Chaldean News – October 2020






















Vote Tuesday, November 3rd


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on the cover



Judge Hala Jarbou is the first Chaldean American to sit

on the federal bench




How the United States is helping Iraqi Christians



Local dealership takes on General Motors

in court for discrimination




From the Director of Peacebuilding and Rights

at Columbia University




From film producer, author, activist and

Catholic human rights worker



Outlining the candidates and their stance on the issues



Chaldean candidates still in the running




About Responsibility



Single-Issue Voting: A Problem?


On Real Estate


Success story; Mask up Michigan



Iraqi-U.S. Ties are ‘Restarting,’

Iraqi Foreign Minister Says


40 Under Forty; Preserving the Aramaic



CCF expansion complete;

Chaldean cuisine



How to safely celebrate Halloween


Letter from Bishop on Voting



Dr. Halil Dawood Elia



Chaldeans in Europe Part I


“Who are you voting for and why?”




Stride for Seminarians


from the EDITOR


Chaldean News, LLC

Chaldean Community Foundation

Martin Manna



Paul Jonna


Sarah Kittle


Danielle Alexander

Azal Arabo

Gabe Gabriel

Jason Jones

Bishop Francis Kalabat

Dr. Adhid Miri

Paul Natinsky

David L. Phillips

Fr. Marcus Shammami



Alex Lumelsky with SKY Creative


Zina Lumelsky with SKY Creative


Interlink Media

Sana Navarrette



Story ideas:


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Publication: The Chaldean News (P-6); Published

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About Responsibility

Responsibility is

more than a word.

It is a behavior

that requires steadfast

determination to choose

the best path possible under

the circumstances, which

may not always be the

easiest path. It requires hard

choices in times that are not

easy. It’s a state of holding

yourself accountable for

your actions and decisions

that will impact your life and others

for years.

Some of us shoulder our responsibilities

with astounding grace, such

as Judge Hala Jarbou, who feels the

responsibility to answer to and protect

the community she presides over

(now the Western District of Michigan).

Responsibility is nothing new to

Judge Jarbou as she exuded it throughout

her life and career, which placed

her in a position to make history for

our community as the first Chaldean

federal judge. Her reputation for hard

work and unwavering ethics earned

her the new role, and you can bet she

takes that responsibility seriously.

Consider the responsibility we

have as parents. We not only need

to teach our ‘littles’ everything

they need to be a success in life, but

we need to watch over them and

make sure they prosper as adults.

Part of being a parent is protecting

them from outside dangers, but we

also must provide them with the

necessary tools to be responsible for

their actions and their deeds.

In today’s world, responsibility

is more important than ever - with a

changing world, worldwide pandemic,




economic uncertainty and

a U.S. presidential election,

we need to be held accountable

for both what we do and

what we don’t do, or more accurately,

won’t do.

We must continue to be

responsible as a community

during this pandemic. It is

a hard decision to not attend

a loved one’s wedding,

funeral or special occasion.

I miss the days of the large family

gatherings with everyone’s hands in

the dolma (I am actually OK with

the hands not being in the dolma)

and everyone piled on the couches

screaming at each other. These are

hard choices that we hope will lead

to ending this pandemic and saving

lives. It is responsible to take the

necessary precautions and follow the

governmental guidelines to protect

our future.

I’d also like to address voting,

as it’s more a responsibility than a

right. We have a responsibility to

our fellow Americans, to our children

and their future children, to

get this right. Get informed on the

issues and the candidates to ensure

you make an educated choice based

on your responsible research and

not on partisan politics. No matter

who you vote for, please vote.

It’s when the people stopped voting

that Rome fell.

As we head into fall and a hotly

contested presidential race, consider

your responsibility to protect yourself

and your loved ones from coronavirus,

plus your responsibility to the

greater nation and vote.

With Gratitude,

Paul Jonna

Acting Editor in Chief






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GUEST columns

Single-Issue Voting: A Problem?

November 3rd is a

critical time that

will bring election

season to a close; however,

what comes after November

3rd solely depends on us

and our powerful, educated

vote. As Catholics and citizens

of the United States it

is our responsibility to get

out and vote for those who

will be representing us in

all levels of government.

As voting day draws near,

there is much chatter whether in

the media or in our everyday lives

regarding the various issues that

plague America today. Media seems

to be the ones who inform us about

what the issues are that we should be

concerned about in our society. They

attempt to persuade us to vote in a

certain manner regardless of being

wrong or right. As Catholics, however,

we are called to defend the dignity

and the sanctity of human life. This

is an issue that cannot be ignored, as

it is a key indication of how we, as

a society, view the human person as

well as how we view the fundamental

right to life itself.

There are a great deal of articles

in the media today that advocate

Christian leniency on abortion.

These articles mention that there

are other issues that outweigh abortion

such as war, immigration, social

welfare, education, etc. Although

these are all certainly important issues,

these articles all seem to have a

common issue which plagues them: a

complete failure to acknowledge the

horror of abortion, its gravity, and its


Some people speak disapprovingly

of single-issue voters, as they claim

that it allows politicians to take advantage

of us, and yet there are some

issues that are enough to disqualify a

candidate from consideration. Imagine,

for a moment, your ideal candidate.

Imagine that your chosen candidate

aligns with all of your views and

is near-perfect in every way. Strangely,

however, that candidate has a strange

policy: every year, each state is to offer

a person to the capital for public human

sacrifice. Would you still vote for

that person? The point is that there

are some issues which are so terrible

and so horrific, that it is indeed sufficient

enough to disqualify a candidate





who advocates for such policies

from consideration at

the polls.

Abortion is a problem

because it is the killing of

an innocent human being,

and we must treat the unborn

like any other class of

human beings. In what sort

of circumstance would it be

morally justifiable for someone

to vote for a candidate

who explicitly states that

they believe that one group

has the right to kill another group of


Some will say that abortion

rates in the United States have

dropped lately, so other issues may

now become our primary concern.

As promising as that sounds, it still

means that 862,000 people were

legally killed in the United States in

2017. Given that there appears to be

a potential increase in self-managed

abortions, the drop rate of abortions

might not be as large as it seems,

according to a Washington Post

article written recently. We must

ask ourselves, could a candidate put

forward actual policies that would

outweigh nearly a million people

being killed each year?

The pro-life stance is motivated by

the fact that each and every human

being has value regardless of gender,

race, ethnicity, or developmental

stage. This is in accord with the way

in which we look at human rights.

Laws reflect our attitudes towards

groups of people, and rights reflect our

acknowledgement of their dignity. If

the government were to pass laws that

prohibited left-handed people and

Chaldeans from speaking in public,

then that law is expressing a belief:

the belief that left-handed people or

Chaldeans are lacking something that

the rest of society has.

What about those who attempt

to justify their vote for a pro-choice

candidate because that candidate

may also support policies that reduce

the amount of abortions? Imagine,

for example, a candidate who believes

that wives are the property of

their husbands, and therefore, domestic

violence should be decriminalized.

Even if the candidate were

to implement policies that targeted

poverty and alcoholism with the

intent to reduce rates of domestic

violence, then it would still be considered

morally unjustifiable to vote

for that candidate, as such a policy

would be an affront to the dignity

and rights of women. Such a policy

turned into law would reflect the societal

belief that women are inferior,

which would of course, be objectionable

and insulting at every level. So,

then, what is a pro-choice politician

implicitly saying when they say that

a woman has a right to an abortion?

Well, they are basically saying that

one group of human beings (the unborn)

has less value and less dignity

than another. The moment that we,

as a society, start legally denying basic

rights to groups of human beings,

then the entire basis for an egalitarian

liberal democracy has been undermined.

The other aspect of this issue is

women’s health. It is important to

realize that abortions not only have

a physical impact on the woman,

but psychological and spiritual ramifications

as well. This is what must

be discussed, and yet, is rarely ever

discussed. As a priest, I care not

only about the spiritual needs of the

people whom I minister to, but I care

for their general well-being as well.

In 2011, an article was published in

the British Journal of Psychiatry that

reviewed 22 major studies between

1995 and 2009 that examined the

psychological effects of abortion on

women. What they found was shocking:

there was an 81% increased risk

for mental health problems, 10% of

which is directly attributable to abortions;

21% more likely to display suicidal

behaviors, and 35% more likely

to commit suicide. According to a recent

article in the Journal of Anxiety

Disorders, women who aborted their

unintended pregnancies were 30%

more likely to report all of the symptoms

of generalized anxiety disorders

than those women who carried their

unintended pregnancies to term.

There is an evil in our society that

pushes a predominant culture to convince

us that when it comes to the issue

of abortion and other issues, it is

not an evil but a good. Going against

the accepted dominant views of society,

therefore, would require a great

commitment… a transformation in

the way we think in order to go against

the current. An author once wrote, “A

dead thing can go with the stream, but

Options for Women

For those women who are thinking

about an abortion or if you know

someone who is, please know

that there are other options and

that there is help available. You

will never have to go through it

alone. For those who have had an

abortion, know that there is healing

available. Know that Jesus and

His Church loves you always. Call

any church, Chaldean Catholic

or Roman Catholic, and they will

be more than willing to share with

you or direct you to the resources

that you need. As a priest of the

Catholic Church, I can tell you,

wholeheartedly, that our utmost

concern is for both the mother and

the child. We do not neglect the

mother in order to save the child.

We care about both lives.

only a living thing can go against it.”

When our intellects are enlightened

and we make a moral commitment

to an issue, it may indeed be difficult

to go against mainstream society, but

once we realize the truth, it is then

that we are alive. While arguments are

bound to happen, it is important that

we are not confused or cast into doubt

about the truth from others. Most importantly,

we must never forget to pray

for those that we discuss these issues

with in order that they may have a

conversion and an enlightenment that

reveals to them how much the culture

around them is dead, and that in order

to live, they must step outside of it and

go against the stream.

Regardless of who you vote for and

your views on politics (or anything

really), we are blessed in this country

to have the freedom to vote, and in

today’s world it is important that we

all respect each other’s views and to

have an open dialogue as brothers

and sisters. If we cannot have an open

dialogue, then we are not able to grow

or progress in our lives. Politics should

never divide but unite and bring

about growth. With that being said,

I am more than happy to meet with

anyone as my office door is always

open. As a priest of Jesus Christ, my

mission is to serve you, His people, no

matter what your political views are.

Feel free to email me at Shammami.

Fr. Marcus Shammami is an associate

pastor at Holy Martyrs Chaldean

Catholic Church in Sterling Heights,



On Real Estate

As a real estate

professional with

many years of

experience, I read last

month’s cover story with

interest and felt compelled to

submit some data of my own.

COVID-19 has certainly

affected the industry. The

current residential real

estate market is still suffering

inventory shortages in every

city and county. Last year, we

were working with about 3.5 months’

of inventory. The current inventory is

around 2 and a half months or even

less. Low interest rates on mortgages

are compounding the problem, with

more buyers looking to purchase and

fewer houses to choose from.

Inventory is especially short on

affordable homes in the $100K-$300K

range. Prices are up about 3 percent.

Home values are high but that is not

discouraging buyers; in fact, it’s a great




time to buy. I don’t see home

prices coming down for at

least the next 12 months.

With COVID-19 halting

in-person viewings for

around 3 months, it did slow

down sales, especially in

the second quarter of 2020.

Closings moved to the virtual

space and mortgages were

being processed without faceto-face

meetings. Facetime

meetings are encouraged

over in-person meets, where protocol

demands a screening, masks and social


On the other hand, commercial

real estate is in deep trouble. Office

space is emptying out and landlords

as well as commercial real estate

agents are struggling to find tenants

and buyers. Employees that were

able to work from home proved to

employers that office space is not

strictly necessary.

And retail space is available all

over the place, but many retailers

are closing up shop.When they were

shuttered by government mandate,

they still had hard costs such as

rent and utilities to contend with.

Out of necessity, many consumers

discovered the ease of online

shopping. A large number won’t

be going back to brick and mortar

stores. Commercial property leasing

is down with the exception of

convenience stores, supermarkets

and gas stations.

The future of the real estate

industry, whether residential or

commercial, will depend on the

availability of mortgages and loans.

Lenders are very cautious about

approving loans at this time; given

the high unemployment rate and

the uncertainty many employers

are facing, it is understandable.

Commercial lenders are seeing the

value of those properties drop with

each month of vacancy.

The future of the real estate industry, whether

residential or commercial, will depend on the

availability of mortgages and loans.

It is definitely an interesting time

to be in the real estate business.

Gabe Gabriel is a broker/owner of

Strathmore Realty, where he has been

buying and selling, leasing and managing

real estate properties since 2001. He

has also been the president of Palladium

Financial Group LLC, a Residential

Mortgage Broker, since 2002.

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Breaking Barriers Profile

In celebrating Welcoming Week, the CCF features one of

their Breaking Barriers clients as a testimonial to celebrate

this year’s theme of “Creating Home Together”.

Albeer Shamammi is one of the CCF’s oldest Breaking

Barriers clients and his life story is one of the most

inspirational in the program.

