Jīlū[needs IPA] was a district located in Hakkari region of upper Mesopotamia. Before 1915 Jīlū was home to Assyrian Christians, as well as a minority of Kurds. There were 20 Assyrian villages in this district. The area was traditionally divided into Greater and Lesser Jīlū, and Ishtāzin - each with its own Malik, and consisting of a number of Assyrian villages. In the summer of 1915, during the Assyrian Genocide, Jīlū was surrounded and attacked by Turkish troops and neighboring Kurdish tribes under the leadership of Agha Sūtū of Oramar. After a brief struggle to maintain their positions, the Assyrian inhabitants of Jīlū were forced to flee to Salmas in Iran along with other refugees from the Hakkari highlands. Today their descendants live all over the world including Iraq, Syria, Iran, Lebanon, Russia, Georgia, the USA, Australia, Europe, Cuba, Uruguay, Chile and Brazil. In Syria's al-Hasakah Governorate there are two villages, Tell-Gorān and Abū-Tīnā, established in 1935 by Jīlū refugees from Iraq on the banks of the Khabur River.
- 1 Geography and Nature
- 2 Early History
- 3 The Diocese of Beth-Bghāsh
- 4 Destruction and Revival
- 5 The Diocese of Jīlū
- 6 The Maliks of Greater Jīlū: Legend and Tradition
- 7 The Maliks of Lesser Jīlū: Legend and Tradition
- 8 Neo-Aramaic dialect of Jīlū
- 9 Sub-Districts, Villages and Clans
- 10 Notable Jīlū Assyrians
- 10.1 Bishops and Clergymen
- 10.2 Maliks
- 10.3 Politicians
- 10.4 Military People
- 10.5 Activists
- 10.6 Business-People
- 10.7 Medical Doctors
- 10.8 Athletes and Sports-People
- 10.9 Intellectuals, Authors, Poets, Artists and Scholars
- 10.10 Journalists and Filmmakers
- 10.11 Engineers
- 10.12 Singers and Entertainers
- 11 See also
- 12 References
Geography and Nature
The Jīlū district is home to the second highest mountain range in Turkey, the Cilo-Sat range, which are an eastern extension of the Taurus Mountains. The highest peak in the Cilo-Sat range is Ţūrā Shinnā d-Jīlū (also known as Cilo dağı, maximum elevation 4,168 m), from the summit of which one can see as far as the city of Mosul in Iraq. The massif is composed of metamorphic schist, dolomitic limestone, and porphyrites, and is deeply scored by the gorges of tributaries to the Great Zab River. Above 3,500 m there are a number of ancient glaciers and the nature is alpine. The southern slopes of the massif are covered with broad-leaved forests (primarily oak), and the northern slopes are covered with steppes and shrub thickets where the inhabitants of Jīlū and Dīz would graze their herds during the summer.
|Name of the Mountain||Height (metres)|
|Gelyaşin or Uludoruk (Reşko Tepesi)||4,134|
|Handeyade (Çatalkaya, Samdi)||3,794|
Among the animals which abound in these mountains are bears, leopards, wolves, foxes, chamois, wild goats, and ovis (wild sheep), of which there are three varieties. There are also many birds, especially the large yellow partridge, and the red-legged variety. Different types of flowers can also be found.
Not much is known about Jīlū's pre-Christian history due to its inaccessibility and instability, restricting any form of fieldwork, though prehistoric rock carvings have been found in the Gevaruk valley near Sāţ and on the Tirisin Plateau. These have been dated to 10,000 years ago.
According to the Acts of Saint Mari, it was his disciple St. Ţomīs who was the first to bring Christianity to the region of Gawar and Zozān (including Jīlū) in the 1st century AD.The text also mentions that he was martyred somewhere in the Gawar plain, not far from Jīlū, and that later on a church was established on his burial site. Indeed, the ancient church in the Jīlū village of Sāţ (modern-day İkiyaka) is dedicated to St. Mārī, and is the only church in the Hakkari region or northern Iraq historically known to have had been. Mārī was also the name of one of the area's earliest bishops. He was among the signatories of the acts of the synod of Catholicos Mār Dādīshoʿ in 424 AD.
A hitherto unpublished text of the Acts of St. Mammes of Caesarea, who lived in the 3rd century AD, also credits him with having traveled to the village of Oramar (modern-day Dağlıca) where he built a church, known today as El Ahmar Kilisesi. A church also in Oramar dedicated to his disciple St. Daniel is now the village mosque. Afterwards, St. 'Azīzā - reputedly a disciple of Mar Awgin - is credited with having arrived in Jīlū during the 4th century AD, establishing a monastery in the village of Zêrīnī. The earliest surviving manuscript from the Jīlū district was copied in this monastery and dates back to 1212/3.
The Jīlū district is also home to one of the region's oldest churches, founded by St. Zayʿā and his disciple St. Tāwor in 427 AD. According to the Saint's vita, Jīlū at that time was the center of a kingdom named Jīlām-Jīlū and the church construction project was led by its king Bālaq son of King Zūraq. This church for many centuries was the cathedral of the Mār Sargīs Metropolitan Bishops of Jīlū. Most Jīlū's ancient churches are still standing, despite having been abandoned and in a state of decay for nearly a century.
