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Volume IX

Issue 21

7 July 2003
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This Week In Zinda

cover photo

  The Father of Chaldeo-Assyrian Unity is No More
  Class of 2003 Assyrian Graduates
  Hakkari & Kanna Meet Bremer, Other Coaltion Officials
A Joint Communiqué of the Leadership of ADM & ADO
Assyrian, Iraqi Women Hold First Women Forum Since Saddam
Chaldean National Congress Names Iraqi Leadership
  Baghdad Museum Re-Opens, Nimrod Treasure on Display
UNESCO Adds 22 More World Heritage Sites to List
Iraqi Orphanages Feeling Postwar Turmoil
Donny George Says Museum Looters should Be Shot
Highway 99 Signs to Honor Late Assyrian Businessman

His Beatitude Had a Big Heart
A Real Honor
Keeping it All to Themselves
A New Christian Organization to Challenge Zowaa
Compound Name Not So New
Support Compound Name by Signing This Petition
On Adapting To the Assyrian Ways
Why Follow Yonadam?
To Discredit Zowaa is Treason
Beware of Wolves in the Skin of Lambs

  Political Debate on the Compound Name in Canada
Sign Up For the Youth Excellence Pageant
Gilgamesh on Hollywood Stock Exchange
  Mar Gweargis Sliwa’s Letter to Jay Garner
Women Are Crucial to Iraq Peacemaking
Airfield in Iraq Was Site of WWII Battle
  2003 AUAF Scholarship Awards Recipients
Shimon Khamo Named to the 2003 Republican Chairman’s Honor Roll




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Zinda Says

The Father of Chaldeo-Assyrian Unity is No More

On Monday, at 7:00 p.m. Beirut Time, His Beatitude Mar Raphael I Bidawid (b’Dawid), Catholicos Patriarch of the Chaldean Catholic Church, passed on to eternity in Beirut, Lebanon. His Beatitude was 81.

Throughout his life Mar Bidawid maintained a constant desire to re-unite the fragmented existence of his people’s spiritual and temporal subsistence. During his service as the Patriarch of the largest Assyrian church, he was a source of far-reaching reforms to bring about the full communion of the two branches of the Assyrian Church, the Church of the East and the Chaldean Catholic Church.

Mar Bidawid was born in 1922 in Mosul, Iraq, and entered a seminary at the age of 11. Three years later he was sent to Rome to study theology and philosophy. He was ordained in 1944 and in 1956 was appointed patriarchal vicar for the Diocese of Kirkuk. In 1957 he was elevated to Bishop of Amadiya at the age of 35 - the youngest in the world at the time. He was transferred to the Beirut Diocese in 1966. A synod of the Chaldean Church elected him patriarch in 1989, following the death of Mar Pulus II Chekho.

Rightfully His Beatitude was a controversial leader. During a 1991 visit to the Vatican he accused the Gulf War allies of genocide. When every other Assyrian patriarch maintained an inexplicable silence during the economic embargo against the people of Iraq, His Beatitude courageously argued against the western powers and the United Nations and demanded the immediate end to the futile sanctions against the people of his native land. Every month over 5,000 Iraqi children under the age of five were dying due to malnourishment.

In dealing with the disloyal bishops in Iraq and the United States, he drew more people back to the basic idea of unity in Christ and within his church. Mar Bidawid disliked the secessionist movement started by two of his bishops in the United States. He died a few days before a scheduled interview with Zinda Magazine in which His Beatitude was to address the issue of the Chaldean Catholic faith within the framework of the Assyrian nationality.

One of Mar Bidawid’s culminating act in his work of spiritual reform was the regathering of the bishops of the Church of the East and the Chaldean Catholic Church and the signing of the “Joint Synodal Decree for Promoting Unity" on 15 August 1997. Three years earlier on 11 November 1994, Pope John Paul II and Patriarch Mar Dinkha IV of the Church of the East had signed the basic theological agreement between the Catholic Church and the Assyrian Church of the East or the "Common Christological Declaration” clearing the way for the Chaldean and the Assyrian Churches to initiate a process of dialogue and collaboration toward the goal of unity of the two Assyrian churches.

Mar Bidawid never failed to be present at every prescribed ceremony, even when not feeling well. During his 14 years of patriarchy he consecrated 2 Chaldean archbishops and 6 Chaldean bishops.

His Beatitude had been hospitalized in Beirut since the winter of 2002. During his final months he was undergoing several dialysis sessions due to the failure of his kidneys. In Lebanon his doctors asked him to seek rest and refreshment for his tired mind and ailing body. Yet His Beatitude never resigned to a dormant life and attentively followed the events in Iraq and abroad.

To His Beatitude’s physical pains were added during his last months a number of griefs, mainly caused by the behaviour of two bishops in the United States, who threatened the rupture of his Church with their secessionist ideas.
Mar Bidawid was a staunch supporter of the Assyrian nationalism or “oomtanayoota”, as attested in his interviews – namely with the Assyrian Star magazine and the Lebanese Broadcasting Company (LBC) television network.

On the last days of June, perhaps aware that his death was approaching, Mar Bidawid asked for an interview with Zinda Magazine. A list of candid questions were submitted to Lebanon and a meeting with a Zinda Magazine reporter was scheduled. The interview was soon postponed; however, Mar Bidawid offered his telephone number for an informal interview with the author of this editorial. His Beatitude died a few days before this interview.

His Beatitude did not live long enough to witness the final achievement of all he had endeavored to do. He guided his flock during the most difficult days of Iraq’s modern existence, keeping the faith in a country troubled by economic sanctions and consumed by unjust dictators.

According to the canons of the Chaldean Catholic Church, precisely thirty days after the laying of the Patriarch’s body to rest, a Synod of the Chaldean bishops will gather in Baghdad and elect one from among themselves to assume the Patriarchy of the Chaldean Catholic Church. If a decision is not reached, the Roman Catholic Church must intervene and appoint a bishop to this venerated position.

The funeral for His Beatitude Mar Raphael I Bidawid will take place at the Malakha Raphael Chaldean Catholic Church in “Hazimmiya” outside of Beirut on Saturday, 4:00 PM (Beirut Time). Cardinal Ignace Moussa Daoud, prefect of the office for Eastern-rite churches, will represent the Vatican.

In the next few issues, we will ponder the significance of the election of the next Chaldean patriarch. Today, we remain prayerful and solemn in remembering a revered Chaldean spiritual leader and an Assyrian nationalist. Zinda Magazine offers its deepest condolences to His Beatitude’s family, a mourning Assyrian nation and in particular the Chaldean Catholics around the world.

Wilfred Bet-Alkhas

The Lighthouse


This week, Zinda Magazine honors the Assyrian students who by the end of this academic year will have successfully completed their high school and college or university studies from an accredited educational institution.

The Class of 2003 was born during the war between Iran and Iraq, the rise of Saddam Hussein to power, the height of the Cold War and the mass emigration of the Assyrian families from Iran, Iraq, Turkey, and Syria. Now they set off to an uncertain path to pursue a career in a U.S.-dominated world, bereft of the threat of communism, a free Iraq, and a very fast-growing Assyrian society in the Diaspora. In fact, for the first time there may be more Assyrians living in Europe, former Soviet Union republics, North America, and Australia than there are in Bet-Nahrain.

The Class of 2003 is also a product of MTV and CNN, Eminem and X-Men, Gulf Wars and Star Wars, the Internet and the email. In the vocabulary of the Class of 1993 there appeared no such words and phrases as HTML, chat rooms, and Zinda Magazine. In less than 10 years, the Assyrian people living in more than 50 non-Middle Eastern countries were able to reunite their social fragments in cyberspace and re-establish a vibrant and growing global community. Each individual found personal power through the means of communication never conceived before.

During their formative years of education, they witnessed a former terrorist awarded the Nobel Prize for Peace and a presidential candidate entering the White House with less votes than his opponent. It almost seems that all Newtonian laws of political and cultural mechanics have become obsolete and that which matters the most is the power of persuasion. If their parents persevered because of their determination to survive, the Class of 2003 will persist by means of marketing and lobbying their ideas.

