Chaldean News – October 2022

Create successful ePaper yourself

Turn your PDF publications into a flip-book with our unique Google optimized e-Paper software.




in the





Storms Without Borders

Akram Kareem

Our Mandean Cousins











1950 W Maple Rd.

Troy, MI 48084


4 ةE








./ ,


له ت ؟ثد

قا المحا+,‏

حا,‏ ‎3‎رت 4 7

ةاشمل ‏-ا

ةرا=س ةنح-‏ شا ةجار-د ةEران

كتدعاسم ول

بتكمH ا المحا+,‏ رول يذلقا , ا متهي كH

لصت ا سJ


مهيدل نوثدحت موظفYX تاغللا ة=`_علا ة=نادلaلوا

فتاهل امقر :877-525-9227

و الإنجلYd

4 ي

Lawrence Kajy

Attorney at Law



KL004X224_FINAL.indd 1

4/25/22 4:48 PM





18 The Cross in the Woods

A special place for prayer

By Weam Namou


17 All Saints Day

The history of the holiday

By Sarah Kittle

20 Storms Without Borders

How climate change affects Iraq

By Dr. Adhid Miri

24 Heat is On

The race for the 20th district

By Paul Natinsky


28 Tesqopa in the Frame

Photo essay of Iraq

By Wilson Sarkis and Alan Mansour

30 Profile: Akram Kareem

Honored by the CCF

By Sarah Kittle


32 On the Run Part II

The continuing story

By Amanda Uhle

6 From the Editor

In Communion

By Sarah Kittle

8 Foundation Update

Job Fair, Welcoming Week, Recognition

10 Noteworthy

Martin Manna, Brian Hanna

12 Iraq Today

Into Iraq with Sir Michael Palin

By Sarah Kittle

14 Chaldean Digest

Breakfast of Nations, Chaldean Cultural


16 In Memoriam

26 Economics & Enterprise

iChillyn Café

By Cal Abbo

36 Culture & History

Our Mandean Cousins

By Dr. Adhid Miri

40 Legal Update

By Nora Hanna

42 Family Time

Glenlore Trails

By Valene Ayar

44 Events

CACC Industry Outlook

46 From the Archive

First Holy Communion





Chaldean News, LLC

Chaldean Community Foundation

Martin Manna



Sarah Kittle


Cal Abbo

Valene Ayar

Nora Hanna

Sarah Kittle

Dr. Adhid Miri

Alan Mansour

Weam Namou

Paul Natinsky

Amanda Uhle



Alex Lumelsky with SKY Creative


Zina Lumelsky with SKY Creative


Dany Ashaka

Wilson Sarkis

Weam Namou


Interlink Media

Sana Navarrette


Sana Navarrette

Subscriptions: $35 per year


Story ideas: edit@chaldeannews.com

Advertisements: ads@chaldeannews.com

Subscription and all other inquiries:


Chaldean News

30095 Northwestern Hwy, Suite 101

Farmington Hills, MI 48334


Phone: (248) 851-8600

Publication: The Chaldean News (P-6);

Published monthly; Issue Date:

October 2022

Subscriptions: 12 months, $35.

Publication Address:

30095 Northwestern Hwy., Suite 101,

Farmington Hills, MI 48334;

Permit to mail at periodicals postage rates

is on file at Farmington Hills Post Office

Postmaster: Send address changes to

“The Chaldean News 30095 Northwestern

Hwy., Suite 101, Farmington Hills, MI 48334”

In Communion

The word communion has a few meanings but

the most common definition besides Holy

Communion is “an act or instance of sharing.”

It’s what the Chaldean News does on a monthly

basis in print and on a daily basis through social

media. We share — stories of triumph and hardship,

profiles of people who have created a legacy or are

emerging as leaders, love and loss, family recipes

and family businesses. We share because that’s

what people do to be “in communion.”

The stories we share are part of what makes

the Chaldean community unique. Beginning in

November we will begin sharing content with our partners

at The Michigan Chronicle. For the next 6 months, we will

share editorial content and host events that

will unite our two communities in a way they




haven’t been paired previously. If it’s not obvious

to all by now, we need to learn to combine

our strengths and celebrate our differences in

order to become stronger — as a region, as a

state, and as a nation. Our hope is to become

a collaboration model for others to use.

Our cover this month is about a place of reverence, The Cross

in the Woods. It’s a simple design and the beauty is displayed in

the faces of the people that come to worship. It’s amazing how

something so deeply personal can be shared among so many,

in communion with Mary, Jesus, and the saints.

Speaking of saints, All Saints Day is around the corner, on

November 1. It was fun to look into the meaning and history of

the holiday and discover that it has its roots in Celtic lore and

Christian martyrology, and even has links to a Roman pantheon!

Leaves are falling all around, and the air is crisp with

the scent of autumn harvest. Marking the transition from

summer to winter, fall means shorter days and cooler temperatures—

at least in the states. As Dr. Miri tell us in Storms

Without Borders, the weather in Iraq is quite a bit warmer.

Features this month include our continuing photo essay

of the homeland, with Tesqopa in the frame. This is an ancient

village that has seen every kind of enemy from Mongol

hordes to ISIS and has survived, giving refuge

for Christians in Iraq.

We also provide you with some legal updates,

information on the Michigan political race in the

20th district, and a new idea for fall fun with the

family. Our Economics & Enterprise is all about

Mirna Ashaka, a young person who’s fulfilling her

dream of being a business owner. We also profile

Akram Kareem, an extraordinary individual who

was honored at the Chaldean Community Foundation

(CCF) Gala in September.

In Noteworthy, we shine the light on two people

who are making a difference by being active on boards and

commissions, and the Culture & History section spotlights

We need to learn to combine our

strengths and celebrate our differences

in order to become stronger — as a

region, as a state, and as a nation.

our Mandean cousins. It can be so rewarding to take a look

at other cultures and learn something new. Just ask Michael

Palin, who hosts a travel documentary called Into Iraq and

penned a book with the same title. Of course, he was most

impressed with the people of Iraq and their resiliency.

Other coverage includes the Breakfast of Nations, hosted

by the CCF, and the Chaldean American Chamber’s Industry

Outlook on economic development. The frosting on the cake

is From the Archives, a new photo section where we share

pictures of yesteryear. Please raid your closets and attics to

contribute to this ongoing series!

All the best,

Sarah Kittle

Editor in Chief

New York Life Congratulates

Gabriel H. Sinawi CLU®, ChFC® for

more than 43 Years of Service









(248) 763-2622


Life Insurance, IRAs, SEPs, Fixed and Variable Annuities # , Mutual Funds # ,

Health Insurance ** , Health Insurance/Medicare **

CONTACT: Gabriel H. Sinawi CLU®, ChFC®

Agent, New York Life Insurance Company

Registered Representative of NYLIFE Securities LLC

Member (FINRA/SIPC), a Licensed Insurance Agency

and a New York Life company

EMAIL: gsinawi@ft.newyorklife.com

PHONE: 248-357-8971

FAX: 248-286-6304

ADDRESS: 27777 Franklin Dr, Suite 2220, Southfield, MI 48034

*Issued by New York Life Insurance Company or New York Life Insurance and Annuity Corporation #Securities offered

through NYLIFE Securities LLC (member FINRA/SIPC). **Products available through one or more carriers not affiliated

with New York Life, dependent on carrier authorization and product availability in your state or locality. SMRU 1924963



A Vote to Preserve and Protect

Your Constitutional Rights

Faith | Family | Freedom

Experienced and


• 20 Year Oakland County

Circuit Court Judge

Defender of the

Constitution and Law

• Co-Founder of Patriot Week


Fair and Just

• Provides equal justice

under the law

2nd District

Court of Appeals



Paid for By Judge Michael Warren for Court of Appeals | PO Box 1182 Brighton, MI 48116



CCF Hosts Inaugural

Community Job Fair

More than 120 individuals attended the CCF’s inaugural

Community Job Fair on September 7.