Albeer was born blind. As a child, he attended The

School for the Visually Impaired and Blind, graduating

in 1956. Albeer was determined to get his law degree,

applying to and being accepted by the University of

Baghdad. While in college, he made extra money

translating and manually typing out lessons into Braille for

his former school. He would go on to teach first through

third grade there for 42 years.

Albeer often taught students how to read Braille with

both hands, giving them the tools they needed to be

successful doctors, lawyers, and other professionals. His

ability to read and interpret Braille very quickly enabled

him to work directly with the Iraqi government, working on

various documents that needed to be catalogued in Braille.

Shamammi has a passion for craftsmanship, particularly

basket weaving. Finding the tactile work rewarding, he

formed his own shop in 1985 as a way to supplement his

income from teaching, making chairs and tables out of wood

and twine and various other materials. He ran the shop until

he was sponsored by his family to come to the U.S. In 2008,

he closed the doors of his shop and came to America to be

closer to his daughter and other family.

Breaking Barriers Celebrates 8th Anniversary

Shamammi found more support for the blind community

in America, particularly when he sought out the CCF to

help him to assimilate into American culture. The Breaking

Barriers program offered a community that embraced him

and helped him find his footing with others who had similar

experiences. He saw opportunities that he had never had

before. By engaging with people of all ages and backgrounds

in the program, he sought to mentor the younger generation

on how to take advantages of opportunities in the program.

Saying that the Chaldean Community Foundation is the

only organization that directly caters to people like him,

Albeer is very thankful that the CCF has allowed to him

become a more independent person. He is proud to now be

a registered voter in the United States.

To learn more about our foundation visit: www.

On Aug 26th, the Breaking Barriers program hosted a celebration for the 8th Anniversary of the program. The

Breaking Barriers program provides assistance and advocacy to individuals with special needs and respite to

caregivers. The event featured the families receiving a family portrait along with various PPE supplies and other

materials to help families. The event was followed by a virtual celebration that followed on Zoom to celebrate the

program. The CCF is excited to engage again with their Breaking Barriers clients and looks forward to eventually

having in-person events in the near future!

Back-to-School with

Warren Consolidated

School District

On September 1st, the Chaldean

Community Foundation hosted

a virtual town hall for Warren

Consolidated School District

regarding back to school return

guidelines and how to operate in a

virtual, online school year. The town

hall garnered over 200 comments and

has been viewed almost 6,000 times.

The panel included:

Dr. Robert Livernois, Superintendent;

John Bernia, Chief

Academic Officer; and Dr. Christina

Kozlowski, Administrator of Language

Acquisition and Secondary


For additional information

regarding return-to-school for

Warren Consolidated Schools,

visit and click on ‘Return

to School Information.’

More than 620

clients become New


Despite the challenges that CO-

VID-19 brought, more than 620 of

CCF’s clients became new Americans

this year and were celebrated

on September 17, National Citizenship

Day. CCF’s immigration

services help individuals apply for

lawful permanent resident status

and to become naturalized citizens.

They also offer U.S. Naturalization

Courses that offer instruction and

training for successful completion of

the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration

Services Naturalization Examination.

Additionally, CCF’s “Hey U

Vote” initiative aids in the voter

registration process by helping new

citizens to register to vote. For more

information regarding these services


Mask up!

The City of Sterling Heights saw

an increase in COVID-19 during

the months of July and August.

On September 16, President of the

Chaldean Community Foundation

(CCF), Martin Manna, Sterling

Heights Mayor Michael Taylor,

Dr. Wafa Barkho from the CCF

Ascension Primary Care Clinic

along with Sterling Heights Police

Chief Djowakowski and Fire Chief

Martin filmed a PSA to address the

growing number of COVID-19 cases

across Sterling Heights. Stay safe and

mask up to prevent the spread of the

virus among the community.


IRAQ today


Displaced Iraqi men gathered for a meeting at a camp for displaced persons in Iraq’s Nineveh province in June. About 1.6 million Iraqis, more than 3 percent of the national

population, have been uprooted by warfare.

Iraqi-U.S. Ties are ‘Restarting,’ Iraqi Foreign Minister Says


Iraq and the United States have

launched a reset in relations,

Foreign Minister Fuad Hussain

said in a USIP forum August 20.

Following at least a year of strain

in bilateral ties, negotiations in

Washington will produce a broader

relationship than previously, “not

only limited to security matters,”

Hussain said during an official visit

alongside Prime Minister Mustafa al-

Kadhimi just 15 weeks after he and

his government took office. Their

talks at the White House, State

Department and with other officials

will be vital in setting the next

chapter of U.S-Iraq relations.

Hussain spoke in an online

forum with USIP experts and

audience members just hours after

the Iraqi delegation met President

Trump at the White House and a

day after Hussain met Secretary of

State Mike Pompeo.

Al-Kadhimi, Hussain and

Iraq’s new cabinet were named

in a delicate compromise among

Iraq’s divided political parties—a

third attempt to form a new

government after massive street

protests, notably over corruption

and a breakdown in government

services, forced out the previous

administration. Al-Kadhimi, a

political independent, spent years

in exile under the dictatorship of

Saddam Hussain and returned to

Iraq to work as a journalist and

commentator, writing against

corruption in politics. He was

appointed in 2016 to lead the

nation’s intelligence service during

Iraq’s struggle against ISIS. His

government now faces continued

violence, including ISIS attacks,

the COVID pandemic, and a

serious decline in revenues caused

by the global drop in oil prices.

Talks on a Broadened


Hussain spoke along with Iraq’s

new Minister for Immigration and

Displacement, Evan Jabro, who said

that returning 1.4 million displaced

Iraqis to their homes is a priority

of the new government, alongside

crises over security, armed militias

operating in the country, the COVID

pandemic, and a government budget


In what the State Department and

Hussain have described as a “strategic

dialogue,” this week’s talks have

focused on “reforming, restarting,

reshaping the relationship,” across

topics from “the economy and

energy” to education, culture and

health, Hussain said. “The important

[issue] was to make it clear for

everybody that the relationship with

Washington is not only limited to

security matters.”

Still, Hussain said, security is

Iraq’s first need, and it will continue

to ask U.S. help in fighting ISIS

cells. “We need equipment, we

need information,” and continued

U.S. air forces, he said. As well,

“this government is determined to

deal with” domestic armed militias,

many of them supported by Iran,

he said. Iraq will seek U.S. help

in strengthening state security

institutions, he said. Secretary

of State Mike Pompeo said after

meeting Hussain that the United

States will help strengthen police

forces to replace militia groups.

Hussain recited Iraq’s plethora

of other domestic challenges,

underscoring the shrinkage of its

state budget with the global fall in

oil prices. He stressed Iraq’s need

to privatize the government-run oil

sector and said investment by U.S.

firms would be vital.



Roy Gefford of Let in

the Light Publishing

authored a new

book on Aramaic


Let in the Light Publishing

Roy Gessford traveled from California to visit the Chaldean Cultural Museum in September, stopping by

The Chaldean News for a quick visit. Let in the Light Publishing, his publishing company, just released

Preserving the Chaldean Aramaic Language, a study of one of the most ancient languages in existence.

Gessford’s graduate work on language includes not only Aramaic but also Greek and Hebrew. In his

latest book, he delves into Chaldean history along with a study of the language. Moving to San Diego to

be closer to the Chaldean community there, Gessford brings a high degree of energy and interest in the

preservation of the language of Christ.

Roy’s current lecture topics include Essential Leadership Qualities, The Lord’s Prayer in Aramaic,

and the Preservation of the Chaldean Aramaic Language. More information can be found at

Pomegranate Pictures Attaches

Yasmine Al-Bustami to Co-Star

in Immigration Indie

Yasmine Al-Bustami has been tapped to co-star in

the 2021 production of Pomegranate. Pomegranate is a

dramedy by writer-director Weam Namou, based on

her childhood experiences immigrating from Iraq to

the United States, and then as an adult living through

the presidential election of 2016.

It’s the story about how, in the weeks before the

election of Donald Trump in 2016, a young, politically

liberal Iraqi Muslim immigrant struggles to find her

footing in a neighborhood of well-to-do politically

conservative Iraqi Christians, while battling her

family’s fears of deprivation and demands of loyalty to

Muslim traditions.

Pomegranate’s writer-director, Weam Namou said,

“Yasmine is a natural for bringing the character of

Mary, our protagonists’ nemesis, to life. Like Mary, Yasmine

is beautiful, quick witted, and a confident Middle

Eastern immigrant.”

Yasmine Al-Bustami

40 Under Forty

Two of our community

members have been

selected for 2020

Crain’s Detroit

Business “40 Under

Forty.” This annual list

highlights those movers

and shakers that

have made significant

contributions to

business. Andrew

Dickow, 36, Managing

Director of Greenwich

Capital Group, LLC,

Townsend Street

Capital, has taken

the mergers and

acquisitions firm to

12 employees and

launched a new

private-equity fund,

experiencing their first

close in the middle of

a pandemic. Matthew

Loussia, 35, took over

the family business,

Andrew Dickow

Matthew Loussia

Value Wholesale. Pre-COVID-19, he

expanded the warehouse and purchased a

competitor. As a grocery wholesaler, his days

got longer, not shorter, to fill the demands of

a quarantined public. Now that things have

stabilized, Matt is back on track for more

expansion, including an Amazon-like online

ordering system.

Toma Appointed to Liquor

Control Commission

Edward Toma of

Bloomfield Hills

currently serves as a

state investigator and

regulation agent for

the Michigan Liquor

Control Commission,

a position he has held

since 2009. He was

recently appointed to

represent Republicans

for a term commencing Edward Toma

October 5, 2020

and expiring June 12, 2024. He succeeds

Bradford Jacobsen whose term expired June

12, 2020. In his role, Mr. Toma conducts

enforcement, background, and licensing

investigations as well as financial audits and

undercover operations for the Commission.

Prior to his time with the Commission, he

worked in the alcohol retail and restaurant

industry for several years. Mr. Toma

holds a Bachelor of Integrative Studies in

Mechanical Engineering and Biological

Science from Oakland University.


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chaldean DIGEST

What others are saying about Chaldeans

Biden camp to expand

faith outreach as

election heats up


With the conventions over, Joe Biden’s team is rolling out an

array of new religious outreach efforts targeting a diverse set

of communities as his campaign vies with President Donald

Trump’s for faith-motivated voters.

While Trump’s team often touts his record on abortion

and freedom to worship, Biden is pitching religious voters

on broader spectrum of issues. Josh Dickson, national faith

director for the campaign, said it sees faith communities as

“highly diverse in terms of their backgrounds, in terms of

how they orient their faith to how they’re thinking about


The Trump campaign has already been focusing on faith

communities that the Biden team is planning events for,

Catholic Chaldean Patriarch

supports government’s fight

against corruption in Iraq

Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi and his

government are trying to build “a strong state and army” to

counter violence, corruption and force the country’s militias

“to hand over their weapons,” said the Chaldean Patriarch,

Cardinal Louis Raphael Sako, speaking to AsiaNews.

For the Chaldean primate, the Iraqi government and

the country’s leaders appear united in their resolve to

fight “against crime, kidnappings, ethnic and sectarian

tensions” and stop “those who operate outside the laws

of the land.” However, in recent weeks, the government’s

hopes to reform the country and boost the economy

Presidential nominee Joe Biden is appealing to Christians and

those of other faiths to support him in November.

such as Catholics and Chaldean Christians. Beyond

Florida, states likely to be focal points for faith-centered

events include Pennsylvania, Ohio, Michigan, Wisconsin,

Texas, Georgia and Colorado.

The Associated Press

Cardinal Louis

Raphael Sako.


have met resistance from groups

and militias that continue to sow

violence and confusion.

Despite the prime minister’s best

efforts, for many security experts the

situation in the country remains

dangerous and the government

should talk to the spiritual leaders of

these groups in order to avert further

clashes. The Church “supports and

encourages this work and expresses

its closeness” to the authorities since, among other reasons,

actions are following words and announcements. “Our hope

is that this all-out fight against corruption and malfeasance

will be followed up,” said the Prelate.



Michigan angel

investors surge

forward despite



The COVID-19 pandemic and

resulting economic collapse has so

far done little to halt Michigan angel

investing activity, a key source of

capital for growing startups.

In the coming weeks, the Ark

Angel Fund, consisting of members

from the Farmington Hills-based

Chaldean American Chamber of

Commerce, plans to close on up to $2

million that it will deploy in early-stage

Michigan companies. The new fund

will be managed by Martin Manna,

president of the Chaldean Chamber,

who’s also an investor in the fund,

which anticipates doing between four

and eight new deals per year.

“We were always intrigued by angel

funds and wanted to maybe look at how

our community can get more active in

supporting angel investments,” Manna

said, adding that a presentation

from Ann Arbor Spark served as the

catalyst to launch the group. “We then

took it upon ourselves, rather than just

participate with other funds, to launch

our own fund.”

