Assyrians of Kirkuk
1930's to 2010
The depressive conditions under which our people lived before they were forced to flee their home land in Hakari and Urmia, deprived them from the ability to establish their own schools and at least teach their own language to their children. This situation lasted for centuries until it created an illetrate people.
However, with the arrival of the western missionaries to the Assyrian Villages in mid 19th century, they built schools and established printing presses. The Assyrians rushed to these schools to gain knowledge. Towards the end of 19th century, they had their own periodicals, and many books were printed, including the Bible in both the classical and modern Assyrian language. The history tells us that many Assyrian became highly knowledgeable in many fields.
These facts are outstanding proofs that by the vertue of their nature, the Assyrians are people of knowledge and wisdom. It is most unfortunate that the start of World War I put an end to the progress of their awareness. They were driven away from their homeland and took refuge in other places, thousands of miles away from their original homeland. However, after the majority of the Assyrians settled in Iraq, they thought of establishing their own schools in different towns and villages. It is worth mentioning that some of the schools had a very high reputation. To name few of such schools, we mention the Assyrian School established by Rev. Yousip bet Kalaita in Mosul, Rev. Khando School in Baghdad, The Assyrian School of Rev. Isaac Rehana de Garden in Kirkuk, and the Assyrian School of Rev. Odisho d’beth Benyamin in Sarsang. These four schools were the nueclear of a generation that paved the way to produce a high class of learned men. The school established by Rabbi Yacoub in Henaydi near Baghdad, and finally moved to Habbaniya, added a great effect to the English language education only to some of our people.
Below we give a short introduction about the Assytain School that was established in Kirkuk.
THE ASSYRIAN SCHOOL in KIRKUK was one of those few that were established in Iraq (1928); after the 1st World War when a majority of the Assyrian refugees from Hakkari and Persia who escaped massacre were resettled and scattered in Iraq. The School in Kirkuk (Karka de b’Slokh) was administered by the late Rev. Isaac Rehana de Garden and some other young men until 1933 (the sad year of another Assyrian tragedy - the massacre of Assyrians in the village of Semmel.) It was the year 1933 when Rev. Isaac was deported to Cyprus on national political reasons, where he joined the late H.H. Mar Eashy Shimon and his family who were also deported to the same island and for the same reasons. Rev. Isaac Rehana was born on Sept. 15, 1909 in Istanbul, Turkey, he passed away on April 10, 1997 in Turlock, California as a retired Priest.
In 1933 after the deportation of the late Rev. Rehana, the administration of the SCHOOL was taken over by late Rev. Khoshaba Khamis together with a group of volunteers. Rev. Khoshaba Khamis passed away on December 24, 1949. The School was operating as a semi-official “Assyrian School” until 1948.
The late Raabi Gabriel N. Babilla was born on April 1st, 1898 in the Assyrian village of Sangar (Uremia.) In 1913, at the age of 15 he left his family and homeland to pursue better educational and economic opportunities in Canada and US for 19 years. In 1918 his father was massacred together with thousands of other Assyrians in Persia as a result of these tragic events his return home was delayed until 1932. In 1936 he came to Kirkuk with his wife Sophia and daughter Victoria and began to teach English and Assyrian at the Assyrian School until his death in 1957. In 1937 he was ordained a deacon for the Church of the East.
Rabi Gibriel was not only a Teacher in various languages, but he was at the same time an excellent writer, composer, director and translator from English, Arabic, Turkish, Persian into Assyrian, he was fluent in Armenian as well. The English plays he translated were mostly Shakespearean, some of his plays are mentioned here.
During 1940s to 1950s many students from different ethnic backgrounds, such as Armenians, Turkomen, Kurdish, Yezidies, Arabs and Assyrians attended evening English classes at the Assyrian School under the supervision of Raabi Gabriel.
In early 1940, the drama “SHYLOCK” was translated into Assyrian language by Raabi Gabriel and was produced by Raabi Akhtiyar Benyamin. The Drama was played at the Stage of the Armenian School. The Cast were Brimon Abraham, Aprim Mando, Lazar Petros, Siron Michael, Victoria Khisto, Maro (Maral) Shaul Gewargis, etc.
