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The Kurds are the largest group of nomadic people in the world – remained stateless since the beginning of time.

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Kurd, member of an ethnic and linguistic group living in the Taurus Mountains of eastern Anatolia, the Zagros Mountains of western Iran, portions of northern Iraq, Syria, and Armenia, and other adjacent areas. Most of the Kurds live in contiguous areas of Iran, Iraq, and Turkey—a somewhat loosely defined geographic region generally referred to as Kurdistan (“Land of the Kurds”). The name has different connotations in Iran and Iraq, which officially recognize internal entities by this name: Iran’s northwestern province of Kordestān and Iraq’s Kurdish autonomous region. A sizable noncontiguous Kurdish population also exists in the Khorāsān region, situated in Iran’s northeast.

Areas of Kurdish settlement in Southwest Asia.
An Iraqi Kurdish woman working in a folk museum in Irbīl, Iraq, winding lamb’s wool onto a spool to make handwoven carpets.
Areas of Kurdish settlement in Southwest Asia.
Encyclopædia Britannica, Inc.
An Iraqi Kurdish woman working in a folk museum in Irbīl, Iraq, winding lamb’s wool onto a …
Ali Al-Saadi—AFP/Getty Images
The Kurdish Language And Traditional Way Of Life

The Kurdish language is a West Iranian language related to Persian and Pashto. The Kurds are thought to number from 25 million to 30 million, including communities in Armenia, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Lebanon, Syria, and Europe, but sources for this information differ widely because of differing criteria of ethnicity, religion, and language; statistics may also be manipulated for political purposes.

The traditional Kurdish way of life was nomadic, revolving around sheep and goat herding throughout the Mesopotamian plains and the highlands of Turkey and Iran. Most Kurds practiced only marginal agriculture. The enforcement of national boundaries beginning after World War I (1914–18) impeded the seasonal migrations of the flocks, forcing most of the Kurds to abandon their traditional ways for village life and settled farming; others entered nontraditional employment.

A Kurdish goatherd in Yüksekova, Turkey.
A Kurdish goatherd in Yüksekova, Turkey.
Rupert Conant—Impact Photos/Imagestate
History

The prehistory of the Kurds is poorly known, but their ancestors seem to have inhabited the same upland region for millennia. The records of the early empires of Mesopotamia contain frequent references to mountain tribes with names resembling “Kurd.” The Kardouchoi whom the Greek historian Xenophon speaks of in Anabasis (they attacked the “Ten Thousand” near modern Zākhū, Iraq, in 401 bce) may have been Kurds, but some scholars dispute this claim. The name Kurd can be dated with certainty to the time of the tribes’ conversion to Islam in the 7th century ce. Most Kurds are Sunni Muslims, and among them are many who practice Sufism and other mystical sects.

Iraqi Kurds celebrating Nōrūz (a New Year festival often associated with Zoroastrianism), northern Iraq.
Iraqi Kurds celebrating Nōrūz (a New Year festival often associated with …
Safin Hamed—AFP/Getty Images

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Despite their long-standing occupation of a particular region of the world, the Kurds never achieved nation-state status. Their reputation for military prowess has made them much in demand as mercenaries in many armies. The sultan Saladin, best known to the Western world for exploits in the Crusades, epitomizes the Kurdish military reputation.
Social Organization

The principal unit in traditional Kurdish society was the tribe, typically led by a sheikh or an aga, whose rule was firm. Tribal identification and the sheikh’s authority are still felt, though to a lesser degree, in the large urban areas. Detribalization proceeded intermittently as Kurdish culture became urbanized and was nominally assimilated into several nations.

