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  • Assyrians

    Assyria is located in north Mesopotamia and spans four countries: In Syria it extends west to the Euphrates river; in Turkey it extends north to Harran, Edessa, Diyarba***, and Lake Van; in Iran it extends east to Lake Urmi, and in Iraq it extends to about 100 miles south of ***kuk. This is the Assyrian heartland, from which so much of the ancient Near East came to be controlled.

    Two great rivers run through Assyria, the Tigris and the Euhprates, and many lesser ones, the most important of which being the Upper Zab and Lower Zab, both tributaries to the Tigris. Strategically surrounding the Tigris and the two Zabs are the Assyrian cities of Nineveh, Ashur, Arbel, Nimrod and Arrapkha.

    To the north and east of Assyria lie the Taurus and Zagros mountains. To the west and south lies a great, low limestone plateau. At the southern end of Assyria the gravel plains give way to alluvium deposited by the Tigris, and farther south there is insufficient rainfall for agriculture without irrigation. These two features create a geogrpahical boundary between Assyria and the neighboring land to the south.

    To the south of Baghdad lies Babylon. There is a stark geographical distinction between Babylonia and Assyria. To quote Saggs,

    journey in spring from Baghdad, the capital of modern Iraq and within the Area of Ancient Babylonia, to Mosul [Nineveh], which is near several old Assyrian capitals, takes the traveller into what is manifestly a different country. In the region of Baghdad and southwards the predominant vegetation is palm trees. . .The terrain is flat to the horizon, and for most of the year its sun-parched earth is arid and dead wherever irrigation ditches do not reach. Approaching Mosul [Nineveh] the traveller finds a striking change. The flat terrrain gives way to undulating plains, in spring green with pasturage or cereal crop and gay and scented with flowers and clover. The rolling plains are cut with wadis, aflow after spring rains, with higher ranges of hills on the horizon. The traveller has reached Assyria.[Might that was Assyria, page 5]

    The Assyrian land is rich and fertile, with growing fields found in every region. Two large areas comprise the Assyrian breadbasket: the Arbel plain and the Nineveh plain. To this day these areas remain critical crop producers. This is from where Assyria derived her strength, as it could feed a large population of professionals and craftsman, which allowed it to expand and advance the art of civilization.
    Racial Type
    Assyrians are a Semitic peoples indigenous to Mesopotamia. They are Mediterranean Caucasoids, and are ethnically distinct from Arabs and Jews.

    Assyrians have used two languages throughout their history: ancient Assyrian (Akkadian), and Modern Assyrian (neo-syriac). Akkadian was written with the cuneiform writing system, on clay tablets, and was in use from the beginning to about 750 B.C.. By 750 B.C., a new way of writing, on parchment, leather, or papyrus, was developed, and the people who brought this method of writing with them, the Arameans, would eventually see their language, Aramaic, supplant Ancient Assyrian because of the technological breakthrough in writing. Aramaic was made the second official language of the Assyrian empire in 752 B.C. Although Assyrians switched to Aramaic, it was not wholesale transplantation. The brand of Aramaic that Assyrians spoke was, and is, heavily infused with Akkadian words, so much so that scholars refer to it as Assyrian Aramaic.


    Assyrians have practiced two religions throughout their history: Ashurism and Christianity. Ashurism was, of course, the first religion of the Assyrians. The very word Assyrian, in its Latin form, derives from the name of Ashur, the Assyrian god. Assyrians continued to practice Ashurism until 256 A.D, although by that time, most Assyrians had accepted Christianity. Indeed, Assyrians were the first nation to accept Christianity, and the Assyrian Church was founded in 33 A.D. by Thomas, Bortholemew and Thaddeus.

  • #2
    Religious denominations

    Antiochian Orthodox Church
    Assyrian Church of the East
    Assyrian Church of the East's Holy Synod
    Chaldean Church of Babylon
    Syriac Catholic Church
    Syriac Orthodox Church
    Assyrian Evangelical Church
    Assyrian Pentecostal Church
    People who consider themselves as Assyrians are usually followers of one of the aforementioned churches, but not all members of them consider themselves as Assyrians, ethnic and national identities being intertwined with religious ones, a heritage of the millet system.

    There are no (known) Assyrian Muslims, but Arabic-speaking Muslims locally named Mhalmoye in Tur Abdin seem to be converts to Islam from the Syriac Orthodox Church in the 16th century (compare with Hamshenis, Greek-speaking Muslims, Pomaks, Torbesh, Gorani, etc.). They would have kept many customs from the period in which they were Christian, without being aware of their origins: the Cross frequently finds itself in their work, but is thought of as a decoration based on a flower. A Swedish Assyrian website names four other ethnic groups whom it considers as "Assyrian Muslims": Barzanoye (the Barzani Kurdish clan), Tagritoye, Taye (the Tay tribal confederation), and Shammor (the Shammar tribal confederation).


    • #3
      List of Assyrian tribes

      The ancient tribes in this List of Assyrian tribes still exist today. Most were established after the fall of the Assyrian Empire in 612 BCE. For most ancient civilizations, tribes were important precursors of nations. The Assyrians were no exception.

      The Assyrian tribes trace their roots back to the geographical area known today as Kurdistan, centered around Hakkari in Turkey and Urmi in Iran.

      The tribes each had their own leaders, both civil and religious. Like all tribes they contained clans, which in turn contained villages and the villages had family groups.

      Tribes include:

      Albaq Tribe
      Barwar Tribe
      Baz Tribe
      Botan Tribe
      Chal Tribe
      Diz Tribe
      Gawar Tribe
      Jelu Tribe
      Nochiya Tribe
      Qochanis Tribe
      Salamas Tribe
      Taimar Tribe
      Tkhuma Tribe
      Tyari (Lower) Tribe
      Tyari (Upper) Tribe
      Urmi Tribe
      Walto Tribe


      • #4
        Assyrian independence is a political movement and ideology that supports the creation of a homeland for the Aramaic-speaking Christian Assyrian people in Northern Iraq. The issue of Assyrian independence has been brought up many times throughout the course of history from the end of World War I to the present-day Iraq War. Traditionally, the Assyrian-inhabited area of Iraq is located in the Ninawa-Mosul region in Northern Iraq where the biblical Assyrian capital of Nineveh was located. This area eventually became known as the "Assyrian Triangle."

        Before World War I, about half of the Assyrian population lived in what is today Turkey, specifally the Hakkari region. In 1914, Young Turks began to systemically target Christians of Asia minor with events such as the Assyrian genocide. In the beginning, key Assyrian nationalist leaders and religious figures were whipped out of communities, where as at one point the Patriarch of the Assyrian Church of the East was only 12 years old (Mar Eshai Shimun XXIII.)

