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Entries for January 2007

Chaldean Rapper TIMZ Squares Off With Chuck Norris on Fox News
By Rita Abro :: 94 Views :: Sports, Art, and Entertainment

California, USA - Chaldean rapper TIMZ (Tommy Hanna), has caused a national stir with his latest award winning nomination for best 2006 Hip Hop Album at the San Diego Annual Music Awards.  The candid American born rapper was recently featured on Fox News in a face-to-face discussion with Chuck Norris regarding his scorching debut CD titled “Open For Business.”  TIMZ takes on Chuck Norris as he brings to light America’s missteps in the Iraqi War and their cultural ignorance of the region. 

TIMZ lyrical criticism of the Iraqi war infused with Middle Eastern hip hop rhythms and hypnotic beats hopes to crush stereotypes of Middle Easterners.  The entrepreneur lays out a 14-track collection that has propelled the University of San Diego graduate to the national spotlight.   “TIMZ captures the perseverant lifestyle of Chaldeans,” says Ranya Semmo.  “I love his work.  He is brilliant, full of energy, and hits you with a very powerful message.”

(This article contains both TIMZ music video and the Fox News Interview which require the flash plug0in)

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Chaldean Refugees Trapped in Mexico & U.N. Calling for Aid
By Rita Abro :: 21 Views :: Government & Society, World News & Odds 'N' Ends
Monterrey, MEXICO – Chaldeans forced to leave Iraq have few choices.  As Christians in a country that continues to embrace radical Islam Chaldeans are fleeing by the hundred thousands.  Rafid Bedou, frustrated and angry says, “What choices do we have?  If we stay in Iraq they rape and torture our daughters and kill our sons.  Iraq is turning into a living hell.” 
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Is Division or Religious Freedom Part of the Solution for Iraq?
By Rita Abro :: 16 Views :: Government & Society, Opinion and Editorials

KIRKUK, Iraq – Chaldeans persecuted by Muslims are abandoning their homes and fleeing to the northern plains of Iraq in massive numbers.  The exodus of Christians from the intolerant Middle East has been ongoing and ignored for nearly five decades.  The polarization of Shi’ite, Sunnis, Kurds, and the exodus of Christians is ripping Iraq apart.

The archbishop of Kirkuk warns that a division of Iraq will lead to more conflict, with Christians caught in the middle.  Bishop Sako says, “A divided Iraq will not be a peaceful Iraq.”  According to Bishop Sako, the current Iraqi government does not ensure peace. "For Sunnis, Shiite Iran is the main cause of their marginalization and for what is happening in Iraq," he said. "Shiites have taken power, but the current government has failed to achieve the desired reconciliation or to ensure peace."

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Miss Oakland County Pageant Holds Competition Trials
By Sam Yousif :: 47 Views :: Sports, Art, and Entertainment

Michigan, USA - The Miss Oakland County Scholarship Program is now accepting application forms for both pageants.  The Miss Oakland County Pageant is a local preliminary to the Miss Michigan’s Pageant, and is set for Saturday, July 14, 2007. This is affiliated with the Miss America Organization. The winner will advance to the state Miss Michigan’s pageant to be held in Muskegon, June 2008.

No entry fee is required for the Miss Oakland County pageant, which is a preliminary to Miss Michigan and Miss America pageants. The deadline to enter is Friday, May 11, 2007.

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Tariq Aziz Begs To Live in Rome
By Rita Abro :: 24 Views :: World News & Odds 'N' Ends

Rome, ITALY - Tariq Aziz, who served as deputy prime minister of Iraq under Saddam Hussein, has issued a plea to the Italian government and the Vatican for permission to live in Rome while he awaits trial on human-rights charges.

Giovanni DiStefano, an Italian lawyer for the former Iraqi official, explained that his client would like the Italian government and/or the Vatican to guarantee that he will appear to appear when his case is ready for trial. DiStefano said that he is asking the Iraqi court to release Aziz on bail.

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Chaldean Trucker Testifies Before Congress
By Sam Yousif :: 20 Views :: Government & Society

The plight of Iraqi refugees is gaining American attention because of key Democratic leading senators like Carl Levin and Ted Kennedy.  A Chaldean trucker testifies before the Senate Judiciary Committee’s Subcommittee on Immigration, Border Security and Refugees.  The subcommittee met on Tuesday to probe the issue of the plight of refugees from the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.  Led by staunch supporter of refugee support, Democratic Senator Ted Kennedy the subcommittee highlighted the living causalities of war ignored by the Bush administration.