During 1940s, the late Sh. Gewargis Benyamin formed the first Church Choir for the Ancient Church of the East in Kirkuk from among the Assyrian School students attending Sunday school. He also held Assyrian and English language evening classes until his assignment and transfer to Mosul Petroleum Company (Ain Zalah). Sh. Gewargis, prior to his departure from Kirkuk, he handed over all his activities - the Sunday school in particular to Sh. Youkhana Moshe.
During 1940s as well, Raabi Adonia Elias and his wife Raabi Emma played a big role in producing and directing successful Plays (Drama). One of the Plays was ‘Hamlet Prince of Denmark’ which was staged at the Armenian School on April 4, 1946. The Cast were: Alfred Isaac, Youaw Baijan, Raabi Emma, Seron Michael, Adam Stephan, Baba Adams, Ashur Michael, William Benyamin, Youkhana Younathan, Andrews Yacoub, Issa Morado, etc.
On July 8, 1944 a play titled ‘Merchant of Venice’ was staged at the Armenian School. The Cast were: Shaul (Shawo) Aziz, Youab Baijan, Lazar Petros, Yousip Kharzo, John Youkhana, Geddon Adai, Youkhana Nadir, Seron Michael, Maral Baijan, Aprim Mando, Victoria Khishto, Shaul Darmo, Joan Khezakia, Yousip Youkhana. The Play was produced by Raabi Akhteyar Benyamin and was directed by Raabi Brimon Abraham.
In 1948 the SCHOOL was registered at the Ministry of Education and thereby it was officially called the same name, i.e. ‘Assyrian Elementary Private School,’ by the then Principal of the School RAABI DAVID ISMAIL.) The Committee members were: Messrs Atto Paris, Brimon Abraham, Youash Iskander, Isaac Khamis, Baba (Bob) Adams, etc. In 1948, the late Aprim B. Suparkhan designed the Assyrian School LOGO that appears on the reunion stationery and the cover of the Reunion Guest Directory/Ad. Books. In 1950s there was a group of the School students who were studying to become Deacons for the Church of the East. Among the students is Robert I. Baba. Seated from L-R are: Raabi Atto Paris, Rev. Eshay, H.B. Mar Yousip and Deacon Khanania (H.H. Mar Dinkha.)
As soon as the School building in Almas District was purchased in Summer of 1950, necessary renovations started to take place by voulunteers under the direct supervision of Mr. Paulos Odha using the Cement that was shipped in by Raabi David K. Abrahams and the Bricks that were donated by Mr. Paulos himself. The first project was to pave the play-ground, followed by a nice stage with revolving walls and a make-up room on one side and another for changing/storage on the other side. Later on, two new classrooms on the roof were built.
In the beginning the mentioned building was used as Church and until the new Mar Gewargis (St. George) Church was built behind the school. It was during 1950s after the completion of the work in the school by the volunteers; they started thinking in establishing an organized committee under the name of ‘Seeta Hayeranta d’Madrashta Atouraita’ some of these volunteers enrolled in this Committee.
The last Shakespearean play ‘Demon and Pities’ by the late Raabi Gabriel Babilla and directed by the late Raabi Brimon Abraham, was staged at the Assyrian School Kirkuk located in Beglar quarter during the Summer of 1950, for two consecutive nights and in Baghdad ‘King Faisal II Hall’ on February 3, 1951. The Cast were: Nathaniel (Khona) Daniel, Youaw Toma, Romie, Wilson Paul Odha, Baba (Bob) Adams, Albert David, Ruswaina Yousip, Shaul Khzeran, Maria Yousif, Awisha Z. Lazar, Teddy Shmoiel, Shlimon Khishto, Siron Michael, Kiryakos Esho, Youaw B. Peara and Matte Petros.