The Class of 2003 has thus acquired a new world view, a paradigm shift that is both empowering and concurrently unnerving to the Assyrian status quo. It goes something like this: the powerless can defeat the mighty if it can convince the hegemonic power- be it the United States government, the Vatican, the multi-national corporations, or the powerful political lobbies in Washington. After all in our MTV universe, image is more important than talent, present is more enduring than the past, and greater wealth is always a desired good. For the first time since 1903, our children believe that they can move mountains.

Zinda Magazine is confident that every graduating student listed below can accomplish feats of extraordinary achievement. Each of them has the power to change our world for the better and meet the toughest challenge if given the opportunity. The challenge put forth to the Class of 2003 is this: How can we embrace the virtues of a communal life by strengthening personal power and a strong sense of morality within a de-centralized global Assyrian society?

The Assyrian nation expects a great deal from this year’s graduating doctors, lawyers, artists, engineers, and teachers. Our graduates in the past recognized their personal power and were able to move mountains of hopelessness and dig through valleys of uncertainty. When forced to flee their homes and take a few worldly possessions, they carried only their books and the Assyrian pride from Nisibin to Jundi-Shapur, Urmia to Bakuba, Tiflis to Siberia, and Tel-Tamar to Stockholm. Once again it is time to convince the world of our worth and our historic significance. It is time to abandon our moribund arrangements and let the educated lead us to salvation.

Congratulations to the Class of 2003 and to their proud parents, children and spouses.

Zinda Magazine

Class of 2003:  High School







Raman Ashur Rustam


Gilbert, Arizona



Will Attend:  Arizona State University


Future:  Criminal Justice


Daniel Maryanne


Tarzana, California

Thousand Oaks


Will Attend: Univ. of California, Riverside



Is a published poet and writer

Ninos Biram





Will Attend: Univ of Illinois, Chicago




Class of 2003:  Colleges/Universities







Wilson Farid  Abdo

Gelderland, The Netherlands

University of Nijmegen

Doctor of Medicine



Mary Aghassi

Turlock, California

California State University, Stanislaus


Child Development


Sydney, Australia

University of New South Wales


Business Information Technology


Aisho Baro

Jönköping, Sweden

University of Skövde


Systems Programming


Nella Bello


Alpharetta, Georgia

Georgia Perimeter College


Future: Emory University

Associates in Science




Future: Dentistry

National Dean's List.  Chemistry, Math, Honors Program, and Student Government scholarships.  Student of the Semster Award in Math.  Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society member.  Honors club member.

Sargon David

Toronto, Canada

York University



Ilber Eshaya

Encino, California

California State University Northridge


Political Science

Janin Benyamin Faghi-Bighloo

Tehran, Iran

Tehran Azad University


Foreign Languages

Denise Gewargis


Roosevelt University


Public Administration

Ninos Jacob

Auckland, New Zealand

Manukau Institute of Technology



Erik Khoobyarian

San Jose, California

Santa Clara University

Juris Doctor


Tatian Kurkies

San Diego, California

Grossmont College

Register Nurse

Susan Lander

Lansdale, Pennsylvania

Boston University


String Performance & Music Education

Summa Cum Laude

Hazem Moshy

Sydney, Australia

University of Western Sydney


civil Engineering


Helen Talia

Schaumburg, Illinois

Olivet Nazarene University


Business Administration

Magna Cum Laude

Pavel Varda

San Diego, California

San Diego State University


Computer Science


Sara Varda

San Diego, California

San Diego State University


Computer Science


Benita Vardehzadeh

Brussels, Belgium


Boston University Brussels


Business Management


Susan Warda


Moraga, California

San Francisco State University


Future: Hayward State Univ


Liberal Studies


Future: Teacher Education

Summa Cum Laude




(ZNDA: London) According to information received from the Assyrian National Congress Information Bureau, Mr. Romeo Nissan Hakkari, Secretary General of BNDP and Mr. Pnoel Hermis, President of Bet-Nahrain Democratic (BNDP) party and DR. William Ishaya, Secretary General and President of Bet-Nahrain Democratic (BNDP) party meet Mr. L. Paul Bremer in Iraq.

The BNDP delegation presented the certain proposals and discussed matters related to the Assyrians in Iraq.

On Wednesday 2 July the proposed Iraqi Political Council, which includes Mr. Yonadam Kanna, Secretary General of the Assyrian Democratic Movement (Zowaa), met with the Rt Hon Jack Straw, British Foreign Minister, Ambassador Paul Bremmer, U.S administrator to Iraq, Mr. Ryan Crocker, deputy assistant to the US Secretary of State for Near Eastern Affairs and Mr. John Sawers, Britain's top envoy to Iraq. Also in attendance were many other U.S. and U.K. officials. The lunch meeting took place at the "Presidential Palace Convention Centre" in Baghdad.

Various issues including the current situation in Iraq and the formation of the Iraqi transitional authority were discussed at this meeting. An announcement is expected in the next few weeks formally establishing the Iraqi Political Council.


(ZNDA: Baghdad) On 30 June, the Political Bureaus of the Assyrian Democratic Movement and the Assyrian Democratic Organization released a communique in which they agreed to a "Chaldean Syriac Assyrian National Congress" in Baghdad during the month of September under the banner "For the Sake of our Unity and our National and Ethnic Rights."

Political analyst, Mr. Aprim Shapera, stands in front of the ADM headquarters in Baghdad.

The ADM and ADO leadership met in Iraq between June 27 and 28 to address the current ethnic and national issues concerning the Assyrians in Iraq. The two sides stressed the importance of unity and directing their efforts through mutual national endeavors in order to secure and guarantee the legitimate ethnic rights of the Syriac-speaking groups in the new constitution of Iraq. This meeting materialized after several dialogues that took place with the various political groups, religious, cultural, and civic institutions representative of all Christian denominations in Iraq.

The two groups decided to invite all political organizations, civic and religious institutions to the Congress. A preparatory committee will be sending out formal invitations that will be accompanied by a working agenda. The working agenda will include the center issues or axis of concern, which will be studied by the participants in order to form the final structure through the various committees that will emerge from the Congress. All participants will have the opportunity to express and convey their vision and thoughts according to the statement released.

ADO - Political Bureau
ADM - Political Bureau


Courtesy of the AFP (9 July); Ahmed Jarallah

(ZNDA: Baghdad) Dozens of leading Iraqi women met this week in Baghdad to develop a collective voice for the half of society they say was deeply oppressed during the rule of ousted president Saddam Hussein.

The first national women's conference since a US-led coalition brought down the curtain on Saddam's Baath Party regime gathered some 90 women here to plot strategies to increase their role in running a new Iraq.

Officials from the US-led Coalition Provisional Authority (CPA) running Iraq said the session would break into workshops addressing human rights, judicial and legal issues, society, health, education, and the constitution.

"This is the first step for women to regain their basic and fundamental rights, primarily concerning the decision-making in Iraq," said Pascale Isho, head of the Assyrian Women's Organization.

Women's rights "were choked during the Baathist suppressive regime," she said.

Other delegates said Iraqi women were ready to right the wrongs of previous governments.

An expert close to the appointment process has said that the 25-member Iraqi National Council will include just four women and one Assyrian.

Some women held key posts in government offices or ministries during Saddam's 24-year rule but only one, Baath Party regional command member Huda Salih Mahdi Ammash, brushed the top echelons of power.

A CPA coordinator of the conference said recommendations put forward would be submitted to various CPA advisory groups, city councils of Baghdad and elsewhere, ministerial bodies, and Bremer himself.


