It is always nice having people studying and specializing in the field of ‘Assyriology’, where the focus is on the ancient civilization and Assyrians’ contributions to humanity. And when you have an Assyrian working in the field of Assyriolog, then that is not just good but a great service for the field.
That was the case with the late Dr.Donny George, Assyrian archaeologist, curator, author and former director of the Iraqi national museum, who suddenly passed away to a heart-attack in Toronto’s international airport. He was 60 years old.
Dr.George’s sudden and unexpected death has left the Assyrian and international community mourning for a giant of Assyrian and other ancient Mesopotamian history, including Sumerian, Akkadian, Babylonian and others. Not to mention, his extraordinary effort as the former director of the Iraqi national museum, and his work after the war to restore all the thousands of pieces of looted artifacts. Unfortunately, his efforts weren’t appreciated and was actually threatened to quit his post. In 2006, he did just that and left Iraq for the diaspora. In the last few years, he settled in the USA and taught archaeology and anthropology at various universities.
While we have lost a true legend and giant, the real question is, do Assyrians have someone of his knowledge and passion, that is ready to replace him? now or in the future. Our nation has lost a lot of greats in the last few years, including author Hormiz Aboona, soccer coaching legend Ammo Baba, painter and professor Hannibal Alkhas and now Dr.Donny George. Are they gone forever, or will we be able to replace them with others who are just as good and passionate about their field of expertise and in the service of their nation?