30 employers and 400 positions were available

within multiple industries including banking,

hospitality, and law enforcement.

Many in attendance had the opportunity to

learn not only about potential positions, but also

participate in on-the-spot interviews with employers.

In addition to hosting various job fairs

throughout the year, the CCF’s Career Services

department also provides resume building, job

search assistance, training, placement, and FAF-

SA completion.

Left to Right: Panelists Yara Shadda, Siri Pipatsattayanywong and Ryan Rosario.

CCF Celebrates Welcoming Week

The Chaldean Community Foundation hosted the Breakfast of Nations event in collaboration with the Sterling

Heights Chamber of Commerce, Global Detroit, Welcoming Michigan, Vibe Credit Union, Michigan Intermediate

School District and One Macomb. After being on hiatus due to the pandemic, the event was brought back in

person for the first time since 2019.

More than 120 participants learned about the migration stories of Yara Shadda, Ryan Rosario and Siri Pipatsattayanywong.

The event featured the panel’s personal experiences as refugees and immigrants and discussed

how to best support and assist new Americans acculturate. Notable attendees included Macomb County Executive

Mark Hackel, State Representative Padma Kuppa, Sterling Heights City Manager Mark Vanderpool, and

many more city and county representatives.

The event also recognized Chaldean Community Foundation’s diverse client base, as it was announced in

the event program that the Chaldean Community Foundation has served individuals from 48 countries in the

last calendar year.

Attendees meeting with Alline Salon Group,

Pitaway, and Capital Sales Company.

CCF Recognized by

APIA Community

The Chaldean Community Foundation was recognized

on September 18 for their support of the

Asian Pacific Islander and Thai communities.

A certificate of “community leadership and

support recognition” was accepted on behalf of

the CCF by Strategic Initiatives Manager Stacy

Bahri at the Thai Street Food Fest in Sterling

Heights. Other groups and Individuals recognized

at the Food Fest included: Senator Stephanie

Chang, State Representative Padma Kuppa,

FILAMCCO, Vietnamese American Association of

Michigan, and 168 Asian Market.

This award was the first-ever recognition for

the Chaldean Community Foundation by the

Asian Pacific community, as the Chaldean Community

Foundation has supported initiatives

within the APIA community by providing PPE,

partnering on outreach initiatives and more.



Town Hall

The Chaldean Community Foundation

partnered with the Sterling

Heights Police Department to offer

an informational Town Hall regarding

emergency preparedness.

Those in attendance had the

opportunity to learn more about

how to prepare for a natural disaster

and resources that are

valuable to have in the event of an


Right: Officer Larry Reynolds

speaking to the audience.




Whitmer appoints temporary

executive director to

marijuana agency

Governor Gretchen Whitmer recently appointed Brian Hanna

to oversee the state’s Cannabis Regulatory Agency, an agency

created three years ago and tasked with overseeing Michigan’s

legalized medical and recreational marijuana markets.

Hanna worked at the agency as manager of field

operations, investigations, and inspections for four and a

half years. He became the acting executive director for the

CRA following executive director Andrew Brisbo’s last day

Friday, September 16.

In announcing Hanna’s appointment, Whitmer said the state

agency has been, “at the forefront of the nation’s hemp

and marijuana industry, setting the standard for

stimulating business growth and preserving

secure consumer access to cannabis.

“I am confident Brian will serve as an

excellent leader as the CRA continues

establishing Michigan as the national

model for cannabis regulations,” said

Whitmer in a formal statement.

Brian Hanna

Appointed to

Oakland County land

bank authority board

Martin Manna has been named to the newly

formed Oakland County Land Bank Authority,

from a pool of 15 applicants. The land bank

was created to acquire property titles, typically

through the tax-foreclosure process, and sell

the land to owners as a way to get the properties

back on the tax roll.

District 5 Commissioner Kristen Nelson,

D-Waterford, chairs the legislative affairs

and government operations committee,

which interviewed leading contenders for

three positions.

The committee members met and recommended

appointing Pontiac‘s deputy mayor,

Khalfani Stevens, Beverly Hills Village Manager,

Jeffrey Campbell, and Martin Manna, president

of the Farmington Hills-based Chaldean-

American Chamber of Commerce, to the board.

Manna’s term ends one year from the date

of appointment, on August 17, 2023.

We can’t help you sail

around the world.

But we can help you

prepare for retirement.


Member FDIC


Ad Number: PP-BOAA-22351D Trim: 9" x 5.875"

Perich Job No: 22351 Bleed: NA

michigan first

america always



Into Iraq: One Man’s Journey


Michael Palin, seated, with a local resident in Baghdad.

Into Iraq is a story of a thousandmile

journey from Turkey through

Iraq – a story about “faces glimpsed,

sounds caught on the wind, tastes of

dishes you’ve never eaten before,”

and “words exchanged over a mug of

sweet tea,” according to Michael Palin,

the host of a three-part UK television

series and author of a book with the

same title.

Michael Palin came to fame as part

of Monty Python, a British comedy

troupe that produced a sketch comedy

show on BBC called “Monty Python’s

Flying Circus” in the 1970s and 1980s.

They later branched out into cinema

and their films are considered cult

classics. Forced to watch the television

show with my brothers (we had one

TV growing up), I became a fan of the

group and eventually the individual

cast members.

Sir Michael Palin, knighted in 2019,

is one of the show’s original creators.

Following Flying Circus’ fame, he

filmed a series of travel documentaries

for the BBC. His latest journey, filmed

in March of this year, takes Palin to


“The scenes weren’t always happy,”

remembers Palin. “Many of them

reflected the violence of the past few

decades when Iraq was disfigured by

The festival of Newroz in Akre.

war and the threat of war. But we met

some souls who’d been through it all

and whose resilience was an inspiration.”

Palin, in all his travels (he went

‘Around the World in 80 Days’), had

never experienced anywhere like Iraq.

“The long war has been over for such a

short time,” he mused on his website.

Hailed as one of the most dangerous

places in the world, Iraq held some

surprises for Palin.

“When you say you’re going to

Iraq, people just say, ‘Good luck,’” he

laughs. “That’s the kind of travel I enjoy.”

Palin has been fascinated with Iraq

since he was a boy and was introduced

to a children’s version of Arabian

Nights. How different was the Iraq of

history from the war-torn region of today?

Often dubbed the cradle of civilization,

he knew that the Middle Eastern

country was one place he had to

see. But he had to get there first.

Traveling from eastern Turkey by

train along the Tigris, Palin faced a

day-long chaotic challenge to cross the

border once he reached the Persian

Gulf on the southern coast of Iraq. His

first stop was Mosul.

Walking among the ruins, Palin

interacted with locals. He said he felt

a “gut-punch” viewing the old town

where houses once stood and seeing

children playing with a catapult in the

rubble. He asks if they remember the

fighting. They do.

His vaunted optimism took a beating

in Iraq. Visiting the site of the

Camp Speicher massacre where ISIS

selected non-Muslims and Shia cadets

and murdered thousands of them,

burying them in a mass grave, he

could not help but be moved.

Fifty miles east in Erbil, a different

Iraq presents itself. One of the richest

parts of the country shines like a

diamond in the desert. Palin talked to

Kurds in Akre and witnessed a soulmoving

celebration in the festival of

Newroz. Holding burning torches, the

people of Akre ascended a mountain

up steep steps to be rewarded with

the view from the summit. Their lights

shine as glimmers of hope in a warravaged


Visiting Kirkuk, Palin was astounded

by the disparity of wealth.


“Always have a wonderful sales and service experience

at this dealership! Unlike others, all of the people are

nice and attentive. Yes, they do get busy, but that’s

what happens when you find a great dealership.

I highly recommend Audi Rochester Hills to anyone

looking for the experience and service. Will be coming

back in the future.” - Jennifer



“Great experience. Great deal, fabulous follow through

on the delivery” - Razique Turner



“The oil money in other Gulf states has

made cities such as Dubai and Qatar

like Manhattan,” he reflected. “It just

hasn’t happened in Iraq, and that’s

frustrating to see.”

