Assyrian Star


"To Zinda Magazine Crew, the Assyrian satellite (Dr.Sargon), the First primary school (His Grace Mar Meelis Zaia).....thank you all for making us proud Assyrians......your accomplishment is the true message to all of us (that we are in need of true work, not empty talks and promises).....and to the rest, save your speeches and show us what you are building."

Kevin Toma Zaia



"I find Mr. Sam Givargis alleged congratulation message to H.G. Mar Bawai very shallow. Mr. Gevargis should be aware of the following facts:

1. Mar Bawai was allowed to study in Rome with prior approval of His Holiness Mar Dinkha. He did not do this independently on his own.

2. Because of this fact, his jurisdiction was changed from the Western Diocese to only San Jose and San Francisco parishes.

3. Neither the clergy nor the members of the two parishes ever felt that they were neglected. As a matter of fact the majority of us were pleased to have our bishop selected to receive this higher education,

4. Mr. Gevargis statement that our forefathers kept the church without a doctoral degree shows his lack of historical knowledge. For all practical purposes, our church lost its position in the Christian world during the 13th century when Timurleng swept across western Asia and destroyed practically everything in his path. Until that time our church just like all other Christian churches in the world did not have clergy with a Ph.D. degrees simply because such degrees did not exist.

5. For almost six centuries our nation and church lived in darkness devoid of any education or contact with the Christian churches in the rest of the world. When foreign missions came to Urmia in the early 19th century, then our people began to have schools, books, printing presses, and educated clergy. During the last 100 years, a very limited number of our clergy had any formal education. Only recently, we find some with college education.

6. We should be proud to have our clergy attain higher education so that they can protect our church and its history from our enemies who are constantly struggling to distort both its theology and history. Mar Bawai's doctoral thesis has proven beyond a shadow of doubt the apostolic origin of our church and the orthodoxy of its theology. And what is interesting and encouraging is that his thesis has been accepted.

7. Hiding behind a quotation from bible does not cancel the ridiculous implications contained in Mr. Gevargis's message.

I will be the first to admit that having a Ph.D. is no guarantee for making a good leader or a pious clergy. I am confident that even Mr. Gevargis will agree with me that higher education prepares an individual to better discharge his/her responsibility.

All Assyrians, irrespective of their church affiliation should be proud when one of their clergy attains higher education. We need educated Assyrians to carry the burden of leadership for our church and for our nation. Let us not be petty and indulge in these meaningless statements.

Let me assure Mr. Gevargis that neither H.G. Mar Bawai or we the members of his parishes think badly of him. He is an Assyrian brother and a faithful of our church, so we will always have him in our prayers with the hope that God will bless him with kindness and good feelings about his fellow Assyrians."

Youel A Baaba



"I was just reading the Wall Street Journal dated February 12/02. Front page, leftmost column goes into great detail about the Kurds and how they are enjoying a renaissance in Northern Iraq. There is NO mention about the Assyrians.

There is no mention about the Assyrians that were part of the exodus during the Gulf War. There is no mention about the oppression and massacres and executions, recognized by Amnesty International, on the Assyrians. There is no mention about the terror tactics used by the Kurds and how they alone are letting the region in Northern Iraq bloom. It is an entire article about them, NOTHINg about us.

Is there some sort of letter writing campaign that we can mobilize against this obviously one-sided bogus story? It makes no mention about our oppression, our sacrifices, our losses...it only, once again, paints the Kurds in a totally innocent light."

Nick Dinkha

[ The Wall Street Journal is a publication of Dow Jones Corporation. On February 12 WSJ ran an article titled "Prosperity's Price: Iraqi Kurds, Flush With Aid, Lose Desire To Take On Hussein" written by Hugh Pope, an WSJ staff reporter. As noted by our reader, the article made no mention of the Assyrians in North Iraq. However, in the same issue another article titled "Iraq Forcing Non-Arabs Out Of N Province -Opposition Groups" appeared which included a reference to the Assyrian Democratic Movement (see our last week's issue). ]



"Great magazine! You guys are THE BEST… Last month someone said that Gary Condit used an Assyrian guy's home by the name of WARDA (same as mine) for a television interview. Do you guys know about this? Keep up the good work."

Ashourina Warda

[Congressman Gary Condit of California used the home of Mr. Paul Warda, a prominent Modesto walnut farmer and longtime friend, for an interview with Connie Chung on ABC's ''Primetime Thursday'' last summer. Mr. Warda has lived in Modesto area since 1945 and is a retired vice president of printing operations for Tenet Health Care Systems.]

