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METRO DETROIT CHALDEAN COMMUNITY VOL. 19 ISSUE VII AUGUST 2022

Learning

in Nineveh

THE STATE OF

EDUCATION

IN IRAQ

PLUS

Governor’s Race

New Media in Erbil

ACI MENA


CONTACT

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AUGUST 2022 CHALDEAN NEWS 3


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4 CHALDEAN NEWS AUGUST 2022


METRO DETROIT CHALDEAN COMMUNITY | AUGUST 2022 | VOL. 19 ISSUE VII

ON THE COVER

20 Learning in Nineveh

The state of education in Iraq

By Sarah Kittle

FEATURES

22 In the Frame

Qaraqosh photo essay

By Wilson Sarkis and Alan Mansour

20

DEPARTMENTS

6 From the Editor

Starting Fresh

By Sarah Kittle

7 Your Letters

Building Southfield Manor

8 Foundation Update

Lifetime Achievement Award,

Youth Basketball Camp

9 Guest Column

US Constitution Explained

By N. Peter Antone

10 Noteworthy

Tareq Hanna, Kathleen Garmo,

Waad Murad Fund

12 Iraq Today

Power of Prayer

14 Chaldean Digest

Young Christians, United Way grant,

Irish Martyr?

16 Religion

Entrepreneurship: A calling from God?

By Karan Banham

18 In Memoriam

19 Obituary

Jeffrey George Najor

34 Sports

Family First

By Steve Stein

36 Culture and History

Genocide Part V

By Dr. Adhid Miri

42 Lifestyle

The Art of Mindfulness

By Valene Ayar

44 Events

Salute to Warriors

46 From the Archive

The official hat of Iraq

26 The Graying of a Nation

Caring for America’s aging population

By Sarah Kittle

28 Shining a Light

New media project in Erbil

By Cal Abbo

30 Governor’s Race Heats Up

Profiling the Republican contenders

By Paul Natinsky

32 Profile: Dr. Michael Haddow

Coming full circle

By Sarah Kittle

40 Artist in Residence

Emily Taila recognized for her art

By Cal Abbo

22

AUGUST 2022 CHALDEAN NEWS 5


FROM THE EDITOR

PUBLISHED BY

Chaldean News, LLC

Chaldean Community Foundation

Martin Manna

EDITORIAL

EDITOR

Sarah Kittle

CONTRIBUTING WRITERS

Cal Abbo

N. Peter Antone

Valene Ayar

Karan Banham

Sarah Kittle

Dr. Adhid Miri

Alan Mansour

Paul Natinsky

Steve Stein

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Chaldean News

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Publication: The Chaldean News (P-6);

Published monthly; Issue Date: August 2022

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A Fresh Start

Can you believe it’s August already? No one

enjoys the smell of freshly sharpened pencils

and the cracking open of crisp, clean,

empty notebooks more than I do - your editor

and super-geek-in-chief. The beginning of a new

school year has historically been the time of clean

slates, fresh starts, and endless possibilities. Although

the past two years have seemed more like

one loooong year, we may finally be getting back

to normal as far as school goes.

“Normal” is not a word to use when describing

Emily Taila. Emily, all of 14, is an artist who has

been recognized for her talent at the national

level and who has had her art displayed in

the nation’s capital. She’s going places and

thankfully, will carry the community with her

wherever she goes.

“We the people” is more than just a line on

an old parchment. Guest writer N. Peter Antone

felt a need to expound on the principles

of the U.S. Constitution, what it meant when

it was written and what it means now. Considered

a “living document,” this founding paper is the basis

for our courts, legal system, and government - yet few people

have actually read it, much less understand it.

We have a new features writer this issue, Karam Bahnam,

who shares his experience and expertise combining

his faith with daily business practices, not all that easy in

today’s business world. The state of being a business owner

is fraught with opportunities to take advantage of people but

remembering our Christian roots and adhering to the Golden

Rule helps keep us on the straight and narrow.

Valene Ayar, who has contributed once before, shares her

knowledge of mindfulness and the law of attraction. With all

the conflict going on around us, it helps to take a moment

and breathe. Being present in the moment and focusing on

positivity helps us more than most people realize.

Combining faith and business practice is something Dr.

Michael Haddow, who is profiled in this issue, takes to heart.

SARAH KITTLE

EDITOR

IN CHIEF

Although the past two years have seemed

more like one loooong year, we may finally

be getting back to normal as far as

school goes.

For more than 30 years, Dr. Haddow has been donating

his time and energy to perform periodontal

procedures and much needed surgery to grateful

individuals in third world countries. “It’s part of my

faith,” he explains. He also brings his passion into

the classroom, teaching future dentists surgical

techniques and the art of caring for others.

Dr. Adhid Miri brings us the fifth and final segment

of his long-running series, “Genocide in the

21st Century.” If only printing the last article would

signal the end of the persecution…

Sports are back and Steve Stein writes about Jeremy

Denha, a winning high school basketball coach. Paul

Natinsky gathered all kinds of information for our readers

about this year’s Republican gubernatorial candidates, and

we address the aging population and caring for those with

special needs. We also bring you back to Iraq with Qaraqosh

in the Frame, a continuation of the popular photo essay of

the homeland that we began back in February.

Of course, this being the August issue, we give you the

“school list;” being 2022, we offer it to you online at chaldeannews.com.

Best wishes for a fresh start,

Sarah Kittle

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YOUR LETTERS

Building

Southfield Manor

My name is Michael (Mouwaffak) Sitto. I

am a retired architect, presently living in

San Diego, California, after having lived

and worked in the Detroit area from 1969

to 1981. I recently came across an online

article written by Dr. Adhid Miri in the

November 2020 issue. The article was

about the history of Southfield Manor.

Since I was intimately involved in the

design and construction of Southfield

Manor, I would like to clarify and correct

the information presented in the following

section of the article:

“Michael Nalu was hired to design

the facility. He was later joined by

another Chaldean architect, Michael

Sitto, who worked closely with Jonna

Construction Company.”

It is technically incorrect to state

that. The correct information is that

in 1978, both myself and Michael Nalu

were approached by the CIAM Board to

submit design proposals for the thenproposed

Southfield Manor. My design

was selected; however, the Board decided

to award the contract to both

of us, as members of CIAM. After the

award, it was decided and agreed to

that I would have full responsibility for

the design and the development of the

construction documents without input

from Michael Nalu.

Dr. Miri, in his article presents an

excellent history of Southfield Manor

that is worthy for the record for generations

to come. However, I wanted

to write this response to correct the

record and to have a complete history

of the project. Unfortunately, few of

the people who were involved with the

project are still with us today to confirm

my information. What I am presenting

can be verified by checking old minutes

of meetings, and design plans that had

my name as the project designer.

For the record, I would also like to

indicate that I designed the Mother of

God Cathedral in Southfield, Michigan

prior to my design of Southfield Manor,

and St. Peter Cathedral in San Diego,

California. I also worked for the Naval

Facilities Engineering Command (NAV-

FAC) and later became “Senior Chief

Architect” responsible for more than

40 architects and many multimilliondollar

projects for the U.S. Navy.

Thank you for publishing this letter.

I would be happy to address any

contrary views.

– Michael Sitto, architect CA, MI, NCARB

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AUGUST 2022 CHALDEAN NEWS 7


FOUNDATION UPDATE

Upcoming Events

August 11

Warren Consolidated Schools

Back-to-School Event

Time: 6:00pm-8:00pm

September 8

Emergency Preparedness

Town Hall

Time: 6:00pm-7:30pm

September 20

National Voter Registration

Day Event

Time: TBD

September 22

Henry Ford Diabetes

Prevention Town Hall

Time: 6:00pm-7:30pm

All events will be held at the Chaldean

Community Foundation. For more

information, please contact Jubilee

Jackson at 586-722-7253.

Macomb County Community Infant Mental Health Team toured the Chaldean Community Foundation following their

Post-Partum Depression Town Hall.

Breaking Down Post-Partum Depression

The Chaldean Community Foundation hosted a Post-Partum Depression Town Hall live on Facebook on July 12.

The program was presented by the Macomb County Community Infant Mental Health team, which provided tips

and resources for mothers experiencing post-partum depression. Topics included the signs and symptoms of

post-partum or perinatal depression, causes of post-partum depression, and community resources.

You may view the Town Hall in its entirety by visiting the Chaldean Community Foundation Facebook page:

@chaldeanfoundation.

The students receiving coaching from camp coach Vincent Manna.

Nothing But Net

The CCF hosted its first ever Youth Basketball Camp for guys and girls from Grissom

Middle School.

28 sixth and seventh grade students have participated in this 10-week summer

basketball camp, designed to be an outlet for physical fitness, provide fundamental

basketball skills, team building activities and a place to socialize and make

new friends.

The camp will be coming to a close in mid-August. For more information regarding

the program, contact the Chaldean Community Foundation at 586-722-7253.

Baby

Extravaganza

The Chaldean Community Foundation

will host an event to provide

resources for new and expecting

mothers on Wednesday, August

3. The event will take place from

3:00pm-6:00pm at the Chaldean

Community Foundation. The Baby

Extravaganza, which will feature

more than 30 exhibitors across

Macomb and Oakland County, will

include many resources, free giveaways,

door prizes, and several

interactive 30-minute demonstrations

on best practices regarding

childcare and child development.

A “Touch a Truck” police car

and fire truck will be on-site for

kids to interact with, and we will

serve up ice cream for the whole

family. The event is free for those

who attend. Strollers are welcome.

Akram Kareem

CCF

Announces

Lifetime

Achievement

Awardee

The Chaldean Community Foundation

is happy to announce that

it will award Akram Kareem with

the Lifetime Achievement Award

at the 4th Annual Awards Gala

on Thursday, September 29 at the

Palazzo Grande. A lifelong entrepreneur,

Akram Kareem has been

involved in major philanthropic

efforts for the Chaldean Churches

in Southeast Michigan and internationally.

For Gala sponsorship inquiries

visit www.chaldeanfoundation.org

or call Jubilee Jackson at

586-722-7253.

8 CHALDEAN NEWS AUGUST 2022


GUEST COLUMN

All Men Created Equal

The U.S. Constitution explained

When Thomas Jefferson

wrote the

famous words “all

men are created equal,” his

original intent was likely to

limit that category to only

white men, not minorities

or women. Yet, when we celebrate

this phrase today and

teach it to our kids in school,

we do so under the assumption

that it represents people

of all races, colors, and genders.

However, there has never been

a constitutional amendment to revise

the original intent. So where did this

change in interpretation originate?

The above is an example of the difficulty

in adhering rigidly to the original

intent of the founders when they wrote

the Constitution. They lived in a world

with different values than ours. Indeed,

N. PETER

ANTONE

SPECIAL TO

THE CHALDEAN

NEWS

we should give them credit for

the sacrifices they made in order

to leave the world a better

place than they found it. For

example, at the time Thomas

Jefferson wrote the Constitution,

not all white men were

equal under the law, and his

declaration, in itself, was a

huge advancement for society.

But, if we look beyond the

original intent of the founders,

how can we avoid an overreach?

The answer is that the founders

original intent was based on noble

principles that have the potential to be

expanded upon and re-interpreted with

time which we can do while being also

careful to remain within the confines of

those principles. For example, Thomas

Jefferson’s intent rested on a principle

that is wider and more inclusive than

his written word – the principle that

regardless of when or where people are

born, they should have equal rights and

opportunities. At his time, the people

whom society considered worthy of

such treatment were limited to white

men. Though his words reference only

“men,” today we understand this to include

all individuals, regardless of ethnicity

or gender, due to the broadness of

the underlying principle.

