Probably Dr. Nicholas Al-Jeloo knows better about Barwar, he walked this area far and wide and collected many sources on this topic. Today my objective is to write briefly about only one family from this region, whose paths have skidded to Chicago.
Bet David d’Bet Sliwoo.
David’s family lived in Assyrian village of Aina d’Noone (Spring of Fishes) of Barwar, also known as Kani Masi (“Kani” /”Spring”/ + “Masi” /”Fish”/ in Kurdish). The administrative centre of the district is lying approximately ten miles North-North-West of Amedia. Today, Assyrian majority of Barwar region spread around the world: America, Europe and Australia.
My first meeting with a representative of this clan took place in the Ashurbanipal library (Chicago) in 2000. His name was Sargon Daryawish David. He worked in the real estate business. After we met, it turned out that he was a representative of the inhabitants of the village of Aina d’Noone. He told me the following story:
“His father Daryawish was born in Barvar in 1891. He was Rais (Chief) in Barwar. His father’s father name was David Sliwoo. During the First World War Daryawish served in the Assyrian battalion of General Agha Patros. He fought in Urmia and was awarded a medal by Agha Patros. In 1918, Darius was wounded and captured by his enemies. He escaped from prison, and joined the Assyrian troops stationed in the Baaquba camp.
After all these twists and turns , he returned to his homeland. Rais Daryawish developed good relations with the Iraqi authorities and Kurdish neighbors. He helped many of his fellow tribesmen to return and settle down in their homeland. He initiated the construction of Assyrian and Kurdish schools in northern Iraq. For his services, he was twice awarded by the government.
Rais Daryawish died at the age of 80 (1971) and was buried in his homeland. The funeral was attended by representatives of both Christian and Muslim communities in Iraq. The funeral service was conducted by Mar Yawalaha, Bishop of Barwar.
Daryawish had 5 children – Sargon (+2015), Yuaresh (+2020), Benyamin (+2005), Asmer (+2003) and Warina (b. 1935, she came to America in 2010). In 1955 his two sons – Sargon and Yuaresh moved to America”.
Daryawish’s son Sargon became a successful businessman and a very active member of the Assyrian community in Chicago. Together with 20 friends, he founded the Assyrian Social Club in 1965, and became its first president.
Sargon has served within the Assyrian American Federation as Vice-President, and Chairman of Assyrian Youth Delegates for the 51st Convention.
Sargon studied at Culver-Stockton College in Missouri, and went for post-graduate work to Northwestern College and John Marshal Law School. He received his B.S. degree in Business Administration. In 1972 he left teaching as instructor of Economics and Business training in Chicago Public School and founded his own Real Estate and Insurance Company.
In 1978 he represented the Federation in the AUA Congress in London. Besides that, he was actively involved in the American public and political life of his country. For many years he actively supported the Republican Party, morally and financially. He has been invited to several conferences held at the White house. For example, in 1968 he was invited by president Richard Nixon to attend a reception for the Republican national Committee; and in 1984, he was invited by President Ronald Reagan to attend three days at Conferences for the United States Senate Inner Circle and reception in Washington. He managed to bring an Assyrian dance ensemble to this meeting, which made an unforgettable performance in front of the president (From the memoirs of Mr. Edward Nadirsha who was present there).
Also, Sargon David was a member of the national Advisory Board of the American Security Council. He was among active Ethnic leaders to push a bill passed by the Congress, which was an act to start Ethnic Heritage Studies Centers. The Bill provided $ 30 million for study of the languages and cultures of different nationalities, including Assyrians, and he was co-author of a textbook titled “Americans All a Nation of Immigrants “.
Sargon never cut his ties back to his homeland. In the last years of his life, he builds a house in his native village in hopes of making it his last home.
Sargon David passed away in 2015.
The memory of him and his family will remain in our hearts.