Surfers Corner


The Armenian National Committee of America is supporting the Assyrian campaign for constitutional recognition for Assyrians in Iraq: http://www.anca.org/anca/actionalerts.asp?aaID=39

A Dear Colleague letter from the office of Congressman Rod Blagojevich (D-IL, 5th congressional district) is now circulating in the House, and is asking for official constitutional recognition of Assyrians by the current or new Iraqi government. An identical letter has been sent by Congressman Blagojevich to President Bush.

The Assyrian community is very thankful for the Armenian support for this letter. In return, we are asking Assyrians to support the campaign to stop the misrepresentation of the Armenian Genocide by sending a protest letter: http://www.anca.org/anca/actionalerts.asp?aaID=26).

Armenian National Committee of America
Washington D.C.



Lectures about the Yezidians from Assyria, by the Yezidian leader Prince Anwar Muawiya

Assyria Liberation Party (GFA) and Furkono Magazine has invited the Yezidian leader, Prince Anwar, to Sweden to present several lectures for different Assyrian associations. The lectures will be about his newly published book and the relations between the Yezidies and Assyrians both in the homeland of Assyria and in Diaspora and the political forces trying to convert the Yezidis to Kurds. Prince Anwar will also discuss the Yezidian traditions, culture, political views, religion and how close the Yezidi religion is to the Babylonian traditions.

Below please find the times and places of Prince Anwar's lectures:

22 February

Assur Association in Fittja (near Fittja School)
6:00 PM

23 February

Bethnahrin Cultural Association (BKF) in Botkyrka (Tomtbergav. 16, 2 tr, Hallunda Industry Area)

9.00 AM - 5 PM
Prince Anwar is available between these times for political parties, organisations and media.
To reserve a time see contact information below.

24 February

Assyrian Culture House in Sodertalje (Hantverksv. 2, Hovsjo Industry Area, Sodertalje)
5:00 PM

25 February
Assyrian Association in Spanga (Tensta Centrum, Stockholm)
5:00 PM

26 February
Assyrian Association in Vastra Frolunda (Gothenburg)
5:00 PM

Contact Information
Tel/Fax: +46 8 531 705 06
Mobile: +46 70 718 68 59

Assyria Liberation Party (GFA)

[For information in Arabic and Swedish see www.atour.com/government/docs/20020216a.html]



On Sunday, February 17th we concluded a voter registration drive that was held in the Assyrian community over the course of three weeks. Assyrian activists who conceived and initiated the workshops registered 500 Assyrians to become registered voters. This being our first attempt to organize a voter drive, it was acknowledged as an important workshop to hold on a regular basis and well received by the Assyrian community, organizations, and churches in Chicago.

Voter Registration and Workshops will henceforth be held on a regular basis and whenever deemed necessary in the Chicago area and neighboring suburbs. As a reminder, the last day to register to vote is: Tuesday, February 19 2002. We want to take this opportunity and thank the following individuals and groups for their time and dedication towards making these workshops a complete success. Everyone helped out in many respects and volunteered their time to distribute forms and publicize the information to the Assyrian community. Job well done!


Joseph Tamraz, Sam Shapira, Raymond Oshana, Nadia Mirza, Tania Mirza, Maureen Antar, Stella Alkass, John Khoury, Denise Jarjosa, Omar Villafranca, Carla Castilla, Alexandra Katsas, Emil Esho, Sami Younan, Amanoil Korel, Sargon Chabo, Aprim Rasho, Yokhana Alkass, Pauline David and Robert Mulhim.


Assyrian Academic Society, Assyrian American National Federation, Assyrian Social Club, Assyrian National Council of Illinois, Assyrian Times Newspaper, Assyrian American Association Radio Program, Assyrian National Foundation Radio Program, Mar Zaia Radio Program, Assyrian Business Association Radio program and Assyrian Night Star Radio program.

Mar Gewargis Church Mutwa staff, Mar Sargis Church mutwa staff, Mart Mariam (Chicago) Church mutwa staff, Mar Odisho Church mutwa staff, Assyrian Evangelical Convenant Church staff, Assyrian Evangelical United Church staff, Mar Andrews Church staff.

Ashur TV Program, Assyrians Around the World TV Program, Juliet George TV Program, Assyrian Times Newpaper, Assyrian International News Agency and Zinda Magazine.

Nadia E. Joseph




Yulpane d-men hemezmane d-alaha. [Lessons from the words of God].
Urmia, Persia: [American Board of Commissioners for Foreign Missions], 1841.
50 p.; 19 cm. [R.B.R. tract BS399.S99 A44 1841]

This small booklet, translated "Lessons from the Words of God," from the the Collection of the Andover-Harvard Theological Library was the first ever printed in modern Syriac or Assyrian. It was printed at the press of the American Board of Commissioners for Foreign Missions at Urmia, Persia, in 1841, under the direction of Edward Breath, a missionary and printer. Justin Perkins was, at the time, the head of this early Protestant mission to the Nestorians.

