Chaldean News – November 2020

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VOL. 17 ISSUE X

METRO DETROIT CHALDEAN COMMUNITY NOVEMBER 2020

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SAVIOR OF SACRED RELICS

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WAYS TO GIVE BACK


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NOVEMBER 2020 CHALDEAN NEWS 3


CONTENTS NOVEMBER 2020

THE CHALDEAN NEWS VOLUME 17 ISSUE X

28 35

departments

6 FROM THE EDITOR

BY PAUL JONNA

Democracy in the Modern Age

on the cover

18 THE ARCHBISHOP OF MOSUL:

SAVIOR OF SACRED RELICS IS

RECOGNIZED INTERNATIONALLY

BY ADHID MIRI, PHD AND SARAH KITTLE

features

22 ARK ANGEL FUND

BY PAUL NATINSKY

New Angel Fund investment group

created by Chaldean Chamber

24 A CHALDEAN THANKSGIVING

BY CHRISTINA AYAR

New recipe brings historical dish to modern times

26 ALEXANDER THE GREAT:

THE END OF BABYLON

BY ADHID MIRI, PHD

The story of this historic figure and

how he ties in to Chaldean culture

18

7 YOUR LETTERS

8 FOUNDATION UPDATE

10 CHALDEAN DIGEST

Who will get the Chaldean vote?

Vandalism in California churches

Backing Eric Esshaki

14 FAMILY TIME

BY DANIELLE ALEXANDER

How to Give Back Safely

16 IN MEMORIAM

17 OBITUARY: DANIAL JADDOU

28 CULTURE & HISTORY

BY CRYSTAL JABIRO

Peter Essa: Honoring a WWII Veteran

30 CHALDEANS AROUND THE WORLD

BY ADHID MIRI, PHD

Chaldeans in Europe Part II: France

32 CHALDEAN ON THE STREET

“If there were a COVID-19 vaccine,

would you get it and why/why not?”

34 DOCTOR IS IN

DR. BRANDON KARMO

Wellness Exams: How a Visit

to the Doctor Could Save Your Life

35 ECONOMICS & ENTERPRISE

BY PAUL NATINSKY

Urban Air is Back Aloft

36 KEEPING UP WITH THE CHALDEANS

38 EVENT

PPE Giveaway

NOVEMBER 2020 CHALDEAN NEWS 5


from the EDITOR

PUBLISHED BY

Chaldean News, LLC

Chaldean Community Foundation

Martin Manna

EDITORIAL

ACTING EDITOR IN CHIEF

Paul Jonna

MANAGING EDITOR

Sarah Kittle

CONTRIBUTING WRITERS

Danielle Alexander

Azal Arabo

Christina Ayar

Crystal Jabiro

Dr. Brandon Karmo

Sarah Kittle

Adhid Miri, PhD

Paul Natinsky

ART & PRODUCTION

CREATIVE DIRECTOR

Alex Lumelsky with SKY Creative

GRAPHIC DESIGNER

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Chaldean News

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Farmington Hills, MI 48334

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Phone: (248) 851-8600

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

monthly; Issue Date: October 2020

Subscriptions:

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Permit to mail at periodicals postage rates

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Postmaster: Send address changes to

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Defending Democracy

Can we talk about democracy?

Having open

discussions with an an exchange

of ideas is central

to democracy. Everyone,

and I mean everyone has

an opinion, and this is

key they have a right to

that opinion. Free thought,

freedom of expression, free

speech; these all exist in our

America.

Although I wasn’t born in Iraq,

I’ve heard enough stories about suppression,

oppression and tyranny to

know how lucky I am to live here in

these United States. Our two-party

system isn’t perfect, but it’s the best

ever created by man, and the fact

that we have a choice at all is something

we should not take for granted.

As a trained attorney, I know

PAUL JONNA

ACTING EDITOR

IN CHIEF

about the importance of

debate and listening to others.

Opinions are formed in

the process of open discussion.

Healthy disagreement

leads to compromise, and

divergence of views can enrich

our history and culture,

but only if a mutual respect

exists between the debating

parties.

Democracy, or the government

“of the people, by

the people, for the people” has existed

in its current incarnation for

just over 200 years in America. For

it to continue, we need to remember

that hand-in-hand with democratic

values, we must value respect. Selfrespect

guides our morals and respect

for others guides our manners.

We’ve heard from some of you,

our readers, who’ve written in with

opinions on articles and topics we’ve

covered. We appreciate each and every

one of you and value your opinions.

We know that many people

have different beliefs, even those

who share common values. Let’s not

let those differences divide us.

We cannot allow democracy to

suffer because we can’t agree. Civil

discourse may not be the norm nowadays,

but I propose we bring it back.

Let’s stick to the issues and make our

best decision based on policy, not

personality.

Remember, democracy is something

we aspire to.

With Gratitude,

Paul Jonna

Acting Editor in Chief

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6 CHALDEAN NEWS NOVEMBER 2020


your LETTERS

Single Issue Voting?

Dear Chaldean News Editors,

I thank Fr. Shammami for

discussing in the last publication

the issue of single-issue voting,

although I respectfully reach a

different conclusion than his.

First, the piece does not take

into account that if abortion is

outlawed, it will simply move

underground to be performed

in ways unsafe for the woman.

There is also an implied assumption

in his piece that if

one votes for pro-life candidates

and if those win, abortion will

stop, but that it will increase if

we vote for pro-choice candidates.

But history does not support

such an assumption. Since

the 1970s, most Supreme Court

Justices have been selected by

Republican Presidents; yet those

Judges continued to uphold Roe

vs. Wade (the decision which

allowed a woman to terminate

pregnancy within the first 12

weeks). A possible reason is that

the Court reflects the view of

the majority of Americans that

termination of pregnancy during

the very early embryo stage is not

equivalent to a killing of a baby.

Another statistic is that abortion

dropped under Democratic presidents

more than under Republicans.

Why? I believe the reason

is that Democrats are more

interested in reducing unwanted

pregnancies by funding proper

sex education and providing the

means to avoid unwanted pregnancies.

On the other hand, I am

convinced that for many Republican

politicians, pro-life stands

are a vote-getting strategy, with

little effort to actually reduce

unwanted pregnancies. That is

why I believe a single-issue voting

is a poor choice, as one is

letting himself be manipulated

by politicians, not all of whom

believe in what they claim.

Respectfully,

N. Peter Antone

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NOVEMBER 2020 CHALDEAN NEWS 7


CCF update

Breast Cancer Awareness Month

In an effort to raise awareness about the importance of annual health

screenings, the CCF partnered with Ascension on October 20 to provide

mammograms to women in need through Ascensions Mobile Mammography

unit. Pre-screened individuals were seen by appointment in a private

setting. Each woman received a PPE kit to take home.

CCF Supercuts

Gives First Haircut

CCF’s Supercuts barbershop was

developed to give those with special

needs a safe and quiet environment

to get a haircut. Many of

those suffering from sensory issues

have difficulty during a haircut, as

they do not like anyone touching

their head. CCF’s Supercuts

schedules one-hour appointments

to ensure a one-on-one haircutting

experience that is noise and

stress free and introduces each

piece of styling equipment to the

client before use.

Flu Vaccination Drive

The Chaldean Community Foundation

hosted flu vaccination drives on

Wednesday October 14, 2020 and

Thursday, October 22 at the new Ascension

Primary Health Care clinic,

part of the new facility expansion. PPE

kits were provided to individuals who

received the flu vaccination.

Flu vaccinations will be administered

to the public free of charge

throughout the months of October

and November. Help the fight

against COVID-19 by getting your

flu shot! For more information, contact

the Ascension Primary Care

Clinic at 586-738-9475.

CCF assists PBJ

Outreach, INC

in Detroit

On Saturday September 26, 2020,

staff from the Chaldean Community

Foundation provided and distributed

100 bags filled with personal protection

equipment to individuals attending

the PBJ outreach program

in Detroit. The PBJ outreach program

provides food, refreshments,

and hospitality to 150 200 homeless

and impoverished individuals in

downtown Detroit each Saturday.

Their mission is to provide dignity

and respect to people who do not

receive it regularly. The Chaldean

Community Foundation was proud

to partner with and assist such a

wonderful program.

Personal

Protective

Equipment

Giveaway

The Chaldean Community

Foundation hosted two PPE

Giveaway and Voter Registration

events at their location

on August 12 and September

22nd. Over the course of both

afternoons, CCF handed out

more than 1,300 kits filled with

hand sanitizer, face masks, alcohol

pads, face shield and thermometers

and registered more

than 50 people to vote. CCF

efforts are aimed at helping the

community stay safe. Are you

in need of PPE? Stay tuned to

CCF’s Facebook, Instagram

and Twitter pages to learn more

about upcoming giveaways.

8 CHALDEAN NEWS NOVEMBER 2020


CHALDEAN COMMUNITY

FOUNDATION

Help

Wanted?

As our Nation plans

to rebuild after this

unprecedented time,

please consider

investing in one of our

many new Americans.

HOW WE HELP:

The Career Services Team

at the Chaldean Community

Foundation offers one-on-one

assistance to help individuals

identify their goals and

develop their careers.

SERVICES INCLUDE:

• 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 elias.kattoula@chaldeanfoundation.org

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NOVEMBER 2020 CHALDEAN NEWS 9


chaldean DIGEST

What others are saying about Chaldeans

PHOTO BY STEPHEN STARR

Biden Courts Muslim Vote but Not All Back Him

BY STEPHEN STARR

Abu Steif’s restaurant in Sterling Heights, north of downtown

Detroit, where there is a flourishing Arab-American

community.

Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden’s

campaign has expended much effort reaching out

to Muslim Americans, many of whom are of Arab

origin. Metro Detroit has the largest Middle Eastern

community in the U.S., and the community’s success

in business has more recently translated to political

clout on the national level. In 2018, Rashida

Tlaib, a Muslim of Palestinian descent who represents

several Detroit districts, was elected to the US

Vandalism at St. Peter Chaldean Catholic Diocese and

Our Mother of Perpetual Help Catholic Church

BY PHILLIP MOLNAR

Two Catholic churches in East

County, San Diego, California

reported that they had been vandalized

with swastikas and other

phrases painted across their exteriors,

sheriff’s officials said.

St. Peter Chaldean Catholic

Diocese in Rancho San Diego

shared a video of the graffiti

on its Facebook page Saturday

morning, which had been shared

more than 1,000 times by early

afternoon.

The vandalism included

symbols and phrases of conflicting

ideology: swastikas and

pentagrams were painted alongside

the phrases “white power,”

“BLM” for Black Lives Matter

and “Biden 2020.” The Nazi

symbol, used to target Jewish

people, was most prevalent.

