27 Tdabakh 6754
17 August 2004
Z I N D A M A G A Z I N E
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A Guest Editorial
Fuming with frustration and angered by the passivity of our people, especially after the bombing of the Churches in Iraq, I was searching for answers as to what we can do. One thing I sure did not expect was to have Rev. Ken Joseph here in London the very next day, and the Firodil Institute helping him to lobby the Assyrian case in Iraq.
What I knew of Rev. Ken Joseph was through what I had read in Zinda magazine and the website he directs (www.assyrianchristians.com). I perceived him as a patriot but feared him as an evangelist. We Assyrians tend to perceive all evangelicals as modern manifestation of Asahil Grant, the American missionary who met with the Kurdish chieftains and helped plan the massacre of the Assyrians in 1843. Another word we the Assyrians usually feel that evangelists are the synonym of trouble and distrust.
To phrase it politely I felt that Rev. Ken Joseph was a loose canon with ambiguous intentions.
But after meeting with him and getting to know his thoughts I can proudly admit that I was wrong. It is true what they say; “never judge a book by its cover”. In fact he seems to defend the Church of the East more than some of its own clergy, and he holds a vision to glorify this once great missionary church.
Rev. Ken Joseph’s visit to London was accidental – he had a problem with his airline ticket and had just been on TV and in the Newspapers in Holland. (as a Christian he would argue it was a miracle) but once The Firodil Institute realised he was in Europe, we asked him to come to London, where we, together with Immediate Response Media Group would arrange a series of media coverage for him to advocate the plight of the Assyrian Christians in Iraq.
In the period of one week he has conducted more than sixteen interviews on various mass media networks and mediums, including CNN, ITN, BBC (four times) and Sunday Express. Rev. Joseph successfully argued and reiterated the following in all his interviews:
All through his interviews in London he distinguished between fundamental Muslim fractions and the larger Muslim Iraqi community. He constantly remarked that the current Iraqi government, all in all are good natured and hold clear intentions but they need help to assure that a small group of fundamentalists do not ruin it for everyone.
From London Rev. Joseph plans to meet with a few EU ministers and then flay to Washington to work with another Media Group to lobby the difficulties of the Assyrian Christians in Iraq.
After this busy and bustling week, what do I think of Rev. Ken Joseph?
Well, I now know Rev. Joseph as a gallant spirit that does not know the word fatigue, and exploits every little chance to utter the word Assyrian, show the Assyrian flag and lobby for our venerable people in Iraq. Some of you may have an instinctive dislike of him, some may have received their information about him from Arabic newspapers (which are notorious for misinterpretation of comments and spinning of information) but nobody is to deny his tireless efforts to bring the Assyrian issue to the fore, and dare demand what most our leaders fear to mention.
Finally, I would like to thank Immediate Response Media Group for everything they have done in getting Rev. Ken Joseph in the media and for their solidarity with the Assyrian Christians.
[Zinda: To listen to Rev. Joseph's interview with CNN click here.]
Karamlesh: The Unearthed Ancient Assyrian Town
Karamles (Karamlesh) is one of the most ancient settlements in north of Iraq (Assyria). During the Sumerian period of the Third Dynasty of Ur (third millennium B.C.), Karamles (Karamllis) was called Kar-Denkir-Nin-lil, meaning the "City of the Goddess Nin-lil." According to Professors Parpola and Porter, Karamles is the historic Assyrian city of Kar-Mullissi, which in Akkadian meant the "City of Mullisi." The Akkadians used this name during their reign over northern Mesopotamia. Karamles, according to archaeologist Julius Oppert (Expedition Sceintifique en Mesopotamia, Paris, 1863), was called "Er-Elu-Banu," meaning the "City of the God Banu." Furthermore, a rectangular plate dated 734 B.C. with Assyrian Akkadian cuneiform inscriptions was discovered in 1957 by archaeologist Max Mallowan. The inscriptions reflected ownership of a certain sized land by a certain Kasudi in the city of Uru-Kar-Mesh (Karamlesh). Karamles is also referred as Garmsha in the "History of Rabban Bar 'Idta," as one of the four villages in the Mosul plain that had remained part of the Church of the East since the sixth century and the same name appears in a manuscript of Mardin according to Bishop Addai Scher.
