Sixty-three years ago, when the Assyrians were prostate after the horrible catastrophe they had suffered during the First World War, when the cream of the Assyrian men and women had been massacred by Turks, Kurds, Turcomans and Iranians, whenfew Assyrian leaders had survived the holocaust, one of the veryfew voices raised to protect themfrom extinction was a young manfrom a small village near Nineveh - Tel Keif - Yusuf Malek . He along fought the newlyformed Iraqi government and the British colonialists.  And his lone efforts gave hope to the remaining Assyrians.  For his unforgettable heroic deeds, it is worthy to remember him) 

Yusuf Malek was born in Baghdad, Iraq, on 28th of March 1899 and died in Beirut, Lebanon, in 1959.  His parents were from Tel Keif, one of the villages of Nineveh. 

 Yusuf Malek received his education from the Latin College in Baghdad then he attended the American College in Basrah.  He held the position of War Interpreter when the British dominated Basrah.  After they lost in Ctesiphon on their drive to Baghdad Mr. Malek returned to Kut-al-Amara which was besieged by Turks for 143 days.  He was captured by Turks and was sentenced on 30th of April, 1916.  With the help of a Christian lady and a Turkish spy he fled in June of that year to Kuwait , a small village on the Tigris River.  From there he went to Amara which was captured by the British. 
In July 1917 he joined the British Administration and worked for the political offices of the States (Governorates now) of Amara, Nassiriya, Baghdad, Ramadi and Nineveh. 
During the Arab revolution of 1920 he was appointed to the post of Special Assistant to the Governor of Samarra, a position held by British personnel in other states.  The last position he held in the Government of Iraq was "Secretary for Administration Inspector" for the State of Nineveh which was a high position with a salary of 350 Rupees. 
In a confidential letter of 16th August 1930, the Administrative Inspector for the State of Mosul promoted Mr. Malek to the position of Mayor of Sheehan with a salary of 450 Rupees.  Two days later the Minister of Interior sent an order transferring Mr.Malik to Nassiriya without showing any specific reason. 
Since the position Mr. Malek was promoted to was higher, his people requested him not to leave it since that might jeopardize their jobs.  He wrote to the Government informing them that he would obey the order of the Minister of Interior if he was given the reason behind the transfer. 
The Minister was furious and he cabled the Governor and the Administrative Inspector to enforce his order.  Mr. Malek rejected the order.  The government then asked for his resignation.  He replied that he would resign on the condition that he be paid for his services of 13 years which amounted to 3,500 Rupees plus 1,750 Rupees for 5 months of vacation.  These conditions were rejected by the government on 18th September 1930. 
Mr. Malek then brought his request to the British High Commissioner in Iraq but to no avail. 
Thus he left for Beirut in April 1931.  On his way he attended the Assyrian-Kurdish Conference held in Halab (Aleppo), Syria. 
In 1932 while in Beirut Malek fought vigorously through newspapers which caused the British High Commissioner in Iraq to complain to the French authorities in Lebanon. 
Mr. Malek stayed in Beirut until the battle of August 4th and 5th of 1933 between the Assyrian militia and the Iraqi troops ended.Two days later the French authorities asked him to leave the country.  Mr. Malek was captured at his home when the Iraqi Exterior Minister Nuri al-Saeed Pasha flew to beirut due to the circumstances prevailing then. 
The French officials, upon the complaints of the Assyrian community in Lebanon freed him and he was able to join the Patriarch of the Assyrian Church of the East who was exiled from Iraq to Cyprus.  Malik arrived in Cyprus on 26th August 1933 and was the guest of the Assyrian leader.  On September 28th  1933, the two leaders left Cyprus for Geneva, Switzerland, the League of Nations and arrived there on October 4th 1933. 
   Malik accompanied the Assyrian Patriarch as secretary to defend the 
rights of the Assyrians.  It was scheduled     that the League of Nations 
was to discuss the "The Assyrian cause" on October 14 1933 allowing the 
two leaders only 10 days to prepare for the meeting. 
They worked 18 hours each day and besides, they made several trips to Paris and London to explain the Assyrian Cause.  On September 28th 1934 Malik returned to Beirut to discover that the Assyrian cause had been known to all. 
In Beirut he worked as Editor of an Assyrian        National Newspaper (Atra-Watan) which was being supported by the Assyrian-American Federation. 
He has valuable publications in English and Arabic among which is "British Betrayal of Assyrians" a book which shook the world. 
Martyr Yousif Malik was Assyro-Chaldean.  He lived and died as a noble Assyrian.  The echo of his work for the Assyrians did not die with him but will live through the ages. 

VOL. 48  NO. 2   MARCH-AUGUST 1996