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Habib Hannona's book and the flip-flop

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Habib Hannona's book and the flip-flop

Dec-09-2001 at 12:17 PM (UTC+3 Nineveh, Assyria)

Kanisat al-Mashriq fi Sahil Naynawa (The Church of the East in the Plain of Nineveh) by: Habib Hannona

The author, Habib Hannona, a member of the Chaldean Church, in this Arabic written book started by giving a summary of the history of the Assyrian Empire in north Mesopotamia until 612 BC. He mentioned that the Assyrian Empire fell and most of the land of Ashur became under the control of the Persians for over two centuries.

A hand drawn map was provided, titled Sennacherib Irrigation system in Nineveh plain, where it showed Assyrian sites at all the following villages; Alqosh, Tel-Esqof, Baqoofa, Batnaya, Tel-Kaif, Bartilla, Karamles, Tarbisu, and Khorsubad (Dur Sharokin).

Mr. Hannona wrote then about the Church and its struggle and mentioned that the 5th century was devastating to the Christians who split into three main groups, one followed the teachings of Nestoris and were called Nestorians, the second group were called later the Jacobite, and the third school of thought was adapted by the Roman Popes and its followers were called later the Catholics.'

The author mentioned that the title Chaldean was given by the Pope, to those so called Nestorians of Cyprus who united with the Roman Church, in August 7th, 1445. He says that in April 21st, 1553, Sulaqa went to Rome and was elected Patriarch of Babil over the Chaldeans and settled in Diar Bakir. The begining of the Catholic missionaries, says the author, started in 1725 in Nineveh Plain where almost all were Nestorians before this date.

The author started then to talk about all the villages, which were mentioned earlier, and their history, starting with the city of Mosul.


The name Mosul, as stated, was not known until late 8th century, which is about one century after the Arab occupation and the rise of Islam. The historians, meanwhile, called it when referring to the area as hosna abraya meaning the fortified place from which one crosses to another place. The new Arab Muslim settlers derived the name Mosul from the Aramaic hosna abraya. Mosul, in Arabic, on the other hand means that which connects one place or thing to another, which is the exact meaning of the ancient Aramaic name.

Tel kaif

Aramaic Tel - Kepa means the mount of rocks. There is an important reference to this town which states that when Xenophon and the Greek army in 401 BC crossed the Zab north-east of Nimrod, passed by Karamles as Flethcher notes, and by a fortress near Mespella (Nineveh) which is believed to be that of the Assyrians at Tel-Kaif as Ainsworth stated; Tel Kaif was occupied by the remnants of those Assyrians. The author then stated that in AD 1886 while the Qeenaya family members were digging a grave for their recently dead father on the mount of Tel Keif, they encountered a well, and they dug deeper and saw four water canals attached to a big water basin. It is thought that this is part of King Sannecherib Irrigation system (KAHRIZ) which the Assyrian King built while in power (705 - 681 BC) since the system is of the same design. Four other canals were discovered there. It is believed that under the mount of Tel Kaif lay an Assyrian site, but having the mount as the main cemetary there is preventing the excavation efforts at that Tel.


Archaeologist J. Oppert says that the old name of Karamles was (Eir-Eil-Banu) or the city of god Banu, while the Akkadians called it (Kar - Mullissi) and the Sumerians named it (Kar-Denkis-Nin-Lil) meaning the city of god Ninlil and Ninlil as known was Enlils wife and Ninortas mother.

The city of Nineveh as it is known is shaped as a trapezoid. Layards theory is that the four points of this trapezoid are the sites of Nimrod, Kuyunjik, Khursobad and Karamles with a circumference distance of 60 miles. This is testified to by the prophet Jonah when he said that travelling around Nineveh on foot takes three days. Large quantities of Assyrian artifacts were found at the Tell of Karamles like Assyrian remains of buildings despite the low key excavations there.

Tablet # 372, discovered at Sultan Tape, describes Ninevehs wall and its gates which are numbered at 15. The 4th gate was designated for Karamles which was also known as Ninlils gate. Here is a list of the gates of Nineveh; Ashurs gate / Halzis gate / Shamshis gate / Ninlils gate / Mushlals gate / Shibanibas gate / Khalakhis gate / Adads gate / Nergals gate / Sins gate / Mashkis gate / Karis gate / Madbaris gate / Ekal Mashartis gate / Khandooris gate.

Now, after the 2000 census issue heated up and this book was referred to in some discussions, Mr. Hannona came out and published an article in which he changed some of the principles of what was published in the book. One must wonder why?

Are we witnessing a trend in people's views on issues depending when and where opinions are given, i.e. whether for the international or local consumption use? Mar Raphael Bedawid, the Chaldean Catholic Church Patriarch on the international LBC station and infront of millions of people says that our ethnicity is Assyrians, then under pressure he goes on a local radio station in Detroit and claims that he was misunderstood. For a matter of fact one could easily realize that he was being fed what to say!! Mr. Hannona wrote a book in which he basically said that the Mosul Christians were Assyrians, then after the census issue came up and his book was referred to, he published a small article published on Ghassan Hanna's forum changing what he had claimed in his more popular book!!

This flip-flop simply amazes me.

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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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