The nascent Ark Angel Fund will

“focus on economic development,

encouraging entrepreneurship and

supporting startup businesses,” said


Crain’s Detroit Business

Chaldean Center expands in Sterling Heights as community grows


A decade ago, the Chaldean

community opened a social services

office out of a Sterling Heights

storefront on 15 Mile Road to

serve the growing population

of Iraqi-American Catholics in

metro Detroit. Four years later, the

Chaldean Community Foundation

moved across the street to open a

larger building as demand for its

services grew, especially among the

growing number of refugees.

On July 31, the Foundation

celebrated a $5-million expansion

that has grown the center by an

additional 19,000 square feet

to a total of 30,000 square feet.

The opening comes as the Iraqi-

American community has grown in

metro Detroit, with the coronavirus

pandemic causing more challenges

for the population. The center serves

about 18,000 families and 35,000

people annually, said its leaders.

“It’s the first of its kind,” Martin

Manna, president of the Chaldean

Community Foundation and president

of the Chaldean American Chamber

of Commerce, told the Free Press.

“The center will be a one-stop shop

for access to health care, immigration

assistance, primary health care. We

have a family arts studio to help those

with intellectual and developmental

disabilities. It’s been a work in progress

for several years and it’s great to see it

finally completed.”

Detroit Free Press

Chairman of the board of directors for The Chaldean Community Foundation Sylvester

Sandiha held an oversized pair of scissors with Bishop Francis Kalabat as the

Foundation held a ribbon cutting revealing their new renovations and expansion of their

Sterling Heights location. Credit: Mandi Wright


The Feast of the Holy Cross


Christian refugees returned to

the Nineveh Plains in northern Iraq

following years of Islamic State persecution,

ongoing jihadist activities

and the coronavirus pandemic, to

celebrate the Feast of the Holy Cross,

a liturgical solemnity dear to Christian

communities in that region.

Christians from Teleskof (Tesqopa),

19 miles north of Mosul gathered

at the Chaldean church of Mar

Gewargis (St. George), to celebrate

Mass and then take part in the procession

with candles and torches

through the streets of the city up to

the so-called “Bishop’s Hill.” Dozens

of Christian families from Talkaif,

Batnaya, Baqofah and Mosul who

had fled due to the Islamic State occupation

also took part in the celebration

for the first time in many


The celebration of the special

feast is seen as a concrete manifestation

of the resumption of community

life, after the years in which most of

the cities and villages of the Nineveh

Plains, once inhabited mainly by

Chaldean, Syrian and Assyrian

Christians in the Nineveh Plains in northern


Christians, had emptied due to the

occupation of the Islamic State.

Only 45% of the original Christian

community has returned to the

Nineveh Plains. There were 102,000

Christians living there in 2014. But

their number has dwindled to 36,000

and is expected to plummet even further

by 2024 due to political instability

and lack of security, as well as

family and economic reasons. Islamic

State occupied the Nineveh Plains

for two years, but was gradually driven

out beginning in 2016. Now various

militias, often linked to foreign

powers, have taken over much of the


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Michigan: Chaldean cuisine



Eastern Rite Catholics—arrived

in Detroit as early as 1910 in search

of religious freedom and economic

opportunity in Ford’s auto factories;

most landed in a neighborhood on the

city’s northern edge that came to be

known as Chaldean Town. Today, the

Detroit metro area is home to between

121,000 and 160,000 Chaldeans—the

largest concentration outside of Iraq—

and remains one of the best places to

try flavorful Chaldean dishes, which

are seasoned with spices like cumin

and cardamom and include kofta and

kebab (skewered and grilled meats),

gurgur (beef cooked with onions and

bulgur), maraka (a tangy vegetableand-herb

stew that sometimes features

kubba, or dumplings), and takhratha’d

pusra (meat pies).

There are two remaining Chaldean

spots in Chaldean Town,

which suffered a decline along with

the rest of Detroit in the 1990s and

The Pastry Guru’s Baklava Cheesecake.

2000s: Sullaf restaurant and S&J

Meats. (Many Chaldeans have since

made their way to Detroit’s surrounding

suburbs, bringing their restaurants

with them, including Sahara, Kubba

House, and Anaam’s Palate.) A new

generation of Chaldean Detroiters

is also striving to keep the traditions

alive. Suzanne Lossia, who learned

to cook from her grandmother and

mother, recently opened Suzi’s Bar &

Grill in South Lyon, where diners will

find Chaldean twists on American

bar food. For sweets, Pastry Guru is

known for extravagant wedding cakes

and Middle EasternAmerican mashups

like baklava cheesecake.

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driveway, so everyone can stay socially-distanced,”

Daoud explained. “Setup a decorated table where

you are able to hand out individual portions of

candy. You can set up hula hoops or cones to make

sure children are keeping a distance when walking

up. This keeps contact at a minimum while still

being able to showcase decorations.”

A preschool teacher at St. Mary of the Hills in

Rochester, Daoud said Halloween allows children

to use their imaginations and engage in pretend

play, and even though the world is going through

difficult times, Halloween can still be a time that

brings people together, creating lasting memories.

Outdoor Trick-or-Treating Alternatives

If you’d understandably prefer to keep the kids

home for Halloween this year, there are a lot

of fun and festive activities you can do right in

your own backyard. Ghost stories at a campfire

is always a good time, and although they do

take some preparation, activities like scavenger

hunts seem to always be a hit as you can tailor

them to any age.

Daoud offers “Glow-in-the-Dark Egg Hunts”

as something new and fun to try: “If you have old

plastic eggs at home, you can allow your children

to decorate those using stickers or markers. Once

your children have decorated the eggs, you can

add wrapped candy inside along with a mini glow

sick for a fun night-time search. This activity will

allow the children to be able to engage in a fun

activity and collect candy all while staying safe.”

How to Safely Celebrate Halloween

Amidst Covid-19


Thanks to the Jurassic Quest Drive-Thru at

DTE this summer, I now have a dinosaurobsessed

son who is begging — every

single day — for a Tyrannosaurus Rex Halloween

costume. Considering the year we’re having, my

first thought was, “What’s the point?” However,

after more consideration, I ended up ordering that

overpriced green and yellow costume.

And then some.

Our children have experienced enough letdowns

this year, and while Halloween simply cannot

be exactly what it has always been for them,

there are still plenty of ways to make this holiday

memorable, perhaps even starting new traditions.

Ways to Safely Trick-or-Treat This Year

When selecting the winning dino getup and later

my daughter’s butterfly costume, I made sure to

choose ones with open faces, so that they could

easily wear masks if we do end up going trickor-treating.

(A lot of costumes also come with

gloves, which may be a good idea to avoid direct

surface touching). My husband and I will also be

wearing masks as well as keeping our distance

from neighbors, and we definitely plan to limit

the number of houses we visit. My children are

still young, so even going to just a few houses will

be exciting for them.

Bridgette Zakar Bakoss says trick-or-treating

doesn’t seem like something parents need to take

from kids this year, and she plans to celebrate

Halloween as usual in her Macomb Township

neighborhood, especially since this year

Halloween will fall on a Saturday. There will even

be a full moon!

“It should be very easy to practice social

distancing as our neighborhood has large sidewalks

on both sides, and all of the adults plan to wear

masks while walking with our kids and also while

passing out candy,” Bakoss explained. “They’ve

already missed out on so much this year!”

Instead of using a large bowl to pass out candy,

plan to use gloves to make individual bags or

cups with several pieces of candy in them ahead

of time, so that trick-or-treaters will not have to

dig in the same bowl of candy that others already

touched. Melanie Daoud of Shelby Township also

mentioned the rising popularity of “Trunk-or-

Treating” as a family activity, which is one way

neighbors and friends can work together to make

this year’s candy distribution safe yet still special

for their children.

“Allow children to help decorate your trunk

with you, and park your car at the end of the

Indoor Trick-or-Treating Alternatives

Regardless of COVID, there are years where the

weather is so cold and/or rainy that we need

indoor alternatives to trick-or-treating anyway.

Halloween-themed baking, crafts and movie

marathons are always good go-tos, but Ann Arbor

resident Dana Denha has grander plans.

“My idea is to set up all the bedrooms and

bathrooms (basically every room with a door)

with spooky decor,” Denha explained. “Some

rooms may have themes and some not, but they

will all have candy and treats, and we will spend a

little time in each room, reading and telling ageappropriate

Halloween stories. My daughter will

be dressed up like any other year, and at the end,

we will go to the basement for a family Halloween

party with music, treats and games (albeit a small

party of three). I think this will be a really fun way

to make the holiday safe and special for all of us.”

Denha said she and her husband typically carve

25 to 30 pumpkins for trick-or-treaters, but since

she does not feel comfortable participating in a traditional

Halloween and wants to put the safety of

her family and others first, she’s putting all of her

energy towards this new way to celebrate in order

to make the holiday special for her four-year-old.

Things to Avoid

Regardless of how you plan to celebrate Halloween

this year, be sure to avoid eating anything

homemade, bobbing for apples, dressing children in

costumes that prevent mask and/or hand washing,

and attending packed get-togethers.

Wishing you all a safe and happy Halloween!

Freelance writer Danielle Alexander’s goal is to make

this Halloween so fun that her children forget about

how it’s “supposed” to be. After all, we’ve waited six

years for the holiday to fall on a Saturday again!



Letter from the Bishop

Excerpt from a Letter

to the Faithful on Politics

from Bishop Francis

Kalabat. To read the

entire communication from

Bishop Francis, please visit

Beloved Sons and


As the election

season is upon us, let us

be mindful of the solemn

responsibility that rests

upon us to promote and fulfill our obligation

to vote. This obligation has

very strong consequences because

the Church and government must

work together to bring about peace

and strive towards making the Kingdom

of God present.

Inspired by prayer, we are called by

God to select candidates and policies

that build a civilization of love and

justice. There are those who argue

that the Church has no business in

politics, citing their understanding of

the separation of Church and State.

In reality, the Church has the moral

obligation to assist in our political

decisions and proclaim ethical principles.

These are proclaimed by means

of faith and reason through love and

are inspired by Divine Truths and

not arbitrary momentary emotional

responses. Through these principles,

the Church’s mission to stand against

injustices and protect all persons from

the moment of conception to the moment

of natural death is fulfilled regardless

of race, sex, or creed.

Dignity of the Human Person

The first principle that grounds the






Church’s social teaching and

moral vision is the sacred dignity

of the human person. The

Church states that all human

beings are children of God and

we revere their lives and stand

against all activities that contribute

to what Pope Francis

has called a ‘throw-away culture.’

By ignoring this first and

most important principle, we

inevitably do harm and spread

hatred. In good conscience,

we cannot support candidates

who do not view human life as sacred.

We stand against candidates who support

unjust wars, torture, the killing

of innocent civilians, terrorism, abortion,

infanticide, and assisted suicide.

Instead the Church seeks laws and

policies that protect and promote a

culture of life such as those that encourage

childbirth and adoption over

abortion as well as those that address

poverty, health care, etc.

Principle of Subsidiarity

Another important concept in

choosing a candidate is the economy

and the economic policies that affirm

the dignity of the human person.

Each person must be valued as

an end, where the economy serves

for the good of the person, without

treating them as a slave to the economy.

Therefore, the Church seeks

policies that provide an opportunity

for a person to rise out of poverty and

have the dignity of work.

The Church’s teaching on

achieving a just economy is based on

policies and principles that are handled

by the lowest capable authority

where the government and larger

institutions do not overwhelm or interfere

with these smaller or local institutions.

They only interfere when

the local institutions cannot adequately

protect human dignity and

needs. That is why specifically, the

Catholic Church has rejected communism,

socialism, and some forms

of capitalism where the economy is

seen as greater than the individual

and treats the person as one piece

of the overall machine. Although

Justice and peace

are principles that

help build a better

world for future


socialism has become popular with

many candidates, because of its alluring

assistance to the poor, it must be

rejected. Even though the media has

several times labeled Pope Francis as

a socialist, he has emphatically and

directly rejected Marxism and Socialism

like all the Popes before him.

As Pope Francis proclaimed, “The

Marxist ideology is wrong...The concern

for the poor is a mark of the

Gospel and Church tradition, rather

than an invention of communism. I

must say that communists have stolen

our flag. The flag of the poor is

Christian...Poverty is the center of

the Gospel. The poor are at the center

of the Gospel.”

The Common Good

Another important principle is

justice and peace. These are principles

that help build a better world

for future generations. They target

eradicating racism, sexism while

showing care for creation, working

for environmental protections like

clean air and water, providing basic

human needs such as food, shelter,

education, healthcare, and freedom

of religion.

Principle of Solidarity

Compelled by the Gospel, the final

principle is one that recognizes that

we as human beings are one family.

We as Catholics should care for the

poor, orphans, widows, immigrants

and refugees. Though the Catholic

Church teaches that every country

has the right to protect itself and

create border protections to stop illegal

immigration, the Church has

also called upon all countries that

are able to accept refugees to do so

as an act of mercy.