Kurds from the Jaff tribe cheering as they watch a horse race during the annual festival of their tribe, south of Al-Sulaymāniyyah, Iraq.
Kurds from the Jaff tribe cheering as they watch a horse race during the annual festival of their …
Shawan Mohammed—AFP/Getty Images
In traditional Kurdish society, marriage was generally endogamous. In nonurban areas, males usually marry at age 20 and females at age 12. Households typically consist of father, mother, and children. Polygamy, permitted by Islamic law, is sometimes practiced, although it is forbidden by civil law in Turkey. The strength of the extended family’s ties to the tribe varies with the way of life. Kurdish women—who traditionally have been more active in public life than Turkish, Arab, and Iranian women—as well as Kurdish men, have taken advantage of urban educational and employment opportunities, especially in prerevolutionary Iran.
The Dream Of Autonomy

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Kurdish nationalism came about through the conjunction of a variety of factors, including the British introduction of the concept of private property, the partition of regions of Kurdish settlement by modern neighbouring states, and the influence of British, U.S., and Soviet interests in the Persian Gulf region. These factors and others combined with the flowering of a nationalist movement among a very small minority of urban, intellectual Kurds.

 

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The first Kurdish newspaper appeared in 1897 and was published at intervals until 1902. It was revived at Istanbul in 1908 (when the first Kurdish political club, with an affiliated cultural society, was also founded) and again in Cairo during World War I. The Treaty of Sèvres, drawn up in 1920, provided for an autonomous Kurdistan but was never ratified; the Treaty of Lausanne (1923), which replaced the Treaty of Sèvres, made no mention of Kurdistan or of the Kurds. Thus the opportunity to unify the Kurds in a nation of their own was lost. Indeed, Kurdistan after the war was more fragmented than before, and various separatist movements arose among Kurdish groups.
Kurds In Turkey

The Kurds of Turkey received unsympathetic treatment at the hands of the government, which tried to deprive them of their Kurdish identity by designating them “Mountain Turks,” by outlawing the Kurdish language (or representing it as a dialect of Turkish), and by forbidding them to wear distinctive Kurdish dress in or near the important administrative cities. The Turkish government suppressed Kurdish political agitation in the eastern provinces and encouraged the migration of Kurds to the urbanized western portion of Turkey, thus diluting the concentration of Kurdish population in the uplands. Periodic rebellions occurred, and in 1978 Abdullah Öcalan formed the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (known by its Kurdish acronym, PKK), a Marxist organization dedicated to creating an independent Kurdistan. Operating mainly from eastern Anatolia, PKK fighters engaged in guerrilla operations against government installations and perpetrated frequent acts of terrorism. PKK attacks and government reprisals led to a state of virtual war in eastern Turkey during the 1980s and ’90s. Following Öcalan’s capture in 1999, PKK activities were sharply curtailed for several years before the party resumed guerilla activities in 2004. In 2002, under pressure from the European Union (in which Turkey sought membership), the government legalized broadcasts and education in the Kurdish language. Turkey continued to mount military operations against the PKK, including incursions into northern Iraq.

Abdullah Öcalan at a Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) training camp in Lebanon, 1992.
Abdullah Öcalan at a Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) training camp in Lebanon, 1992.
Ramzi Haidar—AFP/Getty Images
Kurds In Iran And Iraq

 

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Kurds also felt strong assimilationist pressure from the national government in Iran and endured religious persecution by that country’s Shīʿite Muslim majority. Shortly after World War II (1939–45), the Soviet Union backed the establishment of an independent country around the largely Kurdish city of Mahābād, in northwestern Iran. The so-called Republic of Mahābād collapsed after Soviet withdrawal in 1946, but about that same time the Kurdish Democratic Party of Iran (KDPI) was established. Thereafter, the KDPI engaged in low-level hostilities with the Iranian government into the 21st century.