On Sept. 9, 1955 a play titled ‘Rokha d’Yimma’ by Youaw Toma, directed by Raabi Andrews Khamo (Bakoore), the play was staged at the School. The cast were all among the members of the Seeta Hayaranta and two kids (Rachel Akhtyar and Paul Toma.)
Each year, on May 2nd being the Coronation of Kirkuk Faisal II, Seeta Hayaranta d’Madrashta Atouraita held an annual picnic day for the Assyrian Community in Kirkuk in one of the Zab forests. The Last picnic was held on May 2nd 1958, thereafter, no other picnics were held on that day due to a bloody coup-de’tat on July 14, 1958.
This Committee did a lot of functions for the community in Kirkuk, proceeds of which helped the School. To name a few of these funcations: Picnics, Bazaars, Parties, Plays at least 2/3 a year. To name some of the Volunteers in the mentioned Committee: Messrs Brimon Abraham, Atto Paris, Gewargis M. Zaia, Seron Michael, Shmoiel Baba, Eshay Askar, Adam Oshana, Younan Rowel, Alfanso and Johnson Zarip, John Aziz, Youaw Toma, Youaw Baijan, Shaul, Hawel and Simando Khzeran, Ablahad Lazar, Awia Karam, Baba Adams, Daniel Youkhana, Glades Mircko, Rome, Ruswaina Yousip, Shmaiel and Shemi Shimon, Aprim Khishto, Andrews Gewargis, Khona Daniel, Alfred David, Kiryakos Esho, Shlemon David, Edward Latchen, Edward Anayel, Ablahad Lazar, Napoleon Lazar, Shaul Simon, Philimon Darmo, Matti Petros, Gewargis Shimon, Toma Younadam, Shimshon Youkhana, Teddy Shmoiel, Teddy Yousip, Norman David, Andrews (Bakoori,) Yousip Shimshon, Yousip Youkhana, Aleksan Yousip, Glades Mircko, Abraham Khezan, Youkhana Younathan, Sancherib Marcus, Jannette (wife Stephan Mirza,) Awisha Zekaria, Youel Toma, Albert I. Baba, Albert Aslan, etc.
The Committee under the name of Seeta Hayaranta was dissolved in 1959, and was replaced by an elected committee from among the parents which was officially called ‘The Council of Parents and Teachers’, the elected names had to be approved by the Directorate of Education.
To name some of the Volunteers who did participate in the ‘The Council of Parents and Teachers” until its closure in 1975:
Emmanuel S. Youkhana, Adam Oshana, Youkhana Younathan, Seron Michael, Awisha Z. Lazar, Stephan Yousip, Sh. Youkhana Moshe, Awikam George, Matte Petros, Moshi Marcus, George Soto, Khezakia Israel, Awia Kasso, Eshaya Hormiz, Khoshaba Cambar, John Khoshaba, Opar Shabo, Arsan Khezaqia, Awia Nissan, Emmanuel S. Dinkha, Younan Elias, Sargon Michael, Sh. Mansour Rouel, Youshia Arkhewam, Freidon Mirza, Menan Polos, Fraidon Shaul, Regina Dinkha, Robert I. Baba, Sargon Yousif, Sh. Atanasos Yousif, Raabi Paul Issa etc.
In 1967 the School committee submitted a request to the General Manager of I.P.C. asking for two Buses for the school children. The request was accepted and two Buses were bought for a very cheap price. The Buses were a pride for the School and provided a great help for the Assyrian community, i.e. Church, Sports Club, etc. The Drivers for these Buses, were Arminak Murad and Bahram. Volunteer Mechanics were Polos Younan, Mansour, Ezaria Essa and Shimon Shero.
During school term 1966/67, the Assyrian School Kirkuk student EMMANUEL ERAMIA (a refugee from North of Iraq) held the FIRST PLACE in the State of Kirkuk passing 100% in the Final Baccalaureate examinations among hundreds of Public and Private Elementary Schools. (A Photo of Emmanuel Eramia is needed! anybody knows where Emmanuel is kindly call this WebSite
On July 13, 1968 the authorities, in response to some complaints from inside of our community, the gates of the School were locked and sealed.