(ZNDA: Baghdad) According to information obtained from the Chaldean News Agency on 6 July the Baghdad-branch of the Chaldean National Congress has named the following eight officers to its leadership committee in the Iraqi capital:

News Digest


(ZNDA: Baghdad) On Thursday 3 July, the Iraqi National Museum in Baghdad was officially reopened by Ambassador Paul Bremmer, also in attendance were diplomats and officials from many countries. Mr. Yonadam Kanna, Secretary General of the Assyrian Democratic Movement took part in the reopening ceremony. Ambassador Bremmer stated that the Coalition Provisional Authority (CPA) is committed to protecting the museum and its priceless historical artifacts and restoring the missing pieces to the museum.

An emotional Iraqi man bursts into tears as he visit the Assyrian gallery on 3 July. Photo by Radu Sigheti

On display were the renowned Nimrud treasures. One of the most significant archaeological finds of the 20th century, the Nimrud treasures, excavated in the ancient Assyrian city of Nimrud near present day Mosul, was found safe and undamaged in a Baghdad bank vault last month. The Nimrud treasures date back to 900 BC consisting in gold artifacts and precious gems have not been seen since the early 1990's.

Paul Bremer, the head of the Coalition Provisional Authority in Iraq, examines an ancient gold crown. Photo by Radu Sigheti

Last month, Mr. Beni Atoori, an Assyrian film producer, pledged a donation of one and half million U.S. dollars to the Iraqi National Museum in Baghdad. Mr. Atoori’s upcoming film, Gilgamesh, will be released in 2004.


Courtesy of the Kyodo News Service (4 July)

(ZNDA: Paris) Last Thursday the U.N. Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization or UNESCO added 23 sites to its World Heritage list in addition to the cultural landscape and archaeological remains of city of Ashur in Iraq.

The additions bring the number of sites on the list to 754, of which 582 are cultural, 149 natural and 23 mixed.

The decisions were made during the 27th session of the UNESCO World Heritage Committee that started June 30 at the organization's headquarters in Paris.

The ruins of the ancient city Ashur are located on the Tigris River in Iraq. The city dates back to the 3rd millennium B.C. It was the first capital of the Assyrian empire from the 14th to the ninth centuries B.C., and a city-state and trading center of international importance. It also served as the religious capital for the Assyrians, and was associated with the god Ashur.


Courtesy of Zenit News Ageny (4 July)

(ZNDA: Vatican) Children living in Iraqi orphanages are now victims of drug traffickers and criminal bands, the Latin-rite archbishop of Baghdad, Jean Sleiman, said in statements published in L'Osservatore Romano.

"There were many orphanages in the Iraqi capital. Of these, at least 12 are now totally empty. There are no children now," the Italian edition of the Vatican semiofficial newspaper reported today.

Even children who have families live in fear. "Parents accompany their children to school personally, and get out of their cars armed with Kalashnikovs. All are afraid of the kidnappings," he said.

For his part, Auxiliary Bishop Shlemon Warduni of the Chaldean Patriarchate of Baghdad has appealed for the re-establishment of sufficient security conditions to respond "rapidly" to the formation of a provisional government.

"Above all what is lacking is security," he said. "It is the greatest concern of the Church in Iraq. Without security, no one can study or work. Medicines and electricity are also lacking. The situation in hospitals is precarious; some have been ransacked and burned."


Courtesy of the Reuters (9 July); by Jeremy Lovell

(ZNDA: London) Donny George, a top Assyrian-Iraqi archaeologist says museum looters were stealing history and must be shot. Mr. George and many prominent Assyriologists are gathering this week in London at the annual Assyriology conference to discuss the history and impact of the city of Nineveh.

"These people are stealing material from the whole of mankind. If they steal from mankind I would say it is fair they should be shot," says Mr. George, head of research at Iraq's Board of Antiquities and Heritage. Mr. George was recently appointed a representative of the Church of the East at the Chaldo-Assyrian National Committee.

George said the systematic looting of the Baghdad Museum as the invading U.S. army entered the city in April had been a warning to beef up museum security.

"Our tragedy has been a wake-up call for the rest of the world. Museums should be rearranged in a way that the buildings can defend themselves automatically," he said on the fringes of an international archaeology meeting at the British Museum.

"There should be steel doors and shutters that close automatically if there is a break-in, not wooden doors like ours that the looters can simply break down," George added.

The ransacking of Baghdad Museum, in which at least 13,000 items were stolen, had shown that many of the robbers had been heavily armed and well organised.

"They had guards with heavy machine guns and mortars patrolling outside while the looters were at work inside the museum. It would have been no good walking up and asking them to stop. They would have killed you," he said.

George said some of the looters had evidently been using inside information about the locations in the vaults of invaluable cylinder seals, of which some 5,000 had been stolen.

Others had ignored lower value items and zeroed in on some of the most important pieces -- 32 of which were still missing.

"They left the replicas. They had glass cutters and keys and were well prepared with very good knowledge," George said.

About 1,500 pieces had been returned -- some by people who had taken them into safekeeping and others which had been seized from people trying to cross into Jordan and Syria.

Indicating the international scope of the trade in illicit antiquities, pieces had also been found in New York and Rome.

George said there was a well-established trail through Syria and Jordan to Switzerland and then on to England.

"The major buyers are the Americans and Japanese -- who have the money -- and Israelis who have the history," he said.

"Museums should lead the way and, like Britain, ban the trade in pieces without authentic documents. It will stop the dealers who are always looking for ways to get round the barriers. We have to find ways to stop them," George added.

He said his battered faith in humanity had been restored by an Iraqi man who at the height of the looting had rescued several key pieces -- including the priceless statue of Assyrian King Shalmaneser III -- and later returned them.

"I hugged him and kissed him on the forehead -- which is the mark of highest respect for an Iraqi. We both started crying. If he had sold the statue he and his family would have been millionaires for generations," George said.


Courtesy of the Modesto Bee (2 July); by John Holland

Ten miles of Highway 99 will become the Joash E. Paul Memorial Highway, honoring a longtime Assyrian businessman and Stanislaus County supervisor. Stanislaus County is in Central California and covers the cities of Turlock, Ceres, and Modesto.

The California Senate voted 40-0 this week to put Paul's name on the stretch between Mitchell Road in Ceres and the south county line.

The Assembly unanimously approved the proposal in April. Because it is a resolution, it does not need Gov. Davis' signature.

Signs bearing Paul's name can go up once the backers raise about $5,000 for them from sources other than state government.

"More than likely, he would be surprised," said his widow, Julia, "because he never let the light shine on himself."

Joash Paul, who died in 2000 at 80, was a Turlock native and a rancher for 50 years. He also worked in real estate and for 25 years helped run a family business, Paul's Motel and Pixie Pancake House, along what was then Highway 99 through central Turlock.

Paul served on the county Board of Supervisors from 1968 to 1980. He also was a board member and fund-raiser for county-owned Scenic General Hospital in Modesto, and an active member of the Assyrian-American Civic Club of Turlock, Sacred Heart Catholic Church and the Portuguese Union of the State of California.

Assemblyman Greg Aghazarian, R-Stockton, whose district includes the Turlock area, introduced the resolution in February.

"The amount of support is not surprising, considering the body of work and accomplishments of Mr. Paul, and I think it's a fitting tribute to his life," Aghazarian said.

The requirement that nonstate money be used for memorial signs is common for this type of honor on state highways. Aghazarian said the California Department of Transportation will set up a fund for the Paul signs and will provide information on how people can donate.

Turlock City Councilman John Lazar, a leader in the effort to honor Paul, said several people already have said they will help raise the money.

"Knowing of the support and admiration he has had in this area over the years, I don't think that will be difficult at all," Lazar said.

The backers plan a dedication ceremony once Caltrans installs the signs.

Surfs Up!
Letters From Zinda Magazine Readers


This email is being sent in regards to the passing of His Holiness, Mar Raphael I Bidawid. It is truly an extremely upsetting time in the lives of all Assyrians, regardless of our religious backgrounds. I myself absolutely looked up to His holiness, and thought of him as an exceptional figure. He was a beautiful person, with a big heart. My family and I had been blessed to have him in our home, and his blessings will continue to live with us forever. He will absolutely be missed and I pray that he may look over everyone and help us resolve the problems that we have at hand. Allah Manikhli and may he rest in peace.