There is between 600 and 650 families in Karamles. The vast majority of the population is ethnically Assyrians (also known as Chaldeans and Suryan). They were mainly members of the Church of the East, however, they converted to Catholicism from the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries and took the name Chaldeans. Today, the inhabitants of Karamles are mainly members of the Chaldean Catholic Church, but there are also members of the Syriac (Syrian) Orthodox and Catholic Churches. There is a very small minority of Moslems in Karamles, whose presence is relatively recent. Originally, the town had eight main families but have since branched out to close to 50 families, including Alboshabi, Qatta, Hannona, Shinkul, Babikka, Tammu, Sha'yuta, Jiju, Deacon Estifu, Rammu, Makku, Tiyari, Zibari, Bi Banna, Eliya, Sa'aoor, Kanni, Eshu, Mamuka, Babu and others.
Karamles (36° 19´ Lat. & 43° 28´ Lon.) sits on a large ancient hill that sits in the middle of a plain land. The town is some 15 to 30 feet above the level of the surrounding plain. Karamles is located less than 17 miles (28 kilometers) southeast of the ancient Assyrian capital city Nineveh (Mosul) and only 13 miles (22 kilometers) from the other Assyrian capital city of Kalhu (Nimrod). It is surrounded by many historic tels or tells (hills), which formed one huge city in the ancient times. The town is beautifully located near the Khazir (ancient Hozur) River to the east, Greater (Upper) Zab to the south and Tigris River to the west. A brook, named after the town, runs through Karamles and pours into the Tigris south of Nimrod. Joseph Bonomi (Nineveh and its Palaces, London, 1852) states that Karamles was a religious center and that it contained holy temples, something that is reflected from its name. According to Kubie, Layard had stated that the hills of Kalhu (Nimrod), Quyunjik (Nineveh), Dur-Sharrukin (Khursabad), and Karamles were the four corners of a parallelogram of 60 miles in circumference that represented the Greater Nineveh, which explains why it took Jonah three days to go around it.
Archaeologists excavating in Assyria made sure to visit Karamles. The first who started those archeological diggings in the hills of Karamles was A. H. Layard and his expedition team, which included H. Ross, G. Rawlinson, H. Rassam and others, in 1846. Layard writes that the Assyrian artifacts that were discovered in Karamles prove that Karamles was a great Assyrian city. He adds: "At Karamles a platform of brickwork had been uncovered, and the Assyrian origin of the ruin proved by the cuneiform inscription on the bricks, which contained the name of Sargon, the Khorsabad king." Indeed, Karamles was as great as its contemporary Dur-Sharrukin (Khursabad).
Karamles lost its importance during the reign of Shalmenessar III (858 – 824 B.C.) whose son led a rebellion against his father. This led to a civil war that lasted four years 827 – 824 B.C. The war caused destruction to many cities, including Karamles. For that it took the name of "Oru-Karmash," meaning "The Ruined City." Until this very day, Assyrians in neighboring regions call Karamles as Karmash. However, Karamles was reinvigorated during the reigns of Kings Shalmenessar V (726 – 722 B.C.) and Sargon II (721 – 705 B.C.).
The great historical battle of 331 B.C. between the Greeks under Alexander the Great and the Persians under King Darius III took place at a site known as Gaugamela. Eyewitnesses and historians, such as Ptolemy and Strabo, attest to this. The victory of Alexander at Gaugamela had drastic political and social upheaval on the entire Near East history. The question is, where is the location of Gaugamela? Many scholars, such as Fuller, Oppert, Place, Grote, Stein, and Lane attest that Gaugamela is modern Karamles. Earlier, Darius I lost most of his camels and spoils from exhaustion around the city. Thus, the name Gaugamela (Aramaic Ko-Komle) came in use, which means the Camels' Square.
The importance of Karamles seem to have declined after the death of Patriarch Dinkha II in 1381. The village is mentioned again in 1567, when a scribe Hurmiz of Karamles copied a certain manuscript in the Jazira region. Many manuscripts have survived from the churches of Mar Giwargis and Mart Barbara between the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries.
Excavations by archaeologist V. Place at the surrounding hills of Tell Barbara uncovered the remains of an Assyrian temple while at Tell Ghanam the remains of an Assyrian palace was discovered. V. Place dug between 1852 and 1854 in Karamles at the hills of Barbara and Ghanam. He writes that in Karamles there is a small hill not that high, however it occupies a large space. When digging there, we uncovered two layers of burned bricks that were equal in size and similar to those used in Dur-Sharrukin. The second layer contained cuneiform writings with the names of Shalmenessar and Sargon II. The information we gathered proves beyond any doubt that the remains under this small hill are ancient Assyrian remains.