Originalists are often concerned that

if the Constitution is interpreted as having

an expansive meaning (referred to as

a “living document,”) this would allow

the federal judiciary to create policy and

law when its role should be limited to the

interpretation of law. So how can a balance

be achieved? The answer is that the

judiciary to whom we give such responsibility

should be selected wisely and

in a way that will generate the respect

of the majority of the public. Members

of the Supreme Court are chosen by the

President and confirmed by the Senate

for lifetime appointments. When at

least 60 Senators had to approve of any

nominee, one could be more assured

that ultimate selections reflected mainstream

opinions. Unfortunately, due to

actions taken by Senate majority leaders

Harry Reid and Mitch McConnell, only 50

Senators are now needed to approve the

President’s choice. This allows for more

divisive selections. Additional controversy

has arisen due to the recent lack of

consistency in nomination procedures.

In one case, a judicial appointment to

the Supreme Court was delayed because

an election was six months away, while

another was made just three weeks before

an election after the passing of a

Justice. And while one side is pleased

that the current composition of the Court

appears to be in their favor, things could

easily change course if and when the

other side finds an opportunity to game

the system, as evidenced by calls to pack

the Court (which involves increasing the

number of sitting Justices). Thankfully,

these calls have mostly been ignored.

I think that the Supreme Court

should pursue its decisions with some

humility and with consideration of

where the American people stand. A

careful and balanced pathway for future

decisions is critical for our nation

to maintain faith in the Supreme Court

as an independent and equal third

branch of government.

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AUGUST 2022 CHALDEAN NEWS 9


NOTEWORTHY

Tareq

Hanna

receives

WSU

award

Tareq Hanna is a 2022

recipient of The Howard

A. Donnelly Award. Chosen

recipients are considered to have

made outstanding contributions to

Wayne State University in the areas

of leadership and service while maintaining

high scholarship during their

undergraduate studies. The Donnelly

Award is bestowed annually upon two

selected candidates who will complete

their bachelor’s degree studies

in May of that year. Hanna, Class of

‘22, is a member of the Irvin D. Reid

Honors College. He received a bachelors

in biological sciences from the

College of Liberal Arts and Sciences

Tareq Hanna

with a minor in chemistry.

Hanna served as an organic

chemistry peer mentor

as well as a research

assistant at the Parkinson’s

Disease Lab, volunteered

with the WSU Health Mobile

COVID Testing Team,

in the emergency room at

Beaumont Hospital Farmington

Hills, and served

as President of the Detroit

Diabetes Association. Hanna has been

involved with the National Arab American

Medical Association’s Wayne State

chapter, expanding student opportunities,

and serving as collaboration chair.

These student awards convey the

highest esteem and distinction. Each

recipient will receive a $350 stipend,

an elegant recognition plaque, and

the honor of being identified as a

preeminent Wayne State University

student role model. Hanna will attend

WSU’s School of Medicine beginning

in 2022.

Kathleen

Garmo

appointed

to Troy

board

Kathleen Garmo was appointed

to the DDA (downtown

development authority)

board for the city of Troy on July 11.

The Downtown Development Authority

(DDA), as established by State

Statute, Act 197 of 1975, is composed

of thirteen members. At least seven

members of the Board must have a

property interest in the Downtown

Development District and the City of

Troy’s mayor serves as the Board’s

thirteenth member. The DDA engages

in long-range planning for the downtown

area; land acquisition and improvement;

building construction

and improvement and acquisition

Kathleen Garmo

and improvement of

public facilities for revitalizing

the City of Troy’s

downtown area.

Kathleen is a member

of the Chaldean Young

Professionals Network

(CYPN) and serves on the

Chaldean Women’s Committee

(CWC).

Waad Murad

Fund engaged

The Chaldean Community Foundation

(CCF) is working with the

Detroit Police Department to help

identify the person who shot and

killed Jeffrey Najor on July 18, 2022.

The Waad Murad Fund has committed

a $20,000 reward for information

that leads to the arrest and

conviction of the perpetrator.

10 CHALDEAN NEWS AUGUST 2022


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AUGUST 2022 CHALDEAN NEWS 11


IRAQ TODAY

PHOTO BY HADI MIZBAN/AP

Followers of Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr chant slogans during an open-air Friday prayers in Sadr City, Baghdad, Iraq, Friday, July 15, 2022.

Iraqi cleric shows power as

thousands attend mass prayer

BY QASSIM ABDUL-ZAHRA

BAGHDAD (AP)

Tens of thousands of Iraqis attended

a mass prayer in a Baghdad

suburb on Friday called for

by an influential Shiite cleric, sparking

fears of instability amid a deepening

political crisis that has followed the

country’s national elections.

Followers of Moqtada al-Sadr arrived

in the capital from across the

country, filling up Sadr City’s al-Falah

Street — the main thoroughfare that

cuts across the populist figure’s key

bastion of support. Worshippers carried

Iraqi flags and wore white shrouds,

typically donned by his supporters.

The event was considered a show

of force from the cleric whose party

won the highest number of seats in the

October national elections but withdrew

after failing to form a government

with Sunni and Kurdish allies in

Iraq’s cutthroat power-sharing system.

Followers stood under the scorching

sun and chanted religious slogans. Al-

Sadr’s representative, Sheikh Mahmoud

al-Jiyashi, read aloud a speech from the

cleric during the service that reiterated

calls to disband armed groups — an indirect

reference to Iran-backed Iraqi militia

groups affiliated with his rivals.

Ahmad Kadhim, 17, was among

the worshippers. He said he was disappointed

al-Sadr himself did not appear

at the service. “I would have been

happy just to see him, but this wish

did not come true,” he said.

By capitalizing on fears that the

mass prayer could turn into protests,

al-Sadr sent a potent message of his

authority and power. The event was

among the largest gatherings of al-

Sadr’s followers after the U.S.-led invasion

that toppled Saddam Hussein

in 2003. But more importantly, it carried

a message to al-Sadr’s political rivals

of his ability to mobilize the Iraqi

street and destabilize the country.

In a tweet on Thursday ahead of

the prayer, al-Sadr said the choice to

protest was up to his followers.

“I support them if they want to

stand up for reform,” he wrote. Many

considered that a veiled threat to his

rivals.

Al-Sadr, who won the most seats in

the October national elections, withdrew

from the government formation last

month, following eight months of stalemate.

In line with his orders, the members

of his parliamentary bloc resigned.

Al-Sadr had sought to form a government

with Sunni and Kurdish allies

that excluded Iran-backed parties lead

by his long-time rival, former Prime

Minister Nouri al-Maliki.

The surprise move shocked his

opponents and his supporters alike,

sparking fears of more unrest and

street protests if al-Maliki forged ahead

with government formation plans that

excluded al-Sadr.

If the political crisis extends to

August, it will be the longest that

Iraq has gone without a government

since elections.

The threat of mass demonstrations

is a well-established tactic by al-Sadr

that has proven successful in the past.

In 2016, al-Sadr’s supporters repeatedly

the Green Zone, a heavily fortified

area housing Iraq’s government

buildings and foreign embassies, even

storming parliament complex and attacking

officials.

The prayer service is also an ode

to al-Sadr’s father, cleric Muhammad

Sadiq al-Sadr, from whom he derives

much of his support base. The elder al-

Sadr had held Friday prayer service in

defiance of the Saddam regime in the

1990s. He was assassinated in 1999.

12 CHALDEAN NEWS AUGUST 2022


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AUGUST 2022 CHALDEAN NEWS 13


CHALDEAN DIGEST

Janan Shaker Elias looks at a book in the library she created.

Young Christians support the reopening

of libraries and bookstores in Mosul and

in the Nineveh Plain

In Mosul and in the Nineveh Plain, the network

of libraries and bookshops has paid a

high price due to the jihadist occupation and

the military interventions that have devastated

it. In the years from 2014 to 2017, many

bookstores were forcibly closed, libraries of

historical value were destroyed, and collections

of ancient books and manuscripts were

taken away to save them from looting and devastation.

Now, among the signs of the “new

beginning” of social and community life in

that region of Iraq is also the reopening of libraries,

bookstores, and cultural centers.

In the village of Sirishka, in the district of

The Chaldean Community Foundation (CCF) in

Sterling Heights was among the organizations

awarded a grant from the United Way of Southeastern

Michigan. It was part of the second round

of funding for Black, Indigenous, and People of

Color (BIPOC) groups that work toward eliminating

racial disparities in pursuit of a more equitable

and just community for everyone.

Alqosh, north-east of Mosul, the interest of the

local population is growing around the initiative

of Janan Shaker Elias, a young woman who

opened a private library which soon became a

center for cultural meetings and exchanges.

The site offers almost 2,000 free reference

volumes (a number that is slowly but steadily

increasing), divided by genres and disciplines,

and also functions as a reservation center for

books for purchase. The library addresses concerns

of young Christians about the role that

libraries and bookshops play in the resumption

of civil coexistence in the Iraqi region.

– Agenzia Fides

Chaldean Community Foundation

awarded United Way grant

The grant received by CCF and eight other organizations

range between $10,000 and $75,000.

The fund was designed by a diverse and inclusive

workgroup of community members during the

summer and fall of 2021. The objective of the fund

is to empower those most harmed by systemic oppression

to thrive and reach their full potential.

– Macomb Daily

PHOTO COURTESY SYRIACPRESS.COM

Kurdistan is

first choice for

Christians

The Kurdistan Region remains the

“first choice” destination of Iraq’s

dwindling Christian population,

according to Archbishop Bashar

Matti Warda, who made the remark

in a discussion about the ongoing

dangers faced by Iraqi Christians.

Noting that the Kurdistan Region

Fr. Ragheed Ganni,

Irish martyr?

Former president of Ireland,

Mary McAleese, suggested

that Iraqi priest, Fr. Ragheed

Ganni, a Chaldean Catholic

who was killed along with

three sub deacons in 2007,

should be considered an adopted

Irish martyr because

of his links with Ireland. She

remembered meeting him on

a pilgrimage on Lough Derg

and later begging the young

priest not to return to Iraq but

to stay in the safety of Rome.

“But no, he had to go

Archbishop Bashar

Matti Warda

had become a haven for the minority after its population rapidly

decreased in post-2003 Iraq, he said many of these Christians

resettled in the villages of Zakho and Duhok and Erbil’s

Christian-majority Ankawa district.

While there is no official tally on the current number of

Christians in Iraq, it’s believed that the total number is less

than 250,000. Kurdistan Region Prime Minister Masrour Barzani

said his government spends over $1 billion annually on

services for displaced people living in the camps of the Kurdistan

Region.

– Kurdistan 24

Chaldean Father Ragheed

Aziz Ganni, killed along

with three subdeacons from

Church of the Holy Spirit in

Mosul, Iraq in 2007 while

leaving Mass.

home,” she recalled. “People needed Mass, the sacraments,

burials, marriages, Confession. They needed a priest.”

Kidnapped and tortured coming out of Trinity Sunday

Mass on June 3 in 2007, Fr. Ganni is remembered in the pantheon

of Irish martyrs celebrated in the magnificent mosaic

work of Marko Rupnik, SJ, in the apse of the chapel of the

Pontifical Irish College in Rome where he had been a student.