“It makes zero sense,” said Fr.

Daniel Shaba of St. Peter. “As

much as I’ve tried to logically

piece it together, it just makes

no sense to me.”

“Right now, what we are

telling the community to do is

to pray for more peace in the

House of Representatives. Tlaib was the first Muslim

to enter the state legislature and the joint-first

Muslim from an immigrant background elected to

Congress, alongside Ilhan Omar of Minnesota.

However, not all Arab Americans are likely to

back Biden. Many, especially the almost 2 millionstrong

Arab Christian community, could lean towards

Trump due, in part, to his verbal promises to

help Christians in Iraq. At a rally outside Detroit

last January, the president singled out the community

for praise. He said he would keep Michigan’s

“wonderful Iraqi Christians”, referring to the threat

of deportation facing hundreds of Christian immigrants

from Iraq.

For Abu Steif, who came to Michigan from Mosul

in 2013, public comments like this mean a lot.

A member of the Chaldean Catholic community,

he runs a restaurant in the Sterling Heights district

north of Detroit. He left the northern Iraqi city just

months before it fell to Islamic State insurgents.

“Donald Trump!” he exclaims, and is echoed by his

co-workers within earshot, when asked who he would

vote for on November 3rd. “He doesn’t like war; he

doesn’t like interfering in other countries. In the past,

America caused a lot of problems in the Arab world.”

IrishTimes.com

The Sheriff’s Department is investigating graffiti on St. Peter Chaldean

Catholic Diocese.

world, first and foremost,” he

said. “But, also the repentance

of these people that decided to

do this to the church.”

San Diego Union Tribune

COURTESY OF ST. PETER CHALDEAN CATHOLIC DIOCESE

CNS PHOTO/KAWA OMAR, REUTERS

Women mourn the death of a man who was killed

in a Turkish airstrike in late June in Sheladize, Iraq.

Priests say Turkish

attacks in northern Iraq

displace Christians

BY DALE GAVLAK

AMMAN, Jordan (CNS) — Iraqi Christian

priests warn that the latest Turkish military

attacks in northern Iraq are displacing Christians

and exacerbating a precarious security

situation.

“Already Christian villagers had to escape

their homes because of Turkish military

assaults last year on the pretext that those

forces were attacking the PKK (Kurdistan

Workers’ Party) fighters,” Father Emanuel

Youkhana told Catholic News Service by

phone.

Father Youkhana, a priest, or archimandrite,

of the Assyrian Church of the East,

runs Christian Aid Program Northern Iraq.

CAPNI aids Iraqi Christians and Yazidis uprooted

by Islamic State militants as well as

Syrian Christians and Kurds who escaped to

northern Iraq due to Turkey’s military invasion

of northeastern Syria.

Father Samir Yousef, a Chaldean Catholic

parish priest in the Diocese of Amadiyah,

said the areas where he serves “have been

bombed with greater intensity. Families have

been forced to flee their homes to escape

these attacks.”

Other Christians hoping to return to

their hometowns on the Ninevah Plain following

the area’s 2014 takeover by Islamic

State militants are also facing challenges,

said Father Youkhana. CAPNI and other

humanitarian organizations as well as the

Catholic Church are helping to rebuild the

communities’ lives, their homes, schools and

businesses burned and destroyed by the militants,

who also laid land mines in the area.

Only 45% of the original Christian community

has returned to the Ninevah Plain,

according to Aid to the Church in Need. The

Catholic group’s recent report said there were

102,000 Christians living there in 2014, but

their numbers have dwindled to 36,000 and

could plummet even further by 2024.

Catholic News Service

10 CHALDEAN NEWS NOVEMBER 2020


Franklin

Cider Mill

Wameedh Khalid Francis, 21, is one of 15 students attending St Peter’s Chaldean

Seminary in Ankawa.

Iraqi Seminarian speaks about

becoming a priest

BY SABAH

PHOTO CREDIT ASIA NEWS

Erbil (AsiaNews) In the current

context in Iraq and the world, the

priestly and monastic vocations are

“the pinnacle of love and service,”

said Wameedh Khalid Francis, age

21, one of 15 students attending St.

Peter’s Chaldean Seminary in Ankawa,

the Christian neighborhood

in Erbil, Iraqi Kurdistan.

Born in the village of Telskuf,

he underwent a life-changing experience

following the attack by

the Islamic State group in the summer

of 2014, which “destroyed everything,”

he told AsiaNews. “In a

dangerous context [caused by the

jihadi advance], the priest did his

utmost as an engineer and as the

humblest of workers: people turned

to him for everything.

“In this situation, I understood

the meaning of mission,” says Francis,

“For this reason, I urge young

people to undertake the loving

service that our world needs today.”

Recently, the Chaldean patriarch

Cardinal Louis Raphael Sako

Saving local newspapers

squeezed by hedge funds

BY STEVEN WALDMAN

launched an appeal saying that the

country and its Church need, “new

vocations, both male and female”.

Today Iraq is still in a critical

situation due to sectarian violence

and widespread corruption. The

Christian community must struggle

to keep its culture, presence and

traditions alive despite the massive

exodus of recent years.

To his peers, male or female,

Francis wants to show the beauty of

priestly service and consecrated life.

“Becoming a priest, a monk or a nun,”

says the seminarian, “means living

the Christian mission in its fullness.”

This “involves total service, even if

it has greater value and breadth for a

priest or a consecrated person” than

any other profession or lifestyle.

“To you, Christians and peoples

of the West, I ask you not to forget

us, and to always pray for us, that

peace may reign throughout the

East, so that Christians can finally

live in peace in their land.”

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The conversation about the crisis in

local news has tended to focus on two

solutions: helping create local news

startups and supporting local newspapers

still in existence. Each approach

has limitations and promise. Birthing

nonprofit news organizations is critically

important and valuable, but so

far there are far too few (around 300),

and their scale is small.

Could some of the 6,700 privately

owned newspapers be transformed

into more community-grounded institutions?

Just as sickly plants can

sometimes gain new life by being

watered and repotted in healthier

soil, could changing their ownership

structures and sources of nourishment

revive some dying newspapers?

Stakeholders in a community

could join together to create a

new entity. Perhaps this would be

driven and financed initially by one

of the 750 community or placebased

foundations in the country.

In Michigan, the Chaldean Community

Foundation purchased the

local newspaper, The Chaldean

News. They’re pledging to convert

it to a digital property and invest

more in local reporting.

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NOVEMBER 2020 CHALDEAN NEWS 11


chaldean DIGEST

What others are saying about Chaldeans

Eric Esshaki on the campaign trail

Middle East Eye

Trump-backed candidate hopes to become first

Iraqi Christian in Congress

BY ALI HARB

Eric Esshaki, a Republican running

for Congress in Michigan,

says his Iraqi-Christian

heritage taught him about hard

work, family and faith, and “the

value of the American dream”. The

36-year-old lawyer, who worked as

a registered nurse in his early 20s,

is backed by US President Donald

Trump to unseat Democratic Congresswoman

Haley Stevens.

If elected, he would become the

first Iraqi-Christian Chaldean to

serve in Congress. Michigan is home

to a large community of Chaldeans

- Iraqi Catholics who are mostly politically

conservative. “My dad came

here because he wanted to partake in

the American dream,” Esshaki told

MEE. “He knew that if he worked

hard and made sacrifices, it wouldn’t

be easy but that he could create a

better life for himself and his family,

and he passed those general sentiments

on to me.”

Despite the rampant anti-immigrant

rhetoric in his Republican

party, the candidate invoked his father

to assert conservative values.

“He knew that the American dream

wasn’t a handout from the government.

It was about having the opportunities,

and if you’re willing to

seize those opportunities and work

hard, you can do what you want to

do in this country.”

The Chaldean community

had favored Trump in 2016. Early

this year, the president vowed to

keep Michigan’s “wonderful” Iraqi

Christians in the country, but most

of those targeted for deportation

are still in drawn-out court battles

to secure their stay in the United

States.

PHOTO COURTESY OF ESSHAKI CAMPAIGN

The Detroit News

Editorial: Our pick

for Congress from

the 11th District

BY THE DETROIT NEWS

EDITORIAL STAFF

The 2018 Democratic landslide

in Michigan turned the 11th

Congressional District, a longstanding

Republican stronghold,

blue. Democrat Haley

Stevens won the seat and is

now completing her freshman

term. Stevens is a good retail

politician and has worked to

familiarize herself with the district.

She’s also a reliable vote

for House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s

progressive agenda.

The race this year presents

the 11th District with an opportunity

to return to its traditional

conservative roots, as

well as help provide a better

ideological balance to Congress.

Republican challenger Eric

Esshaki is a principled conservative

with a good feel for the

people of the district and the

challenges they face. He’s prolife,

pro-Second Amendment

and sees the nation’s monumental

debt as a threat to the

future of his two sons. That’s

how all Americans should

view today’s prolific unfunded

spending.

The district covers southern

Oakland and western

Wayne counties and comprises

one of the nation’s most diverse

and prosperous business

communities. Esshaki advocates

a review of regulations

impacting small businesses and

revoking those that impose a

needless burden. He supports

vigorous, legal immigration to

fuel growth. And he sees a limited

role for government in the

private economy.

Eric Esshaki has the potential

to become an influential,

young conservative voice in

Congress, and the voters of the

11th District should send him

there.

12 CHALDEAN NEWS NOVEMBER 2020


CHALDEAN COMMUNITY

FOUNDATION

STOP THE

SPREAD OF

COVID-19

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.

#MaskupMichigan

CHALDEAN COMMUNITY FOUNDATION 3601 15 MILE ROAD, STERLING HEIGHTS, MI 48310 586-722-7253 CHALDEANFOUNDATION.ORG

NOVEMBER 2020 CHALDEAN NEWS 13


FAMILY time

Safe Ways to Give Back

BY DANIELLE ALEXANDER

Although there’s definitely

a need for it year-round,

November seems to be the

month when my family partakes in

our annual acts of service. Because

of Covid-19, these acts will undoubtedly

look different this year than in

years past; nevertheless, whether

through the donation of goods, time,

knowledge and/or funds, there are

still plenty of opportunities for us

and others in the community to safely

give back in 2020.

Giving Goods

According to feedingamerica.org,

54 million people in America may

experience hunger because of Covid-19,

which is a 60% increase in the

number of people seeking help from

food banks. Donating to a food drive

or, if you feel comfortable, hosting

your own food drive would be a great

way to give back this year. Like many

metro Detroit churches, Our Lady of

Sorrows Church in Farmington hosts

an annual Thanksgiving Food Drive

where parishioners and students at

the school can bring in a variety of

goods to donate. Gift cards, especially

this year, are highly encouraged.

