Dr. Pera Sarmas. On this day, 48 years ago, the Assyrian author Dr. Pera Sarmas (1901–1972) passed away. Dr. Pera Sarmas was born in the village of Adah and studied at the Lazarist and American mission schools in Urmia and Tabriz. In 1923 he came to the United States to study medicine at the Loyola University of Chicago from which he obtain his B.S. (1927) and M.D. (1932) degrees. He returned to Iran and enjoyed a distinguished career as doctor while also playing an important role in the Assyrian literary renaissance that emerged in Iran after WWII. “Literary History of Assyrians” is the major work of Dr. Pera Sarmas. In addition to this 3-volume history of Assyrian literature, he also produced a modern Assyrian translation of the Laughable Stories of Bar Hebraeus, a dictionary, and an important work on Assyrian identity and nationalism entitled “Who are we?.” Dr. David B. Perley wrote a tribute to Dr. Pera Sarmas, published in “A Collection of Writings on Assyrians” (pp. 347–349). Here below we reproduce the entire review: A Worthy Tribute to aDeceased Assyrian-Patriot-ScholarMATHIBANA. By William Sarmas. France, 1973, pp. 35.This is a special Number of the annual Bulletin of the same name, Mathibana, which deals with the Assyrian Societies in France, by its distinguished editor, William Sarmas, now of France.This special Number is totally dedicated to the editor’s late brother, Dr. Pera Sarmas of Tehran (1901–1972), who suddenly passed away on October 2, 1972. (The publication is in French, English, Assyrian and Persian.) It is a worthy tribute by a brother to a deceased brother who spent his entire life on matters Assyrian.A cursory reading of this special Bulletin will reveal that the entire Assyrian nation suffered an inestimable loss when, on October 2, 1972, the life of Dr. Pera Sarmas, physician, poet, and author, was cut by an inexorable fate.Now, to our joy, we read in an open letter in this issue, written by Dr. Sarmas’ brother, Mr. William Sarmas of France, on page 1 in French and on page 30 in English, that, if we are only willing to bestir ourselves, we may again have the privilege of hearing from our beloved compatriot, the late Dr. Pera Sarmas.Dr. Pera Sarmas was the author of many books, both exquisite poetry and scholarly prose, written in the Assyrian language and dealing with Assyrian subjects, the last being his four volume on the “History of Assyrian Literature.” The first three volumes have been published, but the fourth although completed, is still in manuscript form waiting only for funds sufficient for its publication. Dr. Sarmas also left four other manuscripts which his brother describes as “each more precious than the other,” but which, unfortunately, remain unfinished.It is a supreme challenge to all Assyrians in all parts of the world to raise the money necessary for the publication on Volume four of the “History of Assyrian Literature.” As to the other unfinished manuscripts, they should be submitted to a committee of learned and dedicated Assyrian students to arrange them in a form suitable for publication.Surely, the children of Ashur of the world must rise to the challenge, for it is inconceivable that they would allow these invaluable writings to be relegated to oblivion when money, coupled with the time and work of devoted Assyrian patriots, is all that is needed to bring them to the light of day.Mr. Nimrod Simono of Tehran, a scholar in Aramaics, who wrote the Preface to Dr. Sarmas Volume 1 of the “History of Assyrian Literature” stated: “This book deals with our literature and our writers from a most remote era (BC) to our modern age. For the first time such a complete and general history is being written in the Assyrian language. A work based on recent historical facts and although written in the colloquial language, is sufficiently literary to be considered as a masterpiece of our literature. We hope that the Assyrian public will appreciate this giant work of one of its giant sons and that this book will find its place of honor in the book case of very one of us.”Rabbi Samuel Joseph made the following statement before the Ecumenical Council of Churches in Tehran on April 21, 1971: “I consider Dr. P. Sarmas as the greatest Assyrian writer of our time. During the years he has consulted and studied hundreds of books and heaped up thousands of historical materials, to publish, in 1962, his first volume of “The History of Assyrian Literature.” I believe his worthy of being called an Assyriologist and an Orientalist for having dug out from the past records the glorious deeds of our nation and the names of men who have served God and the humanity. Dr. P. Sarmas has written also two important books: “Who are We?,” to prove that we are Assyrians, and “The Human Rights and Assyrians of Iran” (in Persian), showing in particular the rights of Assyrians and the services rendered to the Iranian Cause by our ancient patriarchs and bishops, and laymen.”Readers of The Star [i.e. The Assyrian Star] may recall the debate between this reviewer and Dr. John Joseph, in 1962, on our ethnic origin (each writing three articles). This debate on paper inspired Dr. Sarmas to publish a book in Assyrian, entitled WHO ARE WE?, proving that we are Assyrians.There is a fine biography of the deceased and a bibliography of all the books authored by the late scholarly writer (pp. 31–33).My conviction (to repeat) is that the children of Ashur should face the challenge and publish everything Dr. Pera left unpublished. Had he been given a few years more, he would have proven an unlimited usefulness to the cause of the Assyrians, but Providence had other views. At any rate, his works have assumed a metaphysical importance for the cause of the Assyrians. You say: This is all on paper. George Bernard Shaw used to say that only on paper has humanity yet achieved glory, beauty, truth, knowledge, virtue, and abiding love.* *The following letter was published in Atour by reason of the death of Dr. Pera Sarmas: “David Perley’s LetterDr. Wilson Bet-Mansour, Editor118 Razi AvenueTehran, IranDear Sir:The sudden death of Dr. Pera Sarmas in Tehran has robbed the Assyrian Nation of its finest mind. Not since the premature death of Yusuf Malek in 1952 has this nation sustained so devastating a blow.Book after book in the mother language came off from his tireless pen even though he suffered certain physical infirmities. We are greatly impovished by his death not only by the Assyrians of every faction but also the academic world at large.I remember meeting him in Tehran last year when he came to see me at the World Alliance Congress to tell me: “You are the man I want to see.” At that very moment I began to lionize him. His practical works for the Nation have earned the deep respect of the Assyrians everywhere. He was too perfect in his works, unfortunately. I hope in the end the job did not kill him as it was in the case of the venerable Yusuf Malek.I join in with the Nation in this moment of bereavement.Yours very truly,David B. PerleyDBP: jn” Read all of Dr. David B. Perley’s writings in “A Collection of Writings on Assyrians“.