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My Meeting with Ashur Panipal: Using a Time Machine to Explore our Past! ( Part 6)
By: Ashur Sada. Apr. 4th, 2006

 

It is now early in the morning, and the day is finally here. I am going to meet the king at last. I must admit I am very nervous yet excited at the same time. Can you imagine, I am going to meet the king whom every Assyrian has looked to as their idol at one time. I am going to meet a king who is considered to be one of the greatest in history, if not the greatest. I am going to meet the king who has put Assyria on the map for thousands of years, and probably forever. I am going to meet the king after whom half the Assyrian male population is named , including me. Speaking of which, I wonder if he will understand me if I call him “Barshie…”? Naaah, that would be too foolish of me and disrespectful of his rank

Well you get the idea. This will be the best meeting that any Assyrian has had to do in our life time. We don’t yet have an Assyrian who has traveled to space or landed on the moon, but even if there was, I will still be more popular than them, having gone in time and met the great king Ashur Panipal. Few hours have gone by and it is almost mid noon, and no one has come to take me to meet the king yet. As I am pondering to myself, a very tall Assyrian royal guard comes and takes me away. Amazingly, this guy’s accent wasn’t that hard to understand. If anything, he sounded more like a Tyaraya/Ashetnaya. He then put me on his chariot, being pulled by four big white horses

We leave the Guest House, and head North to the great palace of the King. It takes us close to ten minutes to get there. We are finally there, and what a scene I have in front of me. The palace is huge, and looks amazing. There are so many military and civil guards watching over the place. On every corner you have an Assyrian sniper, watching every angle to make sure nothing is coming towards the palace that could compromise the safety of the king. The guard I was with, assures me that I wouldn’t have to go through any further security clearances. Apparently, the King was so eager to see me, he instructed his guards not to put me through any more screening.

We get in, and start walking the long hallways of the palace. You have all sorts of people working here, all of whom seem so happy to be there. I see Jews, Middies, Persians, heck even Greeks. Apparently, working here was more like a dream come true for both Assyrians and non-Assyrians. It was the equivalent of the White House for that era, but with more style and legend added to it. In short, it was the dream career of the 700th century B.C. We kept walking, and felt like hours. We finally got to our last hallway, at the end of which I could see a huge gate. It wasn’t your traditional door. It was so huge, you had 3 people on each side working together to open it. I could tell that this was the gate beyond which the King was sitting. And indeed it was, as the guard told me. If there was anything good enough to separate me from seeing the great king, just seconds away, it would have to be this gigantic entrance. I have crossed millennia and oceans to get to this moment, so I wouldn’t mind one last giant door.

We stop a few feet away from the door, and that is when the gate keepers started performing what looked to me like a traditional royal greeting. It was for anyone that came to see the king. It was so nicely done and orchestrated, I felt like a king myself. Before even seeing the king, I had my time and money worth it. Finally, each one took their position and started opening the door. I couldn’t believe what I saw behind that door. The King was sitting on a very high chair, surrounded by so many servants and his personal assistants. As we are proceeding towards him, he looks at me with a smile and stands up. As he does, so do all the other people in the room. Well it wasn’t really a room, but if it was, this must have been the biggest room ever. It was huge and the ceiling almost reached the sky. As he stands up, I am amazed to see how tall the king really was. I estimate him at 6.6 or so, arguably the tallest Assyrian to ever live. His dress was something I just can’t describe in words. There was so much gold and other accessories hanging down from it. His hat crown so high up. His hair was long and tied into 3 braids from each side . His eyes were blue. His face was kind of white. Needless to say, he looked a lot like me. Could he be a direct ancestor of mine?
 


As we are getting closer and closer, I start to check him even more thoroughly. I got so curious, he just looks so much like me. In other words, I look so much like him. Then a nice idea comes to mind: take a sample of his hair for a DNA analysis. But how would I obtain that, even if it was one hair? Ok, his hair is long and that makes it a bit easier, but that is about it. I mean I can’t go and pull his hair right? I have two options: to blow in his face when I come to greet him, in hopes of blowing some hair from his head and somehow pick them up later. Or, and to complement the first idea, I could volunteer to sweep the floor over which he sits and walks. That way I can find a lot of hair. It doesn’t matter if there is hair from other people already there, I can easily tell them apart.

