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Entries for 'Rita Abro'

Bishop Francis Ordained to Lead the Faithful
By Rita Abro :: 19660 Views :: Chaldean Churches

On June 14, 2014 the ordination of Fr. Frank Kalabat, of the Eastern United States Chaldean Eparchy (Diocese) will be held in Southfield Michigan.  Hundreds of thousands of faithful followers across the globe are estimated to watch the live event.  The humble priest, born in Kuwait in 1970, and ordained a priest in 1995, was selected by Pope Francis to succeed Bishop Ibrahim to lead the Chaldean faithful in the United Sates.  

Born in Iraq, Bishop Ibrahim was named by Pope John Paul II in 1982 to head the American eparchy (diocese) for Chaldeans. It is separate from the Archdiocese of Detroit but still has allegiance to the pope. Known as the Chaldean Eparchy of St. Thomas the Apostle, it once covered the entire U.S.

In 2002, the diocese grew so large in divided into a Western and Eastern half of the U.S. There are 105,000 Catholics who are members of the Eastern diocese, said the Vatican news release. Many of them are in metro Detroit, which has the highest concentration of Chaldeans in the U.S.

Fr. Frank recently served as the pastor of St. Thomas Chaldean Catholic Church in West Bloomfield.  Known for his inspirational and passionate sermons the modest priest is adored by the community.   Fr. Frank will be taking on the name of Bishop Francis and plans to continue his mission to bring Christ into the lives of all.   

Kalabat will be formally installed among some of Michigan’s most influential religions leaders.  In attendance will be Archbishop Allen Vigneron, head of the Archdiocese of Detroit, and numerous other world leaders. 

The event is being streamed live on EWTN, Satellite TV, and via the internet at www.stthomascc.org

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Mart Mariam Chaldean Catholic Church Grotto Unveiled
By Rita Abro :: 25002 Views :: Chaldean Churches
In 2011, Mart Mariam Chaldean Catholic Church was re-located to 2700 Willow Road in Northbrook, on the corner of Pfingsten and Willow Roads. The sprawling 10 acre landscape has supported the resplendent parish adding an activity hall, small school, and rectory to a picturesque and easily accessible campus.
 
In September 2012, Fr. Fawaz Kako,C.Ss.R. and myself, along with fellow parishioner Salem Estefan, discussed building a proper grotto (maghara) for the existing Mother Mary statue residing at the front entrance of the church. I welcomed the responsibility and pursuit of such a significant shrine as a gift from the Hikmat Yacu family to our church and all of its faithful parishioners.
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SMART is not so Smart - Chaldean awarded half-million dollars
By Rita Abro :: 22575 Views :: Law & Order, Chaldean Justice League
Michigan, Detroit — A case brought to you by CHALDEAN.org back in early 2000 is reaching its conclusion.  For Chaldean Mazyn  Barash the nightmare is over and justice is finally being served.  For over eight years Barash has been fighting the Suburban Mobility Authority for Regional Transportation for infringing his Civil Rights.  This week the Michigan Civil Rights Commission has awarded nearly half a million dollars to Mr. Barash, a former Chaldean employee who was the victim of ongoing harassment and abuse by managers and co-worker of SMART because of his Iraqi descent.  

“He went through hell and he stood courageously for his rights,” says Amar Bahri, who has been watching the case closely.  “He may not know it, but he has helped the Chaldean community a great deal.  He has helped stand against such injustice that Chaldeans face every day in schools, at work, and when trying to find jobs in Michigan.  God bless him and I hope other Chaldeans are able to stand as strong as he has.”

“Nothing can replace the years of torment my client has suffered at the hands of his employer,” said Attorney and Michigan Advisory Board Chairman Shereef Akeel in a statement. “But Mazyn has been a champion in his efforts to rid discrimination in the workplace.”
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9 Keys for Better Chaldean Communication
By Rita Abro :: 22884 Views :: Health & Fitness, Community & Culture

Chaldeans are known for their savvy skills in business and negotiations.  Given communication is a fundamental skill in business and negotiations; you might be tempted to logically conclude Chaldeans must be great communicators. 

Let’s just say Chaldeans communicate differently than most in the West are accustomed to in business and negotiations.  Commonly Chaldeans in communications will be more outspoken, quick, transparent, bold, candid, and gesticulate freely in the discussion. 

This can be intimidating, frustrating, and difficult for non-Chaldeans who are taught a more linear, quiet, subtle, and masked way of sharing ones thoughts and feelings.  