The Diocese of Beth-Bghāsh
The Jīlū district was also important in the history of the Church of the East from an early period. At the synod of Catholicos Mār Isaac in 410 AD Beth-Bghāsh, located in the Jīlū village of Bé-Baghshé, was confirmed as a suffragan diocese of the ecclesiastical province of Adiabene. The future Catholicos-Patriarch Timothy I, an influential figure in the Church of the East’s missionary movement, became bishop of Beth-Bghāsh c.770 AD, upon the retirement of his elderly uncle Gīwargīs, and remained in the diocese until his election as Catholicos-Patriarch in 780 AD. Although a native of Hazzah near Arbil, his family is traditionally held to have originated from Jīlū. The last historical mention of the diocese of Beth-Bghāsh is at the consecration of the Catholicos-Patriarch Denha I at Baghdad in 1265, which was attended by its bishop Ishoʿ-Zkhā.
Destruction and Revival
In 1448 the Jīlū district was ravaged by the Qara Qoyunlu and many of its villages lay abandoned for over a century. This is probably the reason why the colophon of a manuscript copied in 1490 at Bé-Silim in the Baz district mentions only the metropolitan of Mosul. Normally, Baz would have been included in either the diocese of Beth-Bghāsh or Jīlū.
Most of the refugees from Jīlū fled to Assyrian districts in neighboring Iran. Evidence for this appears in the inclusion of Jīlū in the title of the metropolitan of Salamas around 1552, and the copying of a manuscript in the village of Naze north of Urmia in 1563 by the priest Paul of Oramar. Additionally, many Chaldean families in the Urmia region trace their ancestry to settlers originally from Jīlū. Among the most well known are the Malek-Yonan family of Geogtapa, who are descended from a Jīlū chieftain who founded the village in the 16th century. He also built a church there dedicated to St. Zayʿā which he set with stones brought from the original church in Jīlū.
Later in the 16th century, many inhabitants from Jīlū returned to rebuild their homes and churches. Those of Zêrīnī found the church of St. 'Azīzā in ruins and, after rebuilding it, they acquired a text of the saint's legend from the town of Bakhdida in the Nineveh plains. In the village of Nahrā the returnees found that they had forgotten how to work its six important water-powered mills which were utilized by the inhabitants of all the villages of Jīlū. Because of this, they were forced to seek the assistance of a man named Yāwélā (Yāhw-Allāhā) and his two sons Billā and Lāchin from the village of Bé-Nahré in the Rumtā sub-district of Upper Tyare, who were well-versed in the operation of such mills. After this, the Chaldeans of Jīlū were largely left alone, allowing them to once again prosper and grow in influence among Hakkâri's independent Assyrian tribes.
The Diocese of Jīlū
Since the 15th or 16th century, and probably even earlier, the village of Mātā d-ʿUmrā d-Mār Zayʿā was the seat of a metropolitan bishop of the Church of the East. The diocese of this metropolitan bishop included the Hakkari districts of Jīlū, Baz, Tkhuma, Chāl (modern-day Çukurca), Ţāl, and Rékān.
The first historical mention of the diocese of Jīlū is from 1580, when the metropolitan of Jīlū, Siirt and Salamas, was elevated to the patriarchate of the Chaldean Catholic Church as Mār Shim'on IX Dinha (1580-1600). That year the new patriarch consecrated a metropolitan for Jīlū named Mār Sargīs, who was among the signatories of a letter from him to Pope Gregory XIII, and he is probably the same as the Metropolitan Mār Sargīs of Jīlū mentioned in hierarchies listed in the reports of 1607 and 1610 sent by Catholic patriarch Mār Shim'on X Eliyā (1600-1638) to Pope Paul V. In 1610 also, the large village of Sāţ is recorded as being the residence of bishop named Mār Gīwargīs, who was probably a suffragan of Mār Sargīs. The report of 1610 also mentioned that the Malik of Jīlū was named David, and he commanded 4,000 fighting men; the Malik of Ishtāzin was named 'Caitar', and he was in charge of 500 fighters; and Sāţ was led by a man named 'Chartus', probably also a Malik, who in his turn commanded 300 fighters.
In the late 17th century the diocese severed its ties with Catholicism, along with the rest of the Qudshānis patriarchate, and returned to being traditionalist. The metropolitan bishops of Jīlū were usually nominated from the same clan and all bore the hereditary title Mār Sargīs. An exception to this appears to have been the patriarch Mār Shim'on XV Michael Mukhattas (1740-1780), who is said to have been metropolitan of Jīlū before being elevated to the patriarchate and, indeed, the Cathedral of Sts. Zayʿā and Tāwor is commonly held to have served at certain times as the residence of the patriarchs of that line. It is during this period that a new line of bishops belonging to the same clan as the metropolitans of Jīlū, Bé-Yagmālā, was established at the village of Gāgawran (modern-day Aksu) in the nearby Gāwār plain. These distant blood-relatives, who took the name Mār Slīvā, probably began as suffragans of Mār Sargīs and are first mentioned in a manuscript colophon from 1743.