“He did not seek martyrdom,” said McAleese. “It found

him as he knew it might, and he lit a candle in the dark of

violence with the light of his life. His priestly stole now surrounds

the relics of Saint Oliver Plunkett and rests on the altar

in the Irish College. The cause for his beatification and

canonization has opened in Rome.”

– The Table

CHALDEAN ARCHDIOCESE OF ERBIL

PHOTO COURTESY CNS/ASIANEWS

14 CHALDEAN NEWS AUGUST 2022


ARE

YOU

HIRING?

Community Job Fair 2022

Wednesday, September 7, 2022 | 3:00 P.M.-6:00 P.M.

The Chaldean Community Foundation (CCF)

is inviting you to participate in our inaugural

Community Job Fair 2022. The job fair will

provide exciting, new opportunities for career

advancement for many new Americans and

the general public. It will provide you, the

employer, the opportunity to conduct “onthe-spot”

interviews and network with other

businesses and organizations!

• $150 registration fee

• Register by Monday, July 18, 2022, to be included on our event flyer.

• Table and two chairs will be provided.

• Light refreshments and snacks.

• Space is limited. Registrations are on a first-come first-served basis.

Please register by scanning the QR code below.

Chaldean Community Foundation

Wireless Vision Gymnasium

3601 15 Mile Rd.

For more info contact Elias at Elias.Kattoula@chaldeanfoundation.org or call 586-722-7253. Sterling Heights, MI, 48310


RELIGION

Entrepreneurship: A Calling from God?

Three ways to apply the Golden Rule in our business life

Is being an entrepreneur

a calling from God? This

question might seem

strange to many readers, as

we normally associate God’s

callings uniquely with vocations

to the religious life,

such as priests and nuns.

On the other hand, we tend

to think of entrepreneurship

exclusively in terms of a job

or a means for providing

financial needs to our families.

This might be the common

understanding of our culture today,

yet Christianity begs to differ.

The Christian faith teaches that

every human being has at least one

calling in life. In his letter to the Ephesians,

St. Paul encourages his readers

to live their lives according to whatever

calling God has for them. Some are

called to be celibate priest and nuns

and serve the people of God, while

others are called to married life, to be

fathers and mothers, and to have jobs

and businesses. Regardless of what

our calling is, God expects us to be

faithful to it.

Being faithful to our calling as

entrepreneurs means living our daily

lives and conducting our business in

light of our calling. We must be faithful

to our calling not only conceptually,

but also practically. The billion-dollar

question (due to inflation “million”

does not cut it anymore) is how?

Some might say entrepreneurs

must take business ethics classes; others

suggest taking business philosophy

classes or even theology classes. This

sounds too complicated. Besides, who

has the time and the desire to do that?

It seems like we, entrepreneurs,

need a golden rule - something easy

and simple that if we follow, we can

accomplish the goal of being faithful

to our callings. To my knowledge, no

one has that golden rule except Jesus

Christ.

Jesus, in explaining the essence of

the Christian faith teaches his followers

the golden rule when he says, “Do

unto others whatever you would have

KARAM

BAHNAM

SPECIAL TO

THE CHALDEAN

NEWS

them do to you.” (Matthew

7:12) As Christian entrepreneurs,

we must keep this rule

in mind and apply it to all dimensions

of our lives. There

are at least three dimensions

where the golden rule would

help us achieve the goal of

being faithful to our calling

as Christian entrepreneurs.

The first would be the

family dimension. Many of

us strive so hard to provide

financially for our families,

even to the point where spouses are

abandoned, and children are neglected.

The desire to advance financially,

motivated by the materialistic culture

we live in, prepares the foundation for

that. Here, Jesus’s rule of doing to others

as we would like them to do to us is

a reminder to prioritize our family lives.

Working too many hours a week

comes at the cost of missing family

time. I once heard a teen describing

his father as the “Santa Claus” that

he gets to see around Christmas only.

Spending too many hours away from

our spouses encourages them to create

new habits and make new friends to

fill their empty time.

Oftentimes, these cracks in family

life result in complete breakdown of

the family. Jesus says, “do to others

as you would like them to do to you.”

Think of what you would like your

spouse to do to you and then do the

same. Imagine yourself as a kid again

and treat your children according to

how you would have liked your parents

to treat you. It is true that we have

a calling to be entrepreneurs, but our

calling as spouses and parents come

first.

The second would be the legal dimension.

All too often, entrepreneurs

commit illegal activities with the justification

that it is “not fair” that we

have to follow certain rules and laws.

The most common complaint is our responsibility

to pay taxes. Here, Jesus’

words of doing to others as we would

like them to do to us are critical.

As much as I hate paying taxes,

as an entrepreneur, I need to be reminded

that we were given the ability

to conduct our businesses and thrive

in this country due to the economical

system established in this land, with

all its pros and cons. We cannot accept

what is convenient for us and ignore

all that is not according to our likings.

Paying taxes has never been a fun

chore; even Jesus complained when

he paid his taxes on behalf of himself

and Peter (Matthew 17:24-27), yet he

reminded us of our responsibility to do

just that when he said, “Render unto

Caesar what belongs to Caesar and to

God what belongs to God.” (Mark 12:17)

The third dimension is everyday

practices. Regardless of the type of

Entrepreneurs

need a golden

rule — something

easy and simple

that if we

follow, we can

accomplish the

goal of being

faithful to our

callings.

business that an entrepreneur engages

in, having employees working

under us and clients to provide services

to is part of the package. Jesus’s

golden rule of doing to others as we

would like them to do to us must be

the foundation on which we conduct

our practices. Paying fair wages to our

employees, not putting them in harm’s

way, and giving them the ability to

have time off are a few applications of

the golden rule.

In addition, being ethical with our

clients and customers in everyday

business transactions is an unparalleled

way to fulfill our calling as true

Christian entrepreneurs. To some

these practices show weakness or naivety,

but to Christian entrepreneurs

who believe that God would repay the

faithful sevenfold, it could be the wisest

investment we can ever make.

As Chaldeans we have enjoyed the

many blessings this country has provided

for us, among them the ability to

be entrepreneurs. Let us live our lives

and manage our business with the understanding

that this is God’s calling

for us. Let us strive to be faithful to this

calling.

Karam Bahnam is long-time business

owner and entrepreneur. He has a

bachelor’s degree in Philosophy and

master’s degree in Theology from

Sacred Heart Major Seminary.

16 CHALDEAN NEWS AUGUST 2022


AUGUST 2022 CHALDEAN NEWS 17


IN MEMORIAM

Salim Toma

Jonna

April 10, 1953 –

June 8, 2022

Najatt Salloomi

Nov 4, 1947 –

June 8, 2022

Rita Nofar

Dekho

Jan 3, 1955 –

June 9, 2022

Ghaida Ibrahim

Bony Badria

Dec 25, 1962 –

June 10, 2022

Suham Yousif

Denha Jarbo

Sept 10, 1945 –

June 12, 2022

Salima Jamil

Oct 5, 1929 –

June 14, 2022

Andraws Hazim

Deno- AlOsachi

July 1, 1936 –

June 14, 2022

Aied Jamil

Dawood

Oct 7, 1951 –

June 15, 2022

Roza Jirjis

Mamou Loosya

May 10, 1939 –

June 15, 2022

Anwar Shaya

Dec 25, 1946 –

June 15, 2022

Jeffrey Adel

Dabish

Aug 8, 1977 –

June 16, 2022

Naim Hallac

March 19, 1942

– June 16, 2022

Rigina Yokhana

July 1, 1958 –

June 16, 2022

Shamama

Marogi

July 1, 1922 –

June 16, 2022

Jalal Abou

Hermiz Koda

Aug 13, 1939 –

June 17, 2022

Shabeeb Behnan

Shaba Sason

Oct 24, 1950 –

June 18, 2022

Tamara Yousif

Korkes

July 1, 1940 –

June 18, 2022

Adil Jamil Tela

Dec 1, 1937 –

June 19, 2022

Mashael Dalaly

Salan

Jan 6, 1944 –

June 20, 2022

Faez Noel

Yousef

June 6, 1967 –

June 22, 2022

Dammo Odish

Jajo

July 1, 1922 –

June 22, 2022

Frank Puta

Oct 28, 1944 –

June 23, 2022

Vergeen Bony

Badria

June 7, 1935 –

June 23, 2022

Basil Yousif

Aug 31, 1957 –

June 24, 2022

Mariam

Shaouna

July 1, 1928 –

June 27, 2022

Georgette Shina

Feb 20, 1942 –

June 26, 2022

Nooria Hana

Batoo Savaya

July 1, 1930 –

June 30, 2022

Johnny (Khuder)

Elyas Maroki Isho

Sept 20, 1965 –

July 4, 2022

Bitrus Esho

Youkhana

June 21, 1945 –

July 5, 2022

Ameerah Yonan

Toma Menak

July 1, 1953 –

July 8, 2022

Hanan Malakha

July 1, 1951 –

July 9, 2022

Yousif Abid

Zaytoona

Dec 20, 1976 –

July 9, 2022

Martin A. Audish

July 8, 1990 –

July 10, 2022

Samira Jarjis

Oraha

July 1, 1938 –

July 11, 2022

Muna George

Ashaka

Nov 9, 1963 –

July 12, 2022

Khalid Youkop

Gulli

June 30, 1938 –

July 12, 2022

Ramzy Elias Kizy

March 1, 1934 –

June 12, 2022

Edward Zia

Abbo

May 2, 1939 –

July 12, 2022

Vergin Kalasho

Albakal

July 1, 1933 –

July 13, 2022

Nuha Mansour

Yousif

Sept 30, 1957 –

July 13, 2022

18 CHALDEAN NEWS AUGUST 2022


OBITUARY

Jeffrey George Najor

February 15, 1983 - July 18, 2022

Jeffrey George Najor was born in the United States

to immigrant parents from Tel Kaif, Iraq. He was a

life-long Michigan resident and an Oak Park native.

Jeffrey focused his career primarily in the Real

Estate Industry, operating various commercial and

residential rental real estate projects. He specialized

in finding undervalued property that he could

re-develop by utilizing his construction teams in

various trades in the industry. As of late, he leveraged

his expertise in real estate development to

form a commercial roofing contracting business.

Jeffrey was a family man. Spending time with

his wife and children was his utmost priority. They

enjoyed traveling and vacationing throughout

Michigan in the summers and in the south during

the winter months. Jeff was an avid sports enthusiast

and enjoy basketball as a recreational activity.

He always lived in the moment, sharing his contagious

laughter with others, and making people

feel comfortable in his presence. His wife Allena

was the love of his life, sharing a true fairytale love

story with their three beautiful children, Charlotte,

Jacqueline, and George.

Tragically, at the age of 39, Jeffrey Najor passed

away. He will be remembered as a loving son, husband,

father, brother, uncle, and a friend to many.

He was the cherished son of the late George E. Najor

and Nadia Najor; treasured nephew of Ameer

(Hana) Najor; loving husband of Allena Najor; devoted

father to Charlotte, Jacqueline, and George

Najor; dear brother of Jason (Renee) Najor, Jennifer

(Andy) Yono and Janice (Bryan) Barringer; dearest

grandson of the late Elias and Hayata Najor, and

the late Shamaya Bajawa and Sabria Bajawa; proud

son-in-law of Ramzi and Widad Attisha; humbled

brother-in-law of Robert (Heather) Attisha, Andria

(Alexander) Ayar and Rania (Elias) Kattoula. He is

also survived by many nieces, nephews, aunts, uncles,

and cousins.

Jeffrey’s essence continues in all the countless

people that he inspired through his comradery and

the advice he would always share.

