Rabi Hirmis Aboona Passes Away

4/30/2009 6:06:00 PM
Dr. Hirmis Aboona

After a long battle with illness, on the evening of Monday April 27, 2009, the Assyrian historian Dr. Hirmis Aboona passed away at the age of 69, in the city of Toronto, Canada. Rabi Hirmis Aboona Passes Away.

Hirmis Aboona is the author of several books on the ancient and modern history of the Assyrian people. His articles and books deal with the origin of Assyrian identity, the emergence of Assyrian political movements, and the development of Assyrian culture. Dr. Aboona holds a Ph.D. from the University of Exeter, and has lectured at universities, including the University of Sydney, University of Cambridge, as well as various universities in Syria and Lebanon.

Rabi Hirmis Aboona was born in the Assyrian town of Alqosh in 1940, a place whose origins date back to 15,000 B.C. according to one of the many well-documented articles published by him. His parents Mousa Aboona and Maryam Asmaro, made their living by farming their land, and later by running a grocery store. His family is from the original line of the Patriarch of the Church of the East known as the patriarchs of Mar Elia - Beth Aboona. The last was Yohanan Hormizd Aboona who converted to Catholicism. He was the first patriarch of the Chaldean Catholic Church. Rabi Hirmis Aboona spent his childhood in Alqosh, where he received his preliminary education before going on to Baghdad to obtain a degree in Surveying and a BA degree in Law from the University of Baghdad in 1963/64. In 1967, he married Nanni Esa Rasho and together they were blessed with three children.

He left Beth Nahrin for England in 1982 where he spent six years studying and conducting research for his Ph.D. degree in Assyrian History. Due to personal problems, he left for Canada in 1988. In recent years, he received his Ph.D. degree from University of Exeter in Canada.

Rabi Hirmis had devoted his life to research and study of our history. His articles have been published in magazines and newspapers in North America, Europe and the Middle East. He had also helped other Assyrian writers edit their works for publication. An additional fruit of his research is a comprehensive series of twelve manuscripts, titled The Assyrians After the Fall of Nineveh. The individual titles of his twelve volumes are as follows:

I. From the Fall of Nineveh to the Arrival of Christianity

II. The Assyrians and Christianity

III. The Assyrians During the Arab Islamic Rule

IV. Part 1 - The Assyrians Under the Mongol Rule.

IV. Part 2 - The History of the Kurdish Settlement in Assyria

V. Independent Assyrian Tribes in Tiyare and Hakkari and the Surrounding Assyrian Regions

VI. The Massacres of Bedr Khan Beg in Tiyare and Hakkari 1843-1846

VII. Persecution of the Assyrians, Chaldeans and Syriacs in the 19th Century

VIII. Uncovered Pages in the History of the Chaldean Church

IX. Assyrians Before and After WWI

X. Assyrians and the Mosul Problem

XI. Assyrians, Chaldeans and Syriacs, "One Nation with Multiple Names"

XII. Assyrians and the Contemporary Political Movement

Volumes V, VI and VIII have appeared in print in Arabic thus far. The rest, written and some ready on computer, await publishing. They contain a great deal of new historical facts about our people. Also, in December 28, 2008, his dissertation was published as a book in English titled: "Assyrians, Kurds, and Ottomans: Intercommunal Relations on the Periphery of the Ottoman Empire".

Rabi Hirmis Aboona was a great talent and deserved far greater attention than he received. He was a fighter who was racing to write day after day despite the health problems that he faced. He was a man of courage, dedication and talent. Although he wished to have his life-long work published, but his main hope was that "Our nation unites. For our survival, we have no choice other than Huyada."