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Entries for 'Neda Ayar'

The Chaldean Community Saving Grace While Saying Grace
By Neda Ayar :: 51451 Views :: Religion & Spirituality, Community & Culture, Chaldean Churches

Michigan, USA –The Chaldean community has seen horrible devastation as Chaldeans are again persecuted for their Christian faith.  Nonetheless, Chaldeans remain unwavering and continue marching towards their faith amidst distressing struggles. 

“The pain we feel is hard,” says Husam Bodia.  “Our people have been ripped apart for believing in Jesus Christ.  Our women and children have been thrown to wolves; the men tortured and killed.  No matter.  We will not turn away from our faith.  Thank God our church remains.  Our Church is saving our people and our way of life. It is a cold glass of water in the desert.”

Bodia, like many other Chaldeans celebrate the Chaldean Church’s leadership in reaching out to the injured and needy.  “Our prayers have been answered.  We have more priests and deacons ordained than at any time in our history,” Bodia adds that the most recent ordination being Fr. Fawa Kako.  

Kako’s ordination marks another example of the Chaldean Churches in America dramatic and bold steps in serving the community.  Chaldean religious leaders across America have been tirelessly working to organize and prepare for the care and comfort of those in need. 

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New Chaldean Priest Ordained in Michigan
By Neda Ayar :: 64524 Views :: Religion & Spirituality, Community & Culture, Chaldean Churches

Michigan, USA – The Chaldean community welcomes their newest Catholic priest, Fr. Rudy Zoma, 28, of the Chaldean Eparchy of St. Thomas the Apostle.  On Saturday, July 4th, Chaldeans from all over joined the ordination Mass of the new priest.  Guests, seminarians, and visiting clergy from across the globe participated in the celebration.

Fr. Rudy is the third American Chaldean priest with five other American born seminarians to soon graduate and join the prestigious rank of priestly vocation among Chaldeans. 

“Fr. Rudy is an incredible person,” says Britney Allos.  “He really is involved with the younger generation and is a great speaker.  He can be serious and he can be funny.”  Fr. Rudy Zoma helped establish an English youth bible study at Mother of God Parish and was instrumental in helping the Chaldean parish soccer team repeatedly win the indoor Catholic College classic championship over Ave Maria, St. Mary MTS, and the other college teams.   “The amount of guests who arrived to his ordination celebration is a testament to his leadership and community support,” said Anthony Sako, parishioner of Mother of God parish. 

[Photos at the end of the article]

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Iraqi National Museum Reopens With Christian Art Hidden Away
By Neda Ayar :: 40617 Views :: Sports, Art, and Entertainment, Community & Culture, Government & Society

Baghdad, IRAQ - Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al Maliki attended the inaugural re-opening of Iraq’s National Museum.  “The opening is another sign of Iraq’s stabilization,” says Thair Yatooma, of the Iraqi Citizen Council of Art, an advisory group of the National Museum.  “The opening of the National Museum in Baghdad is a message from the government to foreign tourists: you are welcome." 

The Prime Minister cut the ribbon at the official reopening saying, "We have ended the black wind (of violence) and have started the reconstruction process." This morning, the first tourists entered the museum: for now, only guided tours for groups are allowed; it will take time to reopen the museum to private citizens.

However, some say the Museum must bring the Christian history of Iraq back into the light.  The National Museum had a long standing policy of prohibiting any display of Christian art to the general public.  The section dedicated to the Christian community could be visited only by foreign tourists; it was not accessible to Arab Iraqis. “The Christian presence is profound, deeply grounded, setting down roots over centuries; Saddam Hussein may have protected it, he always concealed it from the eyes of ordinary citizens" says Yatooma.

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Chaldeans in Baghdad Celebrate The First Ever Public Christmas Event
By Neda Ayar :: 19817 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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CALC Calls for Comfort for the Community
By Neda Ayar :: 35713 Views :: Community & Culture, Government & Society, CALC

Michigan, USA – These are undoubtedly desperate times.  The economy in the U.S. is on the decline and Michigan’s economy has drifted far to the center of thin ice.  Some are blaming Michigan’s political leaders for their mismanagement and high taxes, others fault the unions for their greedy self-interest.  The rhetoric is tiresome.  Finger pointing does little to help.  So who can we turn to model the leadership we all desperately seek?  The Chaldean American Ladies of Charity, affectionately known as CALC. 

We may think we have it tough, but CACL volunteers will be quick help correct our perceptions should we wallow in self-pity or fictional misery.  CALC has seen some of the most desperate and in need.  Instead of blaming others or complaining, CALC leaders went to work.  They have been diligently working to fill a portable on demand storage (PODS) of common goods to help those in need.  Today and tomorrow (Saturday, Nov 23 and Sunday, Nov 24) are the last two days of a month long campaign of collecting items to help the needy. 