I look forward to any future publications that you make in reference to His holiness,Mar Raphael I Bidawid.

Mary Agassi


I just wanted to thank you for featuring me on the cover of Zinda this weekend; it's been a real honor. I know that I try my hardest to do my best to represent myself, my family, and my culture.

Sargon Daniel
Washington D.C.


I would like to commend you on the outstanding journalism and topics your online magazine researches. I am an Assyrian born in Iraq who migrated to the U.S. in 1970. I would like to say that our own people are not aware of our rich and ancient culture. I would like to see the Assyrian conventions offer more enriching and educational materials. I also think that our churches need to be contacted and train them on the importance of our religion and how it has preserved us as a people. I think our church leaders do not share their knowledge with the public. They hold so much information. During our services, they only speak about low attendance rather than teaching about how we can became Christian believers. Maybe you could do a story about the church and get some people interested. Please let me know if I can help you in your quest. Thanks again for all the hard work.

Linda Mareewa Pecho

[Z-information: To read Zinda Magazine’s investigative report on the past, present, and future of the Church of the East see our August 12, 26, and September 9, 2002 issues.]


It seems that certain mercenaries around the world and in Iraq are determined to undermine the Assyrian national movement, just as they did in 1932 when Iraq was being prepared for admission in the League of Nations. How much damage can they do today?

We have witnessed certain organizations being established by such mercenaries including the "Christian United Front of Kurdistan" in 1992 and later the "Chaldean Democratic Party" in late 2002, both supported by the Kurdish Democratic Party (KDP).

This trend did not stop. al-Jazeera Arabic International Satellite TV station on July 1, 2003, reported on its 4:00 P.M. and later on the 6:00 P.M. (West Coast Time) News segments that the "Christian Democratic Party" of Iraq organized its first conference in Mosul in order to prove its presence. Reporting from Mosul, al-Jazeera's Samir Hasan stated that the Christian Democratic Party was established in 1986 outside Iraq as a representative of all Christians of Iraq in order to defend their rights. al-Jazeera's reporter later interviewed Minas al-Yousifi, the founder of the Christian Democratic Party. Al-Yousifi claimed that the Christian Democratic Party was an umbrella for all the Iraqi Christians. He added that there was no difference between Christians and Moslem, or between Kurds, Chaldeans or Assyrians, etc. He added that Iraqis differ solely through their stand and actions as Iraqi citizens. The Christian Democratic Party rejected the representation of all Christians in Mosul, or Iraq for that matter, by the Assyrian Democratic Movement (ADM).

Most of the attendees in that meeting were Catholics as the Chaldean Catholic Church showed its presence there clearly, as stated by the reporter, but that was not the case with the other churches. Mar Saliba Shimun, Bishop of Mosul of the Syrian Orthodox Church, for example, questioned in a separate interview the legitimacy of the Christian Democratic Party and stated that he personally has not heard of this new organization until the day before. The bishop rejected this organization's claim as a representative of all Christians in Mosul since the Syrian Orthodox Church was not informed or was not aware of the activities of the said organization. The ADM did not attend the meeting and voiced its objection from this new turn of events.

The reporter finally stated that there were 1,500,000 Christians in Iraq; Chaldeans, Syrians (Suryan), Assyrians and Armenians. He added that the Christians of Iraq had the right to establish their own organizations and representations.

Minas al-Yousifi is a member of the Chaldean Catholic Church who lived in Sweden for a while, and returned after the liberation of Iraq. He had allegiances to the Iraqi Communist Party and to the Kurds and Barazani in the past. Al-Yousifi was shunned in Iraq as many refused to work with him including Mar Ibrahim Ibrahim. Sources say that Christians of Iraq, generally speaking, shy away from any Christian group that makes Christianity its main ideology because such could flame Christian/Shi'aa Moslem relations. The reporter in fact misled the viewers when he stated that the Chaldean Catholic Church was present in the conference, insinuating that the said Church officially supported Minas al-Yousifi's. In fact, the majority of the clergy and members of the Chaldean Catholic Church do not support this new organization. My question is, who is behind such individuals like al-Yousifi who appeared all for a sudden in order to undermine the latest stand of unity shown among the various segments of the Assyrians (including Chaldeans and Suryan) in Iraq.

Fred Aprim


These last days, for our radio program, we are consulting the information spread by Zinda, we translate it into Soureth and French to inform our listeners and people who listen to us all over the world.

Little by little, we begin to be tired of this eternal debate about the name. The fact that a great news agency like Zinda grants so much importance to a so pointless debate (that Zinda tries to present as essential) saddens us and we see this attitude as provoking our people.

This week, I read Wilfred Bet-Alkhas' editorial in order to know if there were some interesting ideas to diffuse in our radio broadcast. In my great surprise, I understood that Wilfred Bet-Alkhas does not have the journalistic neutrality he should have and I believed he had. I was so convinced of his neutrality that I diffused, although Chaldean Catholic represent 98 % of our Assyro-Chaldean community in France, the information concerning the declaration of the two Chaldean bishops as an attempt to divide our people.

In his last editorial, Bet-Alkhas falls in the same trap as these two bishops. It is very simple to criticize the most important and the most useful Assyro-Chaldean political organisation, when we are well settled in our cocoon in the United States or in Europe. However, it is normal to criticize it. Those who work a lot are led to be criticized for their numerous activities. Naturally, nobody is going to criticize the Assyrian National Congress, the personal property of Sargon Dadesho, who uses this party for his narcissistic pleasure (if it was a true political party, it wouldn’t have the same president for years), simply because this party has no activity.

The proposition of the compound name by the Assyrian Democratic Movement shows its greatness and its dedication in the service of the unity of our people. I ask Wilfred Bet-Alkhas, what does he want to insinuate to the Assyrian political parties by the term “massive rebellion”? In French, it is a very strong concept that we don’t want to use. Is it not jealousy intended to destabilize Zowaa and our nation?

I remind the Assyrians who complain so much and who are so disturbed by this compound name, by Zawaa and by the Chaldeans, that the Patriarchy of the Chaldean Catholic Church has remained in Bagdad, in the homeland of its ancestors, in spite of all the oppressions, in spite of all the difficulties, while the Assyrian Patriarchy preferred the exile itself in the United States. In France, we have a proverb which says “those who go hunting, lose their place”.

Today that Saddam has fallen, the Assyrians ask the Chaldeans to confine to their role of monastic community, saying to them: “You are Assyrian and we have to take charge of all political problems”. Is this not appropriation?

I do not understand! We, the Assyro-Chaldeans of France, who arrived in great majority about twenty years ago, have resolved this question of the name. We are Assyro-Chaldean. Even in our ID cards, we are named as Assyro-Chaldean since the beginning of our exodus in France.

As representative of the most important and the most active radio of the Assyro-Chaldean radios in Europe, by the contents and the quality, we are informed of all Assyro-Chaldean activities in Europe and all over the world. Bet- Alkhas claims that the Assyrians of Europe are mobilized against Zowaa, either he is dishonest, or he has very bad sources of information: indeed, Assyro-Chaldeans of Europe support massively the Assyrian Democratic Movement.

Accusing Zowaa of collaboration with the Kurds is understandable, although the Kurds are not my favourite persons. But which movement is totally independent? The enemy of my enemy is my friend.

Please let us stop with this problem of the name. Personally, I accept all the names. The fact to be called Assyrian, Chaldean, Syriac, Jacobite or Maronite, or even Aramaic does not disturb me because I know we are all the inseparable members of the same nation whatever is its name!

Our history shows us that we have been divided into various Christian confessions. Although I am Chaldean, the fact that my children are baptized by an Assyrian priest would be only a source of pride for me because it would show the unity of our people, beyond any religious separation. Regrettably, we, who had to take your example, you, Assyro-Chaldeans of the United States, who have succeeded in all the domains, I believe that in this conflict of the name and the confessions, you will have to take us in example and stop once and for all these sterile and destructive debates.

