Archive for the ‘Media’ Category.

If ISIS Are Not An Islamic Group President Obama Than Who Are They?

 

 

 

 

 

 

obama turkish flag

By Abbey Mikha

There is a video circulating on YouTube of president Obama’s previous speech from 2015 where he made the following comments: “Radical groups exploit grievances for their own game. One of those groups is ISIL which calls itself the Islamic State.” He continues, “Let’s make two things clear ISIL is not Islamic, no religion condones the killing of innocents and the vast majority of ISIL’s victims have been Muslims.”

My question to you president Obama is if ISIS is not Islamic than who are they and why are they using Islam? Why are they aggressively fighting and dying in the name of Islam? Wouldn’t it be more appropriate to say that ISIS is a new small but steadily growing extremist Islamic group like Al Qaida which is exhausting Islam to gain power, land, and a new terrifying Islamic culture? If ISIS is not Islamic than all the Muslim countries in the world should unite, stand up and fight for the honour of Islam against ISIS! Saudi Arabia should fight ISIS! Qatar should fight ISIS! Turkey should fight ISIS! The billions of Muslims should make their voices heard against ISIS! The brutality of ISIS should not be condoned by anyone as they are seeking to build their state inch by inch, day by day, at the cost of blood and souls of innocent men, women, and children from all around the world. Does the Islamic world want to be responsible for allowing the creation of a terror state in the Middle East which its sole purpose for existing is to attack true Muslims, Assyrian Christians, Yezidis, other minorities in the Middle East and create terror attacks in the Middle East, Europe, and North America? What kind of quality of life will the people of this world have if the Islamic State is successful and they take away all our freedoms?

President Obama isn’t it true that in her book your previous secretary of state Hillary Clinton acknowledged that America created and funded Al Qaeda as a terrorist organization in the prime of the Soviet-Afghan war? Mrs. Clinton was fine with all of this but when the revolution came about in Egypt and the Islamic brotherhood government and president were kicked out by thirty-eight million Egyptian demonstrators it changed the American plan.

The United States with its technology can see what is going on in Mars and other planets and beyond! The secret intelligent agency of United States is so powerful that we should ask them to tell us what they know and what they see. Tell us what are the plans of Islamic countries like Turkey, Saudi Arabia, and Qatar and the international Islamic brotherhood group in regards to ISIS?  Mr. President how is ISIS functioning? Who is buying their oil? Who is buying them thousands and thousands of trucks and weapons to use in the fight against the world? How are the millions of dollars from oil sale being transferred and through which banks?  Wondering which borders the oil barrels go through? Mainly what has been named “The moderate Islamic government of Turkey!” And also one of the big questions is what is the role of the government of Barazani in Northern Iraq in regards to ISIS? Is the dictator Barazani and his family and gang taking advantage of the fragile situation in Iraq and going ahead planning with the Turkish government lead by president Erdogan to sell the terrorist oil together and making millions of dollars? Yes that is definitely what is going on!

We want to believe you president Obama, but the American people and the world have a right to know the truth and you need to provide proof and answers in regards to ISIS truly not being Islamic! You cannot just say the majority of people they attack are Muslims because they have been annihilating Assyrian Christians and other minorities in Iraq and Syria. They are killing our people, stealing our land, and destroying our collective dream of a future Assyrian region in Iraq. Of course Mr. President you would never mention the Assyrian martyrs which have been murdered, raped, starved, and kidnapped by ISIS in Syria and Iraq. These are Assyrians and they are Christians! Were Al Qaida not Islamic Mr. President? What is the difference between ISIS and Al Qaida? We remember your friend Zbigniew Kazimierz Brzezinski in the time of Al Qaida fighting the Soviets praising Muslims calling them, “The Revolutionary Islamic Mojahideen.” Mr. President is this not another game like when the British sent Lawrence of Arabia to create Wahhabis for the Saudi family in World War I? Is this the extent the United States has gone to make sure its own interests are secured? Please Mr. President, the American people are searching and they will find everything they are searching for.  Mr. President the truth will set you free. Merry Christmas and a happy New Year Mr. President from the children of Assyria living in refugee camps in the North of Iraq who the world are ignoring and you consider too insignificant as a minority to even care about.

President Obama stating that ISIL is not Islamic Video:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=91620ymBEQI&feature=player_embedded

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A new Assyrian TV Channel is Born and we are quiet Excited!

By: Ashur Sada

They say the general life-span of an Assyrian TV channel is relatively short. They either change their frequency, become less frequent in their broadcasting or just disappear and never to be heard from again.

We understand the reasons and rational behind this unfortunate fact: it is usually funding-related (or lack there of!)

In the last few years, we had Ashur TV and Ishtar TV, being the dominant and virtually the only players in the Assyrian living room. As much as some people didn’t agree with the programming or people behind either one of these channels, the fact was that they provided Assyrians with at least some programming. To some, the rational was that some programming-despite the motive or people behind the channels-is better than no programming.

Suddenly, early last year, both channels disappeared from our dishes and never to be seen or heard from again.  At least for those of us living in North America and other parts of the world. The channels had basically been moved to a different package which required that people get a different dish and start paying for the package etc. Suffice it to say, the change was poorly executed and with it the two channels lost virtually most of their viewers outside of the Middle East.

There was a vacuum to be filled on our TVs. Then out of nowhere, came a savior for our ‘Assyrian viewing’ thirst: ‘Assyrian National Broadcasting (ANB) from California was born. This is a 24/7 Assyrian satellite channel that is looking promising.

Of course, the channel is still in its infancy but things are getting better and better, with varying and expanding programming, not to mention, some lovely staff and hosts.