Palin was surprised by Iraq, by

how the country continues to function

after everything it has been through.

“My biggest surprise,” said Palin in

an interview, “was that Iraq could and

should be a pleasant place to live.”

Another surprise came as he conquered

his vertigo climbing a minaret

in Samarra. “What a wonderful place

to be,” he recalled, “looking out over

the heart of Biblical Iraq, with Abraham

and all these figures having been

born in this area.”

The series also showcases the landscape;

the rugged yet beautiful northern

mountains with cities carved out

of hilltops and the great plains leading

to desert in the south.

But it’s the people who made the

biggest impression on the famous

world traveler. “The people we’re

lucky enough to meet who are just living

their lives; they have families or

are studying, and to hear their stories

is very important,” said Palin.

“I’d love to go back to see what its

people make of it in five years’ time. If

they can form a government that can

represent the majority of the people,

and invest the money well and wisely,

then I think Iraq has a great future. But

it could go either way.”

Into Iraq aired on Channel 5 in the UK

beginning in September.



Breakfast of

Nations returns

to the stage

with three

inspiring stories


Every day is a busy day for the Chaldean

Community Foundation in Sterling

Heights. But Sterling Heights Regional

Chamber of Commerce’s Breakfast of

Nations on September 16 not only saw

its lobby crowded with refugees and immigrants

seeking help, but its great hall

filled with residents, business owners,

county officials, and community leaders

who came to hear from Americans

who adopted the country, just like everyone

sitting in the lobby.

“This is really an important event,”

said Ryan Rosario of Warren, a Filipino-

American. “It gives people with different

ethnic backgrounds an opportunity

to share their story but highlights the

success they’ve experienced and how

given the right direction everyone who

comes here can be contributors in their

community and their new country.”

Rosario and his family including his

parents and four siblings got their start

in a small house with two bedrooms and

one bath in the heart of Hamtramck.

They had no transportation, and they

could not speak a word of English, but

Yara Shadda, 21, is a Chaldean-American who graduated from Sterling Heights High School and is currently studying

pre-law at Wayne State University.

they were surrounded by neighbors

from other countries such as Poland, Yugoslavia

and Albania who gave them the

support they needed to succeed.

Serving as emcee for Breakfast of

Nations was Faraz Javed, a reporter

with WXYZ-TV (Channel 7), who was

already a veteran of television journalism

in Dubai, United Arab Emirates

(UAE) before landing a job in Detroit.

“I’m a little nervous but I’m also

very excited,” said Yara Shadda,

whose parents fled Iraq because of

war and the persecution of Christians

going on at the time and found safe

haven in Jordan before moving to

Michigan. “My story, I think, is really

important to share because it’s an experience

a lot of people share and for

those who don’t, it’s important so that

they can understand what it’s like.”

Also on the panel was Siri Pipatsattayanuwong,

representing the Thai

community. The Breakfast of Nations

is put on by the Sterling Heights Regional

Chamber of Commerce. This

year’s event, held for the first time

since the pandemic, was hosted by

the Chaldean Community Foundation,

which serves people from more than

50 different countries of origin.

“This event gives us an opportunity

to help share the wonderful immigrant

stories told in our communities,” said

Martin Manna, president of the CCF.

– Einnews.com

Mesopotamian writers will gather

and discuss their work at the

Chaldean Cultural Center

The Chaldean Cultural Center has organized

a half-day conference for writers

of Mesopotamian ancestry to meet

and present their work to the public.

The conference will be held in-person

with an online option. The in-person

portion is in the same building as the

Chaldean Museum, the first of its kind

to dedicate its exhibits to Chaldean

culture, art, and traditions, past and

present. The museum is a state-of- the

art facility composed of five galleries

that tell the distinctive and powerful

story of the Chaldeans.

The name of the conference is inspired

by the Aramaic phrase that

means “between two rivers,” Beth

The Chaldean Cultural Center, located inside Shenandoah Country Club in

West Bloomfield, is available to tour by appointment only.

Nahrain. This name designates the region

around the Euphrates and Tigris

rivers in Mesopotamia.

The featured writers include poets,

novelists, journalists, academics, and

language researchers: Ann Eshaki will

present spoken word poetry on the

genocide and diaspora of the Chaldean

community; Mahir Awrahem will

speak on how to use technology and

social media to teach Sureth (a dialect

of Aramaic); Jacob Bacall will present

documenting Chaldean history; Roy

Gessford will speak about why Chaldeans

must write; Thamur Hindo will

present on Mesopotamia’s southern

and northern kingdoms; Weam Namou

will discuss women in Ancient

Mesopotamia; and finally, Khairy Foumia

will discuss the life of Patriarch Joseph

Marouf II - from Nestorian to the

Catholic Church.

The event will take place Saturday,

November 5, 2022, from 8:30am until

1pm. Contact the Cultural Center at

info@chaldeanculturalcenter.org or call

(248) 681-5050 for more information.



When you partner with The State Bank,

you partner with a team that turns

obstacles into opportunities.

Trust in your business lending team

from The State Bank. With expertise,

commitment to relationships, and

flexibility, we can help your business

reach its better state.


Commercial Lender


P 248.835.4463



Bank On



Commercial Lender


P 734.765.1753

Subject to credit approval.

Equal Housing Lender · Member FDIC

CELL: (248) 497-8333


Instagram: @Michael_Yaldoo_Real_Estate



Nuha Mansour


Aug 26, 1957 –

July 13, 2022

Suad Zia Dawod

Nov 18, 1948 –

July 19, 2022

Hayat Yousef

July 1, 1941 –

Aug 16, 2022

Noriah Shaker

Khamarko Shounia

July 1, 1938 –

Aug 17, 2022

Montasar Abdul-

Raheem Katto

Nov 2, 1959 –

Aug 17, 2022

Roza Ketchel

Nov 1, 1929 –

Aug 19, 2022


Najim Yousif

April 6, 1941 –

Aug 19, 2022

Nasim Hermiz


Sept 26, 1981 –

Aug 20, 2022

Andraos George


Oct 10, 1946 –

Aug 20, 2022

Anir Giorgees


July 1, 1930 –

Aug 20, 2022

Janan Asso

Murad Bakkal

Aug 1, 1954 –

Aug 21, 2022

Mary Shaker Mikha

Al Kas Shamoun

July 1, 1933 –

Aug 21, 2022


George Yousif

Sept 25, 1953 –

Aug 22, 2022


Denkha Adam

July 1, 1932 –

Aug 23, 2022


Mansoor Ryachi

Jan 1, 1928 –

Aug 23, 2022

Noel Khoshaba

July 1, 1942 –

Aug 25, 2022

Morris Yalda Bolis

Sept 27, 1972 –

Aug 26, 2022

Mary Zia

Attisha Kilano

July 1, 1938 –

Aug 28, 2022


Toma Yousif Najjar

July 1, 1944 –

Aug 29, 2022

Khalida Georgees

Sept 11, 1940 –

Aug 30, 2022

Mirna Hayat


Sept 4, 1957 –

Aug 31, 2022

Karolyn Yaldoo


Nov 28, 1965 –

Sept 5, 2022



Jan 19, 1924 –

Sept 6, 2022

Hayat Jajou

Salmo Karcho

July 1, 1931 –

Sept 6, 2022

Majid Mooshi Sesi

March 20, 1956 –

Sept 7, 2022

Joseph Arabo


March 19, 1929 –

Sept 7, 2022


Mishu Younan

July 1, 1942 –

Sept 8, 2022

Basil Yousif


Oct 2, 1949 –

Sept 8, 2022

Koukab Naroz

June 10, 1949 –

Sept 9, 2022

Salima Yousif


July 1, 1933 –

Sept 9, 2022

Andrew Michael


Feb 28, 2003 –

Sept 10, 2022

Nidhal Fares


Jan 12, 1959 –

Sept 11, 2022


Shakir Yono

Feb 6, 1947 –

Sept 11, 2022

Talal Ibrahim


June 18, 1945 –

Sept 11, 2022

Matthew Habib

Sargon Binyamen

Jan 7, 2016 –

Sept 12, 2022

Rusliya Habeeb


July 20, 1942 –

Sept 15, 2022



July 1, 1929 –

Sept 15, 2022

Fuad “Freddy”


Aug 8, 1940 –

Sept 16, 2022


Georges Toma

Oct 10, 1950 –

Sept 17, 2022

Nuhad Elia


July 1, 1937 –

Sept 20, 2022



All Saints Day


Fall is Cider Season!

