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An Open Letter to All Assyrians Around the World

by Alfred Abramian — Sydney, Australia. April 25, 1998.
Translation from Persian by Susan Ghaemi.

Posted: Friday, June 09, 2000 at 06:05 PM CT

Dear Reader:

Following the news of the opening of a respectable Assyrian school led and supported by Hon. Marmilis, Bishop of The Australian & New-Zealand Assyrian Church of The East and with the assistance of a number of culture loving people, a wave of excitement and passion swept the Assyrian communities. This news was still hot when we heard that Nineveh Club has decided to extend its existing building and spend about $3 million for this expansion and additional buildings on its site. Before the turning the first sod on either of these projects, yet another story shocked every one.

The Assyrian Charity & Educational Community, that incidentally only accepts Assyrian-Iranians as members, following the above two reports found the courage to establish the third Assyrian club in Sydney. They have decided, in a quick move, to buy a house and another piece of land for building a place of gathering for their members and their Co-thinkers, with an empty wallet.

In this letter I am not going to give a detailed account of this last move. But since from the beginning I have been aware of these people's actions. I am referring to what is about to happen in a concise manner. It is based on a loose foundation with a frame that is full of hardship and misery, poor and embarrassing and, since its first foundation is unsound, it will certainly rise to be a crooked building.

What is more painful than this is that such reckless, extravagant and unreasonable ambitions are not few in the social life and history of us Assyrians both here and in other parts of the world. It is precisely this problem that forces us to open up the old wounds and remind ourselves of our past miseries and make our current wounds more felt.

This might help us think of an effective remedy for our sufferings and find the light and health for our nation and ourselves. We might find out that at this point in time, building many clubs and the like, despite the need for them, is not a cure for our people.

We cannot and should not forget the worrying news we hear from the Assyrian radio programs and other media, and only think of building places of fun and gambling (the modern places of worship).

Thousands of Assyrian men, women and children, hungry and terrified, whose cries of suffering has reached the Gods, homeless and wandering, are begging others and the Assyrian women and girls (according to the media) have been forced to prostitution and have put a scar of disgrace on our foreheads. And yet you and I (who supposedly care for our people) in lies and in the name of these same people, under the names of welfare, charity and culture and other nonsense are only thinking of enlarging the Sheikhani and Tovlama dance circles. Shame on us!

The writer of these lines is not against dancing but like any other real Assyrian, hopes for happiness and joy for his people. But he would like to remind everyone that in those days that our mothers and daughters in exchange of a piece of bread or jar of medicine were letting foreign men take their pure bodies. All these clubs could not even come up with enough money to feed ten families. How is it that now they have millions of dollars that belong to this very same group for extensions to their places of entertainment????

The writer would like to remind you that Jesus first fed the 5000, cured their wounds and then spoke of the Kingdom of Heaven. And this is a lesson for all history, that first you must feed the hungry of a nation and free its women from prostitution and then start building and expanding its existing buildings.

The aim of this letter is not to talk about unity, love and oneness, since these are only suitable to be said behind a microphone to charge people up and collect miserable charity from them for our minuscule organisations. The aim of this letter is to remind you that in this world we are witnessing the expenditure of sometimes millions of dollars to stop the extinction of an ugly animal or a rare bird, and for this purpose expansive organisations and projects are at work. But as for Assyrians, this most ancient civilised man, this maker of glory throughout the ages, this engineer and founder of law and order in human's life, is becoming extinct and to stop this extinction, neither Assyrians or any other group have a proper program in mind.

That we do and have learnt so far is to have and support all types of organisations that after a while either fall apart from within or (the corruption of lack of money) pushes them to non-existence. It is not time now to discuss other corruptions in some of these organisations, but it is enough to ask ourselves that in the past fifty or sixty years how many of these organisations can one name that at any one time have been united and worked side by side? And even if they were not thinking along the same lines and did not have the same ideals and goals, by interfering with each other's business and eventually turning into enemies, they only heighten the sufferings and miseries of our people.

Why have we been, up until now, like this? Until the way in which we Assyrians handle our social issue changes, we will remain like this, or even worse. This problem, I believe lies at the depth of the poverty of our organisations and not in the lack of love and unity, which is the focal point of all speeches and has indeed turned into a repetitious and tiring theatre.

The writer wants to raise this question that close to the 21st century in the free world that is blessed with modern economic systems, isn't it time yet that we started producing a large national wealth by establishing large corporations with the investment and assistance of all Assyrians? Is it not the time to end, once and forever, the era of poverty of our nation?

Is it not possible to establish an international bank with the capital of all Assyrians? And finally will we not be able to reinforce our love, unity and oneness by a strong economic tie?