In hopes of inspiring a sense of giving

in our five-year-old daughter this

holiday season, one way I have decided

to give goods is by “Adopting a Child.”

We have received this child’s wishlist,

and my daughter and I have already

begun brainstorming what we will get

her; she is so excited to take the lead

on this. Once we complete our shopping,

I plan to take my daughter with

me to drop off the unwrapped gifts to

the child welfare agency. In addition to

individual children, entire families are

also always an option.

Giving time and knowledge, safely

Many local metro Detroit food banks

are in need of in-person volunteers

but do have strict Covid-19 precautions

in place. Distributing more

than 45 million pounds of food annually

to those in need from Wayne,

Oakland, Monroe, Livingston and

Macomb counties, Gleaners Food

Bank is one of many food banks with

volunteer opportunities for interested

community members, including

the youth. Whether at distribution

centers, through My Neighborhood

Mobile Grocery or at food pantries,

the team at Gleaners believes the

“generous donation of time and energy

is vitally important.”

Another sometimes less obvious

way to give back is to share your

knowledge. I am a former high school

English and journalism teacher, so

I could easily donate some hours of

my time to tutoring those in need. If

the student does not feel comfortable

meeting in-person right now, we could

also FaceTime or connect on Zoom.

Giving Funds

If you have the means to do so, donating

money to organizations in

need is probably the easiest, least

time-consuming and safest way to

give back this year. However, be sure

you’re passionate about the cause

you decide to support and have done

your research on the organization

ahead of time.

The Chaldean Community Foundation

is a worthy recipient that has

been working doubly hard since the

pandemic, treating concerned clients

and providing PPE for the general

public. It’s easy to give on their website:

Chaldeanfoundation.org.

My nieces love the Detroit Zoo,

so instead of purchasing more toys

for them this year for Christmas, I

adopted each of them a zoo animal.

When they open their presents on

Christmas morning, they will see an

adoption certificate, an 8x10 color

photo of the animal adopted, a fact

sheet on that animal and a gift certificate

for a plush animal from Zoofari

Market. Once the weather warms up

again, a zoo trip to visit their new

“pets” will be in the works, as well.

How community members are

planning to give back

Angela Konja of Farmington Hills said

she hopes St. Thomas in West Bloomfield

continues, “The Giving Tree,”

which is one way people of all ages can

perform a meaningful act of charity by

including someone less fortunate they

don’t know in their Christmas shopping.

“The church always has a tree

in the lobby filled with tags that say

things like ‘Pots and Pans,’ ‘Toddler

Games’ or ‘Gift Cards.’ Then, after

purchasing the item on your tag, you

bring the unwrapped gifts back, and

an organization distributes them to the

needy families,” says Konja.

Novi resident Ramy Sulaiman is

on the steering committee for The

100+ Millennials Who Care, a group

of millennials from all walks of life

and varying financial backgrounds

who are interested in supporting

the Southeast Michigan community

through philanthropy. Each

member gives $100 and one hour of

their time, four times a year. “$100

to charity doesn’t feel like you’re

making a difference, but when 100

people donate $100 at the same time,

they raise $10,000, which can make

a huge impact,” Sulaiman said.

Sterling Heights resident Nahla

Barash said she plans to continue her

yearly act of service and pay off layaway

balances at a local business: “Every

year, I pick a different store, ask

the service desk about their layaways

and pick people who have layaway

toys or kids’ clothes, so I can pay off

their balances. I can’t imagine being

the parent and telling my kids we

can’t afford it. It breaks my heart. I am

blessed and live a good life, so I share

God’s blessings with other people’s

kids. Sometimes people personally

thank me on the phone, and I can’t

help but cry. It’s a great feeling.”

Giving back may take a little

more creativity in 2020, but it is definitely

possible to, “feel good by doing

good.”

Danielle Alexander is the owner of Edify

LLC, a local tutoring, freelance writing

and editing business, as well as the

editorial coordinator for West Bloomfield

Lifestyle Magazine. She’d like to wish the

Chaldean community a safe and healthy

November. Happy Thanksgiving!

14 CHALDEAN NEWS NOVEMBER 2020


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248-851-1200 • CHALDEANCHAMBER.COM


in MEMORIAM

RECENTLY DECEASED COMMUNITY MEMBERS

Badria Garmo

Bakko

Sep 1, 1941 -

Oct 18, 2020

Mikhail Mansoor

Kassab

Jul 1, 1939 -

Oct 18, 2020

Ramzia Jerjis Kato

Hesano

Nov 30, 1947 -

Oct 18, 2020

Marie Kyriakos

Dec 3, 1925 -

Oct 18, 2020

Jina Butrus Yousef

Jul 1, 1937 -

Oct 18, 2020

Nabil George Gully

Nov 4, 1958 -

Oct 17, 2020

Nakia S. Jabro

Feb 23, 1935 -

Oct 17, 2020

Fouad Maqi Juka

Jul 1, 1952 -

Oct 16, 2020

Fktorea Roffa

Hanna Kachel

Jul 1, 1938 -

Oct 16, 2020

Geffrey Nabil

Amanoel

Feb 8, 1994 -

Oct 14, 2020

Warina Zaya Dano

Toma

Jul 1, 1928 -

Oct 13, 2020

Nadeem Yousif

Sep 6, 1950 -

Oct 13, 2020

Roza Salama

Nov 2, 1958 -

Oct 13, 2020

Ghazwan Abdul

Salam Dikhow

Oct 12, 2020

Yohana Somo

Jul 1, 1946 -

Oct 12, 2020

Christian

Stephenson

Hermez

Sep 3, 1992 -

Oct 11, 2020

Salam Farance-

Jajow Dikhow

Apr 1, 1942 -

Oct 11, 2020

Sarkees Sarkisian

Oct 9, 2020

Shammamta

Konja Deza

Jul 1, 1933 -

Oct 8, 2020

Sahera Salmo

Habbo

Jun 11, 1949 -

Oct 7, 2020

Towitha Nafso

Sharrak

Oct 6, 2020

Danial Elias

Jaddou

Aug 18, 1927 -

Oct 6, 2020

Nouriya Namou

Kajy

Jul 1, 1929 -

Oct 6, 2020

Madlin Zoro

Feb 19, 1934 -

Oct 06, 2020

Habiba Marrogi

Yaldo

Dec 6, 1953 -

Oct 6, 2020

Khilod Bahri

Feb 18, 1959 -

Oct 5, 2020

Mukhlis Elias

Jadan

Jul 1, 1941 -

Oct 4, 2020

Akram Jabboori

Jul 13, 1935 -

Oct 3, 2020

Basima (Betty)

Kattoula

May 17, 1954 -

Oct 3, 2020

Andera Hanna

Sanna

Jan 1, 1968 -

Oct 2, 2020

Radhwan Yousif

Kato

Feb 1, 1951 -

Oct 2, 2020

Nahida Shawkat

Francis

Aug 22, 1932 -

Oct 1, 2020

Polis Toma Patros

Jul 1, 1945

Oct 1, 2020

Fouad Yalda Sitto

Oct 10, 1950

Oct 1, 2020

Raad Faraj Asmar

Feb 25, 1959 -

Sep 30, 2020

Mansour

Hermiz Sana

May 29, 1940 -

Sep 30, 2020

Louci Najor Habba

Jul 1, 1925 -

Sep 26, 2020

Kafi Yaqoub

Salman

Jul 1, 1933

Sep 25, 2020

Habib Hailo

Jul 1, 1938 -

Sep 25, 2020

Ikhlass Sando

Youkhanna

Sep 16, 1952 -

Sep 25, 2020

16 CHALDEAN NEWS NOVEMBER 2020


obituary

Danial (Aba Nabil)

Jaddou

Danial (Aba Nabil) Jaddou

passed from this earthly life

on October 6, 2020.

Danial was born on July

1, 1927. He was the director

of a 600-member Holy

Rosary Group, a member of

the Sacred Heart of Jesus

group, and he wrote several

articles in the local community

paper. He was a role

model, mentor, and leader

in the Chaldean community.

Danial is survived by his loving

wife of 65 years Almas,

10 children, and 25 grandchildren.

Fouad Hermiz

Razouki

Jul 1, 1941 -

Sep 23, 2020

Gorgis (Korkis)

Hanna Shao

Samona

Jul 1, 1932 -

Sep 22, 2020

Roxi Ibrihim

Kanoona Yaldoo

Mar 19, 1929 -

Sep 22, 2020

Mazen Azzo

Hendo

Jan 6, 1965 -

Sep 17, 2020

the Queen Elizab

came to the US in search of the American dre

created his wonderful reality. As a student he

20-hour days to earn enough money to bring

to America from Baghdad. His father, Kanoon

Roxi A. Yaldoo | March 19, 1929 - September

his mother, Rajoo, and his six siblings; the lat

Jabrio, Theresa George, Mary Shamoun, Ge

Roxi Yaldoo passed

doo, Jerry Yaldoo, & Bernadette George. (His

Georgette Anton was already

surrounded

married

by

in

his

Iraq.

c

countless nieces and nephews He had who seven all childr admir

and loved him. Roxi was Bernard, the true definition Patrick, Cy of

nity. He was a faith-filled Pamela man and & deeply the late dev K

teered at Mother of God Monique, Church for Dominic, over 30 y

building the church we have vor and today. Lennon He was Kyr i

ca from Baghdad, Chaldean KIr

the Queen Southfield; Elizabethw

came to the US in search of the American was a dream Gran

created his wonderful reality. As a student part of he the wC

20-hour days to earn enough money

entire

to bring

comm

his

someone w

to America from Baghdad. His father, Kanoona

uncle, grand

his mother, Rajoo, and his six siblings; the late A

ever the opp

Jabrio, Theresa George, Mary Shamoun, Georg

with us coun

doo, Jerry ever. Yaldoo, A man of & business, Bernadette of integrity, George. of (His faith sia

Georgette with a Anton heart was we can already all hope married to have. in Iraq.) He was H

countless our angel nieces in and heaven nephews and we who are forever all admired grate

and loved him. Roxi was the true definition of en

nity. He was a faith-filled man and deeply devote

teered at Mother of God Church for over 30 yea

building the church we have today. He was inst

Chaldean Knig

Southfield; whi

was a Grand K

part of the Colo

entire commun

someone we w

uncle, grandpa

ever the oppor

with us countle

Roxi Yaldoo passed away peacefully in his home

surrounded by his children and grandchildren.