Come Enjoy the

Best of the Best!




Every year on November 1, Catholics

of all walks celebrate All

Saints Day, a day set aside for

the observance of saints. It closely follows

Halloween, a huge holiday in the

United States. Would it surprise you to

know that Halloween, an evening when

kids dress up as ghosts and ghouls, was

originally a Christian holiday?

“Hallow” in Old English means

“holy” or “sacred.” Halloween, also

known as All Hallows Eve, simply

means “the evening of holy persons.”

According to Christianity.com, Halloween

as observed in the U.S. today is

a mixture of Celtic religious ideas and

Christian martyrology.

The origin

In 607 A.D., the Eastern Roman

Emperor Phocas gifted

Pope Boniface IV a Roman

Pantheon and granted

permission to turn it into a

Christian church. According

to Bede’s Ecclesiastical

History, Boniface IV had the

pagan temple ritualistically

purified and, “once its company

of devils had been cast out,” it was

renamed the church of Saint Mary of the

Martyrs (or the St. Maria Rotunda).

As a result, the ancient temple of

all the Roman gods was repurposed

into a Christian church that venerated

martyrs and saints. Those who trace

the history of All Saint’s Day attribute

this building with the beginnings of the

observance. In the eighth century, Pope

Gregory III changed the date to November

1 when he dedicated a chapel at the

Vatican in honor of all the saints.

What is a saint?

What makes one a saint? The United

States Conference of Catholic Bishops

defines saints as “persons in heaven

(officially canonized or not), who lived

heroically virtuous lives, offered their

life for others, or were martyred for the

faith, and who are worthy of imitation.”

Saints are people we look to for

inspiration, whom we model our lives

after. But canonized saints aren’t the

only ones we remember on All Saints

Day, explains Father Ayala, Director of

Liturgy at the Basilica of the National

Shrine of the Immaculate Conception.

“When we pray the Apostles’ Creed,

we say, ‘I believe in…the communion of

saints,’” says Fr. Ayala. “The communion

of saints is made up of men and

women who have placed their hope in

Jesus Christ and through Baptism, are

his adopted sons and daughters.”

How we celebrate

One great tradition and practice associated

with the Solemnity of All Saints

is going to Mass – it is, after all, a Holy

Day of Obligation! Every time we go to

Pope Boniface and Emperor Phocas

in front of Roman Pantheon.

Mass, we remember the saints in a special

way in the Eucharist. All Saints Day

comes from a conviction that there is

a spiritual connection between those

in Heaven and on Earth. During Mass,

the Beatitudes are read and prayers are

said for the saints. Many people visit

gravesites of loved ones and relatives

to pay tribute and remember those who

have passed on to heaven.

Other traditional activities for All

Saints Day come as no surprise: reading

and learning about the saints, praying to

the saints – especially one’s confirmation

saint – and asking for their intercession

so that we, too might become saints.

To illustrate the point, Fr. Ayala

shared one of his favorite quotations,

from Saint (Mother) Teresa of Calcutta:

“holiness is not the luxury of a few people,

but a simple duty for you and me.”

As Halloween approaches this

year, remember the reason for the

holiday (holy day) and say a little

prayer to the souls of those we have

loved and lost.

Award Winning Fresh Cider & Warm Donuts!

Slushes Cold & Hot Cider Caramel Apples

Your Favorite Michigan Made Products

• Pies - Breads • Cookies • Candies • Nuts •

• Maple Syrup • Jams • Honey • Cheeses • Meats •

• Chows • Salsas • Dressings • Apple Sauce •


Family Gatherings • Mellow Jazz • Magician • Cider Dogs • Corn on the Cob

Easy Online Ordering Options!

Pre-Pay Pick-up







Best of the Best


Hour Magazine’s



Cider Mill

2021 & 2022


The Best Business

from Next Door

Neighborhood News


7450 Franklin Rd., Bloomfield Hills, MI 48301 • 248.626.8261

Keeping teeth healthy early on is important

to good oral health down the road. Dental

sealants are a great way to help protect teeth

from decay. This clear coating is effective

in young children when their permanent

molars appear.

Delta Dental of Michigan





in the


Visitors ascend the hill — walking on the right and on their knees on the left.

Chaldeans make

their annual

pilgrimage to a

special shrine

in Indian River,



September 14 has become known

as “Chaldean Day” at the National

Shrine of the Cross in the

Woods in Indian River, Michigan. For

roughly 30 years, crowds of Chaldeans

have headed to the shrine on that day

to celebrate Holy Cross Day.

They arrive in the morning to this

little town that has a population of

around 2,000. Prior to the Chaldean

Mass at noon, they walk the quiet and

peaceful grounds, visiting the Stations

of the Cross which are laid out across

the wooded area. They observe the

55-foot-tall outdoor crucifix and climb

the Holy Stairs leading up to the base

of the Cross.

“I’ve been coming here with my

family for the last ten years,” said Saad

Marrugi. “We came here even during

the coronavirus when there was

no Mass. We’ll come even if there’s a


Holy Cross Day, known by several

other names including Exaltation of

the Holy Cross, commemorates the

recovery of the Cross on which Jesus

was crucified. Tradition has it that the

Cross was taken from Jerusalem by the

Persians during a war in 614 A.D. and

that Queen Helena, mother of the Roman

emperor Constantine, found it

during her pilgrimage to the Holy Land

around 326 B.C. She then built the Basilica

of the Holy Sepulchre and was

later venerated a saint.

“The best thing here is that you

think about the Cross of Jesus,” said

Helen Arafat. “And I love Queen Helena

because that’s my name. I’m also

Queen Helena!” she added, laughing.

Helen has been coming every year

since 1996, except for the two years

during the pandemic. She sometimes



from left:

1. Procession

to the altar

2. Nawar


attends the

outdoor Mass

3. Helen and

her husband

4. Suham

Zoma’s bus


came with a group on a bus, and sometimes

drove alone with her husband.

This year, a dozen buses arrived,

each carrying 56 passengers. Sue Zoma

has been bringing people in buses for

8 years. “Usually, we stay the night on

Mackinac Island, but this time, we’re

going home on the same day.” Zoma

provides this service because she likes

to help people get there who don’t

have a car or a ride.

About one thousand Chaldeans

gathered this year on a sunny day in

the outdoor church. Nawar Gattah has

been going there for 20 years and he

has noticed that the number of attendees

keeps increasing.

Prior to Mass, Samira Choulagh,

who also has a history of bringing

groups to this site by bus, recited

beautiful prayers and hymns in Arabic

and Sureth. Then a procession of

clergymen walked toward the altar,

including Father Boji and Father Fadi

Philip, who celebrated the Mass.

The air was filled with the scent of

incense, the sound of birds chirping,

and church bells ringing.

The shrine traces its origins back to

1946, when Father Charles D. Brophy

was named administrator of a new

Catholic parish in the area. While driving,

he noticed the beautiful woods

on the side of the road and thought

of the life of Kateri Tekakwitha. She

was a Native American from the Mohawk

tribe who converted to Christianity

in the seventeenth century. She

was known for making small wooden

crosses and placing them in the woods

to inspire people to stop and pray.

Under Brophy’s leadership, the

parish decided to build both a church

and an outdoor gathering area that

could accommodate the many individuals

who visit in the summer. Today

between 275,000 and 325,000 people

come to visit the Cross in the Woods

every year.

