Archive for the ‘Business’ Category.

Top 10 ‘out of this world’ jobs and places where Assyrians work

By: Ashur Sada

At Assyrian Voice, we like to explore and discover all things Assyrian and present them here in a way that is fun to read and beneficial. For this article,

The coolest and strangest places where Assyrians are known to work.

The coolest and strangest places where Assyrians are known to work.

the idea came to me recently, after I learnt from a friend about a cousin of his, who had taken on a high managerial role in an African country, part of a mining company. I thought: wow, how cool, an Assyrian working in such a position and in this country? That is when I decided to compile a list of Assyrians working in jobs and places that are out of this world, ones that don’t cross to mind when talking about Assyrians.  Most of these should be current, except for maybe one or two, where I wasn’t able to verify whether the person was still doing what they were previously.

You can also think of the following list as ‘List of Cool Assyrians’!

Here it is, enjoy!

1-Park ranger in Anchorage, Alaska
2-Aerospace engineer at Boeing main plant in Seattle, Washington 
3-Consultant with the Canadian ministry of Defense , serving in Afghanistan 
4-Iraq’s ambassador to the Philippines (Wadee Bati Hanna) 
5-Cabin Crew/Flight Attendant at Qantas International Airlines (serving the Melbourne to Dubai route) 
6-English teacher in Thailand (formerly in Japan, Vanuatu and other Asian countries) 
7-Professional Soccer player for the Vancouver White Caps in the MLS
8-Mining executive in the Central Republic of Africa
9-International commercial pilot flying out of Australia
10-Professional wrestler in Georgia (former Soviet republic) 


Honorable mentions to two former Assyrians who had really cool jobs, but who passed away in the last few years. Ammo Baba, the famous Iraqi Assyrian coach, who was part of Iraqi soccer, both as a player and later as a coach, for close to 50 years. Second is Donny George, an Assyrian archaeologist (amongst many other things he did as a professional) who the Director General of Iraq’s National Museum.


If you have information about other Assyrians working in other cool and strange places (assistant captain on a cruise ship? traffic control engineer? etc…) please let us know about them in the comment section below or by emailing us.

Commercializing and Incentivising the Assyrian Society: why Assyrians can’t keep Doing Things for free forever!

By: Ashur Sada

What is common between an organization like the Assyrian Aid Society and the international Red Cross? For the most part, including in their own by-laws, they are both non-profit organizations. They are not created to make any money, but more to help and assist people, supported by members and people’s donations.

Having established that the very fundamental core of their operations is non-profit, why is it that there is such a huge difference between how the presidents of the respective organizations get rewarded and compensated for their work? One is paid a six figure salary while the other works virtually for free. Not only do those working in high executive positions for the Red Cross get paid really well, some have been blasted for high salaries for a non-profit organization. In this article, comparing salaries of non-profit organizations’ CEOs, the presidents of the Red Cross and United Way were singled out in a negative way for their salaries of close to half a million for the year 2004. In that same article, the Salvation Army was highly praised for their efficient use and spending of donations, including the salary of its director which was less than $50,000.

Relatively speaking, and using these examples above, how does that compare to the Assyrian Aid Society? Quoting this section from their by-laws:

Section 4.06. Compensation of Directors. The directors of the corporation shall serve in office without compensation…

It is clear that AAS and other Assyrian organization members and directors do a lot for little or no money. Sure they are non-profit or charitable organizations, and we are not calling for a misuse of donations money, but these people do a lot and deserve something in return. This is part of a broader need to ‘commercialize the Assyrian society’

What does it mean to commercialize our society? It is simply to give more incentives for people to do things they already do. A lot of what we do should be commercialized. Commercialization will give more incentive for people to do work, by paying them and compensating them for their time. Yes, even if it is to help other people. Some may argue that there is no need to pay anyone to help others, and that is generally true. But in this day in age, people don’t have a lot of time to commit their time and resources to do something for free. They can do it for some time, but burnout and turnover is surely to kick in after.

Doing away with ‘favors’

Ever asked yourself why a lot of Assyrian organizations and even media outlets don’t last long? simply because there is no funding or monetary compensation, and people get discouraged or just can’t afford their time and resources in the long run.

It is interesting to note that those Assyrian entities that have commercialized their operations, have stayed in business. Some have even thrived. Good example is the Assyrian National Convention. Can you imagine if the convention was done for free, and all those involved worked for free? I don’t think it would have lasted for this many decades now.