A few weeks ago, I was asked to join two close friends for lunch, John, a Chaldean and Russell, a non-Chaldean (Names have been changed to protect the innocent). Throughout the lunch, I couldn't help but feel there was some sort of communication breakdown.  John would cut Russell off even though he was still talking. John kept offering unwanted advice and opinions, even though Russell was not asking for help. It became quite frustrating just 15 minutes into the conversation.  After 30 minutes, Russell stopped sharing and nodded away to everything John said.

After the lunch, I reflected over the situation.

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I-75 Wreck in Hazel Park Claims Two Chaldean Lives
By Rita Abro :: 16917 Views :: Community & Culture

By ROBIN SCHWARTZ
WJBK | myFOXDetroit.com

HAZEL PARK, Mich. (WJBK) - A totaled Lincoln flipped over along I-75 just north of Eight Mile in Hazel Park.  21-year-old Feras Salem and 26-year-old Madonna Jarbo, both from Sterling Heights, were killed at the scene.

I-75 Wreck in Hazel Park Claims Two Lives: MyFoxDETROIT.com

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Chaldeans Find Refuge in East Tennessee
By Rita Abro :: 43454 Views :: Community & Culture, Chaldean Churches

A group of religious refugees are finding a home in East Tennessee. Chaldean Catholics, native to Iraq, are fleeing their home country to avoid persecution.

Many Chaldeans are tortured, even murdered over their religious beliefs. There are an estimated 150,000 Chaldeans in the United States, including over 100 in East Tennessee. On Saturday, Bishop Ibrahim Ibrahim of the St. Thomas the Apostle Catholic Chaldean Diocese, which covers the Eastern US, said mass at Sacred Heart Cathedral in Knoxville to help teach local Catholics about the Chaldean's plight.

"Usually they believe that all Iraqis are Muslims, but no, we are Christians even from the beginning, before Islam was there, Christians were there," Bishop Ibrahim said.

Joining him are members of the newly formed organization "Iraqi Christians in Need".

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Keeper of Iraq’s Past and Caretaker of Iraq’s Christian Future Passes
By Rita Abro :: 31686 Views :: Chaldean Churches

Baghdad, IRAQ – Chaldean Bishop Andreas Abouna of Iraq died this past Tuesday, July 27th, 2010.  The 67 year old Bishop suffered from ongoing kidney complications and passed in an Erbil hospital located in northern Iraq.  Chaldean Patriarch Emmanuel III Delly, presided at Bishop Abouna’s funeral at St Joseph’s Cathedral, Ankawa, near Erbil.

The ailing Bishop was known for his peaceful calls, optimism, and concern for the youth of Iraq.  Archbishop Bashar Warda of Erbil described him as a pastor who was “always smiling, even in very difficult situations”.  Amid his increasing health problems, Bishop Abouna remained in war-torn Baghdad.  Without care for his own well-being the Bishop often held youth events and activities.  He counseled young Iraqis of all faiths as increasing horrific violence pervaded their daily lives.  The bishop also responded to a shortage of priests by serving at the parish of Our Lady of the Assumption, in the one of Iraq’s most dangerous city’s in the Al Mansour district.

Bishop Abouna was born on March 23, 1943 in the village of Bedar, outside the northern Iraqi town of Zakho.  At the age of 14, he joined St Peter’s Seminary, then based in the northern city of Mosul, and was ordained a priest for the Chaldean Catholic Church on June 5, 1966.

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Baoutha Begins for Chaldeans - 3 Days of Fasting
By Rita Abro :: 49261 Views :: Religion & Spirituality, Chaldean Churches

The English word breakfast, in fact, means the meal that breaks the fast.  Fasting is on the mind of many Chaldeans as they enter their second day of a three day Baoutha fast.  Fasting is the voluntary avoidance of something that is good. When Chaldean Catholics talk about fasting, they normally mean restricting the food that they eat. Depending on the fast, Chaldeans will abstain between meals and the more disciplined and spiritual Chaldeans will fast from mostly all food.

While fasting takes the form of refraining from eating, it is primarily a spiritual discipline designed to tame the body so that the faithful can concentrate on higher things.

