Z I N D A  M A G A Z I N E
Khzeeran 20, 6750                     Volume VI                      Issue 14                       June 20, 2000

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T H I S   W E E K   I N   Z I N D A
The Lighthouse Class of 2000 High School & University Graduates
Good Morning Bet-Nahrain Iraqi Forces Deployed in Northern Bet-Nahrain
News Digest Turkey Reinforces Contacts with Vatican
Surfs Up "It is sure nice to keep in touch..."
Surfers Corner Atour.com Issues its First Newsletter
Assyrian Surfing Posts Atoursingles.com
Literatus The Kings from the East
Bravo Wilson Younan
Pump Up the Volume Question & Answer
Back to the Future The City of Shubat-Enlil & Veronica Bamfield
This Week in History Kokhva Newspaper
Calendar of Events June-September 2000

All blue links throughout this issue are hyperlinks to other sections on this page or featured websites.



My name is Ashur Michael Benjamin and I graduated from Jesuit High School in Sacramento, California, a private Catholic school, on May 27, 2000.  I have been given the opportunity to attend the University of San Diego, a private Catholic university, where I am considered to be one of the school's top recruits for football.  This opportunity is a dream come true for me and for my family, as well, because all the hard work has finally paid off.  However, this would not have been possible without God; therefore I have Him to thank for turning my dream of obtaining a scholarship into a reality.  God helped me, a young Assyrian man, to reach new heights and to accomplish numerous achievements, some of which include being recorded as an All-Conference athlete, being the Holy Bowl MVP for my team, and receiving honors in General Excellence and Outstanding Service.

As I await the venture to college, I ask the Assyrian-Chaldean brothers and sisters in San Diego to help support my future teammates and me to win the division 1-AA title!  At the University of San Diego, I plan to major in political science and possibly have a minor in Aerospace or Civil Engineering.  Furthermore, I am making it my responsibility to broaden the Assyrian-Chaldean name and spread it as much as I can.  Who ever said that the Assryian-Chaldeans are fading away?  I believe that we are coming back strong and stronger than ever!

To the future generations of Assyrians - Chaldeans planning to go to college:  "Always fight the fight and never give up?"  Our great ancestors of the past have provided us, the young generations of today, with the opportunity to make something of ourselves through education.  Without their suffering, we would have no stepping stone leading us in the right path.  Therefore, we must use our minds in a cooperative effort to be successful.  I have always been a firm believer in the following quote and hope to pass it on to Assyrians - Chaldeans everywhere: "99% of your goals are mental, 1% is physical."  That is why we ask you to set your mind to it and have options that are always open for you.  "Make sure the thing you are living for is worth dying for!"

Ashur M. Benjamin
Orangevale, CA 95662


It is one of the ironies of life that when one begins to understand or appreciate something, it is time to let go of it and move on to a new challenge.  No one can appreciate this level of understanding better than the Assyrians.  They descend from a tradition of moving on and letting go.  Since their last days in the gardens of Nineveh and Babylon they have journeyed millions of miles from one unknown destination to another spectacular point in the continuum of life's surprises.

This year's Class of 2000 has recently caught a glimpse of this millennial tradition.  Four or more years ago they entered some of the finest schools, studied hard, explored their potentials, and now standing tall at the apex of their peak academic achievements they must let go and start anew.

This year's list, by comparison to our past years, is short but very impressive.  Our graduating seniors are either our readers or their relatives and friends.  Zinda is very proud of them and of their parents and families.  So here's a few words to our outstanding graduating Class of 2000:

Fellow Assyrians,

Today, you have made us proud, proud of who we are and quite hopeful for our nation's future.

Our generation was not able to solve most of our problems.  We still suffer from the lack of political and social unity, massive emigration from the Middle East, lack of effective leadership, diminishing interest in preserving our language and heritage and a myriad other shortcomings.  We are leaving you with many many problems, but you have given us a reason to hope for salvation.

Your research assignments, mid-term exams, and mid-afternoon lectures on the Keynesian economics are behind you.   It is time to move on to either greater academic accomplishments or life-long employment opportunities.  Whatever these challenges may be, always remember who you are.  Remember where you have come from, where your parents came from and how far we have all come together in such a short span of time.  You are members of a very impressive family of humans.  You are Assyrian and with that honor comes a great deal of responsibility.