We all understand that before anything, as Assyrian human beings we need each other. We love each other and want to give birth to each other and be buried by one of our own. We want to marry and christen our children. We want to teach our children the teachings of Christ. Hence we need pastors, churches and church leaders. We want to speak and write in a common language, therefore we need Assyrian schools, and for our entertainment and good times we need clubs and other entertainment and sporting facilities. Therefore we can not in essence be opposed to the existence of such establishments. But what can be and must be opposed is the way in which such establishments come to life, remain operating and are kept alive, that is as always, all of them rely heavily on the donations of our people. Mostly by taking advantage of the show-off complex of a few that upon hearing their names from speakers give aplenty.

In all Assyrian organisations, the running of clubs are done differently, despite the fact that the foundation of all of them is based on the donations, hopes, love and care of our people, before they become self sufficient and start making profits. Other organisations, though rarely, take the burden from these people (apart from some social and cultural efforts that are some times glorious and noteworthy); they remain financially dependent on people and constantly extract money from them. This is the reason that we observe respectable and honest members of these organisations, after one or two terms of voluntary work and chasing after the wind, are saddened and dissapointed and disillusioned and leave their posts never to come back again.

Today, I have two major motives in writing this letter. Firstly, displaying another view on the future of a noble and capable people who are worthy and deserve a better life, and a look on the sad and miserable state of our organisations that are dancing a dance of death on the corpse of a miserable people. Secondly, bringing to the attention of, and inviting, all Assyrian or non-Assyrian thinkers and scholars in the area of economics and monitory systems to start the foundation of vast money making establishments (such as banks, factories and others) with the investment of all Assyrians around the globe. This will economically enrich individual investors as well as produce a national wealth for all Assyrians (in today's international management systems).

Such establishment's will not only satisfy the economic needs of all Assyrians around the world by establishing entertainment complexes, sport facilities, schools and churches but will achieve inevitable financial power and hence political power and influence. And on that day we no longer will hear that the deserving sons of Ashurbanipal's manly figures are bent under poverty nor the daughters of the same God of power has become so small that are giving birth (for their brothers all over the world) to children of foreigners .

For a proud nation like us there is no shame more gross than hearing such news that falls like painful lashes on our bodies and souls. And instead of attending to a proper solution and remedy we are only thinking of building more and more places of entertainment, while a pure Assyrian girl is forced into prostitution for food or a jar of medicine. This will put the hard-earned millions of dollars of our people in front of the typhoon of other countries, so next time when another disaster occurs to our people none of the centres will come up with the required relief.

What I am presenting to you in this letter is a form of a general proposition and does not belong to me, since there have been, and are, people who after many years of hard work for the attainment of the goals of our people have come up with the same conclusions and solutions and even presented their proposals to our community at large. But maybe the situation and position of the Assyrians, in those days, has dampened or hindered their suggestions or some might have thought of their proposition as an unachievable dream and have shut them up.

In any case my proposition, whether the heart-felt dream of those who have died or the cry of those who are still alive, belongs to them. If any glory is achieved by the attainment of such goals, the glory belongs to our daughters, sons and the young thinkers and fighters since from now on they will squash all those cowards, negative and doped individuals under their boots of knowledge, science, resolute will and pure hearts. And today, with all the available facilities and with the wish to achieve the long lost

hope of the Assyrian man, they will build such a future for our sons and daughters that should Ashurbanipal rise from his grave, they will not be as ashamed and miserable as us.

With the ways and techniques that we have so far employed, we will never be able to stop the future disasters that will occur to our people. When no national wealth exists, we can not go to their rescue. Since, at this time in history, everything has changed and scientific and technological facilities and wealth is available to us as well, there is no other excuse for us to remain quiet, and remain where we are - placing our hope with the wrong and incomprehensible movements of some of our organisations. We must be able to make major changes in our lives, like any other lively nation.

The writer depends on all of you Assyrian brothers and sisters, begs of you to attend to my suggestion in an atmosphere of positive-thinking and hope and unite in an international system for achieving a large, influential and national project with your other brothers and sisters. Do not wish and do not allow hollow slogans to entertain us and do not wait for future generations to come up with miracles. Let us stand and come up with a proper solution today or otherwise in less than 100 years we are going to be squashed under the wheel of time and history to be destroyed forever.

The last word is that about four years ago I wrote another letter and the publication of that letter in those days was hindered, and I only sent a copy to Hon. Marmilis the Bishop... And today I enclose that letter and present it to you, my dear Assyrian, and to history.

Alfred Abramian,
April 25, 1998 - Sydney Australia

Respectfully for the Attention of Assyrian Societies, Organizations, Communities and the Honorable Assyrian People
An Open Letter to All Assyrians Around the World
An Alternative View on Old and Degrading Methods of the Assyrian Social and Political Organisations Around the World

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