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AUGUST 2022 CHALDEAN NEWS 19


COVER STORY

Students stand and recite in a renovated classroom in the Nineveh Province.

PHOTO BY WILSON SHARKIS

Learning in Nineveh

BY SARAH KITTLE

Prior to the first Gulf War in the

early 90s, Iraq’s educational system

was considered to be “one

of the most advanced in the region,”

according to UNESCO. Primary school

enrollment was at 100% and literacy

levels were high.

Education in Iraq has suffered greatly

since, struggling with the fallout of

war, international sanctions, occupation,

and general instability. Major problems

include the politicization of the

educational system, uneven emigration,

internal displacement of teachers and

students, security threats, corruption,

and a severe lack of resources.

“These schools don’t have what

they need from a technology perspective,”

says Juliana Taimoorazy, founder

of the Iraqi Christian Relief Council.

“It’s really debilitating because they’re

unable to type on Word for example…

everything they’re doing is by theory.”

Students in the Nineveh Plain contend

with much more than too much

homework or a demanding teacher.

They struggle to survive in a land

where teachers disappear and schools

are bombed and destroyed. According

to one report by Christian News,

approximately 70% of schools in Iraq

lack clean water and latrines.

Following the 2003 invasion by

ISIS, Iraqis have been working with

international agencies and foreign

governments to create a framework

for rebuilding the educational system.

Nearly 3,000 schools were severely

damaged and almost as many were

looted and stripped.

Taimoorazy says that since that

time, funding for Christian schools

have decreased dramatically. When

people are struggling to secure basic

needs such as food and shelter, things

like schooling take a back seat. Among

other hardships they are facing is lack

of funds for teachers’ salaries and a

shortage of transportation for students.

Still, she says, Iraqi Christians are

a strong-willed people with a deep respect

for education. Often tri-lingual

(Assyrian, Arabic, and Kurdish), students

have families that will sacrifice

to further their children’s education.

“They haven’t seen anything but war,

devastation, hunger, and yet they

have such love, profound love for

education.”

Proponents of education have been

making headway in Nineveh. In 2018,

the first Catholic school since 1974

opened in Basra. Earlier this year, Al-

Tahira Secondary School opened in

Qaraqosh (Baghdida), the largest of

the 13 majority Christian towns and

villages on the Nineveh Plains.

Run by the Dominican Sisters of St.

Catherine of Sienna, the school boasts

state-of-the-art facilities, including

three science labs, a computer center,

conference hall, library, and chapel, all

spread out over three floors. Five years

in the making, the school is one of the

single biggest projects in Iraq supported

by Aid to the Church in Need (ACN).

Sudent Rameel Rabu Wadi, 16, told

ACN, “With buildings like this and a

chance to study well, we feel we have a

big future here.”

20 CHALDEAN NEWS AUGUST 2022


AUGUST 2022 CHALDEAN NEWS 21


PHOTO ESSAY

Qaraqosh

in the

Frame

A photo essay of

Hamdaniya

Baghdida, located in the district of Hamdaniya in northern Iraq, is also known

as Qaraqosh. Its population once surpassed 55,000, but during the ISIS crisis,

it plummeted to only a couple thousand. The militant group destroyed 80% of

the city and turned its churches into military bunkers for practice. An estimated

20,000 have returned. With the largest Christian population in Iraq, Bahgdida

leads the way for residents of a new generation.

PHOTOGRAPHY BY WILSON SARKIS

CAPTIONS BY ALAN MANSOUR

22 CHALDEAN NEWS AUGUST 2022


The Holy Family

Church was

destroyed by

ISIS. The church

is being cleaned

(right center) so it

can hold a Mass on

Easter Sunday. The

parishioners are

holding mass under

this destructive

condition to send

a message to the

world that they

are staying.

AUGUST 2022 CHALDEAN NEWS 23


PHOTO ESSAY

The dairy farm pictured above lies on the outskirts of Baghdida and belongs to the Al Gazal dairy factory. It is capable of

providing milk to triple the capacity of the factory. Al Gazal is a state-of-the-art, family-owned, local dairy factory that produces

yogurt, cheese, and heavy cream. They use local all-natural cow milk, free of preservatives, flavoring, or added vitamins for their

products. Their products are sold locally on a daily basis. Due to a lack of funding, this factory is only using half of its capacity

because it is unable to distribute to other cities.

24 CHALDEAN NEWS AUGUST 2022


Above left: Villagers, mostly women, organize to clean up the town cemetery in Hamdaniya, along with a local priest. The efforts are in honor of their ancestors

buried there. Above right: Families with children attend Easter Mass in one of the district’s churches. The right to worship has not always been guaranteed;

Christians in Iraq do not take it for granted.

Above left: The local restaurants are diversifying their menu, serving walnut tea alongside regular tea, and Terebinth coffee beside Turkish coffee.

Above right: The local Arabis come to Baghdida to shop for fresh, locally grown produce. This customer is letting the shopkeeper know she does not

welcome the recent increase in prices, some up to 25%.

Above left: Backgammon is the most popular pub and coffee shop game in Iraq. As young people have a hard time finding jobs, they resort to the local coffee shops for some

entertainment. Above right: A three-wheeled motorcycle is used as a pickup truck or a taxi. Although the streets are crowded, these motorcycles can maneuver quickly and

save on gas. Most of the population of Baghdida are Christians; this gives drivers the confidence to post Christian pictures and verses from the Bible on their vehicles.

AUGUST 2022 CHALDEAN NEWS 25


FEATURE

The Graying of a Nation

Caring for America’s aging population

BY SARAH KITTLE

According to the Urban Institute,

the number of Americans aged

65 and older is currently around

54 million; it is expected to climb to 80

million people in 2040. The number

of adults ages 85 and older, the group

most often needing help with basic personal

care, will have nearly quadrupled

between 2000 and 2040.

Part of the imbalance is the declining

fertility rate, which currently

stands at roughly 1.64, just under the

minimum rate needed to maintain

population size without any net immigration.

Americans are having fewer

children. Each American woman of

childbearing years has approximately

2 children in her lifetime. Until the

early decades of the 19th century,

American women averaged more than

7 children each.

Add to that the fact that life expectancy

rates have been rising, from age

54.5 in 1900 to about age 83 in the year

2000. We are living a lot longer than

our ancestors did, with women outliving

their male counterparts by a few

years. Some experts claim that half of

the girls born today will live to be 100.

The US Census Bureau projects that

the country will reach a new milestone in

2034, when people over 65 will overtake

children under 18 in number. The middle-aged

already outnumber children.

Who cares?

Caring for that aging population has

us juggling priorities. Who will care for

Jaddou? With the majority of American

households for the past two decades

being dual income, who has the time

and energy?

Enter home healthcare. The Chaldean

community has several home

care service companies - PARC Home

Care, John Paul Home Care, M & S

Home Care, M & R Home Assistance,

and Guardian Angel Homecare; most

services are covered by Medicare or

Medicaid. Top-level services include

skilled nursing care; physical, occupational,

and speech therapy; and social

work. They also offer post-hospital and

rehab care, orthopedic rehab, diabetic

management, wound care, and fall assessments,

among many other services.

At PARC, the primary client is the

aging or geriatric population. “As an

occupational therapist, I see the challenges

that our elderly population

face every day in their homes,” says

PARC CEO Jonathan Gasso. “Receiving

education and training from a medical

professional can decrease the risks of

falling, reduce hospitalizations, and

improve overall quality of life.”

And that’s what it’s all about - quality

of life. No one wants to live to 100

if they’re miserable or in constant pain.

“Oftentimes, family members play

a big role,” says Gasso. “In healthcare,

everything requires a collaborative

approach. We want everyone to be involved

so we can address the problem

and keep our client out of the hospital.”

Certain communities require special

care. “It’s not uncommon for clients

to request a male or female therapist,

or one who speaks their language.

We do our best to accommodate those

clients,” says Gasso. He shared that

he is proud to represent his culture in

such a positive way. The best feeling

in the world, he says, is to be “part of

something bigger than myself.”

A different kind of care

As for the mentally ill and developmentally

disabled, they require an entirely

different scope of care. Until the last

decade or so, mental illness carried a

stigma in the Chaldean community,

according to Rasha Asmar, who with

her husband owns and operates adult

foster care homes under the name of

Forever Care Homes. Unlike home care,

these facilities are meant for residents

to reside onsite under 24-hour care.

Considered trailblazers, Rasha and

her husband Allen have been in the

adult foster care business for 10 years.

“This is not an easy business,” says

Rasha. “You need a heart and passion

for these clients.”

Clients include those with Down

Syndrome and Autism and a myriad

of other mental health issues, some

exacerbated by COVID-19. “Aggression

is real,” says Rasha. Other services

include partial guardianship

for disabled minors.

Forever Care Homes walks each client

through the process for enrollment,

which starts at an Access Center. After

diagnosis, the client can get on the list

for housing and care. Many people are

afraid of losing benefits if they enroll.

The Asmars guide them through and

make sure they are covered.

Rasha and Allen have been married

for 12 years this month and have been

serving the community almost their

entire marriage. Starting out in this

business, Rasha worked 90-hour weeks

with three small children at home while

Allen worked late hours at a party store.

They have paid their dues.

Licensed by the state of Michigan

and contracted by three counties

(Wayne, Macomb, and Oakland),

Forever Care Homes has 6 locations

and will soon open another facility,

an 18-bed home in Wayne County.

Mobile Crisis

Services 24

Hour Help

Detroit Wayne Integrated Health

Network (DWIHN) Access Center

1.800.241.4949

Macomb County Community

Mental Health (MCCMH) Access

Center

1.855.996.2264

Oakland County Crisis Helpline

800.231.1127

Forever Care Homes has a robust

client list, and they are looking

to expand. Many assisted living

homes have closed down right at a

time when the need for their services

is growing at an exponential rate.

These clients need the right doctors

and the right medication, and many

need respite care as well. Not falling

into the category of assisted living or

nursing home, adult foster care can

meet those needs.

“We are in the business of care,”

says Rasha. “Our staff are highly

trained and extremely motivated. They

treat our clients like family.”

Taking care of family is what it’s all

about.

26 CHALDEAN NEWS AUGUST 2022


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AUGUST 2022 CHALDEAN NEWS 27


FEATURE

Chaldean Catholic Archbishop Bashar Warda (center), joined Alejandro Bermudez (far right), executive editor of the

ACI Group and Catholic News Agency, and other dignitaries and staff members at a ceremony marking the launch of

the Arabic-language news agency in Erbil, Iraq, on March 25, 2022.

Shining a Light on

the Christian Plight

New media project in Erbil takes off

BY CAL ABBO

The Chaldeans in Iraq have decided

they won’t go away, as

they lay even more roots in their

communities, resettle as refugees, and

build institutions.

The latest efforts to preserve the

life and freedoms of Christians in the

Middle East comes out of the Catholic

University of Erbil (CUE) and Chaldean

Archbishop Bashar Warda. A few

months ago, CUE launched a media

outlet called ACI MENA (Association

for Catholic Information Middle East

and North Africa) in collaboration

with the Eternal World Television Network

(EWTN), which covers the Catholic

Church as well as Catholic issues

around the world. ACI MENA will shed

light on the plight of Middle Eastern

Christians and their untold stories.

“I am pleased to announce that

EWTN has begun a service reporting

news from the embattled and underserved

Christian communities in the

Middle East,” said Michael P. Warsaw,

EWTN’s chairman and CEO. “This is

an important milestone in the growth

of EWTN News around the globe, and

I am pleased that we are taking this

significant step to better serve our courageous

brothers and sisters in the region

who have endured so much.”