“The desperate situation in Iraq has created hundreds of thousands of refugees who are virtually unknown to the rest of the world,” Kennedy said. “We can’t continue to ignore their plight.”

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Chaldean Seminary and Theological University Moved and Inaugurated
By Ziad Bitti :: 23 Views :: Government & Society, World News & Odds 'N' Ends

Ankawa, IRAQ– A century old seminary has been forced to leave Baghdad.  Under pressure of violence and continual attacks the Chaldean Seminary and Theological University was forced to close.  Baghdad stands as the center of the civil strife in Iraq between violent Muslim Shi’ite and Sunni groups.  Christians in the region have been forced to leave Baghdad after numerous killings, kidnappings, and torture of community leaders.  As the capital of Iraq is being emptied of its Christians, property and land is being stolen by Sunni and Shi’ite militias.

Erbil’s Chaldean bishop, Mgr Rabban al-Qas, said that the doors to the Chaldean Major Seminary and Babel College, Iraq’s only theological faculty run by the Chaldean Church, have reopened in Kurdistan after shutting down because of the growing insecurity in the Iraq. The two institutions were in fact officially inaugurated last Thursday after moving from Baghdad to Ankawa, near Erbil, in Kurdistan.

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Chaldeans Celebrate the Importance of Marriage
By Sam Yousif :: 48 Views :: Community & Culture

Michigan, USA -  Chaldeans in southeast Michigan are making a resounding impact on the importance of marriage to the community, society, and country.  The Chaldean culture has long been a strong advocate of marriage and family.  The leaders of the community have

long been saying that marriage and family stand as the nucleus of any community.  

Increasing rates of dysfunctional families in other American Semitic groups like the Jewish community have served as early warning messages of the devastation and destruction divorce creates in any family. 

American-Chaldeans continue to face the promotion of divorce, infidelity, promiscuity, and other behaviors that rip apart a family.  “Media in America is notorious for teaching impressionable minds that bad behavior should be tolerated.  What is rarely examined is the impact of the behavior on the family, society, and nation, “ says Dr. Dalia Issa, a family counselor in Michigan.  “Community leaders, like Mother of God Church that celebrate marriage, are the heroes in this struggle.”

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US Criticized for Continuing to Abandon Iraqi Refugees
By Rita Abro :: 19 Views :: Government & Society, World News & Odds 'N' Ends

Michigan, USA - The United States continues to come under criticism by humanitarian groups for ignoring their responsibility in providing for up to 3 million Iraqis displaced from their homes.  American reputation and leadership continues to plummet among international leaders after continuing allegations of an illegal war against Iraq and ignoring the humanitarian crisis aftermath. 

Echoing former US president Fords implication that the US may be liable for taking unfounded preemptive military action against Iraq, calls for a war tribunal against the US increases across the globe

Aid organizations report a rapidly mounting crisis of refugees inside Iraq and in neighboring countries as thousands flee sectarian violence every day. The United Nations estimates that there are more than 1.5 million Iraqis displaced within the country and a similar number living as refugees in Jordan, Syria and elsewhere.

The Michigan based Chaldean Federation of America (CFA) has been working tirelessly with US legislators to bring to light the crisis and need for support.  The CFA has expressed positive working relations with legislatures like Democrat Senator Carl Levin but continues to run into obstacle after obstacle dealing with the State Department or White House administration. 

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Spiraling Sectarian Violence in Irqq - Not Random
By Ziad Bitti :: 11 Views :: Government & Society, World News & Odds 'N' Ends

BAGHDAD, IRAQ - Like other minority members in Iraq, Mardon Matrood, a 44-year-old Assyrian shopkeeper in Baghdad, has had enough of the country's sectarian violence.

"Minorities in Iraq are targeted by insurgents and militias, who want us out of the country as they promote what they call the 'cleansing of Iraq, of non-Muslim communities'," said Matrood who is living with his family of six in an abandoned government building.

Four months ago Matrood's family failed to pay a ransom of US $50,000 to kidnappers who had abducted his nephew. The nephew was later found dead.

"We are a poor family.  We couldn't pay [the ransom money] and after two weeks we were informed that the police had found his body near a mosque in Adhamiyah district (northern Baghdad). It was totally mangled, burned and tortured," Matrood said.

Spiraling sectarian violence has threatened the decades-long peaceful coexistence in Iraq between members of different religions, sects and tribes. Now Sunni and Shi'ite extremists are targeting minorities in a bid to force them out of the country.

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