Although the pressure for Kurds to assimilate was less intense in Iraq (where the Kurdish language and culture have been freely practiced), government repression has been the most brutal. Short-lived armed rebellions occurred in Iraq in 1931–32 and 1944–45, and a low-level armed insurgency took place throughout the 1960s under the command of Muṣṭafā al-Barzānī, leader of the Iraqi Kurdish Democratic Party (IKDP), who had been an officer of the Republic of Mahābād. A failed peace accord with the Iraqi government led to another outbreak of fighting in 1975, but an agreement between Iraq and Iran—which had been supporting Kurdish efforts—later that year led to a collapse of Kurdish resistance. Thousands of Kurds fled to Iran and Turkey. Low-intensity fighting followed. In the late 1970s, Iraq’s Baʿth Party instituted a policy of settling Iraqi Arabs in areas with Kurdish majorities—particularly around the oil-rich city of Kirkūk—and uprooting Kurds from those same regions. This policy accelerated in the 1980s as large numbers of Kurds were forcibly relocated, particularly from areas along the Iranian border where Iraqi authorities suspected Kurds were aiding Iranian forces during the Iran-Iraq War (1980–88). What followed was one of the most brutal episodes in Kurdish history. In a series of operations between March and August 1988, code-named Anfal (Arabic: “Spoils”), Iraqi forces sought to quell Kurdish resistance; the Iraqis used large quantities of chemical weapons on Kurdish civilians. Although technically it was not part of Anfal, one of the largest chemical attacks during that period took place on March 16 in and around the village of Ḥalabjah, when Iraqi troops killed as many as 5,000 Kurds with mustard gas and nerve agent. Despite these attacks, Kurds again rebelled following Iraq’s defeat in the Persian Gulf War (1990–91) but were again brutally suppressed—sparking another mass exodus.

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With the help of the United States, however, the Kurds were able to establish a “safe haven” that included most areas of Kurdish settlement in northern Iraq, where the IKDP and Patriotic Union of Kurdistan—a faction that split from the IKDP in 1975—created an autonomous civil authority that was, for the most part, free from interference by the Iraqi government. The Kurds were particularly successful in that country’s 2005 elections, held following the fall of Saddam Hussein and the Baʿth Party in 2003, and in mid-2005 the first session of the Kurdish parliament was convened in Irbīl.

Violence and instability in Iraq following the removal of Saddam Hussein and in Syria following the outbreak of civil war in 2011 threatened the security of Kurdish communities but also offered new opportunities for Kurds to advance their claims to autonomy. The primary threat to Kurds was the extremist Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), which captured and occupied territory adjacent to Kurdish areas in Iraq and Syria in 2013. Kurdish fighters in northern Syria entered into heavy fighting with ISIL and quickly proved to be some of the most effective ground forces against the group. Meanwhile, Iraqi Kurdish forces participated in a multinational campaign to expel ISIL from its strongholds in northern and western Iraq.

Picking up the pieces of the shattered olive industry near Mosul, Iraq, after Kurdish forces dislodged the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) in 2016.
Picking up the pieces of the shattered olive industry near Mosul, Iraq, after Kurdish forces …
© CCTV America (A Britannica Publishing Partner)
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During mid-September 2014 some 138,000 Kurdish Syrians fled into Turkey to take refuge against the assault by ISIL/ISIS on their villages; by November Turkey was playing host to 1.1 million Syrian war refugees.

On Dec.ember 29, 2011, near the southeastern Turkish village of Ortasu, people gaze at some of the 35 Kurdish civilians killed in a botched military air raid along the Iraq border the night before. The Turkish government admitted that the victims, who were identified as cigarette smugglers, had been mistaken for guerrillas.
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Aramaic Video – May be the answers you been waiting for?

The Bible was written in verse so it would not be changed.

