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The Assyrian Who Went to Heaven (and Came Back!) A true Story
By: Ashur Sada. November 20th, 2005

 

There haven’t been many real tales of people returning from death. It is even more rare to hear of stories of people going to heaven, experiencing it, and coming back to tell what they saw. One such rare case involves a 28 year old Assyrian from Baghdad, Iraq.

This story took place in 1991, as the "Gulf War" to liberate Kuwait was about to start. Adnan Khammo, who is 43 now, was a member of the Iraqi army, stationed on the borders with Kuwait. The man was virtually on the front line, and his unit would come under attack first, once the war was underway.  Moreover, the psychological and media campaigns by the American and coalition forces, about the superiority of their forces compared to the Iraqi ones, made him even more miserable, and somewhat afraid to enter the war.

Likewise, and as part of their psychological operations, which proceeds every major war of theirs lately, the Americans had dropped leaflets, announcing that the Iraqi army should drop their arms and not fight, or else risk getting killed. On the other hand, Iraqi army commanders and officers were even more lethal in their threats against any Iraqi soldier who thought of fleeing the battle. With all these struggles and threats facing him, Adnan had a tough time ahead. One night in January, as the war was drawing closer and closer, he was sitting in his small bunker and thinking. All of a sudden, he felt like another entity; he wasn’t dreaming, but more in a revelation.

Suddenly, Adnan found himself in heaven, as weird as this sounds. He started wondering around the place, which looked very bright and white. He saw people who had died, now bright with light. He even met some of his own relatives. He saw people he didn’t expect to be there. He saw young kids and babies, rapped in a very bright cloth, just like angels. He even had little conversations with many people there. He kept on going and going, moving from a place to place. One time, he tried entering another place, but was stopped and told: “you can’t go in there yet, your time hasn’t come yet”

This kept going on for some time, and Adnan would go from one place to another, continuing to see these people shinning bright and white. Suddenly he was back to his consciousness-he wasn’t sleeping-this was a revelation indeed. A revelation, which he took upon himself to tell other people about it. What he didn’t realize, is that not a lot of people would believe him.

Following this baffling visit to heaven, Adnan would go on to tell others about his story, starting from the very Assyrians in his area, including his close friends, relatives, and even Assyrian Church officials. Suffice it to say, not a lot of people believed his story. Questions ranged from whether a man of average faith like Adnan’s would be chosen out of all other people, to receive this special revelations. Others questioned the very nature of this revelation, and whether it was an actual one, or just a dream. Should this have been nothing more than dream, it wouldn’t be anything special; after all, we all tend to experience such divine and heavenly dreams at times.

Finally Adnan got fed up with this poor reception by people of his account of what he saw. People who visited him from now on, trying to hear the story, had their wishes rejected by Adnan. He was just tired of skeptics and the unfaithful. Several attempts were made, including some by his very close friends to hear his story, but he refused to re-tell his revelation. His last resort in fact, was Mar Giwargis. Having granted a special meeting wish his holiness, Adnan re-told his story once again, after not having done so in a long time. Mar Giwargis was convinced that what he heard wasn’t any thing that Adnan could make up himself. He also believed that Adnan was telling the truth, and not hallucinating or anything like that. His holiness told him not to worry about what people say or their laughing at him. He asked him instead, to write his story and keep it for later generations to read and be inspired by it in faith.

Here I am, 15 years later, re-telling this story as I witnessed it and heard it myself, hoping that I can inspire some people in faith and belief. Mar Giwargis’ command didn’t go in vain.

 

 

 

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