In 1954, a 55-foot wooden cross was

erected. Five years later, a bronze image

of the crucified Jesus, sculpted by

Marshall Fredericks, was lifted into

place. At the center of the outdoor worship

area is a statue of Kateri Tekakwitha,

dedicated to Father Brophy.

Kateri was canonized in 2012 and was

the first Native American woman to become

a saint.

After Mass is celebrated this year,

people remained on the grounds to

chat, stroll around to see the smaller

shrines on the ground, and to visit the

Doll Museum that has the largest collection

of dolls dressed in traditional

attire of men and women in religious

communities in the United States. In

1964, Wally and Sally Rogalski donated

the dolls with the request “that

no admission charge would ever be

asked, so that people, rich and poor

alike, would be able to see them.”

The National Shrine of the Cross in

the Woods is for everyone, but it holds

a special place in the hearts of Chaldeans.



Storms Without Borders

Iraq faces increased weather-related challenges


Storms have no borders; dust

storms show no mercy or dust,

diplomacy. Dust storms over

Iraq and the Middle East have become

a huge problem for the countries involved

as well as their citizens, impacting

their health, the economy, the

environment, and agriculture.

Orange skies and reduced visibility

is common in the country. Iraq’s

meteorological office says that this

weather phenomenon is expected to

become increasingly common, due to

“drought, desertification and declining


This article examines what is causing

the increase of dust and sandstorms

in Iraq, the socio-economic

costs, and what actions can be taken

to mitigate and potentially reduce or

eliminate these storms.


Although the Tigris and Euphrates

Rivers run right through Iraq, it is classified

as one of the five countries in

the world most vulnerable to climate

change and desertification—the process

by which fertile land becomes

desert, typically as a result of drought,

deforestation, or inappropriate agriculture.

The frequency and intensity

of sandstorms in the region has increased

drastically in the last decade,

and those numbers are still increasing.

A combination of factors can exacerbate

domestic security when climatic

disruptions occur. Nations with

a history of conflict, agricultural dependence,

water deficits and political

exclusion, where ethnic or religious

groups have no representation in government,

are prone to instability due

to climate change. Iraq meets all these


The Middle East is naturally burdened

with strong winds, dry soil, and

hot weather, which combine to provide

the perfect conditions for sand

and dust storms. Across the region,

dust storms are always an issue, but

each country has a different degree of

vulnerability and weakness.

Iraq is affected by the southern and

southeasterly wind called Shargi (in

Arabic, “from the southeast”), which

is a dry wind with occasional gusts

of up to 80 kilometers per hour. Dust

storms are most common in late spring

and summer, provoked by seasonal

winds such as the Shamal, which

originates in sub-Saharan Africa and

blows in from the northwest. It is these

two winds in particular which generate

severe sand and dust storms in the


Iraq has been especially hard hit,

with storms occurring on an almost

weekly basis this spring. In Baghdad,

a typical spring would see about one

to three storms per month, but at least

nine major storms have descended

on the country since April 2022, with

more expected.

Climate change

Experts believe dust storms are becoming

more frequent in Iraq due to

climate change.

Recently, an environment ministry

official warned that Iraq could face

“272 days of dust” per year in the coming


Iraq faces a unique set of environmental

degradation plus increasing

frequency and intensity of extreme

weather events, especially sand and

dust storms. This takes an enormous

toll on socio-economic life and human

development in the region.

The Sahara, the world’s largest

desert, is the world’s largest source

of atmospheric dust. While dust episodes

tend to be seasonal and follow

changes in wind conditions, a string

of recent notorious episodes is causing

increased attention.

Climate experts say rising heat

combined with decades of poor water

management and inefficient agricultural

practices have degraded land

across the country, making it easier

for dust particles to be picked up and

swept across vast areas.

Heat waves

Climate science shows that hotter and

drier conditions and increased land

use, which leaves looser topsoil, make

storms more frequent and severe. According

to the World Bank, the mean

May temperature in Iraq rose from 24°

Celsius to over 30° Celsius between

1972 and 2007.

A report released by the International

Monetary Fund in March shows

that, since the 1990s, the Middle East

has been heating up twice as fast as

the global average.

Most of the storms originate in Saudi

Arabia, Jordan, and eastern Syria. Increasing

desertification in Iraq is also

leading to food security issues. Drought

and extreme temperatures are drying

up farmland and making large portions

of Iraq barely habitable during the summer

months. In recent years, Iraq has

seen record low rainfall and summer

temperatures regularly exceeding 50°

Celsius (122° Fahrenheit).

These apocalyptic scenes affect

everyone. The climate disaster is here,

with temperatures soaring across Europe,

China, the US, and much of the

northern hemisphere – with scorching

summers becoming the norm. As scientific

predictions become reality, the

drought emergency is becoming palpable,

indisputable, and widespread,

and dramatic weather events are reported

with ever-increasing frequency.

Such patterns have disastrous,

far-reaching effects – for the natural

world, global food supplies, health,

infrastructure and more.

Climate change alone doesn’t give

the whole picture, however. Inappropriate

farming practices and mismanagement

of water resources have certainly

contributed to the problem.

Water management

Water levels are a major factor in extreme

weather patterns. The effects of

low rainfall have been compounded

as the levels of the Tigris and Euphrates

drop because of upstream dams in

neighboring Iran and Turkey.

In many Middle East countries,

85% of available water goes to agricultural

uses. Climate experts say unsustainable

agricultural practices such as

overgrazing, excessive use of chemicals

and machinery, and excessive irrigation

– often encouraged by heavily

subsidized water tariffs – are acting to

drive desertification in the region.

Iraq’s water reserves are already

50% lower than in 2021, and the water

resources ministry has warned that the

vital Tigris and Euphrates Rivers, which

provide most of the country’s surface

water, could dry up within 20 years.

The World Bank warned Iraq (a country

of 41 million people) that it could suffer

a 20 percent drop in water resources by

2050 due to climate change.

Not all droughts are due to climate

change, but excess heat in the

atmosphere is drawing more moisture

out of the earth and making

droughts worse. The world has already

warmed by about 1.2° C since

the industrial era began, and temperatures

will keep rising unless

governments around the world make

steep cuts to emissions.

Across Europe, the situation is not

much better. The picture is bleak for the

continent and its waterways. Drought is

reducing its once mighty rivers to trickles,

drying up rivers, killing fish and

shriveling crops with dramatic consequences

for industry, freight, energy,

and food production. No river is left

unscathed; from the Rhine to the Danube,

from the Thames to the Loire, waterways

are failing at the worst possible

moment as the climate crisis worsens.

With no significant rainfall recorded

for almost two months across


Rissafi Square in Baghdad.

western, central, and southern Europe

and none forecast in the near

future, meteorologists say the current

drought could become the continent’s

worst in more than 500 years.

Armed conflict

Storms of all kinds have been hitting

Iraq in recent years. Desert Shield,

Desert Storm, political storms post-

2003, and now dust storms! Years of

war have played a part in the degradation

of land, leading to an increase in

dust sources.

During 1991 and 2003, Iraq saw

very large military actions. Thousands

of heavy trucks and military vehicles,

some weighing more than 30 tons,

crossed southern Iraq, driving mainly

off-road. The trucks and tanks, added

to the explosion of enormous amounts

of bombs and rockets of different sizes

and strengths, destroyed the compacted

topsoil layer in large areas, causing

emission of dust and facilitating in development

of dust and/or sandstorms.

Such cases have been proven by scientific


Decades of armed conflict have led

to the abandonment of entire agricultural

areas which have dried up and become

a source of more dust. In the past

two years, flows from the Tigris and

Euphrates Rivers coming from Turkey

have lowered, while Iran cut all branch

rivers going into Iraq. Also to blame are

the strings of dams built on some of the

region’s major rivers, which can block

water flowing to wetlands. Conflicts

also force farmers to flee, leaving their

land to become barren and dry.