The question that some people may be wondering about is not whether this channel will get better but whether it will last, beyond a year or two, at all? Given the pattern of Assyrian channels that we explained earlier, this question is inevitable. It is like we don’t trust Assyrian TV channels to be able to last long enough.  But at the same time, we are hopeful that the smart people behind this channel have learnt from the mistakes and shortfalls of other Assyrian channels before them and not to make them again. As viewers ourselves, we have to do our best to support it as well, whether it is by the simple act of watching, or something more involved like donations or sending our own programming to be played on the channel.

A nation without a strong culture can’t last long. A culture without media is a weak one. And having a TV channel is a basic requirement for having a good media. There is some easy logic to show you how important a strong and viable Assyrian TV Satellite channel really is.

Support it and don’t let another Assyrian TV channel die!

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Annahar Newspaper : Christians of Iraq And “Nineveh Plain” Conspiracy

Christians of Iraq

And “Nineveh Plain” Conspiracy


Ashur Giwargis – Beirut
Annahar Lebanese Newspaper: 25/09/2011

Assyrians today are considered the indigenous cultural group in what is known as Iraq. Throughout their history, they have been subjected to different kinds of national and religious persecution since the fall of their political entity in 612 BC. Their religion is Christianity, and they are divided into many sects: Syriac, Chaldean (Catholic) and Assyrian Church of The East. They used to form around 8% of the Iraqi population before the fall of Saddam, while today this rate has decreased to less than 3% due to frequent aggressions implemented according to strategies based on national and religious malice on one side, and international plots on the other side, especially after the Central Intelligence Agency controlled over the rule of Iraq (openly) since the fall of Saddam Hussain.

In the recent eight years, Assyrians have been reluctantly involved in the game of “new Iraq” which was no better than Iraq of Saddam’s time or that of the Islamic and the Ottoman ages. The Assyrian people well knows who blasts its churches and kills its elderly and young only to implant intimidation amongst the people, so that in the end Assyrians are forced to join a scheme much bigger than themselves and even bigger than Iraq itself, the scheme which aims at expanding geographic entities coined at their expense. These entities give greater weight to the powers conflicting in such an area that has been, throughout its history, under the focus of western powers’ greed since the days of “Silk Road” from Europe to the Far East.

In this big game today, Assyrians are playing the role drawn to them: victims, and not players. They are victims torn between the fires of Islamization and kurdification. And some international foreign channels talk about them every now and then to show dissatisfaction about the Iraqi government under internal bargains between kurdish and Islamic racism. And here, western politicians and their media succeeded in showing the problem as “Islamic persecution” and the solution for it is “kurdish protection”, note that kurds themselves executed all the massacres against the Assyrian nation over centuries, and Assyrian lands in occupied Assyria (northern Iraq) are still confiscated by kurdish leaders with the support of kurdish occupation authorities. In addition, the project of the so-called “Christian governorate” or “Nineveh Plain governorate” is nothing but a result of that policy, for the kurdish project of achieving the so-called “greatest kurdistan” is known for those who are interested in the middle-eastern affairs, and the demands of kurds in Syria today are nothing but a sequel to this project, because the map of the project, that joins lands from Turkey, Syria, Iran and Iraq, is still hanging above Barzani’s head in his office as well as in all offices of the kurdish parties under the sight of Iraqi politicians.

All that above is associated with crucial negatively important developments facing the future of the Assyrian nation as people and as culture. Unfortunately, lands and power, if any power, of the Assyrians make the major obstacle for the kurdish scheme. The so-called “Nineveh Plain” zone is considered the historical and national homeland for the Assyrians historically, demographically and truthfully, and is the point around which Assyrians crowd together; it is the most qualified for an inception towards the Assyrian national project which extends from Great Zab to the Tigris River (The Assyrian Triangle) within the one Iraq and along the lines of the other groups. However, unfortunately, this region is the strategic link of what is named “Iraqi kurdistan” to what will be named “Syrian kurdistan” (in case of any change to the Syrian regime). All Iraqi politicians in general, and Assyrian politicians in specific, are aware of this project and of the kurds’ intention to push the Assyrian “people” forcedly and by terrorism to seek kurdish protection under the slogan of “Nineveh Plain governorate” according to the article /35/ of the constitution of the kurdish occupation which, in turn, stipulates that Assyrians be given autonomy (by Kurdish occupation authorities) in the areas where they form the greatest population, whereby kurds avoid the conflict with Arabs of Mosul since the residents themselves demand, though unwillingly, a governorate independent from Nineveh governorate, when the Assyrians take the hit. Arabization has been launched anew against these Assyrians – Today thousands of hectares of their lands are being confiscated by Arabist trends in Mosul as a reaction to the kurdish project: “the Christian governorate”.

In addition, it’s well-known to everyone that:

– No “Islamic” offence has taken place to the kurds who converted to the Evangelist Church.
– No aggression or terrorist act has taken place to anyone inside the kurdish occupation areas.
– The terrorist acts against Assyrians discontinued after their politicians adopted the project of annexing their lands to the kurdish occupation.

Though the article /50/ was issued by the governing council on September 29, 2003, which states that: “All acts, decisions, regulations, directives, instructions and orders that are issued by what is known as revolution leadership council and other Iraqi officials (During Baath Rule), and which are issued for the purpose of changing the political and the demographic reality in Iraq, shall be cancelled”, this was selectively enforced when the Governing Council kept the effects of Al-baath decisions on March 11, 1970 which states the separation of the Assyrian Nohadra (kurdified to “Dohuk”) from the Assyrian Nineveh, hence Assyrians are still divided administratively, politically and demographically under two conflicting authorities: kurdification and Arabization.

Moreover, the project of kurdifying the Assyrian homeland is “constitutional” according to the “democratic” Iraqi state legislations and its constitutional article /143/, which approved to name Assyria as “kurdistan” (land of kurds) without any Assyrian representation (despite the presence of a “representative”), in the Iraqi state institutions.

