Archive for December 2009

Two Decades Later, Basil Gorgis is Finally Recognized

Basil Gorgis has finally been truly recognized, both in Canada and back in Iraq!

It took almost 20 years for Basil Gorgis to be finally and truly recognized. Within the span of one week, Basil Gorgis was recognized by both his Assyrian people in Canada and his country of Iraq, where he played all of his soccer career.

Basil Gorgis is the first, one and only Assyrian player to have ever played in the world cup, back in 1986 with the Iraqi team.  Such a tremendous accomplishment has easily made Basil into an Assyrian and Iraqi legend. Assyrians have produced a lot of soccer legends, but only Basil Gorgis managed to make it to the world cup.  But it took almost 20 years for his accomplishments to finally be showcased, appreciated and rewarded.  Both by Assyrians in Canada, where he lives, and back home in Iraq where he was born and grew up.

Recognition by the Assyrian Community in Canada

Basil has lived in Canada for almost 20 years. But it took almost that many years for the community to finally truly show its appreciation for what he has done.  On Nov 29, the Assyrian Chaldean Syrian Student Union in Canada (ACSSU) held a lecture interview with Basil, to get people to know him and his career, as well as to show appreciation for his accomplishments.

The Assyrian community, as much as it may have taken this Assyrian legend for granted, shouldn’t have waited this long to do something for Basil.  This should have been done long time ago.  Basil Gorgis deserves more.   He is not just a sports legend, he is also a great  and humble person, given all his accomplishments.  Basil was very moved and pleased by what ACSSU did for him, as late as it may have come.  I guess better late than never.

Recognition by the Iraqi government

Days after being recognized by the Assyrian community in Toronto, Canada, Basil flew to Baghdad, Iraq, as part of an invitation by the Iraqi government to various former Iraqi athletes.  Basil was one of those to deserve this special invitation. While in there, Basil met with Iraqi officials and many other former athletes. Basil also met with the Assyrian community in Baghdad, and was a guest at Ashur TV

Assyrians should realize that such national legends don’t come by everyday, and it is crucial that we reward them for their accomplishments.  Basil Gorgis could have easily give up on his community, like Andre Agassi did (if you believe that his blood is half or somewhat Assyrian) but he chose not to, and was still loyal and true to his community, culture and heritage.  Such a show of support and appreciation for those outstanding members of our community, whether athletes or from other walks of life, will set a better examples for the younger generation who will one day be our future legends.