In the parking lot of St. Thomas Chaldean Catholic Church in West Bloomfield, Michigan a large PODS container sits in the parking lot.  Donors are asked to please help those in need by bringing new or good conditioned blankets, comforters, sheets, pillows, and mattress pads and dropping them into the storage truck.

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Meida Bias Misleading Voters Says Chaldean Julie Kalasho
By Neda Ayar :: 14857 Views :: Government & Society

California, USA - The controversial presidential campaign has raised a number of issues about democracy.  Concerns of voter registration and voter fraud list highest among the concerns.  However, what seems to have captured the attention of most Americans is media bias.  Calls by the Clintons and McCain campaigns of media bias in favor of Obama have proven accurate and some want the media meddling investigated for impacting national security.  The latest being an NBC blackout of Biden’s guarded warning of dire attacks against the United States if Obama is elected. 

Media bias has also drawn the attention of UCLA political science major, Julie Kalasho.  “I have a relative in Michigan who openly is using his radio station to support Obama,” says Kalasho.  “He got into some big trouble in the past with his political fund raising for Republicans and the Democrats scared him into supporting Obama.  So I know first hand how the media is being used to influence politics.  He openly admits he wants Obama to win and is trying to scare naïve Chaldeans to vote for Obama or they may be doomed.”

Kalasho sites fellow colleague Tim Groseclose, a UCLA political scientist who co-authored a UCLA-led study, which is believed to be the first successful attempt at objectively quantifying bias in a range of media outlets and ranking them accordingly. 

The objective findings may shock some, while others see it as vindication of what many have long been complaining about.  The reports finding objectively concludes that almost all major media outlets are biased towards the left. 

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Catholic Answers Invites Chaldeans for Job Opportunity
By Neda Ayar :: 47383 Views :: Career & Education, Business & Finance, Chaldean Education & Career Center

California, USA - Catholic Answers Live invites Chaldeans to a number of possible job opportunities with Catholic Answers, the largest Catholic apologetics and evangelization organization in North America.  Catholic Answers has reached out to www.CHALDEAN.org asking for assistance in promoting a number of fantastic positions within their organization. 

One position invites Chaldeans to consider being a radio host.  Based out of El Cajon, California Catholic Answers is seeking a radio host for their Catholic Answers Live daily radio program. 

Catholic Answers is also offering Chaldeans around the world five other job opportunities in IT and customer service. 

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Church for Chaldeans in Tbilisi (Tiflis) Georgia Grows
By Neda Ayar :: 82199 Views :: Religion & Spirituality, Community & Culture, Chaldean Churches

Tbilisi, GEORGIA - The world sat on edge as a democratically sovereign country of Georgia was invaded by the Russian military.  It has come to be known as the 2008 South Ossetia War.  While the country fights for independence, the people of Georgia turn to their faith for solace and prayer of peace.  One Chaldean church begins to grow and offer Georgian Chaldeans as well as non-Chaldeans comfort

Tbilisi is the capital and the largest city of the Republic of Georgia, lying on the banks of the Kura River. The city is the size of Michigan and with a little more than a million people.   Chaldeans are to be found living all over the world, more is being learned about the Chaldeans of Georgia. 

The indigenous Iraqi Catholics have been present in Georgia since the middle of the 18th century and currently number around 7,000 members, living in various different cities in this country.

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Chaldean Caucus of Michigan to Host Presidential Debate Gathering and Discussion
By Neda Ayar :: 37329 Views :: Career & Education, Government & Society, Chaldean Caucus

Surrogates from both the McCain and Obama camp have approached Chaldean community leaders hoping to gain their support.  In Michigan, issue advocates like CatholicVote.com have reached out to Chaldeans with a special issue announcement.    

The Chaldean Caucus of Michigan will be hosting the first presidential debate viewing at Mother of God Church Hall in Southfield, Michigan this Friday, September 26th beginning at 7:30 p.m.  Supporters of both candidates are invited to attend.  Refreshments will be served and lively discussion will follow immediately after the debate, moderated by Chaldean Caucus regional leaders. 

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2009 ECRC Awake My Soul Spiritual Concert
By Neda Ayar :: 55429 Views :: Religion & Spirituality, ECRC, Chaldean Churches

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CALC Extends Opportunity for Community Director
By Neda Ayar :: 25726 Views :: Career & Education, CALC

Michigan, USA - The Chaldean-American Ladies of Charity (CALC) is looking for a new Director. 

