1930's to 2010

Assyrians of Kirkuk

Assyrian School Kirkuk First Reunion took place at Double Tree (Hilton Hotel in Skokie) Illinois on October 24, 1997. The Reunion was organized by Awisha Z. Lazar, Romeo Mirza and Benyamin Esho. Guests from California, Canada, Michigan, Indiana and London (England) attended the Reunion. Awards on this occasion were presented in honor of Raabi Atto Paris, Raabi Gibrael Babilla, Raabi Akhtiar Benyamin and Raabi Shmouel Baba.

Second Reunion of the Assyrian School Kirkuk took place in The Hanging Gardens Banquet in River Grove, Illinois on September 10, 1999. The Reunion was organized by Awisha Z. Lazar and Romeo Mirza, assisted by Raabi Daniel D. Benyamin. Guests from Spain, Australia, Holland, Canada, London (England), California, Nebraska attended the Reunion. Awards on this occasion were presented in honor of Raabi Brimon Abraham, Raabi David Abraham, Sh. Gewargis Benyamin, Sh. Hormiz Youkhana, Raabi Shaul Gewargis and Shaul Khzeran.

The Third Assyrian School of Kirkuk reunion took place in Ontario, Canada on July 4th to July 8th, 2001.

About 100 guests from Illinois traveled to Canada for this historical occasion that was hosted by the Canadian Chapter. Some guests traveled by Air, some by private cars and others - the lucky Group of 55, grabbed the chance to travel by a Private Charter Bus with signs in Assyrian & English that read; "ASSYRIAN SCHOOL KIRKUK 3RD REUNION CANADA' the Bus was under the disposal of the Group for 5 days, i.e. for the whole period of the Reunion. On July 4 at 7:00 AM, The Bus left Assyrian Social Club Chicago on its way to Canada through Michigan, soon the Bus was on Highway 94 the Group Leader/Ameri-Cana Organizer (Awisha) welcomed the Group, introduced the Driver of "Got to Get It Tours" Bus No. 747, and asked all to pray "Baban Be Shmaia". The Group was nicely treated by volunteer hostesses, as if they were on a flight, magazines, peanuts, chips, cold water and pops were made available free of charge. A Video under the title of "Youkhina" by Samy Yako was shown as well as Assyrian cassettes were played. The Group, ladies in particular enjoyed themselves, as they were more lucky to have Mr. Edward Esha a professional singer from Australia among them, as well as a professional Harmonica player Mr. Waltin William from Mount Prospect, Illinois

Around 12:30 The Bus arrived Sahara Restaurant in Oak Park, Michigan for a great lunch of Tikka/Kabob/Shawirma/Rice, etc.  The Bus arrived a little late around 9:00 PM at The Assyrian Society of Canada in Mississauga. The Group was greeted by dozens who were so kindly waiting for their arrival, there was an emotional meeting, i.e. hugging, kissing and shedding tears of happiness, among them were few cousins/relatives who have never met in their life. The Host Mr. Shmaiel Younan and his committee Shlemon Rev. Khoshaba Khamis, Adam Khoshaba, Awni Awdisho and Isaac (Coach) escorted the Group into the Society for a lovely arranged Snacks and Sweet Table with Tea/Coffee/Cold Drinks. The Hall was filled with true Assyrian love and emotions, so no body wished to leave soon, especially the Bus Group and all those who traveled from far away. Special appreciation and love goes to dear Ladies who did prepare the lovely snacks. Around 1:00 am the get-to-gether came to an end. Most of guests, the Bus group in particular were accommodated at the beautiful Delta Meadowvale Hotel in Mississauga.

