Sunday, April 20, 2014

Distinguished Artist Donates to Mesopotamian Night 2014

Although he is not new to art, he is a new member of the Mesopotamian Night Family.  Ninos Chammo ( is a scultptor, painter and jewelry maker – a worldwide renowned artist.  It is with great pleasure to announce that Mr. Chammo has donated one of his art pieces to Mesopotamian Night 2014.  In the oil on canvas piece entitled “Nostaligia”, Mr. Chammo captures the spirit of Mesopotamian Night by displaying visions of dancers, musicians and audience enjoying the scene.  

Nostaligia, by Ninos Chammo

“How do I describe my art?

As a fusion of cultures. From Gelgamesh's immorality, to Dante's inferno, to Gibran's philosophy, my work bridges historical and cultural difference. I am eternally inspired by the earth's natural elements of fire and water, earth and sky, and life and death.

I was chosen by Art.
It's not what I do - It's who I am.

I was born Assyrian.  I grew up living among the rich culture and history of Italy. At age
16, I started my apprenticeship in Florence. That is where l first learned the skills of sculpting, painting and designing. For over seven years I mastered my trade in several
schools, ateliers and artisan shops.

At the Accademia Delle Belle Arti, I gained a profound understanding of the fine arts. I became proficient in creating frescos and monuments at Raymondo Riaci Atelier. I discovered one of my greatest passions - Sculpting - at Bronzi Di Firerce. There I worked as a professional sculptor, creating statues in Bronze A Cera Persa- I also worked in Bini Alfonso, the famous artisan shop, alongside the Japanese artist, Harwo Kinoshita. Under Florentine traditions, I created wood sculptures and paper mache masks, as wells as interior design and jewelry for Ponte Vecchio.

For the last three years, I have been designing sterling silver jewelry in New York City.
My work has been displayed in galleries throughout Europe and United States.

Artist Ninos Chammo

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Assyrian Sculptor Fred Parhad to be Honored at Mesopotamian Night

It is our pleasure to announce that Mr. Fred Parhad, the renowned Assyrian sculptor, will be honored at the 7th annual Mesopotamian Night.  The event will be held in San Jose on June 21, 2014, at the California Theatre.  At the event, Mr. Parhad will receive the honor of “Raab Amneh” (Master of Arts). In addition, Mr. Parhad will be offering one of his works to be auctioned off at the live auction where the proceeds will go directly to support the efforts of the Assyrian Aid Society of America.  There will also be a showcase of Mr. Parhad's works in the lobby that evening.  We look forward to seeing you there . . .

Below is a biography of Mr. Parhad.

Fred Parhad is a self-taught sculptor with over 35 years of professional dedication to his work. From the start he chose to approach the art world in the only way he believed could produce satisfactory results; he challenged himself to learn by doing. In 1976 he moved to New York and for the next four years worked in foundries to learn the techniques and traditions of a craft well over five thousand years old.

Eager to study from the best instructors history had to offer he spent the hours away from the foundry at the Metropolitan Museum of Art where, on an initial visit to see his beloved French Impressionists, he walked through the Near Eastern Galleries and saw, for the first time, the collection of magnificent Assyrian and Babylonian art. The Impressionists would have to wait. He received permission from the administration to copy, in clay, the “Lion of Ishtar” , which was to be the first of over thirty Assyrian/Babylonian art pieces he would copy, which served as his teachers.

Beginning in 1978, and on his mother Bella Parhad's advice, he presented his bronze and glazed ceramic sculptures at annual Assyrian conventions around the country. In 1983 Fred began work on a bronze monument of Ashurbanipal, installed in San Francisco's Civic Center, in 1988. This is the first Assyrian public monument placed anywhere in the world in the last 2500 years. A final site is being considered for his monument of Shumirum. In addition to Assyrian sculpture Fred has had a bronze portrait of Mark Twain installed at the Bancroft Library, at the University of California, Berkeley, which is the primary repository of the Twain papers. They are also publishers of the final and complete Twain Biography.
 Also this year he will complete eleven bronze portraits of the pioneers of the food and wine revolution in America of the 1970s, which includes Narsai M. David, Julia Child, Robert Mondavi and others. The collection will be installed at the entrance to Napa Valley College's Culinary Arts campus at St Helena, California.

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Press Release: Seventh Annual Mesopotamian Night Gala in San Jose

Media Contacts:
Tony Khoshaba, Executive Producer / (408) 644-1591 /                                                                                                                       
David Perry & Associates, Inc. / (415) 693-0583 /   

Seventh Annual Mesopotamian Night Gala
Saturday, June 21 At San Jose’s California Theatre 

8 April 2014 – San Francisco, CA: The Assyrian Aid Society of America present the Seventh Annual Mesopotamian Night ( event at Saturday, June 21 at the California Theatre in San Jose, California.  In the Mesopotamian Night gala tradition, the evening begins at 5pm with a reception featuring fine wine and hors d’oeuvres followed by Assyrian-themed performances starting at 7pm.  Throughout the evening, a silent and live auction will offer an impressive gallery of art works by Assyrian artists. Considered the premiere fundraising event of the Assyrian Aid Society of America, this event has also become the primary medium for advancing and promoting Assyrian arts and culture including music, sculpture, painting and dance. 

