Posted by Jeff from d53-152-230.try.wideopenwest.com (126.96.36.199) on Monday, March 17, 2003 at 7:51PM :
In Reply to: The "BIG ONE" posted by panch from inet-gto-aztecas-2-fddi5-0-0.uninet.net.mx (188.8.131.52) on Monday, March 17, 2003 at 2:18PM :
: note: Kitty Benjamin was involved years ago in ferrying back Iraqi nationals and their offspring to Iraq because Saddam wanted to lure back the talented ones who had fled...to show them how good life was in Iraq...to offer them jobs and convince them to come back and build the country...build the entire region...something that scared the shit out of Uncle Sam and Aunt Golda. And of course all expenses were paid by the government. The program was suspended when war broke out between Iraq/Iran and the United States. Kitty told me that some of our devout patrots created unnecessary problems by filling out paperwork in "patrot" style. One day she was called in to see someone in Iraqi Immigration who was handling visas for the visitors...who shook his head in dismay and showed her some of the visa appications...now mind you the government of Iraq is footing the bill. Many of our dimmer bulbs had put down "Assyria" as place of birth...and "Assyria" as destination. Can you imagine as Italian putting down "Roman Empire" for city of birth?
: Yeah, yeah, I know...THE WORLD OWES US...cause we're too fucking stupid to take care of our own.
This year at the convention in Detroit Dr. Naby and 4 others were on a panel who were conducting a seminar on early Assyrian migration to the US and Canada. It was very interesting. At one point, Dr. Naby put someone's passport on the overhead projector and everyone oohed and aahed in amazement. She made it a point to emphasize the following point: "Look at Mr. ________'s (I forget his name) passport. His birthplace is listed as MESOPOTAMIA."
She said it as if by it saying Mesopotamia that somehow the "rights" to the land in Iraq were ours. Everyone was astonished. I wanted to just scream THE BRITISH NAMED IT THAT but that would have been rude. It was the only part of any of her presentations that I disagreed with. She is a very knowledgeable person! It wasn't that she said anything wrong, either... just that I got a very strange impression from it all. Anyway, your story about the Iraqis who listed their birthplace as Assyria reminded me of that and I thought I should share.
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