Finally, consider doing more

than voting. Many of us only think

about politics during election years.

However, if you feel called, take

an active role in politics by working

with lawmakers in establishing

policies that support life. For

those in our community who have

responded to this call, let us find a

way to support them but only if they

follow these principles. Let us build

together the Kingdom of God and

may His love and grace overshadow

us and all creation, now, at all times,

and forever.

+Francis Y. Kalabat



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Become #MarianStrong

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more tuition assistance opportunities than ever before. Find your strength

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Hanaa Habboo


Jan 1, 1958

Sep 15, 2020

Alber Pauls

Oct 6, 1934

Sep 14, 2020

Ghazi Paul

Sep 26, 1934

Sep 13, 2020

Samir Sevani Orow

Jan 10, 1946

Sep 13, 2020

Rabi (Fadi)

Sliwa Jarbo

Apr 20, 1960

Sep 13, 2020

Salem Daood

Wazi (Salo)

Jun 14, 1940

Sep 12, 2020

Qiryaqoz Poota

Jul 1, 1944

Sep 12, 2020

Yousif Namou Sitto

Sep 1, 1944

Sep 9, 2020

Amjad Kaddis

Feb 27, 1952

Sep 8, 2020

Evleen Arafat

Jan 2, 1946

Sep 7, 2020


Johnny Yaldo

May 3, 1946

Sep 6, 2020

Mammosh Kakoz

Feb 1, 1931

Sep 6, 2020

Mathila Hesano

Oct 13, 1938

Sep 6, 2020

Ablahad Bhro

Jul 1, 1940

Sep 5, 2020

Dewan Saomo


Jul 1, 1969

Sep 5, 2020

Majida Maya

Mar 1, 1929

Sep 4, 2020

Souad Sulaka


Jan 21, 1932

Sep 4, 2020

Nissan Yousif


Jul 1, 1934

Sep 3, 2020

Najat Slewa Sitto

Jul 1, 1941

Sep 3, 2020

Maged Hanna

Jul 1, 1973

Sep 2, 2020

Sabeeha Jalo

Jul 1, 1952

Sep 2, 2020


Shamsulddin Younan

Jul 1, 1955

Sep 1, 2020

Amer Hannosh

Nov 2, 1964

Sep 1, 2020

Ramiz Adel

Yonan Batty

Jun 6, 1997

Sep 1, 2020

Ryan Romel Saroki

Nov 14, 1992

Aug 31, 2020

Ihsan Jabero

Jan 1, 1948

Aug 31, 2020

Aliza Auraha


Jul 1, 1940

Aug 31, 2020

Sana Karim Nafso

Mar 10, 1955

Aug 31, 2020

Teresa Al Kildani

Jul 1, 1933

Aug 30, 2020

Mariam Yowel


Jul 1, 1943

Aug 30, 2020

John Ishak Yasso

Jan 26, 1963

Aug 29, 2020

Sammy Elias


Aug 8, 1935

Aug 27, 2020

Adeeb Patti

Apr 1, 1957

Aug 27, 2020

Karim Zia Yatooma

Oct 4, 1932

Aug 27, 2020

Souad Dowda


Oct 1, 1938

Aug 26, 2020

Sami Odeesha

Yalda Shukri

Jan 23, 1944

Aug 23, 2020

Sabah Mikah


Jul 1, 1956

Aug 23, 2020



Dr. Hilal Dawood Elia

Dr. Hilal Dawood Elia, son of the late Dawood and Ghazala Elia, passed

from this life on September 7, 2020.

Doc (as everyone called him) was born on July 1, 1947. One of the

first Chaldean medical doctors in Michigan, he served the city of Detroit

and the Chaldean community alongside his wife Elham for over 40 years.

Known as a fierce advocate for his community and patients, Doc was always

proud of his Chaldean heritage. He was one of the first members of

the original Chaldean Community Club, Southfield Manor.

Doc is survived by his wife Elham Elia. He was the loving and nurturing

father of Zaid (Zaina) Elia, Reena (Kees) Janeway and Ted John (Renee)

Elia, and the beloved grandfather to 9 beautiful grandchildren.

2454 Monroe St. Suite B, Dearborn, MI 48124 313-562-3970


Danny Kewson, MD, FAAOA

Roger S. Toma, MD

Mark S. Toma, MD





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Making History

The Honorable Hala Jarbou


On September 10, 2020, Judge Hala Jarbou

was confirmed as the first Chaldean

American to sit on the federal bench,

appointed by President Donald Trump to serve

as United States District Judge for the Western

District of Michigan. It’s a long way from where

she started.

She was born in the Tel Kaif District in Iraq,

also known as Tel Keppe. The name means “hill of

stones” or “stony hill” in Syriac, but the strongest

memory Jarbou retains from her childhood there is

the lemon tree in her grandparent’s courtyard. “It

was huge,” she recalls.

Many of her childhood memories are of Oak

Park, Michigan, where Hala, her parents Yelda

and Basima and her 5 brothers came to live after

joining family in the United States. “It was a great

mixture of people and religions,” she says of the


The family traveled back to Iraq in September

of her 4th grade year. It was a memorable visit for

the young Jarbou. “Our plane was diverted quite

a few times,” she recalls, “due to the outbreak of

the Iran-Iraq War.” Eventually making their way to

Jordan, the family traveled by bus to Baghdad. Her

recollections are of sirens, planes flying overhead,

and caskets in Tel Keppe. The memories remain

with her.

A shy and academic child, her work ethic and

drive to excel came naturally. Like most Chaldean

families, Jarbou’s parents placed a high importance

on personal and professional success. “Wanting

to succeed came from the realization that it is a

privilege to be here. When you’re an immigrant,

your goal is to make your parents proud.” Jarbou

noticed how hard her family worked to make her life

better, inspiring her to work just as hard to succeed.

“We knew there were a lot of opportunities, but

we also knew that it wouldn’t come easy, we were

the ones who needed to give 150 percent,” Jarbou

said. “My brothers and I have talked about how

different our lives would have been had they not

brought us here.”

In high school, she toiled for college

scholarships. Though there were no attorneys

in her immediate family, Jarbou always knew she

wanted to go to law school to “be an advocate”

for the people. She went to the University of

Michigan; “a great school,” she says, “to build a

career of service.”

Majoring in Business with a minor in Political

Science, Jarbou obtained her Bachelors in Business

Administration before going on to Law School at

Wayne State University. “Like most Chaldeans,”

she quips, “I had a Plan A, B and C.” Only three

Chaldeans were in her class in law school, she


Growing up in an “ethnic family,” Jarbou

says, made her tough enough to handle a position

like this. “Our family struggles, obstacles, and

accomplishments all helped shape the person I am

today.” The ethical foundations of faith and family

help make sense of right versus wrong. Very rarely

does a decision make everyone happy, but Jarbou

doesn’t take things personally. “You have to be fair

and impartial, according to the law.”

Hala is proud that her success is shining a light

on the Chaldean community. “Compared to other

immigrant cultures, we’ve been here such a short

time and accomplished so much.”

Although she feels the responsibility of her

station, Jarbou is not a political person. When

she was originally appointed judge of the Oakland

County Circuit Court in 2015, she had simply filled

out an online application for an open position

in a court she had practiced in for over 12 years

as a litigation attorney. “I applied thinking I was

qualified, and had nothing to lose,” says Jarbou.

When she got the call, of course she said, “Yes.”

Public service was something she had always aspired

to, and when she was a U.S. attorney, walking into

federal court and hearing, “Hala Jarbou on behalf

of the United States of America,” for the first time

gave her goosebumps.

When she got the call about the federal

judgeship, she thought they were joking. “The

idea that I could be a U.S. federal judge that’s

the greatest honor of my life. This position

was created and mentioned in the United

States Constitution!” One week later, she was

interviewing in Washington, D.C.

Hala Jarbou came to the notice of President

Trump due to her reputation for steadfast ethical

decisions and all the hard work she put into her

job. Colleagues like and respect her. When the

confirmation passed the final hearing on September

10, people started sending her news snippets and

social media posts.

“Judge Jarbou has been a public servant for

more than 20 years and brings the highest level

of integrity to the bench,” says Martin Manna,

president of the Chaldean American Chamber

of Commerce said in a statement. “She also has

the utmost respect from her peers. The federal

appointment is the first-ever for the Chaldean

community, and we couldn’t be more proud.”

Jarbou is not on social media, a very smart

move for an impartial judge. When someone sent

her the Chaldean News’ post announcing her

confirmation titled, “On This Day in History,”

she was very deeply moved. “It is honestly quite

humbling. As proud as the Chaldean community is

of me, I am a thousand times more proud to be part

of the Chaldean community.”

What advice would she give for those hoping to

“The idea that I could be a U.S. federal judge that’s the

greatest honor of my life. This position was created and

mentioned in the United States Constitution!”


follow in her footsteps? “Do what you do because

you love it and it’s what you want to do. That’s the

only way to make a successful lifelong career.”

The legal field offers so many opportunities,

not necessarily just in law. Do your research. “Take

on some internships, get some experience,” Jarbou

advises. “If nothing else, look at all the mentors

that are out there.”

She has received an incredible amount of

support from her family and friends, and from the

entire Chaldean community here in Michigan.

“I thank everyone for all the wonderful support

throughput this process,” said Jarbou. “My parents,

and really my whole family, have been supportive

in everything I’ve done. They have always instilled

in myself and my brothers a strong work ethic

that if you are honest, work hard, and do the right

thing, you will be rewarded.”




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USAID Looks Local in Iraq


It took three long years to push ISIS out of

Northern Iraq and begin repatriating villages

north of Mosul on the Nineveh Plan. The push

began in 2014. Since 2017, the United States

Agency for International Development (USAID)

has been rebuilding villages, reconstructing schools,

hospitals and power plants, as well as providing

counseling, job training and other support services

to the people in Iraq.

Between then and now, USAID has spent $470

million on such services and has been registering

growing success at bringing people in the region

back to their homes.

Bolstered by a 2018 Presidential Executive

Order and two acts of Congress, the United States

has made a powerful commitment to protect

religious freedom around the world, using the

Northern Iraq experience as a model for current

and future programs.

Local Lessons

USAID likely is the world’s largest official

international aid group, with an annual budget

of $27 billion, employing staffers and aid workers

across the globe. Despite its size and budget, the

group’s focus has been on becoming more effective

at the ground level. To that end, USAID has shifted

from working mainly with large relief organizations

to smaller, local groups that are strongly connected

to the villages to which they provide aid, said

Hallam Ferguson, an administrator and Middle

East specialist at USAID who has helped direct

Northern Iraq’s recovery from ISIS occupation.

Teamed with Samah Norquist, who advises

USAID on international religious freedom issues,

USAID has integrated with local groups such as

the Shlama Foundation, a group that has been

active for a long time in the region. It’s made up

of a number of young engineers who are eager and

excited to help get their town back up and running

after devastation caused by ISIS. Working in a

number of small Nineveh Plain towns, Shlama

provides vocational training for local engineers

and local workers in setting up solar power for

these villages to help meet energy needs.

Shlama is an example of a sea change taking

place at USAID regarding its approach to


“I really want to emphasize the significance

of us working closely with local groups,” said

Ferguson. “The NPI awards we made to six groups

last year, including the Shlama Foundation, are

the first direct awards we have ever made to local

groups in Iraq. USAID has never made a direct

award to a local Iraqi group before. That speaks to

how difficult it is for bona fide local groups to get

in the door. It speaks to how hard we have tried

to overhaul how it is that we are doing our work


NPI, or New Partnerships Initiative, is USAIDs

The NPI grant to the Shlama Foundation is improving

job opportunities through a vocational solar training

program. Engineers trained by Shlama install solar

power in homes, solar-powered water pumps for farms,

and solar-powered street lighting for small villages in the

Ninewa Plains.

formal program to partner with local groups.

“We have come a long way toward changing

some of the ways we do business when it comes

to assistance,” said Norquist. “We have worked

with faith-based organizations, local organizations

and we shifted a bit from talking to the big guys to

talking to the local communities and local leaders

that can really identify the needs we need to put

assistance into.”

Iraq has become a model for how USAID

operates around the world. In addition to setting

an example of local coordination, the Middle East

Bureau at USAID just launched a new call for NPI

on advancing religious freedom that is live right

now throughout the Middle East, said Norquist.

“The work we were able to do in Iraq has extended

now to ensure we can continue to work with local

communities (elsewhere),” she added.

Security, Still An Issue

Challenges remain. While ISIS was pushed from

the country three years ago, Iranian-backed militias

remain in many Nineveh Plain towns, preying on

returning villagers and operating much like a local

mafia, said Ferguson. He said diplomatic efforts

continue to rein in these militias, which emerged

under Iraqi government auspices to fight ISIS after

the regular Iraqi army was defeated.