In this status quo, Assyrians have hope neither in their parties nor in the Iraqi government being no less aggressive to them than Baath or the kurdish trends while their sole hope lies in the Assyrian Diaspora, especially those in the United States and Europe which are actively ruling Iraq and where Assyrians exist powerfully and heavily, the thing that enables them to be heard by international tribunes, for the international ethical duty requires that Assyrians must be treated as the indigenous people of Iraq according to “Indigenous People Declaration” stated by United Nations General Assembly on September 13, 2007 which declares the right of self-determination of indigenous people (articles /3/ , /4/) to reserve its entity and culture which are considered an international trust.

Hence, and according to the UN legislation mentioned above, Assyrians have the right to obtain (at least) a “safe zone” internationally protected just like the kurds since 1991, because Assyrians have no trust in the Iraqi state especially because it is a group of Islamists and kurds, and this will be the first step on the road to achieving “Assyria Region” like that of the kurds, and as long as the Iraqi constitution became mere ink on paper after contradicting the Iraqi state to article /7/ of its constitution, by establishing a racial region on a national basis under the name of “kurd-stan” (land of kurds).

Haaretz newspaper summed up the Assyrian tragedy in a couple of words in the issue of December 24, 2010 under the headline “Christmas requiem for Iraq’s Christian community” by the newspaper political analyst and the historian and ME affairs specialist, Dr. Zvi Bar’el who wrote: “The Kurds object to establishment of a protected Christian enclave, because they want to annex the Nineveh Valley, most of whose residents are Christians”. And the “governorate” project will be the first step to that, constitutionally, since the “Iraqi” constitution permits annexing a governorate to a region, and this is a clear sign to that in case the issue is not redressed by Assyrians themselves before the others, then the Assyrian torture journey will go on by appropriating Assyrian lands and confiscating them by Arabs in the so-called “Nineveh Plain” and also by kurds inside their entity which has been imposed on Assyrians and on others since 1991.

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Interview with Diane Pathieu, Assyrian Anchor and Reporter for NBC affiliate WTMJ TV

By Ashur Sada (Founder and webmaster of Assyrian Voice)


 

-Hello and thanks for letting us do this interview with you. Can you please briefly introduce yourself and what you do?

Thank you! The pleasure is all mine! My name is Diane Pathieu, I am currently, an Anchor/Reporter for the NBC affiliate WTMJ TV, in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. I report on the news of the day, 5 days a week, from the field. I also anchor an hour-long noon show, 5 days a week from in the studio.

 

-Tell us about your TV career and what got you into it?
I’ve wanted to be in the television news business since I was a little girl, so I began to pursue it right away after high school.  I don’t know why I was so passionate about news, but I was, and it’s been an incredible journey.

 

-What is your typical day like in your job?
Depending on the news of the day, and which job I’ll be doing (sometimes I anchor all day long, other times I report and anchor) I wake at about 2:15am, am out the door by 3am, and putting on my makeup & doing my hair by 3:30am.

I am on the air (either in the field or on the desk) at 5am. After that- I gather a news story from 7am-10:30am, and then I am back in the studio anchoring the 12pm newscast. It’s a very fast-paced, hectic day. Plus, I get up basically in the middle of the night, and that’s something your body never gets used to!

-You often publicly knowledge that you are an Assyrian, including on your bio, something you don’t get with other Assyrians in other professional fields. Why do you feel the need to make this known?
This is such a good question. You know, when I first got into this business about 11 years ago, it was never really that important to share your nationality. Viewers always would assume my nationality was Greek or Italian, and I would always have to correct them. Then, more and more, I wanted people to really understand the Assyrian people and how they differ from ‘Lebanese’ or ‘Arabic’ people, so I started explaining it to my co-workers. In each of the stations I worked at, all of my co-workers knew what “Assyrian” was, and that made me so proud. I still have a flag at my desk.

Then when social media hit, I decided to become more public about my nationality, and although people still assume I’m something else- many others have been really kind and asked great questions to get to know me and my people better.

 

-What are your future plans for your career?
My goal has always been to one day work in my hometown of Chicago! God willing I get there soon!

 

-What are some of the things that you find really interesting to cover and report on?
I absolutely love breaking news. Fires, shootings, accidents, etc. stories that get your blood pumping.  Also- family stories, school stories, stories that I know will affect people and their families.

 

-What about some of the least exciting and interesting things that you have to report on?
I honestly can’t think of non-exciting stories! I’m pretty lucky that I get to cover a gamut of things.

 

-What is the most difficult assignment you have done as a TV anchor/reporter?
The toughest, by far, are deaths of children, and deaths of soldiers.  I have attended way too many funerals of soldiers, and apologized to way too many moms and dads over the years, and it never gets easier.

 

-If you weren’t working in the current market, what other city would you love to work in?
Chicago! Hands down! Maybe one day, New York City.

 

-What is your advise to other Assyrians who would like to get into the TV and media business?
This business is changing every minute! Learn to do everything, and realize the big money is not there anymore. The idea that people make a ton of money in this business is simply not true. When you hit the network level, yes. Until then, get ready to live on chicken and rice every day! Oh, and be prepared to move to a very small city!

-In your online bio, it mentions that you wake up at 2:30 AM in the morning! How can you even do that?
It is the single hardest thing I do every day!  I honestly cannot tell you how much of a challenge it is, but… once you get out of bed, the rest is much easier!

 

-What do you like about your job the most?
Making a difference in peoples’ lives.

 

-Is there any renowned or legendary reporter/anchor out there that you look up to?
My mentor Lisa Parker from WMAQ-TV, her terrific producer Robin Green.(former Chicago anchors) Bill Kurtis, Linda Maclennan, and Lester Holt.

