In Reply to: Post From aina re: Convention posted by parhad on September 08, 2001 at 09:39:22:
There are many forms of revolution. I would never condone any acts of violence. We, who have suffered from violence, will lose all credibillity if we pick up the same weapons used to destroy us.
There are other ways. When the world was young and crude and a very violent and dark place...we Assyrians helped develop and shape it. Along the way we realized that defending what you build is also a part of building, for what's the good if each time you build something, someone is allowed to destroy it? In order to further Human development we also pioneered and excelled at warfare...no one can deny that, though they try desperately to make us and others think that was ALL we were good at. The world and its experts are gradually learning that wasn't so...that the strength we had as a military force came from our strengths as a complex and highly evolved civilization. It isn't enough for others to tell that to the world...we have to begin to do it as well.
After all these centuries our story is far from over...it has merely passed on to other realms...onto a different stage. Our Jewish cousins have now earned their country back...they are being used as much as they are using others...and they have paid and will pay a high and bloody price for this return to Zion. But in some ways they had no choice,,,nearly wiped out after 2000 years of Christian hatred and violence, culminating in Hitlers final solution...modern Jews knew they would be unwelcome wherever they settled...so why not be unwelcome in their own ancestral lands.
Our position as Assyrians is significantly different than theirs. We can live in many countries around the world...our religion or dress and eating habits do not set us apart...in fact we don't WANT to be set apart and learn to adapt and fit in very quickly. The "revolutionary" trick for us, is to learn how to use the Laws and institutions of each of the wealthy and developed nations we are citizens of to benefit our Heritage. We can truly be Internationalists...a decided advance from those people who still want the old fashioned country with borders etc. It is highly unlikely that we could gain such a place with any assurance of security...surrounded as we would be by Moslems...look what the Israelis contend with. Only dire necessity could have forced what were esentially Europeans to go set up homes in the country Palestine was in 1945.
We don't face that kind of necessity. We have many people with romantic notions of old Nineveh and how lovely it would be to live in a country of our own where our language dominated etc. But that alone will not give us the fire in the belly or the resources to pull it off. But we could instead graft our Heritage onto those of the several countries we inhabit as tax paying citizens and in that way begin to work for the benefit of our heritage world-wide and in BetNahrain.
There is a "Revolution" in walking the halls of congress...in engaging people in debate, in setting up cultural festivals, in schools, in demanding that we too have a place afforded our culture, a safe place for it from which we can sing its praises...as all our artifacts are now treasured in the museums of the world...so too could we become a treasured, living, asset in all those same countries, and they are the world's most powerful and wealthy ones.
We were the first to do many things thousands of years ago...we just could be First again in realizing that identity does not have to require the killing off of another person's identity. It's a whole new way to exist in this world. We can do anything with this unique Heritage we wish to. I could have placed monuments in every major city of this country and probably Europe too. If our people in each of those cities and countries...working and paying taxes and well connected as many of them are, had wished it...no authority on earth would have said "no" to us...not a one!
The problem begins with us...with our inability to come together and work together even when not a one of us gets EVERYTHING he thinks he's entitiled to. One man, John Nimrod, was given the authority he doesn't have, by 60,000 Assyrians in Chicago, to block a monument the city itself was eager to have...looked forward to installing at a most prestigious location...yet because it came in a manner in which John could not claim the benefit...he doesn't want it there at all. He has no interest in what is good for US...just what benefits him.
Today, this most lovely monument sits gathering dust in a foundry in California...it was started 13 years ago and has been ready to install for six. Yet John still spreads lies about how much HE gave to it...and how it can be installed anywhere the Mayor says it can be...when everyone in Chicago government, including the Mayor, knows the decision is solely up to the Arts Council which is charged with maintaining this country's greatest collection of public monuments...a collection we could have been part of years ago. For all those years, John has refused to write the letter they asked of him removing his ridiculous threat of a lawsuit if they dared install the Shumirum on the campus of the University of Chicago, a few blocks from the Oriental Institute...the most prestigious center for Assyriology with the greatest collection of our artifacts in the United States...whose Assyrian Gallery will be re-openning to the public next year...refurbished and expanded, attracting thousands of visitors a year...visitors from around the world who could have learned that we Assyrians still exist and can make something such as this monument showing vitallity and respect and vision.
At last year's convention both Sargon Lewie of the Federation and John Nimrod conspired to keep me from circulating a petition...that most fundamental right under the US Constitution, asking for signatures to show the city of Chicago encouraging it to override a silly threat from ONE man. At this year's convention, after I was told to sign a letter requiring me NOT to even mention the Shumirum at all, and after I was told to leave or face ejection...the man who signed this letter requiring that I not mention the Shumirum... Alphonse, Jackie's vice-president...stood in the lobby himself loudly stating that there WAS no such Statue...that I was lying about it, just making trouble etc. HE told me I couldn't tell the truth...but reserved for himself the right to spread lies.
The problem is "us". There ARE no enemies here in this country but those who hurt our cause from within. And here, in this country especially, are the tools and means with which we could strengthen and protect our presence in BetNahrain and elsewhere, if we would only seize the moment.
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