Team Members

Meet our wonderful team members who are making the “Gilgamesh Musical Album” come to life.

 
 
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Edwin Elieh

Composer/Producer

Edwin is a composer, orchestrator and producer who studied music in Tehran, Iran. Edwin continued his education in the Film Scoring Program at UCLA. He established OOJAABAA MUSIC with the main focus of creating and producing music for visual media.

His original composition, “Malek Rama” (The Handsome Prince) Musical, was produced by Assyrian Aid Society of America (AASA) in 2012 at the Mesopotamian Night fundraising event in Mountain View, CA. Malek Rama is considered the first modern Assyrian musical, and builds a bridge between ethnic tunes and the modern world. This one-act musical was created from a poem by late Rabi Hannibal Alkhas and includes 20 songs with a total duration of one hour.

Edwin’s collaboration with Rabi Bet-Yosip created a suite for choir and orchestra in memory of the 100th year of Assyrian genocide. The Sitwa Kooma Suite (Black Winter) has 4 movements with a total duration of 20 minutes. This suite was performed in 2015 at the Mesopotamian Night event in Los Angeles, CA.

In November 2015, he completed the scoring, recording and sound mixing for the “Silence After The Storm”, a documentary by Assyrian filmmaker Sargon Saadi about ISIS and the struggle of Assyrians in Syria.

 
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Rabi Yosip Bet-Yosip,

Poet/Librettist

Assyrian poet and activist Rabi Yosip Bet-Yosip is an active member of the World Academy of Art and Culture. He is representing the Occupied Assyria in this organization. Rabi Bet-Yosip served as a board member of the World Congress of Poets (WCP) where his recent poetry on the 100th year of Assyrian genocide was published internationally.

His collaboration with the Assyrian composer, late Rabi Nebu Issabey, resulted in creatiing the Assyrian National Anthem (Room Rama)that was selected and ordained by AUA and the Assyrian American National Federation (AANF). In 2010, “Ninos and Shamiram” opera was composed by French composer Michel Bosc on Bet-Yosip’s poetry. In 2012, Rabi Bet-Yosip collaborated with Edwin Elieh to create and recite the narration part of the Malek Rama (The Handsome Prince) Musical produced by the Mesopotamian Night of San Jose. His poetry on the 100th year of Assyrian genocide was used in the Black Winter Suite (Sitwa Kooma) that was composed by Edwin Elieh in 2015.

 
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Fred Elieh,

Artistic Director

Born in Iran, Fred Elieh came to the United States at the age of nine.  He lived in Modesto before moving to San Jose where he earned his degree from San Jose State University.  At the same time, he became involved in the Assyrian community. As a proud member of the San Jose-based Nineveh choir, Fred has participated in many Assyrian concerts.

He produced “Nineveh”, a DVD of the song he wrote and performed dedicated to raising awareness of our fellow brothers and sisters in Iraq.  In recent years he has been very active in the Assyrian Aid Society’s Mesopotamian Night events serving as the Artistic Director.

 
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Dr. Arianne Ishaya,

English Translations

Arianne Ishaya was born in Urmia, Iran. She pursued her higher education first at the American University of Beirut where she double majored in Sociology and Education. After completing her master’s degree in Anthropology at the University of Manitoba, Canada, where she wrote her thesis on the history of the first Assyrian colony in Canada, she entered the PhD program in anthropology at UCLA. In her dissertation she decided to follow the history of the immigration of Assyrians from Canada to California, in the Modesto-Turlock area.

Presently she lives in San Jose and teaches anthropology at De Anza College. She is one of the editors of the Journal of Assyrian Academic Studies (JAAS).

Arianne has numerous publications in professional journals, encyclopedias, and Assyrian periodicals. She published two books in 2010; “New Lamps for Old”, and “Familiar Faces in Unfamiliar Places” The first is a community study of the Assyrians in Canada; the second is on the Assyrians of Turlock, California.

Presently she has 4 manuscripts under publication: The Kateeny Trilogy, and Discourse on the Spelling Method in The Assyrian Language by William Daniel.