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Assyrian Culture Rings In Program

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Assyrian Culture Rings In Program

Mar-06-2012 at 01:41 AM (UTC+3 Nineveh, Assyria)

Coming Together in Skokie:
A Celebration of the Assyrian People
Complete Brochure (PDF, 2MB)

The third annual Coming Together in Skokie program focuses on the Assyrian culture and "Gilgamesh," the oldest recorded work in world literature as well as other books. Events are slated from January through March.

Assyrian Culture Rings In Program
by Tom Robb. Journal Online, Journal & Topics Reporter, Friday, February 3, 2012.

Niles West High School was overflowing with Assyrians Sunday as Coming Together In Skokie (CTIS) held its kick off event.

Niles North and West students greeted visitors arriving at the event in traditional Assyrian dress. Women wore long flowing dresses with jeweled headdresses and men wore hats with long feathers standing two feet high.

The main program brought audience members dancing in the aisles along with dancers on stage reenacting traditional wedding dances that tell stories of past great Assyrian battles and folklore.

Coming Together is a project of area agencies to encourage greater cultural understanding that includes Niles Twp. High School Dist. 219, Oakton Community College, the Indian Community of Niles Township, the village of Skokie, the Skokie library and park districts and school districts 68, 73 and 73.5, among others.

This year, CTIS focuses on the Assyrian people in a six-week series of events.

Similar events in the past two years focused on Indian and Pilipino cultures and communities.

Niles and Skokie have become central destinations for Assyrian immigrants coming to the United States from the Middle East, according to event organizers.

Niles and Skokie are among the most ethnically diverse communities in Northern Illinois, according to U.S. Census data.

There is no country of Assyria anymore. Invaders overran the Assyrian capital in 612 BC but the Assyrian culture lives on today in modern Iraq, Iran, Syria, Lebanon and Turkey.

Niles and Skokie recently saw a spike in Assyrian immigrants from Iraq. Several of those high school aged immigrants from Dist. 219 spoke at Sunday's event.

An art exhibit at the school celebrated Gilgamesh, a central hero of the Assyrian people whose story predates many stories of the Bible.

Those at the event also enjoyed pastries filled with dates and nuts, called Kadeh, laid out on a long table near Assyrian additional artwork and informational panels about Assyrian history and culture.

Among the speakers at Sunday's event was Homer Ashurian, a former member of the Iranian congress who served under the Shah from 1975 to 1979 before the Islamic Revolution of 1979.

He said Iranian Assyrians, most of who are Christians, are not persecuted by the Islamic government but cannot participate in that government either because of their religion.

Assyrians were persecuted in Iraq under Saddam Hussein and in Afghanistan under the Taliban, Ashurian said.

Ashurian discussed immigration by Assyrians to the United States. He said many resettled in Illinois, Pennsylvania, New York and later in California.

CTIS events through February and March include book discussions, films and other Assyrian cultural events at Dist. 219 schools, Oakton Community College's Des Plaines and Skokie campuses, Skokie Library and other venues.


Assyrian Culture Rings In Program
http://www.atour.com/news/national/20120208a.html

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Assyria \ã-'sir-é-ä\ n (1998)   1:  an ancient empire of Ashur   2:  a democratic state in Bet-Nahren, Assyria (northern Iraq, northwestern Iran, southeastern Turkey and eastern Syria.)   3:  a democratic state that fosters the social and political rights to all of its inhabitants irrespective of their religion, race, or gender   4:  a democratic state that believes in the freedom of religion, conscience, language, education and culture in faithfulness to the principles of the United Nations Charter — Atour synonym

Ethnicity, Religion, Language
» Israeli, Jewish, Hebrew
» Assyrian, Christian, Aramaic
» Saudi Arabian, Muslim, Arabic
Assyrian \ã-'sir-é-an\ adj or n (1998)   1:  descendants of the ancient empire of Ashur   2:  the Assyrians, although representing but one single nation as the direct heirs of the ancient Assyrian Empire, are now doctrinally divided, inter sese, into five principle ecclesiastically designated religious sects with their corresponding hierarchies and distinct church governments, namely, Church of the East, Chaldean, Maronite, Syriac Orthodox and Syriac Catholic.  These formal divisions had their origin in the 5th century of the Christian Era.  No one can coherently understand the Assyrians as a whole until he can distinguish that which is religion or church from that which is nation -- a matter which is particularly difficult for the people from the western world to understand; for in the East, by force of circumstances beyond their control, religion has been made, from time immemorial, virtually into a criterion of nationality.   3:  the Assyrians have been referred to as Aramaean, Aramaye, Ashuraya, Ashureen, Ashuri, Ashuroyo, Assyrio-Chaldean, Aturaya, Chaldean, Chaldo, ChaldoAssyrian, ChaldoAssyrio, Jacobite, Kaldany, Kaldu, Kasdu, Malabar, Maronite, Maronaya, Nestorian, Nestornaye, Oromoye, Suraya, Syriac, Syrian, Syriani, Suryoye, Suryoyo and Telkeffee. — Assyrianism verb

Aramaic \ar-é-'máik\ n (1998)   1:  a Semitic language which became the lingua franca of the Middle East during the ancient Assyrian empire.   2:  has been referred to as Neo-Aramaic, Neo-Syriac, Classical Syriac, Syriac, Suryoyo, Swadaya and Turoyo.

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