Long live the unity of the Assyro-Chaldean people.

Samuel Yalap
Assyro-Chaldean Voice


His holiness Mar Roufael Bidwaeed Patriarch of the Chaldean Catholic Church
His holiness Mar Khnania Dinkha IV Patriarch of the Assyrian Church of The East
His holiness Mar Adai Patriarch of The Ancient Church of The East
His holiness Mar Zakka Ewass Patriarch of The Syriac Orthodox Church
His holiness Mar ?Patros Abdulahad Patriarch of The Syriac Catholic Church
Reverend priests

The Assyro-Chaldean people
Mr. Paul Bremmer , The Civil Administrator in Iraq

Re:The term Assyro-Chaldean as a unifying name for our people and Syriac as its language

Throughout history our people has suffered a lot because of the external persecution and the internal schisms (division) which led to it becoming a weak and divided nation.

After centuries of attempts by external forces to deface our history, civilization and to deprive our people from their historical and national rights, our people have recently started to look forward for life in a democratic and free Iraq with full national and linguistic rights alongside the other ethnic groups in Iraq.

It is a known fact that the internal schisms in the past had lead to the existence of a number of different names to the same people. Despite the fact that these names had played a negative role in widening the gap between the different groups within our people, we are proud of all these names as we think they all, at the end, refer to one nation.

We thank God that we lived to the day that we witness the beginning of the journey to the inevitable reunion which took place in the historical meeting in Baghdad. This meeting that included clergymen and secular figures representing all the different churches in Iraq, which had come in a time to fulfil what many had been dreaming of for a long time and to put an end to the long suffering of our great people. We consider your decision to adopt the term AssyroChaldean as a single and unifying name for our people with Syriac as its language as the right resolution. This is because it is the opinion of the majority of individuals and groups within our nation and also because it has been adopted after long and comprehensive consultation with all the relevant parties, organizations and individuals who bear the good will towards our one nation.

We the undersigned, we are pleased to express and declare our strong support for your resolution and we take this opportunity to thank you for this great decision. We ask God to bless and protect you and enable you to protect your decision form the tiny minority that is working against such an initiative.

The importance of such a historical resolution should not pass without being remembered every year as a very important day in our people’s history and we propose that it be celebrated as a national day for all our people.

May God bless all those who made it possible such a great agreement and may God enable you to work harder for the benefit of this great nation.


Arabic Version: http://www.ankawa.com/petition/

Amir Almaleh


I read the article "Remembering an Assyrian Lady" and also the letter written by Miss Jermaine Soleymani.
I would like to make Miss Soleymani aware that some situations can be found lacking or worthy of praise, depending from which side they are seen.

I'm a foreigner married to an Assyrian man. I met my husband in a European country and, in spite of not being of his "nationality or culture or language or even faith", followed him to his native country. There I lived for some years with my in-laws, in an Assyrian community, learnt how to speak the Assyrian language and adapted to the Assyrian, generally the Middle Eastern, way of life. And I was praised and loved because I made his people my own, without forgetting, sacrificing or compromising my ancestry. I am who I am, regardless of the way I dress, the language I speak or the food I prepare and eat.

I do not consider my decision (in spite of my parent's unease) of marrying an Assyrian as something "not honorable or worthy of praise" and the consequences of this decision have been four wonderful children, who very well know the ancestry of each parent, and a very happy and united family.

It is not my experience that it doesn't require "mental strength or courage" in following the proverb "Do in Rome as the Romans do". To be able to reach the point of adapting and being accepted there were many obstacles to clear in a culture that was alien to me. It needs a great effort, at times hardships, and a strong desire to succeed to be able to achieve a harmonious and happy relationship.

Knowing of the difficulties faced when following the husband to alien cultures I think I can understand the "Assyrian Lady’s daughter praising her mother and loving her memory. It is of worth that in spite of being so alone in her husband's country, she taught this daughter about her ancestry.

My situation seems to be like the one of the "Assyrian lady"; I was and continue being accepted and praised by Assyrians precisely for the same reasons that this "Assyrian Lady" was accepted by her husband's people. Same situation but seen from different angles. Interesting, isn't it?

Mona Albert


First I would like to say how sad I feel for all the families that were persecuted by the evil Saddam Hussein in such barbaric ways. My thoughts and prayers are with all the families. Yet, we all have a story to tell. I lost more than half a million of my brothers and sisters, mothers and fathers, and innocent little children. Yes, all those Assyrians who gave their lives for their beliefs are my family. They are the ones that inspired me to write to Zinda magazine, under the title over my dead body. I did it for all the brave Assyrians that gave up their lives to keep their Assyrian name. So shall I then be called evil? And should I be ashamed because I am married to a Scottish man, thus giving me no right to call myself a proud Assyrian? I was called dear and evil at the same time, two words that do not go together. Evil is a very strong word when all I did was defend my name.

Just because some people are not educated enough and do not know anything about their heritage does not mean that I am not educated either. Maybe I do not have a Masters degree in any subject whatsoever, but when it comes to my Assyrian heritage I know from A to Z.

Some title their letters as “Zowaa is Our Only Hope”; well then, they should not write their name as Assyrian but instead, according to Zowaa, they should write it this way: “I am Assyrian/Chaldean/Syriac, married to an Assyrian/Chaldean/Syriac women. My sister is Assyrian/Chaldean/Syriac married to an Assyrian/Chaldean/Syriac with their three kids who are also Assyrian/Chaldean/Syriac.” Is that what you call hope?

People like that seem to be living in a different world. I advise them to watch Assyria Sat and see for themselves how angry the Assyrian people are about Mr. Younadum’s actions. See what people from the past have done to us. We had one name, Assyrian, and one church. Should we allow people like Mr. Younadum to let this happen again? Will history have to repeat itself before we will learn from past mistakes?

My father is Orthodox, my mother is Baptist, and I am Catholic. I was born in Bet Nahrain, Kirkuk, I had an Iranian passport, I married a Protestant, Scottish man, they took away my Iranian passport and they gave me a British passport. All of these are man made! Assyrians are God made! Please, tell me where in my letter did I say I was an Egyptian citizen. I stated that I live in Egypt because of my husband’s job. Where, anywhere in the world, is there a law saying that I cannot call myself a proud Assyrian? (Even though I am married to a Scottish man, and have been living away from my beloved country for over thirty five years I never forgot who I am and still speak Assyrian fluently. I still call myself a very proud Assyrian and until I die no one and no power in this land can take my name away from me. I still help my beloved people in any way I can, and I will stand in the way of anyone who tries to harm Assyrian people.

There are many Assyrians born in America and have citizenship, yet they are still called Assyrian/American. It’s amazing to think that some people living in the United States, that are not even members of Zowaa, still know what Mr. Yonadam is doing. We keep hearing that Mr. Yonadam is doing very well back home and he’s doing very well for people in the north of Bet Nahrain. Then suddenly I hear that he has no time to sleep, eat, or feed his family?

And about my life in Egypt, is it not amazing how a person could presume that I am living a comfortable life and accuse me of not knowing about my homeland when they do not know me at all? How do you know anything about my life in Egypt? How do you know my life in Egypt is very comfortable? Yes I do know how difficult of a life they have. I was born there and I have been through wars and revolutions. Iraq is a never-ending story. I know about all this, it is another reason why I wrote a letter to Zinda magazine. Well let me remind you all, that our dear brothers and sisters died because they were Assyrian. They gave their lives for the sake of Assyrian name. So instead of calling me evil and Mr. Younadum a hero, call your hero and ask him why he wants to change your name, a name that half a million Assyrians died to keep? And let me tell you all, I do not hate Mr. Younadum, or Zowaa, or any Assyrian. What I do hate is some of the actions they take.