        The Ottoman Empire declared war against the Allies and the British On October of 1914. For geographic reasons, it was important for the British to gain the support of the Assyrians.

        Because of large oil fields, Britain wanted to insure that the Mosul region would be part of the new colonized Iraq instead of the future state of Turkey. The Assyrians promised loyalty to the British in return for an independent state in the future. After the invasion of Mosul by Young Turks, the Assyrian army led by general Agha Petros, fought intensively against the Turks and pushed them out of the region, leading to Britain’s control of the region. The battles are described in detail by surviving letters of Petros and Britain officials.

        By the end of 1922, no sufficient Assyrian population was left in Turkey and a small population left in Iran. Many fled southward to join native Assyrians in the Nineveh plains.

        The Assyrian national question was taken to Geneva by the Assyrian Patriarch Mar Eshai Shimun XXIII again when he addressed the Permanent Mandate Commission meeting and urged the Council to fulfill its obligations toward the Assyrian Nation. The League yet again granted the Assyrians their rights of homogenous community in Iraq with a local autonomy.

        Mar Eshai Shimum was quoted in the meeting:

        "If the (British) mandaite is lifted without effective guarantees for our protection in the future, our extermination would follow"
        After the establishment of the kingdom of Iraq in 1932, an Assyrian uprising followed through the following year, refusing to sign a declaration of loyalty to King Faisal and agree not to thwart the scheme of the League of Nations for the settlement of the Assyrians, was deported by the order of the government on August 18, 1933 and deprived of Iraqi nationality.

        The failed uprising led to the massacre of 3,000 Assyrians throughout northern Iraq. The biggest massacre was in the village of Simele. Eyewitness wrote numerous books about the events.

        The Levies alarmed by this and the imminent withdrawal of British troops, decide upon a concentration of all Assyrians in the Amadia area for security. All Assyrian officers jointly presented a manifesto on the July 16 to the commanding officer requesting discharge within 30 days. The other ranks also followed the lead of their officers. The British feared if this were allowed to happen they would loose all authority in Iraq. To buy time, they decided to allow discharge over a four month period. A British battalion was flown in from Egypt when discharges commenced. After negotiations with Assyrian leaders, the Levies withdrew their request and the British battalion was withdrawn. In all 296 were discharged. No Iraqi was held responsible for the massacre. A large number of Assyrians began to flee Iraq and find safety in Syria, under French control at the time. The Transport and machinegun Assyrian companies ceased to exist as separate units, both being divided between the two Assyrian battalions. ***kuk was occupied by a platoon from the 2nd battalion to guard the Wireless and other RAF stores. Due to the events of 1933, Assyrians mark August 7 as their martyrs day.

        The first of the many Church bombings that were to come, occurred on the morning of August 4, 2003, that left 19 worshippers dead.

        As the attacks on Assyrians continue to escalate, with the 20th Church bombed and the death toll of the Assyrians reaching to 100 in 2004 alone, demands by Assyrian politicians for an autonomous save haven reached at an all-time high. A meeting took place in the British House of Commons to discuss the subject.

        This meeting was organised by the Labour MP Stephen Pound, in conjunction with the Assyrian Democratic Movement and the Jubilee Campaign, a Christian human-rights group. Mr. Pound demands were:

        Support an autonomous administrative region as a safe haven
        Support the infrastructure of the region
        Oppose “the active and passive ethnic cleansing” of “the only indigenous people of Iraq”
        Mr Pound argued, “The fate of the Chaldo-assyrians in Iraq will define the socio-political structure of the Middle East.”

        Then Prime Minister of Iraq, Iyad Allawi, said he was considering the plan, but nothing resulted as he lost his position in the January 2005 elections.

        On the same weekend, a further five Assyrian churches were bombed in Iraq. By the end of 2004, an estimated 40,000 Assyrians and other Christians have fled Iraq since the beginning of the war. [1]

        Australia's Labor Party member Chris Bowen spoke about the possibility of autonomy for the Assyrians numerous times in the Parliament during 2005.

        On February 24, 2006, Minister of human rights in Kurdistan Dr. Mohammad Ihsan stated “We don’t mind Iraqi Christians concentrating anywhere they wish, and establishing a new province for themselves in the Nineveh plain, and bringing together Iraqi Christians from all over the world and their return to their houses and towns.”


        • #5
          am an Assyrian from Iran. My parents left Iran in 1979, three years before I was born; and so I have never been there. Assyrians from Iran constituted a small percentage of the Iranian population before 1979: the 1976 census indicated the number at 32,000, although I can tell you this figure is mostly likely an underestimate (most likely, above 40,000). Most Assyrians have left Iran since the establishment of the IRI, leaving the estimated current population at around 10,000 15,000.

          Assyrians are easily the smallest religious minority in Iran, and so it is to no surprise that when I tell other Iranians that I am Assyrian or "Assuri", they elicit a dubious response of familiarity and ignorance in the sense that most of them have heard of Assyrians, but they do not know anything else. I don't blame people for not being familiar with Assyrians, but I do criticize those who make baseless, inflammatory remarks and criticisms on my people without possessing any knowledge about them or their rich yet sad history.

          I recently came across an article written a few months ago by Azam Nemmati entitled "Unworthy Iranians" that reflects this form of inflammatory ignorance. As an Assyrian, I was shocked and disgusted by her comments about the religious minorities (although she didn't specifically mention Assyrians, she lambasted all non-Muslim minorities in Iran). I was pleased to read the response by Mohammad R. Jahan-Parvar, and I appreciate that he recognizes the second-class treatment of religious minorities. As a member of a religious minority, I feel it is imperative that I add my own interpretation of her article, step by step.

          Referring to non-Muslim Iranians, Nemmati writes that she is "devoid of any respect for these people who insisted in speaking their own language and acted as though they lived in another country." Let me ask you this: is it wrong for you to speak Farsi in the United States? Is it wrong for Latinos to speak Spanish on the streets and neighborhoods of Los Angeles? What many Iranians sometimes fail to understand is that Assyrians and Armenians have distinct cultural identities: we have our own languages, food, dances, religion, and other cultural aspects. While a part of their identity includes their Iranian nationality, it is not the dominant aspect that defines who we are.