In the latter parts of 1934, a descendent of the originally Nestorian Christian al-Jalili family in Mosul that adopted Islam later, Sa'eed al-Haj Hussein Agha al-Jalili, began excavating at Tell Ghanam. He used the services of few Assyrians, such as Elias Hudi and Behnam Sha'ya. After months of excavation, the Iraqi Antiquity Department ordered them to stop digging and took them to court. At the time, many Assyrian statues and artifacts had been already discovered in two large and deep rooms. However, they were forced to return the earth back and cover their discoveries. On October 28, 1971, another Assyrian statue was discovered at the hill. Dr. Behnam Abu Al-Soof, the Director of the Iraqi Antiquity Department, coordinated with the Mosul Museum personnel who agreed of the discovery. On November 18, 1971, excavations at Tell Ghanam in Karamles unearthed an Assyrian doorstep decorated with the Assyrian rosette and a cylinder seal, believed to have belonged to King Sargon II.
Lastly, it is well known historical and archaeological fact that Nineveh had 15 gates. The fourth gate was designated for the city of Karamles (Kar-Mullissi).
Karamles and Christianity
Karamles converted almost completely to Christianity by the second century of the Christian era. The process was long and not easy with the continued strong presence of Assyrian, Greek, and Zoroastrian religions. Most of the Assyrian temples were converted to Christian worship places. Early Christians faced great persecution and many became martyrs, including Barbara, the daughter of the pagan governor of Karamles. For that reason, one of the hills around the city is named after her.
Karamles served as the see of the Church of the East for crucial period of persecution against the Assyrian Christians. In A.D. 1332, Mar Dinkha II (consecrated in Baghdad) decided to move the seat of the patriarchate of the Church of the East to Karamles after its relocation earlier from Baghdad to Arbil and then to Maraga. The see remained in Karamles for 94 years. Patriarchs Dinkha II (1332 – 1381), Elia IV (1381 – 1408), and then Shimun II (1418 – 1427), occupied the Karamles seat and the latter moved it to Alqosh in 1426.
We know that the Christians of Karamles remained members of the Church of the East until Catholicism began to find its place in the Nineveh (Mosul) Plain in the latter parts of the eighteenth century. Still, and according to Wilmshurst, by early nineteenth century, the Diocese of Mosul of the Church of the East consisted of the city of Mosul and nine wholly Christian villages (TelKepe, TelIsqof, Alqosh, Piyoz, Karamles, Bet Qopa, Batnaya, Naseriya, and Bet Handawaya) to the north and east of the city. By the mid nineteenth century, many Church of the East (Nestorians) members converted to Catholicism. They became ever since known as Chaldeans.
Churches and Monasteries
History narrators kept the memories of many churches and monasteries of the Church of the East (Nestorian) in Karamles alive. These ancient churches include the monasteries of Mar Giwargis (St. George), Mar Yonan (St. Jonah), Mar Youkhanna (St. John), and Dair Banat Maryam (the Monastery of St. Mary's Daughters). The last two have long been forgotten; meanwhile, Mar Yonan became the grounds of a school in the early twentieth century.
1. Mar Giwargis Monastery. This Monastery was built in the northern parts of town by a monk named Giwargis in late sixth century. It continues to stand to this very day; however, it is believed that it was turned to a cemetery after the Mongols invasion.
2. Mar Yonan Monastery. A monk named Yonan built this monastery in the seventh century. The monastery is mentioned in an unidentified Nestorian writer in his manuscript in the fourteenth century. It is believed that it was abandoned after the invasion of Nadir Shah in 1743.
3. Mar Youkhanna Monastery. There is nothing left of this monastery but a small hill known as the hill of monk Youkhanna (tell rabban Youkhanna) situated in the southern parts of town. It was mentioned in A.D. 660 in the manuscript of Bar'aeeta and it was populous in 1736 according to the manuscript of kitab dafanat al-Mowta (the book of the hidden treasures of the dead). It was destroyed completely during the invasion of Persian Nadir Shah in August 15, 1743.
4. Dair Banat Maryam. It was attached to Mar Giwargis Monastery and served as a monastery for the nuns. The monastery suffered tremendously at the hands of Mongol in the thirteenth century and in the eighteenth century at the hands of Kurdish Ismail Pasha of Rawandos. It was referred to by Charles Watson Bradt during his visit to Karamles on June 2, 1758.
5. The Church of the Forty Martyrs. The remains of this church are situated on a hill known as Beth Sahde (the Martyrs Home) southeast of the town. We know that it was standing in 1236, when Karamles was attacked by the Mongols. It was destroyed by Nadir Shah in 1743.
6. St. Barbara Church. The church is situated on the ruins of a hill by the same name east of town. It was built on the ruins of an ancient Assyrian temple for the god Banu. Excavations at the hill in 1852 uncovered two halls used by ancient Assyrians in their religious ceremonies in addition to the findings of specific tools that were used during worship. The earth soil covers a Ziggurat that was built by ancient Assyrians to serve as a temple. Barbara was the daughter of the pagan governor of the region. She converted to Christianity, with her servant Yulina, against the will of her father who imprisoned her. When they refused to change their mind and denounce Christianity, the pagan governor ordered their death. They were killed in a room attached to the temple, where the church stand today. The church was attached by Nadir Shah, however, the town folks renovated and rebuilt it in 1798.