The Council members, i.e. the President Stephan Yousif, V/P Awisha Z. Lazar and the Secretary Khezakia Israel, after receiving a negative reply from the local authorities, the following morning they travelled to Baghdad and met the Central Committee of the Church of the East in Baghdad, who regrettably showed no interest in this case. Then the matter was taken to the Ministry of Education through the kind offices of the Syrian Orthodox Metropolitan (His Beatitude Mar Zaka Aiwas) where a promise was given that the School doors will reopen soon. In fact the School doors did open soon after the return of the Council members to Kirkuk where the matter was followed up at the Municipality of Kirkuk. Appreciation goes to the Syrian Orthodox Metropolitan Mar Zaka Aiwas. Photos: Stephan, Awisha & Khezakia
Statistics (available) for the years 1967-1971: The Baccalaureate examination results were as follows:
Y e a r # of students Pass Fail
1967-68 289 24 5
1968-69 246 22 1
1969-70 246 19 3
1970-71 262 32 0
The School students, for the first time, on a Palm Sunday in 1969 presented a show with some ‘Oshana” carols and a couple dances at the Kirkuk Television under the Accordion Tunes of two little kids, i.e. Ninos A. Lazar and Zia Gewargis. On Christmas Eve (12/24/69) the same group presented the Nativity Play and other activities on the Television (the role of St. Mary was at first time played by Jackuline Safar.) Thereafter, each year the School presented similar activities. The Play and the Christmas Carols were written and composed by Raabi Akhtiyar Benyamin, directed by Awisha Z. Lazar assisted by the Principal Raabi Youlia Baroota, the School teachers and some of the parents directed the Assyrian dances. Ninos A. Lazar and Zia Gewargis (class II students) played the tunes for the group. Photos: Ninos, Zia & the group
The Assyrian School students elegantly played the drama “HAKOTO EWA” on the School stage on July 8, 1971. The Cast were: (School children) Atour Dadisho (wife Yousif Toma, Illinois USA,) Mariam Gewargis (wife Osi Toma, Illinois USA,) George Sargon (California-USA,) Gewargis Elia (California-USA,) Hany Elia (Kirkuk-Iraq) and Sargon Adam (Sydney-Australia.) The play was published in a book under the title of “Khda Gashakta al Khayie” by Emanuel Rohan, Philemon Darmo and Nasir Yousip, was directed by Awisha Z. Lazar. The School has staged many plays in the past, but this was the last one.
In 1971 student Jackuline Safar was announced as the Third Winner at the ‘Child Beauty Contest’ that was arranged by the Board of Education Kirkuk.
On October 2, 1971, the School was honored by the kind visit of the late H.H. Mar Shimon
During school term 1970/71, the Assyrian School held the First Place in the State of Kirkuk among hundreds of Public and Private Elementary Schools, passing a 100% in the final Baccalaureate examination.
In October 1972 a group from the Church Central Committee Baghdad, joined by Church Committee members from Kirkuk and supported by a well known visiting Bishop, invited the Director of Education for a Dinner (Last Supper) that was taking place at the house of the late Rev. Heidene Pityo (of course the late Rev. Heidene family were not involved in this business.) During the event, a shameful ceremony was taking place in handing over the most sacred organization Assyrians had in Iraq – ‘The Assyrian School Kirkuk’ - as a very cheap gift to the authorities, i.e. Board of Education.
In this irresponsible act, these underserving people were trying to close the doors of the school on the face of hundreds of our beloved children. The famous visiting Host surrounded by the gang of betrayals prayed at the ‘Last Supper’ and told them, ‘come on, Eat, this is the Body of your beloved children…… Drink, this is their Blood’. Others, faithful and believers in Assyrianism and their sweet and holy language in which Jesus Christ spoke in, refused to attend the supper, but stayed outside praying and asking God, if it be possible to let this horrible and shameful event pass by for the sake of our poor children. In fact the prayers were heard and accepted by, so the sacrifice was, by the help of God rejected by the Authorities after a couple days, thanks, but no thanks now! The Host in this Supper was exactly acting like “Judas” who betrayed Jesus Christ.