          As a people without a country, Assyrians have kept their identity alive for thousands of years through one primary means: the Assyrian Aramaic language. The language is the heart that keeps the Assyrian nation pumping a lifeline, if you will. Now this is not to say that Assyrians are insulting the Iranian identity by not speaking Farsi, as Ms. Nemmati clearly implies. However, Iranians must remember that tiny ethno-religious minorities like Assyrians have a special need to keep their unique cultural, linguistic, and religious identities in an ocean of Islam.

          Furthermore Ms. Nemmati, religious minorities have felt like foreigners in their own homeland for generations. I'll give an example: in my grandparents' neighborhood in Orumieyeh in the 1920s, Iranian Muslims would refer to them as "messiuer" and "madam" instead of "khanoom" or "agha". Now obviously, this is a very very minor, inconsequential act, but the underlying premise of distinction is clear. The terms "messiuer" and "madam" are foreign, European terms; and so they were used to differentiate between Iranian Muslims and non-Muslim "foreigners." There are unfortunately more devastating examples of murder, oppression, and discrimination, but I feel Mr. Jahan-Parvar has provided a solid explanation of some of these acts, and so I will not delve into this any further.

          In the third paragraph, Ms. Nemmati writes in referring to the Armenians: "They celebrated Christmas as their real holiday and that infuriated me." Once again, her ignorance of the Christian minorities in Iran is transparent. Assyrians celebrate their own new year called Akitu, which our ancestors of antiquity would hold on the first day of the ancient Assyrian calendar Kha B'Nisan, which was the first day of the spring equinox. Nisan is the ancient Assyrian Akkadian word for "beginning"; and it is believed that the Persians adopted this celebration from the Assyrian-Babylonian people (please refer to "Akitu vs Newroz").

          After the Assyrians adopted Christianity in the first century A.D, our people slowly abandoned much of their nationalistic customs in favor of religious ones. Christianity had interwoven so deeply in the fabric of the Assyrian identity, so much that Assyrians identified themselves more by their religious affiliations than by their nationalistic identity Nestorian, Chaldean, Syriac. The late 19th century witnessed the rise of nationalist movements across the world; and Assyrians were not estranged to this phenomenon. A national consciousness began to emerge amongst the Assyrian populace, which subsequently garnered a resurrection of cultural customs such as the Assyrian New Year.

          Because Assyrians had long adopted the Gregorian calendar, we celebrate our new year on April 1st (Nisan now corresponds with April). This symbolizes an amalgamation of our cultural and religious traditions. Indeed, Assyrians never really celebrated the Persian New Year. It's not that we think less of Nowruz or Iranians in general, but rather we don't feel it is our holiday. I feel this is due primarily to two reasons: 1) as a tiny ethnic minority, it is essential that we withstand any assimilation into Iranian or Arab society as the only means to cultural survival; and 2) for generations, we have been treated as foreigners in our own home (does the word "najess" ring a bell?). This is a feeling I'm sure much of the Iranian Muslim population has rarely, if ever, experienced.

          In the next paragraph, Ms. Nemmati recounts the incident in which she called her friend a traitor for emphasizing her Armenian ethnicity above her Iranian nationality, and then proceeds to criticize those minorities that do not participate in Iranian events or causes. Here, I could not help but think of all the Iranians I know that consider me Iranian. I always tell them that I am an Assyrian first and foremost, and I have observed that a few of them take exception or feel a bit slighted that I emphasize the differentiation so much. It is as if I'm insulting them for emphasizing my Assyrian identity as paramount. The truth is I'm not at all attempting to insult, but the fact remains that I'm the first Assyrian each have met (understandably), and so they simply don't know or fathom why we find "being from Iran, or the term Iranian" a secondary distinction.

          While I recognize my parents' nationality is Iranian, since they were born and raised there, what then constitutes my nationality? There are two primary usages of the word nationality. One is the "the legal relationship between a person and a country", which is typically defined by place of birth and residence. The other applies to non-English speaking areas of the world as a synonym of ethnicity, because "the word nation can be defined as a grouping based on cultural self-determination rather than on relations with a state" (according to the definition of nationality). Based on the first definition, I would be British. I was born in Great Britain and I lived there for 7 years, and so does this make me British? I don't feel British in any way, considering that I left so young. Since then, I have lived in the United States, and so does this make me American? I do feel more American than British, and I relate more with American culture, although I look at things mostly through an Assyrian or Middle Eastern lens. So what does this make me: an Assyrian/British/Iranian/American?

          To me, this is all a matter of semantics. In the end of the day, I must ask myself: what best defines who I am? Of all those names, I clearly define myself as an Assyrian. I do feel I possess attributes of American, British, and Iranian cultures, but at the same time when taken independently, these three names fail to encompass my ethnicity, culture, mentality, religion, and other things that define an identity. As I noted earlier, Assyrians are raised to socially and cultural self-segregate themselves, although of course not physically, from the more dominant populations of which they are a part of for two primary reasons:

          1) as a defense against assimilation,

          and 2) we have been treated as foreigners in one way or another by others. Many Iranians have somehow deluded themselves to thinking that they have historically never discriminated against Jews, Christians, and others. It's about time Iranians recognize the abysmal treatment of non-Muslim minorities throughout the years. One can argue that the Iranian, Arab, and Ottoman-enforced segregation of religious minorities has been instrumental in helping Assyrians stem the tide of assimilation, but this topic is worthy of a separate, more substantial discussion.


          • #6
            Later on in the article, Ms. Nemmati scolds religious minorities for not helping an Iranian cultural or humanitarian cause. I believe her point is somewhat valid, but she fails to appreciate that the reasons for this are understandable. As smaller religious minorities, it is imperative that we support our own causes because no one else will. I can't expect a Muslim, let alone any non-Assyrian, to help uprooted Assyrians in northern Iraq and northern Syria. I can't expect a Muslim to donate to Bahai charities. Hell, I can't expect an Armenian or Jew to help causes such as dispossessed Assyrians living in the slums of Jordan after fleeing Iraq.

            As religious minorities, we have relied on ourselves for survival, and this mentality remains as necessary today in diaspora as it did when we were in Iran. After all, religious minorities are second-class people according to many of your Iranian countrymen, although I believe many Iranians in diaspora such as the writers and readers of this website have abandoned this mentality to a large degree. However for the record, the Assyrian American Association of Southern California did donate more than $1000 to the Bam relief effort, which unfortunately is a significant sum for this organization. Thus there are some Assyrians that have helped Iranian causes, and I challenge you to find an Iranian group that has done the same for us.