We expect much from you in the next few decades.  First, we wish for your own prosperity.  You must prosper so that you can breathe life into our tired souls.  Go on and compose the next great concerto, write best-selling books, and help start a multi-million dollar Internet company.  Our parents from Bet-Nahrain, Tur-Abdin, and Urmia challenged us decades ago and we took advantage of our opportunities and made enormous advances.  Fifty years ago we were living in the poorest conditions in the Middle East.   Today, we are the vice presidents of dot.coms and movie studios, space shuttle engineers, concert violinists, and distinguished university lecturers.  Imagine all this in less than 50 years!

A little over one hundred years ago the earliest Assyrian graduating classes of the first accredited schools and colleges in the Middle East cast their minds back to the founders of the Nisibian and Edessan schools and avowed to bring upon the greatest social and political change in the history of their people.  While the western powers were encouraging violence and hatred in their homeland, they remained steadfast in promoting peace and education.  They built schools, published newspapers, and won the trust of their people.  They were direct, honest, patient, optimistic, and above all they were proud of who they were.

That same spirit still imbues within you.  In fact it will be with you through all your hardships and successes in the future.  It will comfort you when you are discriminated against at work and will help you grow stronger with every challenge you meet along the path of your life's journey.

Like your family and friends, every Assyrian is justifiably proud of your achievements today.  We wish you much success in all your academic and professional endeavors.  Be good to yourself and always remember your proud heritage.

Zinda Magazine

C L A S S  OF  2 0 0 0  H I G H   S C H O O L   G R A D U A T E S

Ernist Alkass
Maine East High School
Niles, Illinois

Ashur Michael Benjamin
Jesuit Catholic High School
San Diego, California
See this week's BRAVO

Valia Marianne Hermiz
Fred C. Beyer High School
Modesto, California

Melissa Katherine Keyser
Springfield High School
Springfield, Pennsylvania
Ms. Keyser is a member of the National Honor Society, Sigma Eta Sigma and will be attending Eastern College in St. Davids, Pennsylvania.  She is also the granddaughter of our readers, Ed and Irene Kliszus.

C L A S S  OF  2 0 0 0  U N I V E R S I T Y   G R A D U A T E S

Natali Aziz
M.S. in Health Services Research
Stanford University
Ms. Aziz will soon begin her residency program at Stanford Hospital in Obstetrics and Gynecology.

Narmella Davis
Kingston Hill University, London
B.A. (with Honors) in Law and Financial Services

Sharokina De Mirza
M.A. in History
University of Miami

Jesika S. Faridi
Loma Linda University
Ph.D. in Physiology

Vivian Mary Hermiz
M.A. in Middle East Studies--Political Economy
American University of Beirut

Nahrin Gorkiz Khoshaba
Rush Medical College, Chicago
Mrs. Khoshaba is also a proud mother of two beautiful children and the wife of our reader, Tony Khoshaba.

Edward A. Kliszus, Jr.
New York University
Ph.D in Music Composition

Nineveh A. Parker
Santa Clara University
B.S. in Chemistry

Vian Younan
Ross Medical University (with High Honors)
Ms. Younan begins her family practice residency at Good Samaritan Hospital in Phoenix, Arizona this week.




Reprinted from Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty in Prague, Czech Republic
Report by David Nissman, 16 June 2000

(ZNRF:  London)  Citing Iraqi opposition sources, London's "Al-Hayat" said on 9 June that Baghdad "has deployed massive forces on Kurdistan's border in preparation for an imminent large-scale attack on and invasion of the area." Baghdad has avoided crossing the red line and challenging the U.S., the chief protector of the northern no-fly zone, but now there are suggestions that the Iraqis may be preparing to move "on the pretext of liberating the water springs" near Sulaymaniyah, according to a newsletter published by the Iraq Broadcasting Company (an information-collecting branch of the Iraqi National Congress). The IBC says that "a state of alert has been declared in military units and the Baa'th Party centers in the region." Saddam Husseyn's son, Qusayy, reportedly is in charge of the operation.

Qusayy, the second son of Saddam Husseyn and designated successor, recently inspected the Republican Guard units stationed along the borders of the Kurdistan Regional Government. His visit came shortly after Samir Abd- Al-Aziz Al-Najm, secretary of the Arab Socialist Baa'th Party's military bureau, toured the army units deployed in the north, London's "Al-Hayat" reported on 18 June. The two visits have sparked speculation that Baghdad might be planning to enter Kurdistan should a dispute erupt between the Kurdish Democratic Party and the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan.