Incentives in the Public and Politics

Commercialization should also exist in our public sectors such as politics and lobbying. In fact some Assyrian organizations have recently started to pay their lobbyists and rightly so, after all, who has the time to take on such a demanding and exhausting task with no compensation? Commercializing our politics ( or at least offering financial incentives ) will also discourage a public official or worker from corruption and under-the-table deals.

Business and Entrepreneurship

Business and Entrepreneurship should play a big role in our Community, which is what commercialization is all about. This is not at the expense of community spirit and volunteering but more of a compliment to it. My deceased father, who was an engineer back in Iraq, designed and built the entire beautiful St.George Assyrian church in Baghdad for free! Ignoring the fact that this is a church where price and effort shouldn’t matter, where else could you get such a sweet construction deal? Certainly not in North America or Europe!

Many years ago, when I was still in highschool, I decided to make some money from my website (to pay for its ever rising costs) by offering Assyrian businesses the chance to advertise here ( for a very low and modest price. Armed with a basic and honest sales pitch, I called my first client (whose name and location shall remain annynous.) I introduced myself and told him about the website and the offer. Without any business exchange and in a rather rude tone, he showed no interest at all. In fact he argued: “you guys should be helping us, Assyrian businesses, by advertising for us for free and not charge us.”
I thanked him and ended the call shortly after.

So this Assyrian business owner thinks those working for free should promote for those who are already making money, and do it for free. Funny. I thought it worked the other way around? Or at least in a reciprocal way?

That is the problem with our Assyrian society. What is not commercialized , should be, and sometimes even vise versa. Innovation and enterprrenership can only thrive by public support and funding. Assyrians have largely avoided this so far but it is time to change it. Just look at figures like Vincent Oshana, Rosie Younan, Walter Aziz etc. They all serve their nation and people, yet they make a profit from what they do. Is there something wrong with that, assuming they are not betraying or putting money before their nation and people? Absolutely not, otherwise how will they find the motivation and resources to move ahead in their careers? But according to some misguided Assyrians, these and others should never be paid a cent, no matter what they produce or give to their audience and fans. Even communism was a little more rewarding than how some Assyrians would like to run our society.

Let us start giving cedit where it due, reward those who put away from their time and effort to help us, and give more incentives for people to innovate and take this nation to the next level.


Building the Assyrian economy in the Nineveh Plain

To maintain it and make it viable for its inhabitants, the Nineveh Plains will have to have its own self-sustaining micro economy. An economy within an economy. An economy where such things as employment, banking, currency and other matters of significance to the financial well-being of the people, are managed and well taken care of. The Nineveh Plain as a legal entity doesn’t exist yet. But that doesn’t mean we can’t start to build its foundation, and it doesn’t hurt to start with a good economy.

Jobs and Employment

First and foremost, the local Nineveite economy has to be able to offer the people of the region jobs. Lots of jobs. It is simple: the more job, the better the living conditions for the people of the region. And the better the living conditions, the less likely it is that these people would want to leave. The region wouldn’t be what is today without the people. How do we create these jobs? for one, we have to be able to attract foreign investment. We have to give companies from the outside, a reason to come to the region and build factories and job markets. Whether it is safety, skilled labor force, lower business costs, there should be reasons for them to invest in our economy. But with jobs come the need for better skills and training, and as a result there will be a need a for new work shops and schools to open, to train and develop the local skills in different fields and trades.

Economic Exchange

The Nineveh Plain economy should be able to build economy ties with other local economies in the region, giving priorities to Assyrians. For example, trade with Assyrian businesses to the North in Dohuk and Erbil should be encouraged. Along the same line, special trade agreements should be worked on between the different Assyrian areas in the region, in a way that gives them a reason to trade with one another for the long term. Of course, economic exchange should be maintained with all other regional economies in Iraq and the neighboring countries.

People Power

With the local population being of an Assyrian majority, there is a great chance for this to succeed. Only, and only if people use their power wisely. For one, Assyrians have to buy from their own Assyrians, as much as it is possible. This is something that we have called for, for years, on this website. In fact, this is the easiest income we can get: it is already there, and we just have to make sure that it is spent where it needs to be spent, and not elsewhere. In addition to the local population, Assyrians visiting from the outside can help by spending their money in the local market. An Assyrian from a western country will tend to spend more, so it is another good source of income for the local Nineveite economy. Assyrians coming from the outside may also help by investing their money in the local economy, and opening their own business and employing the locals.

