Assyrians celebrate Easter at the Assyrian Evangelical Church of Tehran. Pictured above is an Assyrian youth and Rabbie Babajan Tamrazi enjoying the challenge of "egg-breaking" - a traditional Assyrian game played during the Easter festivities. Rabbie Babajan is considered by many as the most important figure today in the promotion of the Assyrian sports in Iran.
Click the map above to view the animated presentation courtesy of Agence France Presse.
Aramaic, Language of the Christ, Still Alive
Dr. Saadi Al-Malih
“The passion of the Christ”, a controversial movie directed by Mel Gibson, shed light upon Aramaic Language, the language of Jesus Christ. All the dialogues in the movie between the Christ and his Apostles, between him and the Jews were in Aramaic and these dialogues absorb more than half of the movie.
For 2800 years, thousands of epics, stories, historical, Science and religious books, including the Gospel of Matthew were written In this expressive language. The Assyrian, Chaldean and Syrian writers and translators have translated in the ninth and tenth centuries hundreds of Scientific, historical and literature books from Greek into Arabic through The Aramaic “Syriac” Language.
Aramaic “Syriac” has been used for two thousand years until now in prayers and religious ceremonies of Iraqi Christians (Assyrian, Chaldean and Syrian) and until the middle of the twentieth century has been used in Maronite Churches in Lebanon.
Political Communique of Bet-Nahrain National Quest
Autonomous Rule for the Chaldo-Assyrian People in Iraq
We are pleased to report that Bet-Nahrain National Quest convened a congress in March, 2004, in Chicago, Illinois, U.S.A.
During this meeting, our members discussed the proposed agenda freely and in the spirit of democracy. Several resolutions were adopted to address the political reality in Iraq.
The Chaldo-Assyrian people struggled side by side with all Iraqi patriotic forces against the now-deposed dictatorial regime. Much was sacrificed in the cause of national liberation, for the regime of Saddam Hussein used torture, suppression and military action to stop the march of the Iraqi people toward freedom, prosperity and a democratic system of government in a new Iraq.
Although the old regime is gone, we realize that the road ahead is long and difficult. But we are hopeful for the future.
Accordingly, Bet-Nahrain National Quest passed the following resolutions to support Iraq through the difficulties ahead:
Further, the Chaldo-Assyrian people will strive to achieve the following:
We believe that the formation of a state based on the rule of law and democracy, a state whose citizens are respected, will improve Iraq’s relations with the world and bring stability to the region.
We believe that all conflicts must be resolved by peaceful means.
We believe that the people of Iraq must strive for political and economic cooperation.
We believe that Iraq must respect international law and the United Nations charter.
We reject extremism and violence and stand against international terrorism.
Long live the Iraqi people.
Body of Chaldean Man killed in Iraq Returned to Michigan
Courtesy of Detroit Free Press
(ZNDA: Sterling Heights) The body of an Iraq native killed in his homeland was returned Tuesday to Michigan, his widow says.
Emad Mikha, 44, died while working with the U.S. Army as a civilian translator. He left his family in Sterling Heights and his job as a supermarket butcher last year to assist U.S. troops with prisoner interrogations.
Rita Mikha said she learned April 4 -- their 16th wedding anniversary -- that her husband died in the town of Muqdadiyah, about 70 miles northeast of Baghdad. She said Tuesday that she still had no information about how he died and was told autopsy results would not be available for four to six weeks.
Visitation was scheduled for 5-8 p.m. Wednesday at the Hopcroft Funeral Home in Madison Heights. A funeral Mass was to be held at 10 a.m. Thursday at Mother of God Chaldean Catholic Church, followed by a military service at Holy Sepulchre Catholic Cemetery, both in Southfield.
Rita Mikha said relatives, neighbors and friends were offering comfort to her and her three children, but having no income and no insurance left her anxious about the future.
"It's very hard for me to deal with this situation," she said. "I already lost my husband."