7. The Church of the Virgin. The church is situated in the center of town. It is a small church but beautiful. It used to be the home of a lady who donated it to the public. It was established as a church in 1887 and enlarged in 1902.
Destructive Attacks on Karamles
Arbil was attacked and destroyed by the Mongols in 1235 and later the same fate followed Karamles. Bar Hebraeus, the Maphrian of the Syrian (Syriac) Orthodox Church, historian, philosopher, and theologian among other things, reported the attack of the Mongols on Karamles. Karamles is also commemorated in a poem of the Assyrian poet Giwargis Warda of Arbil, who described how the Mongols forced the Assyrian Christians of Karamles to leave the village. However, many returned and there are evidence of the presence of Mar Abdisho (Odisho), who was an active scribe in 1290, in Karamles.
The continuous wars between the Persian and Ottoman Empires, prompted Persian Nadir Shah in 1732 to attack and occupy central and northern Mesopotamia, which was under the Ottoman rule. After occupying Baghdad in 1732, he deployed 8,000 of his troops to occupy Nineveh and its surroundings. However, his smaller army was defeated. In 1743, he headed an army of 300,000 soldiers and 390 canons and marched toward Mosul. He caused destruction in Kirkuk, Arbil and then in Mosul and the villages around it. He entered Karamles on August 15, 1743 and remained there for four days causing much killing and destruction. It is estimated that he killed over 4,000 people during those four days alone. He committed the same in Baghdeda (Qara Qosh) and Bartella (Baritle).
Karamles (Karamlesh) is an ancient Assyrian settlement that flourished during the Neo-Assyrian Empire. Its Assyrian people adopted Christianity in the first and second centuries of the Christian era. The Diaspora community must work closely with the central and local officials and with the locals to protect this ancient Assyrian town and all the artifacts that are still buried under its mounds. It is the moral obligation of the Diaspora Assyrian (also known as Chaldean and Suryan) groups to initiate Karamles' economic revival. In a free, democratic, and pluralistic Iraq, we must take all measures and provide the locals with every incentive possible, including economical prosperity, to help them remain on their ancestral lands.
1. Bar Hebraeus. Tareekh al-Zaman. Translated to Arabic by Fr. Ishaq Armalah. Beirut: Dar al-Mashriq, 1991.
[Zinda: For more photos of Karamlesh click here.]
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Some 40,000 Christians in flight from Iraq
Courtesy of the Asia News
“The number of Christians who have left Iraq has reached 40,000, according to the latest statistics," said Ms Warda, the only Christian member of the interim government. This wave of emigration “is due to insecurity and the attacks on the churches in Baghdad and Mosul two weeks ago.”
The minister did not shy away from expressing her fears about “the serious rise in numbers of Iraqi emigrants because of the multiplication of terrorist operations and insecurity which threatens all Iraqi communities, including Christians.”
Fear is pushing Christians to give up commercial activities, close their stores, sell their homes and seek refuge in Kurdish areas of Iraq, in Jordan, in Syria. However, the long term goal for many is going to Australia or Sweden where there are old Iraqi expatriate communities.
Assyrians Underrepresented at the Iraqi National Conference
(ZNDA: Baghdad) The Iraqi National Conference, a gathering of more than 1,000 religious, political and civic leaders is taking place at Zinda Magazine's press time. It is extended a fourth day into Wednesday because of disagreements over how to elect a council that is to act as a watchdog over the interim government until elections in January.
According to sources to Zinda Magazine in Baghdad, the Kurdish parties present at the meeting have been diligently campaigning against a united Chaldo-Assyrian front by submitting the names of pro-Kurdish Christians as their choice for "Christian Representation", minimizing any efforts to coalesce a non-religious, Chaldo-Assyrian representation at the Conference.
Several Assyrian groups and organizations, including Zinda Magazine, are demanding a fair representation of the Assyrian-Iraqi constituency of up to 10 delegates in the Iraqi national Council. It appeared by Tuesday afternoon that a much smaller team may be elected due to the fierce anti-Assyrian campaigning conducted by the Kurdish front at the Conference.
The Conference on Monday got off to a rocky start when more than 100 delegates walked out to protest against fighting in the city of Najaf.
