News in Bet-Nahren, Assyria

The Town of Tel Tamer Hopes to Raise the Khabour Athletic Club to a Higher Level
by Khalil Aqteeny - Damascus, Teshreen Newspaper - Sports - Monday October 23, 2000
Posted: Wednesday, November 01, 2000 00:05 am CST


Translated to English by Beth Suryoyo Assyrian

Perhaps it is the fate of the province of Al-Hassakè to offer, every once in a while, a troupe of Martyrs in the field of sports, as sacrifices for athleticism. As if it is a fee for the people of the region's love for sports and their love for generosity and the willingness in serving the country in different fields. A few years ago, the region had many martyrs from 'Al-Jihad Athletic Club' of Qamishly in a painful accident. And a few days ago 'The Jazirè' was on a new rendezvous with pain through another accident, which resulted in the grievance of everyone and their subjection to a terrible misfortune. This was exemplified in the death of a group of youths and teenagers during their travel to play a football [soccer] game. Fate was faster and the will of the Lord was mightier and chose them to become martyrs in His Kingdom of Heaven.

The Accident - The Calamity

The town of Tel Tamer has suffered. This calm and gentle town that lies on the bank of Khabour. It is 45 KM away from the city of Al-Hassakè. The town has grieved a few days ago in a painful accident that has done away with the lives of a group of its athletes of 'The Khabour Athletic Club.' The matter that has shook the emotions of the entire population of the region and especially the athletes.

At 1:00 PM on Tuesday 10/10/2000 the Under 15 (U15) team of 'The Khabour Athletic Club' was traveling to the town of Ras Al-Ain, riding in a small microbus (van), to play its first matches for the league of the U15 teams of the province of Al-Hassakè. Heading the team was the member of the club's leadership and the club's president of the football [soccer] committee Talal Pithyo and the assistant of the coach George Khezaqia in addition to 15 players.

On the main road of Tel Tamer - Ras Al-Ain and 1 KM away from the village of Safeh, the driver of the microbus was surprised with holes on the road off which the pavement was removed in order to pave it again. This caused the driver to slow down abruptly, which in turn caused the trailer truck, which was driving behind them in an enormous speed, hit the microbus from behind. Unfortunately, another trailer truck happened to be driving on the opposite side at the time, which hit the microbus from the front. In other words, the small van that was carrying the players was exposed to two powerful simultaneous hits and from two large trailer trucks. This caused the players to fly left and right. The following all died immediately: Talal Pithyo, George Khezaqia, Afram Ishaq and the driver Muhammad Katchi from Ras Al-Ain, while the player Danny Yousif died after succored to Ras Al-Ain with the rest of the group.

The president of 'The Khabour Athletic Club,' Yousif Quryaqos who has described the accident for us, says that he reached Ras Al-Ain 45 minutes after the accident. By then the critically injured players were taken to the national hospital in Al-Hassakè and they were five. Two of the five died and they are Kamil Gevargis and Ashur Pithyo.

Two Telegraph from Dr. Miro and the Lieutenant General Tlas

Immediately after the accident, the people of Tel Tamer and Ras Al-Ain and all of the areas of the region hurried to offer assistance. The calamity is everyone's misfortune and the loss is the loss of all of the residents of the province of Al-Hassakè. At the time being only one player remains in the national hospital of Al-Hassakè, while the others have been taken out and they are in a reasonable health and they have been placed under the supervision of the physicians of Tel Tamer.

On the following day of the painful accident, the burial rites were held with the attendance of the president and the members of Al-Hassakè Baath Party branch, the governor, the head of the police, the members of the executive committee of sports, political and governmental personalities and national, athletic and religious delegations.

After the burial, a joint consolation center was held to receive the consolations, where the Prime Minister, Dr. Muhammad Mustafa Miro, sent a telegraph of condolences and mourning to the families of the deceased. A similar telegraph was also sent to the families from the Lieutenant General Mustafa Tlas, the Vice Prime Minister and the Minister of Defense.

The president and the members of Al-Hassakè Baath Party branch, the governor and the head of the police have also offered their condolences. Delegations from the National Athletic Association, the president of the Syrian Football Association, a group of leaders in the Baath Party, a group of leaders in the governmental and the in the national organizations, and the Christian and the Islamic religious figures all offered their condolences to the families of the deceased and expressed to them their deepest sorrows for this painful calamity.

These are the Martyrs of Sports

  • Talal Ishaia Pithyo: A school teacher of an excellent nature and a wonderful reputation, born in 1970; a calm and composed individual and works as a coach of the Khabour Club since 1996 and a member in the club's leadership since last year.
  • George Oshana Khezaqia: A young gentleman of 15 years of age with the height of 180 CM. He loved sports and was a player in the U15 team of the club's football team in the past years. He has been assigned as an assistant to the coach of the U15 football team of the club this year. He is an orphan and has four sisters.
  • Afram William Lazar: Born in 1985; he is among the members of the U17 football team of the club. He accompanied the players of the U15 team to Ras Al-Ain to cheer them and he is a distinguished player with excellent skills.
  • Danny Yousif Mikhael: Born in 1985, and he is a player in the U17 football team of the club and loves football.
  • Ashur Khoushaba Pithyo: Born in 1986 and a player on the U15 team.
  • Kamil Yousif Gevargis: Born in 1986 and a player on the U15 team.

By the Decree of the Political and Athletic Leadership

As we are offering our deepest and warmest condolences to the families of these athletes, we ask the Great Lord to place them in His spacious Heavens and to inspire their families and relatives with patience and consolations. We are hoping from our political and athletic leaderships to take the needed measures to offer a helping hand and assistance to the sons and daughters of Tel Tamer and to the families of these martyrs and to 'The Khabour Athletic Club,' in order to get past this true and tough challenge. Thus we ask to raise 'The Khabour Athletic Club' to a higher level in the field of football, as was done with 'Al-Jihad Club' of Qamishly a few years ago. We believe that this is the least that could be done in order to honor 'The Khabour Athletic Club' that has offered a number of its sons and its members for the sake of athleticism on one hand, and in order not to create a feeling of estrangement from the club especially and the athletic association in general as a result of this accident on the other hand.

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