I support anyone who works for Assyrians. I used to go to Modesto every summer for 3 months and I supported Zowaa every time they asked for money. And when Mr. Younadum came to Modesto I was there. And Shotapota had given a dinner in his honor that I was taken to by a friend and his wife. Mr. Younadum was coming from San Jose and he was late nearly 2 hours. Believe me I didn’t have enough money with me then. I borrowed $200 from my friend and gave to him. After the dinner he gave his speech. He started good for a while but the rest of the time he spoke against Dr. Sargon Dadesho. It was not the time or the place and definitely not professional for someone who was representing all the Assyrian people in our homeland. His speech was supposed to inform us on what our brothers and sisters are doing back home. So, it was then that I decided not to have anything to do with Zowaa. After his speech I went to talk to him and he asked m! e what I thought about his speech. I told him he started good but finished it bad. He looked at me and we both walked away without saying anything.

Let me ask another question, if you were in the time of Jesus (Our Blessed Lord), and you hear him speaking of wisdom, hope, love, and doing all his miracles, and for no reason Judas comes and tries to betray him would you just stand and do nothing? I think some would because not only did they not stop Judas but they also called him their hero. So Judas who betrayed our Lord, is he their hero too? Well he’s not mine. But you know Judas had more of a conscience because the minute he realized he betrayed his Lord he hung himself.

Our blessed Lord was taken like a sheep to be slaughtered. So is the Assyrian name taken like a sheep to be slaughtered into pieces. Over my dead body! About my choices in life, I blame no one, as how could I if I never had any? I didn’t have a choice at all. My family where kicked from Iran to Iraq then from Iraq to Iran. Please go to the Zinda magazine archive and read my letter again. When I wrote about the late Shah of Iran I was making an example. I said with all his power and money he had no choice. It was mentioned that I care more about the Shah than I care about my martyrs, well whoever thinks that are very wrong. It’s not that I don’t care about the late Shah because I do and I do love the Royal family of Iran; they were very good for Assyrian people. I wrote that letter because I owe the martyrs, and you, and all Assyrian people, for the blood they shed to keep our Assyrian name.

If Yonadam Kanna is so hungry for the dollar bill, why is he living in a third world country? Well this quote is very wrong because Iraq is one of the world’s richest countries just under certain circumstances it is the way it is now. Why are there no comments on anything I wrote about the Bishops? Why only Yonadum? And let me say something about myself, I am a devoted Catholic and they are my bishops. Again I call them deceivers and they are very wrong with what they did. I know the truth hurts but it has to be told. Because only the truth sets you free.

Please before accusations are made about me, read my letters with understanding and an open mind before you decide to call me evil. The reason an aggressive letter was written about me is because I mentioned the hanging, and some took it personal for which I am sorry if my letter brought back any sad memories about their tragic losses. So, to get back at me they seek refuge in using Zowaa as an excuse.

This is from a very, very, very, very proud Assyrian. This will be my signature for as long as I live.

Sharleen Will


Years back when I was involved in editing the Nineveh Newspaper in Toronto, I received an article supposedly authored by Mr. Aprem Shapeera written in Arabic dealing with the Iraqi Levies. The following day the exact same article was sent to us by Mr. Hermiz Aboona claiming to be its author.

I contacted Mr. Aboona and advised him of the confusion and he downplayed the issue and requested that I dispose of the copy he sent in and forget about it. I did neither as it became apparent to me that there was a strong possibility that someone else wrote the article and God know how many other articles and was using Assyrians to distribute such articles as being the authors. I do not need to elaborate on the implication of such assumption and leave it to the readers.

While reviewing Zinda Magazine I read Mr. Shapeera’s article “Return to the Homeland of Ashur, Fact or Fancy” which appeared in the May 19, 2003 issue in which Mr. Shapeera used as an examination of the points advanced in his previous article “Alienation of Assyrian Political Performance in Diaspora”.

In the June 16, 2003 issue of Zinda Magazine, Rev. Ken Joseph’s report on his findings on the status of the Assyrians in our homeland both in as far as the civil and political sense was conceivable and believable. Interestingly enough in the same issue there is an interview with Mr. Shapeera wherein he stresses the single issue of alienating the Assyrian political parties and movements in Diaspora and stresses that Zowaa should represent the Assyrians in the present situation in the turmoil Iraq of today, and make all decisions.

Divide and rule is the oldest tactic used to defeat and conquer an enemy. In my opinion, what Mr. Shapeera is promoting is in line with the aforementioned tactic. Zowaa being the by-product of all the Diaspora Assyrian national movements has been supported, promoted and protected by all the Diaspora Assyrian national, political, social, and cultural organizations as well as by every Assyrian individual with any degree of nationalism in their character. To attempt to discredit and/or alienate this vital sector of the Assyrian national movement is treason and I am certain that Zowaa’s leadership who is politically educated will see through such destructive suggestions, and will not be fooled by those who praise them for the sake of destroying them.

The Assyrians as a homeless nation, with ancestral lands presently occupied by invadors, i.e. Arabs and Kurds have an opportunity to regain their national honour and re-establish Assyria as a state wherein Assyrians can live and prosper and contribute to mankind as in the past and those enemies of our nation who are working their hardest to stop this from becoming a reality will use traitors from within our nation to spread the propoganda that we Assyrians are lacking the ability or to divide us.

Nenus Younan


The God-given name “Assyrian” is the only legitimate ethnic name for all Assyrians living on earth today, which was reaffirmed by Christ himself and by History and the Historians.

Therefore the God-created name “Assyrian” cannot be corrupted by few irresponsible political and religious circles. Any attempts to undermine our true national name “Assyrian” by adding other irrelevant name to it, must be halted at once.

Our nation’s true name “Assyrian” is holy and sacred to all Assyrians. It is deeply rooted in our soul and in our blood and cannot be played with by few ill spirited naive revisionists and is not subject to change by referendum, even though it’s possible to have change of name of people, parks, streets, churches, towns, cities or even laws and political systems by referendums, accept nation’s ethnic national name (i.e. Arab states have various names yet ethnically all identify themselves by their only one national name “Arab”).

I urge all Assyrians to stand united in one voice to confront by all possible means these naïve traitors (revisionists) on all fronts. At this crucial time in our history, all Assyrians must be made aware and alarmed in order not to provide any fertile grounds for our nation’s enemies to furthermore divide us or undermine the Assyrian question.

Our Assyrian Nation (people) must use utmost logic and be like farsighted eagles, able to see clearly the main centralised sources of today division’s which are not in the God-given name “Assyrian”, in contrast, our today problem’s lies somewhere else. And its in few of our Christian Assyrian denominations (churches) who have taken upon themselves corrupt methods which resulted in dividing Christ’s body and with it they have divided our Assyrian Nation into various new names. They are mostly alien to our true Assyrian name and history and in fact they have always sided with our enemies and acted as an enemy against Assyrians. Yes, indeed! These once very holly Fathers of our various Assyrian Christian denominations, these disciples of Christ had their back’s turned against “Love”, which is Christs’ main weapon. They instead have chosen to relate and practice their deeds according to “hatred” “anger” and “pride”.

Today they once again have taken concert steps to cover up those past and current true bitter realities of their wicked deeds by putting the blame, heat and focus on our pure God-given name “Assyrian”, a name mentioned by our Lord Jesus Christ in the Holy Bible, which is today fallen victim to these disciples (Holy fathers). He who holds the title of “Maran Mar” or “Mar Abba” who ignore Christ’s message and orders by attempting to change what Lord Himself had re-affirmed (name of Assyrian-Ninevites) which proves that these disciples care only for their own self-interests and their positions and to be frank, they care less about what Lord says and what “Assyrian” is.

In order to tackle and put an end to all of Vatican’s (Rome) conspiracies, I urge our Assyrian Nation, our political, religious, intellectuals, historians and all Assyrians who have experience and pure conscious to call for three urgent summits to be held anywhere acceptable to all sides.

