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Entries for December 2008

Chaldeans in Baghdad Celebrate The First Ever Public Christmas Event
By Neda Ayar :: 20160 Views :: Government & Society

Baghdad, IRAQ – “You have to break a few eggs to make an omelet,” says Nadine Hemra, of Chicago Illinois. The light at the end of Iraq’s tunnel seems to be getting brighter.  Hemra is delighted at the news that the Iraqi death toll has dropped below pre-Saddam era, income for professionals has increased 400 times, utility services are becoming more reliable, and non-Muslim religious tolerance is growing. 

When challenged as to why her friends were unwilling to give Iraq a chance Hemra says, “My friends are weak and afraid of having to sacrifice for the good of others or the future.  The media has led them to believe there was no hope in Iraq.  I believe Iraq will rebuild itself into one of the strongest nations in the Middle East.  Then my friends will have to admit Bush did the right thing in liberating the country.  America lost many good people in the fight to be free from England.  Wouldn’t you say, as the benefactor of the revolution that the fight was worth it?”

It would have been unfathomable only a few months earlier.  However, this past Saturday floating in the sky above Baghdad glides along a huge multi-colored hot-air balloon bearing a large poster of Jesus Christ. Below it, an Iraqi flag.

Santa and his helpers stand under palm trees at Baghdad's first public Christmas festival.

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Where Less Tax Burden Flow - Chaldean Businesses Go
By David Najor :: 31931 Views :: Business & Finance, Government & Society

California, USA – Chaldeans in California grow worrisome as the state’s debt skyrockets.  “They will tax the people to death in this state,” says Abrahim Bajoka, owner of an Arco Gas Station.  “Tax! Tax! Tax!  The more money they take from us the less we can grow, hire new people, or buy new products to sell.  This is basic business.  What is wrong with this state?”

Bajoka’s aggravation is not rare.  Taxpayer groups in the “Fruit & Nut” state are also fuming and vowing to go to court to initiate a referendum to halt nearly $10 billion in recent tax increases Democrats passed in a secret special session last Thursday. 

Lawmakers across the nation are shocked at the extraordinary parliamentary maneuver.   California Democrats circumvented a constitutional provision requiring a two-thirds vote in the state legislature to raise taxes by using their simple majority. “What they are telling small business owners is that we don’t want you in our state,” says Bajoka.  “The hard workers get taxed and the lazy get fed.  This is all wrong.”

So which are the best low-tax states welcoming new business leaders and encouraging economic growth?  Just follow the trail of Chaldeans….

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Iraq Becoming Islamic State Hostile to Non-Muslims
By Amer Hedow :: 38397 Views :: Law & Order, Government & Society, World News & Odds 'N' Ends

London, UK – Lord Alton called for the government in the north of Iraq to return land that had been seized from minority groups.  "The Kurdish Regional Government needs to ensure a swift and complete return of Christian homes, land and property that has been misappropriated ­ which includes 58 Christian villages taken by Kurds.

"How The Kurdish and Iraqi authorities treat their minorities ­ including Christians, Yezidis, and Mandaeans ­ will be a test of their determination to create a tolerant society respectful of difference."

Around 90 people packed into a House of Lords' committee room to attend a hearing about the crisis currently facing minorities in Iraq.

A statement from the Syriac and Chaldean Churches read out at the meeting similarly sounded a note of caution about the direction the country was taking: "It seems that Iraq is one step closer to becoming an Islamic state intolerant to non-Muslims".

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After Attacking Armenians with Stereotypes, NBC Goes After Chaldeans and Jews
By Rita Abro :: 36599 Views :: Sports, Art, and Entertainment, Government & Society

California, USA – “They think they can bring back their ratings by fanning stereotypes and prejudices.  They are purposely picking on Chaldeans and Jews hoping to get better ratings.  NBC is using a strategy that is harmful and sick,” says Jenna Bittis of California. 

The Chaldean woman is upset over NBC’s new pseudo-reality show.  “They deliberately place outspoken and flamboyant mothers against insecure bimboes craving attention in their latest whorish hook-up show,” says Bittis.  “NBC is dead and desperately reaching at anything to try and make a come-back.”

Momma's Boys, the NBC dating-show-with-a-twist from Ryan Seacrest seems to have both Jewish and Chaldean viewers upset.  The show attempts to make a statement about prejudice using two middle aged overprotective mothers of implied Jewish and Chaldean descent unintelligently defending their wishes.  Obviously the shows producers are orchestrating outbursts for ratings in a Jerry Springer like fashion simply for ratings.  

"The sparks soon fly!" as the ad promotes when Khalood Bojanowski, a Michigan Iraqi Catholic mom says she needs her son to end up with a white Catholic girl: no black, Asian, Muslim or Jewish bachelorettes need apply. Another bachelor's mom, Esther, is a stereotypical smothering-Jewish mom, right down to the Yiddishisms, the kvelling over her "mensch" son and the Coffee Talk accent.  This rubs many of the girls the wrong way and with contestants encouraged to put on a good show for the reality cameras – the Jerry Springer like attacks begin. 

The aftermath is a viewer conditioned to believe the over-the-top Chaldean and Jewish stereotypes.

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Chaldean Christmas Party for Refugees Offers Hope and Peace
By Sam Yousif :: 51137 Views :: Community & Culture, Chaldean Churches

Michigan, USA - The Chaldean Catholic Diocese of the United States of America held a Christmas party for Chaldeans in Michigan.  For many, this was their first Christmas celebration in safety since the war began. 

More than 1,200 guests gathered in the prestigious Bella Hall on Sunday.  All hoping to bring peace to so many who still worry about their loved ones caught in the turmoil and persecution of Iraqi Christians.  Others silently cried as they reflected on the situations of their loved ones trapped in foreign countries as refugees. 

