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Hall of Fame

Assyrian Sports Hall of Fame - Soccer

The Assyrian





Brief History

Aram Karam is known as one of the finest and most accomplished soccer players from Iraq. He began his athletic career in 1936 playing for local teams in the district of Henedi, today know as Al-Rashid Military Camp. He then moved to Habbaniya and played for various teams until 1943, when he joined the varsity team, one of the strongest teams in Habbaniya. This team included a number of Assyrian soccer stars such as Shmouel Eshay (Sammy), father of the international soccer player, Gilbert Sammy.


After the team was disbanded in 1947, Aram went onto play for and captain Levy Civilian.


Aram Karam was distinguished as a great player particularly for his uncanny ability in scoring accurate goals. He had the unique ability to score goals from distances of up to 50 yards, with either his right or left foot.


In 1951, he was selected to play as an international player for Iraq's first ever National Team, competing in its first international game in Ankara, Turkey. He missed Iraq’s first international game against Turkey in Izmir on May 6th, which ended 7-0 to the hosts, but competed in the second game six days later against Ankara Select. Aram proved to be a valuable player on the day as he scored Iraq’s first goal and ended the game with four goals but was unable to prevent a 7-5 defeat.

During that same year a select team was formed at Habbaniya for which Aram was chosen. This hand picked team achieved a respectable number of championships against other teams from Baghdad including: the Police Team, Air Force Team, and the Royal Guard Team.


In 1952 Aram moved to Karkuk (Province of Al-Taamim), and there he began playing for a newly formed team called the I.P.C. (Iraqi Petroleum Company) team. Aram was the team captain and head coach of the oil company team. This team won six consecutive years in the Middle East Oil Companies Championships under his leadership.


Aram was a quick, dominating, outstanding player and a dead-ball specialist. His penalty kicks were so powerful that it was said that could tear a hole in the net. In a wink of an eye, he could slam the ball into the goal as a bullet. His fans still remember the three exciting goals he scored while playing against the Iranian Taj team in 1956. Soccer fans would agree, Aram Karam’s kicking power was unparalleled.


In 1960 he retired and was appointed to be in charge of sports in the pipeline areas of the Iraqi Petroleum Company. Additionally, Aram was a great asset as advisor to the Iraqi National Soccer Association in the selection of their national team.


Aside from soccer, Aram was also an accomplished tennis player, winning six consecutive years as he competed in the Persian Gulf Tennis Championships.


In 1992 Aram immigrated to the United States, and currently lives in Turlock, California.

He scored approximately 600 goals in his soccer career Which included 35 international games.


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Last Updated :December 01, 2015

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