Bookmark this site

www.Christiansofiraq.com is dedicated to bringing the latest news, articles and commentaries about the plight of the Christian Assyrians of Iraq to the attention of the international community.

This site is updated two to three times a week.

  Christians of Iraq
   
 Contact

Historical articles

 Historical pictures

 Photos of Bombed Churches

 Archived Articles

 Home  

Only this link has access to all News articles

 

An American's View of Iraq's Assyrians


Assyrian International News Agency

Nov., 1, 05


http://www.aina.org/mailinglist.html

(AINA) -- I am a volunteer American serving my nation in Iraq. While here, I have had the opportunity to visit most regions of this country, and I have many months service training and serving with Iraqi forces. During my time, I have met many Chaldo-Assyrian people and consider them amongst my dearest friends.

As far as offering an assessment of the Assyrian situation in Iraq, I really am not qualified to state with any authority knowledge of the current political climate or what the future may hold for the Assyrian people. What I can say, though, is that I have visited 60 countries in my life, and the Assyrian people here are some the kindest and generous people I have ever met.

Although I don't know the names of the towns, some of my fondest memories of Iraq occurred when my men and I had the opportunity to pass through some Christian villages last year on the Nineveh plain. My respect and admiration for the people in these villages, who have kept their heritage alive in this most difficult land, has no limit.

I could offer many anecdotes. For example, last year when I arrived, the first Iraqi with whom I spoke was an Assyrian in Baghdad. He gave me a card he had in his pocket and told me to keep it always for good luck, and as thanks for our country's effort in Iraq. On the front of the card was a picture of the Virgin Mary and on the reverse, the Lord's Prayer. He said he had carried since the day his mother died.

Before I came to Iraq, I had read much about the Assyrian people. While here, I have asked many questions about the culture, food, wedding customs, community life, language, politics, etc. I have feared sometimes that my Assyrian friends have wearied of me.

I learned to speak Kurdish well and can speak passable Arabic, so I was able to speak directly with many Assyrians without a translator. I have lived as an Iraqi, too, many days hardly seeing an American or speaking English only on a radio. Especially in North Iraq, of course, I had an excellent opportunity to learn much about the Assyrian culture.

Of interest to Assyrians in my experience, especially in the rural Christian villages in North Iraq and amongst the tiny populations of Assyrians in southern Iraq, many of them, while aware of the Assyrian Diaspora throughout the world, do not directly know anyone in the West. A few have distant cousins whom they once knew, or somehow kept in contact with someone during the long, isolated years of the Ba'athist dictatorship, but I believe this is an exception, presently. Many have little contact or great knowledge about Assyrians elsewhere on the globe.

Things are changing rapidly, though. Even the most remote places are now getting electricity, telephones, and satellite television dishes can now be seen in most villages near the bigger towns. The liberation of Iraq has also allowed all the people of Iraq to be more vocal, and hence in greater political and international contact with those of mutual interest.

Iraqis love to talk and I have had endless discussions with them. Religion is a big topic in this religious country. Unlike in the United States, for example, within the first few minutes of many conversations I have here, often someone will ask me about my religion. I state that I am Catholic. Because of the Christians here, most Muslims are familiar with the Catholic faith.

Sometimes the subject of Iraqi Christians will arise. The conversation generally is positive. Never have I heard a disparaging word from any Arab or Kurdish person about Iraqi Christians, and have I been around Iraqis 24 hours a day for months, in and out of combat, serving with them side by side. In fact, in my experience, most Arabs or Kurds speak of their Christian brothers with fondness, usually relating a story of previous employment working with Christians or perhaps speak about Christian neighbors.

The only other common thread that sometimes pops up in their conversation is that they don't know for sure how the tiny minority of Christians here will fare again the rising tide of Islamic fundamentalism, a concern for all minorities in the Middle East, and well known by all of every faith who hope for a better future in this part of the world. I remember my Kurdish friend once saying, "Those Assyrians are too gentle, too peaceful," meaning how can they stand against such a force as radical Islam, and when in such small numbers?

I think this is a question of great importance. There are good people in Iraq working on this question, though, people of every faith and political persuasion. I think they will succeed in building a bright future for Iraq, and one bright for the Assyrian people, too. I have great confidence, and believe in the Iraqi people.

I will continue to help the Assyrian people in my own small way, in the best way that I can. Whenever the subject of Iraq is broached in the following fashion, "...Sunni, Shia, Kurd...," I try always to gently remind the speaker about the fourth group that should be included. The speaker, of course, always replies, "Oh yeah, I forgot about those guys."

By James Pow

James Pow is an American doing volunteer work in Iraq.

----
      
MP3 Gala 'd Garna - Anna Athuraya by Shemon    MP3 Resha D' Khiqa Lubillah by Shemon

 

Who are the Christians of Iraq?