            In conclusion, I recognize that I am British, Iranian, American, and Assyrian. I am British in the sense that I was born there and lived there for 7 years, and that I possess British citizenship. I am Iranian in that generations of my family have lived there for centuries, and that my entire family, with the exception of me and my sister, are Iranian nationals. I am also an American, considering that I have lived here for nearly 17 years. I have adopted many of the cultural attributes that define an American, and I do feel I am American. Finally, I am also Assyrian for reasons I have mentioned before. However, the word Assyrian best encompasses my identity, and so I place this moniker foremost way above the other three. Unfortunately, ignorant people like Ms. Nemmati cannot see why.


            • #7
              سرزمين فلسطين كه در قديم كنعان نام داشت دارای 25000 كيلومترمربع مساحت و در ساحل شرقی دريای مديترانه و در مجاورت كشورهای مصر، سوريه، اردن و لبنان قرار دارد. فلسطين سرزمينی حاصلخيز و دارای آب و هوای معتدل است. اين منطقه محل ظهور پيامبران بزرگی چون عيسي(ع)، موسي(ع) و محل عبور و زندگانی حضرت ابراهيم(ع) بوده است و از نظر موقعيت ژئوپلتيك نيز بسيار حساس و استراتژيك است. شهر اورشليم يا بيت*المقدس قديم بر فراز تپه*هائی بنا گرديده كه با معبد يهوه بر بالای كوه مور يا قرار دارند. بيت*المقدس از مكان*های مهم فلسطين است كه كوه صهيون و كوه زيتون از شرق و غرب آن را احاطه كرده*اند. تاريخ پرماجرای فلسطين با نام و ياد انبياء سلف آغاز مي*شود. نام حضرت يعقوب، اسرائيل بود و بني*اسرائيل فرزندان يعقوب هستند كه حدود سيزده قرن قبل از ميلاد مقتدر بوده*اند و در هنگام حكومت فرعون بر مصر و پيش از ظهور موسي(ع)، اسرائيليان جمعيت انبوهی پيدا مي*كنند. چهارصد و سی سال پس از ورود يعقوب به مصر، حضرت موسي، قوم بني*اسرائيل را از سرزمين مصر برای بردن به ارض موعود، به حركت درآورد كه پيمودن اين مسافت چهل سال بطول انجاميد و حوادث عديده*ای اتفاق افتاد؛ از جمله آنكه وقتی موسي(ع) چهل روز از قوم خويش غايب شد تا الواح دهگانه را برای هدايت مردم بياورد، قوم وی دوباره به بت*پرستی روی آوردند كه بخاطر اين نافرمانی بود كه چهل سال در بيابان*ها سرگردان شدند و موسی در اين دوران طولانی از هدايت قوم فروگذار نكرد اما بني- اسرائيل بارها دست به طغيان و تجاوز زدند. پس از موسي(ع)، يوشع جانشين وی برای عبور دادن بني*اسرائيل از اردن مهيا شد و پس از آنكه اين قوم به شهرهای جديد رسيدند دست به غارت و كشتار اهالی زدند كه پادشاه اورشليم با شاهان پنج شهر ديگر متحد شده و با يوشع و بني*اسرائيل جنگيدند كه همگی شكست خورده و توسط بني*اسرائيل به دار آويخته شدند. اما قوم فلسطين در مقابل آنان مقاومت كرد و سرانجام بني*اسرائيل را مغلوب ساخت. طی چند جنگ خونين قوم فلسطين همواره بر آنان پيروز مي*شد اما پس از جنگ*های فراوان، سرانجام بني*اسرائيل قدرت گرفته و بر شهرها مسلط شدند و در حدود هزار سال پيش از ميلاد، حضرت داود توانست اورشليم را از دست فلسطينيان خارج كند و بيت*المقدس يا خانه خدا را در آنجا بنا كند، كه اين بنا توسط حضرت سليمان تكميل شد. بيت*المقدس، حدود 1100 سال پس از بنای كعبه در مكه به دست ابراهيم(ع) و 970 سال پيش از ميلاد مسيح ساخته شد. حضرت داود با چهارده نسل شجره*اش به حضرت ابراهيم بنيانگذار كعبه مي*رسد و به روايت انجيل متي، حضرت عيسي(ع) پس از بيست و هشت نسل، شجره*اش به داود ختم مي*شود و بدين ترتيب مكه (كعبه) حرم اول و مسجدالاقصی (قدس) حرم دوم موحدان گرديد. تابوت عهد: تابوت عهد كه به روايت مسلمين همان جعبه*ای است كه مادر موسی وی را در آن نهاد و روانه آب رود نيل ساخت و بعد، موسی الواح و زره و نشانه*های نبوت خويش را در آن قرار داد كه كسی مجاز به دست زدن بدان نبود و اين تابوت را در زمان حضرت داود پوششی از طلا در داخل و خارج آن كشيدند و آن را به كوه صهيون آوردند و برای نگهداری آن قربانگاهی بنا نمودند. اين تابوت مدتی به دست فلسطينيان فاتح افتاده بود كه دوباره آنرا به بني*اسرائيل بازگردادند و تا زمان حضرت سليمان در كوه صهيون نگهداری مي*شد اما پس از تكميل بنای بيت*المقدس تابوت را به قدس انتقال دادند. سليمان، چهل سال سلطنت كرد و آرامش را به قدس بازگردانيد اما پس از او، دوباره ظلم و غارت بني*اسرائيل آغاز شد. حدود هفتصد و سی سال پيش از ميلاد شلمنصر به اسرائيل تاخت و عده*ای از آنان را اسير كرد و بجای آنها بابليان را در سرزمين اسرائيليان اسكان داد و دوباره كشور يهود در زمان بخت النصر در سال 586 پيش از ميلاد مورد حمله اشوريان قرار گرفت كه منجر به انحطاط و اسارت بني*اسرائيل شد، پادشاهی يهود برانداخته شد و مردم اسرائيل پراكنده يا اسير بابل گشتند و مهاجمين معبد سليمان را ويران ساختند. با ورود بني*اسرائيل و قوم يهود به فلسطين در 480 سال پيش از بنای قدس (تقريباً 1300 سال قبل از ميلاد مسيح) به رهبری يوشع بن نون اين سرزمين روی خوشی نديده و تا اكنون كه 3300 سال مي*گذرد هنوز فلسطين به آرامش نگرائيده است. پيامبران بعدی يهود مانند: ارميا، اشعيا، دانيال (كه مزار او در شوش است) و ... كه شاهد ويرانی اورشليم و رنج و اسارت يهود بودند و آنان را دلداری مي*دادند، پيوسته وعده*ی رهائی و بشارت ظهور منجی بزرگ مي*دادند كه اشعار و سخنان آنان در عهد عتيق مضبوط است. در اين زمان كورش پادشاه هخامنشی از مشرق ظهور كرد و سرزمين*ها را يكی پس از ديگری مسخر خود مي*ساخت كه اين امر سبب خوشحالی يهود و رهبران آنها شد. سرانجام كورش، بابل را نيز تسخير كرد و يهود و بني*اسرائيل را آزاد ساخت و به فلسطين و اورشليم بازگرداند. كورش با همه اقوام و مذاهب مدارا مي*كرد و به دستور او خانه خدا دوباره بازسازی شد. آسايش اورشليم تا پايان سلطنت داريوش سوم ادامه داشت تا اينكه اسكندر مقدونی در حدود 323 سال پيش از ميلاد، حمله به ايران، مصر، سوريه، و فنيقيه و فلسطين را آغاز كرد و ويراني*ها و قتل و غارت فراوانی به بار آورد و گنجينه*های ايران را به غارت برد. او به انتقام ويران كردن آتن توسط خشايار شاه، تخت جمشيد را به آتش كشيد و امرای خود را حاكم بر شهرهای فتح شده گردانيد. پس از اسكندر، جانشينان او بر فلسطين مسلط شدند. از سال 63 قبل از ميلاد، دوره تسلط روميان آغاز شد كه پس از جنگ*های فراوان، بر ارمنستان و قسمتی از آسيا و آفريقا و سپس سوريه و فلسطين حمله بردند، دوازده هزار يهودی را كشتند و ديوارهای شهر را ويران ساختند. در چنان شرايطی برای يهوديان، ظهور مسيح اميد و آرزوی مردمان آن ديار بود تا آنان را نجات بخشد. عيسي(ع) هنگامی كه از ناصره واقع در استان جليل (موطن اصلی خود و خانواده*اش) همراه با شاگردانش (حواريون) به سوی اورشليم به حركت درآمد كرامات فراوانی از وی ظاهر شد كه در كتب انجيل به تفصيل آمده است. حضرت عيسي(ع) به معبد رفت و همه روزه به تعليم و تعلم مي*پرداخت به همين دليل، ملايان يهود بدو حسادت ورزيده و مي*خواستند او را از ميان بردارند. سرانجام به فتوای شورای يهود جو سازي*های شديد آنان، حضرت عيسي(ع) توسط حكمران رومی سرزمين يهودا (كه اتفاقاً اين حكمران به مسيح علاقمند بود) اعدام و مصلوب شد. البته قران كريم، مصلوب شدن عيسی را نفی كرده و مي*گويد خداوند او را به سوی خويش بالا برد، مسيح را نه كشتند و نه بر دار كشيدند بلكه بر آنها اينگونه مشتبه شده است. در هر حال مسيح جاودانه شد و پيروان فراوانی يافت. حكام رومی كه نسبت به مسيح ابراز علاقه مي*نمودند از آن پس در مورد يهوديان سختگيري*های زيادی اعمال كردند كه منجر به شورش*های زيادی از سوی يهوديان و كشتار وسيع آنان بوسيله روميان شد. در سال هفتاد ميلادي، تيتوس فرزند امپراطور روم با هشتاد هزار سرباز، اورشليم را محاصره كرد و پس از چند ماه مقاومت يهوديان، سرانجام روميان فاتح شدند و قوم يهود دوباره آواره شدند. حدود سيصد سال پس از مصلوب ساختن مسيح كه كنستانتين (قسطنطنيه كبير 337-306 م) امپراطور روم دين مسيح را پذيرفت و اين مذهب را رسمی اعلام كرد، دوباره به اورشليم توجه خاصی شد. چون بيت*اللحم را زادگاه مسيح و محلی مي*دانستند كه قبر او را در خود دارد از اين پس، اورشليم مركزيتی برای مسيحيت نيز گرديد و كليساهای زيادی ساخته شد. از سال 135 ميلادی تا بيش از پنج قرن فقط عده قليل و انگشت شماری يهودی در بيت*المقدس زندگی مي*كردند. در زمان خسرو دوم پادشاه ساساني، جنگ ميان امپراطوری ايران و روم از 604 تا 630 ميلادی به وقوع پيوست كه سپاهيان ايران روم را شكست داده و با راهنمائی يهوديانی كه با ايران همكاری مي*كردند اورشليم (فلسطين) را فتح كردند اما پس از مرگ خسرو پرويز، اين سرزمين دوباره به دست مسيحيان افتاد.


