Vol III, Issue 45

Shvadt 2, 6747                   February 2, 1998

T H I S   W E E K   I N   Z E N D A

The Lighthouse "The Smallest Ally":  In Remembrance of General Agha Petros
Good Morning 
 Assyrian-Kurdish Delegation Meets Italian Foreign Minister
Churches Oppose Military Strike on Iraq
Surfs Up "naïve like the rest of the Assyrians"
Surfers Corner Annual Meeting & Elections of the Assyrian Society of UK
Seminar in Chicago:  Impact of Sanctions in Iraq
News Digest Iraq Executes 10 Men For Dismembering Assyrian Artifact
Assyrian Surfing Posts Assyrian News in Swedish
Sheikhani Belly Dancers in Colorado
The Assyrian Screen Saver
Pump up the Volume Prescription & Copy
Back to the Future Tiglath-Pileser III & the 1972 Visit of Malik Ismael to Iraq
Literatus The Neglected Minority
This Week in History Naom Faiq
Bravo Rev. Samuel Dinkha





Sixty six years ago today, on 2 February 1932, the Assyrian military hero and commander of the united Assyrian forces during the First World War, General Agha Petros de Baz, died in France- away from his beloved homeland of Bet-Nahrain.  His body was found at a railway station in Paris, France.  To date the cause of death remains officially unknown.  No Assyrian in the 20th Century has been revered and eulogized as has Agha Petros who chivalrously fought the Moslem forces of Turkish and Kurdish rebels in the First World War, guided nearly a million Assyrians through the Great Exodus of 1915-18, worked as the Ottoman Consul in Urmie, established a prosperous business as a rug merchant in New York, and spoke as the chief Assyrian negotiator from 1919 until 1923.  In his final efforts after the 1923 Lousanne Conference General Agha Petros wrote a letter to the British officials in London hoping to rekindle the forgotten promises for the establishment of an autonomous State for the Assyrians in Northern Bet-Nahrain.  This week, on the eve of perhaps another war in our homeland in Bet-Nahrain and in remembrance of the legacy of General Agha Petros, ZENDA publishes His Excellency's "Your Smallest Ally" letter written from his hotel in London on 26 October 1923:  

Dear Sir,

We beg to call your attention to the fact that our Nation, Assyro Chalde, fought throughout the War on the side of Great Britain, and lost more lives and property than any other nation, in proportion to its population.  Also after the Armistice, our brave army fought side by side with the British in their Campaign in Mesopotamia, and at the present time we have five battalions under British officers in the North of Mosul, besides Gendarmes and Police.  We are recognised as "The Smallest Ally."

We greatly fear the consequences of a British withdrawal form Mesopotamia.   Being scattered among our war enemies, a British withdrawal would probably be followed by a massacre of all Christians.  Therefore, we ask that the territory of our ancestors be "A CHRISTIAN AUTONOMOUS STATE UNDER A BRITISH MANDATE." The land we claim is our ancient land, which lies between the Rivers Tigris and Zab, and Mount Zinjar on the North side of Mosul.  We had our own independence prior to the war in the North of this country.  There is neither Turk nor Arab, but a few friendly Kurds and Yezidies, who ar of the same race as ourselves.  We are the largest in population, and will make a strong Buffer State between Turks and Arabs.

We do not expect, and indeed do not ask for, financial or military help.  We wish to stand on our own feet, in our own homeland, to defend our families, and live in peace with our neighbours, and offer in exchange our loyal services in the interest of His Britannic Majesty's Government, from whom we have received so many kindnesses in the past.

We have had long conversations with members of high standing in the Foreign Office and Colonial Office, who have shown great interest in our cause.

We need your help and we are sure you will use your influence to get justice for our homeless people, who have been so sorely tried since the outbreak of the Great War.

Another Massacre like those which have taken place in the recent past, and the Assyrian Nation will cease to exist.

We ask you to help our nation, which has in the past defended Christianity against every assault from the Moslem world.  We claim to be the oldest Christians in the world.  Can you, as Representatives of Christian Peoples, see this Christian remnant of a great Empire dispersed or effaced?  We believe you can not, and will not.

We are, Sir, Your Obedient Servants,
General Agha Petros
Commander-in-Chief of the Assyro-Chaldean Forces
President of the National Council

Soon after, the British and Iraqi governments exiled the Assyrian General to France where he lived until his death at the age of 52.   Only one year after His Excellency's death  thousands of  Assyrians were slaughtered during a series of indiscriminate killings known as the Semel Massacre.