Airborne dust presents serious risks

for human health, causing skin and

eye irritations, conjunctivitis, and enhanced

susceptibility to ocular or eye


Depending on weather and climate,

dust can remain suspended in air for

days, causing allergy outbreaks far from

their source. Some infectious diseases

can be transmitted by dust. Meningococcal

meningitis, a bacterial infection

of the thin tissue layer that surrounds

the brain and spinal cord, can result

in brain damage and if left untreated,

causes death in 50% of cases.

Researchers believe that the inhalation

of dust particles in hot dry

weather may damage nose and throat

mucosa creating favorable conditions

for bacterial infection. Moreover, iron

oxides embedded in dust particles

may enhance the risk of infection.


Surface dust deposits are a source of

micro-nutrients for both continental

and maritime ecosystems. Saharan

dust is thought to fertilize the Amazon

rainforest, and dust transports

of iron and phosphorus are known to

benefit marine biomass production in

parts of the oceans suffering from the

shortage of such elements. But dust

also has many negative impacts on

agriculture, including reducing crop

yields by burying seedlings, causing

loss of plant tissue, reducing photosynthetic

activity, and increasing soil


Indirect dust deposits fill irrigation

canals, cover transportation

routes, and affect river and stream

water quality. Reductions in visibility

due to airborne dust also have an impact

on air and land transport.

As governments struggle to cope

with the dusty onslaught, environmentalists

and government officials

say what’s driving the threat is a combination

of climate change and poor

water management practices that

STORMS continued on page 22



STORMS continued from page 21

together are turning more of the region’s

soil into sand.

Economic impact

Dust is not just a matter of public

health anymore — it can bring a region’s

economic activity to a halt if

concentrations are high enough. Costs

range from ruined agricultural crops

and damaged machinery to the closure

of ports and airports and hours

spent cleaning up roads and other infrastructure.

More and more sandstorms are hitting

countries in the Middle East, with

officials blaming climate change and

poor water management. The region

loses about $13 billion a year because

of sandstorms, which damage buildings,

powerlines, and other vital infrastructure,

kill crops, and interrupt

transportation, among other effects.

The most recent string of sandstorms

has been attributed to intense drought

in North Africa, as well as along the Tigris

and Euphrates basins.

The problems go beyond Iraq’s borders.

Dust storms take on planetary dimensions.

While around 45 countries

produce dust storms, 151 countries

experience them. As is often the case

with climate change, the effects are

most keenly felt by the poor. Iraq is

struggling in the wake of years of sanctions,

invasion, occupation, and civil


Societal impact

Travelling thousands of kilometers,

each sand and dust storm can wreak

havoc through a dozen countries. They

damage buildings, powerlines, and

other vital infrastructure, kill crops,

reduce visibility for drivers and interrupt

air, rail, and water transportation,

according to a 2019 report from

the World Bank.

In April and May of this year, dust

storms blanketed parts of the Middle

East, worsening air quality and impacting

daily life in countries including

Iraq, Iran, Kuwait, and the United

Arab Emirates.

Iraq was hit by a total of nine dust

storms this year that affected everything

from schools’ final exams to

traffic in ports and airports. Around

35,000 people had to go to the hospital

and at least three people died, according

to the country’s Health Ministry. In

Dubai, schools canceled outdoor activities

for a week.

Politics and mismanaged resources

In a low-lying country with plenty of

desert regions, the impact of drought

is almost double. Because of more

than 17 years of mismanagement of

water and urbanization, Iraq lost more

than two-thirds of its green cover. That

is why Iraqis are complaining more

than their neighbors about the sandstorms

in their areas.

According to scientists at the Barcelona

Dust Regional Center, “Dust

storms have no borders, and we need

to attack them at the source; what happens

in Iraq impacts Kuwait, Qatar,

and Saudi Arabia, so we need monitoring

everywhere so we can improve


While countries in the region have

been slow to protect themselves from

the storms, some are taking note. Experts

argue more needs to be done and

if countries don’t act soon, the consequences

for the region will be devastating.

Dangers posed by sand and

dust storms have been overlooked by

local and international governments

for too long.

Tense political relations between

some of the countries hardest hit by

sandstorms hamper dust diplomacy

and stall negotiations on how to tackle

the problem. The dismantling of the

Iraqi state after the 2003 U.S. invasion

has left Iraqis with a political system

incapable of responding even to shortterm

problems, never mind the forms

More and more sandstorms are hitting

countries in the Middle East, with

officials blaming climate change and

poor water management.

of long-term planning needed to prevent

and mitigate ecological crises.

Some nations are working to fight

the dust storms, with Saudi Arabia

committing to planting 10 billion trees

— an ambitious goal for a country with

limited renewable water resources

within its own borders. The country is

home to the world’s largest sand desert.

The U.N. set up the Sand and Dust

Storm Coalition in 2018. It is mandated

to facilitate knowledge exchange, work

on collaborations towards solutions

and funding, increase dialogue between

affected countries, and build capacities

to mitigate harmful effects. But

there is a risk that long-term negotiation

will not be able to face the immediate

harms that climate catastrophe is

already bringing on countries like Iraq.

The increase in droughts is a particular

concern. Affected countries

should invest in early warning and

forecasting systems, craft more efficient

water and land management policies,

and put in place insurance and

social protection measures to help the

most vulnerable communities recover

from the storms.

Iraq’s sandstorms are threatening

life in the Fertile Crescent. It’s time

the Iraqi government takes a stance.

In April 2020, Iraq announced it would

rehabilitate ten oases in its Western

Desert to combat the increase in dust

storms. But many of these projects

have reportedly stalled due to financial


Environmental experts claim that

existing measures are not enough to

prepare the region for the extreme

dust storms that worsening climate

change could bring.

Iraq’s last stance

In the 1980s, an estimated thirty million

date palm trees were growing in

Iraq. However, due to actions taken by

the Ba’athist regime under Iraqi Dictator

Saddam Hussein and a chaotic

post-2003 invasion, Iraq currently has

less than twelve million palm trees.

What can Iraq do? The Iraqi government

must adopt a cultural and

legislative overhaul that is more ecoconscious,

so that every citizen is selfaware

of how they contribute to the

demise of an inhabitable Iraq.

In 1995, Iraq had some of the

world’s most productive soils, with

agriculture representing more than

18 percent of the nation’s economy.

Today, however, it accounts for less

than 2 percent. Modern irrigation

techniques—such as drip and spray irrigation—need

to become the norm in

Iraq, for these techniques significantly

reduce water loss by farmers.

Other solutions include the Iraqi

government creating environmental reserves

with diverse plants and animals

far from population centers. These reserves

will serve as more vital vegetation

cover and will also serve as a catalyst for

new ecosystems to prosper in Iraq.

Iraq officials now talk about climate

change as the reason for all of

this. Climate change is part of it, but

it has become an easy excuse for not

acting. They could have worked on

this matter 20 or 30 years ago and prevented

this thing from getting more

severe, avoiding, or mitigating these

sandstorms. Iraqi officials are used to

reacting, not acting proactively.

The problem took 40 years to develop.

It’s going to take a lot longer

to recover. But one thing that we have

learned from history is that nature can

heal itself if given the chance.

Sources: The World Meteorological

Organization (WMO), Wikipedia, The

Monitor, Reuters, Thomson Reuters

Foundation, Bloomberg Green,

Sara Basart, Muhammad Baqir

Muhyedeen, Sophie Tremblay, CNN

Journal of Natural Science (Varoujan

K. Sissakian, Nadhir Al-Ansari, and

Sven Knutsson). Special editing by

Jacqueline Raxter.



A boutique style, small

neighborhood concept of

senior living. Chef-prepared

meals, daily activities and

quality care provided by a

skilled team of professionals.

CALL FOR A TOUR! 248.671.4204

Limited Select Pricing For Early Commitment!




2450 HAGGERTY ROAD | JUST SOUTH OF PONTIAC TRAIL | WEST BLOOMFIELD, MI 48323 | 248.671.4204 | cranberrypark.net


Are you tired of your lease or

just want out early? Even if

you’re over your miles, that’s

no problem, we want your car!