 

-Have you ever MCed at any Assyrian events?
Yes, I co-hosted the St. Andrew’s Fashion Show in Chicago back in November of last year.

 

-You are both an anchor and a reporter at the same time: which one do you enjoy the most?
Since they are both completely different jobs, I truly do love them both.  When it rains or snows out, I like the anchoring!

 

-How has social media changed your job? has it made it easier or harder in that you have to be at so many different websites and outlets at the same time?
Social media has changed EVERYTHING about my job.

There is so much more to do, and so many different outlets to expose my stories. I have a direct connection to my viewers now, and although at first it was overwhelming, now it’s something I can’t imagine working without. People are not afraid to share their opinions with you online, it’s no holds barred!

 

-Are you involved or have any knowledge of what is happening with Assyrians, their political struggles in the Middle East etc.?
Through my job, no. Through my personal life, I certainly try to be.  All of my family is in the states, so there is no direct connection to the Middle East anymore, but I do try and stay up to date on issues.  My whole family is very passionate and involved though.

 

-Have you visited our Assyrian Voice website yet?
Yes! I have, and it’s great! And Yes! I can, and will, promote your site!

 

-Any last word or something you would like to say to all the people reading this interview?
Yes, I have to talk about the reason I am sitting here, other than God’s grace.It’s my family. I come from the most humble, kindhearted, and spirited Assyrian family. The love and support I get is overwhelming,  I choke up just writing about it. And that’s what makes our people great. Our ancestors have lived through so much. I am a first-generation

American, my family came to the United States with nothing. They created everything they have, and instilled hard work, dedication, and love within their two daughters. I am an enriched person, a kind person, a loved person, because of my mom and dad.

I am surrounded by my parents, incredible sister, brother-in-law, cousins, (both adult and babies), uncles, aunts, great friends and so on.

When you surround yourself with positive people, it’s contagious. I thank the Lord every day that he thought I was good enough to be a part of this family, and the Assyrian community.

 

-We thank you for this opportunity and wish you continued success and progress in your field.
And I thank you, for thinking I was good enough to write about. I am so proud of being an Assyrian woman, and I truly can’t wait to keep growing in this business, making other Assyrians proud!

-Hello and thanks for letting us do this interview with you. Can you please briefly introduce yourself and what you do?

Thank you!

The pleasure is all mine!

My name is Diane Pathieu, I am currently, an Anchor/Reporter for the NBC affiliate WTMJ TV, in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

I report on the news of the day, 5 days a week, from the field.

I also anchor an hour-long noon show, 5 days a week from in the studio.

-Tell us about your TV career and what got you into it?

I’ve wanted to be in the television news business since I was a little girl, so I began to pursue it right away after high school.

I don’t know why I was so passionate about news, but I was, and it’s been an incredible journey.

-What is your typical day like in your job?

Depending on the news of the day, and which job I’ll be doing (sometimes I anchor all day long, other times I report and anchor)

I wake at about 2:15am, am out the door by 3am, and putting on my makeup & doing my hair by 3:30am.

I am on the air (either in the field or on the desk) at 5am.  After that- I gather a news story from 7am-10:30am, and then I am back in the studio anchoring the 12pm newscast.  It’s a very fast-paced, hectic day.  Plus, I get up basically in the middle of the night, and that’s something your body never gets used to!


-You often publicly knowledge that you are an Assyrian, including on your bio, something you
don’t get with other Assyrians in other professional fields. Why do you feel the need to make this known?
This is such a good question.

You know, when I first got into this business about 11 years ago, it was never really that important to share your nationality.  Viewers always would assume my nationality was Greek or Italian, and I would always have to correct them.  Then, more and more, I wanted people to really understand the Assyrian people and how they differ from ‘Lebanese’ or ‘Arabic’ people, so I started explaining it to my co-workers.  In each of the stations I worked at, all of my co-workers knew what “Assyrian” was, and that made me so proud.  I still have a flag at my desk.

Then when social media hit, I decided to become more public about my nationality, and although people still assume I’m something else- many others have been really kind and asked great questions to get to know me and my people better.

-What are your future plans for your career?
My goal has always been to one day work in my hometown of Chicago!

God willing I get there soon!

-What are some of the things that you find really interesting to cover and report on?
I absolutely love breaking news.  Fires, shootings, accidents, etc. stories that get your blood pumping.

Also- family stories, school stories, stories that I know will affect people and their families.

-What about some of the least exciting and interesting things that you have to report on?
I honestly can’t think of non-exciting stories!  I’m pretty lucky that I get to cover a gamut of things.


-What is the most difficult assignment you have done as a TV anchor/reporter?
The toughest, by far, are deaths of children, and deaths of soldiers.

I have attended way too many funerals of soldiers, and apologized to way too many moms and dads over the years,

and it never gets easier.


-If you weren’t working in the current market, what other city would you love to work in?
Chicago! Hands down!  Maybe one day, New York City.

-What is your advise to other Assyrians who would like to get into the TV and media business?
This business is changing every minute!  Learn to do everything, and realize the big money is not there anymore.  The idea that people make

a ton of money in this business is simply not true.  When you hit the network level, yes.  Until then, get ready to live on chicken and rice every day!  Oh, and be prepared to move to a very small city!

-In your online bio, it mentions that you wake up at 2:30 AM in the morning! How can you even do that?
It is the single hardest thing I do every day!

I honestly cannot tell you how much of a challenge it is, but… once you get out of bed, the rest is much easier!

-What do you like about your job the most?
Making a difference in peoples’ lives.

-Is there any renowned or legendary reporter/anchor out there that you look up to?
My mentor Lisa Parker from WMAQ-TV, her terrific producer Robin Green.

(former Chicago anchors) Bill Kurtis, Linda Maclennan, and Lester Holt.

-Have you ever MCed at any Assyrian events?
Yes, I co-hosted the St. Andrew’s Fashion Show in Chicago back in November of last year.


