Posts tagged ‘hakkari’

Assyrians don’t Mind Teddy Bears nor Real Bears

In our world today, especially here in the West, Teddy Bears are very popular and have come to symbolise love and care. For both the young, the old and those in between. But it is not quiet the same with real bears, who are usually feared by pretty much everybody; including those who work with them as a career. Few weeks ago, I was watching a TV program in which some animal trainers spent years and years, just trying to get used to being close to wild bears in the mountain. And even with this intense training, they still had to wear protective suits to shield them from the risk of being attacked and mulled by the bear.

But if we go back in history, we will find that there are some people who don’t mind bears. Those people are the Assyrian people, and I am one of them; but I do fear bears! In fact you don’t have to go back long in history to see people who don’t fear bears. Those brave Assyrians I am referring to, are people who lived in the mountain of Hakari and Tyari, from the late 1800s and early 1900s. Although there have been various tales of Assyrians coming into direct contact with bears, one sticks in my mind; it is one that one generation after another remembers and wonders about.

One day, an Assyrian man from Tyareh was out, working on his farm. His son was working with him too, but then took a break and left him to go in the wilderness in the nearby mount. But the son took too long, and didn’t come back. Curious and worried, the dad decided to go look for him. As he climbed the small mount, he saw a grizzly (no pun intended) scene: his son was battling a big bear, almost twice his size. His dad couldn’t believe his eyes, and run towards his son, to try and help him, although fear had controlled him. Seeing a bear is scary in itself, but seeing a bear trying to kill your son is the ultimate fear. By the time the dad got there, the son managed to get away from the hard fist of the bear and get loose. The son escaped with little injuries. In fact, he had managed to give the bear a run for its reputation and power!

As the dad got to his son, he started wondering how this all happened, and how scared he was. The son looked OK and extremely calm, given the situation. He then started talking and telling his dad about his battle with the bear. He told his dad, and this has become a famous quote: “dad, it was a strong bear, I couldn’t defeat it…” The dad was amazed at the fact that his son was not happy for being safe. Instead, he was sad because he thought he lost the battle against the bear. In other words, he thought he had a chance against the huge bear.

This is not just a real story. It is also a story that teaches us real courage and bravery; something that our current Assyrian generation seems to lack, and must work hard to restore. Of course, this is not a call to start fighting bears. It is simply a call for Assyrians to move on, while looking at their ancestors and how unfearful they were, of almost anything! Including bears, and real ones, not teddy bears!

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