ACI MENA’s current Editor-in-Chief

is a man named Rody Sher. He works

on special projects for CUE and was

chosen to lead the new media effort as

a result of his extensive career in Iraqi

and minority media. Sher currently

works as a journalist and TV presenter

at AlSharqiya and has a past at Babylon

TV.

Sher understands that the global

media dynamic is not in his favor. He

speaks about the ongoing dust storms

– which have killed several people and

hospitalized thousands more – that

went largely unknown in the west. Life

can be difficult in the Middle East, especially

for Christians, and they want

their community of believers to know

about it.

Thus, the need for ACI MENA presents

itself. Not only will it broadcast

information and reports to the Western

world, but the organization also aims

to unify the Christian world in the Middle

East. ACI MENA is based in Erbil,

but its coverage extends to the entire

Arabic-speaking world. And with a

little Google Translate magic, the message

can go a lot further.

“I was chosen by Archbishop

Warda to contribute to this newly established

agency,” Sher said. “I used

to work with a guy who was chosen

as editor, but he had never worked in

PHOTO COURTESY OF ACI MENA

media. He decided to resign, and now

I have this new title of Interim Editorin-Chief.”

Sher has a few college degrees. He

studied business and management

as well as philosophy and theology.

He spent a few years working in Germany

– he claims that he loves to work

– although it was difficult to adjust to

that society. “I never integrated with

the society,” he said. “So, once I came

back, I had this kind of passion to just

work. I used to work multiple things,

and at the same time, and it was a

good experience.”

At 27 years old, Sher is setting up

for his career to take off. His work at

ACI MENA covers a group of people

who, in the past, have rarely been the

subjects of everyday mass media.

“They established a new branch

of EWTN to broadcast the news of the

Christians to tell people who we are,”

he said. “There’s always this problem

that people can’t hear us. And people

couldn’t know the truth from us.”

ACI MENA covers much of Iraq because

that’s where it’s based. It has,

however, already established a reporting

network in Lebanon. The outlet

gets exclusive interviews with church

leaders around the Middle East and

syndicates other EWTN coverage.

Some of ACI MENA’s recent headlines

include the testimony and teachings

of Lebanese priests, coverage of

the Vatican and the Pope, two Nigerian

priests who were kidnapped, and the

goings-on of the local Chaldean community

in Erbil.

Sher calls his new outlet a bridge

between the Western world and the

Arab world. “We transfer and we translate

any related news from EWTN or

the Catholic News Agency (CNA). We

translate stories from the Vatican and

Pope Francis. We have our own editor

in Rome as well. We have correspondents

in Palestine, Israel, Lebanon,

Syria, Egypt, and Sudan, and we’re

working on more.”

For now, ACI MENA will stay focused

on producing written articles for

the website. Though Sher couldn’t reveal

any specific plans for the outlet’s

future, he mentioned that they are

looking into establishing a TV channel.

ACI MENA can be found online in

Arabic at acimena.com.

28 CHALDEAN NEWS AUGUST 2022


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AUGUST 2022 CHALDEAN NEWS 29


FEATURE

Governor’s Race Heats Up

as August Primary Approaches

BY PAUL NATINSKY

Garrett Soldano

Kevin Rinke Ralph Rebandt Ryan Kelley Tudor Dixon

The bubbling cauldron that is

Michigan’s Republican gubernatorial

primary race will be

fueled by yet another log on the fire

beneath it as five candidates prepare

to debate at press time.

The chaos began when five other

candidates were removed from the

ballot over issues with fraudulent or

improperly gathered signatures validating

their candidacy. Former Detroit

Police Chief James Craig, the presumptive

frontrunner at the time, was notably

among them.

In the ensuing void, five top candidates

began posturing for a shot at

the governor’s mansion. Tudor Dixon,

Kevin Rinke, Ryan Kelley, Ralph

Rebandt and Garrett Soldano are

bunched up in recent polls, with Dixon

getting a recent boost from several

major endorsements, including the

Michigan Chamber of Commerce and

Right to Life of Michigan, and an influx

of money from major Republican

contributors, including the powerful

DeVos family. Craig is adding intrigue

with an aggressive write-in campaign.

Amid the turbulence, Republicans

struggle to heal their party and put

forward a candidate that can unseat

the incumbent Gretchen Whitmer.

The task will be difficult as evidenced

by recent polling data that registered

higher numbers when respondents

were asked if they would vote for “a

Republican candidate” over Whitmer

than when they were asked if they

would vote for specific candidates

over Whitmer, said pollster and analyst

Ed Sarpolus of Target Insyght.

Sarpolus says Whitmer is beatable

and there is time before November’s

general election for Republicans to

polish a contender candidate—but

they would have to work quickly.

The economy

Closely aligned philosophically on

the issues, especially the economy,

the Second Amendment and abortion,

the candidates put their own twists on

policy solutions.

“I want to eliminate the personal income

tax, and that’s 4.25% that the hardworking

Chaldean community contributes

to Lansing,” said Rinke. “They

would receive back their fair share of

$12 billion for them to spend in the community,

on their families in a fashion

that suits them best instead of Lansing

spending it without their input.”

Craig taps his long experience

heading police departments in three

cities. He says it is important to bring

people to the table—especially those

with whom you disagree—so that everyone

feels enfranchised and has

their voice heard.

He says this is something that did

not happen in the Whitmer Administration.

He says she mishandled managing

unemployment benefits and ended up

costing the state $8.4 million. He was

also critical of the governor not bringing

together lawmakers of both parties

to weigh in on big decisions.

“I’ve come to learn during my professional

life is that many times the top

managers and executives don’t always

deliver accurate information,” says

Craig. “The only time you can make

real-time decisions that have a positive

impact is to be on the ground.”

Kelley looks to create an environment

in which individuals and small

businesses can thrive. He referred us

to his campaign website, on which

we found pledges to eliminate all CO-

VID-19 restrictions on businesses; ensure

no future lockdowns, assembly

restrictions or shutdowns; extend and

increase personal tax exemption deduction;

develop a task force to study

other states that do not have a personal

state income tax, with aims to

reduce or eliminate Michigan personal

state income tax; eliminate unemployment

for those refusing to return to

work and incentivize small businesses

with regulation and tax reductions.

“Joe Biden’s inflation has driven up

the cost of everything and is threatening

to put us into a recession,” said Dixon.

“Gretchen Whitmer has supported

Biden’s policies every step of the way.

In fact, she has said she is ‘cut from the

same cloth’ as Biden. She, too, should

be held accountable for the economic

disaster that is continuing to unfold.

Gretchen Whitmer’s lockdown orders

cost Michigan one-third of our businesses,

wasted billions on unemployment,

and suppressed our recovery.”

We asked Dixon what she would do

to help small businesses in Michigan.

“We need to cut regulations by

40% and change the state bureaucracy

to be friendly to businesses, not work

against them,” she said. “As a former

small business owner, I understand

what business owners are dealing

with and will ensure a more businessfriendly

environment.”

Soldano, a chiropractor and former

Western Michigan University football

player, takes a limited government approach

to economic issues. The slogan

at the top of his website’s economy tab

reads, “No more restrictions. No more

excessive regulations. No more jobkilling

mandates.”

Details of his economic approach

are supportive of not resorting to lockdowns,

lowering taxes and supporting

small businesses.

Rebandt, pastor of a church in

Farmington Hills, features a detailed

plan called the “Lighthouse Initiative”

that fleshes out his positions on a wide

range of issues. Specific to the economy

and jobs, Rebandt has crafted an

eight-point plan to lower taxes. Additionally,

he supports reduced government

spending, reforms in entitlement

programs, and ensuring that earmarks

(targeted spending for specific projects,

often in a powerful legislator’s

district) don’t make a return in Michigan,

as they have on the federal level.

Immigration issues

Most of the candidates who commented

or posted a position on immigration support

legal immigration, but view illegal

immigration, particularly along the U.S.

southern border as a major problem.

“America is a country of immigrants

and Michigan is one of its most diverse

states. And I’m proud of that. At the federal

level, we have immigration policy

that is failing both Republicans and

Democrats. In fact, it’s failing America

because it’s open borders. That’s not

how America works,” said Rinke.

“As it relates to the Chaldean community,

I want to be perfectly clear

that I believe Chaldeans around the

world are being persecuted and I

would welcome Chaldeans to come

to Michigan, to be in Michigan and

know that they are safe while they go

through the proper process to become

full-time American citizens, unlike

the people who are illegally crossing

our southern borders simply to come

into America for who-knows-what

purposes.

“There is a difference, and the persecution

of Chaldeans is despicable,

and that’s why Michigan will be a very

30 CHALDEAN NEWS AUGUST 2022


friendly place for them under a Rinke

Administration,” he said.

Craig said we are “failing as a country”

on immigration. He pointed to human

trafficking and the drug trade as

two consequences of what he called

“open borders.” He said the Biden Administration

is “doing nothing and the

governor is silent.”

“I am a strong proponent of legal

immigration and believe legal immigrants

have the opportunity to achieve

the American Dream in Michigan,” said

Dixon. “I supported President Trump’s

policies to improve border security and

address illegal immigration and believe

we should return to those policies.”

Waiting in the wings

At press time, all of the focus regarding

matters gubernatorial was on the steamy

week ahead of the Republican primary.

But waiting in the wings is a strong incumbent

governor who, despite a number

of deep battle scars, remains the November

winner in recent polls.

The overturning of Roe v. Wade is

perhaps the brightest flashpoint for

this election as it shifts the issue from

abortion rights to women’s rights, says

pollster Ed Sarpolus. As evidence, he

cites recent poll data indicating that

20% of older Republican women are

migrating toward Whitmer.

Whitmer also provides an expected

first choice for advocates of gun control.

“As Michiganders, we have a responsibility

to do everything we can

to protect each other from gun violence.

No one should be afraid to go to

school, work, a house of worship, or

even their own home.

“Commonsense laws save lives, and

this is a time for us to come together

behind public safety measures like

universal background checks, keeping

guns out of the hands of domestic abusers,

and safe storage reform,” she said.

She said her Administration secured

over $50 million for school

safety grants and programs earlier

this summer, and that the most recent

budget dedicates per-student mental

health resources on top of $50 million

for the TRAILS mental health program,

tens of millions for school-based

health centers, plus an additional $210

million for school safety.

Sarpolus says Whitmer does not

have a lot of wins to tout on the campaign

trail, which leaves her vulnerable.

But the fact remains, unlike her

Republican challengers, she does have

a record on which to run, and success

is in the eye of the beholder.

We asked the governor to talk

about her first-term accomplishments.

“Tough times call for tough people.

Despite the challenges of the past few

years, we have made so much progress

working together to build a stronger

Michigan. Every single bill I have

signed – 900 in the last three years –

has been bipartisan, and I am willing

to sit down with anyone to solve problems

and help people.

“We made Michigan’s largest ever

investment in K-12 education, tripled the

number of reading coaches, and reduced

class sizes, and we just recently brought

Republicans and Democrats together to

recruit more teachers and expand before

and after-school programming as well

as free tutoring. We brought low or nocost

childcare to 105,000 children and

helped enroll 35,000 four-year-olds in

affordable, high-quality pre-K.

“We are cutting costs for Michigan

families and sent $3 billion back into

their pockets through $400 auto insurance

refund checks for every driver.