Nineteen of the 100 seats on the council, including three women, were already handed to members of the defunct Governing Council created by the US-led occupation shortly after the fall of Saddam Hussein in 2003 and including many former exiles. Sources to Zinda Magazine indicate that Mr. Yonadam Kanna appears among the first list.
According to conference rules, delegates of different leanings -- religious or secular, Kurd or Arab -- were supposed to draw up lists for the remaining 81 seats and submit them to an open vote.
Of the 81 seats on the interim legislature to be decided by the vote, 21 are to go to party members, 21 to provincial leaders, 11 to minorities, 10 to tribal figures, 10 to civil society organisations and eight to independents.
Women's Group in Iraq Condemns Church Bombings
We, the Women's Alliance for a Democratic Iraq (WAFDI) are shocked and outraged at the bombing of five churches in Baghdad and Mosul on August 1, 2004. Our hearts and thoughts go out to the families of the innocent victims. WAFDI expresses its deepest sorrow and condolences to the families of all the victims who lost their lives in this barbaric attack.
The non-muslim communities of Iraq, such as the Assyrians, Chaldeans, Armenians, Sabaeans, Yazidis, have lived in Iraq for thousands of years. They are an integral part of the mosaic that is Iraq. These attacks were against all Iraqis and intended to destroy the unity and stability of Iraq.
These acts only strengthen our cause of defeating the injustice imposed on Iraqis for the past 34 years by the remnants of the old regime. Such remnants apparently continue to impose its brutality. It is a reminder that our struggle as Iraqis and as Americans is just and we must all continue to fight evil.
WAFDI would like nothing less than finding the ones responsible for this crime and have them brought to justice.
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Fairfield Assyrians Mourned Bomb Victims
Courtesy of the Fairfield Advance
(ZNDA: Fairfield) The Assyrian community in Fairfield, Australia held a day of mournin last Sunday following an increase in attacks against its people in Iraq.
A mass at St. Hurmizd Cathedral at Greenfield Park and a public meeting took place after insurgents stepped up their campaign of violence in war torn Iraq two weeks ago, bombing churches in Baghdad and Mosul, killing 11 and wounding 50.
"The whole community was shocked by the size of the attacks," secretary to the Fairfield-based Australian Chapter of the Assyrian Universal Alliance Hermiz Shahen said.
"We think this is an attack on the democracy everyone is looking forward to in Iraq."
"The Christian community in Iraq... they are not wanted in Iraq."
"They are killing us like sheep and our people are fleeing the land."
"The situation is getting worse and tensions are growing."
Mr. Shahen said the Christian Assyrian community, considered to be Iraq's indigenous people, was thankful for the Iraqi Government's efforts in trying to eliminate the insurgents.
"A large number of people and civilians are victimized in the attacks by the insurgents," he said.
Mr Shahen said the mass and meeting was a chance for the Assyrian community to pray for those who had died and to ask the Australian public and Government for help.
"The message is now clear for the community - do something for our people over there." he said.
"Our people are scattered all over Iraq."
"We are very easy targets."
"The only way to keep our people safe over there is to give them back their homeland and give them security so they can live in peace."
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Iraqi Assyrians win US Championship
Sargon B Yalda
Representing Illinois, Winged Bull was crowned the US Amateur Cup champions at the National Cup Finals in Orlando, Florida on August 6-8. They downed Newcastle United (Texas) 3:2 in the semi-final. Winged Bull took the crown two days later with a dramatic 4:3 win over the Denver Kickers (Colorado). Yousif Morad bagged a hat trick and Awadallah Morad added the other goal.
Winged Bull had qualified as the Midwest regional champs last month and they went on to the national championships representing the Midwest Region after defeating the Illinois arch rival Minnesota.
The Winged Bull Soccer Team was formed back in 1970, by a group of young Assyrian immigrants from Iraq who had a passion for the game, through which the Assyrian community of Chicago gained instant recognition among other immigrant communities in the United States.
In 1971, Winged Bull joined the National Soccer League as a Third division team. By 1975 they had already won their way to the First division, in 1977 they made the Major division, which is the highest level available for an amateur league.
The 80,000 strong Assyrian community in Chicago is overjoyed by their team's victory.
Assyrian Remembrance Day in Canada
A successful, educational, and memorable event to remember the Assyrian Genocide of 1914 – 1918 and the 1933 Semele Massacre...
The Assyrian Canadian Lobbying Committee’s vice-president, Ms. Marry Younan, flew from Ottawa, capital of Canada, to Toronto, for the event that ACLC and United Assyrian Youth of Canada organized and hosted to commemorate our fallen Assyrian victims, known as the “August 7 - Assyrian Martyr Day” at Humber College in Toronto.