At the end of the day, it is up to the local leaders and people of the plain to make it work. Working together and creating the conditions where a viable economy will prosper and sustain itself, are essential steps towards the creation of such an economy. Not to mention, any expertise we can get, will only make it even better for things to go forward.  It is now time to look for our own Morgan Stanley or Alan Green Span type of economic and financial brains that will make this work.


An Assyrian Career and Job Agency

The internet has helped Assyrians do many things. It has helped its people communicate with one another, and find long lost loved ones.  It has helped its youth find new love, and even get married through it.  It has helped unite them and be more patriotic and loving of their nation than ever before.  In short, it has helped them do so much. Why not take this a step further and make the internet the new hunting ground for Assyrian job searchers and career explorers?  If you have been in the job market lately, hunting for a new job, you will have probably realized that connections matter a lot these days.  These connections could come in the form of a family member, community member, friends, former coworkers etc. It is natural that we would have more Assyrian friends than non-Assyrians, so why not use them as your first connection source? but there is more to finding a job in addition to the use of the web and connections. The use of your own Assyrians.

Use and Benefits

More than ever before, Assyrians have more businesses and companies, some that are quiet established and successful. These companies should look into the Assyrian labor when looking to hire new people. Assyrians working for Assyrians may not be a popular thing, but it can benefit both the employer and the employee. For one thing, there will be more understanding, loyalty and ease of communication. Some may think that working for Assyrians or with Assyrians is not a good thing, because you will be on the edge and is hard to give and take.  But that is just not the case, especially if people try for long enough.  It doesn’t matter whether it is a low or high end job, if an Assyrian is qualified enough, they should be given the priority.

Employing Assyrians, could in the long term, help in realizing our idea of creating a ‘Virtual Assyrian Economy.’  That is, the more Assyrians are able to employee their own Assyrians, these employed Assyrians will hopefully give their money back to these Assyrian markets and businesses that employed them or employed someone that they knew. In the long term, both will benefit from this, and will go a long way towards the creation of the Assyrian economy.  By employing Assyrians, businesses are helping in such basic things as giving the employed and his family enough income to support other Assyrian initiatives, projects and charities.  All these connect with one another, and at the end of the day, you have something for everyone.


So how can Assyrian employers and Assyrian job seekers find one another? they could use the internet, special social connections, or through ads. in local social clubs. But there is a better way, that is yet to be implemented: an Assyrian Job and Career Agency.  Such an agency will have a centralized database of local and global Assyrian employers as well as those of people looking for work.  You create a profile for every member, with their skills, experience, education and other relevant information. Employers will be able to scan this database to find labor or workers who will match what they are looking for.

The idea is not much different from such big popular job sites such as , etc. The only difference is the target audience, where ours will be strictly Assyrian.  The database can be used for free, and accessible from anywhere in the world through the internet. In fact, Assyrian Voice, is already looking at opening a basic section on its forums, to help Assyrians find jobs and meet up with other potential employers. This will also help new college and university graduates to land their first job and gain some much needed experience.

Build it and they Will Come…

Once you build it, and if it is successful and useful enough, people will use it.  After all, if you are looking for a job or employees to fill a vacancy in your company, why not look in a place that lets you do just that, with ease and free of charge.  Assyrians don’t have to employ their own Assyrians nor do they have to work for other Assyrians.  But the benefits to doing so are numerous, as outlined above.  For one, it is just the right thing to do, when you have helped an Assyrian of your own, find a job. It is the golden rule: ‘do into others as you want done to you…’ Just because you have a job doesn’t mean you are done from the job search market, because others are still looking, and they may rely on you as a connection source. Help an Assyrian brother find a job, and they may very well help you in the future too!


Buy from Assyrians

Let me start by asking you this simple question, whose answer may not be an easy or accurate one to find out: how many Assyrians live in your city or region? if you are in a city like Detroit, Chicago, Sydney or Toronto, chances are, there is more than a few thousands Assyrians living in your area. It is also very likely that you share the same postal code with some hundreds of them. Now the next question is: how many Assyrian businesses exist in your area? none, a few, or maybe many of them? let us take Toronto or Detroit for example. How many Assyrian auto mechanic shops are there? how many Assyrian/Middle Eastern restaurants are there in Detroit? I am sure there is more than a few.