Nineteenth-century bishop Mār Yawsip Sargīs was described by Sir Austen Henry Layard, who met him at the village of Nahrā in late August 1849, as "... a young man of lofty stature and handsome countenance..." and likened his look to that of a hunter or warrior. In 1891 he was visited by British explorer and writer Isabella Bird, who described him as "a magnificent-looking man with a superb gray beard, the beau-ideal of an Oriental ecclesiastic." This bishop was approached by the Chaldean Catholic Church in 1890 and 1895, but on both occasions he refused to convert to Catholicism. It is around this time that the inhabitants of the large and isolated village of Sāţ converted to the Catholicism in their entirety.
|Mār Yawsip Sargīs||1819, Mātā d-ʿUmrā d-Mār Zayʿā||1839, Qudshānis||1899, Mātā d-ʿUmrā d-Mār Zayʿā|
|Mār Zayʿā Sargīs||29 July 1888, Mātā d-ʿUmrā d-Mār Zayʿā||5 July 1900, Qudshānis||12 May 1951, Baghdad|
|Mār Īshoʿ Sargīs||1911, Mātā d-ʿUmrā d-Mār Zayʿā||14 May 1951, Baghdad||19 December 1966, London (buried at St. Zayʿā Cathedral in Karrādat Maryam, Baghdad)|
|Mar Yawsip Sargis||1950 Baghdad||2 March 1967, Baghdad||Currently residing in Modesto, California|
The last of these metropolitan bishops to reside at Mātā d-Mār Zayʿā was Mār Zayʿā Sargīs, who was consecrated at 11 years of age. During the Assyrian Genocide the bishop moved to the Salamas district between 1915 and 1918, then remained at the Baqubah refugee camp between 1918 and 1920, before moving to Mosul in 1920. From 1921 onward his see was fixed at the village of Khirshéniyah, immediately to the northwest of Alqosh in the Dohuk Governorate, where a small church was built dedicated to St. Zayʿā. Then in 1941 his see was moved to Baghdad, where a large Jīlū émigré community existed at Camp al-Sikak (the "Railroads Camp") with a mud-brick church dedicated to St. Zayʿā built in the 1920s.
After the Iraqi revolution in 1958, a new Cathedral dedicated to St. Zayʿā was built at Karrādat Maryam, with large contributions in money and in kind from Jīlū entrepreneurs Lira and Supar. On 24 June 1959 the new cathedral was dedicated by Metropolitan Mar Yawsip Khnanishu and Bishop Mār Īshoʿ Sargīs. This dedication was marked by the attendance of high profile officials, among them the new Iraqi president Abd al-Karim Qasim, as well as other religious leaders.
In the mid-1980s the cathedral was appropriated by the Iraqi government, which planned to turn the surrounding area into a restricted area. In return, a parcel of land was given in the Mechanics' quarter (Hayy al-Mīkānīk) of Dora, Baghdad. A new cathedral was built there and dedicated in 1986, forming the only parish of the "diocese of Baghdad" to which the current bishop from this line, Mar Yawsip Sargis, was assigned. In 2002 the bishop left for the United States and has since been unable to return to his diocese. He currently resides in exile at Modesto, California. For many years after the 2003 invasion of Iraq the cathedral in Baghdad was closed, reopening in 2009. With the death of the resident parish priest in 2011, the cathedral is no longer used for regular worship.
The Maliks of Greater Jīlū: Legend and Tradition
According to Lalayan (Assyrians of the Van District, 1914), there was an oral legend concerning the origins and history of the Maliks of Greater Jīlū. The tradition is probably full of historical errors, but must have some element of truth to it.
It narrates that a man named Mandū, from the clan of "Nebuchadnezzar," for some unknown reason set out from the city of Āthor (Mosul), traveling in the company of his four brothers: Bārut, Yôsip, Bākus and Issé. Mandū had promised that he would settle in a place where they could feed him the head and shanks of a sheep (a dish called pāchā). After a long journey Mandū and his brothers arrived at a place named Pāchū, where a poor man fed them pāchā. Mandū observed that he had reached his destination and decided to stay there and become the head of that district. He chose a good place, later known as Zārānīsh (Zêrīnī), just opposite from Pāchū. There he built a house for himself. One day as Mandū was walking in the forest, he saw four birds but did not know from where they had come. He also saw a black stone, and nearby, a locked church. In his dream that night he saw the key to the church and a candelabra buried under the black stone. The next morning he went and found the key under the black stone, opened the church and entered it to pray. From that day that church became a place for worship for all the residents of the village. One day, as Mandū was walking according to his habit, he saw a large cave filled with human bones. He inquired and was told that some people had escaped from the Persians and had hidden themselves in this cave. The Persians found the cave and lit a fire before its entry, killing those inside it. Around the village there used to live some pagans who Mandū converted to Christianity, killing those who refused to. Mandū did not molest those from four well-known families though, and ordered them to go and live in a nearby village. They went as ordered and their descendants still remained for some time but did not increase. Each had remained one family only. Descendants of Malik Mandū became Maliks of Greater Jīlū, and also took the name of Mandū.
