Youel A. Baaba
In 2020, the Ashurbanipal Library received a donation of approximately 300 books from the personal library of Youel A. Baaba. Among Baaba’s many accomplishments were co-founding the Assyrian Foundation of America in San Francisco, California; contributing to the Journal of Assyrian Academic Studies; and publishing books about Assyrians.
Youel Abraham Baaba was born to an Assyrian family in Baghdad, Iraq on July 23, 1930. Interested in books at an early age, Baaba published the first book of the Assyrian writer, Mishael Lazar Essa, in Baghdad in 1950. This book was called Marganita d’Qam Khzoureh (Jewel before Pigs). The following year, while still in Iraq, Baaba worked on publishing an Assyrian calendar after a group of Assyrians in Tehran initiated a project to create one.
Baaba eventually moved to the United States where he earned a Bachelor of Science degree from San Jose State University and a Master of Business Administration degree from Golden Gate University. In 1962, Baaba joined a company called Bechtel Corporation in San Francisco, California as an engineer. He stayed there throughout his entire career, and eventually became a chief engineer. While at Bechtel, Baaba tried to assist Assyrian immigrants by finding them jobs there.
While in the United States, Baaba published many more books. Books that Baaba published include a biography/poetry book of John Alkhas, an Assyrian poet; a republished compilation of the Assyrian magazine from Tehran called Gilgamesh; English translations of documents about Assyrians published in a book called An Assyrian Odyssey; and many other books. Baaba passed away in California on February 3, 2010.
Written by Esther Lang
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