Displaying items by tag: mandaean - Mandaean Associations Union - اتحاد الجمعيات المندائية

The Mandaean Human rights group condemns the brutal killing of a Mandaean man in Kirkuk and wounding his brother.

On Sunday 27 Nov 2016 Mr Sami Kafif Z. AlZuhairy was murdered in the streets of Kirkuk, and his brother was wounded. The two brothers were attacked by four gunmen while driving to work. The attackers escaped chanting anti "Kufar" slogans.

The Mandaean Human Rights Group holds the Iraqi government and the security forces responsible for protecting all minorities and especially the weakest group 'the Mandaeans of Iraq". The Genocide that the Mandaeans are facing is a direct blow to all efforts to keep, let alone build ,a free and safe country.

We ask of the international community to help the Mandaeans in their dilemma and put pressure on the Iraqi sectarian leaders to respect the human rights of minorities in general and the Mandaeans in particular.

It is time to establish the Minorities Security Council under an international umbrella to protect, preserve and provide logistic support for the survival of the Iraqi Minorities.

The Mandaean Human Rights Group

Published in MHRG
Wednesday, 15 October 2014 13:07

Iraqi Minorities Security Council Proposition

To protect the remaining minorities in Iraq, the world needs to support the establishment of the Minority Security Council that has the authority to defend the rights of the minorities and assure equal treatment and opportunities to all Iraqi citizens. This council must have advisors to the Iraqi President, the Prime Minister, and the Chairperson of the Council of Representatives of Iraq (CoR).

The Iraqi minorities have found that their rights took a deeper dive to the worse in the New Iraq. They had no place to voice their concerns and fewer political powers would listen, let alone act. Their situation is getting worse especially after the rise of ISIL. The renewed fight for power after the new elections and the rearrangement of power makes the Minorities Rights much lower on the Iraqi agenda. We think that this issue has no chance of success if it were adopted by the USA and UN as an international responsibility.

This Council will be a first step toward trust-building and as a sign of good faith from the new Iraqi leadership towards religious minorities.

The definition of security here implies short-term and long-term security including physical, mental and social security.

The council should include the following:
Representatives of all ethno/religious minorities in Iraq including Christians, Sabian Mandaeans, Yezisdis and other religious minorities
Representatives of the Prime Minister's Office
Representatives of the Security and Emergency Forces from both the police and military
Representatives of the Ministry of Human Rights in Iraq
Observer/s from the UN or any other agreed upon, neutral international body

Council functions:
Short Term:
1. Act upon any immediate threat to the minorities by direct hot lines from designated Minority members
2. Follow up on the atrocities and find out the final result in regular monthly meetings
3. Follow up on the humanitarian needs of the refugees inside Iraq or outside
4. Other immediate needs

Long Term:
1. The council will work as the place for minorities to voice their concerns and suggest working solutions for these concerns based on citizenship
2. Work to monitor the progress of the governmental implementation of the constitutional rights of minorities and bring the attention of the government to any breaches of these rights
3. Work to rebuild the lost confidence between the minorities and the Iraqi government and help in the return of the refugees to their homelands
4. Work to build the infrastructure of the historically disadvantaged minority communities in Iraq

The presence of an international monitor appointed by the UN through a mandate by the Un Security Council will work as a safeguard and prevent any future disregard to minority rights.

We hope that our suggestions will be considered, studied and improved to a final suggestion that can be negotiated with the Iraqi powers.

Thank you,

Suhaib Nashi
G. Secretary
The Mandaean Associations Union

Published in Views

 Although Mandaeans neglected to document their history and have lost much of their oral traditions, they were quite eager to keep their religious heritage by copying their manuscripts. They therefore adopted strict regulations for copying their sacred manuscripts, to maintain and preserve them from one generation to the next.

The Ginza Rabba, or “Great Treasure”, is Mandaeans’ largest collection of religious principles and instructions. According to their beliefs, the Ginza was the first revelation of God to Adam and thus considered as their holy book. Among Mandaeans, the book is also known as Sidra Rabba, the great codex or Sidra ’d Adam, the codex of Adam.

