Coming Together in Skokie
Knowledge. Awareness. Appreciation.
A Celebration of the Assyrian People
January through March 2012
The Village of Skokie is a community rich in diversity. Our residents hail from many different countries and speak more than 90 languages and dialects. This exciting mixture of cultures offers an opportunity to build knowledge, awareness, and appreciation for all of our neighbors.
Two years ago, Niles Township High School District 219, Skokie Public Library, the Village of Skokie, the Holiday Inn North Shore/Skokie, and the Indian Community of Niles Township initiated a unique program called Coming Together in Skokie to explore in depth a different culture each year through reading and discussing a common book, and enjoying a host of other exciting activities. The event takes place during a six-week period from January through March. Our first two projects showcased the Asian Indian and Filipino communities. Thousands of residents attended book sessions, lectures, dramas, and musical events for each celebration.
This year Coming Together in Skokie spotlights the rich culture of the Assyrian community. Adding their support and resources to this project are these and other organizations:
- Oakton Community College
- Skokie Park District
- Skokie elementary and middle schools
- Niles Township Schools ELL Parent Center
- Assyrian Universal Alliance Foundation
- Assyrian Chaldean Syriac Student Movement
- Assyrian National Council of Illinois
- Assyrian American Civic Club of Chicago
- Niles North and Niles West High School Assyrian Clubs
- Oriental Institute
- Sanford-Brown College
Four books have been chosen for discussion. The great epic poem Gilgamesh, translated by David Ferry, is the first known recorded literature discovered among the archaeological ruins of Assyrian King Ashurbanipal’s great library.
Sahra=Moon is a lovely children’s bedtime story in both Assyrian and English. It is written by Romil Benyamino and illustrated by Victor Benyamino.
Cecilia Barker Lottridge, author of Home Is Beyond the Mountains, and Deborah Ellis, author of Children of War, will visit Skokie to speak with elementary, high school, and college students and the general public.
Skokie Public Library, local schools, and other institutions will host several book discussions. We invite you to read these books and discuss them at the Library or in your own groups. The Library has a supply of each book along with kits to enhance the reading experience. The books are also on sale at Barnes & Noble in Westfield Old Orchard and Barnes & Noble in Village Crossing.
Download information about special events.
An afternoon of cultural offerings serves as the official kick-off for Coming Together in Skokie on Sunday, January 29, 2012 at 2:30pm at Niles West High School. Learn more about an ancient culture that has withstood conflict and time and discover more about our Assyrian neighbors who live with us in our very special community. View the program and participants.
Other planned activities, including a tour of the Oriental Institute, are free and suitable for children and adults. Additional events and book discussions will be held at many locations throughout the community. For more information, pick up a Coming Together in Skokie brochure at the Library, the Park District, or download the brochure in its entirety.