              • #8
                Arabic and Assyrian are the two Semitic languages spoken in Iran. The Arabic dialects are spoken in Khuzestan and along the Persian Gulf coast. They are modern variants of the older Arabic that formed the base of the classical literary language and all the colloquial languages of the Arabic-speaking world. As a Semitic language, Arabic is related to Hebrew, Syriac, and Ethiopic. Like these other Semitic languages, Arabic is based on three-consonant roots, whose meanings vary according to the combinations of vowels that are used to separate the consonants. Written Arabic often is difficult to learn because of the tendency not to indicate short vowels by diacritical marks. There is no linguistic family relationship between Arabic and Persian, although Persian vocabulary has been heavily influenced by Arabic. The Arabic loanwords incorporated into Persian have been modified to fit the Persian sound patterns. Arabic also continues to be the language of prayer of all Muslims in Iran. Children in school learn to read the Quran in Arabic. Persian- and Turkic-speaking Iranians who have commercial interests in the Persian Gulf area often learn Arabic for business purposes.

                In 1986 there were an estimated 530,000 Arabs in Iran. A majority lived in Khuzestan, where they constituted a significant ethnic minority. Most of the other Arabs lived along the Persian Gulf coastal plains, but there also were small scattered tribal groups living in central and eastern Iran. About 40 percent of the Arabs were urban, concentrated in such cities as Abadan, Ahvaz, and Khorramshahr. The majority of urban Arab adult males were unskilled workers, especially in the oil industry. Arabs also worked in commerce and services, and there was a small number of Arab professionals. Some urban Arabs and most rural Arabs are tribally organized. The rural Arabs of Khuzestan tend to be farmers and fishermen. Many of the Arabs who live along the Persian Gulf coastal plains are pastoral nomads who keep herds of cattle, sheep, and camels.

