Archive for March 2009

3 Victims in 3 Months in 3 Cities: 1 Assyrian Factor

No one wants to start a new year on a sour note, let alone to deal with the death of someone close.  That was exactly the case with the murder of an Assyrian man in Toronto, Canada in early January.  In February, it was another Assyrian at an even younger age from Chicago, USA, victim of street violence again.

As if two deaths weren’t way too many already, we just heard about another tragic death of yet another Assyrian, this time in Arizona, USA.  But there is something even more tragic about this one, as tragic as the other two murder cases were: both the victim and the killer were Assyrians.  Yes, and regardless of the reasons behind the killing, this is truly disgusting and painful to even talk about. How disappointed would King Ashur Panipal be if he was living with us now? I bet you very disappointed. Who wouldn’t be? good thing he is not here with us!

Back in the day, we would often hear about Assyrians getting murdered, or killing others, in some major US cities.  But that is behind us now, and things have changed a lot lately. But this recent sequence of murders, three in three months, almost leads us to believe that there is a trend here.  We are not suggesting the three are related of course, but regardless, it is still death and loss of three of our young men.

As stated before, we won’t go into motives or reasons for these murder cases.  No matter how much we know about these three incidents, doing so will only produce assumptions on our part, and will not help any of these cases.  What will help though, is to examine what is wrong and how these deaths could have been, and will be prevented from happening in the future.  No parent deserves to lose their sons in such a tragic fashion.  If any of these victims, was in any shape or form, involved in any crime which led to their death, it is too late for us to fix it now.  But we can learn a lot from it.

Putting assumptions and speculations aside, on what could have led to their murder, Assyrian parents should take a lesson from all of this: that you need a better grip on your kids, from the time they are growing up, leading up to their adolescence.  You don’t want them to grow up and end up being on either side of this ugly equation of death and murder. It is a simple equation: murder equals death, and being on either side is not a good thing at all. Our youth and young adults need to invest their time in better and more productive things. And so do their parents, to invest a lot of their time in raising their kids and shaping them to be the best kids they can grow up to be.   Failing to do so could bring about more of these tragedies, and to know how that feels, just ask the parents of any of these poor souls that have been taken away from us, at a very young age!

It is our hope that these 3 Assyrian murder victims in 3 cities in 3 months are nothing more than a very unfortunate coincidence.

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2009 / 6759 / 30 10 10: Few Assyrian Numbers for you

What do the following sequence of numbers mean: 30 10 10? Simply put, each number, starting from left, represents the number of years that each of Zowaa, Assyrian Voice and ACSSU have been serving the Assyrian people, as of 2009. One is a political movement, the other is a socio-cultural website, while the last is an academic and educational organization.

But what do the three have in common and why do we mention them in this article together? well for one, they are all reaching a special milestone, a decade or more in service. More importantly, they have all worked for the Assyrian name and cause,be it in a political, social, educational or cultural ways.

Zowaa: 30

We start with the great Assyrian Democratic Movement (Zowaa) which celebrates its 30th anniversary on April 12th this year. They have arguably done more for the Assyrian cause in this span, than any other political entity out there. They have given martyr after martyr, and continue to work tirelessly for the Assyrian name and plight. As Zowaa moves forward, it should and will expect more challenges, especially from those who don’t want the Assyrian nation and name to arise and unite. Zowaa is the only one who can unite our people, Assyrians, Chaldeans and Syriacs.

Assyrian Voice: 10

Assyrian Voice, this very website that you are reading this article on, will celebrate its 10th anniversary on April 15th. Since our inception in 1999, and with the help of our great and loyal user base, this decade has been a pleasure and a thrill to work for our people. Assyrian Voice may look like just a website but it has done more than that. It has raised awareness, connected people with one another, and educated thousands about Assyrians and their history. Looking forward to the next 10 years, we hope to work even harder for our members and do our utmost to present and serve Assyria the best way possible on cyberspace.

