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Aramaic still spoken in Cyprus

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  • thekoba@aztecfreenet.org
    ================= Begin forwarded message ================= The following article, attributed to Michael Theodoulou of the Christian Science Monitor, appeared
    Message 1 of 2 , Feb 1, 2004
      ================= Begin forwarded message =================

      The following article, attributed to Michael
      Theodoulou of the Christian Science Monitor, appeared
      on page A9 of the Sunday, February 1, 2004 edition of
      the Arizona Republic. It appears that even without
      Mel Gibson's efforts, the language of First Century
      Palestine, akin to both ancient Hebrew and modern
      Arabic, is not quite dead.

      --Kevin Walsh

      JESUS' LANGUAGE, ARAMAIC, LIVES ON IN CYPRUS ENCLAVE

      Kormakiti, Cyprus--If the people of this remote
      village were to travel back to Jesus' time and hear
      him preach, they would not need an interpreter to
      understand the Sermon on the Mount or the parable of
      the prodigal son.

      That's becasue they speak the same language as the
      Son of God. Literally.

      Spoken in the Middle East during Jesus' time, Aramaic
      is still used in everyday life by most of the 130
      elderly Maronite Catholics in Krmakiti, which
      overlooks the Mediterranean Sea.

      This could be good news for Mel Gibson. If the
      megastar has trouble finding an audience for <The
      Passion of the Christ>, his upcoming movie about the
      final hours of Jesus' life on Earth with dialogue
      mostly in Aramaic, due to be released next month, the
      folks here should have no trouble with the original
      biblical tongue.

      Still, Kormakiti's unique diluted version of Aramaic,
      called Cypriot Maronite Arabic, is in danger of
      extinction. Once the thriving center of the island's
      Maronite community, Kormakiti now has the eerie
      atmosphere of a ghost town.

      Many of the village's stone and mud-brick houses are
      derelict, their wooden-beam roofs sagging and broken,
      letting in sunlight. There is bird song but no sound
      of children, because there are none left in the
      village. "Sometimes we're like astronauts in the sky,
      no one's here," villager Elias Kassapis said.

      The elementary school, run by Kassapis until 1991,
      closed a few years ago when the last pupil left to
      attend a secondary school across the island's divided
      "green line" in the Greek Cypriot region.

      Under Cyprus' Constitution, created in 1960 after
      independence from Britain, the island's Maronite,
      Armenian, and Latin religious minorities had to choose
      to belong to either the Greek Cypriot majority or the
      smaller Turkish Cypriot community. They chose the
      former.

      After Turkey's invasion of northern Cyprus in 1974,
      the island's four Maronite villages found themselves
      on the wrong side of the cease-fire line. The
      majority of the 6,000-strong Maronite community was
      displaced, moving south.

      A stalwart few stayed behind in Kormakiti and three
      nearby villages in Turkish-occupied northern Cyprus,
      and are viewed by those who left as heroes protecting
      Maronite land.

      The Reverend Antony Terzi, the village priest,
      negotiated with the invading Turkish Army on behalf
      of those who refused to be uprooted. And he said the
      village was safeguarded by the pope's personal
      protection.

      The community nevertheless suffered. Families were
      forced out because of lack of opportunities,
      especially schooling. Those who left to study in the
      south were allowed to visit Kormakiti but not
      permanently return. Nor are villagers allowed to
      bequeath property to outside heirs.

      Provoding a lifeline to those in Kormakiti are
      Maronite Catholics in the south who send food,
      medicine, fuel, and other humanitarian supplies,
      which are delivered every two weeks by U.N.
      peacekeepers.