November = Tishrin II

An American's View of Iraq's Assyrians  Nov. 01, 05

October = Tishrin I

New Coalitions Emerge for Parliamentary Elections in Iraq10, 31, 05

Should the U.S. Withdraw? Let the Iraqi People Decide 10, 31, 05

Those Who Voted Against Constitution Are Terrorists: Iraqi President 10, 30, 05

An Assyrian Engineer Killed by the Kurds in Kirkuk 10, 30, 05

Kurds Reclaiming Prized Territory In Northern Iraq 10, 30, 05

Dwyer: Most Iraqis want a constitution - and want U.S. troops to leave 10, 30, 05

The oldest lense 10, 28, 05

Westminster Hall debate on Iraqi Kurdistan  i.e. northern Iraq 10, 25, 05

Iraq constitution approved  10, 25, 05 

Assyrian and Babylonian medicine was surprisingly advanced 10, 24, 05 

What's in a Name? 10, 12, 05 

Draft constitution denies equal rights, say Iraq's Christians  10, 22, 05

Rejection of Iraqi Referendum Possible as Nineveh Vote Fraud Reviewed 10, 21, 05 

Rosie Malek-Yonan's Schedule of The Crimson Field Book Tour 10, 20, 05

TURKEY DECRIES the Assyro-Chaldean MONUMENT IN FRANCE 10, 20, 05

Vote Figures for Crucial Ninveh Province Don't Add Up 10, 19, 05

Iraq Constitution: Bad news for Christians  10, 19. 05

Assyrian students unite 10, 19, 05

Iraq bishops ready to seek help from Pope  10, 19, 05

Charter vote resonates with Valley Iraqis Likely passage gives many hope 10. 18. 05  

Dividing the Chaldeans from the Assyrians by the Iraqi Constitution  10, 18, 05

A monument in France dedicated to the Remembrance of Assyro-Chaldean massacres by the Ottoman Turks. 10, 17, 05

Swing state' of Nineveh may be moving in favour of constitution 10, 15, 05 

Iraq votes for the Constitution and for its future 10, 14, 05

Forgotten victims - Iraqi Christians who speak the language of Jesus  10, 14, 05

Mgr Sako: people in Kirkuk have not read the constitution but will vote  10,13, 05

Terrorism strikes all Iraqis, says Patriarch 10, 13, 05

Assyriska a national football team without a country  10, 12, 05

Referendum: 'Yes' in Kurdistan and Southern cities and 'No' in Kirkuk, al Anbar and Diala 10, 12, 05

Chaos depriving Towns from Voting - The Minorities Fear the Domination of Islamic Parties10, 12, 05 

Bas-reliefs of winged goddesses discovered in western Iran 10, 12, 05

Immigration of Iraqi Chaldeans Abroad Passes through Jordan 10, 12, 05

Baghdadis tell their stories  10, 12, 05

Assyrialogist Henry Saggs Dies at 84 10, 10, 05

Letter by Ms. Jacqueline Zomaya The Assyrian representative to the Iraqi National Assembly 10, 10, 05

The Kurds are "cleansing" their domain ­ and provoking a civil war in Iraq  10, 09, 05

Nestorian label "imposed unjustly upon the Assyrians"  10, 08, 05

Iran's Assyrian MP-Felicitation to the Supreme Leader  10, 8, 05

Syriac Manuscripts from the Vatican Library: Volume 1 10, 08, 05

Sunnis Threaten Referendum Boycott if Rules Not Changed  10, 05, 05

Helping the Iraqi refugees in Jordan  10, 04, 05

Final Draft of Iraqi Constitution  10, 03, 05

Two More Assyrian Children Orphaned  10, 02, 05

Discoveries of the Assyrian antiquities in Syria 10, 01, 05 

Sectarian Strife tears apart Baghdad's Neighborhoods 10, 01, 05

September = Eilool

POLITICS-IRAQ: Kurd's Voting Shenanigans Cloud Key Province 9, 28, 05 

Church in Iraq Helps Rebuild New Orleans Parish; U.S. Relief Agency Bridges Partnership 9, 28, 05

The Armenian Genocide And The Assyrian Factor 9, 28, 05

Interview with the Writer and the Historian Rosie Malek-Younan 9, 28, 05

Assyrian Cultural Festival in Ceres CA. 9, 27, 05

Swedish Radio's Decision to End Turkish Language Broadcasts 9, 27, 05

Assyrian Refugees Face Harsh Discrimination in Greece 9, 26, 05

A cry of help by the Assyrians 9, 26, 05

samples of songs by various Eastern and Western Assyiran singers. 9, 24, 05

USAID: Iraq Reconstruction and Humanitarian Relief  9, 24, 05

4 Assyrians Killed in Assassination Attempt on Former Iraq Assyrian Minister  9, 23, 05 

Seminar in Stokholm About Seyfo ( world war one massacres)  9, 22, 05

Iraq chaos threatens ancient faith 9, 22, 05 

The Crimson Field Previews 9, 17, 05  

Treatment of Horses" by the Assyrian scientist of the 13th century Faraj  9, 21, 05 

