Posted by pancho from adsl-64-165-199-44.dsl.snfc21.pacbell.net (188.8.131.52) on Saturday, February 23, 2002 at 0:06AM :
If you stand back and contemplate what our leadership does and has been doing...it sort of takes your breath away. I know many of these people and I can only think from their behavior, that maintaing a stranglehold on the community, even at the risk of choking the ever lovin life out of it, is all they are interested in.
I think back to Rabel's painting. The one that was removed from the art show in Chicago because it used a color, belonging to ZOWAA, in a "sad" way, thereby disparaging Assyria, or something. Atour Golani promised a letter of apology long ago and I doubt it ever materialized.
In fact Atour hates John, who can't stand Sargon, who loathes Jackie, who thinks they all suck. But these people would band together to protect their domains...holding onto "power", that's what they think they have, is all that matters most.
There is no love or respect lost among these various midgets all of them more concerned for their own standing than how the Heritage fares. I mean how else to explain the fact that all of them together, got together to keep me from showing sculpture, or installing a monument, or raising money for another one? Just exactly what was the loss for them? Where did they stand to benefit, and how would our "cause" have been hurt if I had succeeded?
While all of these leaders invite you to come join their organizations and pull for a common goal...they in reality have such a tight rein on their clubs that if you disagree with them in any particular way you are liable to have your ancestors dug out of their graves and killed all over again.
They will not allow change...they will absorb and dull to death any new blood, unless they can make it conform...and when you can't take anymore and are burned beyond recognition, they'll just kick you out and say you weren't "true" enough.
But what really hurts is that they discourage others from joining in a common effort to revive this Heritage, torn asunder by their petty battles, others who have no intention of going along with the mish mash they call "working" for us. People who are embarrassed to be caught dead at an AUA rally or in an AANF meeting or serving on one of any inane committees
I certainly had no intention of going along, and they knew it. I couldn't exactly have come out and told them all to go to hell, and in truth at the beginning I never dreamed that they were as venal and mean and narrow as they showed themselves to be...once they thought I was safely "bought" and in their loopy loop. After all, they gave me MONEY...the big M.
They are desperate now to drive me out, to discredit me with a campaign of rumors and innuendo so I wont be believed by anyone...so everyone will believe I am in it for the money...or Lulia's agenda. Naturally they hit me in the reputation and the wallet...affecting my ability to care for my three children. Anything and everything is fair game to them...and they have been able to succeed because no one dared stand up to their combined wrath and stupidity before...and it isn't easy for me to take all of them on at the same time...I mean from a financial standpoint.
Once again Assyrian sculptures come to the rescue. Since I have cut my prices in half and don't require a deposit, people are stepping forward because the deal is just too good. Some are hanging back because they can see from my example, what might be their fate if they displease "someone". But it will be possible to pull the thing off.
I'm reminded of my pal Walter Ebrahimzadeh, the guy who runs Waw Alap and for years made some of the greatest T shirts around..not just around our community, but anywhere! He's branched out now and sells all manner of Assyrian artifacts, some of them from yoors trooly. There is absolutely no one else doing anything near to this...of any ethnicity...I mean there are lots of Judaica out there, but what the hell do they have to offer...how many ways can you make a mezzuzah?
Walter has joined a Museum group, not an easy thing to do, and now shows his stuff to buyers for major Museums and shops. he is branching outward and upward where people might apprecite what he does enough to forget he is Assyrian...cause we seem to have forgotten it. He wont attend AANF conventions anymore because of what they did to him in Los Angeles. I was there.
The Federation set aside a room for those with merchandise to sell. The room had a special security lock with one key held by the security chief of the Hotel, the other was given to Ashur Yonan...a man apparently caught out picking up pleasure for sale once. That's on the plus side.
This room was locked each night. One morning Walter found five thousand dollars worth if merchandise missing. Only two people had the key. Ashur Yonan and Hotel security were called...and in front of the white man, Ashur said to Walter..."How do we know you didn't take them yourself"? Sputtering in rage Walter said something uncharacteristically unChristian of him...but oh so GOOD and dropped the whole thing. He demanded an apology from the Federation and though Jackie propmised to work on it...nothing ever came.
Now why would our leadership allow such a thing to happen...or leave it unrectified? What could they gain? What did we lose? You think there are lots of people waiting to work their asses off and then stand by while they are disparaged for having "high" prices...or being "clever" for using our Heritage as a way to "get money" from us?
Do we have a replacement? At the San Jose convention, the assortment of second rate stuff was just about right...there was nothing there above the understanding or beyond the pocketbook of the lowest among us...and who do you think runs these things and determines "policy"...and applies choke holds and humiliation and the police to those who can't bend or confrom to such a low standard? Our leaders who else? Walter was slandered in front of the security at the hotel, by an Assyrian...what a surprise. They may beg him to go back...he says he wont.
I bet him years ago that he was never going to get married. We bet a thousand dollars that he wouldn't be married by the next year...agreed to make the Sunday of the annual convention the deadline. Now Walter has been instrumental in getting lots of other people married and though he talks as if a wife were just around the corner...hasn't managed it yet.
He lost the first year and was ready to pay the thousand. I didn't want him to and bet him double or nothing for the next year.
Come the next convention and no wife and he owed me two thousand. We did this for a few years and, as he remained single, I got richer. The year he said he would boycott the convention in Chicago, Chicago of all places, I bet him double or nothing he would come. He owed me $60,000 by then, and if you know Walter you know that he would sell himself into slavery to pay a debt.
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