On August 3, 1973, the Assyrian School celebrated its 25 years Jubilee as an officially recognized ‘Assyrian Private School’ in Kirkuk. On this occasion a Silver Medal was presented to most of those who dedicated their services towards the School. Honorary Guests from Baghdad attended the party and representatives from the Assyrian Rafidain Club Basrah, as well as University Students from Baghdad and Sulaimania. The Universities’ students together with the school principal Raabi Youlia Elia, teachers: Sharlet George, William Shlemon, Awisha Z. Lazar, etc. trained all the activities to the School children. To mention some of the Univ. students: Nabil J. Karim, Ramil J. Karim, Youkhana Andrews, Ramsin Benyamin, Youarish K. Matai, Fawzi Toma, Odisho Malko and others. As mentioned earlier, the school was officially registered in 1948 by the then Principal , Mr. David Ismail.
The idea of such a great celebration – the first in the history of Kirkuk - was brought in by Awisha Z. Lazar in response to those underserving Assyrians while in October 1972 tried their best to hand over the School to the Authorities.
In 1974 a Notification was issued by the Authorities regarding the nationalisation of all Private Schools and Clubs. The Assyrian School was renamed and called ‘ANASTAS CARMEL’, and the Assyrian Sports Club was renamed and called ‘AL-TAMEEM CLUB.’
On June 9, 1974 the Assyrian School held its last (sad) “End of School Term” Celebration. The School was in existence for 46 years. So the government took over the control of (Assyrian School) i.e. ‘Anastas Carmel School’ during the 1974/1975 curriculum.
It is worth to mention some of the Ladies Volunteers’ names who used to help the School in matters such as: sewing Uniforms for the children, training Dances/Songs for certain occasions, great help in running the Fun Fares. Names: Glades & Soraya Mircko, Marina, Julie and Margarert M. Toma, Olga Kasso, Youlia (Shemi Shmoiel), Youlia Elia, Jalila Moshe, Blandina Lazar, Marlyn George, Maggi and Juan Hormiz, Juan Philip Warda, Judat (Stephan Yousif,) Sharlert George, Haikanoosh (Awisha Lazar) and others we regret for not recalling their names.
The Assyrian language reading books were from sources, such as: the late Raabi Korish B. Supurkhan, Teheran (Iran), the late Rev. Yousip de Kelaita, Mosul (Iraq) and Raabi Youkhana Daniel, Baghdad (Iraq.)
It is worth mentioning that the following Assyrians held the position of the School Principal: Gabriel Babilla, Lily Abraham, Francoise Shlemon, Maria Nimrod DeBaz, Samuel Baba, David Ismail, Youlia Elia.
It is also worth mentioning that the following gentlemen did sponsor those refugees (students) from the North of Iraq: Albert Ismail, Sargon Hormiz, Hormiz Younathan, Shimon Haroon, Minan Polos, Freidon Shaul, Youash Khana, Aprim Benjamin, Shimshon Jacob(?), Baba Jacob, Jameel Karim, etc., regret for not recalling the rest of other sponsors.
A Semi-Reunion took place on September 7, 1987 at the Assyrian American Association in Chicago in honor of Mr. Youaw Toma and his wife Sophia who were on a visit from Australia. Youaw was one of the hard working volunteers in the Seeta Hayaranta d’Madrashta Atouraita. It was here the idea of school reunion came a reallity. Photo :Photo will follow
The First Reunion of the Assyrian School Kirkuk took place at the (Hilton) Double Tree Hotel in Skokie, Illinois, U.S.A. on October 24, 1997. Three Hundred and Fifty guests attended this Reunion. US Dollars 1,500.00 being the proceeds from this Reunion plus $500.00 from local donations were sent to the needy in Kirkuk by hand of Mr. Jack Younan
The Second Reunion of the Assyrian School Kirkuk took place at the Hanging Gardens Banquet on September 10, 1999 in River Grove, Illinois, U.S.A. More than 450 guests attended the Reunion. US Dollars 3000.00 were sent to the needy in Kirkuk for Christmas, by hand of Mr. Khamis Daniel.