                Both the urban and the rural Arabs of Khuzestan are intermingled with the Persians, Turks, and Lurs who also live in the province. The Khuzestan Arabs are Shias. While this physical and spiritual closeness has facilitated intermarriage between the Arabs and other Iranians, the Arabs have tended to regard themselves as separate from non-Arabs and have usually been so regarded by other Iranians. Among the Khuzestan Arabs there has been a sense of ethnic solidarity for many years. The government of neighboring Iraq, both before and after the 1979 Revolution in Iran, has claimed that the Khuzestan Arabs are discriminated against and has asserted at various times that it has assisted those desiring "liberation" from Tehran. When Iraq invaded Iran in 1980 and occupied much of Khuzestan for nearly two years, however, an anticipated uprising of the Arab population did not occur, and most of the local Arabs fled the area along with the non-Arab population.

                Apart from Khuzestan there is little sense of ethnic unity among the scattered Arab settlements. The Arabs in the area stretching from Bushehr to Bandar-e Abbas tend to be Sunnis. This has helped to strengthen their differentiation from most non-Arab Iranians and even from the Arabs of Khuzestan.

                The other Semitic people of Iran are the Assyrians, a Christian group that speaks modern dialects of Assyrian, an Aramaic language that evolved from old Syriac. Language and religion provide a strong cohesive force and give the Assyrians a sense of identity with their coreligionists in Iraq, in other parts of the Middle East, and also in the United States. Most Assyrians adhere to the Assyrian Church of the East (sometimes referred to as the Chaldean Church or Nestorian Church). Many theologians regard this church as the oldest in Christendom. In the nineteenth century, Protestant and Roman Catholic missionaries proselytized among the Assyrians and converted many of them.

                There were about 32,000 Assyrians in Iran at the time of the 1976 census. Many of them emigrated after the Revolution in 1979, but at least 20,000 were estimated still to be living in Iran in 1987. The traditional home of the Assyrians in Iran is along the western shore of Lake Urmia. During World War I virtually the entire Assyrian population fled the area, which had become a battleground for opposing Russian and Turkish armies. Thousands of Assyrians perished on the overland flight through the Zagros to the safety of British-controlled Iraq. Eventually, many of the Iranian Assyrians settled among the Assyrian population of Iraq or emigrated to the United States. During the reign of Reza Shah, Assyrians were invited back to Iran to repopulate their villages. A few thousand did return, but, since the 1940s, most young Assyrians have migrated to Tehran and other urban centers.


                • #9
                  از رهبر تشكيل دهنده اتحاديه طايفه هاي مادي ، با نامهاي " ديااكو" ، " ديوك " و يا " دياكو " ياد شده است . او با حمايت گسترده مردم منطقه، توفيق يافت تا از مجموعه سرزمينهاي كه بر هر يك رئيس و شاهكي حكومت مي راند در فاصله 788 ق.م. و به اعتبار ديگر 767 تا 745 ق.م. در منطقه وسيعي كه شامل ماد كوچك ، مركزي و شرقي مي شد، دولتي را پي ريزي كند كه در قرن هفتم پيش از ميلاد تا دو دهه آغازين قرن ششم ق.م. بزرگترين پادشاهي نيرومند زمان گردد.
                  مدت زماني پس از شكست دياكو از سارگن شاه آشور ، فرزند و جانشين او كه نامش به گونه هاي مختلفي ، چون فرورتيش ، خشتريته ، كشتريتي وفرائورتس ياد شده است ، قدرت رهبري رابه دست گرفت ودر 3-672 ق.م. در برابر آشوريها به پا خاست . حدود دو دهه بعد ، بر اثر قدرت طلبي رهبران سكاهاي آريايي در جهت كسب مقام رهبري اتحاديه و منطقه ، نزديك يك ربع قرن ، يعني 652 تا 585 ق.م. با توانمندي به ساماندهي حكومت و جذب دولتهاي مختلف كوچك وبزرگ پرداخت كه در واقع ميتوان او را نقش آفرين دوران گسترش و شكل گيري پادشاهي ماد به شمار آورد . بنابر قول هرودوت، او طي نبردي سران سكاييان را به اطاعت وادار كرد ( در حدودسالهاي 613 و 612 ق.م. ). دولت ماناي تا قبل از 610ق.م. سلطنت كياكسار را به رسميت شناخت و خود جزئي از دولت ماد گرديد . دولت اورارتو نيز در آغاز دهه آخر قرن هفتم ق.م. رهبري كياكسار را پذيرفت و جزئي از كشور ماد گرديد . هم در زمان هوخشتره ( كياكسار )، سرزمين پارس به بخشي از سرزمينهاي دولت بزرگ ماد ، تبديل گرديد و هوخشتره فرمانروايي پارس را بر عهده كمبوجيه پدر گوروش بزرگ واگذاشت. به اعتباري ، لوح سيمين " آريارمنه " در همين زمان به وسيله هوخشتره به هگمتانه پايتخت مادها انتقال يافت . همزمان با اين رويدادهاي مهم و فراهم آمدن موجبات شكل گيري دولت بزرگ ماد ، با پيوستن اتحاديه هاي طايفه أي و دولتهاي كوچك و بزرگ مستقر در فلات ايران كه از هبستگيهاي فرهنگي ديرينه برخوردار بودند ، هوخشتره زمان را براي در هم شكستن حكومت متجاوز و خونريزآشور كه طي چند قرن با يورشهاي پي در پي ، به ويرانگري و كشتارهاي وحشتناك در بخش وسيعي از فلات پرداخته بود ، مناسب ديد . از مدتي پيش ، ميان بابل و آشور درگيريهاي صورت گرفته بود ، ولي بابلي ها كاري از پيش نبرده بودند . با توجه به تمامي زمينه ها ، كياكسار نيروهاي خود را با عبوراز گردنه هاي زاگرس به ايالت " آراپخاي " بالاتر از نينوا ، رسانيد و بعد از تسخير شهر " طربيس " از دجله گذشت و تا شهر مشهور " آشور " پيش راند و آن را به تصرف در آورد . پس از آن ، بابلي ها دولت ماد را در آستانه در هم شكستن قطعي آشور ديدند ، بر اساس توافقهاي پيشين ، به ياري مادها آمدند و با هم به محاصره " نينوا " پرداختند . در ماه اوت 612 پيش از ميلاد ، نينوا سقوط كرد و به دوران حكومت خشن ترين قدرت زمان ، پايان داده شد.