• The first summit is to resolve all outstanding differences that existed for centuries between our Christian Assyrian Denominations (churches). To promote one unified church (body) to be called “The Church of the East” or “Assyrian Catholic Church of the East or “Catholic Church of the East”. (Considering all our Assyrian Christian denominations are ethnically Assyrian) this unified Assyrian Church will move to the second summit;

• The second summit urgently must take place between this unified Assyrian church of the East and the Vatican (Rome) to address and resolve all outstanding differences and promote unification of the church under a new name for example: “The Assyrian Roman Catholic Church of the East”;

Considering the need in uniting our nation and the Body of Christ (Church of Christ) and the influence of Vatican (Rome) in the Christian world of today, it’s important for our church to take this progressive, logical and practical path, which will unite the Assyrian nation under its true God-given name of “Assyrian”, domestically and Christ’s body (churches) internationally. Only such a move could confront those political circles who are using our division as a tool to divert and monopolies power for their sole political and personal gains.

• The third summit and the most important one, is for the formation and revival of “The Assyrian government in Exile” with all our Assyrian factions be brought under its umbrella via its National Security Council.

Its important for any nation to practice logic based on reality, to “if necessary“ sacrifice a Drop of Water for the Sake of saving the ocean, but not to sacrifice the ocean for the sake of saving a drop of water.

Elias Yalda

Surfer's Corner


Our nation is currently passing through a decisive stage in its contemporary history, in which our people are facing the issue of compound name that raises a lot of reactions among supporters and dissidents. Accordingly, our people are invited to share their thoughts in the political debate organized by the Assyrian Community Center in Canada.

Participants of our debate are:

1. Mr. Hirmiz Aboona: Assyrian Historian and researcher.

2. Mr. Esho Dinkha Yakira: Former member of Central Committee of the Assyrian Liberation Alliance (Kheth Kheth Alap).

3. Mr. Cheldo Bet-Shmoel: Member of Central Committee and Director of the Assyrian Patriotic Party US and Canada.

The debate will be moderated by Mr. Sam Shlimon and held in the United Assyrian Youth of Canada located:

3 Jody Ave. Unit # G
Toronto, Ontario – M3N 2S5
Tel: (416) 747- 9107
Center Tel: (416) 501- 5185

The debate will start at 7:30 PM on Sunday 13 July 2003.

Refreshments will be served during the break time.

The Cultural Committee
Assyrian Community Center in Canada


It is my great pleasure to inform you that we will be hosting the 70th National Convention to be held in Rosemont, Illinois during the Labor Day weekend, August 28, 2003 to September 1, 2003.

As part of the convention program, the National Convention Committee is organizing the "Ninth Annual Youth Excellence Pageant", a program that promotes and rewards education, talent, knowledge of the Assyrian language and history, and good character among our young Assyrians. The pageant is also intended to instill the sense of Assyrianism in the hearts and minds of our youth.

Please go to the link below for the Application packet which includes the criteria required to participate in the pageant, the application form, and other necessary documents.


Do not hesitate to contact me if you have any questions.

Denise Gewargis


We are very pleased to announce the listing of “Gilgamesh” on the very-popular Hollywood Stock Exchange (http://www.HSX.com) website. At HSX.com, visitors buy and sell virtual shares of celebrities, movies and music with a currency called the 'Hollywood Dollar'. This site is fun, free, and really feels like a stock exchange for the movie industry. Gilgamesh is now listed as a Movie Stock and is even presented on the HSX homepage as the IPO of The Day.

We invite our friends and partners in the Assyrian community to visit and join the Hollywood Stock Exchange. Once you've completed the very simple registration process, you'll be able to purchase and trade virtual stocks of great film projects at various phases in development and production, including GILGAMESH.

We want to thank you, our friends in the Assyrian community, so much for all of your support thus far. It is your support in spreading the word about our important project that will ultimately make this film a success.

We hope all is well with you and have a good time trading stocks on HSX.com.

Jude Calvillo
Director of Development
Stonelock Pictures, LLC



May 11, 2003

Mr. G. Garner,

I am Gewargis Sliwa, Archbishop of the Church of the East in Iraq and the representative of our patriarch His Holiness Mar Dinkha V.

As mentioned above, the name of our church is "Church of the East" and it is also called Assyrian Church of the East as the majority of its members in the last period of its long history are Assyrians. I myself prefer the first historical and geographical name.

Taking it from its historical point of view and before the schisms that took place in the church because of some theological theories or whatever during the different periods of its long history, the name "Church of the East" was the only name for this Apostolic church which was founded in the second half of the first century by the Apostles Saint
Thomas and Addai "Thaddeus" and Mari who wrote the liturgy of the church in Aramaic, the language spoken by our Saviour Jesus Christ in the blessed city Edessa which is considered the first city to accept Christianity officially. Even today we still use the same liturgy in our church services.

Because of these schisms or divisions among the members of this church who knew themselves as Assyrians, there appeared two other names, "Syrians (for Syrian Orthodox of which some joined Roman Catholic and were called Syrian Catholic) and Chaldeans for those who joined the Roman Catholic in the 16th century.

Let me give you a simple real and clear example of what I am about concerning this certain point. We might find three members of one family living in one of the Christian villages in the suburbs of the ruins of Nineveh (Mosul today) which was the capital of the Assyrian Empire. None of them had migrated from any far of or foreign place. They
all have the same historical roots of the Assyrian origin, but because each of them has followed or became a member of one of the three mentioned churches, one still calls himself Assyrian, the other Syrian and the third Chaldean.

So as mentioned in that Declaration of the Patriarchs and Bishops of Iraq, dated April 29, 2003, the names Assyrians as for the members of the Church of the East, Syrians for both members of the Syrian Orthodox Church and Syrian Catholic Church, and Chaldeans for the members of the Chaldean Church, are three different names standing for the people belonging to one Assyrian ancestry who played an important role in the ancient history of Iraq. For this reason also we must not be considered as a minority in Iraq. We are proud of being Iraqi Christian citizens, and we are proud of being Assyrians.

We, as Christian communities together with other members of other Churches, mentioned in the Declaration, have been living with Moslems and other religious communities in peace in this blessed Cradle of Civilization, the Land Between the Two Rivers, Mesopotamia, Iraq of today.

We want to keep this respectable and peaceful relationship even within the new Iraqi government which will be soon elected by Iraqi citizens.

When gathering and talking as Christians, as we are doing now in this meeting, we do not want to be considered as a Christian or political movement. Otherwise any kind or thought of any movement under the cover of Christianity will create problems between Moslems and Christians, which will please only the enemies of both.

Concerning the political rights of the members of our Christian Iraqi communities, they should be achieved through and by their political parties or groups. As for the Assyrian or Syrian Chaldean political rights, they can be asked for and achieved through the Assyrian Democratic Movement mentioned and acknowledged with other Iraqi Movements in the Presidential Determination No. 2003-05, dated December 9, 2002 signed by George W. Bush, the President of the United States of America, of which a copy is attached with the declaration.

Gewargis Sliwa
Archbishop of the Church of the East and the patriarchal representative in Iraq
Archbishopric of the Church of the East in Iraq
Hay Al Wihda 902 14 88
Baghdad – Iraq


Courtesy of the Women’s eNews (9 July)

As each day's tragic headlines make clear, post-Saddam Iraq is still plagued by major security issues and economic deprivation. And evidence is mounting that women's ability to fully enjoy human rights--indeed, even to demand such rights--is integrally linked to their economic empowerment.

The lack of security is restricting women's mobility outside the home, reproductive-health services, education, jobs, prenatal care, social services, child care, and other gender issues must all be addressed. Inclusion of women in decision-making positions as well as their participation in the transitional government is critical to ensure that their needs are met.

On June 12, 2003 on the same day that I joined my colleagues on the Congressional Human Rights Caucus and held a briefing on women survivors in postwar Iraq, I, as a member of the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation, was also honoring Shoshana Johnson, the first African American female prisoner of war.

The confluence of those events brought home to me the dichotomies that women, in all their various roles, now face during and after war. Again, the same feeling I had two years ago--about the importance of women gaining a stronger voice and role in war-related issues--completely enveloped me.