ACSSU: 10

The Assyrian Chaldean Syriac Student Union (ACSSU) was established in 1999, to address the educational and academic needs of our students in Canada.  Since then, ACSSU has been a visible and active contributor to all issues relating to the needs of our students in high school, college and university. More than helping the students, ACSSU has expanded its role in the community to raise awareness of the Assyrian culture and history through the hosting of different lectures, community events and more.
As more Assyrian students finish high school and get ready to pursue a higher education, it is expected that ACSSU will be in more demand than ever before.

Working Together

The beautiful thing is that these three entities, along with other Assyrian organizations and media outlets, have worked together in more than one occasion during this past decade. And they will continue to, in the months and years to come. In fact, they will all be part of the April 1st Assyrian New Year celebrations

Speaking of Assyrian New Year, this will be our 6759th year.  If you add up the years that Zowaa, Assyrian Voice and ACSSU have been in service, it will come up to only 50 years. Compare 50 years to the age of our nation of 6759 years, and you will come to the conclusion that no matter how much we have done for our nation, it is nothing and never enough.  More than that, and given our extremely young age compared to our nation’s, we can only conclude that no one is bigger than Assyria itself. The sum of the parts can’t even come close to being equal or bigger than the whole body.

So no matter what we go through, and how hard we think we are working for our nation, it is never enough, because we only make up a tiny fraction of this great nation.  Literally. Just do the math by  totalling the age of Zowaa, Assyrian Voice and ACSSU, and have it divided by the age of our nation.  I will save you the trouble and do the math for you: combined, we are less than 0.007 of the age of our nation.  We are not just young, but very tiny my friend.  Despite all that was said above, we still have a long way to go. We are babies in the presense of our great and old Assyrian mother!

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Reopening of Iraqi Museum Brings Needed Attention to Assyrians

The recent reopening of the Iraqi museum, which had been closed for close to 6 years, was a main headline across the world. And rightly so, as this museum contains some of the world’s most valuable archeological treasures, and is the symbol of Iraq’s motto as being the ‘Cradle of Civilization.’ But it is not just about world attention that this event generated. It is also about Assyrians, and what this means to them. For one thing, it will sure lead to some much needed publicity for our name and history. And with the help of the internet and all the social networking craze, this event will and should spread virally.

This will also give us much recognition: that Assyria was the centerpiece of the so-called ‘Cradle of Civilization.’ When looking at pictures from the museum, most of what I saw were Assyrian artifacts and pieces. It may be an Iraqi museum by name, but the Assyrian history and name is pretty dominant.

As international visitors start flocking back to Iraq’s archeological sites and museums, our name and history will once again be a little more familiar. It has been years since any tourists visited Iraq, and that made our history, well, history. But to realize that a big portion of the newly reopened Iraqi museum is about Assyrians, we are in a way fast-tracking our way back into world fame and recognition. Moreover, this will help make it easier for the world to relate to present day Assyrians.

Whether it is a curse or an evolutionary rolling of the dice of historical luck, Assyria’s geographical situation in present day Iraq hasn’t really helped things. Given all the instability and lawlessness that Iraq has been plagued with for close to a century now, Assyria’s history and archeological treasures have been directly effected. Compared to another country with lots of archeological and historical sites like Egypt or Greece for example, Assyria’s history and archeology deserves much better. Just imagine for a second if Assyria was geographically located in one of these two countries? You bet we would be more recognized and known as millions of visitors and tourists would come to visit every year.

Although the reopening of the new museum is a much welcome and awaited move, this is just one snapshot in history of the great Assyrian empire and civilization. You are merely taking a quick preview of the greatness of the ancient Assyrians. The real and complete picture is a thousand times better than what you will see at this museum. Bear in mind that this museum was completely looted in April 2003, following the fall of Baghdad to the Americans and thousands of pieces are yet to be found and recovered. And just like Jesus told us that even a dead rock can attest to the word of Bible, so does each piece of Assyrian artifact and historical treasure: that Assyrians were great contributors to the human civilization and their grandsons and daughters are still living on this earth and haven’t vanished or ceased to exist.

While the new museum will bring much needed attention and recognition to Assyrians, the rest is up to themselvs and what they do today is what really matters. Although it doesn’t hurt for today’s Assyrians not to dwell on their past, they can certainly be inspired and motivated by it.

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