The same tradition recounts that during the reign of one of the Maliks, the Mar Shim'on (Catholicos-Patriarch of the Church of the East) fled from Āthor (Mosul) and sought refuge in Alqosh. The Persians then came and conquered the area and took Mār Shim'on to Persia, permitting him to live in the town of Ushnū, where he settled as a refugee and built a large cathedral. After a while Malik Mandū is said to have freed Mār Shim'on from the Persians and brought him to Zêrīnī. For 60 years after that time the Mār Shim'ons lived in Zêrīnī. The grave of one of them was even said to be located in the village cemetery. It is not clear why they left Zêrīnī and settled in the village of Tirqônis, and later in Qudshānis, which was given to them as a gift by Malik Mandū. They did not stay long in Qudshānis either because the village was near Julamerk, and prone to the raids of its Kurdish Emir (prince). He was therefore obliged to move to the district of Dīzan. Malik Mandū was not pleased that Mār Shim'on had left Qudshānis. He conferred with the Kurdish Emir of Julamerk on how he could return Mār Shim'on to Qudshānis. He went to Dīzan and burned Mār Shim'on's residence near the village of Rabbān Dād-Īsho'. Later they collected money and built a new one for him in Qudshānis, and invited him to live in it. In this manner Mār Shim'on was made to accept the invitation to go and settle in Qudshānis.
It continues to tell that the 'throne' of Malik Mandū was inherited by Malik Ahron. He attacked the Kurdish castle of Khirwāt (modern-day Hirvata near the Gawar Plain), took it and destroyed it. It was a great victory. Malik Ahron was followed by another who took the name Mandū. He also, like former Maliks, was a man of war. When there was a conflict with Malik Khubyar of Bāz, he attacked the district and killed a number of its inhabitants. Malik Mandū was followed by Malik Sulaymān and during his reign the Ottoman Government thought it was necessary to post its representatives in those parts. The Government appointed a local Rayyis (Chief) each in Julamerk, Gawar, and Shamdinan (Shamsdin). These Chiefs tried in every way to prevent fighting between the various tribes in the area. Therefore Malik Sulaymān and Malik Shlëmun who followed him, both had kept peace among the other tribes.
Malik Shlëmun was followed by Malik Wardā. It was said that he was bribed by the Kurdish chief of Oramar, not to aid the Assyrian tribes of Dīzan, Ţyāré, Tkhūmā when they were attacked by Kurdish Emir Badr Khān Beg of Bohtan and his allies. During the massacres of Badr Khan the Kurds attacked, plundered, killed and stole their cattle, but Malik Wardā did not interfere to defend the Assyrian tribes. Malik Īshū, who followed Malik Wardā, attacked the Assyrian Tkhuma Tribe and took away 2,000 head of sheep. After that the tribe of Dīzan attacked Tkhūmā, occupied the lands of Qarāsū, and put their own cattle in their planted fields. Malik Īshū attacked the Dīzan tribe, and took their cattle. He then controlled their fields and collected their farming produce for himself.
Malik Īshū was followed by Malik Mirzā. Nothing is known about this Malik. During the time of Malik Khālil who followed Malik Mirzā, Kurdish tribes attacked Jīlū tribes and stole 2,000 head of sheep. Malik Khālil complained to the Ottoman government, later taking 400 strongmen from his tribe and 40 Turkish soldiers to attack the Kurdish chief of Oramar. He was forced to pay Malik Khālil 200 Liras, 682 sheep, seven mules, four cows, and some carpets and other things. Afterwards, in 1909 Malik Khālil traveled to Europe to collect money. He was dressed in his native clothes and was introduced into the presence of Pope Pius X. He explained to the Pope that he was Malik of Jīlū and added that there was no education in his country and requested Pope's permission to collect money to open schools. The Pope gave his permission and in a short time he collected 18,000 Vatican Liras and returned home where he began to build a school building. He again went back to Europe to collect money. It appeared that he was impersonating a Catholic monk in his travels in Germany. As Lalayan had learned from a German Consul he knew, the German Government arrested Malik Khālil since they suspected him of fraud, i.e. collecting money for himself in the name of the Church, and he had requested the Consul to introduce him personally to German Government!
The Maliks of Lesser Jīlū: Legend and Tradition
Lalayan (Assyrians of the Van District, 1914), also recounts the oral legend concerning the origins and history of the Maliks of Lesser Jīlū. It narrates that Malik Zāmū, considered the head of his clan, along with his brother Bayrijjé and their relatives, had come from the village of Ţirnākhīr in the Bohtān region and settled in the village of Ţelānā in Greater Jīlū. They had been exiled from their former homes by Kurds. Several Maliks inherited his position. One of the Maliks made strong kinship ties with one of the well-known families of Ţelānā by giving his daughter in marriage to one of their sons. It is not known when they settled in Zīr. From this clan was born a strongman named Aro, who later brought Ţelānā under his rule, and assumed the title and authority of Malik. He was succeeded by his son Malik Gewargīs, and then his grandson Malik Khammū, of whom nothing particular is known.
