Acclaimed Assyrian Arts Institute’s Aramaic Christmas Album “The Joy of Christmas” Aims to Chart this Christmas Season
Acclaimed Assyrian Arts Institute’s Aramaic Christmas Album “The Joy of Christmas” Aims to Chart this Christmas Season

Assyrian Arts Institute debuts “Assyrian Women’s” Aramaic Christmas album “The Joy of Christmas” at The Cathedral Basilica of Saint Joseph.

“Assyrian Women” Inspires with Debut Album in Aramaic, Jesus’ Mother Tongue. Assyrian Arts Institute Nurtures Values Born in Culture and Time.

It was truly a magical experience seeing so many talented Assyrian women perform in the “Assyrian Women” choir. It brought a sense of unity and joy to the audience.”

— Maryam Shamalta, Founder of Shamiram Media

LOS ANGELES, CA, USA, December 18, 2023 / — The Assyrian Arts Institute’s ensemble, “Assyrian Women,” released their first Aramaic musical album, “The Joy of Christmas” on December 15. The Aramaic music is sung in the original Assyrian language. The Assyrian Arts Institute debuts “Assyrian Women,” an ensemble of skilled Assyrian female vocalists, through their unique Aramaic Christmas album spanning the ages, from ancient Assyrian traditions to the present in the mother tongue of Jesus.

The Assyrian Arts Institute was founded as a 501c3 public foundation on April 1, 2017, during Kha b’Nisan, the Assyrian New Year, by Founder and Executive Director Nora Betyousef Lacey. The Aramaic institute launched its first choral ensemble, “Assyrian Women,” in 2018. Five years later, “Assyrian Women” is releasing its first album, “The Joy of Christmas.” They hope to chart this Christmas season through their unique twist of Christmas choral and solo performances to make their heritage and culture known through 14 songs.

Song Titles –
1) Teshbokhta Brikh Khannana (Blessed is the Compassionate One)
2) Talukh, Talukh Amanoowehl (O Come, O Come Emmanuel)
3) O Come, Emmanuel
4) Udyoum m’sheekha (from a Ceremony of Carols)
5) Kha Leleh Qadisha (O Holy Night)
6) A Yala Soora (What Child is This)
7) A La Nanita Nana with Lai, Lai Brooni Soora (Coventry Carol)
8) The First Noel [Live]
9) Maryam bdayet wa? (Mary, Did You Know?)
10) Gloria
11) A Yala Soora (What Child is This) [Live]
12) A La Nanita Nana with Lai, Lai Brooni Soora (Coventry Carol) [Live]
13) The Lord’s Prayer in Aramaic (solo)
14) Abun D’bash’maiyo (The Lord’s Prayer in Aramaic – choral)

“Assyrian Women” is conducted by Dr. Charlene Archibeque. “Assyrian Women” includes singers from 2018 to the present (*featured in the recording). First Sopranos – Leah Rose Fisher*, Christie Haddad, Samiramis Sayad Johnson*, Enanna Sheena, and Janelle Yausif*; Second Sopranos – Sveenie Betsargis-Richmond*, Christina Boosahda, Gaby Catipon*, Maria Khoobyar*, Monika Malekdavoud*, Zohra Rawling*, Christiane Rohayem*, Shushana Tamrazova, and Sabrina Yonan*; Altos – Sarha Abraham*, Margo Arsane, Sarah Ego, Sarah Homeh*, Shamina Isaac*, Tenise Marie*, Stella Rezgo, Dr. Eve Georges Sada*, Itiuna Vaiaoga, and Nadia Younan. “Assyrian Women” was joined by multi-instrumentalist Michael Nejad and Flautist Ourhay Shamoon. “The Joy of Christmas” was recorded by Matt Carr, Recording Engineer at

Assyrian Arts Institute’s “The Joy of Christmas” is available for purchase exclusively on iTunes on Dec 15 for $14.99. Individual songs are available for $1.29. Go to iTunes to purchase “The Joy of Christmas” by the group “Assyrian Women.”

More about founder Nora Betyousef Lacey –
Lacey started her career in 1989 at a biotechnology firm in Northern California as a Technical Sales Consultant. In 1994, she pursued her passion by becoming an entrepreneur and founding her own biotechnology company, Cell Marque Corporation, which specialized in research, development, manufacturing, and distribution of an Immunohistochemistry product line for cancer detection. Cell Marque is a Medical Device manufacturer of class one In-Vitro Diagnostic reagents used at Pathology Laboratories; the company markets its products and services worldwide.

Ms. Lacey is a philanthropist; after the sale of her company in late 2014, she pledged a portion of her proceeds from its sale to establish a non-profit foundation called “The Nora Betyousef Foundation,” which holds her namesake and is dedicated to Mentorship and Assyrian Studies. In early 2015, Nora started a mentorship program that helped encourage and assist Assyrian entrepreneurs to follow their dreams and start their businesses with confidence. In 2019, Ms. Lacey started the Avimalek Betyousef program of Assyrian Studies at the University of California, Berkeley. This program covers Assyrian history, culture, and heritage diachronically. Furthermore, in January 2016, Nora and her Board of Directors established the Assyrian Arts Institute (AAI), a 501c3 public foundation dedicated to helping preserve the Assyrian heritage through the arts.

Additional members of the Assyrian Arts Institute include Chairman of the Board Patricia Splinter, Secretary Roshel L. Aghassi, Legal Counsel Sarah J. Aghassi, Esq., and Treasurer Dr. Judith M. Hermis.


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Assyrian Arts Institute Spotlight On, “Assyrian Women” Artist, Leah Rose Fisher, Performing “The Lord’s Prayer” in Aramaic.

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