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Mosul, IRAQ – “We have to go vote. Our love for our country makes us go and vote,” says Ibtissam Bazzi, an Iraqi Christian woman eager to cast her vote. Christians in Iraq remain an oppressed minority and a group still under constant threat. With the provincial elections underway, Iraq’s Christian minority find themselves between a rock and a hard place.
The Iraqi natives have faced centuries of violence. From conquering Arab armies, the first world war genocide of the Ottoman empire (present day Turkey), to mass killings from al-Qaida in Iraq and other Islamic extremists. Including the Kurds who have been slowly and systematically attempting to take and control land once owned by Christians.
In the northern city of Mosul and surrounding areas the Kurds have been using their own militia to sieze more of Iraq into their semiautonomous region. The issue came to the fore in Saturday's vote for members of ruling councils in most of Iraq's 18 provinces.
Illinois, USA – The University of Chicago joins a handful of other colleges in their effort to create a cohabitation campus. The college will now allow a male student to sleep in the same room with an unrelated female student.
Amy Batuo says the school has essentially become a whore house and is considering transferring. “I am not going to pay them to help students hook-up. There is going to be so many reputations and lives ruined. They have gone way into left field on this one.”
This is not the first time the school has sent shock waves for its stance on sexual promiscuity and promotion. The campus Student Health and Wellness Fee, which all registered students pay, covers regular contraceptive items like condoms and lubricants. All are available at its Student Care Center including what the center calls "Emergency contraception.”
California, USA – “Chaldeans who voted for him should be ashamed of themselves. When will people learn that what goes around comes around? Like the Nazis who supported eugenics and the killing of the useless and unwanted, so too goes America with this President,” says Ashley Bashi.
Barack Obamaa has plans to reward the allies that helped him topple Hillary Clinton and seize the presidency by making total unrestricted abortion in the United States his number one priority as president. Nonetheless, some Chaldeans think abortion is a religious issue or only a disagreement to overlook with the controlling Democrat party.
“It is sad that some in the Chaldean community think abortion is a religious issue. Our entire society is based on morals and values. If we don’t value the innocent, the old, unproductive, weak, or poor of our society, how much longer before we begin to make decisions to eliminate them,” says Dr. Hiba Hannou, a leading Chaldean medical researcher in reproductive science. “How much longer before we say those that are not smart or unproductive must also be killed.”
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.
For thousands of years the language of Aramaic has existed, descended from Sumerian and Akkadian roots. The language is still spoken by the Chaldean Assyrian Syriac people today, and is one of the four recognized languages in the Iraqi constitution under Syriac (Eastern dialect of Aramaic).
The University of Detroit Mercy has recently established an Aramaic course teaching how to speak, read and write Aramaic, as well as studies pertaining to culture and history. The class starts January 17th and is taught by Mahir Awrahem, who is also a professor at Baker College.
The 15-week is an introductory course open to all college and high school students. Prof. Awrahem is excited for the start of the program, “When I lived in Iraq, there was no such thing as learning Aramaic in schools; I am excited to be teaching the language of Christ especially at the University level.
California, USA – The double standard in the Chaldean community always was a point of contention. Why is it okay for men to smoke, but not women? Some argue the double standard was required by Chaldean men living in a Muslim dominated society where smoking was seen as a male’s passage to adulthood and encouraged.
The society pressures seem to be a strong force as American society continues to grow in disgust with smokers. Chaldean men living in western society show a significant decrease in smoking compared to their Middle Eastern counterparts. However, the increase in Chaldean women smokers versus their counterparts is staggering, but understandable, given the freedoms and consumer coaching aimed at women who have come a long way to light-up.
Stories abound in the Chaldean community of fathers and mothers disgusted at the sight of young American teenage girls smoking at school. Some of the stories go so fat as to say that the parents refused to allow their daughters to enroll in the school, opting instead to home school.
So whatever happened to those teen girls who defiantly puffed away as gawking Chaldean parents drove by worried as to what their child was being exposed to. A new study says those insecure girls have grown up to be fat and are now costing society in hefty healthcare costs.
I, like a few other Chaldeans won’t reach my goals in the New Year. I am not alone by any means. Like everyone else who has pledged to change things this New Year, together we are going to find ourselves bummed out when nothing has really changed.
Here are the best advice I have received from my friends on beating the odds. Give them a try. I will, and hopefully we can last beyond the first few months in sticking to our New Year resolutions.