According to FOREIGNPOLICY.COM: “Two

Iran-backed paramilitaries are actively obstructing

the return of Assyrians: the 30th Brigade, a militia

comprising primarily members of the Shabak

ethnoreligious group, and the 50th Brigade, a

nominally Christian but predominantly Shiite

Arab militia. Both are closely associated with the

Badr Organization, an Iran-backed Shiite faction,

and Iran. The brigades’ leaders were sanctioned

by the United States last year for corruption and

human rights violations.”

“The people who actually make up these militias

are a sort of hodgepodge of Iraqis from throughout

the country, often from the south,” said Ferguson.

“They’re not residents or native to Northern Iraq.

Sometimes there is the veneer of localness. Some

of the leadership may be Christian, for example.

But they are bad militias led by bad people and

supported by bad outside actors that are a threat to

Iraq’s sovereignty and a threat to Iraq’s citizens and

a threat to us.”

Ferguson said the threat to aid workers and U.S.

diplomats is quite literal, as the U.S. Embassy has

faced recent rocket attacks from these groups.

A New Beginning

Still, there is hope that the Iraqi government can

take control and create a secure environment for

Nineveh residents to return home.

Norquist has seen positive steps from new

Prime Minister, Mustafa Al-Kadhimi, including

recent calls for all Christians to come back. She

said many of the communities USAID met with

did not want to be considered “minority” and take

offense, instead viewing themselves as indigenous

or part of the fabric of the country.

Norquist said USAID is working hard to ensure

that Iraqi government continues to regard them

that way and give them equal access to rights and

services. She said USAID is leading by example in

providing access to its aid services.

Covid And Cautious Optimism

Recovery efforts in Iraq significantly slowed due to

the COVID pandemic. Adding to the problem is

Iraq’s status as an international hotspot. Returning

residents had to alter or cancel their travel plans and

some aid workers have contracted the virus.

USAID is doing its part to help stem the

pandemic, pouring $47 million into anti-COVID

efforts in Iraq, part of a $63.7 million total U.S.

commitment to the country.

While cautious optimism prevails, concerns

arise that the virus and other distractions will

eclipse American focus on helping Iraq rebuild.

“The U.S. government’s current focus on

the coronavirus pandemic and reports of troop

withdrawals could augur an era of disengagement

with Iraq. Yet this drawdown could not come at

a more critical juncture for Iraqi Christians, who

face increasing persecution from both Iran-backed

militias and Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP)

security forces seeking control of the last region in

Iraq where Christians are a plurality: the Nineveh

Plains,” reported FOREIGNPOLICY.COM in








In tough times, communities

must come together.

Avoid large public/social gatherings.

Practice social distancing.

Stay home if you are sick.

Wash your hands and cover coughs and sneezes.

Avoid close contact with people who are sick.

Do your part and wear a mask.

Keep Communities Safe.



Superior Takes a Stand


Superior Buick GMC in Dearborn

is fighting mad. Dealership

owners Bas and Tanya

Robin, of Iraqi descent, are taking

General Motors to court over discriminatory

policies that they claim

have adversely affected their business.

According to a lawsuit filed in

May of this year, the dealership has

lost sales and suffered financially as

a direct result of these targeted policies,

policies which no other dealership

has to abide by.

Starting last year, GM came

down hard on the family-owned

business, stating that Superior violated

its employee family discount

program, known as the Vehicle Purchase

Program (VPP). GM forced

the dealership to require customers,

many of them being minorities or including

minority family members, to

go through additional requirements

not necessary at other dealerships.

These extra documents include birth

certificates and marriage certificates,

not normally asked for in the course

of purchasing a vehicle.

GM knew that the majority of

plaintiffs’ customers at the Dearborn

dealership were identified as Arabs,

including Chaldeans and immigrants

of many other ethnicities, the lawsuit

states. “GM was motivated by

an improper bias against GM dealerships

that have a relationship (i.e.,

principals) with persons of the Arab

racial identity.”

GM is not only targeting Arabs,

however, according to the lawsuit.

Citing an incident where a Caucasian

employee was questioned after

sponsoring his Black father-in-law

for the incentive, Superior states

that GM executives made racially

inflammatory remarks about Arab

Americans and customers with interracial


Stating the Robins faced “intimidating

and disparate treatment,” the

lawsuit contends that “many customers

felt insulted and falsely targeted

due to their national origin and ethnicity.”

The lawsuit also alleges that at a

meeting in May of last year at GM

headquarters in Detroit, some executives

made what the Robins say were

disturbing remarks about minority

groups. Community groups have taken

an interest in the suit.

Martin Manna, president of the

Chaldean American Chamber and

Chaldean Community Foundation,

had this to say: “The Chaldean

American Chamber of Commerce

and the Chaldean Community

Foundation are deeply concerned

Bas and Tanya Robin

about the unfair and discriminatory

treatment of Tanya Robin and Superior

Buick GMC by General Motors.

It is clear there has been a deliberate

attempt to harm the dealership by

imposing requirements that were not

imposed equally across GM dealerships.

These requirements have been

offensive to GM’s only Chaldean

owned dealership and the thousands

of customers they serve who are of

Middle Eastern descent.”

In a previously released statement,

GM spokesman Jim Cain

said the Dearborn dealership was to

blame for its problems. “The lawsuit

and its claims are wholly without

merit and the allegations of discrimination

are absolutely false,” reads

the statement. “Unfortunately, and

as acknowledged by plaintiffs, these

particular dealers failed and refused

to adhere to the terms of their agreements

and violated requirements established

to prevent abuse of a GM

incentive program.”

The statement goes on to say that

GM attorneys are planning to file a

motion to have the case dismissed.

Repeated attempts to obtain a current

statement from GM were unsuccessful.

The problems began in February

of last year. Suburban had ordered 30

GMC Yukons from a Texas plant, but

the plant was unable to deliver because

of flooding. A financial dispute

between the dealership and GM was

the result.

In May of 2019, the Robins met

with GM executives to discuss the


At the meeting, the executives

brought up the VPP and expressed

concern about compliance. The Robins

were handed an official letter from

General Motors that said they violated

their dealer agreement because of

violations in regards to the VPP.

The Robins acknowledged that

there may have been some prior deficiencies

by certain of their salespeople

and other staff with regard to

the VPP and other discount plans,

which were uncovered in 2018, and

they outlined how that issue had

been corrected and more closely


The lawsuit alleges that during

the meeting, a couple of the GM

executives “stated several times that

Superior sells ‘too many cars to Arabs

with GMS codes from aunts and

uncles’ and that customers utilizing

the GM employee family discount

program in question ‘could not possibly

be related to sponsors’…” (GMS

codes refer to GM employee codes

that provide a discount to employees

or their family members.)

The lawsuit said: “The clearly

blatant racist remarks continued

throughout the meeting,” and goes

on to relate this conversation between

two GM execs: “If I’m white

and you are black, that is an automatic

reason to question whether

you qualify for the VPP.”

The new rules GM placed on

the dealership led to harassment of

customers who have called the dealership

to complain about the treatment,

say the Robins. In one case,

when Tanya Robin forwarded the

concerns to a regional director at

GM, she was told, “since the sponsor

was black, his son-in-law could not

possibly be white,” according to the


Leonard Bellavia, one of the attorneys

who filed the lawsuit, said in

a statement, “GM executives maintained

that American Caucasians

could not be related to Arab people

and caused the dealership to suffer

by appearing racist and refusing to

honor the employee discount. ... No

such requirement of confronting

people of color or Arab background

is imposed on any other GM dealer

and is allegedly borne out of an intentional

desire to destroy the success

of entrepreneurs who do not fit

the apparent preferred profile of GM


The Robins had no comment on

the lawsuit.



Rescuing Iraq’s Christians

There are at least

150,000 Chaldean-

Americans living in

Michigan with extended

family in the Nineveh

Plains of northern Iraq

and East Syria. Chaldean-

Americans represent an

important constituency.

However, the Trump

administration has failed to

address their concerns. Selfgovernment,

security, and

economic development are

critical to their survival.

Chaldean, Syriac, and Assyrian

Christians represent some of the

oldest Christian communities in the

world. Their culture and religious

identity are rooted in Mesopotamia’s

Sumer, Babylon, and Assyrian


I have visited Chaldean churches

in the Nineveh Plains and can attest

to their beauty and rich cultural

heritage. I have also met Chaldean





community and religious

leaders in Hankawa

in the Mosul Diocese.

They described their

victimization by the Baath

Party, the Islamic State,

and Shiite-led governments

in the “new Iraq.” Today,

the Chaldean population

is shrinking as they flee

persecution and suffer


Minority rights

in international law

encompasses the protection of

minority groups. In countries like

Iraq that are emerging from violent

conflict, further measures are needed

to promote minority rights.

The US can play a critical role

in preserving Chaldean Christian

culture, using its influence to shape

policies that protect and promote

Chaldean civilization. Without

active engagement by the US,

Christians in Iraq may disappear.

The interests of Chaldeans would

be served through self-governing

institutions at local and governorate

levels. Power-sharing would involve

the establishment of a competent local

executive and local assembly.

Security is also a major concern.

Local police should be drawn from

Chaldean communities they serve.

The administration of justice can be

achieved through local courts with

Chaldean judges.

Security also requires the removal

of Iran-backed militias. Their

complicity with Shabaks seeks to

change the demography across the

Nineveh Plains.

Legal reform should also address

policies that allow the Islamification

of Christians, especially youth.

Economic marginalization of Iraq’s

Christians is standard practice.

Christian properties in Baghdad,

Dohuk, and other governates are

routinely seized.

Property ownership is part

and parcel with economic rights

benefiting Chaldeans. Economic

rights include local control over

natural resources, land management,

and hiring preferences for Chaldeans,

especially in public service positions.

The Nineveh Plains has

potential as a tourist destination for

pilgrims who want to visit Biblical

sites. Nineveh is first mentioned in

Genesis 10:11: “Ashur left that land,

and built Nineveh.” The ancient

ruin of Kuyunjiq towers 66 feet above

the plain. Churches and convents in

the Christian villages of Bashiqa,

Teleskuf and Qaraqosh have recently

been rebuilt.

Chaldeans demand religious and

cultural rights, which go hand in

hand. Cultural rights are enshrined in

the form of language, media, cultural

festivals, and cultural symbols.

Education is also a core

concern. Chaldeans are developing

a curriculum that highlights the

historic role of Christians in Iraq. The

curriculum should be applied across

Iraq in schools and mosques. Raising

awareness will encourage mutual

understanding and social harmony.


Why Chaldeans Should Vote for Trump









There is no perfect candidate

for president. Not this year

or any other. As always we

face a choice between two complex

human beings representing diverse

coalitions. We must choose which

coalition has a worldview more compatible

with our interests as a community,

and which candidate seems

effective at delivering.

On every important issue, Donald

Trump and the Republicans offer

more hope than Joe Biden and the


Remember that Joe Biden

strongly backed the disastrous U.S.

invasion in 2003, based on bad intelligence

and false promises of a

transformed, democratic Iraq. Donald

Trump was always skeptical of it,

and said so. Much of the reason he

won the nomination in 2016 was his

rejection of the grandiose neoconservative

theorists, corner office imperialists

who liked to play at reshaping

the world. Now the same military establishment

that brought us so many

useless, counterproductive wars from

Iraq to Libya—hundreds of generals

and armchair generals—is endorsing

Joe Biden, and denouncing President

Trump as “unfit for office.” Maybe he

just doesn’t fit in with their plans.

Perhaps these militarists have

not forgiven Trump for his stand in

2016, when he was one of the few

candidates to oppose arming the socalled

“moderate rebels” in Syria—

controlled then as they are now by

al Qaeda and other jihadists linked

to Turkey.

The Obama/Biden administration

did no more than the Bush administration

had to protect Christians in

Iraq whom radicals and bigots scapegoated

for the aftereffects of that invasion.

Indeed, it dismissed the murderous

Daesh as the “junior varsity”

team of Islamist terror. It ended the

“surge” that had helped restore some

order in Iraq, and finally pulled all

U.S. troops out. That pullout helped

create the power vacuum that let

Daesh storm into cities, murdering

thousands, and raping or enslaving

thousands more. Did Joe Biden push

for the U.S. or international forces to

act to end that horror? No. He was

too busy helping his family enrich

themselves via U.S. foreign policy in

China, Ukraine, and Russia.

What did end the horrible reign

of DAESH? Firm, rapid action by the

Trump administration, in partnership

with experienced local forces—

action the Obama/Biden team would

never take.

The Obama/Biden years brought

us the futile U.S. deal with Iran,

which transferred unearned billions

to that extremist regime, without

meaningfully slowing its rush to gain

nuclear weapons. President Trump,

by contrast, has brokered successful,

productive deals between Israel and

several major Arab countries. These

will help to contain Iran without the

need for another destructive, disruptive

war—whose side effects on religious

minorities we can predict all

too well.

