Born Again Assyrians

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Posted by David Chibo from ? ( on Friday, March 29, 2002 at 2:31PM :

After a plane flight from Damascus we arrived in Kamishli.
As we got off the plane the doc sporting his video camera began taking footage of us getting off the walkway.

What he didn't realise is that the Kamishli airport also doubled as a military airport and base. As he entered the airport an undercover Syrian security officer cooly called Sankho over and asked to see what he had just video taped.
After a quick play, the doc recorded over the footage and we continued on our way.

In Kamishli the members of the AAS branches and the ADM from throughout the world had come together. The doc and I quickly made friends with all the people and that night as we sat to dine on a some fine Syrian cuisine, one of the ADM's members decided to breakout a bottle of Johnny Walker, Black Label he had purchased at Duty Free.
Having no coke in the house we decided to drink it straight....on the rocks.
After a good meal and a bottle of Johnny Walker members of our group spontaneously burst into patriotic Assyrian songs.
One of the members of our group was the famous Assyrian singer, Marlene Khoshaba, and she sang for us as we clapped along.
The comaraderie was invigorating.
Realising that we would cross into Northern Iraq next day Marlene decided to catch some ZZZZZs.
It was as this point that some members of our entourage's blood alcohol level reached a critical point and they broke into song and wouldn't stop until past midnight.

We awoke the next day red-eyed and dehydrated.....of course.
As we rubbed the sleep from our eyes we were quickly rushed to jump into vans that had been prepared to take us to the Syrian-Nth. Iraq border, a 2 hour drive away.

We finally arrived an loaded our bags onto powered boats that had been hired to cross us over to Northern Iraq.

"Don't take photos until we get over the other side." explained Frederick Auraha, the head of the ADM in Australia.
Doc and I hid our cameras under our jackets and snapped away as motor-powered boats zipped us and our luggage over the Tigris.

Upon crossing the Doc and I quickly jumped off and approached the banks of the Tigris on the North Iraq side of the border.

The sacred Tigris River.

This was our dream all along and we had finally seen this "mother of all rivers". We had finally crossed into our ancestors' land. We had finally touched the cold dark soil of Bet-Nahrain.

Right there and then we cupped our hands and filled them with the cool water of the Tigris.

We then proceeded to pour the water over our heads and symbolically baptise ourselves.

We realised that we had finally come home.

The baptism would complete our journey.

We had been Born-Again-Assyrians for a few years now and it was about time we performed a ceremony to honour our rebirth.

Our Northern Iraq journey had just begun........

P.S. Jeff et al could you or Alli please spread this to the other message boards????

-- David Chibo
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