The Chaldean Intellects” and the complex of “Assyrians, but… “

 

 

 

Ashur Giwargis – Beirut
English Translation by Donis Ishaia – Syria

12/09/2011

Note: in the article hereinafter the reader may find phrases that do not appeal to them, like “changing the church”, whereby we do not mean any hatred towards our Chaldean Church, but it was used just to restrict debaters before reveling my point, for the Chaldean Church is an Assyrian institution, having been established in Assyria and by Assyrians as stated by the Cardinal Emanuel Dalli (during his Assyrian youth) in his doctoral dissertation under the title “The Patriarchal Institution in The Church of The East” in 1958.

If you are an Assyrian and you deny your nationality because you don’t know, you are a naïve Assyrian.
If you deny it because you don’t know it and you don’t want to know it, then you are a stupid Assyrian.
If you deny it and you know it, then you are a liar, sycophant and cowardly Assyrian.
If you acknowledge it and you don’t know it, you are an ignorant Assyrian.
If you acknowledge it and you know it, then you are an Assyrian believer.

However, if you are an Assyrian then you are an Assyrian willy-nilly.

Many still think that murdering the Assyrian identity has been fulfilled especially after it has been agreed among kurdist Assyrian parties to use the term “Christians” to avoid conflicts and keep esteem before their financial supporters whether they are the Diaspora’s naïve or the Kurdish parties.

In any case, “The expiry of the Assyrian identity” theory is very wrong. Moreover, attacking the Assyrian identity since October 2003 has reflected into the clinging of many Assyrians more and more to their identity, especially the Assyrian intellects from the Catholic Church, or the “Chaldean intellects” as we call them. But this did not materialize, since they did not play their role actively in educating the naïve about the Assyrian identity. They were only active in writing some articles with no actual move in the face of the campaign launched against the Assyrian identity, and which is led by the renegade personas, mentioned above, with support from the clerics.

In this context, it is worth analyzing the psychology of “some” individuals of this class of intellects finding a complex blocking their way to achieving their Assyrian notion. As an example, I’ll choose two brief conversations with two of the “Chaldean” intellects, who have been, to me, two angles of the Assyrian writing triangle, who educated me nationally before the age of the Internet. The third angle is from The Church of The East, but I have realized in the recent years that he is not more faithful to his Assyrian belonging than Younadam Kanna. Then I’ll move to a third person to get into the subject through the front door. To cut a long story short, I’ll get into the crux of my arguments with these two intellects. I was writing immediately what I heard.

Person one:

In the late 2006, came to Beirut one of the most well-known Assyrian intellects, a man of rationality, never been tainted with Aflaqism, Leninism, or Barazanism. He listens to my opinions and pursues my writings, although I consider myself a student of him in many Assyrian history lessons. In one of our Beirutian gatherings we discussed the Assyrian identity issue where he frankly said that it became a commodity to be traded with by the parties only to satisfy the voters. He, as usual, didn’t want to be involved in names and titles/headlines, but I asked him some questions trying to warn him that his pretext could/would not cover up his weak personality. So I asked him to give me answers to my “juvenile” questions no matter how insignificant he might find them. The conversation was as follows:

Me: Don’t you believe in your Assyrian nationality?
Him: (Smiling) more than you do, and you know that.

Me: Do you care if Saint Mary is called “Mother of God” or “Mother of the Christ”?
Him: I’m a believer, yet not pious, and I don’t get into such details. Of course it is not logical that a woman begets her creator. All of these were discrepancy established to enable some churches control over some parts of the world due to the political conflicts at the time. What matters to me is that I’m Christian clinging to my Christianity.

Me: Then, you don’t care if you are Chaldean or from The Church of The East, since you are an Assyrian Christian.
Him: Of course. But where are you trying to reach with your questions?

Me: What I want to get is an answer to the last question; since you care not about your ecclesiastical belonging but about your Christian one, and since you well know about the schisms in The Church of The East, and you wrote about the establishment of your church by power of the Turkish and Kurdish Agas, incited by Vatican, and since you actually don’t acknowledge the phrase “Mary is the mother of God”, so why don’t you announce to the public your withdrawal from this church and return to the mother church – The Church of The East? This would be of influence on many naïve Assyrians, especially those from your region who are misled by the delusion and malice of clerics towards their Assyrian nation.
Him: (guffawing) Dear, you don’t know our society. Anyone who engages in the Assyrian concern is pointed at with the forefinger, so how do you want me to abandon my people and relatives? I prefer to stay “Chaldean”, writing about our Assyrian belonging. This works better than your idea, with all due respect to your opinion.

Although his reply was clever, it was not convincing. So I threw a final question: “Well, then why do you only write? Why don’t you establish, with the rest of the Chaldean intellects (I named so-and-so…), an Assyrian national awareness movement inside the Chaldean society?” His shocking answer was that they (the people I named) were “cowards”, note that he himself expressed his fear from his society.

Person two:

This is the second angel of my national educational triangle mentioned above. I met him for the first time in The Church of The East’s hall at the Assyrian Quarter in Beirut, where I was introduced to him by another Assyrian writer. When he saw me he peered over his spectacles and asked: “Ashur Giwargis ? you?” surprised at my young age comparable my professionalism for writing and my profound knowledge in Assyrian history and politics (as far as he evaluated, of course).