-You are both an anchor and a reporter at the same time: which one do you enjoy the most?
Since they are both completely different jobs, I truly do love them both.

When it rains or snows out, I like the anchoring!


-How has social media changed your job? has it made it easier or harder in that you have to be at so many different websites and outlets at the same time?
Social media has changed EVERYTHING about my job.

There is so much more to do, and so many different outlets to expose my stories.  I have a direct connection to my viewers now, and although at first it was overwhelming, now it’s something I can’t imagine working without.   People are not afraid to share their opinions with you online, it’s no holds barred!


-Are you involved or have any knowledge of what is happening with Assyrians, their political struggles in the Middle East etc.?
Through my job, no.  Through my personal life, I certainly try to be.

All of my family is in the states, so there is no direct connection to the Middle East anymore, but I do try and stay up to date on issues.

My whole family is very passionate and involved though.


-Have you visited our Assyrian Voice website yet? if not, feel free to do so and better yet, let all your friends and fans know about it!

Yes! I have, and it’s great!  And Yes! I can, and will, promote your site!

 

-Any last word or something you would like to say to all the people reading this interview?

Yes, I have to talk about the reason I am sitting here, other than God’s grace.

It’s my family.  I come from the most humble, kindhearted, and spirited Assyrian family.  The love and support I get is overwhelming,

I choke up just writing about it.  And that’s what makes our people great.  Our ancestors have lived through so much.  I am a first-generation

American, my family came to the United States with nothing. They created everything they have, and instilled hard work, dedication, and love within their two daughters.  I am an enriched person, a kind person, a loved person, because of my mom and dad.

I am surrounded by my parents, incredible sister, brother-in-law, cousins, (both adult and babies), uncles, aunts, great friends and so on.

When you surround yourself with positive people, it’s contagious.  I thank the Lord every day that he thought I was good enough to be a

part of this family, and the Assyrian community.

We thank you for this opportunity and wish you continued success and progress in your field.

And I thank you, for thinking I was good enough to write about.  I am so proud of being an Assyrian woman, and I truly can’t wait to keep growing in this business, making other Assyrians proud!

-Hello and thanks for letting us do this interview with you. Can you please briefly introduce yourself and what you do?

 

Thank you!

The pleasure is all mine!

My name is Diane Pathieu, I am currently, an Anchor/Reporter for the NBC affiliate WTMJ TV, in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

I report on the news of the day, 5 days a week, from the field.

I also anchor an hour-long noon show, 5 days a week from in the studio.

-Tell us about your TV career and what got you into it?

I’ve wanted to be in the television news business since I was a little girl, so I began to pursue it right away after high school.

I don’t know why I was so passionate about news, but I was, and it’s been an incredible journey.

 

 

-What is your typical day like in your job?

Depending on the news of the day, and which job I’ll be doing (sometimes I anchor all day long, other times I report and anchor)

I wake at about 2:15am, am out the door by 3am, and putting on my makeup & doing my hair by 3:30am.

I am on the air (either in the field or on the desk) at 5am.  After that- I gather a news story from 7am-10:30am, and then I am back in the studio anchoring the 12pm newscast.  It’s a very fast-paced, hectic day.  Plus, I get up basically in the middle of the night, and that’s something your body never gets used to!
-You often publicly knowledge that you are an Assyrian, including on your bio, something you
don’t get with other Assyrians in other professional fields. Why do you feel the need to make this known?
This is such a good question.

You know, when I first got into this business about 11 years ago, it was never really that important to share your nationality.  Viewers always would assume my nationality was Greek or Italian, and I would always have to correct them.  Then, more and more, I wanted people to really understand the Assyrian people and how they differ from ‘Lebanese’ or ‘Arabic’ people, so I started explaining it to my co-workers.  In each of the stations I worked at, all of my co-workers knew what “Assyrian” was, and that made me so proud.  I still have a flag at my desk.

Then when social media hit, I decided to become more public about my nationality, and although people still assume I’m something else- many others have been really kind and asked great questions to get to know me and my people better.

 

 

-What are your future plans for your career?
My goal has always been to one day work in my hometown of Chicago!

God willing I get there soon!

 

-What are some of the things that you find really interesting to cover and report on?
I absolutely love breaking news.  Fires, shootings, accidents, etc. stories that get your blood pumping.

Also- family stories, school stories, stories that I know will affect people and their families.

 

 

-What about some of the least exciting and interesting things that you have to report on?
I honestly can’t think of non-exciting stories!  I’m pretty lucky that I get to cover a gamut of things.
-What is the most difficult assignment you have done as a TV anchor/reporter?
The toughest, by far, are deaths of children, and deaths of soldiers.

I have attended way too many funerals of soldiers, and apologized to way too many moms and dads over the years,

and it never gets easier.
-If you weren’t working in the current market, what other city would you love to work in?
Chicago! Hands down!  Maybe one day, New York City.

 

-What is your advise to other Assyrians who would like to get into the TV and media business?
This business is changing every minute!  Learn to do everything, and realize the big money is not there anymore.  The idea that people make

a ton of money in this business is simply not true.  When you hit the network level, yes.  Until then, get ready to live on chicken and rice every day!  Oh, and be prepared to move to a very small city!

 

-In your online bio, it mentions that you wake up at 2:30 AM in the morning! How can you even do that?
It is the single hardest thing I do every day!

I honestly cannot tell you how much of a challenge it is, but… once you get out of bed, the rest is much easier!

 

-What do you like about your job the most?
Making a difference in peoples’ lives.

 

 

-Is there any renowned or legendary reporter/anchor out there that you look up to?
My mentor Lisa Parker from WMAQ-TV, her terrific producer Robin Green.

(former Chicago anchors) Bill Kurtis, Linda Maclennan, and Lester Holt.