On Thursday morning 7/5/01 the Group toured one of the wonders of the world i.e. the beautiful Niagara Falls that was so kindly escorted by Mr. John Aghajan of Canada. Evening was free for visiting or receiving friends/relatives at the Hotel. On Friday morning 7/6/01 the Group toured Down Town Toronto but returned early in order to prepare for the Big Party. At 6:30 PM the Group together with guests from England, Spain, Australia, Holland were ready to go into the beautiful Sameramis Banquet Hall that was decorated with balloons specially made for the occasion. Prior to enter the Hall people, specially the old students were competing to look at the old School posters that were prepared and brought in by Awisha (the Ameri-Cana Organizer,) the oldest picture was dated May 1931. There were almost 450 guests in the Hall, all were eagerly expecting this Reunion for the last 6 months, finally there they were kissing, hugging, crying, laughing and dancing on the tunes of the Kirkuk Band and the professional Saxophonist Mr. Johnson Aghajan, the Guest Singer from Australia Mr. Edward Esha and Mr. Waltin William the Harmonica Player. The well-known Chef Mrs. Maria (Martha) Khoury prepared a nice dinner. Medals and Awards were presented. As it was an exceptional Party, no body believed that the time went by so soon, so the Big and Historical Reunion Party came to an end around 3:00 AM. On Saturday 7/7/01 a picnic was arranged by the Canadian Committee, with Dahoola and Zorna and of course the Kirkuk Band did a great job as well Mr. Edward Esha (Australian guest), again, Mr. Waltin William of USA did his great part too. The Ladies are applauded for the lovely Kabob sandwiches, and of course appreciation go to all those who helped in making this Reunion so successful and an unforgettable one with sweet memories. Mr. Isaac (Coach) did a great job as well by arranging many games, i.e. Football, Basketball, Volleyball, etc. Medals were presented to all that participated in those games. Mr. Lazar Nekola a new arrival with his family from Malta (now in Calgary, Alberta) won the Tawlee (backgammon) championship of the Reunion After picnic, the visitors had a free evening at the Hotel; some were having fun in the Hotel lobby till the early morning hours.

Sunday 7/8/01 9:00 AM The Bus Group sadly left Mississauga/Toronto with sweet and unforgettable memories. Lunch at Sahara Restaurant again with ladies shopping at Qashat Market. On our way back home again all had a lot of fun, singing, dancing, jokes, etc.
The Fourth Assyrian School of Kirkuk reunion took place in Sydney, Australia Sep 6th - Sep 15 2002.
 THE 5TH REUNON OF THE ASSYIAN SCHOOL KIRKUK  WAS HELD IN CALIFORNIA DURING THE FIRST WEEK OF JULY 2004 FRIDAY, JULY 2, 2004
The Dinner/Dance: at the Assyrian American Civil Club Turlock, California . Guest of Honor was His Grace Mar Bawai Soro. Music by Billy Band. A Fund Raising for the proposed rebuilding of the Assyrian School in Kirkuk did take place together with a Raffle, the Reunion was altogether successful, and the Banquet Hall was nicely decorated by members of the Reunion committee, their wives, children and friends.
On Display there were twelve (12) Boards consisting of dozens of old and new School and previous reunion posters, these boards had been traveling to where ever the reunion takes place. 
SATURDAY, JULY 3, 2004 Visit San Francisco and Bay Area: Buses were made available for all those who registered to join the trip.
SUNDAY, JULY 4, 2004 Mass at Mar Gewargis Church in Ceres by His Grace Mar Bawai Soro: After the Mass, a Brunch was prepared by the Church Ladies’ Committee in honor of the Reunion and His Grace Mar Bawai.
Picnic at the Tuolumne Park Modesto: Afternoon until dusk, Kabobs, Fruit and Cold Drinks were as well prepared and served by the above-mentioned committee. Music by Billy Band. GUESTS There were Overseas Guests from Australia, Holland, Spain, Sweden, England and Canada, also from inside United States were from Illinois, Arizona, Las Vegas, California (Los Angeles, Pasadena, Santa Clara, Pleasanton, Hayward, Hercules, San Mateo, San Jose, Pinole, Cypress, Hollister, Millbrae, N. Hollywood, Foster City, San Francisco, Manteca and of course from the ‘Host Stanislous County’ Modesto/Ceres/Turlock
FIFTH REUNION COMMITTEE, CALIFORNIA Ramil Karim, Edward Mikhael, Ablahad Samano, James Shamoon, Shameram Karim, Nahrain Y. Benjamin and from Illinois Awisha Z. Lazar.
Sixth Reunion Of Assyrian School KirkukJuly 2-4, 2006 Illinois and Wisconsin – U.S.A.
I. CHICAGO, SUNDAY, JULY 2, 2006 A Get Together Dinner/Dance Party took place at the Hanging Gardens in River Grove, Illinois.
A special thank you to His Beatitude Mar Gewargis Sliwa the Metropolitan of Iraq in particular and to all the 250 guests in general,

The Hanging Gardens Banquet was beautifully decorated and on each table there was a plate of delicious Baklava as well as various kinds of Mediterranean appetizers and wine. Also a nice location was made available for the 15 display-boards that featured old pictures dating back to 1931, as well as some from previous reunions.

