Archive for April 2015

Assyrians starting to shift their online habits: less leisure to more reading and activism

By: Ashur Sada

Assyrians starting to shift their online habits: less leisure to more reading and activism

Assyrians are starting to shift their online habits: less leisure to more reading and activism

Being a webmaster for 16 years now, I had observed something about the average online Assyrian user: they enjoyed consuming more entertainment material than doing some serious reading or research. That is, they spent more time looking at pictures, listening to music and viewing YouTube videos than they did reading the news, books or doing research. And it is not necessarily a bad thing nor does it mean that the average Assyrian has a personality that likes to have more fun than to be educated and aware of what is happening in the world.

But lately, things are starting to change.  I have noticed a shift from time spent  doing fun things online to more time spent reading the news and other serious articles and online activism.  Suddenly, people who had a habit of sharing music and videos they liked, are now sharing news stories and articles with me. And this is happening every day, for months now and it is only increasing in volume.

This new hunger for more online reading and activism can be attributed to the events in Iraq and Syria and what Assyrians in the region have been enduring under the hands of ISIS since June 2014. The situation has been so serious since ISIS’ takeover of the Iraqi city of Mosul and the neighboring Assyrian region of ‘Nineveh Plain’ , that Assyrians have had to adopt a new online attitude. It require that we too become more serious and spend less time on online entertainment. People are still free to do both-life can’t be serious all the time-but we should also recognize that the situation requires that we are more involved, educated and aware of the latest.

This new hunger for reading and discovery is a great thing. It couldn’t come at a better time.  An educated nation is one that is more ready to face the future. In our ever more connected world today, knowledge is power. The more information you have at your disposal, the better decisions you are likely to make. Which is why it is a good thing that Assyrians are arming themselves with new knowledge about the situation in the middle east, who their friends are, who their enemies are, how they can help their people, what other countries are doing, what our own parties are doing, where do our churches stand, what lobbying efforts are active on our behalf and so much more.

A few days ago, I read an interesting update from Assyrian singer Walter Aziz on his FP page: he announced, that due to the serious situation our nation is in as well as the recent passing of Mar Dinkha IV , he had decided to postpone the release of his new album for the time being. Smart decision on his part. I am not suggesting that life should stop or all fun activities be cancelled. But if you can do it, sure, why not? And for something like an album release, it can certainly wait and in fact, people will appreciate it even more.

There is a time and place for everything. For the time being, while the situation is still very serious for the Assyrian nation and people, let us spend a bit more time on reading and educating ourselves on what is happening. Be more active. Send an email. Sign a petition. Read articles. Do research. Get others involved. And remember, what you do online is no substitute for what you can do in person and in the offline world. But this article is concerned with what Assyrians do online.

It is the least we can do if we are not going to be on the ground protecting our people, villages, cities and historical sites.


With Mar Dinkha’s passing, Assyrians are at a crossroads

By: Ashur Sada

On March 26, the patriarch of the Assyrian Church of the East, Mar Dinkha IV passed away, leaving his

On March 26, the patriarch of the Assyrian Church of the East, Mar Dinkha IV passed away

On March 26, the patriarch of the Assyrian Church of the East, Mar Dinkha IV passed away

seat empty, waiting for the next successor. A seat he has occupied since 1976.

March had already been a tough month for Assyrians, with the ISIS assault on our artifacts and ancient treasures in Iraq, and the brutal assault on our people in Syria. Mar Dinkha’s passing may complicate things even more. We always looked to his holiness for spiritual and even patriotic guidance, even if only in a symbolic sense.

Now come some difficult questions :

-Who will replace him?
-Will the Assyrian church be in good hands in the future?
-Should the seat of the church go back to its original home in Mesopotamia?

Lots of questions that we can only wait and hope to get some good answers for.

Assyrians today, more than in a long time, are at a crossroads. They have suffered and lost a lot in the last few months alone and they can’t afford to lose more. We can only hope-like in sports-that the law of averages will finally work in our favor and something good happens. We need it.

I actually find it very ironic and disturbing, that on the 100th anniversary of the Assyrian genocide, more genocides and hardships are being suffered by our people.

And that brings me back to the death of his holiness, Mar Dinkha. Some may argue that he couldn’t save our people or influence events to go in our favor lately and that his role was religious or a national spectator at best. I think it is more than just that. He was  a spiritual leader and a father figure to all Assyrians. Though he was a religious leader, he never shied away from advocating for Assyrians and their plight. In fact,  you could have easily mistaken him at times for a national activist, dressed in religious attire. You could even make the case that a lot of Assyrians owe their increased sense of nationalism to his holiness. He made that much of an impact.

Assyrians lost a figure head that meant a lot to them. He was the closest we got to having our own president or national leader.  Of course not all Assyrians are from the Church of the East, but the church is almost synonymous with the Assyrian nation.

The saying ‘when it rains, it pours’ applies perfectly here to Assyrians of late. Hope spring is on its way.


We Will Rise Again

Abbey Writing

A Poem By Abbey Mikha

“To the one in the highest, King of Heaven and Earth, and on his order humans have been created, accept my requests and prepare for me and my Assyrian nation a merciful judgment because I am Ashurbanipal your follower. I present to you my request and lift my prayer to you…”-Ashurbanipal King of Assyria

In this blessed season as in the beginning of civilization, similarly to the ancient Assyrian Dumuzi/Tammuz, Jesus the Christ was born again…

And even our Assyrian New Year coincides with the time of the rebirth of spring and this we must also explain…

Our Christian culture developed from our more ancient Assyrian roots…

And this is something we have to seek, discover, and learn about and never pollute….

The most important thing for an Assyrian is to be proud of his culture and identity and to never deny his ancestry!

Or else his Assyrianism is only a fantasy…

We must all work diligently to spread the Assyrian truth, message, and struggle…

Because without every Assyrians effort our dream of our human rights and of a homeland will crumble….

Rise up every day and say to be an Assyrian is an honour!

Wear your knowledge and passion as an Assyrian as an armour…

We have struggled for survival for thousands of years and are suffering now, but we will rise again…

And each unrecognized Assyrians work won’t be in vain…