Responsibilities include program development and implementation, effecting and carrying out programs for fundraising, special events, major gifts and assist in grant writing.  Good writing and computer skills needed.  This position requires close coordination and communication with CALC’s Executive Board and is the liaison between the Board and other community organizations.  To view the entire posting visit our website www.calconline.org

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Electronic Disposal Group Free e-waste Rcycling Eent This Weekend in El Cajon
By Neda Ayar :: 39914 Views :: Health & Fitness, Business & Finance, Government & Society

California, USA  – The event is planned from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday and Sunday in the southwest parking lot of the El Cajon Wal-Mart, 605 Fletcher Parkway.

The event is free and open to all county residents. E-waste includes old computers, TVs, stereo equipment, phones and other items that can't be thrown in the trash.  Household appliances and batteries will not be accepted.

Also on Saturday at the El Cajon Wal-Mart, San Diego Gas & Electric is partnering with Electronic Disposal Group for a light bulb exchange.

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The ‘Rizza Maraka’ Shortage Explained
By Neda Ayar :: 56649 Views :: Business & Finance, World News & Odds 'N' Ends

California, USA – “No Riza Maraka!  Who do I blame,” says Anthony Matti of Chula Vista, California.  Amid growing concerns of global rice shortage two of America’s biggest retailers place a limit on rice purchases.  Wal-Mart's warehouse chain Sam's Club, the largest warehouse and food grocery retailer in the US is limiting bulk purchases of rice this week, citing "recent supply and demand trends".  Seattle-based Costco Wholesale Corporation has also imposed limits in some stores on bulk rice purchases.

“I bet the limits are in Michigan, Chicago, Arizona, and here,” says Matti with a sly smile.  “It is no coincidence Chaldeans live mostly in those regions.  Chaldeans are eating too much rizza maraka (rice and stew) and we are causing a rice shortage.  What do you expect?  Chaldeans are not going to eat that fast food poison or restaurant filth.”

Chuckling over his own sense of humor, Matti does have a serious side.  The undergraduate student just submitted his final exam paper titled the Economic Food Web.

Matti says that world rice prices have more than doubled in the past year as demand has outstripped supply.  “The culprits include the drought-ravaged rice crop shortage, alternative fuel technologies, global population growth, speculation on food prices, and rise in traditional fuel prices.” 

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Pope and Patriarch Continue Their Strong Appeal to End Iraq Violence
By Neda Ayar :: 43171 Views :: Religion & Spirituality, Law & Order, Government & Society

Mousul, IRAQ- Pope Benedict made an emotional appeal for an end to violence and massacres in Iraq, as he recalled during Palm Sunday services the death of a kidnapped Chaldean Catholic archbishop.  "His beautiful testimony of faith to Christ, the Church and his people that he did not want to abandon despite numerous threats, pushes me to raise a strong and sorrowful cry: enough with the massacres, enough with the violence, enough with hatred in Iraq!" he said.

Speaking to thousands of pilgrims clutching palm fronds and olive branches -- symbols of peace -- in St. Peter's Square, the Pope called on Iraqis to "raise their heads" and rebuild their nation with reconciliation, forgiveness and justice.

Rahho, 65, was kidnapped during a shootout in which three of his companions were killed, as he returned home after mass in Mosul on February 29.  The killers later telephoned church authorities on Thursday to announce where the archbishop’s body could be found.  The body of the Bishop was recovered from a shallow grave within a garbage dump area further inflaming passions

Along with the Pope the Chaldean Patriarch urged Iraq to resolve peace in their hearts.  Hundreds gathered at the church in the village of Kramleis, just north of Mosul, to memorialize the highest-ranking Christian cleric to be targeted by Islamic fanatics since the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq five years ago.  

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Chaldeans Fast Learning About Legal Muscle
By Neda Ayar :: 38992 Views :: Law & Order, Business & Finance, Chaldean Justice League

California, USA - Chaldeans are very fast learners.  All it took was a number of passengers in 1999 that were stranded in Detroit Metro Airport in Michigan to sue Northwest airlines for wrongful imprisonment.  The 11 hour snowstorm and Northwest’s decision to keep everyone on board affected 7,000 passengers and ultimately cost them $7 million in an out of court settlement. 

Unlike Chaldeans in Michigan, Kate Hanni can’t stand the cold.  The California resident made that painfully clear after American Airlines diverted her flight for more than eight hours a year ago.  The law suite filed by Hanni and another passenger alleges false imprisonment, fraud and negligence. 

“Chaldeans are fed up of being taken advantage of because of our accents, hard-work ethics, or family togetherness.  From my personal experience, people are envious of Chaldeans and don’t like the fact that we are a devoted community,” says Ann Kareem, a Michigan native who was part of the Northwest class action suit.  “Homeowner’s association try to take advantage of Chaldeans, school districts, and clubs do the same because they think they can get away with it or are upset that Chaldeans are successful or how our family’s remain so close.  Whatever the reason, you can ask any Chaldean and they will tell you they are often treated unfairly. I am glad Kate is suing in California, more Chaldeans need to sue.”

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