A memorial fund for the children of Emad Mikha has been established at TCF Bank, 8202 Metropolitan Parkway, Sterling Heights MI 48312.
Karl Suleman to Spend One Year Behind Bars
Courtesy of the Australian
(ZNDA: Sydney) Founder of the Froggy group of businesses, Karl "Khalid" Suleman, will spend a year behind bars after being convicted of fraud this week in Sydney, Australia. The New South Wales District Court Judge Peter Berman sentenced the Assyrian businessman to 21 months in jail for fraud.
The charges stemmed from an Australian Securities and Investments Commission investigation into Karl Suleman Enterprises and businesses in the Froggy group.
The Crown said Suleman had lied to finance brokers, exaggerating his wealth to obtain loans of almost $3 million for two Ferrari cars and a luxury yacht.
Mr Berman said Iraqi-born Suleman needed to be personally deterred because he showed no sign of remorse despite the "overwhelming Crown case".
"It's not as though his offence was an isolated one which he immediately regretted," Mr Berman told the court.
"He told four separate lies in relation to these four separate counts, the first in December 2000 and the last in October 2001.
"The fact that even now he continues to deny any wrongdoing suggests not only that there is no remorse but also that I cannot say that his prospects of rehabilitation are good."
He said although a custodial sentence was required, Suleman's actions did not cause a substantial loss, he had no significant criminal history and he was, "at least until first offence was committed, a person of good character".
"The offender seems to have been a hard working and productive member of society," he said.
"It was when he set up the Froggy group of companies that things went dramatically downhill."
Outside court, 61-year-old Yacoub Kako, a disgruntled shareholder who lost $125,000, said the sentencing was nowhere near appropriate.
"The decision is not enough. He should get all his life (in jail)," Mr Kako said.
Suleman had denied the charges. The jury in his trial was told in December 2000 he provided one broker with a forged bank statement, claiming to have $14 million in a joint account with his wife, to secure finance for a $355,000 Ferrari Spider convertible.
In March 2001, needing a $2.3 million loan for a $3.3 million Princess motor yacht, Suleman falsely told a broker he had $18 million in the bank.
With his eye on another Ferrari, Suleman applied for a $250,000 loan in October 2001, again telling a broker he had $18 million in the bank.
Wishing you, all your readers, and all my Assyrian brothers and sisters a Happy Easter. May our lord and saviour Jesus Christ shine his blessings on all of us. May Alahta Ishtar's festival bring fruitfulness to our beloved nation in it's unity and multiplicity.
Ishtar (Easter), Not Pascha (Passover)
In response to Paul Younan's letter of last week concerning the revelation of our true holidays I want to clarify the use of Easter in Acts 12:4.
The Bitter Truth
Shooma Bet-Malik (Sam Razali)
For years I have maintained during my discussions or debates with friends, or anyone, that Greeks did us lots of harm---the ungrateful Greeks. Ungrateful, because they benefited from us in different ways and at different levels. I don't have to go through them, for you know them better than I do. They owe their greatness, in part, to Assyrians. It wasn't only 'calling us Syrians' and 'calling our language Syriac' that they did, but throughout they never hesitated to undermine our identity and to 'marginalize' our entity; they did this in order to establish their own 'superiority'. They were jealous of us. This was mainly a linguistic jealousy, because our Lord and Saviour spoke in our rich and spiritual language. They also envied us. This was a cultural envy; indeed, culturally, in every way, we were ahead of them. (Do you know that Titian ' The Mighty Assyrian Intellect' taught two of their well-known philosophers, both philosophy and theology?) Yet today they, the Greeks, are ' The Monopolizers' of the New Testament, and Greece ' is the birth-place' of the Western civilization. And look at us---the state that we,"the Builder of the Cradle of Civilization", are in. The World together with its United Nations still does not want to believe that we are Assyrians, the people who have continually contributed to the Civilization and Christianity of the World---Sad! Sad indeed.
