Joseph J. Durna

Date: August 16, 2022

Joseph J. Durna was born in Diarbekir, Turkey in 1889 and was brought to the United States at the age of 8. He attended local schools in Newark, New Jersey and later would study at the Newark College of Engineering and the New Jersey Law School. After he graduated from Law school in 1918, he worked as an attorney for the Prudential Insurance Company. He married the former Fareeda Dartley, who bore him two children, John W., and Mary, who married Haig Bediguian and lived with her father in Newark.

After the First World War, he became active in Assyrian affairs. As a strong advocate of Assyrian nationalism, he was a delegate to the League of Nations, and as recently as 1945, he was in San Francisco for the organization of the United Nations. Joseph was a very dedicated man and worked tirelessly towards efforts to help Assyrians everywhere. No problem concerning Assyrians ever was too big or too small for him to tackle. He had multiple correspondences with heads of government and lower case officials and he never failed to take advantage of opportunities to talk with visiting dignitaries from the Middle East. During the 40 years in which he worked towards Assyrian causes, he held audiences with most of the various leaders of Middle Eastern countries, managing to gain more insights to the problems of his people from the rulers of the countries throughout the Middle East.

Joseph has spent his time, money, and effort for the betterment and future wellbeing of his people. It is clear that the cause of Assyrians has always been close to his heart. We appreciate Joseph Durna’s valiant efforts and service towards Assyrians causes and urge others to follow in his footsteps.

Published by: Brian Banyamin

Written by: Nino Aishou



Dartley, R. (1953, March). Duna Honored by Prudential . Assyrian Star.

Sargis, J. (n.d.). Joseph J. Durna (1889-1958). Joseph Durna. Retrieved August 5, 2022, from