“We are growing our economy by

putting 170,000 Michiganders on a path

to good-paying jobs with tuition-free

skills training and college and securing

25,000 new auto jobs as part of the biggest

manufacturing boom in years. We

are fixing the ‘damn roads’ and have

repaired over 13,000 lane miles and over

900 bridges, while supporting more

than 80,000 good paying jobs. We cut

taxes for small businesses and delivered

$400 million to support local jobs.”

It hasn’t been this hot in August—

politically or meteorologically—for a

long time. Consequently, the early predictions

are for a fiery fall...at least on

the campaign trail.

AUGUST 2022 CHALDEAN NEWS 31


PROFILE

Coming Full Circle

Profile of Dr. Michael Haddow

BY SARAH KITTLE

From a little boy attending a

Jesuit school in Iraq to a tenured

professor teaching at a Jesuit

college in Michigan, Dr. Michael

(Munther) Haddow has come full circle.

A full-time faculty member at the

University of Detroit Mercy School of

Dentistry, on staff at St. Joseph Mercy

Oakland and Ascension St. John Hospitals,

and with one day a week devoted

to private practice, Dr. Haddow still

makes time to engage in mission trips.

He loves to help patients from underserved

countries regain their smiles.

As author of numerous publications

and a lecturer on the national

and international circuit, Dr. Haddow

gets around. But one of his favorite

places to go is Vietnam. “It is a beautiful

country, but what strikes me most

about Vietnam is the people,” says

Haddow during a phone interview.

“People respect Americans there, too,

which helps.”

At 72, Haddow resists the pull of

‘old age,’ playing tennis every Sunday

he’s able. He has a busy schedule for

the rest of 2022, however: Brazil in

August with students from the Alpha

Omega Fraternity; 11 days in Kenya,

South Africa in September with Missions

of Hope International; and Belize

in November with Belize Mission

Project. It will be the 21st time for Haddow

in Belize with this group.

“I knew from high school that I

would be in the medical field,” says

Haddow. Dentistry offered all the opportunities

to affect people’s lives in a

positive way that medicine does, but

“no late-night emergencies,” the doctor

says with a laugh.

And he loves teaching, relishes

showing students new surgical techniques,

and even enjoys the lecture

hall. “It’s a good feeling, passing

your knowledge on to the next generation,”

he says with conviction. Surgery

is his favorite subject to teach.

“It’s still a challenge,” Haddow says.

“Every surgery is different.”

Technological advances in the field

of dentistry keep Dr. Haddow on his

toes. Laser surgery, new techniques for

bone grafting, and adding plasma to

bone are all realities in today’s world

of dentistry. Microsurgery is going to

be the new frontier.

Asked about some of his most

memorable mission trips, Haddow

recalls a man who had 14 teeth pulled

Top of page: Mission trip to Belize in 2011.

Above: Dr. Haddow works on a patient in Beirut.

over the course of a couple days. Although

the man had no money, he was

so grateful to Dr. Haddow that he presented

the humble dentist with a fruit

basket grown from his own garden.

A periodontist by specialty, Dr.

Haddow has been serving on mission

trips for over 30 years. “It’s part of my

Christian faith,” he explains. He has

been on over 44 local and international

mission trips - to Beirut, Lebanon

(where he was able to treat Chaldean

refugees), to Honduras and Vietnam,

but not yet to Iraq. That’s in the future.

Haddow has 5 sisters and 2 brothers.

One brother is a dentist and the other, an

engineer. “I’m grateful to my parents for

supporting us all,” he says.

Training and

Recognition

• DDS from University of

Southern California School

of Dentistry

• MS in Periodontics from Case

Western University

• Certified in Moderate Sedation

from Miami Valley Hospital

• Diplomate of the American

Board of Periodontology

• Faculty of the Year 2018-2019

Ascension St. John Hospital

• H. Dalton Conner

Humanitarian Award

32 CHALDEAN NEWS AUGUST 2022


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AUGUST 2022 CHALDEAN NEWS 33


SPORTS

Family First

Jeremy Denha changed coaching jobs to return to his alma mater

BY STEVE STEIN

Every high school coach will tell

you that he or she has two families.

There’s the team’s family,

and the coach’s actual family.

Jeremy Denha made a difficult decision

a year ago. He stepped down

as the boys basketball coach at West

Bloomfield after 10 highlight-filled

seasons to take the same role at Utica

Ford.

Ford is Denha’s alma mater. The

6-foot-6 Denha was a basketball star

at Ford. He led the Falcons to a district

championship and earned All-State

honorable mention honors as a senior

before graduating in 1998 and moving

on to play college basketball at St.

Clair Community College (where he

was an All-American as a sophomore)

and Wayne State University.

While returning to Ford was a

major reason for Denha’s decision to

change coaching jobs, the switch was

more about family. Denha’s family. He

said he needed more time to be a husband

and father. He and his wife Diana

have four young children. The family

lives in Sterling Heights.

“It felt like from November to

March, during the basketball season,

Diana was a single parent. God bless

her. She did a great job,” Denha said.

“I was missing so much. I felt like I was

being selfish and neglecting my family,

and my family was so far away from

West Bloomfield that they couldn’t

connect with my program.

“Diana and I have been married for

14 years. Until last year, I coached in

Oakland County and lived in Macomb

County the entire time we’ve been

married. It’s a 40-minute commute

from West Bloomfield to our home. It’s

a one-or two-minute drive or an eightminute

run from our home to Ford.”

Denha, 42, still teaches at West

Bloomfield. He’s going into his 17th

year as a physical education and

health teacher there. When his workday

is over now, he said, he has time

to pick up his kids at school or take

From left: Utica Ford boys basketball coach Jeremy Denha shouts some words of encouragement to his team during a

game last season. Arms folded, Utica Ford boys basketball coach Jeremy Denha focuses on the court during a game

last season.

them to Catechism or soccer practice.

Jeremy and Diana Denha’s children

are twins Abigail and Jaclyn, 9, Jessica,

7, and Isaiah, 3. The twins will be going

into fourth grade and Jessica will

be going into second grade this fall at

Havel Elementary School in Sterling

Heights.

Because of the pull of his family,

Denha said, last season was probably

going to be his last as West Bloomfield’s

coach. “My days as a coach were

numbered there,” he said.

Instead of finishing out his time on

the bench last season at West Bloomfield,

he went to Ford. He was contacted

by Ford for the third time in three

years to take over the Falcons’ program.

This time he said ‘yes.’

The third time turned out to be a

charm. Well, sort of. Denha became

Ford’s fifth coach in four seasons and

the team finished 2-19.

That was a bit of a shock for

Denha considering his West Bloomfield

resume, which included a memorable

trip to the Class A Final Four

in 2017 and three league championships.

Three of his West Bloomfield

players later played Division I college

basketball.

He went 108-103 in 10 seasons at

West Bloomfield after going 33-31 in

three seasons at Berkley, all the time

against tough competition.

“I didn’t get to do any summer

work with the guys at Ford before last

season, so they didn’t get to know my

offensive and defensive philosophies,”

he said. “I just threw things at the wall

to see if they would stick.

“The guys had decent talent, but

not a lot of basketball instincts. God

bless them, though. They worked

hard, they were never late to practice,

and they competed. We were in a lot of

games.”

Scoring points was an issue for

Ford last season.

“If we got down by 10 points at

West Bloomfield, we were sure we

could come back,” Denha said. “Last

year at Ford, being down 10 points was

a death sentence for us.”

Eight seniors graduated from last

year’s Ford team. Denha is looking to

have a young team this season, but

there’s hope in the form of some talented

sophomores and junior point

guard Dakarai Rogers, who started every

game last season.

“I rebuilt the West Bloomfield program.

I know we can do it at Ford,”

Denha said. “I do have to catch up to

the times, though. Our first win last

season was against Utica. I learned

Utica is now our big rival. It was teams

like Sterling Heights Stevenson and

Mount Clemens Chippewa Valley who

were our big rivals when I was playing

at Ford.”

Denha played for Ford coaching

legend Jim Barker. The court at Ford

carries Barker’s name.

“I have so many emotions coaching

at Ford, and coaching on the court

named for Coach Barker,” Denha said.

“That man (Barker) is a great man. He

means so much to me. I want to bring

the program back to the way he had it.

“His program wasn’t just about wins.

It also was about family. As far as that

was concerned, I feel we took a step in

the right direction last season.

PHOTOS BY BRANDON KARAS

34 CHALDEAN NEWS AUGUST 2022


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AUGUST 2022 CHALDEAN NEWS 35


CULTURE & HISTORY

(PHOTO CREDIT HADANI DITMARS).

Al-Tahera, a Syriac-Catholic church in Mosul’s old Christian quarter lay in ruins in December of 2019 but is now being rebuilt by UNESCO.

Christian Genocide in the 21st Century

BY ADHID MIRI, PHD

Part V

As we conclude this series of

articles about Christian Genocide

in the 21st century, we

honor the victims so that the horrors of

what took place is never lost to history.

Thousands of Christians, Yazidis,

and Mandeans were displaced, massacred,

or marched to their deaths in a

campaign of vengeance and hate. It is

worth remembering President Biden’s

statement about the Armenian Genocide

in 2015, which also applies to the

Christian, Yazidi, and Mandean genocide

of the 21st century in Iraq.

Community members have roles

and responsibilities to remain ever

vigilant against the corrosive influence

of hate in all its forms. Christians

and minorities in Iraq must participate

more in the cultural, social, and political

activities in their country, and

claim without fear their civil rights and

equality of all citizens. We urge them

to analyze problems and propose new

solutions to improve the situation of

Iraqi cities and villages, to build new

houses, streets, and businesses, and to

create new jobs.

The Christians of Iraq – represented

by both lay and religious leaders –

must advance better cooperation with

Iraq’s Christians in the United States

and diaspora, particularly those who

offer realistic and practical solutions

and those who possess significant economic

and political influence.

When a culture dies, their society

dies. We must maintain the mosaic of

Iraq. We want to bring about change,

but not change the culture of Iraq.

Change is needed in the following areas:

security; economic development

& funding; governance and laws; medical

and mental health; and accountability

and responsibility.

Security

Security in the Nineveh Plains remains

a top priority. The best solution is first

to push the uncontrolled militias out

and give control of the check points

and border crossings to a shared military

force consisting of Iraqi Army and

Peshmerga forces. Responsibility for

the security within the Christian, Yazidi,

and other minorities towns must

be given to the townspeople, with the

assistance of both the Iraqi and Kurdistan

region security experts.

It is crucial to resolve the security

dilemma in Nineveh Plains and

push out the self-appointed militias.

A shared agreement between Iraqi

and Kurdistan region governments

as identified in the agreement of Sinjar

will assist Christians in rebuilding

their towns and businesses in Nineveh

Plains.

Rogue extremist and armed militias

supported by some regional players

have placed the historic Christian

province of Mosul in extreme danger;

it is it under the control of the uncontrolled!

These militias are uncomfortably

close to achieving their goals of

changing the demographics of these

areas, thus ending 2,000 years of

Christian existence in this province.

The American role in Nineveh

Plains is very weak, the militias, especially

Brigade 30 of the PMU, took

control of up to 60% of Nineveh Plains

and are harassing Christians and other

minorities on daily basis in Nineveh

Plains.

The Kurdistan region is the last

sanctuary for Christianity in Iraq,

and any threat to the stability of the

region means a great disaster for the

existence of minorities in Iraq. Today

Ankawa City is considered the capital

of Christianity in Iraq, with more than

60,000 Christians residing there. Both

the mayor and the head of municipality

are Christians. More than fifty Christian

Villages and towns are located in

the area. Preserving their existence

means preserving the historic existence

of Christianity in Mesopotamia.