He had seven children, Terry (Rajaa), Cheryl,

Bernard, Patrick, Cynthia (Tom) Kyriakoza and

Pamela & the late Kenny; five grandchildren;

Monique, Dominic, and Joseph Yaldoo and Trevor

and Lennon Kyriakoza. Roxi came to Ameri-

Roxi A. Yaldoo

March 19, 1929 - September ca from 22, Baghdad, 2020 Iraq at the age of 21 aboard

the Queen Elizabeth. He

oxi Yaldoo passed away peacefully

Rcame in his

to

home

the US

surrounded

in search of

by

the

his

American dream &

children created and his wonderful grandchildren. reality. As He a student he worked

married 20-hour the days love to of earn his enough life — money his to bring his family

southern to America belle, from Peggy, Baghdad. in 1955 His and father, Kanoona Yaldoo,

had his seven mother, children, Rajoo, and Terry his (Rajaa), six siblings; the late Anahid

Cheryl, Jabrio, Bernard, Theresa George, Patrick, Mary Cynthia Shamoun, George Yaldoo,

(Tom) Kyriakoza,

Jerry Yaldoo,

Pamela

& Bernadette

& the late

George. (His sister

Kenny; five grandchildren; Monique,

Georgette Anton was already married in Iraq.) He had

Dominic, and Joseph Yaldoo and

countless nieces and nephews who all admired him

Trevor and Lennon Kyriakoza. Roxi

came and to loved America him. from Roxi Baghdad, was the true Iraq definition of entrepreneurship and community.

the age He was of 21 a faith-filled aboard the man Queen and deeply devoted to his church. He volun-

at

Elizabeth. teered at He Mother came of to God the Church U.S. in for over 30 years and played a pivotal role in

search building of the American church we dream have today. and He was instrumental in starting the First

created his wonderful reality. Chaldean Knights of Columbus Council in

As a student, he worked 20-hour days Southfield; which he took such pride in. He

to earn enough money to bring his was a Grand Knight, District Deputy and

family to America from Baghdad. His part of the Color Corps. A legend to the

father, Kanoona Yaldoo, his mother, entire community, known by all. He was

Rajoo,(Daiza), and his six siblings; the someone Council we were in Southfield; proud to call which baba, dad, he

late Anahid Jabrio, Theresa George, took such pride in. He was a Grand

uncle, grandpa, and mention that fact whenever

the opportunity arose. We will carry

Mary Shamoun, George Yaldoo, Jerry Knight, District Deputy and part of

Yaldoo, & Bernadette George. His sister the Color Corps. A legend to the entire

Georgette Anton was married in Iraq.

with

community,

us countless

and

memories

known by

to

all.

cherish forever.

had countless A man of nieces business, and nephews of integrity, of faith and God, of family and a man

someone we were proud to

He

who with all admired a heart we him can and all loved hope him. to have. He was an angel on earth and is now

call Baba, dad, uncle, grandpa, and

our angel in heaven and we are forever grateful for him and his love.

Roxi was the true definition of mention this whenever the opportunity

entrepreneurship and community. arose. We will carry with us countless

He was a faith-filled man and deeply memories to cherish forever.

devoted to his church. He volunteered

A man of business, of integrity, of faith

at Mother of God Church for more

and God, of family and a man with

than 30 years and played a pivotal role

a heart we can all hope to have. He

in building the church we have today.

was an angel on earth and is now our

He was instrumental in starting the angel in heaven and we are forever

First Chaldean Knights of Columbus grateful for him and his love.

ever. A man of business, of integrity, of faith and

with a heart we can all hope to have. He was an

our angel in heaven and we are forever grateful

Alfred Marogy

Kirma

Jun 20, 1949 -

Sep 20, 2020

Neamah Yousif

Jul 1, 1944 -

Sep 19, 2020

Toma

KasShamoun

Sep 25, 1939 -

Sep 19, 2020

Dawras Alkas

May 9, 1933 -

Sep 19, 2020

Catrinah Polus

Hirmiz

Jul 1, 1935 -

Sep 18, 2020

Victor Jahad Yasso

Mar 18, 1948 -

Sep 18, 2020

Sabri (Sam) Salem

Jun 10, 1943 -

Sep 18, 2020

Angelina Sheena

Dec 12, 2006 -

Sep 18, 2020

A TTORNEYS & C O UNSELORS AT LAW

NOVEMBER 2020 CHALDEAN NEWS 17


Archbishop of Mosul - The Savior of Sacred Relics

Keeps Hope Alive

BY ADHID MIRI, PHD AND SARAH KITTLE


We cannot save a tree

without saving its

roots.” To Archbishop

Najib Mikhael Moussa, the thousands

of manuscripts, books and writings

that he almost single-handedly

saved from destruction are the roots

of a religion and culture that stretch

back into the past and connect the

widespread Chaldean community to

an honored history.

That history is one that opposing

forces would like to erase. Both

al Qaeda and the Islamic State (IS)

see the Church as an enemy and

IS (sometimes called ISIS) made a

point to tear down and destroy as

many Christian buildings and artifacts

as it could when it invaded Iraq

in 2014.

“Culture and civilization were

born here,” says Moussa. “Today it

is a bath of blood, and the destruction

is almost complete and total,”

he goes on to say, “But even with all

this, we keep the hope for a better

future.”

What does hope to mean to

people who were expelled from

their home by ISIS? How does one

gain trust in a fractured community?

What does interfaith reconciliation

look like in the Iraq of the future?

Many in the Nineveh Plains have

asked these questions. One of the

courageous few forging answers is

Archbishop Najib Mikhael Moussa.

It takes an extraordinary person

to do extraordinary things. Someone

with courage, motivation, and foresight.

Archbishop Moussa is one of

those people.

Moussa entered religious life at

age 24, becoming a Dominican priest

at 31. His early years of service were

spent at Al-Saa (Our Lady of the

Hour) Church in Mosul, Iraq. There,

he was put in charge of the conservation

of ancient manuscripts, centuries-old

letters and approximately

50,000 books, all irreplaceable historical

documents, and all in danger

of destruction.

Thanks to his years of training,

Moussa was able to preserve the

archives. In 2007, he transferred

them to Qaraqosh, once Iraq’s largest

Christian city, to protect them

during an Islamist insurgency which

saw thousands of Christians flee

Mosul under the threat of conversion

to Islam or death. Archbishop

Moussa was instrumental in helping

those displaced from Mosul and the

Nineveh Plains reach safety, himself

and his brothers passing the checkpoint

just days before IS invaded.

When the Islamic State (IS)

swept across Iraq in 2014, Moussa

again took action. As the jihadists

charged toward Qaraqosh, the Dominican

friar filled his car with rare

manuscripts, 16th century books and

irreplaceable records, fleeing east to

the relative safety of Iraq’s autonomous

Kurdish region.

With two other friars from his order,

Archbishop Moussa also moved

the Oriental Manuscript Digitization

Centre (OMDC), which scans damaged

manuscripts recovered from

churches and villages across northern

Iraq.

“We put what we had in the cars,”

said Moussa. “We had two; many

people were without a car. To save

lives, we had them ride in our cars

and sit on our heritage.

“We said we would live together,

or die together.” The cars sped off

into the darkness. They were in sight

of the checkpoint when a little girl

with the group spotted vehicles with

ISIS flags bearing down on them.

Kurdish security forces fired at the

ISIS vehicles, allowing Moussa and

his group to make it to safety. They

were lucky.

From the Kurdish capital Erbil, he

and a team of Christian and Muslim

experts digitally copied thousands

of Chaldean, Syriac, Aramaic, and

Nestorian manuscripts, preserving

them for future generations.

Iraqi forces recaptured Mosul

from IS in the summer of 2017, and

Moussa returned to the city months

later to attend the first post-IS

Christmas mass. He found his church

in ruins, with rooms transformed

into workshops for bombs and other

explosives; gallows had replaced the

altar. But he insisted there was reason

for hope.

“I’m optimistic,” Archbishop

Moussa said. “The last word will be

one of peace, not the sword.”

Moussa was ordained in January

of 2019 as the new Chaldean Catholic

Archbishop of Mosul. “Our

message to the whole world, and to

all of Mosul’s people, is one of coexistence,

love and peace among all

of Mosul’s different communities,

and the end of the ideology that IS

brought here.”

Mosul is unique for its multicultural

and diverse society. Archbishop

Moussa has the task of restarting the

dialogue and encouraging Muslims,

Christians and other faiths towards

reconciliation and reconstruction

from a perspective of lasting peace.

In November of 2019, the Chaldean

Community Foundation honored

Archbishop Moussa with an

award in recognition of his heroic

actions. Due to instability in Iraq,

18 CHALDEAN NEWS NOVEMBER 2020


Moussa was unable to travel to the

U.S. to attend the annual gala. The

award was handed to him by a Chaldean

delegation that visited Erbil in

December of 2019.

In a statement released on September

17, 2020, the European Parliament

(EP) announced that Archbishop

Najib Mikhael Moussa had

been nominated for the prestigious

2020 Sakharov Prize for Freedom of

Thought, which is awarded annually

“to honor exceptional individuals

and organizations defending human

rights and fundamental freedoms.”

The EP nominated the Catholic

Chaldean Archbishop because he

assisted in the evacuation of Christians,

Syriacs and Chaldeans to Iraqi

Kurdistan and safeguarded more than

800 historic manuscripts dating from

the 13th to the 19th century. Not

only did Moussa save sacred writings,

he helped digitize them for future

generations. The statement released

by the EP went on to say, “These

manuscripts were later digitized and

exhibited in France and Italy. Since

1990, he has contributed to safeguarding

8,000 more manuscripts

and 35,000 documents from the

Eastern Church.” Education is the

best weapon against obscurantism.

For Archbishop Moussa, this is

“not a personal recognition, but one

for Iraq as a whole.” He considers the

nomination as “a signature on every

page of the manuscripts.” It is also

a way to remember the “innocent

victims, especially the Yazidis,” says

Moussa, “a peaceful people who had

to face a real tragedy and to whom

I feel particularly connected.” The

nomination means much more than

just winning the prize would.

The Archbishop’s job now is to

rebuild the Church in Mosul. One

of the most important aspects is to

“give hope to our families all Christian

families, not just Chaldeans to

come back to Mosul,” said Moussa.

The population in the region has

been affected by the IS reign, from

the schools to the mosques.

“It’s not easy,” the Archbishop acknowledged.

“We have seen a shared

response from everyone, including

Muslims, who have done an extraordinary

job to help Christian families

and save their heritage.

“We need true peace in order

to continue living as a community

based on the principle of citizenship,

overcoming barriers of race, religion,

ethnicity…this is the only viable solution

for the future.”


