account_circle Log in
add Create
cancel Log out
settings Settings
Email address


Iraqis in America

By Levi Clancy for Student Reader on

▶︎ View related▼︎ Tap to hide

Genevieve Renault is said to have been married to King Feisal II in 1957,

Student Reader  |  JVBFPGNRC3
1880 November 30th

Fascinating information from and about an early Assyrian-American. He describes the relationship of Assyrians and Nestorians in an interesting way.


An Hour With a Native of Zoroaster's Birth Place.

The Fire Worshipers – The Ancient City of Oroomiah – Its Newspapers – Persian Punishments – The Garden of Eden.

Near the base of Mount Ararat, in Persia, where the Good Book says Noah's ark first rested, stands the ancient City of Oroomiah, the birthplace of Zoroaster, father of the Fire-Worshippers. Believing that a chat with a native of that far-off place would prove interesting a reporter of the Free Press yesterday called upon the Rev. Benjamin Eshoo, at his temporary residence, at No. 52 Adams avenue west. A brief account of a lecture given by Mr. Eshoo at Grace Church appeared in these columns on Thursday last, since which time the intelligent Persian has been visited by numbers of citizens.

"I see that the Nestorian Church is often spoken of as the Assyrian Church, Mr. Eshoo. Why is that?"

"It is the Assyrian Church properly," replied the Persian in his peculiar, rich dialect. "Nestoris was a Bishop of our Church, and we are called Nestorians by people outside the Church."

"You said in your lecture that you, in the church, spoke the language that was spoken by Jesus Christ, – then it must be that you do not conduct the service in the Persian language?"

"No, we dod not. The language of the Church is the old Assyrian, which in its modern form is still spoken in different parts of Persia. It is the language of Oroomiah. At the time of our Savior the Syrio-Chaldaic language was spoken in Judea, and Jesus preached in that language, but His utterances to God were in the language which He learned from His Assyrian mother, and which we Nestorians use in the Church today."

"Are there many Sun or Fire Worshippers in Persia now?"

"A few. There are a great many in Afghanistan, and some still left in Oroomiah."

"Can you tell me anything about their worship?"

"I know little about their religion except what I have seen with my own eyes. They worship the sun as their supreme God, and fire in any form bears some relation to their God. Diamonds are holy with them. Fourteen years ago I saw what I see a correspondent of the New York Sun calls a 'Mohammedan' miracle. He did not know what he was writing about. This of which I speak took place in Oroomiah. Five members of a society of Fire-Worshipers went into a blazing big fire, and remained several minutes without being burned or scorched. A great many persons assembled to see the sight. The Sheik, who is a priest among the Fire-Worshipers, sat, or kneeled, upon a small piece of carpet and mumbled a prayer or incantation in a language which no person but himself could understand. As soon as he began the five men, naked except a girdle about the waist, walked into the fire and stood there swaying their bodies to and fro. The fire was made of large sticks of wood and was very hot. A large sheet of copper, which had been heated red like blood, was in the fire, and this they took up and put upon their heads. They remained in the fire until the Sheik stopped praying, when they came quickly out."

"Do you not think he five men applied some chemical to the skin which prevented the fire from burning them?"

"I do not see how that could be. Not even their hair or beards were scorched. We were all astonished."

"Did the Fire-Worshipers make many converts out of this 'miracle'?"

"Not one."

"Have you many newspapers in Persia?"

"Oh! yes, some. Oroomiah has 60,000 inhabitants, and there are two weekly papers published there. They sell for a pannabat per copy. A pannabat is equal to between 8 and 10 cents."

"Has Oroomiah a Mayor or Governor who is under the Pasha?"

"Yes, and his word is law. If he say, 'Take off that man's head,' it comes off."

"How do you punish crimes in Persia?"

"Well, if you steal something the first time, they strip your feet bare and tie them to a stick. Then you are whipped on the naked feet until you swoon away. The second time, – one fo your hands will be cut off and you are fined a lot fo money. The third time another hand comes off, and the fourth time your head. For some crimes they lay a man in a hole in the earth, and pressing open his jaws pour melted lead down his throat, which kills him quick."

Mr. Eshoo is a very interesting and earnest gentleman, whose mission here is to secure help for the famishing people of Persia. He is about 48 years of age, and acquired his education at St. Augustin's College. He has visited Jerusalem, Bethlehem, the River Jordan, Cyprus, Greece, and Italy, and is familiar with the Seven Churches of Asia Minor.

Accepting some cards upon which were lithographed the Lord's Prayer in the language it was first uttered, the reporter thanked Mr. Eshoo for an entertaining and interesting hour and bade adieu to one who was born near the gates of the Garden of Eden, close by the Rivers Tigris and Euphrates, where the human race was first planted and where occurred nearly all of the important events recorded in Holy Writ.

Detroit Free Press, 1880 Nov 30; and again in Chicago Tribune, 1880 Dec 05

Student Reader  |  KWF5KK4KDM
1893 May 8th

Assyrians Wedded in Trinity

Took an Hour and a Half to Make Miss Mary Abo Reehan Mrs. N. Abo Samra.

Trinity Church had its first Assyrian wedding yesterday. The contracting parties were N. Abo Samra, an Assyrian merchant, of 74 West Street, and Mary Abo Reehan.

The bride, who is only seventeen years old, was attired in the conventional white dress and orange blossoms, and the groom wore a black frock coat and gray trousers. The Rev. Christopherus Jeberah, Archimandrite in the Greek Church, who has been in this country only a few weeks, tied the knot, and it took him an hour and a half to do it. Trinity Church was thronged with the friends of the bride and groom, and with many who were attracted by the novelty of the ceremonies.

The Rev. Mr. Joberah wore all his robes of office. Over a black gown he put on a long chasuble of white silk, embroidered with gold, and on his head he wore a high golden hat, which looked like a helmet of the time of the Crusaders.

The bridge was attended by a single bridesmaid, and there were no ushers. A choir of boys chanted responses to the priest's intoning, standing, with long wax candles in their hands, on the right side of the altar.

In the course of the ceremony, both bride and groom were crowned with flowers, and when the final words had been chanted, this were removed and thrown aside. The friends of the happy pair, who sat in the pews of the church, held lighted candles in their hands during the services. When it was ended, the candles were extinguished and carried away as mementos.

The service was conducted entirely in the Greek language. At its close, the newly-wedded pair entered a carriage and were driven away without the usual accompaniment of rice and old slippers.

NY Times, 1893 May 08