From Qarajalu (Persia) to Santa Clara County

An Assyrian Family’s Multiple Atlantic Crossing in Search of a Home at the turn of the Century

Spoken and written Aramaic is still alive among Assyrians and Jews originating from the location of the historic Aramaic-speaking regions of antiquity.
On May 15, 2022, will be held the 3rd in a series of presentations in conjunction with the exhibit “From Qarajalu (Persia) to Santa Clara County: An Assyrian Family’s Multiple Atlantic Crossings in Search of a Home at the turn of the Century.”

Titled “Sources and selected details of the life of Dr. Joseph D. Joseph, a son of Qarajalu, a man of Santa Clara County,” it will be delivered by Mr. Vladimir Moghaddasi, a fluent speaker and reader of Assyrian neo-Aramaic, co-exhibitor and key contact with the Assyrian-American family who retained all the letters, journal and other materials in the exhibit that will be archived at UC Berkeley.

This is a rare opportunity to hear spoken Aramaic (with English language slides). If you are not in the San Jose area or cannot attend, please look for the posting of the lecture on the exhibit website by 17 May.

Exhibit catalogue may be purchased from the website.


about exhibit

Qarajalu is the name of a village located between Urmia and Salamas, two towns in northwest Persia that were important in the culture and economy of Assyrians. Of the dozens of Assyrian inhabited villages that can be studied, Qarajalu is the focus of this exhibit because of one man, Joseph David Joseph, a man born there during the late 19th century.



Upcoming Lectures

New Urmia in Place of the Old

Dr Arianne Ishaya – April 3. 2022

The Assyrian Chain of Medicine

Dr Samir Johna – May 1, 2022

Life of Dr. Joseph D. Joseph

Vladimir Moghaddasi – May 15, 2022

Reflecting on the Old Country

Nicholas Al-Jeloo – June 5, 2022


A mid-9th century set of illustrations

Rev. Justin Perkins Water Colors of “Nestorians”

Beginning in 1834, the first Westerner to reside in Urmia on a permanent basis, had arrived on a ship with sails across the Atlantic Ocean and then travelled to Urmia across northern Turkey. There are no photographs of Assyrians from the mid-nineteenth century, just line drawings in books published by missionaries like Perkins.

These six water colors, labeled and signed by Perkins, are among the first representations of 19th century Assyrians to be found.

Items for purchase

The following items are available for purchase at the exhibit location:

Catalogue of exhibit…………………… $25
3 doves genocide brooch …………..……. 50

Urmi CD disk (poems by Hannibal Alkhas), (vocals – Helen St. Vincent)… 20

All payments in cash or check. No credit cards.

Order Catalogue Online

The catalogue may also be ordered from the exhibit website for payment by check.

Fill ou the form below and we will contact you for next step.

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Many thanks go to the descendants of the Joseph/Yuseff family, many of who still live in Santa Clara County.

Many thanks go to Rabi Yosep Bet Yosep who helped preserve the letters for many years until their value was recognized for this exhibit and for archiving at UC Berkeley.

Many thanks go to the Assyrian Foundation of America for providing major seed funding for this project.


museum Information

Sunnyvale Heritage Park Museum

570 E. Remington Drive
Sunnyvale, CA 94087

Ample Free parking available at Museum
Admission is Free.

Sunday, April 3 to June 5, 2022

Museum hours: Sundays, Tuesdays, Thursdays 12pm - 4 pm