ROsIE Malek-Yonan
ROsIE Malek-Yonan

THE MALEK FAMILY SEAL

The sign of the cross on the seal comes from the early Assyrian Christian church to which the family belonged for many generations. The star, crescent and cross appear on family tombstones, which are on a high mound, overlooking Geogtapah, the family village, in Urmi, northwestern Iran.

The upside down horseshoe, later added, relates to the tragic romance of Asli from the House of Malek and Karam, a commoner which brought the Malek family from Jilu to Geogtapah in the 17th century. The tale of the sad love story has lived on in Assyrian and Russian poetry and songs. In 1912 the Aslee and Karam Opera in three acts based on this romance was composed by Useir Ghadzhbekov, recorded by the Akundoy Orchestra. Recordings of this opera are still in existence.

This tragic love story has been compared to that of Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet. The Malek family erected a fountain and an enclosed well, which supplied water to the villagers of Geogtapah in the name of the beautiful Asli, member of their tribe after her heartrending and untimely death.

THE YONAN CODEX

The Yonan Codex is a parchment manuscript of the New Testament in the Aramaic language believed to have been written between 380 and 420 A. D. which belonged to the Malek-Yonan Family for centuries. On 5 April 1955, the Yonan Codex was exhibited in the Great Hall of the Library of Congress. In earlier newspaper reports, President Dwight D. Eisenhower was depicted examining the Yonan Codex at the White House. It was then transported to the Library of Congress for display. 28 November 1955, marked the beginning of the Yonan Codex Tour aboard the Spirit of Galilee which began with a ceremony at the Capitol Plaza in Washington, D.C. where Vice President Richard Nixon announced, "This book of the Holy Scriptures will be taken to every city and hamlet in America in order that the American people may participate in the ownership of this ancient manuscript."

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