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Entries for 'Sabah Hajjar'

The growth and decline of the Aramaic language
By Sabah Hajjar :: 18852 Views :: Community & Culture, Chaldean Justice League

The Associated Press writes that the Syrian government sent reinforcements Friday to the ancient, predominantly Christian village of Maaloula, where rebels have battled regime troops this week. Maaloula, a scenic village of about 3,300 perched high in the mountains, is one of the few places in the world where residents still speak a version of Aramaic, the language of biblical times believed to have been used by Jesus.

A look at the growth and decline of the Aramaic language through the centuries:

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Chaldean Refugees Arrive in Germany
By Sabah Hajjar :: 28997 Views :: Government & Society, World News & Odds 'N' Ends

GERMANY - Germany has long fought for the protection of war refugees and has taken their cases to the EU on numerous occasions.  Germany has agreed to resettle 2,500 Iraqi refugees, said the Amman office of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) on Tuesday, March 10, adding that 2,000 would come from Syria and 500 from Jordan.
 
The first batch of refugees will be soon leaving Jordan for resettlement in Germany, Dana Bajjali, a spokeswoman for the UNHCR office in Amman told DPA news agency without indicating the precise date of their departure. Around 120 Christian refugees from Iraq arrived in Germany on Thursday in search of a better and safer future away from the turmoil of their home country.
 
Amnesty International's Julia Duchrow explains that the successful asylum applicants have a clean criminal record and can not have been members of former Iraqi President Saddam Hussein's Baath party.  Single mothers, those suffering from post-traumatic stress and people with ties to Germany also had a greater chance of having their application for asylum approved, she added. 

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Are Politicians Undermining Iraq Reconstruction Efforts?
By Sabah Hajjar :: 24797 Views :: Government & Society, World News & Odds 'N' Ends

 

Michigan, USA  –  Michigan Senator Carl Levin (D), chairman and of the Senate Armed Services Committee, requested a report from the Government Accountability Office (GAO) regarding Iraq’s financial ability to fund their own reconstruction. 

The GAO made their report public yesterday prompting renewed calls from Democrats and few Republicans that Baghdad pay more of the bill for its own reconstruction.   The Iraqi government could end the year with a small budget surplus reveals the GAO report.   Iraq’s budget surplus has been building due to increased oil production, stability in the region, and the government’s unwillingness to spend money, the report continues. 

“Although America has broken it, they don’t want to buy it,” says Kevin Jammo.  “Democrats want to undermine the progress being made in the country.  They diminish the success of the surge and all the other progress taking place.  It is too soon to force Iraq to spend its meager money on a war waged against them.  This is an election year and these heartless politicians are playing games with a nation trying to stand-up.  As soon as Iraq starts to get their footing, Democrats want to foot-sweep them back to the ground.” 

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Iraqi Christians Targeted In Order to Keep Them Oppressed
By Sabah Hajjar :: 24113 Views :: Government & Society, World News & Odds 'N' Ends

Mosul, IRAQ – Christian churches in Iraq continue to receive threatening notices foreshadowing potentially violent attacks against the non-Muslim religious centers.  In the northern Iraqi city of Mosul parishioners fear the worst after a letters were received asking them not to cooperate with US forces. 

“We don’t cooperate with anyone.  They use this as an excuse to attack, torture, hold for ransom, and kill innocent people,” says Khalid Bunni, a parishioner in the region.  

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Iraq's Persecution of Christians Continues to Spiral out of Control
By Sabah Hajjar :: 34242 Views :: Government & Society, World News & Odds 'N' Ends

Baghdad, IRAQ - Senior research fellow, Brian J. Grim, paints a harrowing picture of the ongoing persecution of Iraqi Christians.  The research expert on religion and world affairs with the Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life in Washington, D.C. reports that the situation for Christians in Iraq is worsening. 

“It is no small irony, of course, that the Shiite majority that's now a leading force in Iraq was brutalized and suppressed under Saddam, who extensively curbed the Shiites' religious freedoms. A State Department report in 2002 said Saddam's government ‘severely restricts or bans outright many Shiite religious practices.’ One might think that those fresh memories would be enough to ensure liberties for Iraq's religious minorities today. Yet that appears not to be the case,” writes Grim in his report. 

Iraqi Christians are part of historic indigenous communities that have been in what is now Iraq nearly since the time of Christ, several centuries before Islam came to the region. The majority of them are Chaldean Christians, an ancient religious group affiliated with the Roman Catholic Church.

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EU Continual Effort to Ignore Refugee Crisis Triggers Chaldean Protest
By Sabah Hajjar :: 27514 Views :: Law & Order, Government & Society

Brussels, Belgium - Chaldeans were outraged over the European Union's Slovenian presidency rejection of the German asylum proposal.  The proposal offered asylum seekers from Iraqi’s Christian community special status due to the organized and systematic genocide in Iraq.

 “The EU President is a coward and refused to tell the truth of what is occurring.  No one is blind to the fact that Christian minorities are being targeted.  They are afraid to say the truth, so as to not offend Muslims.  Where are the moderate Muslims to condemn such attacks.  Why don’t they tell their followers to turn over evidence and stop harboring these thugs by their silence,” says Hamsa Mansour. 