Perkins described in his diary the moment when the first sheet came off the press:

"March 13 [1841]. The proof-sheet of our first tract in the Nestorian language was brought into my study for correction. This is indeed the first sheet, ever printed in that language and character. As it was laid upon my table, before our translators, priests Abraham and Dunka, they were struck with mute astonishment and rapture, to see their language in print; ... As soon as recovery from their surprise allowed them utterance, 'it is time to give glory to God,' they mutually exclaimed, 'that our eyes are permitted to behold the commencement of printing books for our people!' "

The book contains the Lord's Prayer, Ten Commandments, and Bible texts collected on the subjects of lying, theft, swearing, drunkenness, repentance, the new creation, humility, and the Day of Judgment, and (on the back cover) Proverbs 28.9 and Luke 6.47.

It came to the Andover Theological Seminary in 1900 as part of the estate of Isaac H. Hall (1837-96), who was a scholar and collector of Syriac books and manuscripts. It came here when the Andover Seminary Library affiliated with that of the Harvard Divinity School in 1911/12. This is the only known copy.

Dr. J.F. Coakley, Harvard University, found it in the open stacks in the Andover Seminary Library and has since published a brief article, "The First Modern Assyrian Printed Book," in the Journal of the Assyrian Academic Society (v. 9, no. 2, 1995) and also included it in his article "Edward Breath and the Typography of Syriac," in the Harvard Library Bulletin (n.s., v. 6, no. 4, Winter, 1995).

Andover Harvard Theological Library
Cambridge, Massachusetts


Assyrian Surfing Posts


Pump Up the Volume

Contemporary BAAR-DAARA(baar as in "bargain"(daar as in "darling"
Masculine A Contemporary Poet: kha mashookha baar-daara
Ancient A-TEE-QA
atiqta (fem.)
Masculine Ancient (old) Wine: Khamra Ateeqa

In certain Assyrian dialects the first letter (ae) is dropped and the word is pronounced as "Teeqa". Nevertheless, the correct spelling of the word includes the first letter and its vowel "sqapa".



(ZNDA: Armenia) On 12 February 2002 Mr. Arsen Mikhailov was elected as the new president of the Assyrian Community of Armenia "Atur". The elections took place in the villages of Dvin, Arzni, and the city of Yerevan, capital of the Republic of Armenia.

Mr. Mikhailov, a well-known Assyrian activist in Armenia and Russia, was born in 1963 in Arzni (founded in 1925 by Assyrian settlers, now a famous spa center and for its mineral water), in the Kotaiskiy district of Armenia. In 1994 he graduated from the Agricultural Institute in Lvov, Ukraine. In 1990 he helped in the establishment of the Assyrian Congress of USSR, and later was a delegate at every meeting and conference of this organization until its dissolution after the collapse of the Soviet Union.

Mr. Mikhailov has three children.

Vasili Shoumanov (reporting for Zinda Magazine)
Ashurbanipal Library, Chicago


Back to the Future

(612 B.C.)

According to the Babylonian Chronicle the city of Nineveh fell in the high summer of this year, following a brief siege of three months. This was probably due to forced flooding of the river Tigris and destruction by fire afflicted by the enemy forces.

Assyrian and Babylonian Chronicles, Grayson

(A.D. 1982)

The movie "The Evil Dead" is released, starring Bruce Campbell and produced and directed by Rob Tapert and Sam Raimi. This hair-raising film tells the story of five young friends vacationing in the densely wooded mountains of Tennessee. They stumble upon the Sumerian "Book of the Dead" along with a tape recorder left behind by a long-vanished archaeologist. Evil releases its chilly claws once the mysterious tape containing the translations of the book's passage is played. It possesses the living and only Ash (Campbell) can stop the nightmare.

Next month the highly anticipated, digitally re-mastered, and creatively repackaged DVD titled "The Evil Dead-Book of the Dead Edition," will be released to celebrate the 20th anniversary of "The Evil Dead".

On its October 1998 video release "The Evil Dead" charted at number three on Billboard's top home entertainment list (preceded only by "Titanic" and Disney's "Lady and the Tramp"). Since then, over one million copies have been sold.

Courtesy of THQ Inc.



