Edward Odisho


Since 2008, we have recognized individuals with exceptional lifetime contribution to our Assyrian community with Mesopotamian Achievement Award.  The Recipient of  2017 Mesopotamian Achievement Award Raab-Sayoomi is Professor Edward Odisho.

Dr. Edward Y. Odisho was born in Kirkuk/Iraq, 1938 of an Urmian mother and a Hakkari father. He received his B.A. Honors in English Language from Baghdad University in 1960. In 1971, he joined Leeds University in England and received his M.Phil. and Ph.D. in Phonetic Sciences in 1975. His doctoral thesis title was: The Sound System of Modern Assyrian based on linguistic, acoustic and aerodynamic data. After his doctoral studies, he returned to Iraq and served as a Professor of Linguistics and Phonetics through 1980.

In July 1980, Dr. Odisho escaped Iraq due to harassment and political persecution by Saddam Hussein’s dictatorial regime, and entered U.S. as a political refugee in 1981 and became a citizen in 1986. In U.S., he taught Linguistics at Loyola University and Northeastern Illinois University until his retirement in 2009 as Professor Emeritus. Has published over one hundred articles and papers together with ten books with the 11th book in manuscript. Many of his papers appeared in international journals and honorary festschrifts dedicated to scholars around the world. Eight of his books are within the acquisitions of the Library of Congress & scores of universities around the world. He has attended and presented at various international conferences around the world including England, Tunisia, Jordan, Denmark, Germany, France, Italy, Spain, Canada, Australia, Lebanon, as well as in different states of U.S.A.

In 1984, he spearheaded the founding of the Assyrian Academic Society and served as its president. He also served as the first Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of Assyrian Academic Society. He has also served as Ashur TV anchor for several years on cable TV and has appeared on several TV and Radio interviews including CNBC, CNN, WTTW, ABC, NPR, BTB etc.

He is married to Ms. Wardia Shamiran for 46 years and is proud father of Army veteran Major Fred Furat Odisho, the first Assyrian (of both parents) graduate of West Point Academy.

Some book titles of Professor Odisho are:

  1. Pronunciation is in the Brain, not in the Mouth; Cognitive Approach to Teaching it, 2014.
  2. Modern Assyrian Language between Speech and Writing: Linguistic Examination, 2011.
  3. Linguistic and Cultural Studies in Aramaic and Arabic, 2009.
  4. Linguistic Tips for Latino Learners and Teachers of English, 2007.
  5. Techniques of Teaching Comparative Pronunciation in Arabic and English, 2005.
  6. The Linguistic Approach to the Application and Teaching of the English Alphabet, 2004.
  7. Techniques of Teaching Pronunciation in ESL, Bilingual &  Foreign Language Classes, 2003.
  8. The Sound System of Modern Assyrian (Neo-Aramaic), 1988.
  9. Introduction to Sound System of Arabic, Baghdad 1977.
  10. Sounds and Signs: Introduction to Linguistics, 1971.