The Trump administration has

spoken and acted firmly in defense of

religious freedom around the world,

even as Obama and Biden banned

Iraqi nuns from visiting the U.S., and

skewed refugee quotas to favor Muslims

who had safe havens over Christians

who had none. The Obama

administration even changed the

description of the U.S. First Amend-

Simply delicious food served

by the finest Professionals

The right to congregate and

worship freely and to establish

religious institutions are fundamental

to religious freedom. Chaldeans

demand their religious rights.

The US went to war to end

tyranny in Iraq. However, successive

administrations have failed to

stabilize Iraq and enable the

realization of rights for its people.

The Trump administration has

proven to be a big disappointment

to Christians in Iraq and Syria. In

its haste to disengage from Iraq, it

has failed to provide a program to

repatriate Christians who fled and

want to return home. It has neglected

working with Chaldeans to provide

security and economic development.

Christians have paid a heavy

price. Trump invited Turkey’s

President Erdogan to invade Syria.

Turkey’s jihadist proxies killed priests

and targeted churches.

Trump should not take the votes

of Christians and Evangelicals

for granted. Through neglect, he

has exacerbated the dangers of

Christians in the Middle East. Many

Chaldeans feel they have no future

and have fled. Those who want to go

home cannot because conditions are

not conducive to their return.

The engagement of Chaldean-

Americans will encourage Vice

President Joe Biden to take a different

approach. He knows Iraq and the

region. He is instinctively sympathetic

with victims and is especially attuned

to the plight of Christians. Chaldeans

can redeem their goodwill with Biden

after he is elected.

Organizations like the Chaldean

Chamber and Foundation are

working with the worldwide

Chaldean community to ensure

the survival of Christians in Iraq.

They need an administration in

Washington, which cares about their

concerns and will take meaningful

steps to ensure their survival.

Mr. Phillips is Director of the Program

on Peacebuilding and Rights at

Columbia University. He served as

a Senior Adviser and Foreign Affairs

Expert at the State Department under

Presidents Clinton, Bush, and Obama.

He is author of Losing Iraq: Inside the

Postwar Reconstruction Fiasco.


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ment taught to new citizens from the

real language, “free exercise of religion,”

to the bland “freedom of worship”

offered to dhimmis by Islamists.

At home, the Trump administration

wishes to protect the vulnerable,

from unpopular religious groups to

unborn children. Biden, by contrast,

has promised to shut down the Little

Sisters of the Poor, who care for the

sick and dying, if they will not distribute

abortion pills.

Trump stands for law and order

on the streets of American cities

like Detroit and Minneapolis. Biden

will not rebuke the rioters who demand

that police be defunded, and

cities be turned over to armed militant

gangs, which are burning small

businesses as you read this. Trump

will defend our Second Amendment

rights and fund the police.

Biden will seize our guns and defund

the police, leaving American cities

like Seattle and Portland to armed

extremists, as the authorities once

abandoned the people of Mosul to


We’re happy to say that the

Trump administration is working

closely with representatives of the

Chaldean community to address its

particular interests and legitimate

grievances. President Trump and I

talked at length last night about the

Chaldean community’s needs. As

congressional candidate Eric Esshaki

assured us, President Trump “fully

understands the real threats our

family members in Iraq face every

day. Just as important he committed

to find solutions to the deportation

issue and make sure Chaldeans are

treated fairly. He’s pledged to be a

great friend to our community and

has our back.”

Back in 2015, we wrote at the

influential Christian website The

Stream calling for a foreign policy

that put “persecuted Christians first.”

We believe that the Trump administration

has listened, certainly more

than any other U.S. politicians.

That’s why we’re proud to back

Trump’s re-election and ask for your


John Zmirak is Senior Editor and Jason

Scott Jones is a Senior Contributor at

The Stream (



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VOTER guide

Key Positions: Donald Trump and Joe Biden


The Nov. 3 election between

Republican President Donald

Trump and Democrat Joe

Biden will give American voters a

choice between two candidates with

drastically different views of the world

and divergent approaches to tackling

some of the biggest issues facing the


Trump, like many fellow

Republicans, supports tax reductions

and regulatory cuts as a strategy to

boost the economy. He frames himself

as a conservative champion in the

nation’s ongoing culture wars. The

president offers little detail about

how he would pull the levers of

government in a second term.

Biden sounds every bit the

Democratic standard-bearer as he

frames the federal government as

the collective force to combat the

coronavirus, rebuild the economy

and address centuries of institutional

racism and systemic inequalities. A

veteran of national politics, Biden

also touts his deal-making past as

proof he can do it again as president.

Here is a detailed look at their

policies and proposals in key areas.


trump: Since his campaign in 2016,

Trump has made multiple promises

to reduce illegal immigration. He

incorporated a “zero-tolerance” policy

that enabled the criminal prosecution

of suspected illegal border-crossers

that resulted in family separations. It

was reported “Nearly 3,000 children

were separated from their parents,”

according to Trump took

the measures of declaring a national

emergency to obtain funding for a

wall on the southern border between

Mexico and the United States. In his

efforts to decrease illegal immigration,

the statistics support that in the past

several years there has been an overall


The president has also proposed

incorporating a “merit-based” system

that would only allow migrants with

job skills to enter the United States.

This would dramatically reform

immigration policy since it would no

longer allow family ties to determine

immigration status.

biden: Being a strong opponent of

Trump’s reformed immigration policy,

Joe Biden

Mr. Biden likely would reverse it.

The Deferred Action for Childhood

Arrivals program would return, along

with a program to help undocumented

immigrants receive citizenship. In

place of Trump’s criminal prosecution

for all illegal border crossings, Mr.

Biden supports a 100-day moratorium

on deportations. Only those charged

with a serious crime would be

deported. However, to accomplish

comprehensive immigration reform

Democrats would have to hold the

House. Immigration would have to

become an immediate legislative

priority and many lawmakers feel it is

best to diverge from a comprehensive

reform to more bipartisan actions.


biden: Biden draws some of his

sharpest contrasts with Trump on the

pandemic, arguing that the presidency

and federal government exist for such

crises. Trump, by contrast, has largely

shifted responsibility to governors.

Biden endorses generous federal

spending to help businesses and

individuals, along with state and local

governments, deal with the financial

cliffs of the pandemic slowdown.

He has promised aggressive use of

the Defense Production Act, the

wartime law a president can use to

direct certain private-sector activity.

Additionally, Biden promises to

elevate the government’s scientists

and physicians to communicate a

consistent message to the public, and

he would have the U.S. rejoin the

World Health Organization. He is

also willing to use executive power for

a national mask mandate, even if its

enforcement is questionable.

trump: After months of insisting

Donald Trump

that the worst days of the pandemic

have passed, Trump recently

acknowledged that the pandemic

may “get worse before it gets better”

as many states — including several

critical to his path to 270 Electoral

College votes — have seen a surge in

the virus.

Trump is again holding regular

briefings to get his message out on

the virus and other matters. Trump

believes that a key to economic

recovery from the virus is fully

reopening schools — though

Americans are wary. Only about

1 in 10 Americans think day care

centers, preschools or K-12 schools

should have opened this fall without

restrictions, according to a recent

poll by The Associated Press-NORC

Center for Public Affairs.

Trump also says he’s “pretty damn

certain” that vaccines and therapeutics

for the virus are coming in the not-sodistant

future — a game changer as

Americans and the world seek a glide

path to normalcy. Congress approved

about $3 trillion in coronavirus relief

in March and April, and Democrats,

Republicans and the White House are

negotiating another significant round

of funding. The package, however,

will not include a payroll tax cut —

something that Trump badly wanted

but that Senate Democrats and even

some Senate Republicans balked at



trump: Improving the economy

has been a focal point for Trump.

To decrease the trade gap, Trump

emphasizes the importance of creating

more deals with leading trading


Under Trump’s administration,

the economy has gradually grown. In

the last couple of years the economy

has grown around 2-3 percent and

job growth has matched how it was

under President Obama, according

to MarketsInsider. In particular,

manufacturing jobs have increased.

The coal industry has seen significant

improvement. The stock market has

also benefited. Trump claims that the

economy is the “best” in U.S history.

biden: Biden pitches sweeping

federal action as necessary to avoid

an extended recession or depression

and to address long-standing wealth

inequality that disproportionately

affects nonwhite Americans. His

biggest-ticket plans: a $2 trillion,

four-year push intended to eliminate

carbon pollution in the U.S. energy

grid by 2035 and a new government

health insurance plan open to

all working-age Americans. He

proposes new spending on education,

infrastructure and small businesses,

along with raising the national

minimum wage to $15 an hour.

Biden would cover some but not

all of the new costs by rolling back

much of the 2017 GOP tax overhaul.

He wants a corporate income tax rate

of 28 percent (lower than before but

higher than now) and broad income

and payroll tax hikes for individuals

with more than $400,000 of annual

taxable income. All that would

generate an estimated $4 trillion or

more over 10 years.


biden: Biden wants the federal

government to work with states

to make public higher education

tuition-free for any student in a

household earning up to $125,000

annually. The assistance would

extend to everyone attending twoyear

schools, regardless of income.

He also proposes sharply increasing

aid for historically Black colleges.

His overall education plans carry

a 10-year price tag of about $850


He calls for universal access

to prekindergarten programs for

3- and 4-year-olds; tripling Title I

spending for schools with higher

concentrations of students from lowincome

households; more support

for non-classroom positions like

on-campus social workers; federal

infrastructure spending for public

school buildings; and covering

schools’ costs to comply with federal

disability laws. Biden also opposes


taxpayer money being routed to

for-profit charter school businesses,

and he’s pledged that his secretary

of education will have classroom

teaching experience.

trump: Trump has used his push

for schools to fully reopen this fall

amid the pandemic as an opportunity

to spotlight his support for charter

schools and school choice.

Education Secretary Betsy DeVos,

a longtime proponent of charter

schools and school voucher programs,

has suggested that families be allowed

to take federal money allotted to

school districts that do not open and

spend it in private schools that do

open. For most of Trump’s first term,

his administration has sought major

increases to federal charter school

grant aid, but Congress has responded

with relatively small increases.


trump: The reform on healthcare

has been broad and centered on a few

key points. The goal to eliminate the

Affordable Care Act and replace it

with a new health care system is still

in place. Some modifications include

eradicating individual mandates

and subsidies. This is intended to

help those with low-income afford

health insurance. The new system

that would replace Obamacare

would restrict the government’s role

in determining healthcare choices.

States now have the authority to

place work requirements on those

with Medicaid, in hopes of reducing

Medicaid spending.

biden: Biden wants a “Medicarelike

public option” to compete

alongside private insurance markets

for working-age Americans, while

increasing premium subsidies that

many working-class and middleclass

workers use already under the

Affordable Care Act. Biden estimates

that would cost about $750 billion

over 10 years. That positions Biden

between Trump, who wants to scrap

the 2010 law, and progressives who

want a single-payer system to replace

private insurance altogether. Biden

sees his approach as the next step

toward universal coverage and one he

could get through Congress.

Foreign Policy

trump: In his pledge to “Make

America Great Again,” Trump

believes the country should only

be involved in global affairs that

would benefit America’s economic

interests. He also believes the United

States should play a leadership role

in global affairs. He advocates for the

North Atlantic Treaty Organization

(NATO) to spend more on defense

instead of relying on the United

States to provide it financially. About

70 percent of defense spending is

contributed by the United States,

according to BBC. Trump fulfilled

his promise to withdraw the United

States from the Iran nuclear deal.

biden: Biden pledges to begin

“the day after the election” rebuilding

relationships with allies ruffled by

Trump’s approach. Biden’s top priority

is reestablishing the foundations

of NATO, the post-World War II

alliance of Western powers that

Biden said is necessary to counter

Russia’s aggressive, expansionist aims

in Eastern Europe and Asia. Biden

said he would immediately confront

Russian President Vladimir Putin

about his country’s interference in

U.S. elections. Biden pledges to

“end forever wars” but clarifies that

U.S. Special Forces — as opposed

to large-scale ground missions —

remain a vital part of world stability.

He calls for rebuilding a decimated

U.S. diplomatic corps, rejoining the

Paris climate accord and pushing

China and other large economies to

reduce carbon pollution.

Climate Change

biden: The battle against climate

change is a priority for Biden. He

advocates for a plan that endorses 100

percent carbon-free energy and netzero

carbon emissions by 2050. Fossil

fuels would not be eliminated

immediately, but instead gradually

decline in usage. Fossil fuels subsidies

would end and clean energy would

replace them. Biden also envisions

supporting federal funding for carbon

capture and sequestration programs to

reduce carbon gas emissions.

trump: The United States

withdrew from the Paris Climate

Agreement shortly after Trump took

office. The agreement is based on

reducing greenhouse gas emissions to

combat climate change. However, the

withdrawal will not occur until after

the presidential election. Trump also

plans on eliminating the Clean Power

Plan, which proposes moving states to

renewable energy. Trump is a promoter

for oil, gas, and coal production. He

recently finalized plans for opening

public land to oil and gas drilling.