A poem cannot be changed without changing its meaning. Even if one word is replaced with another, it will not mean the same. Of course, I’m talking of masterfully written verse, such as we find in the Scriptures.
Therefore, when you have a translation of the Old Testament Scriptures from the Ancient Aramaic (or Ancient Hebrew), the poetic structure is going to be lost, because the translators will attempt to capture the meaning and not reproduce the rhyme or the meter of the poetry. Such is the case with the Greek and Latin translations; they have not retained the poetic structure of the verses.
But why were the Scriptures recorded in verse if they were to be translated and used by all nations and tongues? I believe they were recorded in verse so as to preserve the exact meanings of the doctrines and oracles recorded by the inspired writers.
The Western translators say that the Old Testament Scriptures were recorded in verse — that’s why we quote chapter and verse — and that they were written in Hebrew; but why do they say that the New Testament was originated in Greek? Don’t they know that the New Testament is also written in verse? Well, if they knew that, why isn’t the Greek New Testament written in verse? As it stands, the Greek and Latin New Testaments are not in verse; their texts have no rhyme or meter like the Ancient Aramaic does!
For example, the Gospel of John, in its entirety, is one poem. It is a beautifully written poem. How can it be said that the New Testament was not originated in the Ancient Aramaic language when it is all in verse? The Lord Himself quoted the Book of Isaiah and Jeremiah, and they are both complete poems from the first word to the last. The Lord Himself delivered all His teachings in perfect verse. His words are preserved in verse only in the Ancient Aramaic. How can the Western Churches claim that the New Testament was originated in Greek?
Are they going to deny that the New Testament was written in verse? Are they going to say that the word “verse” implies only that the text is divided into sentences, which are simply numbered for easy reference? Then why does the Ancient Aramaic all rhyme and have meter?
No, in fact, all the Scriptures were originated in the Ancient Aramaic language, and that was by design, so that later generations and all the nations of the world would never be able to alter a single word of truth.
To prove this, I have made this video commentary on the Gospel of John, using verses 6 through 14 of the Gospel of John.

High Hopes for Kids Development Center Story

Microsoft Partner

The Microsoft partner community is a special group of truly invested businesses and professionals. We see this commitment to global good every day.  We delight in sharing the stories of a few of our partners who are making a difference in the world. Today we are sharing the amazing work of ImageQuest and their support of the non-profit organization, High Hopes for Kids Development Center.

We spoke with Co-Founder, President, and CEO of ImageQuest, Milton Bartley, about their philanthropy projects and the inspiration behind the work that they do.

Delivering Quality of Life

High Hopes Development Center provides a pediatric therapy clinic and inclusive preschool to families in Tennessee. The mission of the founders of the non-profit was to create a place that would meet the needs of families with children who had special needs or chronic diseases. The center consists of a therapy clinic that helps children and youth from birth to 21 years achieve success in all areas of their daily lives through physical, occupational, speech and feeding therapies. Their preschool has a special inclusive blend of children both with and without special needs in a developmentally appropriate setting.

Milton says that ImageQuest got involved with High Hopes for Kids almost a decade ago when after providing some services to the non-profit they came to learn more about the organization. As Milton learned more about High Hopes, he got more involved in fundraising and some other volunteer efforts. Inevitably, ImageQuest got to the point where they provide High Hopes with their critical IT services completely pro bono.

Supporting the Cause

Over the years, ImageQuest has provided all the necessary managed services, Office 365 licensing and communication tools, new computers, a new server, even video monitoring systems for classroom and playground security. They helped the organization apply and get grants for their equipment and, if they were unable to win the grant, the equipment was donated to the organization. Through their IT services and frequent support in fundraising efforts, ImageQuest has become an important part of the success of High Hopes for Kids.

The Inspiration Behind the Work

Milton said that the inspiration for ImageQuests™ support of the High Hopes organization is likely similar to many other benefactors. He said, It all started with a visit. When you go on site to the facility and you see the work that they’re doing, on both the therapy side as well as the education, you can come away from that not touched by the experience. I was just blown away. He was so affected by the work that High Hopes does every day to help special needs children and their families live a more enriched and fulfilling life, he knew that he needed to help in the best ways he could.

The Importance of Philanthropy from a Business Perspective

Milton says that the philanthropy ImageQuest does is important from a personal and a business perspective for a couple of reasons. Beyond simple altruism, he says that customers expect businesses to be involved in the community, but it’s easy for that support to be spread too thin. Milton explained,  “As a business, you get asked by many organizations to participate, and what I learned early on is that if I support every cause that asks, I’m giving very little and I don’t see the impact. Because of that, we made the decision that we would focus all our energies on only two charities where we knew we could make a difference.”