Now the next question is: with so many thousands of Assyrians living in these big cities, and with lots of established Assyrian businesses and franchises, why not bring the two closer together? that is, why not have most Assyrians buying from Assyrian businesses, while the Assyrian businesses to tailor their services and products for these Assyrian customers? In other words, Assyrians are going to buy and spend money anyways, so why not spend it in Assyrian stores and businesses where possible? those businesses in turn will support community events, social and religious charities etc. So it is more of a self-enforcing cycle; the Assyrian consumer supports the Assyrian business and vise versa.

In talking to people, I have noticed that some of them have had a negative dealing with Assyrian businesses at times. This may be true but it should in no way prevent an exchange between the two. After all, if we can’t establish trust between our own community members, how can we trust the world? more trust should be built between the two. In fact, Assyrian businesses should promote themselves to the Assyrian consumer more often.  This can be done through traditional advertising or public campaigns, channeled through community mediums.

Now you may be wondering, why focus on the Assyrian customer, don’t these businesses already have their own customers? they probably do, but imagine these made-up examples

-Sydney, Australia has 5 Assyrian hair shops. Sydney has some 30,000 Assyrians living in them. If one third of this population was to use these Assyrian hair stylists, we would be giving them business like no other.

-An Assyrian auto mechanic in Chicago: now Chicago has got, arguably, the biggest Assyrian population outside of the middle east. With at least 10,000 Assyrian drivers in the city, and some 10 Assyrian auto service shops, we could be creating a fortune for these guys, if a big fraction of these drivers went to these mechanic, as opposed to non-Assyrian ones.

-A food super market in Toronto: if 500 Assyrian families were to buy part of their monthly shopping from one of the many Assyrian food stores in Toronto, these businesses would profit greatly.

In other words, it is really easy to help our businesses, and help establish a virtual Assyrian economy which spans boarders and time zones.  In fact, if the above scenarios were implemented and applied, we could easily create new Assyrian millionaires, which is not a bad thing at all.  So what should you, as a consumer, do to help? well you can do a lot. To begin with, make sure you try to give your money to an Assyrian businesses as much as possible. Try to tell your friends and relatives about all Assyrian businesses in your area. Note that, by this, we are not calling of a boycott of non-Assyrian businesses and products. We are simply giving Assyrian businesses a priority.

And finally, , a website of which I am a part of and its founder, has dedicated “July 1st”, to be an annual “Buy from an Assyrian” day, where Assyrians are encouraged to go out and buy something from an Assyrian. So mark this day on your calendar and make sure you go out and buy something on this day, from an Assyrian. In fact, you should make this habit, and buy something from an Assyrian, at least once every month.


الاقتصاد الاشوري حقيقة ام خرافة

العالم يتجه نحو دخول افاق جديدة ، افاق مشكلة بالتحديات الاقتصادية والتكنولوجيا الحديثة . الان وقد دخلنا القرن الحاتدي والعشرين بعد اسدال الستار على اخر قرن من الالفية الثانية ، تتجه انظار العالم نحو بناء اقتصاد قوي قادر على مواكبة ومنافسة تقدم التكنولوجيا الكبير في معظم انحاء المعمورة . والملاحظ هنا ان دول العالم منشغلة بتطوير اقتصادها اكثر من أي شيئ اخر ، ففي بداية القرن الماضي والى عقد الثمانينات كانت البنية السائدة لدى معظم الدول هي لتطوير ترسانتها العسكرية وجيوشها لمواجهة أي خطر او عدو خارجي او داخلي ، لكن بمرور الزمن اتضح بان الحروب لا تجدي نفعا سوى المزيد من الدمار ، قتلى ، جرحى ، تشريد ، ابادة جماعية … الخ من الويلات . فمن هنا كانت الحاجة الى تحويل الانظار الى شيئ اخر اكثر فعالية وايجابي لانشاء اقتصاد قوي اما ضمن اطارات فردية او من خلال تكتلات وتجمعات اقتصادية اقليمية والاتحاد الاوربي خير دليل على ذلك ، فهو اليوم يضم اكثر من عشرة اعضاء واخرون مرشحون للعضوية كتركيا .

