Editor-In-Chief: Charbel Baini

Rev Fr. Yousif Jazrawy launched his new book of “Conversations of a Pen with Reflections on Self and Society”/ Marcelle Mansour

It was indeed a highly successful event by a successful Australian Iraqi Assyrian Author.
“Conversations of a Pen with Reflections on Self and Society” by Rev.Fr Yousif Jazrawy was launched on Friday the 19th September 2014 at St. Mary Assyrian Church of the East Church Hall, under the patronage and blessings of His Beatitude Mar Meelis Zaia AM, Metropolitan of Australia, New Zealand and Lebanon. The book launch was a huge success with over 500 people attended the literary event. In the presence of His Excellence Consul-General Mr Bassim Dawood, priests, deacons, nuns, heads of institutions and associations and cultural bodies, writers, poets, artists, journalists from various media of both Australian Iraqi and Arabs and a crowd of prominent personalities and intellectual members of the communities in Sydney.

His Beatitude Mar Meelis Zaia AM –in his speech—expressed his pleasure and pride towards the growing culture of the written words and book publications despite the current overwhelming of the online digital media. This is in addition to its association with the combined content of religious and social guidance, with a special attention to both individuals and families within societies that creates balance in the heart of our life.

Marcelle Mansour –the writer of this article— as a visual artist and designer of Fr Jazrawy’s book covers, during my talk, I was able to make a brief summary of the new book, highlighting the meaning of the two paintings that Fr Jazrawy selected, titled "Liberation” and “Metamorphosis” which revolves around diving in the depth of the inner humans through light and perception, in order to rediscover ourselves and the world via revealing the truth that makes the invisible visible. This direct experience is humanly transformative which may create new vision and make humans rethink reality to change for better world.

it is not my intention here to summarise the whole book, rather I will briefly sum up its general idea; considering that the writer was born and raised in Iraq; he is self oppressed, ”as a result of the current social and political conditions in his motherland Baghdad. It is not surprising that this feeling of pain makes him calling the "Arab Spring" "bloody spring”, and Baghdad," the widow of joy "After it was the cradle of civilizations, the origins of religions and the city of beauty and life." From his words:"When our conversations will turn from death to life, from the language of war and violence to the language of love and peace?"

The writer begins in the first part of the book describing the tragedy of Iraq, the bustle of war, and what people lack in Iraq, comparing it to the advancement of Western World, Europe and Australia p 91. Then he talks about the "Gardens psychological balance" in the places of the countries he visited, such as Sweden which has more transparency and peacefulness.

In the 2nd part, he moves to the philosophy and self-knowledge, in his own words: "We are good at seeing the world around us, but we do not know how to search for what lies within ourselves,” he tackles the issue of divorce and “opens the wounds of suffering in the cage of marriage life and the struggle of the Iraqi woman under the male-dominated society”p49, defending her rights as dignified human being p105, referring to Holland as the capital of humanity, Netherlands is where freedom holy and "Sydney, Australia is the nation of human values that builds humanity”. Moreover, analysing the tragedy of our physical world today, where concepts and human values are changed across eras because of the dollar controls the human options p98.
Thinking in the old and new, and the human capacity to innovate, to catch the wheel of development, the writer says: Jesus Christ is the living eternal spirit that renews the image of God in man, and that revelation is constant at all times and creativity is a result of those who preceded us through the inspiration of God. This explains Immanuel Kant’s philosophy of "We begin where others finished,"p84. It also confirms the author’s concept of modernisation and blindly following traditions without thinking about its credibility. The western world is progressed in life because of the ”freedom of opinion, cultural diversity and acceptance of the other.” This is evident in the words of German philosopher Martin Heidegger:”...mankind to prove his existence must have a presence in life." p118, and also as Socrates said, "Know thyself" p124.

In the third and final part of the book entitled "Spirituality" the writer confirms that we are living at "the time of the scruffy man, to the extent that humans kill each others in the name of God."P153. The author here questions if God Himself retires? And immediately provides the clever answer:"to search for God "in the era of globalization that harms spiritual beliefs, human values and ethics. Therefore, the author invites his readers to deeply meditate in silence, revealing to them that God hears us through our meditative silence, where God becomes present in the lives of others through us.

The above was a brief general idea about the book. Fr Jazrawy is considered by many to be one of the insightful and stimulating of Australian Iraqi literary writers, his writings were described by others as interesting and enjoyable, and here I will add that the author with his elegant style was able to touch his reader’s hearts where he extracted and transferred a series of his personal experiences and conversations with his pen, from the depth of his inner feelings and thinking and released them to the public. There is no doubt that Fr Jazrawy is one of the contemporary writers of this generation, where his new book is of a high literary value that embodies ideas and meanings would possibly influence his readers to transform their reality for the better. Congratulations to the Fr Jazrawy with best wishes of more achievements and success.
Rev. Yousif Jazrawy was born in Baghdad city in Iraq in 1978, ordained priest in 2004 in the Church of the East Assyrian. There he holds B.A. degree in Theology from Babel College for Philosophy and Theology in 2005 and Diploma in philosophy, sociology and anthropology, prior to his emigration to Australia in 2009. He also travels intensively to several European countries including Holland where he lived there for a considerable period of time. He has published an impressive number of 25 books, and has a numerous articles in magazines newspapers, periodicals and electronic publications in both Iraq and Australia. His works tackle various contemporary subjects of spirituality, philosophy, church history and issues related to humankind and society. Rev.Fr Jazrawy was featured on many different kinds of media including Satellite Channels, SBS and various publications by Iraqi and Arab writers and was honoured this year by Sawaki Foundation for Culture and Arts headed by Dr Alaa Alawadi. The book was supported by Sawaki, and half the proceeds from the book will go to help the families affected and displaced into northern Iraq.
Fr Jazrawy said: "It made me very proud, that people are buying, means that people are reading and that makes me happy."
To obtain a copy of a book, the author and book information as follows:
Reverend Yousif Jazrawy
Saints Peter and Paul Parish Priest (Arabic) – Sydney Australia
Email: revyousif@assyrianchurch.org.au
Office: (02) 9753 4185
Categories: Australian Iraqi and Arabic speaking communities
Personal email and personal phone yousif_jazrawy@yahoo.com  0416 609 667
Book title: “Conversations of a Pen with Reflections on Self and Society”
Author: Rev. Yousif Jazrawy
First edition: 1000 copy, 2014
Book pages : 200 pages,
Book covers : Marcelle Mansour
Printed by R.M. Gregory Printers 2014, in Arabic;
ISBN 978-0-646-92595-0

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