                  سقوط نينوا و از ميان برداشته شدن دولت آشور ، از جمله رويدادهايي است كه مورد استقبال فراوان همه ساكنان سرزمينهاي مجاور آن كشور كه لطمه هاي بسيار از آن ديده بودند ، قرار گرفت .
                  كياكسار براي آنكه بار ديگر آشور سربلند نكند ، بازمانده نيروهاي آشوري را كه به "حران " رفته بودند، در هم كوفت و در نتيجه سراسر بين النهرين شمالي و تمامي كشور آشور و از جمله ، ناحيه سيرو مدي يا " سوريه ماد " را به كشور ماد ملحق گردانيد.
                  هوخشتره بعد از پيروزي درخشان برآشور ، به سوي غرب راند و با دولت ليدي ( Lydia ) مدت پنج سال به نبرد پرداخت . سرانجام ، بر اثر پادرمياني بخت نصر پادشاه بابل ميان دو دولت صلح برقرار گرديدو رود قزل ايرماق با " هاليس " به عنوان مرز دو كشور و به عبارتي ، غربي ترين مرز پادشاهي ماد تعيين شده . در اين هنگام مادها از جنوب غربي با كشور بابل هم مرز بودند و از سوي شمال ، سراسر سرزمين " وان " يا ارمنستان جزئي از كشور ماد به شمار مي رفت .
                  هرودوت ( در مجله يكم ، بند 104 ) يادآور شده است كه " خاك ماد " با سرزمين " ساسپيريان " ( يعني قبايل ايبري و گرجي ) هم مرز بود. در مورد سرزمين " كادوسيان " و " ماردان " يا گيلان و مازندران و نيز ايلام ، برخي از مورخان با شك و ترديد سخن گفته اند، در حالي كه در نوشته هاي كهن به پيوستگي آنها با ماد اشاره شده است . از جمله " كتزياس " درباره كادوسي ها اشاره دارد كه آنان تا كمي به پايان دوران دولت ماد ، جزيي از آن كشور بوده اند . در مورد ايلام نيز بايد گفت كه سرزمين مزبور ، دست كم بعد از سقوط قدرت آشور نمي توانسته است به صورت مستقل باقي مانده و جزيي از سرزمين ماد نشده باشد.
                  ديا كونوف در بحث مربوط به ساتراپهاي دولت ماد در عهد آستياك ( فرزند هوخشتره ) سرزمينهاي زير را نيز ، افزون بر آنچه گفته شده ، به عنوان ساتراپهايي از كشور ماد ياد مي كند :
                  - در نگيانا و كارمان و ميكيان (شامل سيستان، كرمان وبخشي از مكران وغرب افغانستان تا خط هرات قندهار )
                  - ناحيه " پاريكانيان و حبشيان آسيايي " يا مكران بلوچستان كنوني .
                  - پارت وهيركانيه ، مسلما" ، آره يا وسغديانا به احتمال ولي گمان نمي رود تماما، و خوارزم به ظن بسيار ضعيف .
                  هرودوت به تسخير اين سرزمينها توسط فرورتيش اشاره دارد . از اين رو مي توان به ظن قوي گفت كه حدود ماد از طرف مشرق تا " باختر " وجيحون امتداد داشته است .


                  • #10
                    Kurds remove Arabs and Assyrians thru violence

                    There are fears that Iraq's northern city of ***kuk will be a hot spot for increased violence following a mass influx of Kurds into the city in a bid to reverse the Arabisation policy of the government of ousted president Saddam Hussein.

                    "People are dying every day in ***kuk because everyone wants to control the city, which over the years was under the Sunni Arabs and the Turkmen. In the past two years, it has come into Kurdish hands," said Saleh Younis, political analyst and spokesperson for North Political and Sociological Group (NPSG), a local organisation that monitors political tension in northern Iraq.

                    ***kuk, some 250km north of Baghdad, is historically an ethnically mixed city populated by Kurds, Turkmen, Assyrians, Arabs and Armenians. However, its rich oilfields have been a major sticking point that has pitted Arabs [Sunni and Shi'ite] and Turkmen against the Kurds, who refer to the city as the 'Kurdish Jerusalem'.

                    Some 70 percent of Iraq's oil-fields are in ***kuk and the city is, therefore, vital to the country's economy.

                    Arabs, many of whom were Shi'ite, settled in ***kuk as a result of incentives that were offered by Saddam's former government. When the government fell on 9 April, 2003, Kurdish refugees returned to the city and insisted that it was Kurdish.

                    As a result, many Arabs were forced to leave ***kuk, despite Sunni and Shi'ite Arab leaders asking them not to. Areas that were once 80 percent Arab became 80 percent Kurd. In the process of the Kurds' reversal of the Arabisation of ***kuk, thousands of Arabs and Turkmen were killed, analysts said. Tensions are still high.

                    Analysts said that the next 18 months will be crucial for ***kuk's future as this will be decided by a census and a referendum that are scheduled to take place there at the end of 2007. The referendum, in particular, should settle the question of whether ***kuk will be annexed to the semi-autonomous Kurdistan region.

                    "Tensions are on the rise because of Kurdish ambitions to have a referendum in ***kuk within a year and in other areas they claim as well," said Joost Hiltermann, Middle East Project Director for International Crisis Group (ICG).

                    Tensions between Turkmen and Kurds:

                    Nearly 100,000 Kurds have returned to ***kuk since the US-led invasion of Iraq in 2003, according to ICG.

                    The ICG reported that in addition to the returning Kurds who were expelled in the 1980s, other Kurds were also arriving with them to swell Kurdish numbers in the city.

                    "The population of ***kuk governorate in 2003 was 850,000. Today it is 1,150,000. Where did these 300,000 additional persons come from? Let's say this number is equal to 50,000 families. Only 10,000 Kurdish families were expelled under the old regime. Where do these additional 40,000 families come from?" ICG's report asked.

                    For Turkmen - who were in the majority in the city 50 years ago, according to some demographic analysts - the annexation of ***kuk by Kurdistan will further dilute their power and increase violence. Tension between Kurds and Turkmen has risen already and has been responsible for the killing of dozens of people every week.

                    The local Turkmen have said that the international community should intervene and protect them. Many of their families have fled the city after a serious upsurge of violence.

                    "We are in the middle of a major crisis. Our children cannot go to schools, medical assistance is hard to come by as there is violence even in hospitals and a large number of our people are unemployed," Abu Mounir, 45, a Turkmen resident said.

                    Security deterioration:

                    Security in ***kurk deteriorated following the killing of Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, former leader of al-Qa'eda in Iraq. "A number of his group seem to have moved to ***kuk to foment ethnic trouble, capitalising on the divisions that exist, and create chaos," Hiltermann said.

                    In the past two months, the city has witnessed the bloodiest violence since the US-led invasion in 2003.