Participating also at this commemoration event were his Grace Mar Emmanuel- Bishop of Assyrian Church of the East, His Honorable Jim Karygiannis – from the Canadian Federal Government (M.P.), Dr. Ivan Kakovitch from California, Mr. George Davis from Washignton-DC, Dr. Hirmis Aboona from Mississauga-Ontario, and members from Toronto University of Mesopotamia studies. One hundred and fifty Assyrians, Canadians, Armenians and Greeks attended the event.
The voice of the Assyrian Canadian Lobbying Committee was strong and clear in Humber College, on this day of August 7, 2004 at 5 pm. They opposed the name "Chaldo/Assyrian" that certain individuals are trying to paste by deception and lies to delete the name "Assyrian". ACLC stood with the organizations and individuals that support strongly the rights, freedom, protection, identity, heritage, linguistics of the Assyrian people.
Assyrians do belong to various Christian dominations “Suryan, Chaldo, Nestorian, Yackobian, Maronite, Aramaic, Yazadeh, Assyrian Church of the East, Ancient Church of the East, Prespetarian, Protostons, and other Christian dominations”.
While on the same day of August 7, another event took place in Toronto at Queens Park to commemorate “Assyrian Martyr Day”, however, the sparks of deception, and lies once again played a role upon our people to promote the name Chaldo/Assyrian by taking advantage of that event, while our people wholeheartedly went to Queens park to stand shoulder to shoulder to pray for the Assyrian victims, and to support our Assyrian unity.
The organizers at the Queens Park's location event, whom claimed that they represent 13 Assyrian organizations, used deception and lies when they posted flyers to commemorate “Assyrian Martyr Day” and yet some of them were calling for the name “Chaldo/Assyrian” to be used.
The enemy of Assyria wanted to make a claim that 13 Assyrian organization in Canada support Chaldo/Assyrian name, yet the same deception and lies that was used for the benefit of butchers of the Assyrians is being used today.
The “Assyrian Martyrs' Day” is held to promote the recognition of the Assyrian genocides and to commemorate the Assyrians whom were butchered by the swords of the terrorist Kurds, murdered by the bullets of the terrorist Iraqi Arab army, and the terrorist Turkish Islamic army, all because the Assyrian Christians were the indigenous people of the land of Assyria. The Turks, Kurds and Iraqis, who are all Muslims, knew that they took Assyrian homeland illegally, and they all shared the same common motive, to get rid of the Assyrians who are the indigenous people and remain Christian at whatever cost.
The president of the Assyrian Canadian Lobbying Committee, Mr. David Oraha, said they will not deal with any organization in Canada or outside Canada that divides the Assyrian, or label our Assyrian people as “Chaldo/Assyrian", at the same token, ACLC door is open to all to join in unity and support the Assyrian Canadian Lobbying Committee.
Here are some notes to add to the speech by Ms. Younan. She said that "Over thirty five thousands Assyrians live in Canada. We have become part of the fabric of the Canadian society. Politically, logistically, educationally, and to certain extend, culturally, we have adapted into this new environment. This newly found way of life may in a long run end in total assimilation, loss of our language, culture and ultimately our national identity as we once knew it. As a defensive mechanic for the survival of our culture, language and heritage, we must find ways and means to prevent the total loss of our identity. In spite of the Canadian fabric, today as you are here Honorable Jim, we are asking the Canadian government to recognize Assyrian, the indigenous people of Iraq, but most importantly to recognize the Assyrian genocide shared with the Armenian and Greek. We are also asking the Canadian government to seek for the human rights of the Assyrian in Iraq and all of the Middle East on the international declaration and confidence of the United Nations."
His Grace Mar Emmanuel spoke about the Assyrians, and welcomed Honorable Jim Karygiannis, and the distinguished guests. His Grace's message: "Today, the Assyrian people in many parts of the world are gathered to commemorate the Assyrian Martyrs Day. It is a day in which we remember, commemorate and pray for all suffered, executed, imprisoned, exiled and massacred mainly because they were Christian Assyrian."
Dr. Ivan Kakovitch spoke passionately and said: “We Remember” that is the title of our gathering here today. Our duty today is to remind. Remembering is exceptional and is great and is conductive in many ways, people sit in churches and pray. Dr. Kakovitch presented excellent historic facts.
He said, history is not beautiful at all, history is inhumane, and sometimes it is bloody. Can you imagine 100 years from now how many people or how many sentences will be said about Mother Teresa, practically nothing, but there will be talks and movies and books about bloody battles and so on and so forth.