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NOVEMBER 2020 CHALDEAN NEWS 21


‘Ark Angel Fund’ To Boost Business Despite Pandemic

BY PAUL NATINSKY

Times of crisis often come

with silver linings. The Ark

Angel Fund is one of those

occasions. Founded in September

under the auspices of the Chaldean

American Chamber of Commerce,

the fund seeks to kick-start new and

early stage businesses, particularly in

the technology sector.

That’s where the silver lining

comes in. Fund Advisor Tom Haji

says the COVID-19 pandemic “actually

helps technology-based companies.”

He pointed out that companies

such as Tesla, Google, Microsoft

and Amazon are doing exceptionally

well during this time.

While the Fund plans to invest

in a number of industry sectors, including

education, health care, retail,

manufacturing and innovation,

Haji says the early technology focus

will help the Fund and its investors

reduce risk in a shaky economy.

According to its website, the

Ark Angel Fund serves as a catalyst

for economic development. It was

launched to support early start-up

businesses and make investments in

emerging companies that will make

a difference in this region. The Fund

will be managed by a wholly owned

subsidiary of the Chaldean American

Chamber of Commerce.

The Fund is working with Ann

Arbor Spark, a self-described “catalyst

for economic development” that

has been working with area businesses

for the past 10 years.

“Right now we’re going to start

working closely with Ann Arbor

Spark so we can get the hang of

things before we start venturing off

and listening to other pitches outside

of that incubator,” says Haji. “That’s

what Ann Arbor Spark is, basically

an incubator for start-up companies.

“The good thing about us working

with Ann Arbor Spark is they already

have the deals, or the start-ups,

ready for us to listen to,” he says.

“Start-ups go to Spark for assistance,

guidance, putting together

their business plans—all the things

that investors want to hear about.

Business plans, exit strategy, what

kind of sales do they have today,

where do they see the forecast, do

they have any patents—they just

help them put together that whole

package and then they kind of look

to funds like us to listen to those

pitches,” says Haji.

According to its website, “Ann

Arbor Spark is a non-profit economic

development organization committed

to growing the Ann Arbor region’s

economy.” The group aims to

advance the region by encouraging

and supporting business acceleration,

attraction, and

retention at all stages of the

business development cycle

— from startups to large organizations.

Internally, the Ark Angel

Fund plans to use a

five-person committee to

hear and review pitches,

ultimately deciding which

projects are funded. Haji

and Fund Manager Martin

Manna will tap three members

of the business community

to join them on an

ad hoc basis to consider pitches. The

three ad hoc members will be selected

based on their expertise in the industry

being pitched. All Fund investors

will be able to dial in and listen

to pitches and deliberations, as well

as invest directly if they so choose.

The Fund will award between

$25,000 and $100,000 per project,

Tommy Haji

beginning after it raises $1 million,

a number Haji says the Fund hopes

to reach by October 31. The Fund’s

ultimate goal is to reach $2 million.

At press time it was approaching the

$700,000 mark.

Manna, who is an investor in the

Fund, told a reporter in September

Martin Manna

that the plan is to award four to eight

projects per year. So far, the Fund has

not officially heard any pitches, although

committee members did listen

in and ask questions on a Spark

pitch over Zoom—a preview of sorts.

The end goal is for the companies

to scale and sell, returning a profit

to investors. For its part, the Fund

will use its endeavors to benefit the

Chaldean community. “We’re doing

this primarily to raise funds for humanitarian

efforts for the Chaldean

Community Foundation. Our management

fee will go toward our humanitarian

efforts,” said Haji.

Haji’s background is in manufacturing.

He worked for 20

years in the executive offices

at Ford Motor Company. He

has experience in real estate,

logistics and retail. He has

engineering degrees from the

University of Michigan and

Wayne State, along with a Six

Sigma Black Belt Certification.

Manna is President of the

Chaldean American Chamber

of Commerce. He has a history

working in the philanthropy

industry, and is skilled in nonprofit

organizations, business

planning, sales, team building and

leadership. He has an MBA focused

in banking, corporate, finance and securities

from Wayne State University.

Together, along with “angel investors”

from the community, they

hope to build business, build relationships,

and build community. It’s

the right time.

22 CHALDEAN NEWS NOVEMBER 2020


TOBACCO USE & CORONAVIRUS

WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW

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2

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Vaping could be the reason

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Smoking and vaping weaken

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NOVEMBER 2020 CHALDEAN NEWS 23


A Chaldean Thanksgiving…with a Modern Flair

BY: CHRISTINA SAFAR AYAR

Left: A different twist on a cultural favorite. Right: Ingredients prepared in a traditional way.

Is there really such a thing as a

traditional Chaldean Thanksgiving?

Don’t we almost always serve

the same dishes for all holidays? Disclaimer:

I am a Syrian, married to

a Chaldean. My Instagram page is

moms_cooking_therapy.

Growing up as a young, ethnic

kid in St. Clair Shores, surrounded

by mostly non-Arabs, I always found

the topic of food to be challenging.

My mom didn’t buy me Lunchables,

we didn’t have breakfast for dinner

(yes, I guess that is a thing), and we

certainly did not have a traditional

American-styled Thanksgiving.

I truly never tasted cranberry

sauce, stuffing and green bean casserole

until my family slowly started

introducing those menu items when

the younger generations got married

and started bringing a dish to pass.

With that being said, I am by no

means an expert on Chaldean food.

With the help of my mother-in-law,

some wonderful friends on Instagram

and the Ma Baseema cookbook (if

you have not yet ordered a copy,

consider this my plug!), I have been

able to slowly incorporate Chaldean

foods with a modern flair into our

household.

What I can say for certainty,

whether you are Chaldean, Syrian,

Lebanese, Jordanian, Palestinian or

from any other Middle Eastern culture,

we all have one thing in common:

our love of food. I personally

love everything about food and cooking

shopping for the items, preparing

the meal, plating and serving with

an eye for details, watching people’s

reactions while they enjoy the meal I

have prepared, and yes, even washing

the dishes it is all a blessing.

Here is one more thing almost

all Middle Eastern people have in

common: our love of RICE! When

I started brainstorming what I love

most about Thanksgiving dishes,

besides the turkey, is always having

great side dishes rice, salad, cucumber

yogurt (jajeek), mashed potatoes,

mac and cheese, etc.

One of my favorite Chaldean

meals that can be enjoyed on

Thanksgiving, or any other day, is

yellow rice with meat, almonds and

raisins. My husband tries not to eat

rice, so one day I started experimenting

in the kitchen (which is my therapy

session) and I decided to make

yellow quinoa instead of rice. Let’s

just say, Best.Decision.Ever!

It provided the satisfaction of a

rice dish without the guilt. We also

avoid eating ground beef unless is it

very lean, so instead, I used ground

turkey (fitting for Thanksgiving).

Overall, this is a very easy recipe that

even your beginner cook can prepare

with confidence to “WOW” your

guests on Thanksgiving.

I like to serve this with deep fried

turkey (brine overnight in kosher

salt and brown sugar, deep fry for 20

minutes per pound of turkey in canola

oil) and a side of turkey gravy with

fattoush or Iraqi salad. The perfect

meal!

Here is my recipe for a modern

version of yellow “rice” and toppings:

Yellow Quinoa with Ground

Turkey and Toppings

Ingredients (serves 8 people):

4 cups of quinoa, rinsed

2 pounds ground turkey, browned

2 cups sliced almonds (and/or pine

nuts), toasted

2 cups raisins, lightly fried

2 cups of frozen green peas, defrosted

and lightly fried

8 cups of water

1 tablespoon turmeric (more of an

earthy taste) or saffron (more of a

classic, sweet taste)

Salt and pepper to taste

Garlic powder

Olive oil

Directions:

Yellow Quinoa:

Add water to a medium size pot and

add a dash of salt and a tablespoon

of turmeric or saffron. Once boiled,

added rinsed quinoa. Mix with the

water, lower heat to medium, and

cover with a lid. Leave untouched

for 20 minutes and turn off. Keep the

pot on the stove for another 10 minutes,

then remove the lid and “fluff”

with a fork.

Toppings:

Toppings can be served all together,

or cooked individually and added to

a tray with dividers (here’s a quick

trick I learned from my Mother-inlaw:

use foil as dividers with the tray.

It keeps the toppings warm and organized!).

Brown the ground turkey until no

longer pink. Add salt, pepper and

garlic powder. Remove from stove

and add to the divider tray. Cover

with foil to keep warm.

Sautee the sliced almonds or pine

nuts with a tablespoon of olive oil until

lightly toasted and brown in color.

Be sure to work fast, as they can burn

quickly. Remove from stove and add

to the divider tray. Cover with foil to

keep warm.

Follow the same steps above to

lightly fry the raisins. The key is to

keep them soft, not hard. Remove

from stove and add to the divider

tray. Cover with foil to keep warm.

Follow the same steps to lightly

fry the defrosted green peas. Do not

overcook, otherwise the peas will

start to get mushy. Remove from

stove and add to the divider tray.

Cover with foil to keep warm.

Serve immediately with oven

roasted or deep fried turkey and a

side of gravy, salad and other sides of

your liking.

God bless you and your

families!

24 CHALDEAN NEWS NOVEMBER 2020


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Babylon during the time of Alexander the Great

Alexander the Great and the End of Babylon

BY ADHID MIRI, PHD

The history of Babylon, up

to and including its end, is

truly amazing. In 539 B.C.E.,

Babylon fell to the forces of Cyrus

the Great, who incorporated the

city into the Persian Empire. About

two centuries later, the city would

fall again to Alexander the Great,

who made it the capital of his own

short-lived empire which collapsed

after his death in 323 B.C.E. Babylon

then fell into a period of decline

and eventually became abandoned,

falling into ruin.

Alexander III of Macedon, more

commonly known as “Alexander

the Great,” ruled over the ancient

Greek Kingdom of Macedon. He was

born in Pella in 356 BC. Most of his

life was spent in military campaigns

throughout Asia and Northeast Africa

with his father King Philip II.

Succeeding his father as king at 20

years of age, by age 30 Alexander

had managed to form one of the most

powerful empires in the ancient ages,

stretching from Greece to northwest

India. He is considered one of history’s

most successful military commanders.

Alexander’s legacy includes the

cultural diffusion which his conquests

gave rise to. He established

twenty cities that carry his name,

the most widely known being Alexandria

in Egypt. With his legend

compared to classical hero Achilles,

he always featured prominently in

the history of both Greek and non-

Greek cultures. He became an icon

for the military leaders to follow.