 

 

-Have you ever MCed at any Assyrian events?
Yes, I co-hosted the St. Andrew’s Fashion Show in Chicago back in November of last year.
-You are both an anchor and a reporter at the same time: which one do you enjoy the most?
Since they are both completely different jobs, I truly do love them both.

When it rains or snows out, I like the anchoring!
-How has social media changed your job? has it made it easier or harder in that you have to be at so many different websites and outlets at the same time?
Social media has changed EVERYTHING about my job.

There is so much more to do, and so many different outlets to expose my stories.  I have a direct connection to my viewers now, and although at first it was overwhelming, now it’s something I can’t imagine working without.   People are not afraid to share their opinions with you online, it’s no holds barred!
-Are you involved or have any knowledge of what is happening with Assyrians, their political struggles in the Middle East etc.?
Through my job, no.  Through my personal life, I certainly try to be.

All of my family is in the states, so there is no direct connection to the Middle East anymore, but I do try and stay up to date on issues.

My whole family is very passionate and involved though.
-Have you visited our Assyrian Voice website yet? if not, feel free to do so and better yet, let all your friends and fans know about it!

Yes! I have, and it’s great!  And Yes! I can, and will, promote your site!

-Any last word or something you would like to say to all the people reading this interview?

Yes, I have to talk about the reason I am sitting here, other than God’s grace.

It’s my family.  I come from the most humble, kindhearted, and spirited Assyrian family.  The love and support I get is overwhelming,

I choke up just writing about it.  And that’s what makes our people great.  Our ancestors have lived through so much.  I am a first-generation

American, my family came to the United States with nothing. They created everything they have, and instilled hard work, dedication, and love within their two daughters.  I am an enriched person, a kind person, a loved person, because of my mom and dad.

I am surrounded by my parents, incredible sister, brother-in-law, cousins, (both adult and babies), uncles, aunts, great friends and so on.

When you surround yourself with positive people, it’s contagious.  I thank the Lord every day that he thought I was good enough to be a

part of this family, and the Assyrian community.

 

We thank you for this opportunity and wish you continued success and progress in your field.

And I thank you, for thinking I was good enough to write about.  I am so proud of being an Assyrian woman, and I truly can’t wait to keep growing in this business, making other Assyrians proud!

 

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The Empire Celebrates its Assyrian Emperor after 40 years of Stage Rule

After 40 years of an impeccable reign, the empire is celebrating its emperor. Sargon Gabriel, the people-proclaimed ’emperor of singers’, is being celebrated by the Assyrian people worldwide for a legendary 40 year career behind the mic. Much deserved and a move that sends the right signal of support by the Assyrian people to their singers.

When it comes to the legend and emperor Sargon Gabriel, it has been one unforgettable journey in the world of Assyrian music, which has taken him to our vinyl records, Walkmans, homes and car stereos, radios, iPods, weddings, parties, picnics, national events and more.  His voice has entertained Assyria for generations and inspired hundreds of new singers and probably a whole music industry. I am sure each one of us has been to a wedding or function where Sargon was behind the mic.

Just how good is Sargon Gabriel? Let us put his career into prospective.  He has been singing, performing and entertaining – three different things- for 40 years, non-stop. To be able to sing almost every weekend, and lots of other commitments in-between is taxing enough to make you want to be retired by now. But Sargon is still going strong and hopefully won’t be retiring anytime soon. Few singers can have such a tiring and taxing schedule on their voice and body for so ling and still continue. And this is just one of the many reasons why he is a legend.

Different Assyrian communities in different parts of the world have celebrated Sargon Gabriel’s record achievement by holding honorary parties and concerts in his name. This recognition is a much welcome move in a time when not many people take the time to appreciate the Assyrian music industry and its decades long role in keeping the spirits of a whole nation up.

What some of our singers have done for our nation, including Sargon Gabriel, Evin Agassi, Ashur Sargis, Linda George – the empress of Assyrian singers- and many more is not be taken lightly. While their title may be a ‘singer’, their role is much greater than that. They inspire us at times of national hardships, give us courage in our romantic roller-coasters, fun at our social events and company during lonely times.

Our recognition of Sargon and other champions of the Assyrian song should go much beyond ceremonial recognitions. We have to always buy their albums which is something we have been calling for here on Assyrian Voice for over 10 yearse. Our financial support keeps an entire industry alive and strong which in turn ensures AssyrianMusic is always alive and well.

Vena and Freddy, sip a shot in your dad’s honor and keep the legacy going for decades to come.

May the legend of Sargon Gabriel continue, for the well-being of the Assyrian song!
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Follow me on Twitter: @AssyrianVoice

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Assyrians need a Clooney-like Celebrity to Promote their Plight

By: Ashur Sada

As the southern region of Sudan (Darfur) votes in a referendum on its independence today, George Clooney is already on the ground and all over CNN and other channels.  Mr.Clooney has been a fierce supporter of the south and has promoted their case all over the media since 2005.  He has been the face that represents the Christian south to the US media and people, if not the entire world.

It is no wonder that a lot of Americans and Europeans know what the word ‘Darfur’ means while little or virtually no one knows what ‘Nineveh Plain’ means!

Wouldn’t it be great if we had our own superstar celebrity to highlight and promote our plight on the international scene?  I think Clooney, much respected and admired worldwide, plays a much bigger role than expensive lobbyists would.  He has almost single-handedly given south Sudan their independence.  It is important to note that the war in Sudan between the ruling Arab government in the north and the ethnically African Christian south, has resulted in more than 2.5 million deaths in more than two decades of fighting.

