- Monday, March 14 2011, 13:40:22 (UTC)|
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I met him only once at one of the banquets given by the Assyrian Aid Society billed as Narsai's Taste of the Mediterranean. It was the first time he spoke at that event and he was still living in Iraq then. I had been asked to make a small bronze sculpture to give him in appreciation for his talk. It was a small sculpture of a Lamasu, the Winged Bull. But a few weeks before the event the board of directors of the Aid Society decided not to present this bronze to him and, in addition, I was told my presence was not welcome...some on the board feared I would cause a scene...what our people don't understand is the difference between causing trouble and refusing to be the butt of trouble THEY begin.
So worried were they that it even caused a slight spat between Narsai and I, with him wondering "why" I wanted to attend in the first place and ended with him ordering me out of his office...his own fear was that I would use the occasion to confront an Assyrian or two who were otherwise hard to find. I assured him that was all nonsense, and that my only interest was to hear Donny George.
As I left his office I told Narsai I would buy a ticket and show up anyway, and I'd present the sculpture to Donny on my own...as a gift of appreciation from one person to another...I also told Narsai he would owe me an apology after the event.
I showed up, sculpture in hand and was introduced to Donny during the cocktail hour...I might add that Aprim was there, shadowing Donny wherever he went...it isn't enough for Aprim to be Ashurbanipal's grandson he must also adopt any other notable Assyrian he can. A friend led me over to Donny and we shook hands and chatted...Aprim and his own shadows fading into the background. I presented him with the small sculpture and he was appreciative...said he would put it on his desk back at the museum. I couldn't resist asking him if he really believed we were direct descendants of the ancient Assyrians....I recall his answer was vague enough that it increased my respect for the man. We chatted some more and that was that. I didn't jump on anybody.
The next week Narsai apologized.
Anyone can study a subject and become expert in it...but it takes a solid, thoughtful mind to see bullshit and walk around it...instead of wading in up to the neck, which our nationalists have done.
And, lest we forget, Donny, a Christian, attained this high position in a Muslim country filled with Arabs, Qurds and Jews....he had no trouble rising to the top in his field because Muslims didn't care what his religion was, or any claims about a unique ethnicity...the man was good at his job, and they hired him, period. It took the Christian United States to lose him his position and almost his life and make yet another outcast...it took Christians to ruin what Muslims built.
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