About a week ago I came across, on the Internet, the website of Victor Alexander, an Aramaic scholar and the translator of the New Testament from Peshitta-Aramaic into English (he is now translating the Old Testament). In his articles, among other things, he is talking about some of the things that Greeks have insidiously and artfully done to damage/harm/destroy the Assyrians' prestige/reputation/greatness----what I have always believed to be the case.
He says: " .....However, the Greek and the Roman converts had another agenda. They wanted to dispossess the Jews and in fact all Aramaic speaking peoples [mainly Assyrians of course] from their faith in the Lord, because of racial prejudice. There- fore by claiming that the New Testament was originated in Greek, the Western Churches could now go on to claim that God took the Kingdom from the Jews and gave it to the 'Gentiles' to represent themselves as the people of the New Covenant. The word 'Gentiles' is a total fabrication. There is no such word in Scriptures.
As for the Aramaic-speaking followers of
Jesus Christ, their name was eliminated
from the Scriptures. They were Easterners
and the Greeks were classified as Europeans."
The conclusion that I have arrived at is that for the state we are in today not only in part, but "probably largely" the Greeks are Responsible. And let every Ashura know this---this 'bitter truth'. However, we Ashurayeh must not let this 'bitter truth' make us feel bitter against the Greeks today. But we must try to learn a 'Good Lesson' from it.
[Zinda: Mr. Razali's personal website can be visited here.]
Assyrians in Falouja
Zowaa sent in a special team with humanitarian supplies to the city for the needy Assyrians there.
[Zinda: Mr. Sada is the webmaster of the AssyrianVoice.net.]
We Did Call LG, But...
This letter is to reply to Ms. Shamiram Nader who was concerned about our dearest Assyrian singer Ms. Linda George not being on the May 2nd party. We had contacted Linda and all other Assyrian singers. Ms. George told us that she will not be available for this date. She is going to be on a Europe tour. Thanks for being concerned. Ashur TV staff is always ready to serve our nation and open for critics.
[Zinda: Mr. Baba is the president of Ashur TV in San Jose, California.]
Kirkuk Assyrian School Reunion
Kirkuk Assyrian School Reunion
5th Reunion Dinner/Dance Party
We cordially invite you to the 5th REUNION of the “Assyrian School Kirkuk” dinner and dance party being hosted by The California Chapter for all students, their parents, friends and relatives.
This party will take place at the Assyrian American Civic Club in Turlock on Friday, July 2nd, 2004 at 06:30 pm. Dinner will be served at 8:00 pm.
During the evening, Awards of Gratitude will be presented in honor of some Assyrians in appreciation of their dedicated services towards the Assyrian School in Kirkuk.
This event will allow you to meet and reunite with old friends from US, Canada and other parts of the world. Displayed throughout the event will be many memories captured from days past, i.e. since early 1930s.
Please complete the attached pro-forma and return in the enclosed self-addressed envelope together with your check payable to Assyrian School of Kirkuk by May 30, 2004.
Please note that so far more than $13,000 (thirteen thousand), being the proceeds from previous Reunions that took place (2 in Chicago, USA) (1 in Toronto, Canada) and (1 in Sydney, Australia) have been sent to our needy Assyrians back at home. All funds earned from this Reunion will again be sent to our needy brothers and sisters and to the Assyrian School Building Fund in Kirkuk.
No Children under 10
For Founding Committee
For California Organizing Committee
Friday, July 2
Saturday, July 3
Sunday, July 4
Sunday, July 4
For further information, please call persons mentioned below:
Awisha Z. Lazar
Ramil Jamil Karim
Lecture on Assyrian Civilization and Culture at Northwestern University
The James Lecture on Assyrian Civilization and Culture was established in 1999 by the late Helen James Schwarten, a prominent and active member of the Assyrian community. The Lectureship was conceived with the purpose of promoting understanding and scholarship of both ancient and modern Assyrian culture.