Neo-Aramaic dialect of Jīlū
The Jīlū dialect is one of the most distinct Neo-Aramaic dialects of Southeastern Turkey. It falls under the Northern Assyrian Neo-Aramaic group, (similar to the Baz, Diz, and Gawar dialects). It also includes some elements of Turkish and Kurdish vocabulary and grammar. The most recent study of this dialect was published by Samuel Ethan Fox in 1997 (The Neo-Aramaic dialect of Jilu, Wiesbaden: Otto Harrassowitz Verlag).
|English||Urmian Standard||Jīlū Koine|
|To go||brikhshā or bikhāshā||bīzālā|
|Pillow||barishtā or spādītā||spādīya|
|Sit on the floor||tū l-ar'ā||tūllèrā|
|My Paternal Uncle||mâmūnī||âmôy|
|I will see you (to female)||b-khazzinnakh||b-khāznānakh|
|I will see you (to male)||b-khazzinnukh||b-khāznānū|
|I want (male)||ki-bayyin||ī-bânâ|
|I want (female)||ki-bayyan||ī-bâyan|
|For||qā||ţlā or ķlā|
|Offering / Sacrifice||qurbānā||ķurbānā|
|Drink! (imperative) (plural)||shteymūn||shtômū|
There are also sub-dialects within the Jīlū dialect, some with their own distinct pronunciation or verb conjugations. The Jīlū Assyrians read Urmian Standard based literature and read and write in Urmian Standard. Most can switch back and forth from Jīlū to Urmian Standard or Iraqi Koine when conversing with Assyrian speakers of other dialects.
The Jīlū dialect is said to "soften" sounds in Urmian standard Neo-Aramaic vocabulary (e.g. a softer "ķ" sound replaces the "qop" sound in qurbānā (like the "q" in Qatar) and becomes "ķurbānā", see above table).
Jīlū Chaldeans, especially those originating from Mātā d-Mār Zayʿā (Bné-Má), pronounce their "ā"'s as "é" when speaking, e.g. kābābé (kebabs) becomes "kébébè".[needs IPA]
|English||Urmian Standard||Jīlū Koine||Jīlū (Bné-Má)|
There are also variances in the way verbs are conjugated in the Jīlū dialect.
Some speakers tend to adopt a form of verb conjugation that is closer to the Urmian Standard, this may be considered the Koine Jīlū because it is the most widely used.
The Koine Jīlū may be attributed to the growing exposure to Urmian Standard based literature, media, and its use as a liturgical language by the Assyrian Church of the East. The Jīlū Koine may also be attributed to the social exposure of the Jīlū to Chaldeans of other tribes, and especially to those speaking the Urmian dialect. The majority of Jīlū Koine speakers are from Iraq or descendants of Jīlū Chaldeans from Iraq.
Jīlū Chaldeans from Syria tend to have a verb conjugation system that is similar to the Jīlū Koine but further from the Urmian Standard. Their sub-dialects originate mostly from the Greater Jīlū villages of Nahrā, Alşan and Mātā d-Mār Zayʿā (settled in Tell-Gorān), as well as Zīr in Lesser Jīlū and Ishtāzin (settled in Abū-Tīnā). Thy also employ vocabulary and terms that are foreign to Jīlū Koine speakers from Iraq, e.g. "ténowwè" (speaking) instead of the usual "b-humzômè" in Iraqi Jīlū Koine. Some speakers of the Jīlū dialect from Syria claim that their way of speaking is purer than that of the Iraqi speakers. It is certain that many Iraqi Jīlū speakers consider the dialect of those from Syria to be more archaic. This is because they have remained in two adjacent rural settlements until this day and are relatively isolated from other Assyrian groups.
|English||Urmian Standard||Jīlū Koine|
|What is the matter with you (plural)?||mālôkhun?||malkhū?|
Sub-Districts, Villages and Clans
- Zêrīnī (modern-day Demirli) - residence of the Malik
- Alsan (modern-day Arsan) - its inhabitants were originally from Zêrīnī
- Nahrā (modern-day Kapaklı):
- Yawela established Nara, he had 2 sons
- Latchin and Bella, who were the origin for all Nara`s families
- Bé-Khawshū (Bé-Yagmālā)
- Bé-Lāchin - originally from village of Bé-Nahré in Rumtā sub-district of Upper Ţyāré
- Bé-Billā - originally from village of Bé-Nahré in Rumtā sub-district of Upper Ţyāré
- Bé-Īshay (Halanāyé) - originally from the ruined village of Bīdū, said to be of Greek origin
- Mātā d-ʿUmrā d-Mār Zayʿā (Má d-Mār Zayyā):
- Bé-Hājī - originally from Ankawa
- Bé-Mār Sargīs (Bé-Yagmālā)
- Zīr (modern-day Üçkardeş) - residence of the Malik
- Samsikké (modern-day Yeşiltaş) - residence of the Malik
- Bé-Dāmirchī - originally from Arbil
- Mātā d-Ūryāyé (Má d-Ūryé)
- Bé-Baghshé (Beth-Bghāsh)
- Oramar (modern-day Dağlıca)
- Sāţ (modern-day İkiyaka)
Notable Jīlū Assyrians
Bishops and Clergymen
- Mar Rabban al-Qas
- Bishop of the Assyrian Church of the East in Baghdad, Iraq. Currently resides in Modesto, California.
- Rev. Shamli Tamras of Zir (BS, MS Chemistry)
- Priest of Mar Zaya Church in Modesto, California. Also university instructor in the field of chemistry.
- Rev. Shmael Tamras of Zir
- Priest of the Assyrian Church of the East in London, England.