Even today, military academies all

over the world still teach his tactics

for fighting wars.

When Alexander was on his way

to Babylon in the spring

of 323, many envoys

approached him. Most

of them offered tokens

of submission, hoping

to ward off an invasion,

but one delegate

was more interested

in the well-being of

the king himself. The

Babylonian astronomer

Belephantes’ message

to King Alexander was

sincere and simple:

Alexander was in mortal

danger and should

avoid Babylon. The

king was disturbed.

The Babylonian astronomers,

or Chaldeans, were specialists

in the celestial omens. On

many occasions they had warned

kings of approaching calamities, had

proposed certain sacrifices, and had

been able to avert disasters. In 331,

they had accurately predicted Alexander’s

invasion of Mesopotamia and

his victory at Gaugamela, and ever

since, the Macedonian king attached

great value to their predictions.

Accepting Belephantes’ advice,

he decided not to go to Babylon,

agreeing to make a remarkable sacrifice

to the gods - he would rebuild

the Etemenanki, the temple-tower

(ziggurat) of Babylon. This pyramid,

The death of Alexander the Great

90 meters high, was believed to be

the foundation of heaven on earth

and was among the most important

sanctuaries in the ancient world.

Once this project was completed, the

supreme god of Babylonia, Marduk,

could not remain angry and would

no doubt bless the king.

Later, Alexander reversed his

decision. Greek philosophers at

his court had reproached him for

his credulity and convinced him

that the Babylonian astronomers

had scared him to obtain money

for their temple. Alexander was

persuaded to listen to his Greek

advisors and decided to inspect the

city.

Alexander made his

way to Babylon in the

spring of 323, after a decisive

victory against King

Darius III at Gaugamela.

According to lore, the

great king could not believe

his eyes when approaching

Babylon and

witnessing the amazing reflections

of the deep blue

glazed buildings under the

desert sun. Blue was a rare

natural color in the Mesopotamian

world and the

glazed bricks were a striking

appearance to visitors.

At Alexander’s entrance,

many Babylonians took positions

on the walls, eager to have a

view of their new king. Many went

out to meet him, including Bagophanes,

the man in charge of the citadel

and royal treasury. In paying his

respects to Alexander, Bagophanes

had carpeted the entire road with

26 CHALDEAN NEWS NOVEMBER 2020


flowers and garlands, setting up silver

altars at intervals on both sides,

heaped not just with frankincense

but with all manner of perfumes.

Following Bagophenes were

Alexander’s gifts - herds of cattle

and horses, with lions and leopards

carried along in cages. Next

came the Magians chanting a song

in their native fashion, and behind

them were the Chaldeans, then the

Babylonians, represented not only

by priests but also by musicians

equipped with their national instrument.

(The role of the latter was to

sing the praises of the Persian kings,

that of the Chaldeans to reveal astronomical

movements and regular

seasonal changes.)

The rebuilding of the Etemenanki

had not been completed. Alexander,

educated by Aristotle the

philosopher, took no half measures.

No less than 20,000 soldiers were ordered

to demolish the entire monument

and prepare the terrain for a

new, larger ziggurat. (Archaeologists

have found the debris.) The operation

was already well underway when

Alexander, ignoring the advice of

the Chaldeans, arrived in Babylon

and took up residence in the ancient

royal palace.

Alexander was on his way returning

to his home in Macedonia to see

his mother, still depressed and mistrustful

of his gods and his friends,

when he fell ill. With death staring

him in the face, Alexander realized

how his conquests, his mighty

army, his sharp sword, and all his

wealth were of no consequence. He

now longed to reach home and see

his Mother’s face and say his last

goodbyes. Ultimately, he had to accept

the fact that his sinking health

would not permit him to reach his

distant Macedonia.

According to historians, Alexander

the Great called his generals and

said, “I will depart from this world

soon. I have three wishes, carry them

without fail”. With tears on their faces,

the generals reluctantly agreed to

abide by their king’s last wishes.

His first request was, “My physicians

alone must carry my coffin.”

When pressed, his explanation was,

“I want the physicians to carry my

coffin (not the generals) so people

realize that when the hour comes,

no doctor on earth can cure anybody,

not even King Alexander. They are

powerless and cannot save a person

from the clutches of death.”

His second wish was that “the

path leading to the graveyard be

strewn with the gold, silver, precious

stones which we collected in our

treasury during conquests. This is to

tell the people that I spent my life of

power earning riches, but not even a

Alexander

the Great’s

Dying Wishes

• My first wish is that

my physicians alone

must carry my coffin.

• Secondly, I desire

that the path leading

to the graveyard be

strewn with the gold,

silver, precious stones

which we collected

in our treasury during

conquests.

• My third and last wish

is that both my hands

be kept dangling out of

my coffin.

fraction of gold will come with me.

These precious items we took from

people and must be returned to the

people.”

Alexander’s third and last wish

is that “both my hands be kept

dangling out of my coffin, to let all

people know that I came into this

world empty handed and will leave it

empty handed.”

Alexander the Great departed

this life leaving a legacy not only of

military prowess and command, but

simple life lessons he taught at the

hour of his death: Remember, your

health is in your hands, look after it;

wealth is only meaningful if you can

share and enjoy while still alive and

healthy; and what you do for yourself,

dies with you. What you do for

others will live forever.

Upon uttering his final words,

the king closed his eyes. Soon after,

death conquered the great conqueror.

Alexander died in Babylon in 323

BC at the age of 32. He was buried

nearby in a little town called Alexandria,

near Hilla, Iraq. Since then,

historians have debated his cause of

death, proposing everything from

malaria, typhoid, and alcohol poisoning,

to assassination by one of his

rivals.

The Chaldean scientific paradigm

had been corroborated. But the

Babylonian astronomers were not

the type of men to boast about their

successes. With scientific detachment,

the Chaldean on duty wrote,

“the king died, clouds made it impossible

to observe the skies.”

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NOVEMBER 2020 CHALDEAN NEWS 27


CULTURE & history

Purple Heart Awardee Peter Essa is a National Hero

BY CRYSTAL KASSAB JABIRO

It is no surprise that Peter

Essa was interested in cars

as a teenager growing up

in Detroit. Ford, Chrysler, and

General Motors dominated the

auto industry by the time he

was born there in 1925, bringing

296,000 manufacturing

jobs to the city. At 18, he had

bought a used 1936 Oldsmobile

for about $20.

At 18, he was also drafted

into World War II.

There was a mix of emotions.

Some people thought it

was an honor. His mother, Susana,

who had come to America

when she was four, was terrified,

as he was the only son

with six sisters. His sisters, he

believed, were secretly happy

because he was tough on them,

he joked.

“I was scared to death,” said

Essa.

Private 1st Class Peter Essa

was first sent to Fort Custer in

Battle Creek, Michigan for a

two-week training. Then he

was shipped to Camp Vandorn

in Centreville, Mississippi

for basic training. After

11 months, he traveled to Fort

Meade, Maryland for recruit

training - that is, an intense

physical and psychological process

that truly prepares them

for combat. It was his first

experience with heavy weaponry.

A month later, he ended

up at Camp Shanks in Orangeville,

New York, the largest

U.S. Army embarkation camp,

where he practiced with new

armaments. It was known as

“Last Stop USA” and for Essa

that was true. He ended up

on the SS Luxembourg to Europe,

thinking he was going to do some

more training.

“We didn’t know we were going

to invade. None of our division

knew,” Essa recalled. “They don’t

want you to know.”

That is because Essa was being

groomed for “Operation Overlord,” a

secret mission that had started a few

weeks before on D-Day, June 6, 1944.

Essa remembers General Dwight

D. Eisenhower, who later became the

34th president of the United States,

announcing on the loudspeaker:

“We’re an invasion force.” And from

there, they received some directions

and were transferred to landing

crafts, barge-like boats made out of

wood that carried about three dozen

troops at a time. When they got close

to the shore of Normandy, France, a

ramp dropped down from the landing

craft, and they sunk down into the

water, holding their rifles and other

provisions over their heads. Once it

became really shallow, they started

crawling to the shore.

On land, Essa and the rest of his

unit continued to slither through

the sand of Omaha Beach, the U.S.

military’s codename for a stretch of

land on the Douvre River facing the

English Channel. There were four

other sections the Allied forces had

set up for their invasion of Germanoccupied

France.

“We dug foxholes to fortify ourselves,”

he relived. “Two to a foxhole.

It was rainy and there were a

lot of mosquitoes.”

Normandy was like a big apple

orchard, Essa remembered. The Germans

were up in the trees hiding, and

they had already put barriers up

around the shore. The Americans

had to wait for further orders

from the general.

Thousands of Allied troops

stormed the beaches of Normandy

to face thousands of

German troops. Omaha Beach,

where Essa recalls he fought,

was heavily fortified, and

American bombs failed to take

them down. The gunfire was

intense. Essa and the other soldiers

were advised by First Sergeant

Durham not to help each

other if one got hurt. They

were told to keep going.

“All I knew was that I was

shooting into the trees. That’s

where all the snipers were,”

Essa looked back. “I was thinking…

I’m shooting and killing

children my age.”

Fearing for his life while

trying to defeat the enemy, Essa

got shot by a wooden bullet to

his left ankle. It went in and

out, forming a sort of crater. He

screamed for medics. The First

Sergeant ran to him, carried

him on his back, and left him

to the side.

In a letter to his mother,

Essa wrote:

“We heard screaming and

then they opened up with every

weapon they had. We ran

like mad dogs. My buddy was

killed. He had about four holes

through his back. We kept

running until we came up to a

hedgerow. This is where a machine

gun got me, right in the

ankle, breaking all the bones,

and when I tried to take a few

more steps, the ankle buckled

up and I stepped on the broken

part. It didn’t hurt at first. It felt like

an electric shock.”

Medics put him on a stretcher to

take him to the field hospital where

there was no bombing. Since it was

a serious injury, they flew him to another

field hospital in England. The

mountain of dead bodies piling up is

forever etched into his memory.

Though they persisted, 2,400

Americans either died or were wounded

at Omaha Beach, including Sergeant

Durham who had been killed

hours after he carried Essa to safety.

28 CHALDEAN NEWS NOVEMBER 2020


Essa’s mother had received a telegram

saying he had been “slightly

wounded” and that she would be

later advised. In a letter he had previously

sent her before being shot, he

expressed his uncertainty about coming

back home. He had told her to

sell his 1936 Olds to his best friend

Charlie, so she did, fearing that may

have been her son’s last request for

her.

Fortunately, she also received

word that he was coming back to the

US to heal at a hospital one state

away.

