Chicago ~ Sunday, June 19, 2011 Four speakers, Dr. Anahit Khosroeva (Senior Researcher at Institute of History, Armenian National Academy of Sciences, Professor at Yerevan State University, Armenia and Scholar-in-Residence at North Park University, Chicago), Mr. Vasili Shoumanov (Orientalist and Activitst), Hon. Homer Ashurian (Archaeologist and Director of the Assyrian Universal Alliance Foundation "A.U.A.F.") and Ms. Helen Talia (Certified Public Accountant, Writer and Feminist-Activist), gathered at the Skokie locale of the Assyrian National Council of Illinois to present a joint-lecture, entitled "Remembrance and Tribute," honoring the life and work of the late Assyrian-Armenian Film Maker and Human Rights Activist Lina Yakubova, whose award-winning documentaries pointed the world to her nation’s "almost" forgotten genocide and the plight for its survival when a large number of the Assyrian population was systematically wiped-out, while the rest forcefully deported from Hakkari and Urmi at the dawn of the 20th century.
Culturally, she painted the most dramatic canvas brushed with the richest colors from the well-kept customs of Khabour, and carefully connected the dots to bridging her internationally-dispersed nation to the resurrection of a new Assyrian in Russia, Georgia and Armenia.
"Lina’s work," began Talia, "not only stood out, but surpassed cultural boundaries and gender chauvinism."
"Most recently," continued Shoumanov, "Lina was spotted on March 2nd at The First Assyrian Diaspora from the homeland: Assyrians in Armenia, Georgia and Tsarist Russia at the University of California in Berkeley."
Homeward-bound, without a doubt, was Dr. Khosroeva, whose close association and interest in genocide studies crossed with Lina’s, starting in Armenia, where the two were born.
Entrusting her earthly treasures in the hands of her distraught nation upon learning of her sudden passing on March 21, 2011, final speaker, Hon. Ashurian, "pledged A.U.A.F.’s role in helping complete the remainder of Lina’s unfinished films."
Much like Lina’s stories, all four speakers are, by origin, from different Assyrian settlements, Shoumanov (Russia), Khosroeva (Armenia), Ashurian (Iran) and Talia (Iraq).
Having brushed with uncertainties during the filming of "A Forgotten Page of a Nation" in (Hakkari) Turkey, the most profound statement that Ms. Yakubova was to make during her short, yet powerful life, in addition to her timely films, especially, and, in lieu of her small nation facing the most difficult turbulences today, hence, displacement and near-extinction from homeland Iraq, was her testimony at a hearing on the Assyrian Genocide before the British House of Commons in the year 2006 of our Lord. That same year, Lina was to become a candidate for Ph.D. studies.
Perhaps Lina’s life was not meant to be measured in years, but in the scope of her sincerity to her beliefs and the beginning to answering "the Assyrian question." The Assyrian nation, at large, remains indebted to Lina Yakubova, who, above all, earned a reputation of integrity because her faith in her nation remained unshaken.
This event, dedicated to the lifetime achievements of the late Dr. Donny George Youkhanna (1950 – 2011) Archaeologist, Professor, Lecturer, former Director of Iraqi National Museum and former Chairman of Iraqi State Board of Antiquities and Heritage, Lina Yakubova (1976 – 2011) Documentary Film Maker and Human Rights Activist, Dr. Mikhail Yukhanovich Sado (1934 – 2010) Linguist, Scholar, Professor of Semitic languages, Orientalist, and Politician, and Hanibal Alkhas (1930 – 2010) Sculptor and Painter, was sponsored, in part, by the Assyrian Universal Alliance Foundation, the Assyrian National Council of Illinois and the Assyrian-American Civic Club of Chicago.
Mr. Ninos Nirari (renowned Assyrian poet and writer) was the event’s Master of Ceremonies.
About Assyrian Universal Alliance Foundation
“Founded in 1978, The Assyrian Universal Alliance Foundation expanded its programs to include refugee aid services for Assyrians, in addition to offering services to the community and to educate people on the rich Assyrian culture.”
About Assyrian National Council of Illinois
“Founded in 1986, a nationwide non-profit organization assists in humanitarian and development programs in Illinois and the Middle-East, and responds to urgent needs of Assyrian immigrants from the Middle-East resettled in Illinois.”
About Assyrian-American Civic Club of Chicago
“Founded in 1975, a non-profit organization whose aim is the creation, promotion and spread of Assyrian culture, literature and heritage, the preservation of Assyrian customs, national traditions and folklore among the members of the Assyrian Diaspora, in addition to the American community, at large, in greater Chicago.”
Helen Talia, MBA, CPA
Education Committee Chairwoman
Assyrian National Council of Illinois