في خضم هذه الفوضى والتعجل نحو بناء اقتصاديات وتكتلات اقليمية يطرأ السؤال التالي نفسه : اين نحن من كل هذا التغيير ؟ ونحن هنا نعني بالاشوريين جميعهم بغض النظر عن انتماءاتهم الطائفية . هل بدأنا التفكير بهذه المسألة المهمة للغاية ؟ صحيح ان ظروفنا الحالية الصعبة وعدم وجود دولة خاصة بنا بالاضافة الى غياب الكثير من العوامل اللازمة لانشاء اقتصاد قوي لا تسمح لنا بتحقيق الكثير من الاحلام في هذا المجال ، لكن ذلك لا يعني ان المتيسر منه لن ينفعنا .

يقدر عدد الاشوريين بما يقارب الثلاث ملايين ، موزعين بين اكثر من عشرين دولة ومغطين بذلك جميع قارات العالم . فهنا الفرصة مواتية لنا لخلق ما يسمى بالاقتصاد النظري . قد لا يكون البعض سمعوا بهذا النوع من الاقتصاد ولكنه ببساطة عبارة عن الاقتصاد الموجود في كل مكان مع عدم مراعاة الزمان ، هذه السمة تجعله اكثر نفعا من الاقتصاد التقليدي القديم . ولكون الاشوريين مشتتين بين اكثر من دولة وقارة فان مفهوم الاقتصاد النظري ينطبق عليهم .

فالجدير بالذكر ايضا ان لشبكة الانترنيت الاثر الاكبر في تطوير هذا النوع من الاقتصاد بالاضافة الى وضع الاشوريين في العالم وكما ذكرنا سابقا فان هذا الاقتصاد سيخدمهم كثيرا . فالاشوريون في الوقت الحاضر ليسوا معروفين كاصحاب لاعمال او معامل كبيرة ، ولكنهم معروفين اكثر كاناس ذو خبرات فردية في الكثير من المجالات مثل الطب والهندسة والتعليم والصيانة .. الخ . فتوزيع هذه الخبرات ليس مهما في هذه الظروف ولكن المهم هو كيف نستثمر هذه الخبرات لصالح بناء اقتصاد اشوري ليقضي حاجاتنا واكثر. ان واحدة من اهم طرق النجاح في الاقتصاد هو التبادل المشترك بين المجموعة او الاقليم او الدولة ، وبمعنى اخر ان على الاشوريين شراء حاجياتهم المختلفة من الاسواق الاشورية بدلا من انفاق المال في الاسواق الاجنبية . هذا الاسلوب ينطبق ايضا على الخدمات الاخرى الموجودة في السوق مثل صيانة السيارات والخدمات الطبية والقانونية … والخ . ففي كل مرة نريد ان ننفق مالا على خدمة او سلعة في السوق علينا ان نسأل انفسنا هذا السؤوا المبدئي ” اليس من الافضل انفاق هذا المال على بضاعة في السوق الاشوري من ان ننفقها في المحلات الخارجية ؟” فبالرغم من بساطة هذا المبدأ الا ان فوائده عظيمة جدا . فعلى سبيل المثال نجد في شيكاغو وتورونتو اللتين تقطنهما مجموعة كبرى من الاشوريين ، نجد فيهما المئات من الخدمات والاسواق التي يديرها الاشوريون كالعيادات الطبية والاسواق التجارية وخدمات الصيانة ومحلات التجميل ومكاتب العقارات .. والخ ، فبوجود هذه الكثافة السكانية التي تقابل هذا السوق الاشوري نستطيع بناء اقتصاد فعال يساعدنا على سد حاجاتنا وتمويل مشاريع اخرى خاصة بالجالية في هذه البلدان والوطن ايضا كالمشاريع التربوية (التعليم) او المشاريع الخيرية .

اذن فبناء اقتصاد اشوري غير مستحيل اذا تكاتفت الايدي وتعاونت بعضها مع البعض وبالتالي سيستفيد الكل من هذا التعاون وهذه التجربة وسنتمكن ايضا من مساعدة الاشوريين في الوطن ايضا بتمويلهم بالمال اللازم لانجاز المشاريع العمرانية والخيرية في المستقبل.

يبقى امامنا ان نتذكر بان من الافضل لنا تقوية وتفعيل السوق الاشوري بشراء السلع والخدمات منه بدلا من الاسواق الاخرى وهذا لا يعني ابدا مقاطعة السلع والخدمات الاجنبية ولكنه يعني فقط اعطاء الاولوية للسوق الاشوري .