For more information call 847/467-3005.
[Zinda: See Dr. Saadi's article in Zinda Magazine: "The Scythe of the Ottomans & the Decimation of the Assyrian Nation"]
Second Session of Interparliamentary Conference on
Institute on Religion and Public Policy
Press Release Contact: Carol Paisley
Scheduled for August 5-7 2004 in Brussels
Washington, D.C. – The Second Session of the Interparliamentary Conference
on Human Rights and Religious Freedom (IPC) will take place in Brussels from
“I am very pleased to announce the second convening of the Interparliamentary Conference,” stated Institute on Religion and Public Policy President Joseph K. Grieboski, who serves as Secretary General of the IPC. “Last year the parliamentarians dedicated themselves to the irrefutable principles of freedom and liberty and enshrined them in the concluding Declaration as the guidelines for continued discussions. We will build on these tremendous first steps and advance them even further this year.”
The Interparliamentary Conference on Human Rights and Religious Freedom is composed of members of national and supranational parliaments from around the globe. While regional bodies bring together parliamentarians from member countries to discuss religious freedom and human rights questions, there are no similar bodies on the global level. The unique nature of the Interparliamentary Conference on Human Rights and Religious Freedom allows members of national and supranational parliaments to meet and address the issues of human rights and freedom of religion with common understanding and background as legislators.
“On the policy level, religious freedom is very much a legislative issue,” Mr. Grieboski continued. “As we have seen over the past several years, parliaments have approached religious issues with legislation that, more often than not, has endangered free exercise and belief in many countries. A broad approach to religious freedom in a context such as this conference allows parliamentarians, religious leaders, NGOs, and others the opportunity to approach these issues objectively and comprehensively.”
For further information on the agenda, or to learn how to register for the
conference, please contact Carol Paisley at 202-835-8760 or via e-mail at
Assyrian Canadian Lobbying Committee's New Website
We are very pleased to report to you ACLC Online's official launch!
Assyrian Evangelical Church of Tehran Debuts Website
The Assyrian Evangelical Presbyterian Church in Tehran, Iran has debuted its official website (click here). The content of this website include the past issues of the Alap-u Tav magazine, church activities, and a complete list of the books published by the said church in Tehran.
WAR OR PEACE?
Dr. Sergei Osipov
Perpetual terrorist acts in Iraq give cause for an unfavorable prognosis. Iraq is rolling into a civil war. We have given publicity to this subject in our “Qala Atouraya” radio programs produced in Moscow, more than once. In the March 13th program we presumed once again that the present situation will voluntarily or not result in civil strife. It is not inconceivable that the United States considers this variant to be a reason for long-term presence in this country, this time as peace-makers. But is the USA able to hold Iraqi people in obedience and do away with the “insurgents”? It’s rather doubtful.
Ramsen Sheeno Releases New Video,"Kholma Sodana"
For Immediate Release
Strategic Records is proud to announce, the release of “Khoolma Sodana” (The Pleasant Dream), the first video from internationally-renowned Assyrian superstar - Ramsen Sheeno. After releasing his third album, entitled Road to Love in early 2004, Sheeno agreed to a multi-video deal with Strategic Records for the production of his new music videos. The album has received great praise from record producers, and everywhere Assyrian entertainers comment that it is Sheeno's “best work to date.” Road to Love brings a collaborated effort from many breakout producers and song writers from across the world. Sheeno's attempt to make a different CD succeeded when he sampled cutting edge vocals and music. “We are very pleased with the innovative work he put into this album and music video,” remarks Billy Haido, president of Strategic Records Inc.
Strategic Records Inc. is a division of Strategic Entertainment Inc., the production company that brought the Assyrian blockbuster film, Akh Min Khimyani. Ramsen Sheeno's new album is available in Assyrian stores globally and also at http://www.assyrianmarket.com (see Zinda Ad in this issue).
[Zinda: click here to preview the music video.]
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