When buying a new computer, we have all gotten used to usually look for PCs that have the Intel Pentium processor inside. But what does the word ‘Pentium’ mean and where does it come from? The word comes from the Greek word ‘penta’ which means the number five. In this sense, the word Penta, Pentium or any other derivatives of the word come to represent anything that involves the number 5: ‘fifth’ as in ranking, ‘five’ as a combination or unity of five things or entities together etc.
Bingo! We now have a similar Assyrian version of the Pentium here in Toronto. This Assyrian Pentium represents 5 Political, cultural and social Assyrian bodies working together for essentially the same fundamental and final purpose.
The five entities are Zowaa, AAS, Ashur TV, ACSSU and this website, Assyrian Voice. Although there is no formal or official agreement between all five entities, they have come to develop a common approach and understanding when it comes to coordinating, planning and hosting different events.
Let us visit each one of these five players in this Pentium and examine what their role is and how they all relate at the end. Such a complicated yet very efficient coordination, which was clearly witnessed at the recent April 1st Celebrations in Toronto, has been lacking from our society for sometime and is sorely needed.
Zowaa: the Main Driving Force
Zowaa is the main driving engine of this Pentium. They started it all some 30 years ago and had been going strong ever since. In fact, the other four players of this ‘Assyrian Pentium’ can be argued to have been started or somewhat influenced by Zowaa. Zowaa made it possible for our people to move from the ‘dreaming’ stage to a more manageable stage of ‘hope’.
Assyrian Aid Society: the Humanitarian Force
While Zowaa has done all it can to help our people and nation, AAS took the ‘humanitarian’ responsibility to help Assyrians worldwide, especially those in Iraq. They have often worked closely with Zowaa and other organizations from this Pentium to coordinate and organize relief efforts for Assyrians in need and distress. Locally and regionally speaking, AAS has been organizing different events that promote the Assyrian culture and help collect money for our people back home.
Ashur TV: the Power of Media
Ashur TV was launched following the toppling of the former Iraqi regime by American forces in 2003, and has been the media arm of Zowaa and Assyrians in Iraq. During its first few years, it faced a lot of challenges in Iraq, mainly those relating to security and safety in Baghdad and other areas where the channel operated. Nevertheless, Ashur TV and its staff continued to work in the face of challenges, reporting on Assyrian news, events and more. In 2005, an affiliate channel of Ashur TV opened in San Jose, California, broadcasting a few hours at set days every week.
ACSSU: the power of Knowledge and Academia
ACSSU, the Assyrian Chaldean Syriac Student Union, was established in 1999 to address the academic and educational needs of our students in Canada. Although not politically affiliated with any party or political entity, ACSSU has worked closely with various organizations, especially the ones already mentioned in this article. In the last several years, ACSSU has worked hand in hand with ADM, AAS and other organizations, to organize events, rallies, community gatherings and more. ACSSU is the one organization in this Pentium of organizations that readies and mobilizes our youth and students, so they are ready to take over in the future.
Assyrian Voice: the Power of the Internet
Assyrian Voice, the website you are reading this article on, has been serving Assyrians since 1999. Furthermore, we have worked closely with, and supported the work of all the organizations mentioned so far (in addition to many other Assyrian organizations) We have promoted their activities and initiatives, helped with organizing and coordinating and so much more. We have used the popularity of this website to bring people’s attention to what is going on out there, whether it is happening here in Canada or abroad. We believe that no matter how powerful an organization is, its message can only get so far, and there is always a need for a ‘booster’ or ‘amplifier’ that will help get its message farther and to more people. Assyrian Voice, using its very popular and successful presence on the web, seeks to do just that. Assyrian Voice may not be recognized as an official organizer or supporter, but we have been doing our part lately, and our work doesn’t need to be recognized nor credited.
Ever Improving Coordination
The combination and close cooperation between these 5 organizations doesn’t mean they are the only players on the Assyrian scene. Not at all, and in fact, they are some of many that work for the good of our nation and people. But regionally speaking, for Canada at least, these organizations have worked, coordinated and shared a lot together. They are many pieces to one big and beautiful picture. And together with other chapters, organizations and affiliates around the world, the hope is that everyone will work together for the good of our national future. We should forget about the days of division, conflict and constant bickering between our people and organizations. This is the time to come together and start working together. It all starts from this Assyrian Pentium 5!