Give us a call at

313-952-2626 or stop

in at our dealership on

Grand River Avenue.


نحن نشرتي جميع موديالت السيارات-الحديثة واملستعملة بدون استثناء حتى اللييس ‏.ترشفوا بزيارتنا.‏




The Heat is On

Mansour and Arbit square off in redrawn Michigan 20th


The stage is set for November’s

general elections, and the race

in Michigan’s state House 20th

District promises to be a close one.

The new 20th is an open seat, with

former incumbent Ryan Berman (R-

Commerce Township) throwing his

hat in the ring for state Attorney General.

It’s also a newly reconfigured

district combining the old 39th (Commerce,

western West Bloomfield), 40th

(eastern West Bloomfield), and 29th

(Orchard Lake, Keego Harbor, Sylvan

Lake) districts, according to Democratic

primary winner Noah Arbit.

Arbit, a former Governor Gretchen

Whitmer staffer, will face-off against

Albert Mansour, a conservative real estate

professional who just happens to

be Chaldean.

“I am honored to be a first-generation

Chaldean American,” said Mansour.

“I am extremely proud of my Chaldean

heritage and my wife and I work

hard each day to honor and instill the

values to our children by passing on the

positive lessons and moral standards

we were taught growing up.”

The new district favors Democrats

by 53 to 55 percent, according to pollster

Ed Sarpolus, so Mansour will have

his work cut out for him. Democrats

tallied double the number of total

votes in the primary contests, from

7,515 to 15,413.

It’s a Democratic seat, so the conventional

wisdom is that it stays that

way, said pollster Steve Mitchell. “But

the Chaldean community really rallies

behind its candidates. It’s an uphill

struggle for Mansour, but Arbit is a

very, very liberal Democrat and I think

Mansour may do better than people


But can the seat flip to Republican?

“I think if (Mansour) can raise money

he’s got an opportunity. It’s going to

be a very uphill battle, but yeah,” said


Arbit plans to emphasize mental

health, hate crimes, and support for

Noah Arbit

small businesses in his campaign.

“These issues are very personal to me,

and to our community,” he said.

“I am committed to confronting

Michigan’s mental health crisis and

ensuring every kid, every senior, and

every Michigander in between—from

Keego Harbor to Copper Harbor—has

access to the resources and treatments

that will enable them to achieve their


“In addition … I will be laserfocused

on tackling skyrocketing

hate crimes and violent extremism

by strengthening and supplementing

Michigan’s outdated, ineffective, and

weak hate crimes statute and actually

protecting our communities.”

Arbit, bolstered by a Detroit Regional

Chamber of Commerce endorsement,

plans to address rising costs and

supply chain issues. “We need to elect

Albert Mansour

small business champions who will

actually make the lives of small business

owners easier, not harder.”

Parental rights in education and

strengthening the local economy are

atop Mansour’s agenda.

“As elected officials, the school

board should be held accountable

to the parents and teachers. There

should be transparency in what is being

taught to our children. Parents and

teachers should not have to walk on

eggshells around the school board,”

he said.

He also emphasized job growth

and getting people back to work as top

priorities, as well as mitigating the rising

rate of inflation and fuel costs.

The economy

Mansour’s positions on the economy

come from an insider’s perspective. As

a businessman living in the district, he

daily confronts the issues he hopes to


“As a small business owner coming

from a family of business owners, I understand

the importance of a strong local

economy and the impact that small

and local businesses have on the community.

I am in favor of legislation that

supports and encourages the opening

of new businesses or helps to create

growth in existing businesses,” said


“I think incentivizing start-ups

can be beneficial in creating jobs and

spurring and strengthening the local

economy. In speaking with business

owners, a top priority for many is getting

people back to work.

“The employee shortage has destroyed

a number of businesses and

has disrupted numerous others. Stopping

unnecessary government spending

can help to curb the shortage. I intend

to work with both sides to find a

way to get people back to work.”

For Arbit, ensuring the strength

“I am honored to be a first-generation Chaldean American … I am

extremely proud of my Chaldean heritage and my wife and I work hard

each day to honor and instill the values to our children by passing on

the positive lessons and moral standards we were taught growing up.”

– Albert Mansour

and competitiveness of the economy,

on the local level in greater West

Bloomfield and Commerce, across

Oakland County, and in all of Michigan

will be one of his top priorities in

the state House.

“I will work relentlessly to support

our vibrant small business community

by reducing overbearing regulatory

burdens, cutting red tape, and swiftly

connecting local businesses with the

resources they need within state agencies,”

said Arbit. “I will advocate for

state funding to boost economic devel-


opment and incentivize new business

growth across the Lakes Area, particularly,

the Orchard Lake corridor in

Keego Harbor and Sylvan Lake.”

He added that he will work to invest

in workforce development, apprenticeship,

and training programs

to ensure the workforce is equipped to

“help Michigan compete and harness

the opportunities of a rapidly changing

global economy.”

He also said, “Michigan needs to

implement a fair and manageable tax

structure that generates enough revenue

to adequately fund the quality

services Michiganders desire without

unduly burdening families.”


Immigration continues to be a hot-button

issue in legislative races, though

the policies are largely determined at

the federal level.

“First and foremost, our immigration

system should protect the American

people,” said Mansour. “I believe

our immigration system should be an

organized one. It should be humane,

yet firm, and our borders should be


“That being said, there are actual

realized benefits to the receiving country

that come with legal immigration.

My own parents are legal immigrants

who continue to contribute to our society

in a number of ways culturally,

socially, and economically.”

As for specifics, Mansour said,

“Some ways to improve immigration

policy may include securing the border

to be able to track those who enter

and exit the country in an effort to

deter illegal immigration, and those

overstaying their visas. Also, the expansion

of immigrant visa eligibility

can help improve legal immigration.”

“I believe immigrants enrich

America, and I know we share the goal

of ensuring that new immigrants, including

Iraqi immigrants, are treated

humanely, with respect, and are supported

on a path to full citizenship and

integration,” said Arbit.

“But, more relevant to what I can

accomplish as a state representative

includes finding avenues to provide

support for Chaldean immigrants

seeking to open up small businesses,

as well as to address the safety of Chaldean

small business owners across

Metro Detroit.”

Opposing perspectives

Arbit expressed broad concerns about

the Republican agenda’s pressure to

vote a particular way on key issues.

“I fear that my opponent will be a reliable

vote for an extreme agenda to gut

funding for public education, deny Michiganders

access to critical healthcare,

and allow corporations to pollute our

lakes and environment, and that is simply

not a risk our community can afford.

“The primary difference (between me

and my opponent) is that I’m not running

to serve a political party; I’m running to

serve West Bloomfield, Commerce, and

the Lakes—and as state representative,

I’ll move heaven and earth—and work

across the aisle—to get it done.”

Mansour said “a lifetime of experience,”

separates him from his opponent.

“As a husband and a father of

school-aged children, I share the same

concerns of many families and many

parents in our district. During COVID

our lives were disrupted, including the

way our schools operated and how our

children learned. My family experienced

those struggles first-hand, and

were there, side-by-side, with all the

other families in our district. As a parent,

I have seen the impact that has had

on our children and understand what

these families have gone through.”

Mansour said his work experiences

enable him to understand the problems

facing people living in the district.

“For over a decade, my experience

working for an automotive supplier led

me to daily interactions with workers

across all organizational levels. I have

been fortunate to listen to the concerns

of employees from trades workers to

upper management when it comes to

issues such as employment, labor, and


“My path as a small business owner

has led me to experience what many

in our district are currently going

through—from rising fuel cost, inflation,

higher cost of groceries, a shortage

of employees—we are feeling it in

our district and across the state.

“I have the background not only to

listen to the concerns of the people of

our district, but I have been there with

them sharing the same concerns and


As is the case with races across the

state, Michigan’s 20th House District

will feature new candidates to go with

its redrawn borders.