He said that Winston Churchill wrote in his memoir about WWII, of how allied forces conquered the evil. Mr. Churchill did not mention anywhere that the Assyrians had a hand in it. On May 28, 1941, the Assyrian Levis overthrow the government of Al-Kerani and send him to exile. That was the first allied victory, that was two years before Stallone-Guard, some two and half years before Al-Allamah, and almost three years and half before the landing of allied forces in beaches of France.
I just finished reading a book, published two years ago by David Franklin titled “A Peace to End All Peace”. He writes about the Middle East, the people, languages, cultures, and in 636 pages, not a single word on Assyria or Assyrians. The history books divide us, they do not unite us. They are written by conquers, not by the vanquished people. It also take sides, for example, it was the powers that conquered the Middle East like England and France that divided the region to what you see today. … The irony is that some of them say that they do it in the line of humanity and for humanity. That is a fallacy, it is a mistake, don’t believe them. …the British took the side of the Turk… what they did to us, they just alienated us, they divided our country, they gave a large part of it, the Hakari mountains to Turkey, and what was left of the Mosul and the promise of Mosul, they just renamed it and said from now on is Arabia, or Iraq, an Arab country, is no more Assyria. And remind you that for 400 years of Ottoman occupation of that territory of that territory, there was an autonomist Republic of Assyria. Even the Ottoman respected us more than British did. They called us, Mellat System, which in Turkish language means Ottomanis Republic, and that was taken away from us too.
Dr. Hormis Aboona spoke about the Assyrian situation today and how history is repeating itself, where Assyrians are again subjected to total elimination by continuous murdering, bombing, kidnapping, looting, and discrimination acts placed upon Assyrian people in their homeland.
Honorable Jim Karyagiannis spoke fiercely and wonderfully of what ways should be employed for Assyrians to reach the Canadian government. His Honorable said “Don’t expect us to know your history; you have to be the one who have to educate us”. I am as a politician who doesn’t know about world history, and cultures, it is you who have to approach me and the other members of the parliament and tell us about the Assyrians, and the Assyrian genocide…"
Mr. George Davis presented with slides information and historic data about the genocides committed against the Assyrians, and presented various books and free booklets about Assyrian National Election for public to have.
Finally, at the of the event the “Charter of the Interim Committee for the Government of Assyria” dominated the discussions . For future information about ICGA, please send your inquiry to P.O.B. 3256 Cypress, CA 90630-3256-USA.
For a complete copy of the speeches of about 120 minutes, please contact Assyrian Canadian Lobbying Committee in Ottawa via their website http://www.aclconline.org.
See you in The Hague (Den Haag)
Filham (Fil) Isaac
Look back and observe how the historical cycles and how some events are always repeated. Ever since the fall of the Assyrians (612 BC), this nation has had relentless events that have taken its toll on us and gradually diminished our hopes and demeaned any attempt to put our lives in order. Never the less, for all the centuries past we have maintained a presence. Some events are as recent as a few decades ago but none are more crucial as the ones that we are facing today.
We as people have endured. We have taken the brunt of everything that has come over our sacred land and none of it was good. We have gotten over the defeat suffered at the hands of Medes, Scythians and Babylonians. We embraced Christianity early on and by gentle persuasion we spread the gospel and the word of God throughout the near and far east. We have contributed to science, art, music and literature.
We have survived hundreds of years of persecution and forceful religious conversion and religiously motivated massacres. There was nothing peaceful about these brutal and dreadful acts. Our numbers have dwindled to a point we could not even defend ourselves and I am not surprised that some scholars thought we no longer exist. But we do exist.
Our people need to tell the world that our centuries old slumber is over. We are still here and we are wide awake. Yes, we do lack the strength and numbers to wrestle effectively with an unfair geography.
What are we facing now? We are witnessing a bloody clash of the old and the new. Over fourteen hundred years this land has only known oppression caused by religious intolerances and often a one man rule. The new is the honest attempts being made to bring democracy to this land. All the powers that have come and gone in our ancestral lands never knew the democratic process. But we the Assyrians did. Now and in the past, we have been more than fair in coexisting with our neighbors. We have practiced goodwill and obedience to the laws of the land. We have constantly participated and have actively contributed to the well being of the rulers of the land. We have never conspired nor maliciously aligned ourselves with anyone else. Only in self preservation, we have defended the land we live in, fought genocidal wars but for the rest of the time we stood shoulder to shoulder with all the inhabitants of this land. We are a peace loving nation. This is the truth.
However, our reward was death by mass killing, mutilation, destruction, rape and pillage. Our villages and homes were destroyed with no compensation. Our museums ransacked and thousand year old churches grazed to the ground. Our history intentionally distorted. Our entity was and still is at risk of being erased.
This has to be that moment in history where we as a nation must rise and let the world know that we are here to stay, solid in our resolve and will not go quietly.