The Third Reunion took place in Mississauga/Toronto, Ontario Canada from July 4th evening until July 7th evening 2001. The Programme consisted as follows: July 4th evening a big welcome/get-together for outside guests was arranged by the Canadian Organizing committee at the Assyrian Society of Canada (Semiramis Banquet). July 5th a Tour to the famous Niagara Falls; July 6th a Tour to the Downtown Toronto, same day (Friday) evening a great Reunion Party took place at the mentioned Banquet until the late Saturday morning hours. There were more than 450 guests attending besides dozens standing outside the hall. On Saturday July 7 a picnic was also arranged with Dahoola and Zorna besides the famous Kirkuk Band together with the Saxaphonist Wilson Akhajan and Philharmonist Waltin William and a singer from Australia “Edward Esha” all did a great job at the Party as well. Many sports games were arranged by Mr. Isaac Isaac at the Picnic, Medals were presented to all participants.
T-Shirts/Balloons/Directory-Ad Books and Medals were made for the occasion.
On July 8th most of the outside visitors who were staying at the beautiful Delta Meadowvale Hotel in Mississauga (about 100 from USA) left for their homes. There were guests from Australia, England, Spain, Holland, Arizona, Illinois, Indiana, California, Texas.
U.S. $2400.00 from the proceeds of the Third Reunion has been sent to our needy Assyrians in Kirkuk care of a group (a priest and two gentlemen - ex School Consul Presidents.) Another amount of $400.00 has been sent to A.A.S. by hand of Mr. Moshe Marcus. Letters in Assyrian & Replies will be posted here
S P O R T S
During 1940s (probably earlier) until 1950s, the late Raabi Youash Iskander (son of Raabi Khoumar) coached the Assyrian Stars Football Team (the strongest team in Kirkuk,) as well as a Volleyball Team, and the late Paul Youkhana was the Manager. During the same period Michael Lazar (son of Nana Naqshie) trained and coached the Boxing group. The Football and Volleybal Teams, consisted of Alfred Isaac, Youaw Isaac, Toma and Marbena Michael, Elisha Esha, Awshalim Yousif, Youaw Baijan (Golli), Khoshaba Shamro, Shawo Aziz, Benyamin Youkhana, Henry Shamro, Esha Awisha, Isaac Y. Isaac, Youarish Isaac, Shmouel Youshia, Aksherish. and many, many others.
During the same period, i.e. 1940s through 1950s there was also a group of Tennis Players, consisting of Raabi Youash Iskander, Benyamin Rafel Khan, Leon Rafel Khan, Youkhana Nader, Lazar Petros, Youlius Yousip, Youash Khnana and many others we regret for not having their names.
During early 1950s, when the IPC Recreation Center was built close to the Railway Station, dozens of Assyrians did join in Tennis – Isaac Simon, later on joined by Jibby Barro used to train the junior players.
ASSYRIAN SPORTS CLUB KIRKUK
The first Assyrian Sports Club was established in Kirkuk in August 1964. Its first chairman was Mr. David Youash (David Banka.) The Founding committee were: Isaac Darmo, Awiqam George, Malkizdaq Oshana, Shmoiel Youshia, Akhtiar Benyamin, Benyamin Yalda, Paulos Pious, etc. It was Isaac Darmo’s idea in establishing such a Club in Kirkuk. The activities in the Club were many, including Basketball, Volleyball, Tennis, Hockey, Football, and various social functions, such as Dramas, Parties, Fun Fares, Bingo, Picnics, etc. The volunteers supervised by Zia Esho erected the Club Bungalow. The Club was made available for the School functions with no charge. The High Voltage electric current and all the necessary lighting in- and-outside the building were installed under the personal supervision of the Electric Engineer Awiqam George, his assistant Edward Emmanuel and a couple other electricians. Sound System and telephone lines were installed by Robert I. Baba, Arsan K. Shalalo, Sargon Yousif, Damo Damo, etc.