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Chaldean Teens Make A Big Difference in Helping Those in Need
By Brenda Hermiz :: 22374 Views :: Community & Culture

Massachusetts, USA – In a society where consumerism and the “me” driven commercialization of the holidays have driven most teens to think of only themselves.  However,  there still shine beacons of light.  Out in wilderness of the teen jungle there are more teens than Disney and mainstream media give credit to for their maturity, concern, and activism in helping others. 

In Michigan a group of well coordinated Chaldean teens continue to make a big difference to those in need.  Better known as CT-Squared or Chaldean Teens Coming Together the group of teenagers put their faith into practice.  Unlike the stereotypical teens splashed across TV newscasts or written about in belittling terms, this group silently works to help others.  The group of middle and high school aged volunteers serve breakfast, help feed the hungry, collect food donations for food banks, organize family outings, fundraise for those in need, and actively serving the community. 

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Chaldean Businessman Awarded Developer of the Year in Michigan's Premier Business City
By Paul Gori :: 24459 Views :: Business & Finance

Michigan, USA - Chaldeans time and again show their prowess to succeed. "Hard work, exceptionally creative, and humble," says Ashley Polus, a guest at the prestigious Southfield Skyline business award ceremony.  "Ron Jona made us all proud. I was pleasantly surprised to learn he was the man being honored. As I said earlier, hard work, exceptionally creative, and humble.  He deserves it," she said.

Southfield is home to over 9,000 businesses including more than 80 "Fortune 500" companies. The City of Southfield is the premier business address in Michigan. With more than 27 million square feet of office space and over seven million square feet of retail and industrial space - Southfield is truly Michigan's undisputed business center. In fact, Southfield boasts more office space than the central business districts of Cleveland, Cincinnati, Detroit, Indianapolis or Kansas City.

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Victors of War Go the Spoils Angers Chaldeans
By Rita Abro :: 52676 Views :: Sports, Art, and Entertainment, Law & Order, Business & Finance, Government & Society

New York, USA – Chaldeans and Assyrians in American are appalled at Christie’s Auction House of New York.  “They are war profiteers moving the spoils of war,” says Chaldean art collector Enas Namoo from his downtown Chicago office.  The Chaldean art collector, well known for his Mediterranean art collection, was furious for what he saw in the catalog of the ancient art and antiquities auction at Christie's next week.  Among the collection was a pair of neo-Assyrian earrings established as artifacts of Mesopotamia.  “This belongs in the museum, not on an auction block,” said a angered Namoo. 

Along with Namoo, Iraqi authorities have also appealed to have the pair of neo-Assyrian earrings returned.  The 9,000–10,000-year-old earrings are expected to bring in up to $65,000, but Iraqi officials say they are part of the treasures of Nimrud and thus rightfully the property of Iraq.

Chaldean archeologist, art curator, antiquity expert, and former director of the Iraq Museum Donny George says, “I am 100 percent sure they are from the same tombs from Nimrud. I witnessed the excavation."

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Iraqi Chaldean and Professor Joseph Yacoub Opines
By Amer Hedow :: 20857 Views :: Opinion and Editorials

Lyon, FRANCE - Dario Salvi of AsiaNews reports that the “new” Iraq there is a clear strategy to eliminate Christians.  Salvi interviews Joseph Yacoub, an export on Christianity in the Middle East. 

Joseph Yacoub, an Iraqi Chaldean and professor of political science at the Catholic University of Lyon.  An expert in Christianity in the Middle East with a profound knowledge of the Iraqi reality, he criticizes the idea of a Christian enclave on the Nineveh plain and warns of a “political strategy that aims to eliminate Christians” which can only be halted if “the logic of divisions and self-interest is overcome”. 

He is also critical of the American troop withdrawal pact, judging it a “superficial change” which will not restore full “national sovereignty” to Iraq.  He is also against the electoral law, describing it as a “discriminatory measure” against Christians, who must impute the “government of Baghdad” that has failed to guarantee “unity and security in the country”.  Finally, he is worried by the climate of “distrust and fear” within the Christian community, since time immemorial the guarantor of “pluralistic and rich multi-culture” in Iraq, today abandoned to its own destiny.

Below is the published interview given by Joseph Yacoub:

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Elderly Chaldean Lady in Chicago Runned Over in Tragic Auto Incident
By Ann Bahri :: 30620 Views :: Law & Order, Government & Society


Illinois, USA - Mariam Shamoon, a longtime Chicagoan, active in her church and surrounded by family, who admired her for her vibrant lifestyle despite advanced years.  Sunday night, Shamoon, 78, met a tragic fate, cut down by a car.  

Around 5 p.m., Mariam Shamoon was returning from a day of Christmas shopping near her apartment building in the 6300 block of North Kedzie Avenue. As she crossed West Devon Avenue only half a block from her front door, a car turning right on a green light from Kedzie onto Devon struck and killed her.

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Author Releases New Fictional Book on the Plight of A Chaldean Family
By Sam Yousif :: 18666 Views :: Sports, Art, and Entertainment

Michigan, USA – Publisher, author, and journalist Donna Gundle-Krieg releases “From Desert to Detroit.”  The book is an award winning educational story about a young Detroit Chaldean named Nadia Sefro and her family leaving a country in turmoil to a country of dreams.  However, the Sefro family find themselves facing a new set of challenges in Detroit. 

This story takes place during the time of the 911 disaster from the point of view of the child Nadia.  The book is filled with interesting characters of all ages.  The book is recommended for ages 8 to adult, with particular appeal for those in 3rd through 6th grade, and contains valuable social studies lessons.

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