Interview with Danny Asmaro

Interview with Danny Asmaro, artist, muscian and architect. He built Old Alqosh to preserve the memory of how their ancestors lived.


I work out of my studio in Groton, MA, shooting headshots, portraits & creative dance. I also work on location helping entrepreneurs with their personal branding photos, videos and websites. Here I was in the town of Alqosh in the Nineveh region of Northern Iraq.  I was sent there by ARCH International to photograph and interview the population of Chaldean Catholics who inhabit the region.  They are some of the world’s oldest Christian communities dating back to the first century when Thomas the Apostle founded the Church of the East. In the Middle Ages they came into communion with the Roman Catholic Church.  Although they have deep and ancient ties to the land, they fight for their existence. Many families are broken apart by emigration. It is their deep desire to remain. They need a stronger economy to help them rebuild and to give them confidence to make long-term commitments to their future in the region. Many of my interviews recall the invasion of ISIS and what it was like to live through that time.  But this one was different.  Danny is a local celebrity, recording artist, singer, actor, producer, builder and artist.  He wanted to build something that would ground people to their roots. He built a replica of Ancient Alqosh, or “Old Alqosh”.  He used the same materials and tools the ancestors would have used and built structures appropriate to ancient times.  He walked me around and showed me the different tools and how they work. I made a few trips up the mountainside to visit the village. It was peaceful and had a stunning view of present-day Alqosh.

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