Nearly 4,000 Chaldeans marched into the streets to protest on Friday in Luxembourg.  “You see how Christians protest?  We are peaceful.  Because of our peace, our faith in Jesus, and that we do not believe in war or converting or conquering by the sword we are attacked and killed,” adds Mansour.  The demonstration in Brussels on Saturday brought protestors from Belgium, France, Germany, the Netherlands, Sweden and Switzerland. 

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Award Winning Journalist Adam Doster Investigates the Plight of Iraqi Refugees
By Sabah Hajjar :: 28929 Views :: Government & Society, Opinion and Editorials

Illinois, USA - Former collegiate award winning journalist, Adam Doster, a University of Michigan graduate and previous managing editor of the Michigan Independent uncovers the horrors and causalities of the Iraqi War.  In Doster’s revealing article, “They Can’t Go Home Again,” Chaldeans are showcased in an in-depth examination of Iraqi refugees and the indifference shown to their plight by the United States.

Doster tackles the exodus, abandonment, and rejection that has scattered nearly a million Iraqi Chaldeans.  A group caught in the cross-hairs of the U.S. led war against former Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein.  A group pushed to the verge of extinction by Islamic terrorists and ignored by western countries for fear of seeming bias to the native people of Iraq. 

Doster writes, “On a rainy March morning, in a drab office complex off one of Metro Detroit’s many expressways, I met Mona and Fadi Rabban.  In broken English, they greeted me graciously, keeping their heads slightly bowed. The diminutive Fadi was dressed in black jeans and a beat-up leather jacket. His beautiful middle-aged wife donned a thin, black cardigan and black slacks, which seemed less suitable for the Midwest winter.

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Muslim Conversions Spike as Memorials for Iraqi Archbishop Are Held
By Sabah Hajjar :: 28128 Views :: Government & Society, World News & Odds 'N' Ends

Saskatchewan, CANADA - Pope Benedict celebrated a special memorial Mass in the Vatican chapel in honor of Archbishop Paulos Faraj Rahho. Pope Benedict has called Rahho's death an "inhuman act of violence" that offended human dignity.  In his homily Monday, the Pope called Archbishop Rahho a man of peace and dialogue who paid particular attention to the poor and handicapped in his flock.

"Let his example support all Iraqis of good will — Christians and Muslims — to work for a peaceful coexistence, founded on human brotherhood and reciprocal respect," Pope Benedict said.  Most every other country followed the Pope’s lead in condemning the torture and murder and calling on the Iraqi government to be more vigilant in protecting the rights of its citizens. 

For Chaldean tween, Joseph Markos' leap-year birthday was celebrated this year amid grief in his Iraqi-born family.  "I was kind of sad because it was the same day the archbishop was kidnapped," said the 12-year-old at a news conference in Saskatoon, concerning the death of the Iraqi archbishop.  For teenager Mohammed Abeed Kahoury and his parents the memorial of the Archbishop helped them make their decision to enroll in catechism classes to learn more about Christianity.  

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The Untold Story of Native Iraqis To Be Told
By Sabah Hajjar :: 45853 Views :: Community & Culture, Business & Finance

Michigan, USA - Chaldean artist, author, and historian Amer Fatuhi looks to raise funds for the English translation release of his definitive and encyclopedia work titled, The Untold Story of the Native Iraqis / Chaldeans.   The book authoritatively documents the cradle of civilization circa 5300 BC until present time.  The first edition was written in Arabic and has received rave reviews.  Now, Fatuhi hopes to have the 400 page academic study translated into the Franca lingua of the modern world; English. 

The diligent author worked two yeas and spent over a quarter of century researching the history of the region.  The book illuminates the antiquity of Babylon and the indigenous people of the region next to other well known and obscure ethnic groups.  The books exquisite maps, illustrations, historical documents, and research weave a compelling documentary of Iraq’s long history.  Fatuhi captures the struggles of the Jewish people alongside Chaldeans and other Iraqi natives as they move through time.

Dr. Abdul Hadi Al Khalili, America’s cultural Attaché at the Embassy of Iraq gives the book high remarks and considers the work worthy of academic and historical value. 

Hoping to release the English translation of his Arabic second edition by the end of 2008, Fatuhi seeks supporting donors.  “The world needs to hear the The Untold Story of the Native Iraqis, which has been suppressed for centuries, wiped out from the Iraqi educational system, and the public domain,” says the author.

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Rebuilding of Iraq Offers Hope and Peace
By Sabah Hajjar :: 22260 Views :: Government & Society, World News & Odds 'N' Ends

Fallujah, IRAQ - Chaldeans are taking an active role in rebuilding Iraq.  Although Chaldeans have been shut-out of the Iraqi government, that hasn’t stopped courageous Chaldeans from finding ways to rebuild the land they love.  “This land is our father and mother.  We were born from this ground.  We have a bond with this land.  We are the native people of this land for nearly ten thousand years,” says Ibtissam Halibu. 

Halibu’s husband currently serves in the Iraqi government as a field engineer and is one of the nearly thousands of Chaldeans serving Iraq.  Chaldeans are helping the U.S. Military and the Iraqi police bring peace to a nation torn by insurgents bent on creating instability and chaos.

Even though the U.S. Military receives little recognition for the redevelopment effort in Iraq, American Soldiers and Marines continue to risk their lives improving the quality of life for all Iraqi’s.  “I have seen first hand of new schools, health clinics, and police stations being built everyday,” says Walid Poules, an engineer and construction contractor.

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