The Founding Fathers of the Assyrian Web


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We are now at a stage where the Internet (or the World Wide Web to be specific) is relatively old, at least when compared to the vast majority of the people using it (young people). Given that a lot of those reading this topic of browsing these forums are probably born in the late 90s or 2000s, a lot of you weren't around when the internet started to become mainstream in the mid to late 90s.

Personally speaking, I went online the first time in June 1997 from a public library computer, and later in on Sep 15, 1998, I bought and logged to the internet from my own home computer. That is around 22 years ago (I still have that first Compaq PC, the same one I would use a year later to create this website!)

And this got me thinking about this idea: dedicating a page to the founding fathers of the Assyrian web! This is the list of original internet webmasters and pioneers who started the first Assyrian websites that would alter and change the way Assyrians communicated with one another and learnt about their history and culture. More specifically, these are the websites that started in the 90s and continued operating for at least a decade or more (if not till now...) and had a lasting impact on the Assyrian online community. These websites have not only left a legacy for Assyrian web users, they started an Assyrian digital trail which continued to this day. Close to a quarter century and counting...

Here are some of the personalities/websites that come to mind and this will be updated as I think of more or get more information about their profile.

-Zinda Magzine
: Established by Wilfred Bet-Alkhas in 1995 as an Assyrian online periodical, published once a week. Although the website stopped publishing in 2009, their full archive is still fully accessible online.

ainah.gif The 'Assyrian International News Agency' ; was founded by Peter BetBasoo and Firas Jatou in 1995. This is one of the most recognized Assyrian brands online, serving Assyrian news and articles, having been on the scene for 25 years and still operating till this day! I had the pleasure of meeting one of the co-founders, Mr. BetBasoo back in 2009 here in Toronto.

NOL%20NEW%20BANNER.jpg This was the original Assyrian destination for online chatting and other information about Assyrian history, news and culture. Kind of an online portal. Founded by Albert Giwargis and operating till this day. I am not sure about the exact year but I believe it was founded in 1996.

title.jpg : much like the above, this was an Assyrian portal that offers a wealth of information about Assyrian history and culture, in addition to news and articles. Started in 1996, the website is also know as 'Assyrian Information Managamement' and was started in late 1996. In late 1998, they took over from in offering a chat line, before discontinuing the service a year later, where Assyrian Voice would come to fill the void.


-Assyrian Voice: this very website that you are reading this article on! Started in April 1999, the website had a small beginning but later exploded in growth in the late 1999 and early 2000s, thanks to the offering of both a chat and -a first- voice chat. Later, Assyrian Voice would introduce a discussion forum which would prove to be its most popular section, in addition to various other communication tools as well as information sections (history, news, language etc) . The website experienced some technical issues in 2018 and through 2019, but was back online by 2020, in its 21 first year of service. I choose to include AVN here not for personal reasons but simply given that we meet the criteria of having started in the 1990s and being in service until now - 21 years and counting!
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And I first met you on Nineveh Online many years ago. Bebeto had just lost a World Cup final to France. Look where we are now. Bebeto's son Mattheus is trying to get into the Brazil team.

Great post......Never forget where we came from and the early pioneers who saw the emerging power of the internet.
Hey Bani, it is ironic that one of your first responses after the forum reopens is to this post :)

you have told the story before , but in 1998, you had your own personal website (a rarity back then) and I was one of the people who signed your guest book. Less than a year later, Assyrian Voice was born and the rest is history!

your website may have been a personal one , but I consider you one of those early friends from the ancient times of the Assyrian web and it is great to still be friends all these decades later! Not to mention after all the countries you worked and lived in (famous Vanuatu always comes to mind lol)
Hi Ashoor. Before Facebook, etc, the only way to have an online presence was to have a personal website. A few of us did so back then. I think a lot of it was experimenting and seeing how to design a webpage. I used to post about my favourite soccer players (Bebeto was the main one of course but I also had a page dedicated to Australian goalkeeper Mark Bosnich because one of my Brazilian friends hated him), and just photos and some information about me. Facebook has pretty much taken over that stuff so having a personal website became somewhat redundant for me several years ago.

Have I ever met any of the pioneers in person? The answer is "no". Since the internet boom of the late 90s, I have rarely found myself living in places where Assyrians reside, therefore never had a chance to meet any of the famous webmasters. I have of course met several AVNers and NOLers over the years, including my famous trip to Holland during the 2006 World Cup but we had a few meet-ups in the late 90s when I lived in Sydney (I was usually the one who organised them). If there is one person I am in regular contact with from the old days, it would have to be JRok. Nobody makes me laugh like he does.

I am still living in Darwin, Northern Territory. One of the safest places in the world from COVID-19 though I take nothing for granted. Websites like this help bridge the gap between various communities around the world. And now, it is back!