As for my second meeting with him, it was just like the one with my first victim; a pure Beirutian gathering where the same talk went, and the man expressed his adherence to Assyrianism. To reassure him that I believed him, I reminded him of some of his harsh writings about his church spiteful towards its people’s nationality across occupied Assyria’s plains. He was surprised again that I had read his works since I was seventeen. After the customary eastern compliments, I told him, as I did with the first victim, to answer some questions no matter how insignificant he might find them. He smiled and all that he said was: “Go ahead”.

Me: You say you believe in your Assyrianism, don’t you?
Him: You yourself say that I’m one of your lanterns in the way of the Assyrian national awareness.

Me: Exactly. And do you care much more about your ecclesiastical belonging than your national belonging?
Him: As you know, I come from a communist family and I’m a former communist though being nationalist. Of course what I care about more is my national belonging.

Me: Then why don’t you announce your withdrawal from your Chaldean Church, which you attack every day, and return to your church to guide the naïve people?
Him: I think I’ll do best if I stay in my church. For your information, when I returned to my village after the fall of Saddam I dared not even to enter the church because of how people were looking at me. I even learned that the priest of the village asked: [what did this “Athournaya” come to do here ?] This is why it’s hard for anyone to leave their society. So we have to deal with this reality, which we refuse, in such a way that does not invite aversion of the others.

Me: well, sir, I understand that you can’t leave your church , but why don’t you establish a constructive and more influential movement than writings, along with other Chaldean intellects, specifically those of our thought and those nationally educated,?”
Him: For the time being and after all these years, I want to dedicate to my personal life. What I am into now is preserving our nation, whichever you call it, after the destruction our parties has caused to our cause”.

How strange is this man! A former communist fighter against the tyrant Saddam, who writes against his church, fears a Vatican smurf wandering in his kurdified village, though, at the same time, he (the debater) uses as a pretext the destruction brought to us by our heroic “parties”, ignoring his role and knowing that all ideological revolutions launch among the intellects then among the farmers, just like communism he has believed in.

Here we are done with two characters known for their writing, research and critique. We go on to a character from the outside of this triangle. I will name only this character because it is more expressive than the previous ones. This is in the drama that follows, which does not only express the problem of the Chaldean intellects, but also expresses the void arrogance of the “Bad time parties” and also of the Chaldean church malice towards its sons’ national belonging.

Person three:

Before holding Younadam Kanna’s festival in 2003, an attempt was made to form an Assyrian National Council initiated by the Assyrian Partriotic Party (APP) and attended by the so-called “Bet Nahrin” Liberation Party represented by Mr. Ishaya Eshu and independent dignitaries such as Mr. Odishu Malku, Aprim Samanu, Odishu Mikhael and others. They agreed on approaching Kanna’s Movement to take part in the council as an active party that has won the trust of many Assyrians (at that time). Sabah Mikkhael was chosen to represent the so-called “Bet Nahrin” Liberation Party, Aprim Samanu for the independents and another person of the Assyrian National Party. They met Kanna’s movement leadership represented by Touma Khoshaba who met their suggestion in an unbecoming and unaccountable way, sarcastically saying that they were not up to the status that qualifies them to invite an organization like the heroic Movement to join them in this project.

After this meeting, a Committee Foundation of the council was elected. It included Ishaya Eshu for the so-called “Bet Nahrin” Liberation Party (though the responsible of the party was present), Leon Simson for the APP and Odishu Malku for the Independents, on condition that negotiation must continue with other parties to be adjoined to the council. The APP suggested approaching educated and active persons from other Assyrian denominations, so the suggestion included each one of the “Chaldean” intellects: the linguist Binyamin Haddad, Mr. Saed Shamaya (the secretary general of the so-called “Chaldean Forum” today) and Adeeb Koka (now in Australia).

The first meeting was held, and the “Chaldean Intellects” started to break away, so another appointment was set at the headquarters of the so-called “Bet Nahrin” Liberation Party but the “Chaldean intellect” didn’t attend. A new appointment was set at Babel Club, where they reluctantly attended, and were embarrassed because of the persistence of the Committee Foundation. There they literally announced their stand as follows: “we can’t join because we belong to the Chaldean Church”. One of the attendees inquired about what deters them from joining as independents, and regardless of their affiliation in any ecclesiastical institution. The “Chaldean intellect” Binyamin Haddad’s answer came as: “My brother, we know that we are Assyrians, but our church does not accept it that we announce that”. Here the inquirer put an end to the hit-and-run game as he said: “An intellect who does not dare giving their thoughts for the fear of their church, is already not qualified to join this council”.

Finally, it’s the readers’ judgment, especially those from the Chaldean Church, and specifically their educated ones who have made clear more and more the biggest problems and complexes of the Assyrian society which we are still confused about their name: is it hypocrisy, fear or laziness? Whatever it is, it is still the problem of all problems regarding maintaining the Assyrian identity and its revival within the society after all the calamities the Assyrian Nation has gone through. It is a problem of the conflict with the ego of the “Chaldean” intellect, and those who suffer from this problem should put an end to it, to conclude with the known saying by Socrates: “The greatest way to live with honor in this world is to be what we pretend to be”.

Share

Leave a Reply