A New Satellite T.V. Program From San Jose 9, 20, 05

English translation of the ancient Mesopotamian tablets  9, 20, 05

First Nestorian [Church of the East] search engine goes online 9, 19, 05

Download Assyrian songs.by ReeMon 9, 18, 05 

Letter from the 'Save the Assyrian Campaign'. 9, 16, 05 

Growing Opposition to Dividing the Assyrians 9, 16, 05

Books by Assyrian writers 9, 15, 05

English cardinal warns of Iraqi constitution  9, 14, 05

Brutality Against Christians in Iraq Continues 9, 13, 05

John Kanno for Congress  9, 12, 05

Reply to Culomnist Ken Rudin   9, 12, 05

Assyrians: Wine-producing season starts in Midyat 9, 11, 05

Iraqi Christians cautious about new constitution 9, 11, 05

Assyrian Human Rights Documentation Project Launched in Canada 9, 6, 05

Fire Consumes Over 500 Assyrian Shops in Baghdad Suburb 9, 6, 05 

Education in Armenia for Assyrians and other Minorities 9, 6, 05

Capital of Musasir gov't in northwest Iran Discovered  9, 5, 05

The Assyrian Democratic Organization Rejects Iraq's Constitution 9, 4, 05

The Ordeal of the Christians in Arab countries 9, 3, 05

August = Tubbakh

"Arab Christians"? Not in My View  8, 31, 05

Emotional Funeral for Assyrian Murdered By Kurds in Iraq 8, 31, 05 

Risking it all for a song 8, 31, 05

Iraq's draft constitution and the ChaldoAssyrians 8, 30, 05

Kurdish Reprisal Attacks Against Assyrian Christians in Iraq  8, 27, 05

For Basra's Christians, Hussein era the good old days 8, 28, 05

Assyrian Restuarant in Chicago Reminds Iraqis of Home 8, 28. 05

Assyrians in Northern Iraq terrorized by the Kurdish Mlitia 8, 27, 05

Iraq's Proposed constitution could lead to fragmented state. 8, 27, 05

Conflicts between Kurds and the Shabak 8, 26, 05

New Iraq constitution may throw women's rights into Stone Age  8, 26, 05

Assyrians of Telesqof demonstrate against being divided in the Constitution 8, 25. 05

Assyrian Demonstrators Voice their Concern about the New Iraqi Constitution 8, 24, 05

A letter from the Rep.of Shabak in the National Assermbly  8, 24, 05

New Iraq constitution must protect Christians 8, 22, 05 

The text of the latest Proposed Iraq Constitution  8, 22, 05

Outside View: Who lost Iraq?  8, 22, 05

Iraq's Religious Minorities Concerned About Islamic Constitution 8, 22, 05  

Iraq TV's 'Cops' breaks new ground  8, 21, 05  

Young Catholics Gather in Baghdad  8, 20 05

Iraqis Squeezed Out By Kurdish Expansion, Muslim-Centric Constitution 8, 20, 05

A Memoradum from the Christians of Iraq to the Drafters of the Constitution. 8, 20, 05

Shafting Nineveh: The Fate of Iraqi Christians 8, 20, 05

Plea for Assyrian Christians and Iraqi minorities 8, 18, 05

Undemocratic aspects of the new Iraqi constitution draft 8, 17, 05

Iraqis vent rage on call-in TV after bombs kill 43 8, 17, 05

Iraq's Non-Muslims' Constitution Fears  8, 17, 05

Kurdish Gunmen Open Fire on Demonstrators in North Iraq 8, 16, 05

Their suffering continues 8, 14, 05

IRAQ: Focus on constitutional concerns 8, 14, 05

Photos form homeland  8, 14, 05

Despite Turmoil, Christians Place Faith in New Iraq 8, 13, 05 

Iraqi-American Translators: The Untold Story 8, 12, 05

Life in Ankawa 8, 12, 05

Why Torah's Hebrew script was Changed to the square Assyrian script 8, 11, 05

Assyrian Restaurant in Chicago  8, 10, 05

Speech at the Commonwealth Club of California By Fred Aprim 8, 10, 05

KURDS TAKE A HARD-LINE STANCE ON IRAQI CONSTITUTION  8, 10, 05

72nd Assyrian American National Convention   8, 09, 05

Unresolved Iraqi Constitutional Points  8, 09, 05

Information wanted for Upcoming Documentary about Iraqi women 8, 09, 05

Assyrian Objection to the Nationality Law 8, 06, 05

Iraqi Christians Remember Church Bombings One Year Later 8, 05 05

Looted history  8, 05, 05 

Book Release: Rosie Malek-Yonan's "The Crimson Field" 8, 05, 05 

Iraq Must Avoid a Rollback of Rights 8, 04, 05 

Nina Shea: Rule of law, rule of Islam  8, 4, 05

Iraqis in U.S. Won't Vote on Constitution 8, 03, 05

Bush's Global War on Christians 8, 01, 05

An Open Letter to Patriarch Mar Ignatius Zakka I  8, 01, 05 

Democracy could struggle in Islamic Iraq  7, 30, 05

Assyrian Granny Shimmes's Contribution to Rendezvous of Civilizations 7, 29, 05

House amends funding bill to help Iraqi Christians 7, 29, 05

Iraq draft constitution fails to protect religious, human rights, USCIRF says  7, 29, 05

 

 Archives

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

web counters