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Election Roundup Chaldeans in the Race


Clarence Dass Oakland County

Circuit Court Judge

You may have seen some yard signs

bearing his name. Clarence Dass is

running for Circuit Court Judge in

Oakland County. For nearly five years,

Dass served as Assistant Prosecuting

Attorney for the county. He prosecuted

thousands of crimes, gaining

experience at all levels of the criminal

justice system. Because of his early

success, work ethic, and passion for the

law, Dass was promoted to the Special

Victims Section of the Prosecutor’s

Office. As a Special Prosecutor, he

handled the most complex and serious

crimes in Oakland County, ranging

from child and elder abuse to sexual

assault, domestic violence, and murder.

By the time Dass left the prosecutor’s

office to practice law, he had worked

with virtually every police agency,

probation department, and court

system in Oakland County.

“I am honored and humbled that

Oakland County voters nominated

me for the general election on

November 3rd,” says Dass. “I will

continue to spread my message until

then, and encourage everyone to

vote in this very important race.”

Klint Kesto - Oakland County

Commissioner - 5th District

Oakland County’s 5th district is

composed of Keego Harbor, Orchard

Lake Village, Sylvan Lake and

portions of Waterford and West

Bloomfield Township. Klint Kesto

will face off against incumbent

Commissioner Kristen Nelson in the

November 3rd race.

Kesto is a former Republican

member of the Michigan House

of Representatives, representing

District 39 from 2013 to 2018.

Unable to run for re-election in

2018 to the Michigan House of

Representatives because of term

limits, Kesto was the first Chaldean

member of the Legislature.

For more than five years, Kesto

served as a prosecuting attorney

with the Wayne County Prosecutor’s

office, previously working for the

U.S. Department of Energy and the

U.S. Department of Justice. Skilled in

immigration law, torts, trial practice,

construction law, and pleadings,

Kesto graduated from Wayne State

Clarence Dass

Klint Kesto

University Law School. He is a

member of the Chaldean American

Chamber of Commerce and a member

of the Chaldean Bar Association, of

the American Bar Association and of

the state Bar of Michigan.

Eric Esshaki U.S. Representative

(Republican) 11th District

The 11th district is composed of

several major cities, including

Birmingham, Bloomfield Hills,

Canton, Farmington, Novi,

Rochester Hills, Troy, Waterford,

and West Bloomfield. Eric Esshaki, a

first generation American, is hoping

to represent that district.

Eric’s father, Steve Esshaki, is a

Chaldean who emigrated from Iraq

in the 1970s because he believed in

the American Dream. His mother

Denise Esshaki grew up in Southgate,

Michigan, and that is where Eric’s

parents settled down to raise a family.

Eric and his two siblings attended

church every Sunday at the same

church that his mother grew up in.

Their parents instilled in them a

strong work ethic and the value of

being self-sufficient.

Eric Esshaki

Jim Manna

After obtaining his practical nursing

license, Eric started working at a nursing

home. Soon after being promoted, Eric

began to discover egregious violations

that posed significant risks to the

elderly patients he cared for. Unwilling

to turn a blind eye to those violations,

Eric reported them to the Michigan

Department of Community Health.

Eric was terminated shortly afterwards

and subsequently filed a lawsuit against

his former employer. This became a

key moment in Eric’s career. It is when

he realized the necessary power of law

to solve injustices. So he went to law


Esshaki is looking forward to

putting up a strong campaign in

November. “This is the greatest

country in the world, imagine 40

years ago, my father emigrated from

Iraq. Now, I have a real chance

to make history this November

by becoming the first Chaldean-

American ever elected to Congress.”

Susan Kattula Warren

Consolidated School Board

Warren Consolidated Schools is

located in both Macomb County

and Oakland County, Michigan. In

the 2011-2012 school year, Warren

Consolidated Schools was the 10thlargest

school district in Michigan

and served 15,414 students.

The members of the Board of

Education are elected representatives

who create the policies that govern

the school district. The Board is made

up of seven members serving six-year

terms of office; The Board elects its

own officers to serve for one year. It is

the entire Board that creates policies

and reviews school district operations

to evaluate their success.

Susan Kattula, current Vice

President, has served on the board

since 2005. She won her current

6-year term in 2014, and is hoping to

continue her service to the schools

and the community.

Jim Manna West Bloomfield


Jim Manna is Broker and founder of

Level Plus Realty. He was elected as

a trustee in West Bloomfield in 2016.

Manna, a Democrat, is one of the

“dream team,” the West Bloomfield

governing body that works together

with no bipartisan bickering, a change

from the norm. In February, the

candidates endorsed each other in the

hopes that they will continue to work

together efficiently and peacefully.

Manna made it through the

primary in August with 24 percent of

the vote, and is hoping to continue

to serve.

Ashley Attisha City Council,

Keego Harbor

Ashley Attisha is making a bid for

City Council in Keego Harbor. Her

mission is to continue growing Keego

Harbor into a sustainable, friendly

and walkable neighborhood where

the community supports and enjoys

local businesses, parks and beaches

along the shores of the lakes.

An experienced attorney and

grant writer, Attisha has a work history

in the private sector, nonprofit and

government. Her law practice focuses

on complex real estate transactions,

mortgage law, and landlord/tenant

law and her non-profit work includes

designing programs, writing grants,

and implementing programs for

vulnerable communities.

“As we head towards the November

election we need to respect each other,

listen to each other, and learn from each

other,” says Attisha. “Most importantly,

we need to show up, represent our

community, and vote.”









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Chaldeans in Europe: Part I - Pioneers & Frontiers


When we hear the term

Chaldean pioneers,” we

tend to think of history

and the individuals one or two

generations back who left Iraq and

came to the U.S. and other places to

start anew.

But the original pioneers were foot

soldiers, going out ahead of the rest of

the troops to prepare the way. They

were trend-setters, the first among

their kind in the field of inquiry,

enterprise, and development. The

Chaldeans who came to America

in the 16th century and those who

followed, traveling west in the 19th

and 20th centuries, write a dramatic

chapter in a heroic story.

We do not have precise

information about all of the

pioneering immigrants to Europe

from the Christian villages of

Nineveh; however, the story starts

with two major characters - a priest

who became a prominent pioneer

in the Americas, and an adventurer

who consorted with queens and

crowned herself a princess.

The First Pioneers

Historians record the first Chaldean

pioneers as a priest named Elyas

ibn Hanna al-Musili, (Elyas, son of

John of Mosul) and a woman named

Maria Theresa Asmar from the

village of Telkaif. Elyas left Baghdad

in 1668 on a journey that carried

him to Europe and as far away as the

Americas. Maria Theresa was born

in 1804, when her village was part

of the Ottoman Empire, and moved

to Baghdad as an orphan before

traveling to Lebanon and beyond.

Both Elyas and Maria were more

adventurers than immigrants.

Elyas ibn Hanna al-Musili

Elyas bin Hanna al-Musili al-Chaldani

was born into the Abouna family. He

is considered the first Chaldean to

travel to Europe and the American

continent, and is most certainly the

first to record his observations about

his travels, making him famous to this

day. Information about his personal

life is scarce; we do not know his date

of birth nor the date of his death.

However, we do know that he lived

during the reign of Patriarch Ilia VIII


In 1668, Al-Musili left Baghdad

for Al-Quds Al-Sharif (Jerusalem).

He then went to Aleppo in Syria,

traveling through Iskenderun to

Cyprus, where he sailed to Venice

and the Vatican, and from there to

France and Spain. Finally, he sailed

from Cadiz in Spain, Portugal,

passing through the Canary

Islands, arriving in Venezuela. He

traveled to Panama, Colombia,

Peru, Bolivia, Argentina and

Chile, returning to Lima, Peru to

write the details of his first trip.

Beginning in 1680, Al- Musili

started writing what he called his

“Book of Travels” as well as “A

History of the New World,” the

earliest known Arabic account of

the Americas. Al-Musili tailored

his message specifically to an

audience of Eastern Christians

living on the borderlands between

the Ottoman Empire and Persia,

seeking to demonstrate the

importance of integrating the

scattered writings of Eastern

Christian travelers into Ottoman

exchanges with the wider world.

Prompted by his deep devotion

to Eastern religious rituals, Al-

Musili held Mass in the presence

of the Pope and also King Louis

the IV of France, with whom he

established a close friendship.

Thereafter, he went to Spain,

meeting the queen and reciting

Eastern songs and hymns in the

presence of her son. The queen,

moved by his recital of the hymns,

helped him continue his voyage to

the Americas (after staying as a guest

of honor for seven months at the

royal palace).

Ten years later, Al-Musili returned

to Spain and then Italy, where he

met Pope Innocent the Twelfth

(1615-1700). According to reliable

sources, Elyas made three trips to

Rome, but only on his second trip

did he continue on to the Americas.

At that time, voyages across the

Atlantic Ocean were organized every

three years in convoys of 15 or more


In 1905, the Jesuit scholar Antûn

Rabbât discovered the writings of

Elyas Al-Musili in a Jacobite diocese

in Aleppo, Syria. The discovery was

exciting as it showed the perspective

of Al-Musili, a seventeenth-century

priest of the Chaldean Church

who traveled widely across colonial

Spanish America and became the

first person to visit the Americas

from Baghdad.

Rabbât transcribed the writings

into Arabic and published those

Maria Theresa Asmar

portions relating to Al-Musili’s

travels, which shared his perceptions

of native peoples and their customs,

beliefs, and treatment by Spanish

conquistadors. Perhaps because of

the uniqueness and significance

of his journey, Al-Musili was both

supported by the Pope and authorized

by the Queen Regent of Spain.

The book is entitled, “An

Arab’s Journey to Colonial Spanish

America: The Travels of Elyas Al-

Musili in the Seventeenth Century.”

It provides thoughtful descriptions

of high-level officials and clerics in

the New World, and is a rare insight

into a voyage that would turn into a

twelve-year adventure.

The Russian orientalist

Krachkovsky speculates that Al-

Musili spent the rest of his life in

Rome, and he provides what he

sees as proof of that with an Arabic

prayer book printed in Rome in the

year 1692. This book includes the

titles that both the Pope and the

Emperor of Spain gave to Al-Musili,

including, “The bearer of the cross

Mar Peter, Count Palatino, Priest of

the Church of the King of Spain.”

The researcher added that the

second journey took 15 years of the

priests’ life - deemed to be quite

an adventure for a cleric from the

village of Alqoush! Al-Musili’s

journey was analogous to the

adventures of the famous traveler

Ibn Battuta, the Berber Moroccan

scholar and explorer who widely

travelled the medieval world and

wrote about it.

Al-Musili walked through

desserts, climbed mountains,

crossed rivers, seas, oceans,

passed through jungles, beastinhabited

woods, and spent

many nights inside caves in a

very primitive setting.

The researcher concluded

that if Europeans are proud of

Christopher Columbus (1447-

1506), Chaldeans cannot be

less proud of Elyas ibn Hanna

Al-Musili, the first from the East

to undertake an adventurous

voyage some 350 years ago, 170

years after the discovery of the


Maria Theresa Asmar

Maria Theresa Asmar (18041870)

was an ethnic Chaldean from Tel-

Kaif in the Ottoman Empire. She is

credited to have written “Memoirs of

a Babylonian Princess,” consisting of

two volumes and 720 pages. Written in

the early 19th century and translated

into English in 1844, the book

describes her travels through Turkey,

Syria, Lebanon, and Palestine.

Asmar was born in Telkaif,

moving to Baghdad after the

outbreak of the plague and death of

her parents. From there, she moved

to Lebanon and by special favor was

able to live in the house of religion

(Beit-eldin). She eventually became

the adopted daughter of Prince

Bashir Al-Din.

Asmar, faced with tremendous

obstacles both as a Chaldean

Christian and a woman, set up a school

for women in Baghdad and welcomed

western Christian missionaries with



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open arms. This was her undoing

as the missionaries then bribed

the Turkish government to give

them the license for the school and

also forbid Maria to carry on with her

project. Left frustrated and angry to

have been treated this way by fellow

Christians, she eventually took

refuge with the Emir Beschir, the

governor of Lebanon.

From Lebanon, she moved to

Europe where she was repeatedly

robbed, falling into poverty. The

dethroned Governor Emir Beschir

also fell into poverty, leaving Maria

with no financial support.

After twelve years in Europe,

Asmar wrote her book - an account

of the events that led up to that

point, her survival, and how her

family became martyrs.

With nothing to lose, Asmar

traveled to Italy and searched for a

monastery to join, but her attempt

to become a nun was unsuccessful.

While in Rome, on November 30,

1836, she received a medal from

Pope Gregory VI for her work with

young women. Cardinal Ezonolli

recalled Asmar’s enthusiasm, “This

woman was determined to devote

herself to helping and educating girls

in the Catholic East.”

Near the end of the year 1837,

Asmar met two priests in Rome.

The first was Fr. Michael Aoun and

other, Fr. Toma Al-Alqoushi. The

priests had obtained approval from

Cardinal Odessa, the representative

of the pontiff, to collect donations

for the Monastery of Mar-Hormzid in

Alqoush. Miss Asmar was assigned

the order and she accepted the task

to fulfill the mission request.