From an altruistic perspective, he said that its important for employees to know they work toward something beyond just a simple paycheck. Milton said, “We can see that we give back and we can see that were making a difference in our community, which makes everyone feel better about where they work.  This helps ImageQuest maintain a strong relationship with the community, helps with team morale, and even helps them with recruiting the best talent.

It makes us feel good as a business. Were doing something for society that makes what we do bigger than ourselves.

“Milton Bartley, Founder and CEO of ImageQuest”  

Do we appreciate the Faithful?

Hebrews 11:1-40 Aramaic Version in English

1. Faith, then, allows what is anticipated by the Hope [of the Kingdom,] He who was given to them through oaths and by the Revelation of the Invisible.
2. And through this is the testimony over the priests.
3. For it is through faith that we learn how to win eternal lives* by the Manifestation* of Allaha, and [how to discern] those things that are visible from what is Invisible.
4. It was through faith that Abel offered the sacrifice to Allaha that was more acceptable than Cain’s, and because of it he was regarded as righteous, and it was Allaha who testified regarding his offering, and because of that as Abel was on his deathbed, he was still speaking of it.
5. Through faith Enoch passed on and did not taste death, and he was not to be found, because Allaha had moved him away. For before he had passed on, there had been the testimony, that he had glorified Allaha.
6. Without faith, then, no human being can glorify Allaha. For a person is responsible for what is offered to Allaha, that is an indication of faith and a proof that those who love Him, He repays.
7. Through faith as He spoke to Noah about the unforeseen, Noah complied and built the ark to save his household, so as through Him they may deserve to live in the world and become the heirs of righteousness through faith.        
8. Through faith when Abraham was called on, he listened and went out to the country that was destined for him to receive as inheritance, and he set off not knowing where he was going.
9. It was through faith that he settled like a foreigner in a land to which he would be the heir, and he lived in the tabernacle with Isaac and Jacob, his children in the inheritance of the Kingdom.
10. For he held forth to the City that had a real foundation, a City that was crafted and built by Allaha Himself.
11. Through faith also Sarah, who was barren, received the vigor to conceive an offspring and she did not give birth in the season according to her years, because she upheld that faithful is the One Who bequeathed her the Kingdom.
12. Because of that from one who was retired through old age, were born many, like the stars in heaven and like the sand at the edge of the sea that is beyond number.
13. They all died while faithful, and all of them did not receive their lands, except from afar they saw [the Kingdom] and were overjoyed by it, and today as they are foreigners and settlers on the earth.
14. These things that are thus recorded [in Scriptures,] however, indicate that they yearned for their City.
15. And even though that they loved the City from where they had to get out, there was a season designated for them to return to it and revisit it.
16. Now, it was known then that they yearned for something better, that which was in heaven, because of which, Allaha was not embarrassed to be called their Allaha. For He did have a better city for them.
17. Through faith Abraham offered Isaac, as he was tested, raising his only child to the altar, the child he received through the Kingdom.
18. For he was Told that through Isaac your seed will be named,
19. And he reassured to himself that it is within the power of Allaha* to even raise the dead and, therefore, Isaac was given to him only figuratively.*
20. Through faith, according to what was destined, Isaac blessed Jacob and Esau.
21. Through faith as Jacob was dying, he blessed one by one all the children of Joseph, so as the head of his staff would grow and proliferate. (Joseph son of Jacob and Rachael.
22. Through faith when Joseph was dying, he reminded them of the Exodus of the children of Israel and he instructed them regarding his bones.
23. Through faith the parents of Moses hid him three months from the time he was born, to make sure that the child was well nurtured,* and they did not submit to the orders of the king.
24. Through faith when Moses was a man, he committed an offense so as not to be called the son of Pharaoh’s daughter,
25. And he chose for himself the tribulation of Allaha’s people and not the short season of sin’s pleasures.
26. And he viewed the Messiah’s riches that he harvested as better than his properties in Egypt, for he looked forward to his recompense.
27. Through faith he left Egypt and he did not submit to the king’s anger, and he preached as he saw fit regarding the Invisible Allaha.
28. Through faith he celebrated the Passover and sprinkled the blood so as the one who destroyed the first born heirs would not come near them.
29. Through faith they crossed the Red Sea as if it was dry land and the Egyptians were swallowed by it as they attacked them.
30. Through faith the walls of Jericho fell down, when they were circled seven days.
31. Through faith Rehab did not commit prostitution with those that did not obey when she received the spies in peace.
32. What else shall I say? For the season is short for me to comment on Gideon, Barak, Samson, Jephthah, David, Samuel and other prophets,
33. Those who through faith won over kings, performed righteous acts, received the inheritance, closed the mouth of lions,
34. Who quenched the roaring fires,* were spared the sharp edge of the sword,* were restored from illness, were mighty in battle, and were able to beat back the assaults of the enemy.
35. And they returned to the women their children from the resurrection of the dead.* And others were killed by demons and could not be spared, so that they may receive a greater resurrection.
36. Others entered through being subjected to mockery and torture, others were delivered through imprisonment and were mobbed.
37. Others were stoned, others were hacked, others died by the open sword, others went around attired in sheep and goat skin sacks, impoverished, harried and pummeled by blows.
38. No one* saw fit to give them a place in this world, and they were as though lost in the wilderness, the mountains and the caves and the crevices of the earth.
39. And all these so there may be upon them the testimony of faith; they did not receive the land,
40. Because Allaha from the beginning gazed upon the role we would play in helping them, so as they did not perish* in spite [of all our efforts.]*