In England, the doctors performed

some surgeries on Essa’s ankle,

and then he was sent to Crile

Military Hospital in Cleveland,

Ohio for more. After six surgeries for

the harsh wound, the Army presented

him with an honorable discharge

in 1945 before the war ended.

A serviceman drove Essa home to

Detroit 13 months after he arrived in

Ohio. The family threw a little party

and had some friends come by. He

received the Purple Heart and took

advantage of the GI Bill to learn to

be a butcher. Thereafter, he went to

Iraq to find his bride. He has been

married to Samira for 62 years and

has five kids.

Peter Essa was also awarded the

Bronze Star and the Combat Infantry

Badge, as well as the European-African-Middle-Easter

Campaign Medal.

He is 95 years old and lives in metro-

Detroit. Though the Battle of Normandy

raged on for another month

without him, Essa was still part of

liberating France from the Nazis and

is a true American hero.

NOVEMBER 2020 CHALDEAN NEWS 29


chaldeans AROUND THE WORLD

Church of St. Thomas the Apostle in Sarcelles, France

Chaldeans in Europe - Part II France

BY ADHID MIRI, PHD

Chaldean immigration out of

Iraq to European countries

at the end of the twentieth

century and beginning of the twenty

first century Europe is considered recent

compared to the early immigration

wave of the last century to the

Americas. The reasons remain the

same, mainly religious persecution,

famine and instability.

The Christian population of the

Middle East has been threatened for

centuries with war and persecution.

To this day, Chaldeans still live with

the dilemma of staying or leaving

their homeland. The poignant current

situation is Chaldeans live with

their heads in the diaspora, but with

their hearts in their homeland.

Chaldean people link their

homeland to their identity, culture,

language, faith, and traditions. They

attach great importance on linking

their homeland to their identity, because

it is what identifies them, together

with their Christian faith.

Since the U.S. invasion of Iraq in

2003 and the war unleashed by the

terrorist groups there, the number

of Chaldeans in Iraq has shrunk further.

Chaldeans in the 21st century

are spread over all the continents of

the world.

We find Chaldean communities

in France, Germany, Belgium, Sweden,

the United Kingdom, the Netherlands,

Denmark, Norway, Finland,

Austria, Switzerland and Greece. An

estimated 550,000 Chaldeans now

live in Europe.

Chaldeans in France

The Assyro-Chaldean community

has history in France dating back

to the First World War, with most

arriving in Marseille during the

1920s when some Assyrians fleeing

genocide found refuge there.

Others arrived from rural southeastern

Turkey and northern Iraq

as a result of the Kurdish Turkish

conflict in the 1960s and 70s. Their

numbers swelled after the Iraq War in

2003, with an influx of refugees arriving

from beleaguered Iraqi cities.

Around 10,000 of the 16,000 Assyrians

currently in France are mainly

concentrated in the northern French

suburbs of Sarcelles, where several

thousand Chaldean Catholics live,

and also in Gonesse and Villiers-le-

Bel. They are generally compared

to French Jews, who are seen as inward-looking,

conservative and wellintegrated

in the French society.

Chaldeans that have made their

home in France come from Iraq, Turkey

and other Middle Eastern countries.

The first community was formed

around fifty years ago; it is composed

of priests and lay people who wish to

keep alive the historical, cultural, liturgical

and linguistic traditions of their

ancient Eastern Catholic Church.

Most of the faithful live in Paris

and Sarcelles, but about 130 Chaldean

families live in Marseille, in

southern France. There are many

Chaldean Churches in Paris, its suburbs

and in Marseille.

Chaldean Church of Sarcelles

in Ile-de-France

The community built a large new

church dedicated to St Thomas the

Apostle in the little town of Sarcelles,

Ile de France. The foundation

stone was laid in 2001. It is the

largest Chaldean Church in Europe

dedicated to the Eastern Christian

community. Built in the Babylonian

style, true to Chaldean tradition, it

seats 1,000 people. Inaugurated by

Bishop Bidawid, the building is located

on a large plot of land outside

Paris, yet it is not large enough for

the crowds that come to pray every

week. Many believers listen to the

Mass while standing inside the corridors

of the church or outside in the

large yard behind the church.

Cardinal Jean-Marie Lustiger,

the spiritual father of the Chaldeans

in France, consecrated the Church

of Saint Thomas the Apostle with

Archbishop Ibrahim Ibrahim, Bishop

of Detroit, who came from the United

States. The mass was celebrated

in the Aramaic language with a series

of eastern rituals. Families came

in their most beautiful clothes and

clouds of incense spread throughout

the church, blessing the walls and

the altar.

Various meetings are held in the

Church of Saint-Thomas-Apostle,

30 CHALDEAN NEWS NOVEMBER 2020


Chaldean Churches in France

• Church of Saint Thomas the Apostle in Sarcelles

• Church of Our Lady of the Chaldéens Notre-Dame de Chaldée in Paris

• The Church of Saint John the Apostle in Arnoville

• Holy Trinity Church in Sarcelles-Lochères

• Church of Saint François d’Assise in the région of Junes

• Church of John XXIII in Clichy-sous-Bois

• The Assyrian Chaldean Church (Notre Dame Chaldean - Saint Mark)

Eglise Assyro-Chaldéenne Notre-Dame de Chaldée-Saint-Marc in Marseille (12th arrondissement)

• The Chaldean Church of Saint Ephrem in Vau or Flan (Église Saint-Éphrem des Chaldéens à Vaulx-en-Velin)

Church of Our Lady of the Chaldeens -

Notre Dame de Chaldee, Paris, France

or in the Church of Saint-Hanna

in the new Saint-Jean-d’Arnouville

district, which opened recently near

Sarcelles.

Most young Chaldeans in France

immerse themselves in the Chaldean

culture from birth. Their parents

came from Turkey in the 1970s, or

more recently from Iraq, but they

brought their traditions and beliefs

with them. Chaldean youth in France

is engaged in their faith, not just by

committing to attend Mass but also

in group activities for university and

high school students. There is also

the catechesis, meetings of young

clergymen appointed to serve mass,

or regular film screening followed by

spiritual discussion.

floor. Once a month, the parishioners

gather for lunch, and everyone

brings an Iraqi dish.

The Church of Saint

John the Apostle

The Church of Saint John the Apostle

was inaugurated in Arnoville on

March 6, 2016. The Chaldean patriarch

Cardinal Louis Sako came

especially from Iraq to dedicate the

third Assyro-Chaldean church in

France. The French minister of Interior,

Bernard Cazeneuve, attended

the ceremony with the Cardinal of

Paris, Monsignor André Vingt-Trois.

The Chaldean Community

in Sarcelles

With 8,000 members in Sarcelles,

the Chaldean community is well established

in the Val-d’Oise region.

But more and more members are concerned

about the future of their faith.

“It’s a huge fear on a daily basis,” says

Jocelyn Zerrin, one of the leaders of

Church of St. Thomas the Apostle in Sarcelles, France

the parish choir. She regrets the lack

of cultural transmission to young

people. “The problem is that the new

generation is fully integrated into

French culture, at the expense of our

Chaldean culture and customs. Children

begin to speak French before

Aramaic, which is good for integration

in France. But we do not want

our culture to disappear!”

Christophe Yalbir, a 22-year-old

devout Christian, understands this

danger. Born in France to parents who

arrived in Paris in 1991, he feels that

his religion and culture are threatened.

“I speak French more than Aramaic,”

admits the young man.

Hence the need to teach Aramaic

to young people, says Father Narsai

Soli, himself a second-generation immigrant.

“Aramaic is a precious language;

it is part of the transmission

challenge we face towards young people,”

explains the 35-year-old pastor.

“Young people are essential. Without

them there might be a missing link.”

Bernadette Yildiz, 28 years old,

strictly exercises her faith. “For us, going

to mass is just like going to work,”

the young woman says. “It’s normal.”

In the church front yard, Bernadette

speaks and discusses religion with

other practicing youth. They were all

born in France and know each other

directly or indirectly. They participate

in the survival and continuation

of their sect in terms of religion and

culture and the traditions that they

learned within their families.

“Our role is to help our society

maintain its roots,” says Zeren. “This

goes through many little things in

everyday life. For example, learning

to cook a traditional dish.” This

30-year-old volunteer has two children

from the third generation of

immigrants. A new wave, according

to Jocelyn, must be learned by young

people themselves. “We are kind of

a bridge between old and young. We

need to integrate them as best we can

into society.”

The Notre-Dame de Chaldée

The Notre-Dame de Chaldée Chaldean

Church is in the 18th arrondissement

of Paris. Construction

on the four-floor structure began in

1987 and was completed in 1992. In

a sad twist, the architect, a Chaldean

engineer, was killed in Turkey during

a visit to his deported family during

Saddam’s war against the Kurds.

The church receives Chaldean

parishioners from Iraq and Turkey,

Chaldean and Assyrian refugees from

Syria. Parishioners may also come

to learn French, except on Sunday,

when mass is held.

Every Sunday at the eleventh

hour, the parish comes to participate

and listen to the ritual of the mass

that is recited in both Chaldean

and French languages. Afterwards,

tea, coffee and biscuits are distributed

to the attendees on the ground

NOVEMBER 2020 CHALDEAN NEWS 31


chaldean on the STREET

We’re curious: “If there were a vaccine for COVID-19,

would you take it? Why or why not?”

“I would not volunteer to take the vaccine

if it were to come out soon because

although they would have gone through

multiple trials for it to get approved, I

still wouldn’t want to take the chance

that there could be long-term side effects.

Short-term side effects are being

ruled out currently but the vaccine

is being developed in such a rush that

they will not be able to rule out anything

long-term as of now. I wouldn’t want to

risk my health in that way.”

Vanessa Polis, 24, West Bloomfield

“Yes I would take it. I am ready to have

access to something that will protect

me from the virus. If scientists say it‘s

safe and it passes the necessary tests,

then there is no reason for me to not

take it. ”

Veronica Rabban, 17,

West Bloomfield

“I would need the vaccine to be approved

by scientists broadly worldwide,

and not just in the USA for me to

be comfortable with others taking it as

well as myself. It all depends on how

the studies come out, I guess. I will not

take it blindly.”

Jake Jarbou, 27, Shelby Township

“If there was a COVID vaccine out right

now, I would take it. Everyone needs to

do their part to end this pandemic. I feel

like it’s everyone’s civic duty to take the

vaccine if offered. They’re not releasing

a vaccine before testing it, so I think it

will be safe to take one. We need to put

faith in our doctors and scientists working

day and night to get a vaccine out.”

