Fāʾiq, Naʿʿūm Naoum Elias Palak ( ca. 1868–1930) [Syr. Orth.]

He was born in Diyarbakır (Amid) to Eliās Jacob Palak and Saydeh Safar and was given the baptismal name Naʿʿūm (he gave himself the nickname Fāʾiq). He studied in the local schools, and then taught from 1888 to 1912 at various community schools, mostly in Diyarbakır, but also for short periods in al-Bsheriyyeh, Edessa, Adıyaman, and Ḥimṣ. He witnessed the horrific massacres of 1895 in Diyarbakır. Fāʾiq was ordained a deacon in 1889 by Ignatius Peṭros III/IV. In 1908, after the Young Turk Revolution, he established in Diyarbakır the Jamʿiyyat al-Intibāh (known in Syriac as ʿIrutho), and shortly thereafter the newspaper Kawkab Madenḥo (1910–12, 43 issues), published in Syriac, Garshuni Arabic, and mostly Garshuni Turkish. He immigrated to the USA in 1912 where he lived in NJ. There, he established the newspaper Beth Nahrin (1916–21), and later became the editor of Ḥuyodo (Union) for one year (1921–22, 39 issues), an organ of the Assyro-Chaldean Association, after which he reissued Beth Nahrin (1922–30). He contributed to other periodicals such as Intibāh (NY, ed. Gabriel Boyaji), Murshid Athurion (Kharput, ed. Ashur Yusuf), and Shiphuro (Diyarbakır, ed. Basshār Ḥilmī). According to his biographer, he wrote many books in Arabic and Turkish which remain unpublished, but it is not clear how many are in final form and how many are mere notes.

His Syriac writings include:

1. A collection of national anthems in Syriac (but also in Turkish, and Arabic) (Diyarbakır, 1908; 2nd ed. NJ, 1913).

2. A Syriac reader titled Ktobo d-qeryono d-suryoyuto (NJ), designated as part 1 but probably no other parts were published.

3. A brief question-answer pedagogical work on mathematics (incomplete ms.).

4. A pedagogical work on geography based on Salīm Sāmī Juqqī’s Arabic textbook al-Khawāṭir al-wāfiya fī uṣūl al-jughrafya (incomplete ms.).

5. The sayings of Benjamin Franklin translated from Arabic into Syriac (ms.).

6. A translation into Syriac from Persian — also making use of Arabic, Turkish, and English versions — of the Quatrains of Omar Khayyam (ms., 10 stanzas published by M. F. Juqqī, 300–4).


  • Abūna, Adab, 546–9.
  • Barsoum, Scattered pearls, 523.
  • M. F. Juqqī, Naʿʿūm Faʾiq Dhikrā wa-Takhlīd (Damascus, 1937).
  • Macuch, Geschichte, 432–3.
  • Munūfar Barṣūm, Aḍwāʾ, 39–43.

How to Cite This Entry

George A. Kiraz , “Fāʾiq, Naʿʿūm,” in Fāʾiq, Naʿʿūm, edited by Sebastian P. Brock, Aaron M. Butts, George A. Kiraz and Lucas Van Rompay, https://gedsh.bethmardutho.org/Faiq-Naum.

Footnote Style Citation with Date:

George A. Kiraz , “Fāʾiq, Naʿʿūm,” in Fāʾiq, Naʿʿūm, edited by Sebastian P. Brock, Aaron M. Butts, George A. Kiraz and Lucas Van Rompay (Gorgias Press, 2011; online ed. Beth Mardutho, 2018), https://gedsh.bethmardutho.org/Faiq-Naum.

Bibliography Entry Citation:

Kiraz, George A. “Fāʾiq, Naʿʿūm.” In Fāʾiq, Naʿʿūm. Edited by Sebastian P. Brock, Aaron M. Butts, George A. Kiraz and Lucas Van Rompay. Digital edition prepared by David Michelson, Ute Possekel, and Daniel L. Schwartz. Gorgias Press, 2011; online ed. Beth Mardutho, 2018. https://gedsh.bethmardutho.org/Faiq-Naum.

A TEI-XML record with complete metadata is available at https://gedsh.bethmardutho.org/Faiq-Naum/tei.

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