      --
      I don't mind a bit if I shoot down police
      They're lackeys for war, never guardians of peace

      from <The Patriot Game>, IRA song
    • mike ross
      i do my clothes at a laundry in tempe and the owners are americ and quite proud that jesus spoke their language. i didnt want to rain on their parade so i have
      Message 2 of 2 , Feb 1, 2004
        i do my clothes at a laundry in tempe and
        the owners are americ and quite proud that
        jesus spoke their language.

        i didnt want to rain on their parade so
        i have not bothered to tell them that
        jesus is a mythical person who never
        existed.

        mike

        ---- Begin Original Message ----

        From: thekoba@...
        Sent: Sun, 1 Feb 2004 09:08:08 -0700 (MST)
        To: azsecularhumanists@yahoogroups.com
        CC: cbpeek@..., lilyasirah@...
        Subject: [azsecularhumanists] Aramaic still spoken in Cyprus




           ================= Begin forwarded message =================
           
           The following article, attributed to Michael
           Theodoulou of the Christian Science Monitor, appeared
           on page A9 of the Sunday, February 1, 2004 edition of
           the Arizona Republic.  It appears that even without
           Mel Gibson's efforts, the language of First Century
           Palestine, akin to both ancient Hebrew and modern
           Arabic, is not quite dead.
           
           --Kevin Walsh
           
           JESUS' LANGUAGE, ARAMAIC, LIVES ON IN CYPRUS ENCLAVE
           
           Kormakiti, Cyprus--If the people of this remote
           village were to travel back to Jesus' time and hear
           him preach, they would not need an interpreter to
           understand the Sermon on the Mount or the parable of
           the prodigal son.
           
           That's becasue they speak the same language as the
           Son of God.  Literally.
           
           Spoken in the Middle East during Jesus' time, Aramaic
           is still used in everyday life by most of the 130
           elderly Maronite Catholics in Krmakiti, which
           overlooks the Mediterranean Sea.
           
           This could be good news for Mel Gibson.  If the
           megastar has trouble finding an audience for <The
           Passion of the Christ>, his upcoming movie about the
           final hours of Jesus' life on Earth with dialogue
           mostly in Aramaic, due to be released next month, the
           folks here should have no trouble with the original
           biblical tongue.
           
           Still, Kormakiti's unique diluted version of Aramaic,
           called Cypriot Maronite Arabic, is in danger of
           extinction.  Once the thriving center of the island's
           Maronite community, Kormakiti now has the eerie
           atmosphere of a ghost town.
           
           Many of the village's stone and mud-brick houses are
           derelict, their wooden-beam roofs sagging and broken,
           letting in sunlight.  There is bird song but no sound
           of children, because there are none left in the
           village.  "Sometimes we're like astronauts in the sky,
           no one's here," villager Elias Kassapis said.
           
           The elementary school, run by Kassapis until 1991,
           closed a few years ago when the last pupil left to
           attend a secondary school across the island's divided
           "green line" in the Greek Cypriot region.
           
           Under Cyprus' Constitution, created in 1960 after
           independence from Britain, the island's Maronite,
           Armenian, and Latin religious minorities had to choose
           to belong to either the Greek Cypriot majority or the
           smaller Turkish Cypriot community.  They chose the
           former.
           
           After Turkey's invasion of northern Cyprus in 1974,
           the island's four Maronite villages found themselves
           on the wrong side of the cease-fire line.  The
           majority of the 6,000-strong Maronite community was
           displaced, moving south.
           
           A stalwart few stayed behind in Kormakiti and three
           nearby villages in Turkish-occupied northern Cyprus,
           and are viewed by those who left as heroes protecting
           Maronite land.
           
           The Reverend Antony Terzi, the village priest,
           negotiated with the invading Turkish Army on behalf
           of those who refused to be uprooted.  And he said the
           village was safeguarded by the pope's personal
           protection.
           
           The community nevertheless suffered.  Families were
           forced out because of lack of opportunities,
           especially schooling.  Those who left to study in the
           south were allowed to visit Kormakiti but not
           permanently return.  Nor are villagers allowed to
           bequeath property to outside heirs.
           
           Provoding a lifeline to those in Kormakiti are
           Maronite Catholics in the south who send food,
           medicine, fuel, and other humanitarian supplies,
           which are delivered every two weeks by U.N.
           peacekeepers.
           

        --
        I don't mind a bit if I shoot down police
        They're lackeys for war, never guardians of peace

        from <The Patriot Game>, IRA song

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        ---- End Original Message ----




        When the government fears the people,
        that is LIBERTY. When people fear the
        government, that is TYRANNY.

        Thomas Jefferson
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