The Christians of Iraq are willing

and able to assist in their own security

and economic growth; however, the

support of Washington is needed. The

US cannot evade its moral and political

responsibilities and must remain

engaged.

Economic Development

Iraq’s Christians are severely marginalized.

Properties owned by Christians

in Baghdad, Mosul, Erbil, Dohuk,

36 CHALDEAN NEWS AUGUST 2022


An ISIS flag hangs in the center of wires in battered Qaraqosh.

Basra, and other governates have been

seized. The ISIL attack on their cities

and villages resulted in the destruction

of their homes, businesses, and

agricultural lands. The Iraqi central

government’s unfair cut of the Kurdistan

region budget and government

employee salaries hurt Christians in

Kurdistan. Add to that the threat of uncontrolled

armed militias intimidating

Christians, threating their businesses

and their lives.

Economic freedom and self-reliance

are needed in the region. With

over 70 percent of the towns in the

Nineveh Plains destroyed, direst aid

is indispensable. No one knows how

many will return if their villages are

rebuilt, but we know how many will

return if they aren’t – zero.

It is important that the American

administration work closely with

Christian community leaders, politicians,

government officials, and parliament

members to address these

problems. Income generation and livelihood

are key to stability. As most of

the displaced people are very poor (including

many widows), support must

focus on helping these survivors generate

sustainable income to support

themselves and their families. Most

recently, this includes boosting the social

and economic recovery of victims

of conflict to help them successfully

reintegrate into their communities;

promoting economic growth by supporting

the development of local businesses

and private sector networks;

and enabling youth entrepreneurship

by facilitating access to financing

and incubation services to accelerate

growth.

Something as simple as reducing

the cost of a business permit will help;

it currently costs about $4,000 to register

and incorporate an entity. Can we

offer discounts on business permits for

women or ethnic/religious minorities?

What about developing the Nineveh

Plains as a tourist destination for pilgrims

who want to visit Biblical sites?

Iraq offers many, such as the ancient

ruin of Kuyunjiq Towers as well as

monasteries in the Christian villages

of Bashiqa, Telsquf, and Qaraqosh,

which have recently been rebuilt.

Finally, we must engage the Chaldean

community in Michigan, which,

according to a study done by the University

of Michigan contributes $11 billion

annually to Michigan’s economy.

This amount is greater than the combined

national budgets of Jordan and

Lebanon. This kind of capital could

be consolidated in a special fund. The

Chaldean American Chamber of Commerce

and the Chaldean Community

Foundation should lead the way.

A fund such as this could provide

effective and direct assistance, including

medical services and support,

replacing damaged property, or helping

victims establish businesses and

livelihoods, such as grocery stores,

bakeries, electronic shops, or farms.

The fund could also contribute to rehabilitating

public infrastructure, including

schools, bridges, and health

clinics that were damaged during the

Iraq war.

Governance and laws

Elections are important. We encourage

Christians to engage in both Christian

and non-Christian parties, and run in

the other lists, to increase the number

of Christians parliamentarians.

We must have big ambitions; we must

hope for the possible.

Citizens must participate in an effective

and constructive manner in

politics to serve the common good, not

interests of individuals. Policymakers

must decide and devise best mechanisms

to serve the objectives and goals

of religious freedom. It would be ideal

if the inclusion of grassroots organizations

would be considered to help fulfill

their missions.

The Iraqi Constitution was ratified

by public voting in 2005. It claims

some religious liberty and respect for

basic human rights. Article 2, however,

states that Islam is the official

religion of the state and “no law that

contradicts the established provisions

of Islam may be established or legalized.”

This led to legalizing the law of

Iraqi National Card, which legalized

the forced conversion to Islam religion

for children under 18 years old when

one of the parents converts to Islam,

which is unfair to non-Muslims in Iraq.

The nature of the constitution resulted

in the identification of first-class citizens

and second-class citizens, and

insecurity for religious minorities in

Iraq. This article and other similar

articles in the constitution need to be

ended or exclude the non-Muslim minorities.

Furthermore, the following steps

need to be taken in the interest of equity:

modify Article 2 of the Iraqi constitution

to reflect the multi-ethnic

and pluralist sectarian character of

Iraq; reform the Iraqi National Card

Law, which is used to justify the forced

conversion of youth to Islam; encourage

the Kurdistan Regional Parliament

to adopt the regional constitution,

strengthening protection of Christians

in the KRI; and enhance the administration

of justice by strengthening local

courts with Christian and minority

judges.

Medical and mental health services

The damage to homes and property,

no matter how great, pales in comparison

to the physical and psychological

harm and injury caused by conflict.

Funds that can provide medical and

rehabilitative assistance are absolutely

necessary, including support to

individuals with sustained amputations

and prosthetic devices. This fund

can also support the establishment

of Trauma Rehabilitation and Treatment

Centers, provide legal and administrative

support, supply women’s

vocational training and employment

services, and provide emergency assistance

to survivors of gender-based

violence, notably survivors of ISIS

captivity.

Improving access to healthcare for

the elderly population and the special

needs community who are ethnic/religious

minorities is also a necessity.

Grassroots organizations have established

an unconditional trust with the

civilians and IDPs because they have a

personal investment in the revitalization

efforts of the region. The goals include

improving access to education/

health services, stimulating the economy,

and rebuilding the communities.

Persons with disabilities in Iraq

often receive little attention from the

public health care system. They suffer

from a lack of mobility that creates

a burden on families and face social

exclusion and discrimination because

of their condition. Funding rehabilitative

services in a regional center for

persons with disabilities to provide

wheelchairs, vocational skills, training,

and job placement services would

go a long way.

GENOCIDE continued on page 34

AUGUST 2022 CHALDEAN NEWS 37


CULTURE & HISTORY

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GENOCIDE continued from page 33

Accountability and responsibility

Over the years, the limited definition

of genocide in the 1948 Genocide Convention

has provoked much criticism

and many proposals for reform. But by

the 1990s, when international criminal

law went through a period of stunning

developments, it was the atrophied

concept of “crimes against humanity”

that emerged as the best legal tool to

address atrocities.

President Biden made a statement

on April 24, 2021, calling the 1915

events during the Ottoman era an Armenian

“genocide” for the first time.

We need to call upon the administration

to classify the ISIS tragedy of the

21st century as Christian Genocide.

At the present, the international

community and political statements

do not have any endpoint to this issue

because they have no jurisdiction or

legal authority to pronounce guilt or

innocence on the crime of genocide;

this can only be done by a court of law.

Under Genocide Convention Article

9, if there is a dispute about

whether events were genocide, they

are to be adjudicated before the International

Court of Justice in the Hague.

Steps to be taken include: identifying

a “Genocide Day” in Iraq; forming an

international legal counsel made up of

international lawyers and diaspora attorneys

in the U.S., Europe, and Middle

East to follow up the Christian Genocide

and seek justice and reparations;

developing a ‘truth and reconciliation’

process drawing on international experience,

balancing accountability with

truth-telling to help heal the society;

and expanding communication and

cooperation between U.S. government

agencies (such as USAID) and devastated

Chaldean communities. U.S. officials

should intensify coordination

with Chaldean NGOs on-the-ground,

including project development with the

faith-based community.

In fact, it is crucial to enhance coordination

between donor agencies and

directly affected communities, involving

local leaders and religious figures.

Also, to develop a tracking system to

ensure monies pledged for a specific

purpose are spent in accordance with

the donor’s intentions.

In addition, efforts need to be intensified

to identify missing Yezidis

and others, through the establishment

of an international committee comprised

of Yezidi, Christians, and minority

representative as well as representatives

from the government of Iraq

and the KRG. The committee should be

focused on identifying the fate of missing

persons, as well as reparations to

Yezidis victimized by ISIS. Activities

could involve protection and exhumation

of mass grave sites.

In order for all this to happen, we

need to deepen engagement with the

Diaspora. Those in the Chaldean Diaspora

have skills in many relevant

sectors such as education, health, law,

business administration, banking, and

engineering. Engaging the Diaspora

will help build the “new Iraq,” drawing

on their professionalism. This can

be accomplished through the creation

of a joint council to include members

of the Iraqi parliament, Iraqi officials

based in the U.S., and the Chaldean

community in Michigan.

The moral responsibility of the West

The United States assumed a special responsibility

to stabilize Iraq and protect

its people when it invaded and occupied

the country in 2003. Successive US

administrations have tried to shirk this

responsibility and disengage from Iraq,

leaving its people in limbo. Northern

Iraqis are caught between malevolent

neighbors and an increasingly dysfunctional

central government in Baghdad.

US engagement is critical to protect

Iraq’s Christians and promote the interests

of ethnic and religious minorities

such as the Chaldeans. Without U.S.

engagement, these minorities are at

risk of disappearing forever.

This series is a general summary of

a tragic story that is still unfolding in

the 21st century. Right here and now

is a critical moment for leadership to

reflect on the truth, to acknowledge

what is not acknowledged. Civility has

slipped away, and incivility is common

in Iraq today. This is a catastrophe beyond

logical explanation of what has

gone wrong in a region that once was

the cradle of civilization.

Sources for this series include

Wikipedia, Yousif Kalian, Michael

Youash, Frank Chalk, Zaid Salim, Saad

Salloum, Joseph Slewa, Marla Ruzicka,

and David Phillips. Special editing by

Jacqueline Raxter.

38 CHALDEAN NEWS AUGUST 2022

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AUGUST 2022 CHALDEAN NEWS 39


ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT

Samples of Emily’s work, from left: The piece featured in the Washington, DC art exhibition; Portraits of Erica Sinclair and Henry Creel, from “Stranger Things.”

Artist in residence

Emily Taila impresses at DC exhibition with visual art

BY CAL ABBO

When Emily Taila first started making art,

she didn’t know she was any good. It

wasn’t until second grade when her piece

was chosen for a school exhibition that she first received

any recognition.

Since then, Emily’s artistic talents have unfolded

tremendously. At the least, her artwork is stunning

and impassioned. At the most, Emily’s artwork resembles

that of an experienced professional.

Recently, she was called upon by Dara Global Arts

to submit some of her work to be featured in an exhibition

in Washington, DC. The event was held in the

famed Dupont Circle.

Dara Global Arts put together an exhibition of artists

who were middle-school-age or younger. Dara’s

gallery is located in a suburb of Washington, DC and

features many Middle Eastern artists. Its mission,

according to the organization’s website, is to “bring

harmony and peace through art.”

“We celebrate original art that reflects women

empowerment and freedom of expression,” the website

says. Dara acts on its promise by contributing a

significant percentage of its sales to organizations

that help children in war-torn countries, women and

children suffering from homelessness, and artists

struggling with poverty around the globe.

The exhibition was sponsored by the Iraqi embassy

and included kids that were born outside of Iraq

but had a significant connection there. In Emily’s

case, her parents were born in Iraq and immigrated

to the United States in 2000.

Emily has accomplished all of this at the young

age of 14; she is preparing to enter her freshman year

at Farmington High School.

The artist at her desk and the certificate she

received.

Emily’s art tends to focus on her own interests,

which means a lot of the subjects are related to pop

culture. Her most recent paintings feature a dramatic,

central item – often a character or representation

from her favorite TV show – supported by a colorful

and brilliant background.