As unique as these people are, their holy book is specially arranged: it consists of two volumes, the yamina or “right” and smala or “left” Ginza. The “right” volume is larger and contains 18 chapters divided into individual tractates, whereas the “left” volume includes 3 main chapters containing many hymns. The way of binding both volumes together is very particular and used by the Mandaeans only for this book. Both parts have to be bundled together in one tome; the “left” part is placed upside-down to the “right” part, so that both parts can be read from right-to-left according to the Mandaic alphabet.

The Ginza Rabba varies in its contents and deals with spiritual, even metaphysical aspects. It also deals with the mortal life of human beings and describes ancient visions concerning life after death. In particular, the “right” volume depicts the Mandaean theology, cosmogony and anthropogeny, i.e. the Mandaeans’ dogma of monotheism and the creation story of the cosmos and mankind; in this part, Mandaean ethics are outlined by a detailed account of moral duties. On the other hand, the “left” volume is concerned entirely with the return of the soul to its origin in the world of light; it is about the ascent of the soul after death and the idea of eternal life.

Generally, the Ginza Rabba represents consecutively the principles of the Mandaean doctrine: the belief of the only one great God, Hayyi Rabbi, to whom all absolute properties belong; he created all the worlds, formed the soul through his power, and placed it by means of angels into the human body. So he created Adam and Hawa/Eve, the first man and woman. Since the soul was brought down to the material world, it has to stay for a defined period of time in the human body and is obliged to suffer its worldly fate; however, the soul as a part of the divine creation should encourage human beings to do good deeds and to confront evil with God’s help. God therefore sent the saviour to protect the soul, along with messengers to guide the people to a pious life according to His will. When the soul completes its predestined lifespan, the saviour will come to accompany it back from the body to its origins, whereupon it has to pass through several stations of purification.
In more recent times, Mandaeans have been facing serious difficulties in reading and understanding the Ginza Rabba, and explaining its contents to their children and neighbors because of its original Mandaic language.
In the past, there were several serious attempts to translate the Ginza Rabba into foreign languages by scholars as part of their studies of Mandaean religion. This began with the attempt of the Swedish Orientalist Mathias Norberg to translate it into Latin in 1815/1816. The first printed version of the Ginza Rabba was copied by the German Orientalist Heinrich Julius Petermann in 1867. Then the German scholar Wilhelm Brandt attempted to translate the whole book into German, but only published some portions in 1839. His colleague Mark Lidzbarski produced the first translation of the whole book into German in 1925. Other scholars included in their publications some passages translated into English, usually relying upon the German version.
Despite these considerable efforts, Mandaeans were unable to use these editions in Iraq and Iran due to the unfamiliarity of German and Latin there. As the result of an increasing need to have a comprehensible Ginza in Iraq, the headship of the Mandaeans decided to translate the Ginza Rabba into Arabic.

Since the last quarter of the twentieth century, the Mandaeans have been forced to leave their homelands. They have escaped to many countries, so that three-quarters of them are now living in the Diaspora.
Due to their emigration to foreign countries, the new generation of Mandaeans is becoming fully integrated into their new societies. They are deeply influenced by the cultures and the languages of these new “homelands”. However, they have to sustain their identity by means of understanding their own religion and presenting their faith to other interested people.

As a result of this, it became necessary to translate the Ginza Rabba into English, so that coming generations will maintain their religious education in a language which is of common use.
Even though this edition represents a translation of the meaning, reflecting the intentions behind the original text rather than a literal translation, we were quite careful and attentive towards conveying the spiritually worded text from its Mandaic origins to an understandable language. The Ginza Rabba should be easily read and understood by everyone; our aim is to make its ancient heritage coherent with modern usage, so that readers are not confused.
This project was according to the permission and supervision of Rishema Sattar Jabbar Hillo the head of the Mandaeans in the world and Rishema Salah Jabbar Tawos the head of the Mandaeans in Australia. I would like to thank them for involving me in this important project.

http://www.amazon.de/Ginza-Rabba-Prof-Qais-Al-Saadi/dp/B00A3GO458
[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IOXWHyvSm8U[/youtube]

Published in Mandaean identity