Rab Khaila Dawed Mar Shimun
Rab Khaila Dawid d’Mar Shimun was born in Qudchanis, located in South East Turkey in 1889. His parents, Eshai and Asyat had eight children, two of which were patriarchs, Mar Benyamin Shimun XXI and Mar Poulus Shimun XXII. Dawid was trained in the military arts and discipline at an early age in which he later took his place as one of the primary advisors to both of his brothers and his son, the last of the three patriarchs from the d’Mar Shimun succession.
In 1904, Dawid married Lady Esther De Matran, sister of Mar Yosip Khnanishu. They had twelve children, starting with Theodore in 1906 and His Holiness Mar Eshai Shimun XXIII, Catholicos Patriarch in 1908.
During World War I, Dawid took an active role in the leadership of Assyrian Levies. As Rab Trema (Commander of two hundred), the honorable Dawid received numerous accolades for his bravery and valor and in 1920 several dispatches were signed by Winston Churchill. In 1925, Dawid was promoted to the rank of Rab Khaila (Commander General) for the Assyrian Levies, in their vital but overlooked role supporting the Allies. Throughout his military career serving his people Rab Khaila Dawid was recognized with various medals including a receiving a Military Order of the British Empire (M.B.E.) in 1928.
Rab Khaila Dawid’s involvement as a part of Assyrian history includes being one of less than ten survivors of Simco’s ambush. His first hand experience and contribution during the years leading up to the family’s exile to Cyprus in 1933 cannot be overlooked, for his presence was common place beside the Patriarchs and his sister, Lady Surma.
From 1933 until 1954 the family lived in Cyprus and later moved to England, until 1960. In 1960 the family immigrated to the United States, settling in San Francisco until his death in 1974.
Click on the links below to see authentic documentation in PDF format:
- Rab Khaila Dawid’s Military Order of the British Empire Document (M.B.E.)
- Rab Khaila Dawid correspondence re: OBE appointment
- The Assyrian Levies Move to Hinaidi, 1928, The Assyrian Levies and the 1933 Crisis, The Assyrian Refugees of 1933, By Solomon (Sawa) Solomon, Nineveh Magazine, Vol. 21, No. 3, Third Quarter, 1998
- Dispatch signed by Winston Churchill for Rab Trema Dawid d’Mar Shimun