Even at her tender age, Emily’s artwork shows an

extraordinary maturity, attention to detail, and carefulness

that even some professional adults struggle to

achieve. This attitude comes through in her personality

when speaking with her, but Emily also maintains

a reserved style of humor that makes her easy to talk

to. She exudes humility and attributes her talent to

natural gifts or the fact that she “just started young.”

On the other hand, her mother, Nariman Taila,

is exceedingly proud and very excited about Emily’s

progress as an artist. She encourages her daughter to

take on new challenges and ventures. It was Nariman

who helped Emily find the Dara exhibition and sent

her paintings to Washington, DC. Nariman also took

responsibility for getting the paintings back,

which was somewhat more difficult than

they thought it would be. Though the exhibition

took place in March, Emily didn’t receive

some of her paintings back until July.

The hit Netflix show “Stranger Things”

is perhaps Emily’s favorite subjects to paint

and draw. They also represent some of

her most impressive works of art. A recent

painting completed in June of a character

named Henry Creel stands out as dark, dramatic, and

emotional. Creel’s eyes stare deeply into your own as

dread, anger, and sorrow creep into your mind. I have

not seen the most recent installment of “Stranger

Things,” but I can surmise from Emily’s painting that

Creel’s story is sinister and devastating.

Another painting shows a figure sitting at the

edge of a cliff, a lucky fishing rod dangling in the

night sky, backlit by a bright moon. Northern lights,

golden clouds, and dozens of stars give her painting

new life. (This piece brings me back to movie nights

in my childhood watching the DreamWorks logo.)

Although Emily’s artistic talents are clear, she has

little ambition to pursue art as a career. Instead, she

likes to think of it as a hobby, something to do in her free

time to show her friends and family. If it’s up to her she

would prefer to choose a calling in the medical field.

Artistically well-rounded, Emily also plays the

violin. She has two brothers and is part of a loving

and supporting family. Emily is well connected in

the Chaldean community, with two of her cousins

and one aunt working for the Chaldean Community

Foundation as intern, accountant, and immigration

case manager, respectively.

With many bright years ahead of her, only the future

knows what’s in store for Emily - and what kind

of art she has in store for us.

40 CHALDEAN NEWS AUGUST 2022


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AUGUST 2022 CHALDEAN NEWS 41


LIFESTYLE

Mindfulness: The importance of

turning off our automatic brain

BY VALENE AYAR

According to a study done by

Duke University, more than

40% of our daily activities

are done out of habit. In other words,

more than 40% of our behavior consists

of acts we have not consciously

decided to do.

This is the product of millions

of years of evolution. It is what has

helped us survive and thrive as a species.

The less time and mental energy

– both of which are finite resources –

we expend having to decide on everything,

the more time and energy that

can be spent on more important decisions

and behaviors.

While this automation has played a

key part in our survival, it often comes

at the expense of our own feelings of

happiness and inner peace.

Over the course of several millennia,

we have evolved and vastly

changed. We have gone through many

different phases to get where we are

today. Nothing has stood the test of

time or remained constant - well, almost

nothing. Besides the fact that we

are always changing (which is in and

of itself an unrelenting constant), the

other constant is that our biological

purpose is survival.

These ideas we have about being

‘happy’ or pursuing ‘personal fulfillment’

are relatively new concepts

when you look at the historical picture.

We are human animals at our

core, so when we follow the path of

least resistance and allow our default

nature take over, it can cause a lot of

inner turmoil.

According to Dr. Joe Dispenza,

author of You are the Placebo, by age

thirty-five, a staggering 95% of who

we are is a set of memorized behaviors,

skills, emotional reactions, beliefs,

perceptions, and attitudes; all of

these things that essentially make us

who we are, we do out of habit. The

behavioral response runs like a subconscious

computer program, similar

to how a hard drive runs.

Once we turn the computer on, we

don’t have to do anything, proactively,

to keep it running. It just does. Sure,

we can open applications and conduct

distinct functions (just like we do with

our brains), but there is still a hard

drive running in the background, on

its own.

That is astounding, and a little

scary. When so many of our behaviors

are done on an unconscious level, it

gives way for so many unhealthy habits

and learned behaviors to take over.

It also makes us susceptible to believing

outdated notions or ideas that no

longer serve us.

This is why the importance of mindfulness

cannot be stressed enough.

What is mindfulness?

Chances are, you have heard this term

used before; as time goes by, you have

been hearing it increasingly more. It is

not a new concept. The idea of mindfulness

dates back thousands of years

and has its roots in Buddhist and Hindu

cultures and ideologies.

Living mindfully simply means

immersing yourself in the present moment

and being aware of your awareness.

Think of it as meta-alertness -

you are not preoccupied with anything

at all but what is happening in the

moment. Your mind is not wandering

to what happened yesterday or what

chores and tasks you need to complete.

You are fully present.

Many of you may be thinking, “No

duh…I do that all the time.” Okay, but

do you really? How often have you gotten

in your car to leave work or another

familiar locale you visit often, started

the engine, and then before you knew

it, you were pulling into your driveway

at your home?

In other words, you do not really recall

the actual drive between work and

home…and why would you? It is a trip

you have taken thousands of times before

and know where you are going. You

do not need to notice or pay attention to

every little thing because you could basically

drive that route in your sleep.

That is a prime example of not living

mindfully. It is similar to being on

autopilot.

You may now be asking, “Okay

but who cares? You said that time and

mental energy were finite resources so

why would I spend either one thinking

about something I know like the back

of my hand, especially when I could be

thinking about something else that requires

my attention?”

Nothing. There is absolutely nothing

wrong with that, but only in certain

circumstances.

More often than not, when we allow

ourselves to run on autopilot, it makes

our minds and psyches very vulnerable

and gives way to negative or toxic

thinking and pathologies that only

serve to hurt us. It also makes us more

susceptible to learning bad habits.

Alertness – judgement =

mindfulness

You see, the second part about being

mindful – other than awareness

– is awareness without judgement. It

means to simply be, without judging

or labeling.

While it may be nearly impossible

to live this way all day every day, you

can start small by carving out parts of

your day to practice mindfulness.

There are many tactics written on the

‘how;’ Google “mindfulness” and you

will get hits for 4 Foundations of Mindfulness,

5 Steps to Mindfulness, 7 Principles

of Mindfulness, 8 Pillars of Mindfulness,

and so on. The easiest way for

most is to begin with meditation in small

amounts, either sitting or even walking.

Breathing techniques help, as does observation.

In today’s world, mindfulness

can help us better cope with what is happening

around us.

According to Diana Winston, director

of mindfulness education at UCLA,

“We’re trying to train our minds to

have a little bit more stability.”

Valene Ayar is an avid, lifelong

reader who works in sales and

enjoys freelance writing. She may be

reached at 248.320.2622 or valene@

thewritingwarrior.com.

42 CHALDEAN NEWS AUGUST 2022


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EVENTS

2

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3

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6

Salute Our

Warriors Event

PHOTOS BY CAL ABBO

Sam and Ziad Kassab hosted their 5th

annual Salute our Warriors Celebration,

a fundraiser for the Fallen and

Wounded Soldiers Fund, a nonprofit

that helps injured Michigan veterans.

1. The guests enjoy the spacious lawn

and courtyard of the Danny Kassab

estate. 2. Another view from the

backyard of the Kassab estate shows

the live band on stage. 3. The event

featured a veteran changing the flag.

4. The Kassab family capped off the

evening with a prayer and salute to

many decorated war veterans. 5.

Many unique cars were presented at

the fundraiser, including this replica of

the famed “Batmobile.” 6. Some of the

items available for auction included vintage

Detroit sports collectibles. 7. The

event featured a live helicopter landing

in the estate’s backyard.

7

44 CHALDEAN NEWS AUGUST JULY 2022 2022


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FOUNDATION

SANA NAVARRETTE

DIRECTOR OF MEMBERSHIP DEVELOPMENT

30095 Northwestern Highway, Suite 101

Farmington Hills, MI 48334

CELL (248) 925-7773

TEL (248) 851-1200

FAX (248) 851-1348

snavarrette@chaldeanchamber.com

www.chaldeanchamber.com

www.chaldeanfoundation.org

Now Hiring: Medical Assistants

CARLEEN JARBO-DANIAL

ATTORNEY AT LAW

248-808-1109 / CARLEEN@CARLEENJDLAW.COM

1441 E. MAPLE ROAD / SUITE 304 / TROY MI 48083

www.carleenjdlaw.com

ELIAS KATTOULA

CAREER SERVICES MANAGER

3601 15 Mile Road

Sterling Heights, MI 48310

TEL: (586) 722-7253

FAX: (586) 722-7257

elias.kattoula@chaldeanfoundation.org

www.chaldeanfoundation.org

SYLVIA BAHRI

HUMAN RESOURCES DIRECTOR

3601 15 Mile Road

Sterling Heights, MI 48310

TEL: (586) 722-7253

FAX: (586) 722-7257

sylvia.bahri@chaldeanfoundation.org

www.chaldeanfoundation.org

WHAT’S THE EASIEST WAY TO REACH THE

METRO DETROIT CHALDEAN COMMUNITY?

PLACE A BUSINESS CARD AD ON THIS PAGE!

AS YOU CAN SEE, SPACE IS LIMITED. ONLY THE FIRST FIVE PROFESSIONALS TO

RESPOND WILL GET IN. CALL 248-851-1200 NOW AND RESERVE YOUR SPOT!

JULY 2022 CHALDEAN NEWS 45


FROM THE ARCHIVE

All Hail the Hat

The sidara is a cap that folds flat when not in use.

It has been associated with both military and civilian

custom in Iraq. It was first introduced as

the semi-official “hat of Iraq” in 1921 when King

Faisal I adopted its usage. Ottomans wore the fez

and Arabs in the Arab Peninsula wore thawb;

King Faisal wanted national headgear to distinguish

his Iraqi citizens from others in the region.

The sidara is sometimes called the “Faisaliah” in

his honor. The popularity of the hat has gradually

declined since the fall of the monarchy in 1958;

however, it is still worn on special occasions such

as ceremonial events and weddings.

46 CHALDEAN NEWS AUGUST 2022


PROJECT

LIGHT

THERAPY SERVICES

Therapy can be a big step toward being the healthiest

version of yourself and living the best life possible—our

professional therapists are here for you to access.

Through therapy, you can change self-destructive

behaviors and habits, resolve painful feelings,

improve your relationships, and share your feelings

and experiences. Individuals often seek therapy for help

with issues that may be hard to face alone.

In therapy your therapist will help you to establish person

centered goals and determine the steps you will take to

reach those goals. Your relationship with your therapist

is confidential and our common therapeutic goal for those

we engage is to inspire healthy change to improve quality

of life — no matter the challenge.

We invite you seek out the Light of Project Light! Serving

individuals ages 13 years and up. Please call to request a

Project Light Intake at (586) 722-7253.

For Your Best Health.

CONFIDENTIALITY AND PRIVACY: The CCF and Project Light is committed to your privacy and confidentiality and are sensitive to the stigma and stress that come with seeking

mental health support. Therefore, all counseling records are kept strictly confidential. Information is not shared without client’s written consent. Exceptions to confidentiality are

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

LOOKING FOR A GREAT OPPORTUNITY TO MAKE A DIFFERENCE?

NOW HIRING BEHAVIORAL HEALTH PROFESSIONAL THERAPISTS.

APPLY AT CHALDEANFOUNDATION.ORG

3601 15 MILE ROAD, STERLING HEIGHTS, MI 48310 | (586) 722-7253

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