- Rev. Isaac Malek-Yonan of Geogtapa
- Author of several books and essays including The Beloved Physician of Teheran (1933) and Persian Women (1898).
- Malik Qambar d-Malik Warda of Zerini
- Malik of Greater Jilu, and one of the Chaldean national leaders in the beginning of the 20th Century. General of the Chaldo-Assyrian Battalion of the French Foreign Legion and administrator of the Assyrian Protectorate in the Syrian Jazirah (1919-1921). Founder and editor of Assyrian newspaper "Khuyada" (Unity) in Beirut, and author of works in Assyrian and French.
- Malik Andrious of Zerini
- Malik of Greater Jilu in the early 1920s. He was deported with Catholicos-Patriarch Mar Eshai Shimun XXIII of the Church of the East to Cyprus in 1933 after the Simele Massacre.
- Malik Khammu of Zir
- Malik of Lesser Jilu during World War I. He was also an officer of the Chaldean forces under General Agha Petros at Urmia between 1915 and 1918.
- Dr. Jesse Malek-Yonan of Geogtapa
- Represented the Chaldeans of Urmia at the Paris Peace Conference in 1919.
- Canadian Member of Federal Parliament, member for Simcoe-Grey (2004-2011).
- George Malek-Yonan of Geogtapa
- Assyrian international attorney, politician and champion athlete.
- "Rabi" Youra (Ayoub Musa Khammu) of Zir
- Leading member of political bureau of the Assyrian Democratic Movement in northern Iraq.
- Sargon Nano Be-Billa of Nahra
- Assyrian Democratic Movement branch leader and representative in Basra, southern Iraq. Martyred on 18 November 2003.
- Dr. Sargon Dadesho Be-Billa of Nahra
- Founder and president the Bet-Nahrain Democratic Party (BNDP), Assyrian National Congress (ANC), Bet-Nahrain Cultural Centre in Ceres, California, AssyriaVision and AssyriaSat.
- Dr. Vladimir Kalamanov Avdashevich
- Director General, Vice Chairman and member of the Board of Governors of the International Center for Sustainable Energy Development in Russia. He is also a Class-1, Active State Advisor of the Russian Federation and holds the diplomatic rank of Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Russian Federation. From 2002 to 2009, he was the Russian Federation President's representative at UNESCO in France and, from 2000 to 2002, the Russian Federation President's special representative for Human Rights and Civil Liberties in the Chechen Republic. Prior to that, from 1999 to 2000, he served as Director of the Federal Migration Service of the Russian Federation. Also a member of the Assyrian International Congress of Russia. His Russian and foreign awards include: Order of Friendship, Order of Honor and Council of Europe's Medal of Merit.
- Rab-Khamshi Awraham Be-Mar-Sargis
- A Platoon Commander of the Second Battalion Iraq Assyrian Levies between 1921 and 1955.
- Rab-Khamshi Antoun of Jilu
- A Platoon Commander of the Armory of the Iraq Assyrian Levies between 1921 and 1955.
- Margaret George (1941–1969)
- Peshmerga combat woman, Kurdistan Democratic Party Activist, and commander of a guerrilla unit during the First Kurdish Iraqi War (1961-1970). Also known as "Daya Kurdistan" (the mother of Kurdistan).
- Musa Khammu of Zir
- Peshmerga guerrilla and Kurdistan Democratic Party Activist during the First Kurdish Iraqi War (1961-1970).
- Rosie Malek-Yonan of Geogtapa
- Assyrian actress, author, director, public figure and human rights activist from Los Angeles. Author of popular novel The Crimson Field <http://thecrimsonfield.com/>.
- Dr. Shamiram Pira Be-Billa of Nahra
- Pharmacist, poet, and director of Shamiram Assyrian Women's Association in Tehran (Iran). She was also a one-time candidate for position of Assyrian representative in Iran's Parliament.
- Awikam Shamasha Giwargis (died 2008) of Zerini
- Grandson of Malik Andrious, and founder of the Assyrian Club in Kirkuk.
- Alphonso Zarib Tower Be-Small of Mata d-Mar Zaya
- Late Assyrian community pioneer in Sydney, co-founder of many local Assyrian organisations, and activist.
- Allenby Dadisho George of Mata d-Mar Zaya
- Assyrian activist and a founder of the Australian Jilu Association in Sydney, and co-director of Assyrian TV Australia <http://assyriantv.com.au>. Contributed in the construction of St. Mary's church Fairfield. Spent three years in building St. Hirmidz Cathedral in Fairfield - Sydney Australia, together with Civil Engineer Mr. Youbert Aram Sarkees. On 9th Sept. 12, establishd St. Mar Zaia Towana & St. Mar Tawer CHAPEL, as a place of prayers and worship for all the Assyrians in Australia and overseas. It was consecrated by Mar Meelis Zaia, Metropolitan AM Archdiocese of Australia, NZ and Lebanon.
- Adad Ashurseen
- Brother of Margaret George. Former president of the Assyrian American National Federation (AANF).
- Albert Quryaqus of Mata d-Mar Zaya
- A founding member of the "Concerned Members of Mar Zaya Church" in Modesto, California.