Current Baghdad planning supposedly is based on the growing importance of water given the drought afflicting the country. Meanwhile, London's "Al-Sharq Al-Awsat" on 2 June featured an article saying that "informed Iraqi sources say that legal proceedings will be brought against all those who entered northern Iraq without having obtained permission from the government in Baghdad. The charges will range from bringing about a situation conducive to the division of Iraq, perverting the cause of justice, and entering the country illegally. Those guilty of the first charge could face a death penalty; the other charges all require seven years in jail. Lists of names have been drawn up of those indictable, including politicians, party leaders, writers, journalists, and businessmen as well as those whom the Iraqi government has named as Mossad or CIA agents."



(ZNDA:  Vatican)  Last Friday, John Paul II received Turkish Foreign Minister Mehmet Nuri Yilmaz in Vatican to discuss ways to promote dialogue and collaboration among believers of different religions, and on the possibility of the Pope going on pilgrimage to Turkey.  Altan Gulven, Turkish ambassador to the Vatican, confirmed that the purpose of the Foreign Minister's official visit was to "inform the Vatican on the various government measures in favor of the inter-religious dialogue."

The Pope did refer to his trip to Turkey in 1979, and his desire to return. Both in 1998 and 1999 Turkish President Sulleyman Demirel invited the Holy Father to visit his country. On November 2, 1999, when the Turkish President received the new Apostolic Nuncio in Turkey, he proposed that John Paul II make a pilgrimage to the country during the Jubilee year, in order to follow in St. Paul's footsteps.

Speaking on Vatican Radio, Mehmet Nuri Yilmaz said that during his meeting with the Pope they stressed the need to "maintain closer and more constant relations, as they are very beneficial to both." Moreover, "the Pope addressed me personally and said that Turkey is a great country; because of this, in the area of our responsibility, we will be very tolerant and receive petitions from the Catholic world."

The report from Vatican did not refer to the human rights violations committed against the Christian minorities in the Tur-Abdin region, neither was the dire condition of the Syriac-speaking population in south-east Turkey discussed.  On 24 September 1998 – an Assyrian couple in their 70's were killed in their home.  Thirty three other Assyrians belonging to the Syrian Christian Church have been killed since 1990.  In December 1996 a pipe bomb was detonated in St. Anthony's Catholic Church in Istanbul. No casualties were reported.  Two months earlier, a hand grenade was thrown over the wall of the
Ecumenical Patriarchate compound in Istanbul.  Minor damage was reported.

Earlier this month, Pope John Paul pardoned the Turkish national, Ali Agca, who tried to assassinate the Holy Father on 13 May 1981.

Courtesy of Zenit News Agency, 19 June 2000


Please accept my deep appreciation for the excellent job your organization is doing. It is sure nice to keep in touch with what is going on in the world of Assyrians.

It is very comforting for Assyrians to know that even though we are scattered around the globe, but still maintain ties to our ancient roots.  Keep up the good work.

Zaia Abraham
Calgary, Alberta, Canada

My family and I were pleased to see the excerpt from our family history. We recommend that all first and second generation Assyrians piece together the stories of their passage to America, as well as memories regarding their homeland and their experiences settling in the United States. We have found, as time passes, that it is difficult to identify everyone in the old pictures and are thankful for capturing on record the stories of those aging relatives whose memories are still sharp and provide a continuity with the old world.

Ed and Irene Aurahan Kliszus
New Jersey




We hope this message finds you in good health and spirits.  This is the first Atour Newsletter being sent from the new Atour website. On December 1, 1999, the website was scheduled to be moved to its new home, a dedicated server solution to ensure our current projects and activities remain online for many years to come.  After adequate funding was raised, new equipment was recently purchased, programmed specifically for our initiatives and migration of existing data began.

Today, Atour.com is "a work in progress" and noted for taking bold initiatives and more importantly, completing its goals and objectives.  The website is the hosting server to these important websites:

Assyrian Genocide Project
Assyrian Holocaust Project
Aramaic/English Interlinear Project
Atour: The State of Assyria
• and many other important websites in development

We hereby give our sincere thanks to the successful fund raising efforts of the following people and organizations, they have made this new server project possible:

• Mr. Albert Gabriel, Nineveh Online
• Mrs. Jacklin Bejan, Assyrian American Association of San Jose and AUOC
• Mr. Youil Kryakos, Assyrian United Organizations of California
• Mr. Sargon Lewie, Assyrian American National Federation
• and the Assyrian Youth Group of Victoria

Unfortunately, there have been other organizations who received our request for financial assistance and have not participated, they remain stoic and idle.  We will spare them the anguish and will not disclose their names, as this nation is yearning for positive movements and results.

Considering the amount of investment in this extensive project, and the importance of its continuity and longevity, we are requesting your financial support to help keep this website online.  We have chosen to put the future success or failure of this website into the hands of the Assyrian people, rather than the organizations.  This ensures our creativity from being hindered by their organizational strife and also keeps our objectives in focus.  For more information, click here.