As of this moment and from all the acts that we see in the northern Iraq namely from our majority neighbors the Kurds, we are raising a red flag of protest. We vehemently protest what is taking place in this region. We are pleading with the world community to care and take notice of what urgently needs their attention. Here is a list of what goes on unheeded:
While we do not have the forceful means to put this right, we most certainly can bring the attention of the world to know and condemn these acts. We have the means to reach the world be it via television, print medium or active lobbying at the United Nations and Governments that have the influence in this region.
These and other atrocities committed should be corrected now and as good citizens we can share the region and will work with everyone as equals and good neighbors towards a bright future for all.
Anything short of this, we will spare no effort and will not rest until we bring those responsible to justice in the virtual court of world opinion and the actual court of international law.
In life, we have choices and responsibilities. We can live side by side as equals or we can see you (however long it takes) in The Hague.
More Info about the Upcoming Assyrian Convention in CA
71st National Convention Committee
For the convenience of the attendees, all events of the 71st annual national convention will be held at the Santa Clara convention center, Santa Clara, California. Two convenient hotels surrounding the convention center within the walking distance to choose sleeping room accommodation. Discounted rooms are available to registered guests only.
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Join Sunday's Assyrian Demonstration In London
All Assyrians in Europe and Supporters are urgently asked to come to Central London on Sunday, August 21, 2004 at 13:00 (1:00 PM) for a public demonstration in support of the Assyrian People.
Assyrian Movie Slated For Release In Late September
For Immediate Release
Strategic Entertainment Inc. Marketing Department
(ZNDA: Chicago) Strategic Entertainment and Assyrians Around The World are proud to announce the release of their 2nd Assyrian Movie. Cost of Happiness is a feature-length dramatic film about a young Assyrian man, David (Adwin Khabeer), who is struggling to find happiness in his life. After the loss of his mother (Juliana Jindo), at an early age, David grows up trying to achieve the "American Dream" of prosperity, happiness, and love.
While working at a dead end job, David is faced with the challenge of dealing with his unemployed and alcoholic father Showel (Zayya Maradkel). To ease his troubles, David develops an obsession with making money quickly and at any cost. He meets local entrepreneur and community outcast, Freydon (Sami Yako), who offers David a chance to become wealthier than he could ever imagine.
In spite of all of David’s personal dilemmas, he continues to be an active member of his youth organization. He adopts a new task for his youth group: Her name is Ator (Assyria Jendo), a young girl that is stricken with cancer and needs help. David persuades the members to pool money for the ailing child. David’s life reaches a turning point filled with critical decisions that involve alcoholism, deception, and his morality. This is when David must decide, what is the Cost of Happiness?
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The Miracles Are Starting!
Rev. Ken Joseph
Are you discouraged? Does it seem like this time too we will fail? Does it seem like the Americans and the British and everybody else in between will betray us again?
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Pilgrimage to the Sanctuary of Komane
Courtesy of the Asia News
(ZNDA: Mosul) Terrorism and bombs have not dampened the faith of thousands of Iraqis who will made the pilgrimage this week to the northern Iraqi town of Komane at the same time as the Pope visits Lourdes.
Many Iraqis in the US, Syria, Jordan and Lebanon also made the journey to the Marian Sanctuary of Komane, one of the oldest in the country.
Iraqi Christians braved terrorism and ongoing dangers to show the strength of their Christian faith and their attachment to Mary.
Several buses left Baghdad this weekend and in direction of the sanctuary. They were part of the 3,000 or so pilgrims who, every year, make the journey to Komane on August 15 on the solemnity of Mary's Dormition, which is how the Eastern Christians call the Assumption.
Komane is an Assyrian town founded 3,000 years ago. In the age of Ancient Assyria its surrounding region was inhabited by many Jewish communities. In the 2nd century A.D. they converted to Christianity.
Tow monasteries, one dedicated to Saint Ciriaco and the other to the Virgin Mary, were built in the town during the 4th century.
In Komane Christians solemnly celebrate two Feast Days, Saint Ciriaco on July 15, and Mary, Mother of Jesus, on August 15, the day of her Dormition.
Among the pilgrims many were Muslims for in their tradition Mariam (Mary) is the mother of the prophet Issa (Jesus).
In preparation for the journey people gave up meat and eggs for 5 days eating only fruit and vegetables so as to be spiritually ready for the pilgrimage.
The pilgrimage features the agape, the communal feast to which all are invited, performed in dining rooms near the shrine.
Komane families prepare special dishes for the occasion such as kebbe, a dish of ground meat and rice, which they share with Christian and Muslim pilgrims.
The following individuals contributed in the preparation of this week's issue:
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