We finally reach each other and I foolishly blow too much air in his face in hopes of getting some of his hair on the floor. The guards get up and try to stop me, thinking I was trying to do some harm to him. The King kindly asks them to relax and tells them that “he is just too excited to see me, just as much as I am happy to see him…” How ironic, the King is defending me!!! We shake hands and gives me a traditional Assyrian greeting and asks me to sit down. His voice was very gentle and deep yet peaceful at the same time. He asks me to sit on one of the big chairs just beside his chair. Not sure if this was supposed to mean anything, but he made me sit on a chair just to the right of him.  And then the conversation starts:

-(The King): "Why are you here, and where do you come from? I know the story, but I need to hear it from you."
-(Myself): "My name is Ashur, my parents named me after you. I come from the future, from a land that is oceans apart from where we are now. I came to see how you guys are living, and to be the first one from the future to experience how the great civilization of your majesty really is."


-(The King): "You told us that you have come from some 3000 years into the future. How is life then? Has the entire world become Assyrian? 3000 years is sure enough for us to have conquered the entire world and turned them into Assyrians."

This was a sad question for me to answer. I didn’t even know how to answer it. The very floor we were on in that palace was probably being used by insurgents nowadays to fight the Americans. But truth is the truth and I have to tell him.

-(Myself): "My answer will probably sadden you or even anger your Majesty. Assyrians in 3000 years from now, or when/where I come from, have virtually nothing. All they have held on to, is their language and some of their history. There is not much left. "

As I am telling him this, he and all those surrounding him get very alarmed, and some start to feel sad and annoyed by what I was telling them. I could even hear voices from the background of people shouting “he is a fool, he has no idea what he is talking about, he is not a prophet to foretell the future…” but the king asks them to stay quiet so that I could continue.

And I go on:
“Assyria falls from greatness in about 300 years from now, as conflicts from within the state as well as from the enemy will weaken it and cause it to fall. And it won’t rise for another 3000 years, and probably longer.


-(The King): "How can a great nation like ours fall? This is impossible. I do hope you are not telling me the exact way of how the future looks like. But I sure do sound alarmed and this is probably a wake-up call for us to be more strong. Let us forget about this now, and tell me how Assyrians of the future are living. Do they have any connection with the past? Have they heard about our great civilization?"
 

This was a question I was very glad to answer. It was the perfect question to ask, following the earlier question which I didn’t want to answer.
 

-(Myself): “Yes indeed they have. In fact, you are our only pride in the time we are living in. We have not much left, and we are trying to rebuild from where you have left off.”

-(The King): Who is your leader?
-(Myself): Since we don’t have a state or any empire anymore, we don’t have one recognized leader. Some think it is the leader of our church Mar. Dinkha and others think it is Younadam Kana, the secretary of the Assyrian Democratic Movement. While others follow their own leaders, whoever these might be.

-(The King): What is a church and what is that movement you are talking about? You have told me about these, but what about the central authority which takes care of Assyrians’ needs and guides them? (A government)
-(Myself):
The church is the place we go to worship and pray. Assyrians of the future follow Christianity, a belief that was started after the son of God came to earth and sacrificed himself for all of humanity. A church, much like the temple that Assyrians have now, is the place where we go to pray and offer our thanks to our Lord and his son.

As I am talking about the church and Christianity, he cuts me off and offers the following:

-“You know, we Assyrians of now have heard about so many promises about the promised or the chosen one. We know there is a God out there who loves us. We know he wants us to come to him. Assyria would follow such a God just as much as we follow our current dead Gods. Unfortunately, we may have to wait longer to see this God on earth. "

“Yes sir, that is what we follow. As to your other question about the Assyrian Democratic Movement, well, that is a group of Assyrians that have been working for close to thirty years, trying to help Assyrians reestablish themselves in our world of chaos. "

-(The King): "What about this land in which we are residing now? I am assuming it is still ours?"
-(Myself): "No it is not sir. It is far from that. This land is now occupied by Arabs, Kurds and others. We still have some presence in there, but nothing significant. "


Sounding all mad and frustrated, yet calm, he asks me:

-"The Arabs, many of whom are servants in this very palace, are occupying this land in the future? This is so appalling and hard to believe. And who the hell are the Kurds? Is that a new nation? A new race? Or what? Whatever happened to the great power of the Assyrian nation? Where has it all gone? Sure three thousands years is enough to make this happen, but it also sure is enough time to rise again. "

The questions keep coming and they get harder and harder. It felt like I was in a court, being asked by a judge for a crime someone else committed, for which I was responsible.

But all I am thinking about right now is to get a sample of his hair, for a DNA analysis when I go back to the future. I must get it. I need to find out many things about the king, most important of which is the question of any possible blood line between the two of us. His striking similarity to me make me accept no other alternatives.

 


Coming up next: The questions keep coming for hours. Finally we break for dinner, and that is when I come up with a smart way to get close to him and take some of his hair for a DNA analysis. I will also be using the opportunity to tell them about the English spies, in return for taking the girl I met, back with me to the future.


 

 

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