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Chaldean Cashes in on Obama Inaugural Frenzy
By Sam Yousif :: Monday, January 19, 2009 :: 28266 Views :: Sports, Art, and Entertainment

Washington DC, USA – Chaldean businessman Andy Shallal looks to capture and convert that energy into capital.  Not the type of energy that turns on your lights or moves your car.  The energy of millions of people pouring into the Washington DC to participate in Obama’s Inauguration is prime for celebration and prime for businesses. 

Although Andy Shallal, a native of Virginia has never been to an inaugural ball he sure plans to make the best of this one.  Shallal owns a number of restaurants around the DC area and is known in private circles as a peace proponent. 

So in celebrating the excitement and capturing the energy of the crowds, Shallal is hosting is own star-studded inaugural ball that just might capture the new president’s attention. 

Shallal’s celebrity-studded, sold-out Peace Ball at the National Postal Museum today is one of at least 80 unofficial gala events that are drawing people from across the country, along with the 10 coveted official balls where Barack and Michelle Obama are scheduled to appear.

"We, the peace movement, need to be at the table and not on the fringes as we have been for so many years," Shallal said, adding that the peace community has high hopes for Obama. "The ball is like being at someone's wedding. We wanted to be at a very important tradition of bringing in a new president."

Shallal's Peace Ball will feature Harry Belafonte, Joan Baez, Graham Nash, Jackson Browne, Bernice Johnson Reagon and younger and international peace musicians, as well as activist writers, comedians and commentators. More than 1,000 people have bought tickets, and Shallal said that 600 more are on a waiting list. Peace Ball tickets were $165; some VIP tickets were still available for $1,000.

"It should be a very interesting crowd," Shallal said. Like all hosts of unofficial balls, he's holding out hope the Obamas might just go off-schedule and squeeze in a visit.

Sacred Heart Parish, MI USA

 

Sacred Heart Parish
310 W. Seven Mile. Rd.
Detroit, MI 48203
Tel: (313) 368-6214
Fax: (313) 891-0132

The parish was established by Rev. Jacob Yasso in 1973

Rev. Jacob Yasso

Rev. Jacob Yasso was born in the village of Telkaif, Iraq.  After completing high school he was recruited to Rome and Urbaniana University where he completed his Masters Degree in philosophy and Theology.  Fr. Yasso was ordained a priest in 1960 and served the Diocese of Mosul, where he worked in the public school system. Fr. Yasso was also asked by the Patriarch to teach at the Patriarchal Seminary in Baghdad, where he served as administrator, professor of philosophy and religious life, and rector of the minor seminary. 

In 1964, Fr. Yasso was appointed to the United States to serve the growing Chaldean community in Detroit.  There he served as the 4th Pastor of Mother of God Parish.  .  In 1972, the Patriarch charged Fr. Yasso with building a new parish for the Chaldeans in Detroit.  In taking great pains to care for the community Fr. Yasso accelerated the development of a new church and community center.  In 1975, Fr. Yasso completed the development of Sacred Heart Parish in Detroit and shortly thereafter he added the Chaldean Center of America in 1980, 

A few years later in 1982, Fr. Yasso was asked to assist the late Fr. Kattoula at St. Peter’s Church in San Diego, CA.  Before long, Fr. Yasso was once again recruited to Rome to study new Canon Law of the Church.  While in Rome Fr. Yasso completed his third Masters Degree in Church Law, making him the only Chaldean priest trained in Canon Law. 

In 1988, the Patriarch and Vatican authorities asked Fr. Yasso to travel to Canada and establish a parish and community center.  While there he served as a Tribunal Judge for the Archdiocese of Toronto.  Four years later Fr. Yasso returned to Sacred Heart church in Detroit to help care for the remaining Chaldean community residence in the Detroit area.  To this day, Fr. Yasso continues to serve as the parish pastor creating activities and advising the City of Detroit on community related matters. 

Fr. Yasso is a member of the International WYCLIF Bible translators, since 1975, and has completed the translation of the New Testament from Greek and Aramaic into Arabic and spoken Chaldean.   The publication of his scholarly work is set to be released soon.