We like to thank all the people who sent email messages since the website's return, we appreciate your kind words and comments.  Our commitments, projects and goals will always be shown on the Internet, the public domain is a wonderful communications channel and we intend to use it wisely and abundantly.


the Assyrians
TEAM ATOUR [Assyrians@atour.com]

Links to Other Assyrian Websites

Single, 27, funny, likes dolma, and soccer!    Finally, an Assyrian dating and match-making service on the Net.



The sixth angel poured out his bowl on the great river Euphrates, and its water was dried up to prepare the way for the kings from the East. Then I saw three evil spirits that looked like frogs; they came out of the mouth of the dragon, out of the mouth of the beast and out of the mouth of the false prophet. They are spirits of demons performing miraculous signs, and they go out to the kings of the whole world, to gather them for the battle on the great day of God Almighty. "Behold, I come like a thief! Blessed is he who stays awake and keeps his clothes with him, so that he may not go naked and be shamefully exposed." Then they gathered the kings together to the place that in Hebrew is called Armageddon."

New Testament: The Book of Revelations 16:12-16


Wilson Younan

Reprinted from Nakosha Magazine's June 2000 issue.

We can see a reflection of our current standing on the issue of homosexuality in a novel by Jeanette Winterson; titled Oranges are not the only fruit. I will not go into the details of the novel, but it basically deals with the issue of the ‘Norm’, and the consequences of being outside it. The main character is a female who discovers her homosexuality, but is faced with many problems. I hope you will take the time to read it.

Also in the last issue, we brought up the subject of suicide. We had many responses to the question, and sadly many answered with a ‘Yes’. Many Assyrian youth have contemplated suicide, and we could see their reasons clearly spelled out in their responses. Wilson Younan is renown in Australia’s Assyrian community, as the head of Sydney's SBS Assyrian radio pro- gram. He's in charge of a federal government funded ethnic radio program that hits Sydney's airwaves every Friday night at 8:00pm, to an estimated 15,000 strong Assyrian audience. His one-hour Assyrian radio program provides the latest local and international news and cur- rent affairs, which updates the Assyrian community.

After a recent visit to Sydney, Nakosha had the chance to meet with Mr. Younan. We asked him about his background prior to joining SBS radio.

Mr. Younan graduated from the academy of fine arts in Baghdad, after he had spent 3 years in theatre, as well as 2 years in cinematic studies. He then went on to complete a post-graduate journalism course. He gained further experience, which would prove invaluable for his future career in radio, while working for T.V. Baghdad.

Mr. Younan is also an accomplished musician, and many will recall his early days as the head of the ‘Wilson band’, one of the first Assyrian bands to be formed in Melbourne. The ‘Wilson Band’ helped revive Assyrian music and dance in Melbourne’s newly established Assyrian community.

Not a stranger to Melbourne’s Assyrian community, Mr. Younan’s Sydney program also broadcasts on Melbourne’s airwaves, when called upon to fill in on certain occasions.

Melbourne’s Assyrian community will also remember him as the former head of 3ZZZ Assyrian radio. After his move to Sydney he began to talk once a week on Nineveh radio. A year after arriving in Sydney he applied for the head of SBS Assyrian Radio. He was required to undertake a professional test in which he competed against many other applicants. He was successful in his application and upon initially beginning with SBS, he admitted that he had no set program or song requests.

He spent many months gaining valuable experience and clearly defining his program’s aims. He eventually realised the direction in which he wished to take the program. According to Mr. Younan, his program’s aim is “To provide a professional news and current affairs program informing the listeners of local, as well as international news, and events that concern the Assyrian community”.

When asked about the importance of media, Mr. Younan had the following to share with us, “Media is the most powerful tool in our hands today. We can deliver education, language and civility to the Assyrian community”. His love for the Assyrian language was also apparent, “I attempt to filter out all non-Assyrian words and attempt to simplify, and deliver a purely Assyrian program”.

As the interview concluded we asked Mr. Younan to sum up his thoughts and feelings for the Assyrian community. He replied with, “I believe that the good should be promoted always, whereas the bad should be avoided”.

David Chibo




BC (1813)

King Shamshi-Adad (1813-1781) chooses the city of Shubat-Enlil as the capital city of the state of Assyria.  Here, a carefully planned residential area with a straight paved street leading to the acropolis was found.  By 1000 B.C. there was almost no domestic occupation of this walled city.  Perhaps the people were by this time living in the suburbs and villages surrounding the city and the area within the walls of the city were reserved for religious and administrative purposes.  In times of crisis, the population would be brought back into the city, away from nearing enemy forces.