“The previous six programs have raised over $350,000 to fund Assyrian education, humanitarian and refugee relief efforts throughout the Middle East,” said the event’s Executive Producer, Tony Khoshaba.  “With your support, we would like to continue this worthy endeavor.”

This year’s performance program is comprised of two acts.  Act One is a ballet theatre presentation of  The Little Lantern based on the popular children's book written by Ghassan Kanafani. The libretto and exquisite choreography is created by Assyrian ballerina Sherene Melania with enchanting musical composition and arrangement by Assyrian composer George Somi.  Melania, a member of the San Francisco Arts Commission, is also the Artistic Director of the internationally-acclaimed Presidio Dance Theatre.  Act Two features music from the repertoire of Assyrian composer Alexander Shoora Michaelian performed by the Mesopotamia choir and symphony orchestra conducted by Maestro John Kendall Bailey, followed by the music of Assyrian singer Ogin Betsamo

“We will also be honoring two great Assyrians for their extraordinary contribution to Assyrian Arts,” Khoshaba continued. “Our first honoree is Mr. Shoora Michaelian for his contribution to Assyrian music for over seven decades.  We will also be honoring Mr. Fred Parhad for his exceptional contribution in promoting the Assyrian heritage through his work in the field of art and sculpture.”

Tickets for this year’s event can be purchased directly at the theatre box office or Mesopotamian Night or online at:  Tickets may also be purchased directly, without a service fee, by contacting Sabrina Abraham at (408) 921-2401 or

Monday, March 24, 2014

Assyrian violinist Sinella Aghasi to perform at Mesopotamian Night concert

We are extremely excited to announce that this year and for the first time, we will have an Assyrian violinist in our Mesopotamia Symphony Orchestra.  Miss. Sinella Aghasi will be performing with the orchestra on June 21, 2014 at the CA Theater in San Jose at the 7th Annual Mesopotamian Night concert.  

Sinella is an accomplished violinist and began playing the violin at the age of 7.  She was awarded multiple scholarships from the CSU Stanislaus 2010 and also served as the concertmaster of the CSU Stanislaus Orchestra, and had various performances with them.  She has most recently been accepted into the SFSU School of Music and Dance for Master's degree in Violin performance starting Fall 2014 with a full scholarship.  

She is an active performer, and she has performed with different chamber groups, orchestras, and singers, such as the Black and White Concert at the Alex Theatre with Linda George (2013), and Jackie Evancho’s concert in Sacramento (2012). 

We hope that Sinella's performance will inspire and attract other young artists to the Mesopotamian Night program.   

We are proud of you Sinella Aghasi.  Keep up the good work.

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Mesopotamian Night 2012 DVD Finalist at CreaTiVi Awards

On January 18, 2014, the community media center "CreaTV San Jose", announced the winners of its "2013 CreaTiVe Awards" in a ceremony held at the California Theatre in San Jose, CA.  
The Assyrian Aid Society of America "Mesopotamian Night 2012" film of the Malek Rama musical, with sound and video editing by Charles Pakbaz and Fred Elieh, was selected as a finalist in the "Non-profit 31+ minutes - Feature" category.   

Special Guest at the event included the legendary actor and Leigh Weimers' Community Media Champion Awardee, Mr. Ed Asner, a longtime freedom fighter for public access television.  Celebrity guest, Rudy Parris a finalist from the TV show "The Voice" was there and performed a song.  Mr. Sargon Alkurge, Board Director of AAS-A and the Finance Director of Mesopotamian Night project, and Mr. Charles Pakbaz were also present at the event.   

This was a great recognition and a wonderful experience to participate in, unfortunately our film did not receive the honor of winning the award this year. 

The Mesopotamian Night Project committee members are very proud of this accomplishment and we promise to continue our mission to produce high quality Assyrian music events so one day we would be standing on the stage with an award in hand. 

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

7th Annual Mesopotamian Night Concert Tickets out For Sale Now

The California's Seating In General 
The California Theater is an intimate, comfortable, and beautifully decorated hall, with 1,126 plush seats. No seat is more than 20 rows from the orchestra players or more than 20 seats from center. The theater's acoustics are excellent and the sound in the mezzanine is especially outstanding. There truly are no poor seats in this hall. Both the orchestra floor and balcony levels have seats in all four price categories.

The following web page has very helpful information about the venue and it features an option to view the stage from seats. Visit

Seating Chart and Section Descriptions 

(Click on the picture to enlarge it)

Three Options to Purchase your Tickets

  • Purchase Directly from us by check or cash:  No fees charged.  The price you see is the price you pay.  Please fill out the following form with payment information.  We would assign you the best seats available and deliver your tickets

(Click on the picture to enlarge or print)

  • Purchase from us by credit card using PayPal: No fees charged to buyers, we pay the credit card fees!!
To purchase your MN2014 Concert Tickets, pick the tickets level then "Add to Cart".  If you want to purchase more tickets click the "continue shopping" option on the PayPal page.

MN2014 Concert Tickets
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  • Purchase Directly from California Theater Box Office: Tickets are sold through and like all other ticket outlets they charge customers service fees in addition to the ticket prices based on the following chart:

      To buy tickets online from the California Theater Box Office click on the link here: Buy Tickets from California Theater