                    "Most of the killings were a result of ethnic tensions. Each community wants power but unfortunately the Turkmen do not occupy positions of authority and [they] lack weapons, making them the main victims of the violence in ***kuk," said Lt. Col. Khalif Mashhadanny, a senior member of the local police.

                    He added that most of the 1,000 killings in ***kuk over the past four months were due to tension between Kurds and Turkmen.

                    Kurds are pinning their hopes on the implementation of Article 140 of the Iraqi Constitution, which aims to reverse the Arabisation policy in ***kuk by normalising the city's situation.

                    "The implementation of Article 140 in ***kuk will mean the total loss of power of Turkmen who have already been killed by Kurds who want to seize control," said Jamal Shann, deputy head of the Iraqi Turkmen Front (ITC) in ***kuk.

                    "This Article should not be implemented. We will do whatever is possible not to let our community lose its last vestiges of power in the government," Shann said.

                    According to Hiltermann, the solution to the ***kuk problem mostly depended on what role the international community would take in at least defusing the crisis by postponing the referendum on ***kuk and establishing a mechanism for addressing it.

                    Bassam ***dar, a spokesperson for Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK), said that Kurds were not for the destruction of ***kuk or for the killing of minorities but they just wanted to claim their rights by getting back what Saddam's government had taken from them.

                    "We will make sure that ***kuk is in our hands through Article 140 because it is our right since we are the majority in ***kuk and Turkmen and other minorities should accept this to prevent violence and preserve the integrity of the city," ***dar said.


                    • #11
                      List of Assyrian tribes

                      The ancient tribes in this List of Assyrian tribes still exist today. Most were established after the fall of the Assyrian Empire in 612 BCE. For most ancient civilizations, tribes were important precursors of nations. The Assyrians were no exception.

                      The Assyrian tribes trace their roots back to the geographical area known today as Northern Iraq, centered around Hakkari in Turkey and Urmi in Iran.

                      The tribes each had their own leaders, both civil and religious. Like all tribes they contained clans, which in turn contained villages and the villages had family groups.

                      Tribes include:

                      Albaq Tribe

                      Barwar Tribe

                      Baz Tribe

                      Botan Tribe

                      Chal Tribe

                      Diz Tribe

                      Gawar Tribe

                      Halim Tribe

                      Jelu Tribe

                      Kasran Tribe

                      Mazar Tribe

                      Minianish Tribe

                      Nochiya Tribe

                      Qochanis Tribe

                      Salamas Tribe

                      Taimar Tribe

                      Tkhuma Tribe

                      Tyari (Lower) Tribe

                      Tyari (Upper) Tribe

                      Urmi Tribe

                      Walto Tribe


                      • #12
                        Intersting Information . . thanks for sharing. .

                        { иooяiє kнояѕнєєδ ~


                        • #13
                          Thanx agha Siamak.


                          • #14
                            3 women found dead in Chicago apartments

                            CHICAGO - Three women were found bludgeoned to death with a hammer in two apartments on the city's far North Side, and police had a suspect in custody Sunday.

                            Officers found the bodies after they were called to a domestic dispute Saturday morning.

                            They also found a man hitting himself on the head with a blunt object, apparently trying to kill himself, police spokeswoman Monique Bond said. The 56-year-old man was hospitalized in police custody and was in fair condition early Sunday, authorities said.

                            No charges had been filed by early Sunday.

                            Police Officer Hector Alfaro said investigators learned that the suspect had quarreled with his wife and her stepsister at their home, had apparently bludgeoned them and then went around the corner to his in-laws' house, where he apparently attacked his mother-in-law.

                            Authorities did not release the name of the victims, but neighbors and friends identified two of the women as Karmin Khooshabeh, 44, and her stepsister, Karolin Khooshabeh, 40. They said the third victim was their 60-year-old mother.

                            Karmin Khooshabeh was the arrested man's wife, said Robert Estrepaniance, who is Karolin Khooshabeh's neighbor and former husband. The couple had been having marital problems, he said.

                            Estrepaniance said the family was Assyrian Christian, a minority group in Iran,Iraq, Turkey and Syria. He said he and his former wife had fled Iran in 1995, fearing persecution for their faith. Her parents came to the United States about four years ago, and the family arranged for Karmin Khooshabeh and her husband to immigrate about three months ago, he said.

                            Chicago's Assyrian community about 100,000 is one of the largest in the country.


                            • #15
                              CHICAGO, Illinois (AP) -- An Iranian immigrant accused of using a three-pound hammer to beat his wife, sister-in-law and mother-in-law to death and then repeatedly stabbing them told police that the women had "disrespected" him, authorities said Monday.

                              After the attack, Daryoush Ebrahimi, 55, struck himself several times on the head with the same hammer in an apparent attempt to kill himself, said Police Cmdr. Thomas Byrne. Police also found a 12-inch knife investigators believe was used in the attacks.

                              "It was a very difficult scene, and that would be indicative of that type of anger," Byrne said of the two apartments where the bodies were found Saturday on the city's far North Side.

                              Ebrahimi told investigators after the attacks that "the women had disrespected him and told him he was not a man," Assistant State's Attorney Sanju Oommen said.

                              Police found cell phone video messages and a letter that Ebrahimi left at one of the apartments, Byrne said. The FBI was helping translate the messages and letter, which are in Farsi.

                              "Right now I wouldn't say it's a suicide note ... but it's more about, again, how he feels disrespected, and that's pretty much a (recurring) theme in the note," Byrne said.

                              Ebrahimi told police at the scene and hospital officials that he had killed the women, authorities said.

                              A phone call to the public defender's office Monday afternoon went unanswered.

                              Ebrahimi was charged with first-degree murder in the deaths of his wife, Karmin Koshabeh, 44; his sister-in-law, Karolin Khooshabeh, 40; and his 60-year-old mother-in-law, Ileshvah Eyvazimooshabad. He appeared in court Monday afternoon and a judge denied a request for bail.

                              Koshabeh and Khooshabeh were found in an apartment in the city's West Rogers Park neighborhood, and Eyvazimooshabad was found in an apartment around the corner.

                              Detectives believe Ebrahimi killed his wife around 2 a.m. Saturday, then called and "lured" his sister-in-law to the same apartment around 6 a.m., Byrne said. He then went to his mother-in-law's apartment and attacked her, returning to the bodies of his wife and sister-in-law to call 911, Byrne said.

                              Ebrahimi also called another family member, who notified police, Byrne said.

                              Ebrahimi and his wife and daughter arrived in the United States on November 29, 2006 from Iran and are refugees of Assyrian descent, said Chicago Police Cmdr. David Sobczyk.