IPC Hockey Team consisted mostly of Assyrian players (99%) thus the same players represented the Assyrian Sports Club Hockey Team.
The Assyrian Sports Club was nationalied in 1974 and was renamed and called ‘Al Ta’meem Sports Club’.
SOCIAL CLUB (NADI AL-WATANI AL-ATHORI)
The Assyrian National Club (Nadi Al-Watani Al-Athori) in Kirkuk was established in 1969. The Founding Committee were: Fouad Y. Al Bazi, William Youkhana, Isaac Khamis, Yacoub K. Yacoub, Emmanuel Youkhana and Elias Haroon. The Club is still in existence and under the same name.
ASSYRIAN AID SOCIETY
The first Assyrian Aid Society was established in Kirkuk in Sept. 1960 and their office was later moved into the Assyrian School Building. Raabi Akhtiyar Benyamin held the position of the chairman of the Society for many years since its establishment. The late Khezakia Israel as well took this office on many occasions during 1970s and until his death in 1996. Late Khezakia also, served the Assyrian School as Secretary and he was the last Chairman of the School (Parents and Teachers Consul) when the School was nationalized and taken over in 1975. Other volunteers served the Society, to name some: Gewargis Malek Zia, Eshay Askar, Emmanuel Shmoiel, Warda Narsai, Adam Oshana, Belshasar Kalasho, Eshay Barcham, Sancherib Marcus, Jamil Karim, Awisha Z. Lazar, George Soto, Opar Shabo, Aprim M. Toma, Malkezdek Oshana, Wilson S. Shalo, Shlemon David, Isaac Hormiz, Robert I. Baba, Pious Tematious, Shidrak Shmouel, Edward Moshe, Pnoiel Hormiz, Awikam Israel, and many others regret for not recalling their names.
The main OBJECT of the Society was (a) help the needy Assyrian refugees from North of Iraq and (b) assist the School. This Society is still in existence and provides a great help to the needy College students who study in Baghdad.
In the picture of Xmas 1968 are the members of the Aid Society with some of the School committee members. The Aid Society do distribute Xmas gifts for the needy school children; Seron Michael is acting as Christmas Father.
In 1956, the late Sh. David Benyamin established the first Assyrian Printing Press “NINEVEH” in Kirkuk. This Press did a great help to the School as most of the school reading books that were written and published by Assyrians, such as Raabi Youkhana Daniel, Rev. Yousif de Kelaita, Raabi Korish Benyamin Supurkhan in Teheran (Iran) were reprinted in this Press for the Assyrian School, with great appreciation. When the Nineveh Printing Press closed its doors and moved to Baghdad, the Kirkuk Printing Press owned by Sh. Youkhana Moshi and Raabi Brimon Abraham were as well so kind in helping the School with all its printing needs.
During mid-1940s and until late 1950s there was a Music Band under the name of ‘Assyrian School Band’, the Band as well as the Dramatic Section were sponsored by the Assyrian School. The oldest (Banjo) music player and singer in two languages Assyrian and Armenian was John Moses who used to entertain guests in some of the weddings and parties. Assyrian School Band consisted as follows: Shaul Khzeran, Emmanuel Marcus, Ablahad Lazar, Paul Marcus, Youaw Baijan, Edward Latchen, Samando Khzeran, Napoleon Lazar, Abe Babisha, Alfred David, Shaul Khzeran, Ashour Solomon, Waltin William, etc. The Band was dissolved due to sad and early passing away some of the young Band members, i.e.: Paul Marcus, Edward Latchen and Albert David.
During 1960s other Music Bands came into existence under different name ‘Marcella’, etc. to name some of the members: Walten William, Aksherish Kambar, Yousif, Emmanuel Benyamin, Youel Khanania, Veresh Karaken, Napoleon Lazar, etc. This Band did not last long due to the situation resulted after the Revolution that overturned Abdul Karim Kassim’s regime.
During 1970s and until now, there have been many other young musicians who have entertained the weddings, parties etc. in Kirkuk.