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Phillip Bet Oshana (1921-1976)

Posted: Tuesday, July 03, 2001 at 12:54 PM CT

Phillip Bet-Oshana was born in 1921 in Hamadan, Iran. Only a few months old, he and his family moved to Urmie. His father, Polous, worked as a painter. Phillip began his education in the Assyrian village of Goghtapa (Goytapa). His parents taught him to read and write in Assyrian, while cultivating an affection for the arts and literature of his people.

Phillip fervently continued to study Assyrian literature. After his father's death he proceeded to build upon his family's library of the Assyrian books, at one point numbering over eight hundred books.

At eighteen, Phillip began his studies as an electro-mechanic. In 1944 he graduated from military training, and in 1946 his studies in electro-mechanics. In 1947, Philip married Tamara Younano. Phillip moved to the United States in 1952 in pursuit of education in military industrial technology. After a year and a half, ranked as a Major, he completed his studies in America. It was during this period when he met with His Holiness, Mar. Eshai Shimoun and Rabbie William Daniel. Phillip related to the Patriarch of the Assyrian Church of the East of his dream of building a church in Tehran. He requested the presence of His Holiness in the consecration of this church. Phillip was also influential in convincing William Daniel to complete the writing of his literary masterpiece "Katineey the Great". In 1973, Philip Bet Oshana was promoted to the rank of General in the Iranian Armed Forces.

Assyrian activities that Phillip participated in:

  • The Assyrian Youth Cultural Society of Tehran
  • Mar Givargis Church of the East in Tehran
  • Executive Board Director, Shooshan School of Tehran
  • Publication of William Daniel's Katineey the Great
  • Promotion of Issa Benyamin Caligraphy works
  • Sofia Ghajarian, Babajan Ashur and many other authors and artists

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