The M.C. Shamasha Youarish Bet Qashisha announced all to stand for a holy prayer by His Beatitude Mar Gewargis followed by one minute’s ovation in honor of all Assyrian martyrs. The Celebration started as follows: 1. The American National Anthem chanted by a very young (sweet) girl Mernia Bazi; (Mernia is daughter of Raabi Odete and Dr. Sargon Bazi (Great Grand son of Nana Meranie) the famous and professional mid-wife for many decades in Kirkuk. 2. The Assyrian National Anthem “Roosh Jwanqa” was beautifully chanted by Mr. Sunny Ibrahim of Assyrian American Association in Chicago. 3. Welcome Speech by Mr. Awisha Z. Lazar, the Reunion Organizer.
4. A Great Speech was delivered by the Guest of Honor, His Beatitude Mar Gewargis Sliwa who in his speech mentioned the completion of the new Assyrian School in Kirkuk and another one under construction besides St. Mary’s church in Naeria Qaiara Baghdad. Also in his speech he acknowledged the receipt of a check from the reunion (Awisha Lazar) for the amount of US$12,000.00 to be used for computers, etc. in the newly built school. 5. Immediately after his speech, His Beatitude did bless and cut a special cake that was prepared in honor of the Six Reunion anniversary. 6. A special tastefully dinner was prepared by Mr. Daniel Sarkiss the professional ‘Chef’ of the Hanging Gardens.  7. During Dinner, Slides of old school pictures prepared by His Beatitude were presented on a Screen by Rev. Antoine Lachin. 8. Speaker of the Night was Raabi Sargon Sapper, who so splendidly delivered his speech that almost covered all aspects that the guests were eagerly listening to, well done Raabi! 9. Song ‘Zegge Khelie – Sweet Bells’ (A more than six decades old song written and composed by Raabi Gibraiel Babilla) was chanted by the same sweet girl ‘Mernia.’
10. Last Speaker was a guest from California, Mr. David Yousif, Writer and Author of “End of Saddam,” “Murderer Since He Was Born” and more than a dozen other books in Arabic. Email: doodooshka@yahoo.com - Tel.: 818-731-8654. 11. His Beatitude Mar Gewargis Sliwa was honored with the first ‘Medal of the Night’ for accepting the invitation to attend the Reunion, meanwhile H.B. was requested to kindly present Medals to: Attorney Miss Carmen E. Asker (U.A.E.,) Mrs. Luba Sheeno (Spain,) Mr. Antoine Sapar (California,) Sh. Moshe Sarkis (Canada,) and from Illinois were: Mrs. Shamiram Zechariah, Dr. Sargon Bazi, Mr. John Moshe, Mr. Norman D. Israel and Mr. Emmanuel Dinkha.

II. LAKE GENEVA (WISCONSIN,) MONDAY, JULY 3,2006 At 10:30: A Midwest Motorcoach driven by Mr. Jeff Hankins, followed by some private cars did leave the Assyrian Social Club to Lake Geneva (Wisconsin.) Lunch was pre-arranged at the “Popeye’s On The Lake,” some others had their lunch at other different restaurants. Unfortunately a few missed the trip. b. At the Lake some took cruises, others especially (our beloved ladies) began shopping for souvenirs, and some others did stretch their legs around the Lake site seeing the famous huge mansions. The weather was wonderful ‘partly cloudy.’ c. Those used the Bus to and from Wisconsin did enjoy a lot, singing and dancing, as well there were some Assyrian C.Ds played. d. The Bus returned to the Assyrian Social Club at around 8:00 evening and everybody arrived home safe and happy. III DOWN TOWN CHICAGO, TUESDAY, JULY 4, 2006 Few Guests had the chance in visiting: the Sears Tower (the tallest building in the United States,) Navy Pier, The Museum (Assyrian Section,) etc.