*11:3.1 Lit. Ar. idiomatic expression: “Lives of the universes.”
*11:3.2 Lit. Aramaic: “Milta.”
*11:19.1 Lit. Ar. id.: “The hands of Allaha.”
*11:19.2 Lit. Ar. idiomatic figure of speech: “As parable.”
*11:23 Lit. Ar. idiomatic figure of speech: “Was handsome.”
*11:34.1 Lit. Ar. idiomatic expression: “Powers of fire.”
*11: 34.2 Lit. Ar. id.: “Mouth of the sword.”
*11:35 Lit. Ar. idiomatic construction retained: So they would not be subject to the second death.
*11:38 Lit. Ar. idiomatic expression: “No human being.”
*11:40.1 Lit. Ar. idiomatic figure of speech: “Shrink.”
*11:40.2 Lit. Ar. id.: Or: “die meaninglessly.”


Hebrews 12 | Bible Index

Use of chemical in war spare no human resistance.

A chemical attack hit Idlib, Syria yesterday, Corlis. Witnesses shared updates from a horrific scene: young children choking and struggling to survive amidst blasts of toxic gas.

Many didn’t survive. Today, the New York Times reported that upwards of twenty children are dead, with much more injured.

Corlis, UNICEF has been on the ground in Syria since the outbreak of civil war, ensuring that lifesaving aid continues to reach every child. Please, send help direct to Syria NOW >>

Image result for Syria Chemical Weapons Attack Deathmore…https://www.bing.com/images/search?view=detailV2&ccid=7mVzT0bR&id=E7797BC59DA433E8BC159C5B32CBAA2C7B3A973A&q=Syria+Chemical+Weapons+Attack+Death&simid=139497900449&selectedIndex=1&ajaxhist=0

Do not hide from this human destruction and death. When will we as humans stop killing each other?See more pictures

Trade work or a Vocation for…

If you are reading this, you must be responding to The Voice. If you are hearing the Voice, we need YOU in every nation. If you are hearing the Voice, do you sense a huge spiritual wave approaching… we need administration, educational opportunities, and system designed to ride this wave inland. Rebuilding American Mission Society in Pakistan. Pakistan is the center of several religions, cultures, traditions, and political influence. The only time Pakistan “the One Nation” is United in a Playoff Cricket game.

My opinion is we must allow the God to call us closer to Him. We are “who we are” to all Nations. Curious?

The Islāmic republic of Pakistan and Islam are synonymous since Pakistan is out of the Hindu-dominated British India so that Muslims could live and practice their religion free from any bondage, subjugation, and fear. 