- Pauline Jasim of Mata d-Mar Zaya
- Iraqi Assyrian women's rights activist from Chicago, currently in Baghdad.
- David Adamov ( Be-Adam ) of Alsan
- President of the Assyrian International Congress of Georgia.
- Edgar Bit-Bunov of Telana
- Assyrian activist and member of Assyrian International Congress of Georgia.
- Jimmy Giwargis Be-Khazi of Nahra
- A founding member of the Mar Zaya Church committee in Tell-Goran, Syria <http://narajhk.jeeran.com>. He is also a performer in the Khabour Assyrian dance troupe.
- Milton Malek-Yonan of Geogtapa
- Milton Malek-Yonan (1904-2002) was an Assyrian entrepreneur and inventor of "Malekized" rice.
- Lira and Supar of Mata d-Mar Zaya
- Successful entrepreneur brothers from Baghdad between the 1940s and 1960s. The former was the CEO of a cigarette company and had a monopoly on the industry in Iraq during that period. He also purchased the land upon which the old Mar Zaya Cathedral was built in the upmarket Karradat Maryam quarter of Baghdad. The latter was a skilled tiler and his tile company was famous all over Iraq.
- John (Youash) Tower Be-Small of Mata d-Mar Zaya
- Managing Director of Tower & London Property Agents, managers, Auctioneers and Valuers (Website: http://www.towerlondon.com/) in Sydney. He was also one of the co-founders of the Assyrian Aid Society in Australia (AAS-Au: http://assyrianaidsociety.org/), and served for a time as its president.
- Salim (Sam) Adam
- Director of Assyrian TV Sydney (Channel 31) for many years, and now co-director of Assyrian TV Australia <http://assyriantv.com.au>. Former owner of Nineveh Video in Fairfield.
- "Hakim" Yawmu of Jilu
- A well-known practitioner of folk medicine in Jilu and Iraq during the first half of the 20th century. His specialties were healing broken bones and dressing wounds.
- Dr. Deacon Peter David Kiryakos of Zir (BS,DDS)
- Practicing dentist in San Jose, California and also serving Mar Yosip Parish of the Assyrian Church of the East in San Jose, Ca. Ordained deacon 12/12/1976.
- Dr. Ronald C. Michael (MD) of Zerini
- Distinguished neurosurgeon and former President/Chairman of the Assyrian American League in Chicago.
- Dr. John C. Michael (MD) of Zerini
- Ophthalmology Surgeon and CEO of the Retina institute of Illinois. Former president of the Assyrian Academic Society.
- Dr. Nenos Damerchie of Sarpil
- First Assyrian chiropractor in Canada (Toronto and Hamilton).
Athletes and Sports-People
- Fadi Merza Be-Gulawi of Nahra
- World champion Muay Thai kickboxer <http://www.fadimerza.net>.
- Isaac Yukhanna Jasim of Zir
- Iraqi volleyball champion and former national team member.
- Ishu Yukhanna Jasim of Zir
- Former Iraqi soccer player.
- Tawer Johnson Zarib Be-Small of Mata d-Mar Zaya
- Former Iraqi champion cyclist.
- Tarzan Be-Zkharya of Mata d-Mar Zaya
- Former Iraqi soccer player and member of Iraq's National Air Force.
- Lilian Anoya Nicola Be-Gulawi of Nahra
- Iraqi women's handball champion and former member of Iraq's national handball team.
Intellectuals, Authors, Poets, Artists and Scholars
- Thomas Youaw Zaya
- Late author and historian from Baghdad, Iraq.
- Shushan Malek-Yonan of Geogtapa
- Author of a children's book (1927) published in Tabriz, Iran.
- Norman Malek-Yonan of Geogtapa
- Author of The Christmas Story (1958).
- "Rabi" Madlen Rasho of Nahra
- Translator of the History of St. Zaya into Arabic (Kirkuk, 1960).
- "Shemasha" Yawsip Zaya Be-Chalabi of Nahra (1908–2008)
- Shlimon Gilliana of Mata d-Mar Zaya
- Genocide survivor and author of Assyrians in the Wilderness (Chicago), which includes family trees of the Be-Haji and Yagmala clans, and a map of Mata d-Mar Zaya before 1915.
- "Rabi" Hermis Joudo Be-Lachin of Nahra
- Poet, author, educator and co-founder of Assyrian Writers' Union, from Sydney, Australia. Author of a book on modern Assyrian grammar.
- Samir Mirza Be-Gulawi of Nahra
- Talented singer, songwriter, composer and musician in Arabic, from Tell-Goran (Syria). Currently writes and composes songs for Arabic superstar Fadl Shaker, and resides in Cairo, Egypt.
- "The Great" Samir Toma Jallow of Mata d-Mar Zaya
- Author of the book; Kings (The history of Assyria, and its military conquests).
Journalists and Filmmakers
- Peter Bet-Basoo of Mata d-Mar Zaya
- Assyrian activist, journalist and scholar in the USA. Co-founder of and active contributor to Assyrian International News Agency (AINA: www.aina.org).
- Dr. Roland T. Bidjamov
- Assyrian political scientist and journalist from Moscow, Russia. Member of Editorial board of the newspaper «Khabre d-Atourayi», and former Editor-in-Chief of "Melta" (The Word), a quarterly, independent, public and political magazine by the Assyrian National Club of Intellectuals in Russia.