(ZNAK:  Rome) The Foreign Affairs committee of the Italian parliament met with Assyrian and Kurdish representatives last week. The talks were attended by Kurdish representatives Zubeyir Aydar,  Necet Buldan, Mehmet Balci, Kazim Baba, and the Assyrian delegate George Aryo.  Achillo Occhetto, chair of the Italian Foreign Affairs committee, said that the decisions made at the meeting followed on from earlier representations from talks held on the 10th of December. He went on to stress that the Italian parliament will do everything within its powers to help bring about a solution to the "Kurdish question."  Speaking on behalf of the Kurdish and Assyrian delegation, Mr. Aydar called for economic and political pressure to be placed upon the Turkish government, in pursuit of a resolution to the issue of the Kurds, and other oppressed ethnic groups in Turkey.  The Assyrian delegate George Ayro also took the opportunity to call for the cessation of the oppression of  some 150,000 Assyrians who live within the borders of the current Turkish state.  An Italian Foreign Affairs committee spokesperson later described the meeting as very beneficial and called for the recognition of the Kurdish and Assyrian representatives within the International community.


(ZNAF:  Geneva)  The World Council of Churches Friday recommended that its 300 members urge their governments to oppose threats of military strikes against Iraq in the UN arms inspections crisis.  In a statement issued by its headquarters in Geneva, the council said seven of its members who went to Iraq this month were concerned that a military strike "would only increase the suffering of innocent people."  The mission's report said UN sanctions in force against Iraq "seriously violate the basic rights of vast sectors of the population to properly feed, lodge and care for themselves," and asked for a "careful re-examination" of the sanctions.


"I am the Chief Editor of a magazine named AssyrianNews, mainly in swedish.  We write about our people in the world, mostly news from Bet-Nahrain.  But I see some very good news in Zenda. So I am asking you if it is okey
to translate some of your news into Swedish and publish it in AssyrianNews for Swedish readers.  Those Magazines which have news from Zenda, I can send to you .

Ahiqar DeBasso
Stockholm, Sweden

News & information printed in ZENDA is currently used in several American, European, Australian, and Russian printed magazines, radio and television programs.  ZENDA is a source of Assyrian news and information and with proper reference to our name any part of our printed material may be used in bringing information to any Assyrian community around the world.  Our best wishes for the success of your online magazine!

"We all care for our brothers in Bet-Nahrain.  No one of us felt home when we were in our homeland.. We all know that those who still live in homeland, are treated very badly, ( in the north - considered as Kurd's Christians, in other parts as Syrian talkers - Nateqeen bel Seryaniya ).  We all are sure that there is no future for us in our homeland.. So let us begin to ask our governments to help our brothers in the homeland to be accepted as immigrants and political refugees.  In doing so, we will see HOW all the European and U.S governments will react. THEY WILL TRY to keep our brothers in homeland because they do need us there, for we're the most intelligent people there, and we are Christian.  A call for all our associations and political parties ( including our churches ): to ask the U.N and other governments to help our brothers leave that Moslem region and save the lives of  the rest of our brothers.... BTW, the result of such act from our churches and parties WILL SHOW WHO OUR REAL FRIEND IS... God Bless Assyria, Amen."

Youkhanna Khzyran
Toulouse, France

"I would like to talk about the Lighthouse article in the January 12th issue: "THE FRANTERNITY OF ASSYRIANS, ARABS, KURDS AND TURKOMANS."  My beloved Assyrians, fortunately, I was able to interview the General Secretary of the Assyrian Democratic Movement (ZOWAA), who has been visiting Germany, about the steps ZOWAA made (especially in Europe) according the six killed Assyrians in North-Iraq.  So I don't know which steps have been made in the US, but here are some of them made in Europe:  In Germany and Sweden, there have been several discussions with different organisations like for example with Society for threatened People (Gesellschaft fuer bedrohte Voelker), who also made a press release, which I have read in German. There are some Information in this release, which can just be from Northern Iraq and the only contact from this region to the West, is with Zowaa.  Besides, there are some discussions between Zowaa and Holland's ministry of justice about this incident."

Adrin Takhsh
Berlin, Germany

"This is in response to last week's article from an Assyrian sister, Doris Babassi, that I have a lot of respect for.  I am very happy about your grandfather that was respected and treated well by the missionaries.  But your father was an exception to the rule, because he made sense and he must have been a smart man.  I give your grandfather a lot of credit for being bright and open-minded.  Are you trying to tell me your grandfather would not have been an honest and a gentleman if it wasn't for the missionaries. I doubt that very seriously.  I think you are a nice lady and mean well, but naïve like the rest of the Assyrians.  Missionaries were not there to help the world, but they were there to colonize and to give you religion to control your mind and to take advantage of the resources.   There has never been any good coming out the w>

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