Young Couples

Solid Reference: Known  Does this sound like freedom of religion? Or, a State Religion.

 

Archbishop of Punjab, Pakistan agrees with Archbishop of Canterbury

“The Syrian Church represents a very ancient and a very rich strand in the great tapestry of Christian witness,” said the Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams.

________________________________________________________________

His Excellency continues, “And perhaps most importantly to most people in maintaining the language that is closest to the language spoken by Our Lord himself across these centuries.

“I can still remember the experience of first hearing the psalms sung in Syriac and realizing that was probably the same kind of sound heard by Our Lord as the psalms were sung in Aramaic in his day.” (Look at the date of this article. It appears on the surface to be almost a prophecy of what the Syrians are experiencing now. Various human societies obviously are not as interested in preserving the Original Christian History as they pretend.)

Eashoa:(eeshoo) Sound

Jesus: (eesa) Urdu

Jesus: (eesa) Arabic

Jesus: (Yesu)

You have searched the English word “Jesus” meaning in Urdu which is “عیسی” eesa. Jesus meaning in Urdu has been searched 23,556 (twenty-three thousand five hundred and fifty-six) times till 2/10/2017. On this one website. You can find the translation in Urdu and Roman for the word eesa. Find the meaning in Urdu, Arabic, Hindi, Spanish, French and other languages.


London SE1 website team

Archbishop of Canterbury opens Tur Abdin exhibition at Southwark Cathedral

Giulio Paletta’s exhibition of photographs of Tur Abdin in Turkey has been opened at Southwark Cathedral by the Archbishop of Canterbury.

Archbishop of Canterbury

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Archbishop of Canterbury opens Tur Abdin exhibition at Southwark Cathedral

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Photojournalist Giulio Paletta, who specialises in small Christian groups, has been to Tur Abdin in south-east Turkey to record the life of the Syrian Christians.

The little ancient Christian community in the mountains has been immune from Roman influence but suffered in recent upheavals which saw death or exile from beginning of the 19th century to the 1990s. The Syrian Orthodox minority now finds itself struggling with little support from the Turkish authorities.

“The Syrian Church represents a very ancient and a very rich strand in the great tapestry of Christian witness,” said the Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams.

“And perhaps most importantly to most people in maintaining the language that is closest to the language spoken by Our Lord himself across these centuries.

“I can still remember the experience of first hearing the psalms sung in Syriac and realising that was probably the same kind of sound heard by Our Lord as the psalms were sung in Aramaic in his day.”

Speaking of the community’s present struggle with poverty and harassment, Dr Williams said that he wanted to express solidarity with them and pray for them.

“Turkey has an honourable tradition of tolerating and protecting religious minorities and it would be a tragedy if the next generation were to see that tradition becoming any weaker.”

The Bishop of Woolwich read out a message from the Bishop of Tur Abdin who said that it was a great comfort to have support from the British ecumenical Tur Abdin Focus Group which is staging the exhibition.

A second message was received from the Patriarch of Antioch who visited Lambeth Palace last year. The Patriarch’s representative Bishop Polycarpos also spoke.

Canon Bruce Saunders, welcoming the Archbishop, said: “Southwark Cathedral is a parish church rooted in this local community, we are the mother church of the diocese but from time to time we also behave like an English cathedral should with a national profile doing something which takes our interest beyond our own boundaries.”

Among guests at the opening were the Syrian Ambassador, diplomatic representatives from the Netherlands and Turkey, Metropolitan Seraphim of Glastonbury, the Bishop of Gibraltar in Europe, Fr Stephen Griffith who is both Anglican Chaplain in Syria and the Archbishop of Canterbury’s Apocrisiarius to the Syriac Orthodox Patriarch and the Archdeacon of Southwark.

For the Archbishop it was his second visit to Southwark in 6 days; last week he opened a new nurture room at Cathedral School in Redcross Way.

The Tur Abdin exhibition is at Southwark Cathedral until Monday 18 October.