Bookmark This Site
Assyrian is IraqEnlarge

Christians Of Iraq
Plight of Christians in Muslim Countries

US refugee info

Popular articles
Assyrian poetry
Historical articles

Traditional Assyrian Costumes

  Bombed Churches
 Home  Only this link has access to all News articles

"Assyrian Costumes and Jewelry" 
A new book by Dr. Samir Jonah

Youtube Assyrian Videos2
Assyrian youtube videos 3
Youtube Assyrian Videos (youtube2-b)
new songs April 2010

Translation Translation from English


Assyria – New Zealand Memorial Plaque

By Gaby Kiwarkis
April 20. 2010

Honor guardBoarding the plane from Sydney to wellington my mind was still occupied by details of the planned event that was to take place early next day, I was trying to perfect each segment and working out alternate plans encase we were unable to execute a segment when I was hit with the first reality check. On board sitting with Mr. Gabriel Gabriel on one side and Mr. Dean Beth-Lahdek on the other, we were approached by the head steward holding a newspaper in his hand.

“Hello I’m Assyrian”, he said, my name is Ramen and introduced another stewardess as “this is my sister” He showed us a New Zealand news paper article in the Dominion that covered the story prior to our arrival; he was a young man and said he was so proud that he checked the list of passengers to see if there were any Assyrians on board, his sister then wished us a successful event gave us a bottle of champagne and said please drink this to celebrate your success.

Arriving at the checkout at Wellington Airport we were again greeted with “shlamalokhon”, the security it seems were also Assyrian, extraordinary we thought until the baggage handler introduced himself as an Assyrian and finally the driver of a random Taxi we hired was talking to us in Assyrian, we all wondered if the Prime Minister was also Assyrian.

The night preceding the event sitting in a hotel restaurant we met some members of the local community and one person that left a lasting impression on me, Reverend Pithyou, St George Parish, Ancient Church of the East, this wonderful Priest can best be described as a patriotic Assyrian with a heart of Gold, on realizing our predicament of the event held on a Sunday morning and our lacking of clergy representation he changed his service hours to accommodate us, I am forever indebted to this amazing person who after the event invited us to his parish and held a dinner in our honor, meeting the rest of the congregation that night was a delight and will stay imprinted in my memory.

Sunday 18th April, 10 AM at Trentham Military Camp Parade ground, the New Zealand Military led by Lt Colonel Piercy, the family of Captain Nicol and members of the Wellington Assyrian community including those from Sydney and Melbourne, filed on to the Parade ground.

flag presentationThe Military represented by an Honor Guard from the seventh Battalion and a platoon of commando’s stood at attention while the Assyrian flag and the New Zealand Ensign flew high over the parade. All appropriate ceremonies were observed including playing of Last Post, the flags were then lowered and the Assyrian flag handed to me and the ensign handed to the Colonel and that was followed by a flag exchange. The Assyrian flag handed to the colonel will fly permanently at Trentham Military Camp in the Memorial Chapel above the Assyrian Plaques.

The Military ceremony was followed by a service in the chapel, The Army padre opened the event which then included speeches from the Mayors of Wellington and Upper Hutt City and Mr. Chris Hipkins the local Member of Parliament, Dr Lindsay Grigg and Mr. jack Nicol, Defense Secretary was also present and Revered Aprim Pithyou sang a prayer in Aramaic.

The plaque display was blessed on the pulpit and will later be mounted in a permanent position under the Assyrian flag in the Chapel.

Two plaques were dedicated by Assyrians, one is dedicated to Captain Robert Nicol of the Wellington regiment who in 1918 defied British orders and moved forward to Assist Assyrian refugees, which after a strong fire fight lost his life and his body never recovered, he was 23 years old, his plaque also includes a message in cuneiform and Modern Assyrian which says, “from this day you will be remembered by Assyria and New Zealand and your heroic deed never forgotten”

The second plaque dedicated the memory of the 750,000 Assyrian casualties has the following text;

As a result of enemy action by Ottoman Forces in Assyrian villages during 1915, the Assyrian nation numbering over 800,000 joined forces with Russia and Britain.

By 1917 due to the determination of Ottoman Forces and the withdrawal from Persia by Assyria’s greatest Ally Russia, the Assyrian nation was reduced to 100,000 men, women and children including 4,600 combatants.

By 1918 devoid of logistical support, and in constant contact with enemy forces since the beginning of the great war, Assyrians had no means to replenish their supplies or withstand the full brunt of the Turkish Army in Persia.

Surrounded and ensnared in the Persian City of Urmia and commanded by General Agha Petros, they recorded 14 Major decisive victories against Turkish 5th, 6th, 11th and 12th Divisions and Kurdish Forces.