- Ashur Giwargis Be-Mar Sliwa of Gagawran (Gawar)
- Assyrian journalist, scholar and activist in Beirut. A leader of the Assyrian national movement in Lebanon.
- Terrence Malick of Geogtapa
- Assyrian-American Hollywood film director, screenwriter, and producer. Oscar winning director and writer of The New World (2005), The Thin Red Line (1998), Days of Heaven (1978), Badlands (1973).
- Dr. Marcus G. George Be-Zkharya of Mata d-Mar Zaya
- PhD in Civil Engineering (UK), MSc Eng (Civil) and a BSc Civil Eng (US). CEO and managing director of Engineering Consortium Consulting Engineers (ECCE: http://www.ec-uae.com/) in Dubai, UAE. One of the most influential architects in the Arab world.
- David Malik-Yonan of Geogtapa
- A renowned engineer in Iran who built many of Iran’s major freeways and roadways as well as numerous silos in Russia.
- Zaia Michael
- Top-class Assyrian civil engineer in Sydney, Australia. He worked for many years in Kuwait.
- Stalin Mirza Be-Gulawi of Nahra
- Mechanical Engineer and a department head at the Euphrates Dam in Madinat al-Thawrah (Tabqa), Syria.
Singers and Entertainers
- Shawel Malko
- Assyrian singer from the 1960s and 1970s.
- Malik Mirza
- Assyrian from the 1970s and 1980s.
- Manuel Simon
- Assyrian singer from Sydney, Australia.
- George Mansur
- Assyrian singer from Sydney, Australia.
- Karmelan Joudo Be-Lachin of Nahra
- Assyrian singer from Sydney, Australia.
- Tony Gabriel
- Singer from Canada.
- Steve Jallow
- Assyrian Singer from Chicago, Illinois.
- Romyo Youkhanna of Zir
- Assyrian Singer in Syria (Abu-Tina).
- Riyadh Youkhanna of Zir
- Assyrian Singer in Germany.
- Johnny Jelu Dadisho
- Assyrian Rapper from Chicago.
- Albert Jallow
- Assyrian Rapper from Chicago
- List of Assyrian tribes
- List of Assyrian settlements
- Assyrian Church of the East
- Dioceses of the Church of the East to 1318
- Dioceses of the Church of the East, 1318–1552
- Dioceses of the Church of the East, 1552–1913
- Layard, Austen Henry, Discoveries in the ruins of Nineveh and Babylon: with travels in Armenia, Kurdistan and the desert: being the result of a second expedition undertaken for the Trustees of the British Museum, London: G.P. Putnam and Co., 1853, p. 430
- "The Petroglyphs of Anatolia". Saudi Aramco World. March/April 1984. Retrieved 05-12-2011.
- Chabot, J.B., Synodicon Orientale, Paris, 1902, p. 285
- Wilmshurst, David, The ecclesiastical organisation of the Church of the East, 1318-1913, Leuven: Peeters Publishers, 2000, p. 300
- Chabot, J.B., Synodicon Orientale, Paris, 1902, p. 273
- Beth-Zay‘ā, Esha‘yā Shamāshā Dāwīd, Tash‘īthā d-Beth-Nahreyn, Tehran: Assyrian Youth Cultural Society Press, 1963, p. 895
- Wilmshurst, David, The ecclesiastical organisation of the Church of the East, 1318-1913, Leuven: Peeters Publishers, 2000, p. 278
- Wilmshurst, David, The ecclesiastical organisation of the Church of the East, 1318-1913, Leuven: Peeters Publishers, 2000, p. 301
- Wilmshurst, David, The ecclesiastical organisation of the Church of the East, 1318-1913, Leuven: Peeters Publishers, 2000, p. 286-7
- Wilmshurst, David, The ecclesiastical organisation of the Church of the East, 1318-1913, Leuven: Peeters Publishers, 2000, p. 282
- Layard, Austen Henry, Discoveries in the ruins of Nineveh and Babylon: with travels in Armenia, Kurdistan and the desert: being the result of a second expedition undertaken for the Trustees of the British Museum, London: G.P. Putnam and Co., 1853, p. 434
- Bird, Isabella, Journeys in Persia and Kurdistan, including a summer in the Upper Karun region and a visit to the Nestorian rayahs, London: J. Murray, 1891, vol. ii, pp. 282 and 306
- Coakley, J.F., The Church of the East and the Church of England: A History of The Archbishop of Canterbury's Assyrian Mission, Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1992, pp. 175 and 178
- Lālāyān, K.A., Āthorāyé d-Māhal d-Wān, Tehran: Assyrian Youth Cultural Society Press, 1968, pp. 27-31
- Lālāyān, K.A., Āthorāyé d-Māhal d-Wān, Tehran: Assyrian Youth Cultural Society Press, 1968, pp. 31-32
- "Margaret George, Bandita". AL-BAB: Impressions of a Middle East - Past and Present. October 19, 2009. Retrieved 07-06-2011.
- "Margaret George: 1941-1969 - An Assyrian Combat Woman". Assyrian Information Medium Exchange. Retrieved 07-06-2011.