Ultimately, It is up to us to do the hard work and not rely on others, but sometimes no matter how hard you work, the outside media is in a total black-out.  Celebrities such as George Clooney and Angelina Jolie have done so much humanitarian work and brought much needed attention to very poor and prosecuted parts of the world. These celebrities have done so much in their life and would like to pursue another purpose beyond fame and fortune.  That is when they take on these humanitarian and political challenges for the poor and underrepresented in the third world.

Unfortunately,  these Hollywood celebrities need to be told about the Assyrian Christian people of Iraq first,  otherwise they will probably never know how serious our situation is.

Lady Gaga or Bruce Springsteen, wanna take a shot at this?

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Follow me on Twitter: @AssyrianVoice

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Ashur TV off to a Hot Start!

It has been less than two months since Ashur TV’s coverage started reaching North America, and so far the reception (excuse the pun) by people has been amazing. The chatter and the buzz about the channel is starting to intensify, and it is becoming like a ritual to walk into an Assyrian home and find the family watching Ashur TV.

Many had doubts whether this channel could ever extend its reach beyond the Middle East, let alone reaching the North American continent, which it has done.  This wouldn’t be possible without the great efforts and determination of the Ashur TV staff as well as the generous support from people everywhere.

I have been watching this channel on a regular basis for close to two months and I really like what I see so far.  Of course, things can always get better and that will come with time and experience.

The channel has appealed not only to our own Assyrian people but to other Iraqis as well, given its neutral look and fair coverage of events in Iraq. In fact, it could very well be one of the most fair channels in all of Iraq, serving both the Assyrian as well as the Iraqi cause as a whole.

Some people may want more programming in Assyrian, and understandably so, but there is a very good reason why you may hear other languages.  First, the channel would like to appeal to all segments of the Iraqi society.  Media is a tool that Assyrians can greatly benefit from, and make our voices heard. Without a voice, Assyrians will soon become like strangers or even aliens in their own native land.  You need a channel like Ashur TV to connect with your people as well as Iraqis in general.

When watching the channel, you often see and hear non-Assyrians expressing their liking and admiration of the channel.  In fact, when I watch the channel, I feel so hopeful and start to believe that things in Iraq are much better than what we hear in the media.  Of course, Iraq still has its issues and ethnic divisions, but Ashur TV does such an amazing job of trying to bridge the differences.  Iraqis should appreciate this channel and the great job it is doing.

It goes without saying, the channel is funded by Assyrians, and it can only stay on air as long this financial and moral support keeps on coming.  Did you make a donation yet? if not, you should right away at AshurTV.org
Speaking of financial support, I was so happy to see local Assyrian businesses advertise on the channel. These businesses should be supported and thanked. Let us give them more business than they can handle as an appreciation for advertising on Ashur TV and to encourage other businesses to do the same.

I am hopeful that individual donations will not be the only source to keep the channel going.  Soon, the channel will have more businesses advertising on it, thus broadening its budget to be able to do even more. Commercializing the channel is key to its success, as much as the people’s donations are.

Finally, Ashur TV staff in cities all around North America are doing a fabulous job of covering local events and talking to our people in the diaspora.  Ashur TV is truly connecting the Assyrian people, and giving us a new hope.

And like I mentioned earlier, when I watch this channel, I feel more hopeful than ever before about the state of our nation and people.  Sure media can do magic and make things look better than what they otherwise are, nevertheless Ashur TV is a beacon of hope for Assyrians and all of Iraq.

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Ashur TV now Reaching North America

November 15, 2009: it is a great day for the Assyrian nation.  It is the day Ashur TV has finally reached the North American continent, and our people can now watch it in this side of the world.

Ashur TV was launched in 2004, but its reach was only local and regional. But for the last few months, there was a serious effort to bring the channel to the USA and Canada.  That of course required the support of as many of our people as possible, and they did step forward and offered their monetary and social support.

Today, as I sit and type this, Ashur TV is playing on my TV here in Toronto, Canada and it is such a great feeling.  This is a channel that is from Assyrians and to Assyrians, with no external funding or influence from anyone else.  Which is why every Assyrian should pledge their support to keep it going.

And remember, just because the channel is now live on air here in North America, doesn’t mean we stop our donations and support.  To the contrary, the real and hard work starts now: to ensure the channel stays on air and doesn’t go offline.

The channel is 24 hours a day and is based from Baghdad, Iraq.  It has a staff of over 70, and its programming is mostly in Assyrian, although a significant portion of it is in Arabic.  The channel is offering Arabic language programming so as to build bridges with other ethnic groups in Iraq, and reach out to them.  We need a way to get to other people in Iraq to know more about us, in hopes of giving Assyrians a more legitimate and welcome role in the new Iraq.  It is the new multicultural reality in Iraq and frankly the only way that Iraq will get over its ethnic and tribal divisions and differences.  Ashur TV is taking the lead, one TV program a time, to give Assyrians and Iraqis a new and better future.

This channel will broadcast on the coordinates listed below through the Free-to-air satellite dish (International).  For your donations and/or any questions  and feedback, please visit the official website : www.ashurtv.org.

Look for the channel, using the following parameters in your dish:

Channel Name: ASHUR SATELLITE
Satellite: Galaxy 19
Transponder: 11
Downlink Frequency: 11929 – Vertical
Symbol Rate: 22000
FEC: 3/4

Again, this is just a start, and things could only go up from here, only if we keep our support and donations coming.  So please keep them coming.

For now, enjoy the channel and let others know about it.

Assyrian Voice Team

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Is the Internet Helping or Hurting Assyrian Music?

The last time you listened to an Assyrian song online, did you pause for a second and asked yourself: “Am I helping Assyrian music or hurting it by doing this simple act of listening to an Assyrian song online?”