In 1838, Asmar traveled to France

and opened a girl’s school. In 1840,

she moved to London and met Queen

Victoria, where she presented herself

as the Babylonian Princess, “Theresa,

the daughter of Prince Abdullah

Asmar.” Queen Victoria promptly

gave Asmar fifty golden pounds.

In 1844-1845 her notes (all 760

pages) were printed in English, in

two volumes entitled “Babylonian

Princess” and “Voice from the

East” (or “Prophecy and Legacy”).

Publishing the works was an appeal

to the women of England to help in

the revival of the Catholic East. A

copy of the book was presented to

Queen Victoria.

At the time, despite her

popularity, Asmar faced great

difficulties in paying the costs of

printing her books. The British court

seized her property, and as a result

she fell ill and depressed, choosing to

remain hidden from view as a result

of this shock.

In 1847, the British Consul in

France noted that Maria Asmar was

staying in Paris. After a short period

she returned to Britain. After staying

ten years there, she obtained British

citizenship on October 17, 1850. In

1853, she moved to France again and

in Paris obtained a document from

the Turkish ambassador, allowing

non-intervention and free travel

within the Ottoman region. Asmar

intended to travel to Switzerland,

Austria, and Italy.

Little is documented about that

period until 1870, when she was

found living again in Paris, France.

Maria Theresa Asmar, known as

‘Babylon’s Princess in Europe,’ died in

France that year before the beginning

of the Franco-Prussian War. In her

will, she left a portion of her wealth

of 5,000 piasters (Ottoman Turk

or Qirshes currency) to restore the

Church of the Apostles Peter and

Paul in Telkaif. She requested that

her body be buried in the churchyard

of Telkaif.

Pioneers And Frontiers

These early pioneers forged the way

for those that followed, creating a

trend for coping with such frontier

realities as overcoming language

barriers, financial challenges and

geographic challenges, such as no

roads or bridges. With no guarantees

of any sort, all the while they let no

obstacle deter or defeat them. Al-

Musili and Asmar were dauntless

pioneers who overcame incredible

hardships to establish a foothold

based on ideals and courage; a base

that would come to define our


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Who’s Got Your Vote?

When we asked, “Who are you voting for in the Presidential election and why?” we were expecting some controversial

answers. The Chaldean News does not endorse any political candidate, but we do invite your feedback. Please send any

Letters to the Editor to

I am voting for Donald Trump because

he’s the only candidate in decades to

not get poisoned by Washington and

corrupted by its politicians. He fights

for small businesses and the economic

stimulation of small communities

around the country. His values are

the safety and stability of the working

class, peace through strength, law and

order, and economic independence.

Anthony Kesto, 21,

Shelby Township

After witnessing four years of President

Trump, I am extremely confident in

my decision to vote for Joe Biden this

Election Day. During most elections in

my lifetime, I have scoffed at the fact

that you’re choosing the “lesser of two

evils,” but this time I am celebrating

it. Trump has major influence but four

more years of him riling up his base

with ridiculous conspiracy theories

and lies is going to do real harm to this


Halim Sheena, 27, Royal Oak

On November 3, 2020, I will vote to

re-elect President Trump because his

administration has and will continue to

restore our nation’s faith, protect the

unborn, protect our borders, secure

jobs, strengthen our military and law

enforcement, appoint outstanding

federal judges, and protect our right

to bear arms. Donald Trump puts

America first.

Raghed Samona, 45, Commerce

I am voting for Joe Biden because

of his commitment to healthcare.

America’s cost of healthcare is

more than every other country in

the world. Americans across the

country are forced to give up on their

health because of healthcare costs.

Obamacare, while imperfect, is the

best we have managed to do. I will

vote for Biden on the promise he

has made to protect it and hopefully

improve it.

Dominic Arida, 23, Warren

I will be voting for Biden/Harris

because I realized that a 3rd party

vote is a waste of my vote. Trump has

handled the COVID-19 pandemic in

an extremely unprofessional manner,

disrespecting top leading experts.

You can say good things about

Trump, such as the Israel/Bahrain/

UAE Abraham accord, the war against

the outsourcing of jobs to China, the

immigration ban of certain Middle

Eastern countries during time of war

against ISIS, but all those things don’t

make up for his lying on the daily.

Luay Hermiz, 28, West Bloomfield

I want a leader who will protect the

unborn by making sure their mothers

have exemplary and affordable

healthcare, equitable pay, expanded

access to education and training,

low-cost childcare, and paid leave.

He will protect her from abuse and

discrimination. He will empower her to

make sensitive medical decisions with

her doctor, not the government. He will

invest in her children, not in his golf

course. That leader is Joe Biden.

Crystal Kassab Jabiro, 41,

Commerce Township

I am voting for Donald Trump for this

upcoming presidential election. He is

the best presidential candidate for the

election because he possesses no

filter, he is a polarizing figure and has a

confidence level that is truly unmatched.

His transparency and free expression

might forever change the way the

American public engages with their

public officials. His decision-making has

caused our economy to rise to numbers

we have not seen in years.

Jullian Thomas, 27, West Bloomfield

I will be voting for Donald Trump. I am

voting for Trump because throughout

his first four years of presidency, I have

noticed a huge rise in the economy

and most importantly, he is against

abortion. He plans to completely

defund Planned Parenthood.

Nathan Kiriakoza, 27,

Sterling Heights


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and refer

a friend!

Now more than ever,

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Contact Sana Navarrette at

or 248-851-1200 for more information







As our Nation plans

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please consider

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many new Americans.


The Career Services Team

at the Chaldean Community

Foundation offers one-on-one

assistance to help individuals

identify their goals and

develop their careers.


• Resume Building and Cover Letter Writing

• Job Application Completion

• FAFSA Completion

• Mock Interviews

• Employer Referrals

• Training Opportunities

• Career Fairs

• Access to Transportation via the

Michael J George Chaldean Loan Fund

To inquire about hiring one of our clients and having your business added to our job bank,

please call or email Elias at 586-722-7253 or







Your Home


or I’ll Buy It!

844-SOLD-BY-Z •

Phone: (248) 851-2227

(248) 851-BCBS

Fax: (248) 851-2215


Professional Insurance Planners

Individual & Group Health Plans

Medicare Supplement Plans

31000 Northwestern Hwy. • Suite 110

Farmington Hills, Ml 48334

Over 40 years of experience.


Financial GrouP, llc

MOrTGaGE brOKEr NMLS 128686

GabE GabriEl

NMLS 128715

30095 Northwestern Hwy, ste. 103

Farmington Hills , Michigan 48334

Office (248) 737-9500

Direct (248) 939-1985

Fax (248) 737-1868


Jason S. Samona, D.O.

Orthopedic Surgery

Hand, Elbow and Shoulder Surgeon

Auburn Hills

3100 Cross Creek Pkwy

Suite 150



11012 E. 13 Mile Rd

Suite 112


West Bloomfield

2300 Haggerty Rd

Suite 1110


Safaa Macany

VP of Mortgage


o: (248) 216-1255

c: (248) 229-4422

1700 W. Big Beaver

Suite 225

Troy, MI 48084

Guaranteed Rate NMLS: 2611 • NMLS ID: 138658, LO#: MI - 138658

Experience • Knowledge • Personal Service

Experience • Knowledge • Personal Service




1% OF






COUNTY 1993 2015


ALL2015 STAR 2019






Proudly serving Birmingham,

Bloomfield, Proudly Farmington serving Birmingham, Hills, Bloomfield,

Farmington Hills, West Bloomfield, the

Proudly serving Birmingham,

Each office is independently

West Bloomfield, the Lakes

Bloomfield, Lakes and Farmington surrounding areas.

Owned and Operated Brian S. Yaldoo and surrounding areas. Hills,

Each office is independently Associated Broker West Bloomfield, the Lakes

Owned and OperatedBrian BrianS. Office (248)737-6800 • Mobile Yaldoo

(248)752-4010and surrounding areas.

Toll Associated Free (866) 762-3960


Email: Websites:

Office Office (248)

(248)737-6800 • Mobile (248)752-4010


Toll Free (866) 762-3960

Email: Websites:

Email: Websites:

Each office is independently

Owned and Operated







Jaguar Land Rover Troy

Sammi A. Naoum

1815 Maplelawn Drive

Troy, MI 48084

TEL 248-341-8015

MOBILE 248-219-5525



3601 15 Mile Road

Sterling Heights, MI 48310

TEL: (586) 722-7253

FAX: (586) 722-7257

HealtH Insurance

& MedIcare specIalIst

stephen M. George

office 248-535-0444

fax 248-633-2099

Contact me for a free consultation

on Health Care Reform, Medicare

and Life Insurance











TEL: (248) 996-8340 CELL: (248) 925-7773

FAX: (248) 996-8342

Twitter: @ChaldeanChamber

Instagram: @ChaldeanAmericanChamber



30095 Northwestern Highway, Suite 101

Farmington Hills, MI 48334

CELL (248) 925-7773

TEL (248) 851-1200

FAX (248) 851-1348


for As little As $ 85

in our business directory section!

to place your ad, contact us today!

phone: 248-851-8600 fax: 248-851-1348

30095 Northwestern Highway, Suite 101

Farmington Hills, MI 48334


Keeping Up With The Chaldeans

Keeping up with the Chaldeans (KUWTC) is a weekly podcast hosted by Anthony Toma and Junior Binno. This podcast

highlights members of the Chaldean community. This is a roundup of some of the latest KUWTC interviews.


Anthony and Junior got the great opportunity

to sit down with Senator Peter Lucido,

who is now running for Macomb County

Prosecutor. Lucido wants to expose the corruption

in our justice system, and talks about how

he will help the community as a whole.


Terence Mekoski, running for Macomb

County Sheriff, visits the guys and talks

about the county and what it needs in a sheriff.

Terry wants to make sure that justice is distributed

fairly throughout all of the diverse people

of Macomb and says he has the experience to

do it right.


Current Macomb County Treasurer Larry

Rocca visits the show to promote his reelection

campaign. In these uncertain times, we

need all the information we can get. If voted in,

Larry will continue his efforts to make sure residents

are not evicted from their homes.

Peter Lucido

Larry Rocca

Terence Mekoski



Therapy can be a big step toward being the healthiest

version of yourself and living the best life possible—our

professional therapists are here for you to access.

Through therapy, you can change self-destructive

behaviors and habits, resolve painful feelings,

improve your relationships, and share your

feelings and experiences. Individuals often

seek therapy for help with issues that may be

hard to face alone.

For Your Best Health.

In therapy your trilingual therapist will help you

to establish person centered goals and determine

the steps you will take to reach those goals. Your

relationship with your therapist is confidential and

our common therapeutic goal for those we engage

is to inspire healthy change to improve quality of

life - no matter the challenge.

We invite you seek out the Light of Project Light!

Serving individuals ages 13 years and up. Please call

to request a Project Light Intake at (586) 722-7253.


3601 15 MILE ROAD



(586) 722-7253

CONFIDENTIALITY AND PRIVACY: The CCF and Project Light is committed to your privacy and confidentiality and

are sensitive to the stigma and stress that come with seeking mental health support. Therefore, all counseling records

are kept strictly confidential. Information is not shared without client’s written consent. Exceptions to confidentiality are

rare and include persons who threaten safety of themselves others or in circumstances of a court order.







Stride for Seminarians

Stride for Seminarians is an annual benefit in support of the Chaldean Seminarian

Fund, established in loving memory of Alexander and Gabrielle Mansour. Annual

costs per seminarian for education, room, and board exceed $30,000. 100 percent

of the event proceeds raised each year goes toward the Chaldean Seminarian Fund.

This year, the Stride for Seminarians looked a little different. Participants walked in the

area of their choice from 9am until 1pm. Free breakfast and lunch were provided at select

locations, and Mass was held in the Mother of God parking lot at 2pm, where Bishop

Francis introduced newly ordained priests Fr. Kevin Yono and Fr. Marcus Shammami.

1. The Stride for Seminarians annual event

helps raise funds for the Chaldean Diocese

seminarian fund and pay for seminarian

schooling. Seminarians from left to right:

Namir Narra, Rami Kina, Yousif Habeeb, Lucian

Gumma, Matthew Bakkal, Eddie Dickow,

Joseph Nannoshi, Brandon Elias.

2. After walking and praying together in their

own communities, families gathered together

at Mother of God’s church parking lot to

celebrate Sunday Mass with Bishop Francis


3. Scott and Renee Yaldo with daughters Raya

and Reece, son Ryder and baby Rocco.

4. Chaldean faithful hold signs in support of

Stride for Seminarians in honor of Alexander

and Gabrielle Mansour. From left to right: Sally

Najor, Ibtihal Atisha, Nancy Beba.

5. At the conclusion of Mass, families showed

their support for our seminarians by honking

their horns and giving a round of applause.




Questions? Call 844-Yalla-US (844-925-5287).

#YallaVote's bilingual Arabic/English election protection hotline.





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