August 1918, A British Force [Dunsterforce] made physical contact with Assyrian Forces just as the Front collapsed and the survivors, men, women and children began a 1000klm Trek through hostile territory to reach safety. 10,000 were not able to flee, losing their lives in the city of Urmia. Starvation, enemy action and disease took its toll on the remaining 90,000 retreating Assyrians and over 25,000 died by the road side in what is known today as the “1918 Assyrian Exodus”.

During the Exodus the capability of the Assyrian forces was severely reduced, a small number of ANZAC’s seconded to Dunsterforce and commanded by an Australian, Captain Stanley George Savige rode forward to protect the refugee column. On the 5th August a member of that Force, Captain Robert Kenneth Nicol MC, Wellington Regiment New Zealand, attempted to assist Assyrian tribesmen recover ammunition when he met heavy gun fire from Turkish positions and fell, his body never to be recovered.

As a direct result of his actions and those of his comrades the remnants of the refugees. Numbering 60,000 were saved from certain death.

“In Honor of Assyrian and New Zealand Service Personnel, those who served and those who fell” The Plaques were dedicated by the;

Assyrian Levies Association, Assyrian Victorian Community, Assyrian Sports and Cultural Club, Assyrian Australian Association, Assyrian Barwar Association, Assyria Liberation Party, Australian Careers Business College, Assyrian Association of Wellington. With thanks to; Australian Assyrian Arts and Literature Foundation, Assyrian Democratic Movement.

After the Chapel we were ushered to the Sergeant Mess where we enjoyed morning tea and few more speeches were given by Mr. Sargon Elya and Mr. James Gevergizian including one from Constable Pithyou Wellington Police whose dad was the very Revered Pithyou, among the Assyrians were also Mr. Assur Jako president of the Assyrian Sports and Cultural Club in Sydney, Mr. Joseph Adams the Secretary and Fairfield City councilor Zaya Tooma, and that was followed by a gift given by the Gilgamesh Society to the Colonel of a beautiful colorful Lamassu.

The ceremony went very well and I want to assure the Assyrian stewards on that Qantas flight that after the ceremony we enjoyed every drop of your congratulatory Champagne. Thank you and God Bless.

Photographs can be viewed here;





Dear Friends
Please sign this petition

What happened to the promised help
to the Iraqi minorities?


index sitemap advanced
site search by freefind

3,000 articles and counting


Nissan = April

Assyria – New Zealand Memorial Plaque April 20, 2010

Assault on Priest Faris Yako by a Guard of the Kurdish Headquarter
April 18, 2010

Sargon Boulus an Assyrian poet of the Arabic Language April 18, 2010

A New Diaspora: The fate of Iraq’s Assyrian Christians. April 18, 2010

Ancient Assyrian Treasure Now Family's Holocaust Talisman
April 12, 2010

The Ninth-annual Assyrian Festival and Carnival in Southern CA April 11, 2010

Iraq: Easter hopes in times of strife April 10, 2010

Remember hard-pressed Christians in Iraq April 8, 2010

Old Testament-era treaty between Assyrian King and Israel April 8, 2010

U. S. battalion get to celebrate Easter in the oldest Assyrian monastery in Iraq
April 5, 2010

Christians celebrate Easter with joy and serenity all across Turkey
April 5, 2010

Iraqi Christians under fire April 5, 2010

Attempts to revive the Aramaic Language in Israel by Maronites April 6, 2010

Genocide Resolution approved by Swedish Parliament April 2, 2010

Adar = March

3-year-old Christian child died after a bomb attack on a Christian home in Mosul March 29, 2010

The Silence of the Lambs March 25, 2010

Ohioan works to preserve ancient Assyrian city March 25, 2010

UK Armenians mobilize for 29th March debate in the House of Lords
March 23, 2010

Iraqi Archbishop Optimistic About Election's Consequences for Christians
March 23, 2010

Election Results for Iraq's Christian Parties March 23, 2010

Yonadem Kanna seeks to turn the issue of targeting the Christians to the international investigator March 22, 2010

Iraq: another targeted execution of Iraqi Christian March 22, 2010

Egyptian women Not so bleak; or is it? March 22, 2010

Assyrians in Australia Rally in Support of Egypt's Persecuted Copts
March 21, 201

Nineveh Governor Wants International Probe Into Attacks Against Mosul Christians March 21, 2010

Another targeted execution of Iraqi Christian March 19, 2010

Why does Sweden give in to Turkish threats? March 17, 2010

Armenian, Assyrian and Greek Genocides: An Inconvenient Truth
March 17, 2010

Open letter to Swedish media March 17, 2010

Once again, Assyrian Americans have to fight for their voices to be heard in this election. March 16, 2010

Christianity Face to Face With Islam March 16, 2010

Iraqi Christians became refugees in their own country March 15, 2010

Assyria – New Zealand Memorial Plaque Ceremony March 15, 2010

Egypt, Crowd of 3 thousand Muslims attack a Coptic Christian community, 25 injured March 14, 2010

