We Assyrians lost our original homeland a long time ago. In the following centuries, our path led us to all corners of the world, where we found new homes.

Despite mountains of tragedy and strife cluttering our path since the fall of the Assyrian empire, and no matter where in history, we never lost sight of who we are, what we are, and where we come from.

Nor did we lose our profound love, respect and appreciation for Assyrian arts. After all, a nation’s arts are parts of its identity. They are its soul. They remain so today for Assyrians the world over. That’s why I am ecstatic to see Mesopotamian Nights become an important center for the Assyrian performing arts.

For the past four years, thanks to the sponsorship by the Assyrian Aid Society of America (AAS-A), Assyrian performing arts have exploded as more and more musical works are written, transcribed, arranged and, consequently, performed to carve our own niche in the international catalog of classical music and dance.

Watching and listening as writer and master of ceremonies for Mesopotamian Nights, I am filled with pride knowing that if we had it once upon a time, we can have it again. All it takes is to throw open the window and let our arts spread wings.

That all proceeds from Mesopotamian Nights performance and auction go toward helping our fellow Assyrians in Iraq makes the event so much more part of the Assyrian identity.

This year’s program, as in previous years, is packed with a musical extravaganza fit for Ashurbanipal’s courtly celebration. From Assyrian opera to symphonic music, Broadway-style Assyrian musical to ballet, Mesopotamian Nights promises a dazzling feast of Assyrian performing arts.

Please join me for a great evening of Assyrian music and camaraderie Saturday, August 21, at the Gallo Center for the Arts in Modesto, California. Thanks, and I look forward to seeing you.

Obelit Yadgar
Writer & Master of Ceremonies