Anabelle Dally, 17, Ann Arbor

“If there was a vaccine for coronavirus,

I would take it. Coronavirus needs a

vaccine as soon as possible so people

don’t have to be scared anymore. I

would take it because that is the smart

thing to do. I wouldn’t be scared to

take it because they would have to test

it many times and it would have to go

through many trials before giving it to

the public.”

Nashwan Kenaya, West Bloomfield

“If there was a COVID vaccine, I

would be hesitant to take it due to the

unknown side effects it can have on

the body. I am not opposed to taking

it once a large amount of people have

taken it first. Once I know it’s safe, I

have no opposition. However, when

it first comes out, I am not willing to

take it for my own safety and because

I don’t know how my body will react.”

Juliana Gumma, 24, West Bloomfield

“If there was a COVID vaccine I would

not take it. Simply because it is a new

vaccine being developed very fast. This

vaccine will not have years of testing

and research done on it. Since there

will not be many tests on it, we don’t

know the long-term or short-term side

effects that may come with the vaccine.

We also won’t be sure of how safe it

is. Although I am not against taking the

vaccine, I do think there needs to be

years of testing and research on it before

I take it.”

Maria Isso, 19, West Bloomfield

“If there was a vaccine for COVID, I

would take it. The world health organization

and the FDA will not approve of

a vaccine unless sufficient data shows

that the benefits outweigh the side effects.

Whether you trust the President

or not, scientists and doctors will not

harm the public. COVID is deadly. If

there is a way to prevent it then I would

do my part and take the vaccine to save

my life and others around me. If we do

not take the vaccine then we will never

be able to go back to our normal lives

before COVID.”

Tamara Hermiz, West Bloomfield

32 CHALDEAN NEWS NOVEMBER 2020


STRONG

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NOVEMBER 2020 CHALDEAN NEWS 33


DOCTOR is in

Wellness Exams: How a Visit

to the Doctor Could Save Your Life

It has been said that good

physicians treat disease, but

great physicians prevent

them. In a time where COVID

has changed our way of life, it

is now more important than

ever to take a closer look at our

own health. Many of us may be

engaging in unhealthy behaviors

that could lead to serious

consequences if not corrected

early. For this reason, an annual

wellness exam (or “physical”)

is a great opportunity to

develop a personalized plan to

BY DR. BRAN-

DON KARMO

SPECIAL TO THE

CHALDEAN NEWS

help prevent disease based on your current health

and risk factors.

The wellness visit usually includes measuring

your height, weight, blood pressure, heart rate, and

your doctor may also do a physical exam. The visit

also is a chance to review healthy and potentially

unhealthy lifestyle choices, such as diet, exercise

pattern, smoking, and alcohol use. The wellness

exam is also a great opportunity to discuss stress,

depression, anxiety, and sleep issues.

Another critical component of the yearly annual is

to discuss cancer screening tests. Colon cancer, breast

cancer, lung cancer, cervical cancer, and prostate cancer

are some of the examples of extremely important

preventive screening tests that can be ordered depending

on your age. Detecting cancer at an early stage

could be the difference between life and death.

Recently, a patient of mine who felt otherwise

healthy came to see me for a wellness visit. This

patient had no complaints and as part of the wellness

exam I referred the patient for a colonoscopy

due to their age. During the colonoscopy, a large

pre-cancerous polyp was discovered and removed.

The patient tolerated the procedure well and we

were able to prevent the patient from developing

colon cancer. This is just one of many examples of

how important preventive exams can be.

There is also good news, many annual wellness

exams are covered by your insurance. If you have

Medicare, you may be eligible for a once a year annual

wellness visit with no cost to you. Check with

your insurance provider to see what costs if any are

associated with your wellness visit.

If the COVID pandemic has taught us anything,

it’s to value life and to prepare for the unexpected.

Now is the time to focus on our mental and

physical well-being. Having a yearly wellness visit

with your doctor is the first step in your journey to

good health. Talk to your primary care physician

and schedule your yearly check-up today.

An annual wellness exam

(or “physical”) is a great

opportunity to develop a

personalized plan.

Dr. Brandon Karmo is a Board Certified Family

Physician at Orchard Primary Care in Farmington

Hills. He is also an Assistant Professor of Family

Medicine at Michigan State University College of

Human Medicine and teaches resident physicians at

Ascension Providence.

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34 CHALDEAN NEWS NOVEMBER 2020


ECONOMICS & enterprise

Urban Air Is Back Aloft!

BY PAUL NATINSKY

The COVID-19 pandemic has

been difficult for businesses in

general, but especially hard

for some. Urban Air Trampoline &

Adventure Park in Sterling Heights

finds itself in the latter category.

Owner Wes Ayar said his entertainment

venue was finally able to open

its doors on October 10, after 209

days closed.

Through the entertainment venue’s

hiatus, Ayar has relied on the

Paycheck Protection Program, other

loans, leniency from his landlord and

from the 130-location Urban Air

franchise company.

Ayar has owned Urban Air since

March 2019. The Chaldean News

covered the Grand Opening in the

2019 October issue, when Ayar had

high hopes for a booming business.

The indoor adventure park offered a

fun (and at the time, safe) environment

for keeping kids occupied.

About 30 percent of Urban Air’s

footprint is trampoline attractions.

The park also features a rock-climbing

wall, bumper cars, ropes course,

virtual reality experience, zip line

and other activities.

Urban Air provides year-round

indoor amusements. On its website,

the company describes itself as “the

ultimate indoor playground” for

families. It hosts children’s birthday

parties and touts a more varied and

expansive presentation than typical

indoor trampoline parks.

The company has been on an upward

trajectory, voted Best Gym In

America for Kids by Shape Magazine,

Best Place To Take Energetic

Kids and Best Trampoline Parks.

While now open, Ayar says the

450-capacity park is now limited to

120. Open day passes that allowed

patrons to come and go have given

way to scheduled time blocks. Mask

wearing and social distancing are in

full effect, as is enhanced sanitation,

which required hiring an additional

employee.

Urban Air faces a stiff challenge

to profitability under current COV-

ID protocols. Ayar says almost all of

the 130 franchises across the country

re-opened ahead of those in Michigan,

and began recovering profits

as pandemic protocols loosened in

other states.

“Our hope is to ramp up, little

by little,” Ayar said. He, too, hopes

slowly to return to profitability, but

says he would need to operate at 50

percent capacity, at least, and sell out

all of the time slots available.

“With the general public there

are two things right now. A) Most

people still don’t know we’re open

and B) The people who know we

are open are still not coming because

they are not yet comfortable, and we

completely understand that.”

Ayar is working hard to get the

word out that Urban Air is open,

clean and safe. Urban Air is working

with a company on “hyper-local”

marketing and hitting social media

hard, while the franchise puts out

national ads.

In addition to attracting customers,

Urban Air’s future depends to a

significant extent on the rules it must

follow going forward, particularly regarding

capacity.

“Twenty-five percent just doesn’t

get us anywhere because of what our

rent is and what our expenses are.

Twenty-five percent capacity just

wouldn’t allow us to make any money

or break even,” says Ayar. He says

the business can only sustain itself

under the current rules for a month

or two, without a substantial influx

of new money.

If there is no change in state rules

governing capacity, will the business

be able to continue?

“That’s a really open-ended question.

If my partner and I are willing

to refinance our homes and take that

money and put it into the business,

we can make the business float. But

as far as the business itself, a month,

two months might be all the business

could withstand with the current level

of capacity and the (the other added

costs and restrictions),” says Ayar.

Changes at least in process are

taking place at the state level. A recent

court ruling has shifted decision

making on Michigan’s COVID precautions

from exclusively under the

Wes Ayar

of Urban Air

control of the governor to a status

more inclusive of the state’s legislature.

It remains to be seen what effect

the move will have on businesses

limited by current rules.

“At the capacity that we’re at, we

would have to run our business close

to perfect to just get to a break-even

point every month with rent, with

our loans and our payroll and our insurance,”

says Ayar.

When we talked, Ayar said Urban

Air had been open three days. “The

experience for the guests seemed

to be positive. We didn’t have any

guests who had anything negative to

say, so that was a big plus for us.”

For now, trampoline and adventure

parks join the ranks of re-opened

restaurants, hair salons and recently

re-opened movie theaters trying to

figure out how to serve their customers,

pay their employees and earn a

living as they wait for rules changes

that allow them to increase their

bottom lines.

NOVEMBER 2020 CHALDEAN NEWS 35


KEEPING UP WITH THE CHALDEANS

1.

Anthony and Junior took a

look back at the first 99 episodes

in this hour and forty-five minute

special, recapping each episode

and giving updates on the guests.

2.

Jason Yousif from ClearView

visits the guys to talk about

where security and technology meet.

Not just a guest, Jason is also a sponsor

of the show and friend of the hosts.

He shared the story of how he started

in the security business by hooking

up a camera to catch (on videotape!)

whoever was egging his client’s business.

His customer base and offerings

have grown quite a bit since then.

3.

Episode #102 sees Gregory

Gabbara from “Goin’ Postal”

on the set, describing his business

which offers postal services to compete

with FedEx, UPS, and DHL.

Goin’ Postal is a registered post office

in West Bloomfield. Greg guarantees

that his rates will beat the

big carriers. His company doesn’t

charge to pack items for their customers,

so think about them for

Christmas mailings!

4.

Venar Ayar from Ayar Law

sits with Junior and Anthony

and talks taxes. Venar says

most of his clients have tax issues;

Anthony and Junior

Gregory Gabbara

people don’t know that the IRS

will file for you if you don’t file

your taxes, and interest will rack

up quickly. Negotiations with the

Jason Yousif

Venar Ayar

Internal Revenue Service are his

specialty. Don’t wait if you’re having

trouble with taxes, call Ayar

Law and let them help you.

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36 CHALDEAN NEWS NOVEMBER 2020


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event

1

2

3

4

CCF PPE and Voter

Registration Drive

The Chaldean Community Foundation has been busy serving the community in these

unprecedented times. Along with their normal social services, they’ve hosted several Personal

Protection Equipment (PPE) giveaways aimed at keeping the community safe and

protected. On August 12 and September 22, they gave away PPE kits and registered people

to vote. If you are looking for PPE for yourself or someone else, stay tuned to CCF’s Facebook,

Instagram and Twitter pages to learn more about upcoming giveaways.

1. CCF staff helps drive

up clients register to vote

2. Social distancing

protocols were in effect

3. A client drives up to

receive their PPE kit

4. It was a busy day

in the CCF parking lot

38 CHALDEAN NEWS NOVEMBER 2020


14505 MICHIGAN AVENUE

DEARBORN, MI 48126

WWW.SUPERIORONLINE.COM

313-846-1122

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