Annually Chaldeans fast for three days in observance of Baoutha; a community promise made to God centuries ago. (Click here to learn more about Baoutha)

This year Community leaders are asking Chaldeans to turn their prayers and alms towards the needy of Iraq.  Death tolls continue to skyrocket in Iraq over unsafe conditions and lack of security.  “To put it in perspective it is like ten Haiti in Iraq,” says Andrew Ishaya of Turlock, California.  “It sure would be nice for to have a $60 million telethon for the war causalities.  Until that time, I will use my Baoutha Fast as an appeal for mercy to the innocent men, women, and children of Iraq.  And whatever money I can save from my fast I will donate to an Iraqi orphanage my church is helping to support.”
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Chaldean Church in California Attacked by Vandals
By Rita Abro :: 36453 Views :: Chaldean Churches

CALIFORNIA, USA — Chaldeans fled to the United States to escape Christian persecution by fanatics and anti-Christian zealots.  However, Chaldeans in Turlock, California awoke this past weekend to a frightening occurrence of vandalism and Christian hatred. 

Surveillance camera recorded three men destroying and then stealing a statue of the Blessed Virgin Mary in front of the Our Lady of Turlock fountain outside St. Thomas Assyrian-Chaldean Catholic Church.

Parishioner David Yonan, 49, reported the vandalism when he arrived for Sunday morning prayers at 7 a.m. and noticed the statue of the Blessed Virgin Mary missing.  According to the video’s time stamp the crime occurred Saturday at 11 p.m. in the evening. 

"It was devastating," Yonan told reporters. "All the ladies were sitting there crying. It looked like a funeral."

The surveillance video shows a man climbing the steps of the fountain, then throwing the $3,000, Italian-made statue to the ground. Another man comes and takes the damaged statue. All that was left were porcelain shards that once made up the back of the statue's head, Yonan said.

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Chaldean Symphony at the GSO - Middle East Meets West
By Rita Abro :: 77942 Views :: Sports, Art, and Entertainment, Community & Culture, Chaldean Churches

California, USA –The Grossmont Symphony Orchestra (GSO) have been invited to play along with world class Chaldean musicians in the presentation of “Middle East Meets West.”   The GSO, under the musical direction of Dr. Randall Tweed, is a seventy-five member orchestral ensemble comprised of music and non-music majors, and talented musicians from the community.

The orchestra, whose musical performance home is El Cajon's own "East County Performing Arts Center" (ECPAC), performs a large variety of concerts from serious classical "arts" performances to lighter "pops" entertainment. Local and nationally reputed performing artists are frequent soloists with the GSO.

The St. Peter Chaldean Catholic Church in El Cajon helped organize the appearance of special guest artist and world class violinisht Luay Yousif. Yousif, born in Baghadad in 1979, has performed with the Iraqi National Symphony Orchestra at the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, D.C. He has lived in the U.S. since 2007.

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15 Reminders for Chaldeans Leasing or Renting
By Rita Abro :: 55060 Views :: Living & Lifestyle, Business & Finance

California, USA – “You have to know your rights.  Otherwise they may take advantage of you when you rent from them,” says Khaloud “Kelly” Heso, a property manager in Orange Grove Townhouse and Apartments in a small town outside of San Diego, California.  “I once worked with a company that taught us not to share renter rights with the tenants.  I could not work for a company that operated in that way, so I left and came to Orange Grove.” 

Chaldeans should know what their rights are when renting and you don't have to be expert in landlord-tenant law to protect yourself. Chaldeans are reminded to review their rights when renting or leasing and to always read the agreement before signing the dotted line.

Laws that protect both landlord and tenant have become so complex that understanding your rights can be difficult. Since landlord-tenant law varies by state, the key is knowing your rights -- preferably before you even sign your rental agreement. Understanding your state law and the terms of your lease are your best guarantees against future problems.

15 common renters' rights all Chaldeans should know:

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Unemployment A Bit Different in the Chaldean Community
By Rita Abro :: 32931 Views :: Living & Lifestyle, Business & Finance

Just a few weeks after Salim Bashi was laid off as manager of a taxi cab company in Michigan, he found himself driving through Detroit with his 11-year-old son, Sam. Sam knew that his father was unemployed and that money was a concern in their family. 

Salim says, “We stopped at a red light, and saw a homeless man pushing a shopping cart.  I could see in my son’s eyes he was worried.  I asked him what he was thinking.  First he was scared to answer.  He wanted to know if we would be like that man with the shopping cart."   

www.CHALDEAN.org speaks to several Chaldean fathers about how losing a job can affect family life.

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Advice From Friends on Keeping My New Year's Promise
By Rita Abro :: 18859 Views :: Opinion and Editorials

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.

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After Attacking Armenians with Stereotypes, NBC Goes After Chaldeans and Jews
By Rita Abro :: 35424 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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Victors of War Go the Spoils Angers Chaldeans
By Rita Abro :: 50702 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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