Ninos Aho

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Posted by panchmaster from ( on Monday, November 18, 2002 at 10:32AM :

In one of his poems he laments the fact that an Assyrian father can't get his son's Assyrian name registered. It's a powerful message...but could use some qualifying.

When my daughter was born in Portugal I went to the local Records Office to register her birth. The woman had me fill out a form...looked at the name we'd chosen, "Roma", and said, "nao". That's Portuguese for "no".

I stared back at her and said, "yes". She repeated, "nao". I'd be there still if some kind stranger hadn't taken pity on me. Turns out there is a book with acceptable Portugeuse names in it and you can only name your children accordingly. Chief among the names are, of course, John and Joseph for the men...and Mary for the women. They are Christian names...well Jewish actually but let that go. People all have nick names to distinguish one from the other, but there are only so many "official" names allowed. I suppose the government doesn't want a whole lot of "Mick" Souza's...or whatever pop fashions sweep the attempt to remain pure and unified.

I understand the situation is vastly different...but. Had we not insisted that Assyrians can only be Christian...and had not some of us insisted Iraq and Turkey and Syria are REALLY Assyria...stolen from us by a horde of Arab Muslims...and did we not feel that OUR lands need liberating at the cost of hundreds of thousands of dead people...and did we not have this penchant for urging Christian nations to attack our 'dear" homeland...OUR countries...then the name Assyrian would not have become as odious as the name Christian and British or American has to those people.

They are trying to force unity where there is constant division. Spain will never recognize Basque rights...the Catholics will never rid themselves of Protestant "outsiders" and the Assyrians will never get an Assyria. That's because for better or worse, there is an Assyria right there in Iraq. Our mistake is in insisting it can only be a Christian Assyria, or that the people there have to live and believe as we tell them to.

It is indeed a great shame Assyrian names can't survive in's far worse that Assyrians are being killed there. Is it such a victory to have an Assyrian name on your tombstone?

-- panchmaster
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