The Ancient Mesopotamian City, Van de Mieroop

AD (1930s)

Veronica Bamfield, traveler and broadcaster, with her friend Freya Stark explored places in Iraq forbidden to women.  She was an intrepid traveler, a colorful writer and an engaging broadcaster. Her taste for adventure was evident when she was living in Baghdad in the 1930s as the young bride of Captain W H "Tich" Bamfield, who was seconded from the Royal Welch Fusiliers to the Assyrian company of the Iraq Levies.  Mrs. Bamfield died this month at the age of 91.

The Daily Telegraph, London


June 24, 1906:   "Kokhva" newspaper is published in Urmia, Iran under the direction of Raabie Yohannan Moshe, as an independent source of news and information.

Jun 25

Sponsored by the Assyrian Academic Society & the Assyrian National Council of Illinois

Assyrian National Council Office
2450 W. Peterson
5:30 PM

Rev. Gewargis Toma will trace the source of authority within the church to the time of Aron and his sons. He will discuss how spiritual authority was handed down through the Apostolic Succession from Jesus Christ and the Holy Apostles to the present Bishops of the church. The Patriarch of the Church of the East, at one time, was considered to be the spiritual and national leader of the Assyrian nation.

Contact the AAS at: webmaster@aas.net.
nadiaejoseph@hotmail.com:    (773) 461-6633

Jun 26-30

For the first time in 32 years this international conference is taking place outside of Europe & in Sydney

More than 100 eminent Syriac scholars from different parts of the world will be attending

For more information:
Louren David              Majidi Ann Warda
(02) 9822 1778    OR      0404 124 930          0413 854 936
Department of Semitic Studies
University of Sydney

For more information on speakers and papers click here

Jul 2
Persecutions & Massacres of the Syriac Speaking Christians

An international conference on the subject of the fate of the Assyrian people after the collapse of the Assyrian Empire (612 B.C. - 2000 A.D.).

Dr Gabriele Yonan - Germany
Dr Fuat Deniz - Sweden
Professor Abdul Massih-Saadi - USA
Dr Racho Donef - Australia
Panayiotis Diamadis - Australia
Nicholas Al-Jeloo - TAAAS

The Assyrian Australian Academic Society
The Centre for Comparative Genocide Studies at Macquarie University & the Department of Semitic Studies at the University of Sydney

Merewether Building, 
City Road
University of Sydney

For more information & Registration Fee Detail click here
REGISTRATION:  Closing 7th June

For more information: Click Here

Jul 10-13

"Nomadism and Sedentarism in the Ancient Near East"

College de France
52 rue Cardinal Lemoine

Contact: chrinico@club-internet.fr or fax 33-1-48-87-82-58

Christophe NICOLLE
Chaire d'Assyriologie
College de France
52 rue Cardinal Lemoine
75005, Paris - France

Jul 26-30

The Syrian Orthodox Archdioceses in Canada and United States
Led by His Holliness Patriarch Ignatius Zakka I
Hosted by St. Ignatius Church, Portland
Marriot in Portland

Agenda:  Review of the past 50 years of history of the church in North America to identify and cement the strengths and work on improving

In addition to a spiritual and cultural festival, a cruise on the Columbia River, a bus trip to Cascade Range, etc. are planned. Click Here

Jul 28-31

Speakers include representatives from the Office of the President of Lebanon
Mass celebrated by His Holliness Patriarch Ignatius Zakka I
Performances by a Maronite University musical group
Art Exhibition: Art works from artists of our community throughout the world
Dance party for the youth attending the conference
Book Exhibition
Suryoyo singers and folkloric dances
A visit to Zahle
Banquet in honor of the Patriarch
A special concert performance by George Badro, Suryoyo musician from Canada.

For more information:
Daghelian Bldg. - Bloc A - 2nd Floor - Jdeideh Blv.
P.O. Box: 55414 - Tel: 961-1-884810 / 961-1-884811
Fax: 961-1-884812 - E-mail: sua@lebmail.com

Aug 30 - 
Sep 4

Hilton Hotel & Towers
720 South Michigan Avenue, Chicago, Illinois 60605 
1-312-922-4400, Fax: 1-312-922-5240 

Phone:  312-922-4400  or 1-800-HILTONS
To obtain the convention rate refer to the AANF Convention
Location Map:  click here
Directions from Airports: click here
AANF Convention 2000 Information: click here


Mazin Enwiya........David Chibo........Matay Arsan


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

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