“Akhikar and Nietzsche Meet in The Pages of An Assyrian Author”

proverbs-odisho.png“A Collection of Selected Religious, Universal & Common Proverbs and Quotations” by the late Assyrian author Odisho Bar Shamasha (Deacon, Assyrian) Youkhana Odisho is a compilation of carefully selected and multi-linguistically (Assyrian, English and Arabic) translated clairvoyant proverbs, biblical verses and folk quotes, addressing social, patriotic and religious subjects, from famous philosophers and international authors ~ Akhikar, Aristotle, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche, George Bernard Shaw, Mark Twain, Miguel de Cervantes, Khalil Gibran, Buddha, T.S. Eliot, William Shakespeare, Albert Einstein, Mahatma Gandhi and Confucius, who ultimately “insisted that society would not be peaceful if each individual man did not behave properly, according to his social station.”

In his preamble, the author recommends the publication of a new multi-linguist dictionary, calls for an international Assyrian (neo-Assyrian) academic conference that would introduce new vocabulary in the Assyrian language and affirms the necessity for formulating a universal methodology to help overcome spelling barriers to strengthen the existing grammar within the said language.

“Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth.” Matthew 5:5
During his eulogy speech in the year 2010, Sheba Mando, President of the Assyrian National Council of Illinois (“ANCI”), (Skokie), spoke about the humble nature of the author, including the endowment of the entire sales proceeds from his book to humanitarian projects in homeland Iraq, a selfless act that not even the author’s family would come to know until the day of his funeral.

Author Background
Odisho Bar Shamasha Youkhana Odisho was born in 1936 in the Assyrian Village of Zeyouka (Nahla Plain) in Northern Iraq, and received his education in the Province of Kirkuk. Between 1956 and 1967, he was employed by the Iraqi Petroleum Company (“I.P.C.”), during which time he met his wife Gozzeh Youkhana Gabrial Narsai and together they had three sons ~ Nabil, Naeil and Naramsin, and one daughter Nineveh. Seeking new opportunities, the Odisho family relocated to the capital Baghdad in 1968 and remained there until 1990, during which time instability in the country increased and the family sought refuge in Spain, until 1991, the year it made United States its new home.

The book, published in 2009 in Chicago (U.S.A.), is printed and copyrighted by ANCI as a part of the organization’s ongoing education programs.

This article is dedicated to the author’s daughter and my friend Nineveh Odisho. . . “Let your bending in the archer’s hand be for gladness; for even as He loves the arrow that flies, so He loves also the bow that is stable.” (Kahlil Gibran, 1923. The Prophet, Lebanon).

~ Helen Talia, MBA, CPA
February 2011