Calendar of Events


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


Dance Party




March 1

"King Nabonidus, Babylonian Politics, Royal Philosophy & the Darkened Moon"
by Prof. Piotr Michalowski 

5:00 PM
Lecture Room, Warburg Institute, Woburn Square.
Warburg Institute History of Scholarship seminar. 
Contact Dr Christopher Ligota 020 7862 8949 

March 2

The Assyrian Ladies Bible Study Group of Los Angeles Presents:
"Blessed are you of the LORD, my daughter" (Ruth 3:10)

2:00 - 6:00 PM
St. Paul Assyrian Catholic Church 
13050 Vanowen Street
North Hollywood

Florence Eshagh-Sarkis of Bet-Eil Assyrian Church in San Jose will be the guest speaker at this seminar and will focus on the Book of Ruth and its practical applications for modern Assyrian women.  (Absolutely No Children)

 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


The Assyrian American Association of San Jose proudly invites you to a special function organized by William Daniel's students to commemorate his birthday.  Join us in this memorable event in celebration of an Assyrian writer, poet, composer, and musician.

7:00 PM
AAA of San Jose's Beta, 20000 Almaden Road
Refreshments will be served!

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 committed group of Assyrians in Russia plan to hold a two-day International Scholarly Conference “The Assyrians Today: Issues and Perspectives.”  The Conference program will highlight the following aspects:
- Issues facing Assyrians in the Middle East.
- Assyrian communities in Diaspora.
- Perspectives on future development of the Assyrian community.
- Ways of rapprochement among the different tribal and confessional groups.
Twelve prominent international Assyrian scholars and political commentators have been invited.  The official Conference languages are English, Russian and, first of all, Assyrian.  Simultaneous translation will be provided.  Anyone who wishes to join in this Conference should complete and send in the form below as soon as possible so that the hosts may know how much space to reserve.


Family name: _________________________  First name(s): _____________________
Title/ Profession: _________________Company/ Institution: _____________________
Address: _______________________________________________________________
Postal code: ___________   City: _______________   Country: ___________________
Fax: _________________________   E-mail: _________________________________

Hotel accommodation: Hotel Rossiya (about 2 blocks from the Kremlin).  Per day costs are given in US dollars at the conference rate, include breakfast, and are as follows: 
Single room: $50,  Double room: $70.  Registration for the Two-day Conference (per person):  $20,   Tickets to the Bolshoi Theatre: $50, Banquet: $50 .
Total amount: _____________________________
Special trips to St. Petersburg, Vladimir (Golden Ring), and the Republic of Georgia may be organized at an additional cost.  Indicate if you are interested. No ____  Yes ____  If yes, where? ______________
Date: ___________________________    Signature: _________________________________________

Send this information to: 

Melta Bulletin: 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). 
             Fax: (7-095)-935-0155.
         E-mail:  melta@aport2000.ru

Roundtrip fares – New York/Newark to Moscow - are available on all major airlines.  Mid-week fare structures for the period of the conference begin at $625 (Alitalia) and range to $660 (Swissair).  Weekend fares are about $20 more. These fares do not include taxes and are based on availability. They are available now through Rafih Hayek (Service Plus Travel) at 800-256-2865. Mr. Hayek’s travel service will be able to make similar special fares available to Moscow from all major US gateways.

Roundtrip fares - Chicago to Moscow - are available on Delta at $793 and on Luftanza at $814. The Chicago information comes from Shlimon Khamo of Bablyon Travel (773-478-9000). Cheaper group fares may be available also if a club or group of friends wish to make joint arrangements.

[Travel & Conference information courtesy of Melta Magazine and the Assyrian Star Magazine.]

May 21

4:00 PM
Assyrian Hall
5901 Cahuenga Blvd.
North Hollywood 

Meeting Agenda:
-Report of the activities since installation
-Financial report
-Programs of the Executive Board for the remainder of the year

May 24-26

"Identity and Institutions Among Assyrian-Iranians in the United States"
An illustrated lecture by Dr. Eden Naby-Frye
Harvard University

An examination of the patterns of departure and arrival from Iran, the discovery of an expanded Assyrian identity in a milieu that began to include refugee Assyrians from other parts of the Middle East, tied by religion but not language, to Iranian Assyrians. 

Due to special efforts exerted over the past twenty years at Harvard University and at the Ashurbanipal Library in Chicago, a record of printed materials and photographs affords an opportunity to study the issues facing the Assyrians from Iran as they settled in New York, New England, Chicago, and California.

The conference will be held at the Bethesda Hyatt Regency.  Arrangements have been made for reduced rates.  To make hotel reservations, contact Hyatt Regency Hotel directly at 1-800-233-1234 or the conference site at the following address:

Bethesda Hyatt Regency
One Bethesda Metro Center
Bethesda, MD 20814, USA
Phone  (301) 657-1234
Fax      (301) 657-6478 

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

Nov 23-26

Marriott Wardman Park Hotel
2660 Woodley Road, NW

202/328-2000 phone
800/228-9290 toll free
202/234-0015 fax


Thank You!

Zindamagazine would like to thank:

Samuel A Babisha

Peter Pnuel BetBasoo

Susan Ninos
(North Iraq)


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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