Well you could be doing both! Welcome to the world of online music, where virtually any song or album is available for downloading, either free or commercially, depending on how you like to get it!  And that of course is both a good and a bad thing. Good in that we can now sell music online and not have to rely on CDs, which only carry new songs, and is often difficult to find old albums on them.  So, the Internet after all, can help the Assyrian music industry and the Assyrian song as a cultural component. But it can also hurt it. Let us look at both, the positive and negative aspects to how the Internet can help or hurt Assyrian music.

To begin with, what is the solution to finding Assyrian songs that are no longer available to buy on traditional CD format? How about a system like iTunes? With such a digital download system, you will never have to worry about not being able to find old songs.  In fact, this website (Assyrian Voice) is ready to work and collaborate on such a project with anyone who is willing to take on this challenge. We have the fan base and resources to make it work.  Naturally, such a digital market place will be commercial, and not free, with the majority of revenue going to Assyrian singers.   This is one way where the internet can help promote and help Assyrian music.

We would be fooling ourselves to think that such a system would be popular with Assyrians! At least not right away.  In the long term, it is a different story though, and people will appreciate how useful such a system would be.  We are new to this digital age and when it is all said and done, Assyrians will realize that the Internet is to be used to help Assyrian music and not to hurt it. So instead of using the Internet to hurt our Assyrian music by copying and downloading songs illegally and free, you help it grow and make it widely available, while still getting something back for the singers.  Downloading an Assyrian song for free should be considered a social crime, or worse, like breaking a cultural taboo.  Our parents and society in general have taught us not to steal. Well, next time you get an Assyrian song for free, you are virtually stealing.  Except that your guilt will not bother you, simply because you don’t see the person you are stealing from.

Having an iTunes-like system for Assyrian music will also end the age-old excuse of ‘I am only downloading this Assyrian song or album because it is not available at any store for purchase.’  This excuse is genuine with a lot of people of course, and since that is the case, we know we have a market to start with: people who are ready and willing to buy Assyrian music in a digital format, since they are unable to find the album in a traditional CD format.

Some Western singers have come to the conclusion that they can’t win the war on illegal downloading.  Some have gone as far as to give their recordings for free, in hopes that this in turn will help them in promoting their music brand, sell more concert tickets, merchandise and some premium products.  In other words, might as well give what is already being obtained at no cost, for free, but in a legal and mutually beneficial way.  I am not sure if Assyrian singers can follow suit, because they can’t make much from their live performances-only a few can still make a living from weddings-or selling other merchandise and premium products. Consequently, giving out their content for free won’t cut it yet, even if it will get them extra publicity.

Another thing about the Internet is that it has put us closer and more personal with Assyrian singers. You can easily get in touch with almost any singer through their email, website, fan pages, MySpace or Facebook.  Is this a good thing?  For some, it is a great thing that the barrier between them and their favorite singer has been removed.  From the singers’ prospective, they also have an easier time getting to us. A singer can instantly update thousands of his or her fans with a simple web update, Twitter or Facebook announcement.

As good as this may sound, not everyone is happy about it.  I am actually one of those who are not very happy about the new reality and how much closer we have gotten to our singers.  Why not? Simply because the closer we get to them, the less legendary and respected their career becomes in our eyes.  It is one thing to get more exposure to their music, and make it more widely available for preview and purchase, but quiet another to be close to them on a personal and social basis.  Think for a second about some legendary Assyrian singers and their status in the 80s and 90s, and how much it has changed ever since, given how much exposure we have had of them in public.  In other words, the downside of singers’ hyper-connectedness is that there is less of the traditional fame element or mystique factor that has been associated with them.  There is a reason why Biba is a legend, other than how good his music was!

So after all that you have read about the internet and how it can help or hurt the Assyrian music, what is the conclusion? There is certainly a place for the Internet when it comes to Assyrian music but only to promote and help sell it.  But to make the Internet like a free public market place to distribute Assyrian music, should never be accepted nor tolerated by any Assyrian, singer or listener!  It is imperative and would make a lot of economic sense to have a paid digital market place for Assyrian music, which will contain virtually any Assyrian album ever produced.  In the long term, the internet can be used to both promote and sell Assyrian music.  Such a financial and moral incentive will ensure our singers and musicians are creative and inspired enough to always produce the best.

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An Idea for an Assyrian Movie

I was recently given a book (in Arabic) titled “The History of the Kings” written by Malek Khoshaba.It details the events and stories of Assyrian tribes and kings from about the late 1700s to the mid 1900s. It is just fascinating. It helps you explore how our Assyrians got to where they are today. It also helps explains the relations we have with the Kurds. After being so amazed by the heroic and historical stories in this book, I thought this would make a great Assyrian movie. Really, doesn’t get any better than this. We can hire a few Assyrians from Syria or Iraq, with some heavy Assyrian accents and shoot it in the mountains. We don’t need any big budget for this. It can be done with a few thousand dollars. But it will be a huge hit with Assyrians. Assyrians are used to watching such tribal affairs movies and series in Arabic, so I am sure they would relate to this.

The movie directors can design it so that the actors/characters wear traditional old Assyrian clothes. And just make the whole setting as if it is in the 1800s. We can also make them grow beard, long hair, and make the females hold their hair in braids. I can see this being as a great success, very easily. And big profits for the producers. In fact, this can even be done in the US, in an area with some mountains and rivers (anything that looks like Hakkari, Tyari, Ashetha etc.) The historical material is available. We have many  Assyrian scholars with knowledge on recent Assyrian history who can help.

If you think about it, this will be a big hit movie with all Assyrians, regardless of tribe, church, affiliation etc. It will also help our young generation to better understand our history, and what we have been through, how we got here, and how we can learn from the past.
Nations and culture use media to inspire their people and enrich their feeling of nationalism. Why don’t we do the same? and like I said, this will be a low budget movie, but the returns will be great.

I can already think of some names for the movie:

“Malek Khoshaba”
“Malket d’Atouraye”
“Atouraye d’1800”

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