Assyriska FF USA is soon a reality!
SENIOR Assyriska FF has fans and members all over the world. The Club has become a symbol and an national team for all assyrians all over the world. Assyriska FF has appointed two ambassadors in USA in order to establish "Assyriska FF USA": Rev. Ashur D. Elkhoury and Mr Albert Davidoo. The project is running and we have spoken to Rev. Ashur about his view for Assyriska FF and the plans for the future.
Tell us about yourself?
I am an active priest of the Holy Apostolic Catholic Assyrian Church of the East. My parish is St. Paul the Apostle In Anaheim California for nearly six years. I served for nearly nine years as a deacon before I was ordained priest. I lead worship a small community of approximately 150 faith dedicated Assyrian American families. Our services are entirely in Aramaic, however, my homilies are In Assyrian and English. In my past six years as a priest I have been blessed by Christ our Lord and our strong willed parish to accomplish several key milestones for our community including:
1. acquisition of a $1.9 million dollar commercial property for $1.1 million.
2. annual fundraising galas that averaged over $100,000 each.
3. 85% full paid average membership.
4. Passionate parishioners for their Assyrian Church of the East faith.
I am also a full time practicing Architect in my own firm with twenty six years of profession practice. I am capable of practicing in any of the states in the US through the National Council of Architectural Registration Board. My practice is mostly in California, however, I have completed projects throughout the United States, Mexico, China. Concentrating my practice on hospitality, commercial, and custom residential projects. My firm is small however, well recognized In the southern California.
As for Soccer (football) I have been very passionate about the sport all my life since I played it in the dirt fields and streets of Beirut, then Egalio football youth academy in Greece. In the United States at age 16 I was accepted to the US Soccer Olympic Development Program (ODP), at age 17 played for the Pacific Soccer League (PSL) a division 1 semi- pro league with Rangers Soccer Club for nearly 3 years, then moved to the College soccer system for 2 additional years at Fullerton college then a Division 1 institution. After that I played for the AEK elite Soccer Club and Glasgow Premier Academy all in the 80’s and early 90’s. I also coached for many years
in American Youth Soccer Association as well as Canyon United a local youth competitive football Club to help my three boys develop a great skill and passion for soccer.
But my greatest asset in life (other than the Holy Trinity/ priesthood) has been Susana my spouse of Twenty two years. Who through her God blessed me with three incredibly talented, great looking, and healthy boys. David 19 (who is on continued trial with Assyriska FF in summer 2012) a PSA Elite and O.C. Blue Star Defender, Alex (who at 16 is currently the youngest player on O.C. Blue Star (a US Football Club and a professional Development league team); and lastly Emmanuel (Ammo or Manny) who plays for the Pateadores FC under 13 Gold team as striker. God Truly blessed me with my wife and best friend Susana for without her doing what I do as a multi-disciplined person would be impossible. She is the Hero of our family.
What is the General Opinion about Assyriska In the US?
Among the Assyrian American people of football interest, Assyriska is a symbol of pride for the Assyrian nation. An Assyrian “Dream Team” which has achieved phenomenal Success in the Swedish high level football leagues representing the Assyrian people worldwide. However, among the general US public little is known about Assyriska. However, among Major League Soccer (MLS) US teams they know who you are. As an Assyriska FF US ambassador and one of the founders of Assyriska-FF USA (a sister Football corporation to the establishment in Sodertalje) here in the United States our goal is to truly focus on bringing awareness about our national team to all the Assyrian Americans and the US football fans and media at large; also for the purpose of supporting Assyriska as National Team for all Assyrians worldwide.
Unfortunately, there is a misconception here by some eastern “Madinkhayeh” Assyrians who feel that the team does not represent them since there is no evidence of “Madinkhayeh” players or management/board representative in the Assyriska organization. It is vital that this misconception be brought to light and that a change to this train of thought is deeply desired by the Club for the benefit of all Assyrians Eastern and Western. We are all brothers and sisters conceived and delivered by our native motherland Mesopotamia “Bet-Nahrain” through the grace of God.
You Visited Assyriska Recently how did this change your View Regarding the Club?
My visit of the Club in early February along with my son David was truly a remarkable experience. To begin I was hosted by someone whom I had highly herd of, but not personally known to me. And now that person: a champion of philanthropy for all the unfortunate, a soul up-lifter of the depressed, a care giver of the abused, and the comforter of the displaced Assyrians and non-Assyrians; whom now I proudly call “Ahono” (my brother) Mr. Nuri Kino. The Hospitality provide by this gentleman Nuri, by his beloved Mother, all the extended family (Robil, Aziz) and many of his friends was truly genuine.
I had also the privilege to meet with so many kind and very respectful Board members of Assyriska at your Club facilities when I delivered my speech and presentation (on the USA project for Assyriska) to your honorable board on Thursday 2-2-2012. Your Board is truly made up of hard working and passionate Assyrians who spend countless hours for their beloved national team voluntarily; However, one person, truly shines like a beacon and un unbelievable leader and motivator for all under his colleagues. An example of self-sacrifice and devotion for his Assyriska Club; that is Mr. Nail Yoken. This person truly, driven by a big Heart, is passionate about success for Assyriska FF. His dedication and love for our national team along with the rest of the board members warm welcome of David and I to the club, frankly total eradicated my own lack of knowledge and misconceptions regarding the team and Organization as Western biased Assyrians. You truly showed us that you have no ethnic barriers under our Star and Zelge filled banner. And that is what won my heart and motivated me to support our cultural national team and let many Assyrian people, in the US and the world, know the truth about the people behind the team ad its movement.
Why do you think it is important to support Assyriska?
Because (with all my respect to all of our Assyrian national organization who have contributed applaudable milestone for the Assyrian national interest) in my opinion no other organized non-political movement with political ambitions has reached such high level of innovative recognition for our Assyrian people internationally; as this club has. Assyriska fights for our awareness worldwide as the indigenous people of Mesopotamia and battles for the knowledge of our people’s recognition by the international community on their Football (soccer) Arenas.
What role can Assyriska play in the Assyrian movement?
Assyriska plays a Huge Role for the Assyrian movement every time our immense ethnic Assyrian national banner displaying those bright yellow “Zelge”; and our team Athelets wearing the banner “Khaya Ashur” provide an emmidiate response of awareness of our Assyrian progress and struggles as faithful people without a nation.
May our heavenly Father and Christ Our Lord Bless you all. Amen!