I think we need to understand the importance of our language. We also need to be more active in our community by educating people who are not Assyrians about who we are. I think we are making progress, but we can't allow ourselves to slip through the cracks...
Click on thumbnails for larger image
News Anchor / Reporter Fox 13 News Utah
Nov 25 2009
Nineveh Dinha is an Anchor / Reporter on FOX 13's Good Day Utah and started her career as an Anchor / Reporter in Arizona at KYMA, NBC 11 News. After two years of desert heat, she was ready for a change of scenery and weather. Nineveh is excited to call Utah home and happy to see the snow again. She was born in Sweden, but her ethnicity is Assyrian. Her parents named her Nineveh, after the ancient capital city of the Assyrian Empire. Most of her family now lives in Sweden, after escaping the regime in Iraq. Nineveh has also lived in Texas and California where she earned a degree in Broadcast Journalism from the California State University of Hayward.
For those that don't know you, tell us who Nineveh Dinha is?
I'm a lot of things. I'm an Assyrian Broadcast Journalist aspiring to provide a voice for our people through news reporting. I currently work as an Anchor and Reporter at the Fox affiliate in Salt Lake City, Utah. Before that, I worked at the NBC affiliate in Yuma, Arizona. My family lives in Northern California. Both of my parents are Assyrians originally from Northern Iraq. I have a younger sister, Shana (whom I like to call "Banana"). The rest of my family (aunts, uncles, cousins) live in Sweden. That's where I was born.
Why did you choose to be a news anchor / reporter?
It wasn't like I had dreamt of being a journalist since I was a child. I didn't know what I wanted to do for a living until college. I 've always loved writing, and decided the best way to incorporate that passion was through news reporting. It didn 't take long for me to gain a deep appreciation for the role journalists play in this country and worldwide. We work in a powerful medium, and I take that responsibility very seriously. I've realized that through reporting, I can make a difference. At the very least, I hope my news reports spark a healthy debate about important issues. At this point in my career, being a journalist has become a way of life for me. It doesn't stop when I get home from the office. It follows me everywhere I go.
What's your favourite / most memorable story you've covered?
That is a tough question because I've covered so many incredible stories, so I'll share a few. While I was in Arizona, I was given the opportunity to cover the U.S. Border Patrol. My photographer and I accompanied an agent in the middle of the night to see how they apprehend illegal immigrants. It was exciting and terrifying at the same time. I met a few of the illegal immigrants during the night that had been caught trying to cross the border. All of them wanted a better life. A better life they thought they would find in the U.S. The lengths at which these people will go to are very telling and it was an amazing experience to be able to see what challenges both the U.S. Border patrol and illegal immigrants face.
Here in Utah, I've been amazed at people's generosity and compassion. It's tough to pick out just one story that stands out, but most recently the American Fork High School Marching Band lost its Woodwinds Instructor in a bus crash. Band members played in her honor and went on to win several statewide championships. When they were presented with the opportunity to go to the finals in Indianapolis, they couldn't unless they raised $200,000. Overnight, Utahns from across the state pitched in and the band went on to compete in the finals. How AMAZING is that? These are the types of stories that resonate with me as a reporter.
If you weren't a news anchor / reporter, what would you be doing?
I'd be a published author. I'm currently writing a book about my experiences and journey so far as a journalist. I'm also working on a fictional love story. I hope to one day be blessed enough to be a published writer! If I had to choose something totally out of my realm, I'd say a FASHION DESIGNER. I love clothes, but what girl doesn't?
Who / what inspires you?
My parents inspire me. They escaped the regime in Iraq in search of a better life, and because of that I've been given a world of opportunities I would never have had in Iraq. Every time I have a bad day, I remind myself of the struggles they faced. I say to myself, "If they could do it, I too can overcome this." Besides my parents, people (in general) inspire me. Assyrians who are making a difference give me hope that our generation cares about preserving our people. I draw inspiration from people who are kind, compassionate, and loving. They are everywhere. Unfortunately, the media tends to shy away from people making a difference. Sometimes, to a fault, we point out what's wrong with the world, not what's right.
What does Nineveh like to get up to in her spare time?
I love reading, writing, watching movies and playing guitar (although I wouldn't call myself a talented musician). I enjoy hanging out with friends, and visiting my family in California. I don't see them enough!
We all have a favourite Assyrian meal. What's yours?
Wait, I have to pick just ONE!? That's impossible. I love my Mom's dolma (Ed: vine leaves), biryani, kuba, and kipte (Ed: large meatball style dish). Shoorba / roosa (Ed: rice and shirwa) is a classic. And for dessert? Baklava and kiletche! I love Assyrian food, and I don't eat enough of it here in Utah. There are no traditional Assyrian food stores in this state. Come to think of it, am I the only Assyrian here? Maybe.
What makes you proud to be an Assyrian?
I'm proud to see people like you create websites like "MyOomta." It means that our generation cares about the preservation of Assyrians. I'm proud of anyone who is proud to be Assyrian and who is concerned enough to take an active role in educating people about who we are as a people and culture.
What disappoints you about being an Assyrian?
My parents taught me the Assyrian language growing up. My younger sister never really caught on. She understands the language but doesn't speak it fluently. I'm sure many of you can relate. We are at risk of losing our language. If we don't continue teaching our children how to speak Assyrian, how can we preserve our heritage? Even I'm guilty of not speaking Assyrian with my parents all the time. I think we need to understand the importance of our language. We also need to be more active in our community by educating people who are not Assyrians about who we are. I think we are making progress, but we can't allow ourselves to slip through the cracks.
If you were stranded on an island with 3 other people. Who would they be and why?
I'd have to go with Edward R. Murrow because he's been credited to giving birth to broadcast journalism. I'd love to pick his brain and ask him about the current state of journalism. I'd use him for all my philosophical conversations on the island! My second choice would be Paula Deen because she's a fabulous chef! I love food, and couldn't be stranded on an island without some good grub. My third choice, as silly as it sounds, would be Actor Orlando Bloom. He's young, strong, handsome...you fill in the blanks!
Any final words?
I would just like to thank everyone for supporting me through this journey. I appreciate it more than you'll ever know. I'm thankful for the people that embrace me and invite me into their homes every day. It's an honor, and I can only hope to be blessed enough to continue my journey for years to come!