Congresswoman Eddie B. Johnson

Shortly after the horrific events of on September 11, a United States declaration of war became an ever-present possibility and media coverage of related atrocities was intense. In the midst of such a difficult time for our nation, my heart became heavy as I read a story of 12-year-olds being forced into combat and realized those children abroad were victims of terror and war, just as all Americans were.

I thought about U.S. women who might have to watch their children go off to war and refused to accept that a woman could carry a child for nine months and experience the pain of childbirth, only for her son or daughter to be sent off to war and die on a battlefield. I thought to myself that this offends the world's sense of decency and the code of conduct of civilized nations.

At that moment I decided it was incumbent upon me--not only as a member of Congress, but as a mother and grandmother--to take action.

In March, 2002, I officially launched "A World of Women for World Peace." The program provides a unique opportunity for women from all over the world to discuss viable alternatives to war and violence and ways to get women more involved in every level of the peace process.

Congressional Push to Involve Women in Peace Building
My first step was on December 13, 2001, when I introduced House Concurrent Resolution 290, which focuses on the role and necessity of women in peace negotiations, peace building and reconstruction efforts. It also calls on civic groups, women's groups, and others throughout the world to speak up for world peace. The resolution was re-introduced during this Congress and is still pending passage.

My resolution also designates May, the month in which Mother's Day is traditionally celebrated in the United States, as an appropriate time to focus on women and peace. It was through Julia Ward Howe and Anna Jarvis, who organized Mother's Friendship Days as a way of healing the scars of the Civil War, that Mother's Day was eventually established as a holiday in 1914.

To better promote international peace and increase women's participation in the process, I met with many distinguished peace advocates from all over the world. Among them were Maha Abu-Dayyeh Shamas, founder and executive director of the Women's Centre for Legal Aid and Counseling, which is dedicated to improving the social and legal status of Palestinian women, and Terry Greenblatt, director of the Israeli organization Bat Shalom (Daughter of Peace). They were the first to join me in a National Day of Dialogue.

The National Day of Dialogue marked the gathering of scholars, Nobel laureates, government officials and Members of Congress with the single goal of discussing how women could have a greater voice in preventing and resolving national and international conflicts. International peace groups such as Women Waging Peace in Cambridge, Mass., Women's International League for Peace and Freedom, based in New York, Hague Appeal for Peace also based in New York, Women's EDGE, Seeds of Peace and others have signed on as key supporters of A World of Women for World Peace.

Postwar Meetings with Female Iraqi Leaders

To gain a clearer understanding of the challenges facing women in post-war Iraq, I met in April with 26 Iraqi women leaders in Washington, D.C. They included expatriates from the United States, Europe and the Middle East. Several women came directly from Iraq, including the female minister of reconstruction and development of Northern Iraq and the president of the Assyrian Women's Union in Iraq. About 60 other experts from key international and federal agencies also participated in this gathering that aroused just as many emotions as it did facts.

Shortly after that meeting, I went on the first Congressional Delegation to visit the war-torn area. After returning from Iraq, Republican Congressman Dave Hobson of Ohio and I on May 22, 2003 introduced House Concurrent Resolution 196, which urges the federal government to provide assistance to the women of Iraq in order to strengthen and stabilize the emerging Iraqi democracy.

Dangerous Time for Women in Iraq

Given the human, financial and emotional costs of war, I was overwhelmed by the certainty that the burden of peacemaking and peace-building cannot be left to one institution, gender or political party. It must be a shared responsibility that encompasses all, regardless of race, class, gender or religion because every one of us pays for the human and economic costs of war.

The military budget is projected to rise to an outrageous $480 billion annually, but damages can't merely be measured with statistics or dollars and cents. The human costs are torn and displaced communities, women suffering the ravages of rape and widowhood, children with missing limbs and orphans without the hope of education or healthcare.

It is worth remembering what General Dwight D. Eisenhower once said: "Every gun that is made, every warship launched, every rocket fired, signifies in a final sense a theft from those who hunger and are not fed."

To all those committed to real and lasting peace in the Middle East, I have only four words: "No women, no peace."

Congresswoman Eddie B. Johnson

[Z-info: Congresswoman Johnson is serving her sixth term representing the Thirtieth Congressional District of Texas. She was named by Ebony Magazine as one of the Ten Most Powerful African American Women of 2001. Since September 11, Dallas Congresswoman Johnson has pursued the motto "no women, no peace," by introducing two resolutions to bring more women into the peacemaking arena and forming an organization to do the same.]


Courtesy of the Associated Press (5 July); by Chris Tomlinson

(ZNDA: Habaiyah) MiG-21 jets rust away where biplanes once stood ready, and American troops now patrol its grounds. But Habaniyah airfield has changed little since 1941, when it was the scene of a decisive battle for British control of the Middle East.

U.S. soldiers sleep in the long, high-ceilinged barracks that once housed British aviators, the peeling paint and dust-filled window screens betraying years of neglect.

The two-lane streets are lined with the eucalyptus and palm trees planted by the British when the base was finished in 1938, and a few of the original hibiscus, rose and oleander bushes remain. The base's name means ``of the oleander'' in Arabic.

Habaniyah, a town as well as an airfield 35 miles west of Baghdad, has become an important base for U.S. troops in the Sunni heartland of Iraq. A flying school established there was a critical foothold for the British in April, 1941.

A pro-German junta had taken control of Baghdad and the allies' oil supply was in danger of being cut. The British ambassador in Baghdad ordered several thousand British civilians to move to Habaniyah, while Prime Minister Winston Churchill rushed reinforcements to the British base and to another one in Basra.

On April 30, junta leader Rashid Ali ordered 9,000 troops to surround Habaniyah and prepare to take it. The British troops were supported by Assyrian and local infantry, but were vastly outnumbered, according to the official Royal Air Force history.

But by loading machine guns and bombs onto the training aircraft - mostly biplanes or twin engine training planes - the Royal Air Force flight instructors and student pilots defeated three Iraqi brigades with a few hundred troops and 96 aircraft.

By the end of the battle, British bombers flying from Habaniyah had destroyed the entire Iraqi air force. The ground troops, aided by reinforcements, had launched a counterattack, taken control of Baghdad and reinstalled a friendly government.

A late attempt by an Iraqi commander at Fallujah, the official history said, was ``met with disaster.''

The report could have easily described the U.S. advance on Baghdad in April.

``Some countries learn from their military history,'' said Capt. Mark Miller, commanding officer of A Company, 3rd Battalion, 7th Infantry Regiment. ``This one (Iraq) obviously didn't.''

In 1959 the British handed the base over to a new revolutionary government in Iraq. The Iraqi air force built a few modern buildings and installed flight simulators to train pilots on Soviet aircraft, but most of the British legacy remains.

Now U.S. jets and helicopters prowl the skies over Habaniyah looking for Iraqi militants, while a tank and an infantry company use the base to launch patrols in the nearby towns.

[Z-info: For more information on the Royal Air Force history of the Battle of Habaniyah visit: http://www.raf.mod.uk/history/opsrep.html and see RAF Habaniyah Association website at http://www.habbaniya.freeserve.co.uk. ]



The following Assyrian students were awarded the Assyrian Universal Alliance Foundation scholarships last week at a special ceremony. This year’s total disbursement reached US$ 40,000:


(ZNDA: Washington D.C.) National Republican Congressional Committee Chairman Tom Reynolds announced today that Mr. Shimon Khamo of Modesto has been named to the 2003 Republican Chairman’s Honor Roll.

Mr. Khamo is the Secretary General of the Bet-Nahrain National Alliance and serves as a co-chairman of the committee’s Business Advisory Council. He is being recognized for service and support in keeping the White House and Congress in Republican control. As a member of the Honor Roll, Mr. Khamo’s name will be on display at the Republican Headquarters building in Washington D.C. As a member of the Honor Roll, Mr. Khamo also qualifies to receive the Committee’s highest honor, the prestigious Republican Gold Medal to be presented at a special awards ceremony in the nation’s capital. Honorees will be announced later this year.

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