The Swedish Parliament has recognized the Assyrian, Armenian and the Greek genocide. March. 13, 2010

Iraqi Christian Votes Rejected By the Iraqi Government March. 12, 2010

In Iraq: 'Innocent people are dying' March. 12, 2010

Swedish parliament recognizes Assyrian genocide March. 12, 2010

The Iraqi refugee question March. 11, 2010

Fear Of Muslim Collective Punishment Grips Christian Villagers in Upper Egypt March. 8, 2010

Women, Equality and Islam March. 8, 2010

Iraqi Christians attacked ahead of Iraq election March. 8, 2010

Our American Passport attesting to our Iraqi birth was not good enough to let us vote March. 8, 2010

Trend continues against churches previously protected by Iranian government
March. 7, 2010

In defiance of terrorism against them ... Christians of Baghdad participated in the elections amid cheers. March. 7, 2010

Assyrians are being denied their right to vote not only in Iraq also in other countries March. 6, 2010

Christians continue to stream out of war-torn Iraq March. 5, 2010

Murders and Violence May Keep Assyrians Away From Polls in Iraq March. 4, 2010

Egyptian Court Acquits Muslim Who Beheaded a Christian March. 4, 2010

Muslim Rights and Wrongs March. 4, 2010

Letter to President Barack Obama and United States’ House of Representatives Committee March. 4, 2010

Iraq: Christians receive threats ahead of elections March. 4, 2010

Iraq: Militants arrested over Christian attacks March. 4, 2010 

Open letter to Barack Obama by the SOCIETY FOR THREATENED PEOPLES March. 3, 2010

Demonstration in Paris to protest the suffering of the Christians in Mosul March. 3, 2010

Dolabani was forbidden to teach his students Assyrian patriotism March. 3, 2010

Eshwat = February

Dolabani was forbidden to teach his students Assyrian patriotism Feb. 28, 2010

News Middle East; Iraq's Christians demand justice Feb. 28, 2010

Thousands of Assyrians demonstrated in the streets of Bgdida Feb. 27, 2010

Iraqi Government Accused of Complicity in Murders Feb. 27, 2010

Continued Killing of Christians in Mosul Feb. 25, 2010

Humanitarian emergency. Hundreds of Christian families fleeing violence In Iraq Feb. 24, 2010

Another Bloody Day for Christians in Mosul Feb. 24, 2010

Iraq: Vatican voices concern at Christian attacks Feb. 24, 2010


Gunmen kill three Christians in Iraq's north Feb. 23, 2010

Nothing Has Changed in Iraq Feb. 21, 2010

Another monstrous crime in Mosul against a Christian citizen Feb. 20, 2010

A Plague Of Politicians in Iraq Feb. 20, 2010

Iraqi Church Leaders: We Want to Speak with Common Voice Feb. 20, 2010

Fifth Assyrian Killed in a Week in North Iraq Feb. 18, 2010

NEWS ALERT: Up To 6 Christians Killed In Iraq Feb. 18, 2010

Spate of Christian killings before Iraq March vote Feb. 17, 2010

Killing and abduction of Assyrians in Iraq Feb. 17, 2010

Ethnic Cleansing of Christians in Iraq Feb. 15, 2010

January = Kanoon II

Christians killed in Mosul are in the areas where security forces and terrorists coordinate their tactics Jan, 19, 2010

Iraq: Mosul: targeted execution of Christians continues in media and government silence Jan, 19, 2010

Debate in the European Parliament about the plight of the christian of Iraq
Jan, 19, 2010

Iraq: Mosul, a Christian businessman killed as faithful celebrated new archbishopa Jan, 15, 2010

Thousands of Iraqi Refugees Overwhelm Community Service Agencies
in Detroit
Jan, 15, 2010

Christians Suffer from "Ethnic Cleansing" in Iraq Jan, 15, 2010

Attack on Egypt Copts Shows 'Intolerance': US Official Jan, 15, 2010 

Merry Christmas From the World of Islam Jan, 12, 2010

Pope condemns violence against Christians, immigrants Jan, 8, 2010

Iraqi Christians face desperate poverty Jan, 8, 2010

Christians of Iraq; Holy innocents caught up in an unholy war Jan, 3, 2010





Sept. 09- Oct. 09 - Nov. 09 - Dec. 09

July 09 - August 09

April 09 - May 09 - June 09

February 09 - March 09

January 09 - Dec. 08

Sept. 08 - Oct. 08 Nov. 08

June 08 - July 08 - August 08

April 08 - May 08

February 08 - March 08

December 07 - January 08

October - November 07

August - September 07

June - July 07

May - April 07

February - March 07

December 06 - January 07

October, November 06

August, September 06

June, July 06
March April May 06
February 06
December05 Januray 06