1pm - 4pm

Young women seeking academic excellence,

exceptional athletics, inspiring arts programs,

and an empowering environment built on faith

and sisterhood join Marian. To learn more,

RSVP below to attend our Fall Open House.

For information on admission, tours, and tuition

assistance, visit www.marian-hs.org/#admission or

call 248.502.3033. Become #MarianStrong




Bringing the Chill

Chaldean entrepreneur

goes primetime


Mirna Ashaka, a 24-year-old

café entrepreneur, learned

the business from her brother.

Now she has a successful catering

business – Detroit’s Royal Sweets – as

well as a prime storefront in downtown

Rochester under the name “iChillyn


“When COVID hit, I went to learn

this business for my brother,” Ashaka

said, recalling her dreams of being a

chef. She loves food but loves feeding

others even more.

Ashaka’s brother married and

moved to San Diego a few years earlier,

starting a business in El Cajon named

Royal Sweets. This is where Ashaka

worked for over three months before

starting her own catering business,

aptly named Detroit’s Royal Sweets – a

nod to her brother, to whom she says

she owes everything.

While she was in El Cajon, she

worked overtime nearly every day. She

would walk almost three miles to work

and three miles back because

she didn’t have a car. When

opportunity knocks, one must


Upon returning to Detroit,

her catering business gained

popularity rapidly. Like a southern

California wildfire, her ideas and cooking

talent took over the community.

Almost every day of the summer, with

the help of her sisters and the rest of

her crew, Ashaka would serve at different

events from grad parties to large

weddings. Her crepes, churros, and

taco-rolled ice cream became staples

at high-end Chaldean parties.

After saving enough money, Ashaka

was able to purchase a café in

downtown Rochester, on the corner of

2nd and Main Street. She rebranded

and implemented her catering recipes.

Her menu is enormous; it includes

sweet and savory crepes, croissants,

fresh smoothies, milkshakes, protein

shakes, coffee, churros, rolled

Above: Mirna slices strawberries for her next

masterpiece. Top of page: Mirna in front of her

Instagram worthy store backdrop.

ice cream, crème brûlée, mochi, pancakes,

bubble waffles, bubble tea,

Mexican corn, acai bowls, normal ice

cream scoops, and other pastries. Each

item comes in several different flavors.

The small corner shop offers hundreds

of unique flavors to hungry customers

roaming the streets of Rochester.

Though Ashaka has found success

and a calling, her early life in Baghdad

was quite difficult. Her family lived

through the U.S. invasion and the violence

that occurred as a result. On two

separate occasions, members of her

family were kidnapped by dangerous

militias and threatened death if her

family didn’t pay the ransom. At one

point, her brother was missing for

more than two weeks.

When the threats became more

frequent and dangerous, Ashaka’s

family decided it wasn’t worth risking

their lives to stay in Iraq. It took a few

years, but they eventually completed

the journey to Detroit. She made the

move with her entire family, who now

live safely in the United States.

Mirna heaps tons of praise on the

U.S. and the freedoms she enjoys.

It’s miles ahead of Iraq, she said, in

almost all areas, but especially the

rights of women and their ability to be

independent. In her home country of

Iraq, she said, it’s difficult to imagine

her starting a business and making an


When I walked in to meet her,

she offered me any item I wanted, so

I asked for a crepe. I’d never seen one

made in front of me, which is an experience

of its own. Mirna spread the

batter on her crepe maker until it was

super thin and cooked through, which

didn’t take long. She drizzled

Biscoff butter and caramel over

the crepe and added strawberries

and raspberries before putting

it all on an artsy plate that

resembled a slice out of a tree


Not only was the presentation

beautiful, but it tasted exquisite.

An excellent combination of

sweet and salty, Mirna’s fresh

berries topped off the sweetness

of the Biscoff and caramel. There

were so many other items I could

have tried, but they’ll have to

wait for another day.

Mirna said she closes the café

in the dead of winter. This year,

she’ll likely be closed the coldest

months because business grinds to

a halt once the weather changes. Fear

not, however; this only means iChillyn

will come back fresh and better than

ever once the hiatus is over.

Her long-term goal with iChillyn is

to begin franchising out new locations

to hardworking entrepreneurs like herself.

She has a careful eye for women

in business and wants to emphasize

their role in the economy. In fact, she

hopes that her story will inspire other

women to take risks and attempt new

business ventures like she did.

You can book Mirna’s catering company

by visiting detroitroyalsweets.com

and you can find her storefront café at






















in the


A photo essay of

the homeland



Top of page: The statue of the Virgin Mary stands on the hill the village is named for; Tesqopa means “hill of the cross” or “rising hill.”

Above: An aerial shot of Tesqopa. In the early part of the millennium, it received many refugees from Baghdad and Mosul who were caught up in the wake

of conflict. Tesqopa was the target of ISIS in 2014 but the Kurdish Peshmerga retook the village shortly after ISIS invaded; Peshmerga forces repelled

another invasion by ISIL in 2016.


Left: Tesqopa,

sometimes called Tel

Skuf, is an ancient

village located in

the Nineveh Plain of

northern Iraq. Targeted

first by Mongols and

then by ISIS, Tesqopa

has remained a village

of the Assyrians who

proclaim the Christian

faith. The original Mar

Yago church dates back

to the fourth century

AD. It was named after

an advisor to King

Bahram, ruler of Persia.

After revealing that he,

Yaqo, was a Christian,

the king ordered his

dismemberment and

execution. Yaqo was

made a saint for his

martyrdom and the

church was named in

his honor. It has been

renovated in recent


Center of page, from left: Villagers use the time-honored method of stone milling for grinding grains; A separator machine separates grain from the husk.

Above: Parishioners of Mar Yaqo pose outside the church for a photo. They were gathering at the church to prepare for Easter celebrations. Iraqi officials have

made efforts to secure churches since the violence of a 2010 attack on Our Lady of Salvation in Baghdad killed more than 50 worshippers. Christians have

suffered repeated attacks by Islamic militants since the 2003 US-led invasion, and hundreds of thousands have left the country.

Bottom right: The remains of a house destroyed by ISIS.



The Chaldean Community Foundation

Honors Akram Kareem


The Chaldean Community Foundation

(CCF) in Sterling Heights

honored Akram Kareem (aka

Hermiz) at their 4th annual Gala on September

29 as Humanitarian of the Year.

Akram deserves every accolade

heaped upon him. A merchant son of

a merchant from Telkaif, his is a story

of perseverance, dedication, generosity,

and faith.

The Iraq that Akram grew up in

exists now only in photographs and

memories, but it was a land of opportunity

for someone with his skill set.

As a young man, he saw the influx of

foreigners at embassies in Baghdad

and decided he would cater to them,

providing a modern grocery store with

the convenience of prepared food.

It was such a successful endeavor

that he branched out into the import/

export business and was subsequently

imprisoned by Saddam Hussein for

creating a monopoly. “You’re too successful,

Akram,” the regime seemed to

say. So, he moved to Jordan.

His adopted country was to benefit

greatly for providing the peace and security

Akram needed. In Jordan, he donated

to the Our Lady of Peace Center,

an organization that serves persons with

disabilities. It is a comprehensive rehabilitation

and special education center

which offers free services to everyone,

regardless of their nationality, religion,

or sex. But he was not done giving.

Caritas Jordan was also a beneficiary

of Akram’s kindness. Caritas, a

Latin word meaning, “love,” is a charitable

organization within the Catholic

Church, established in 1967 as a

response to the humanitarian crisis

caused by the Six Days War. According

to their website, Caritas Jordan was one

of the first (if not the first) to aid refugees

in the region. Since then, Caritas

has been working with other groups in

need, including Iraqi refugees.

Another opportunity to give came

in 2009 when Pope Benedict XVI visited

Amman, Jordan; his first stop on

a week-long pilgrimage through the

Middle East. It was his first visit as

pontiff to an Arab country, and Akram

wanted to make sure the Pope was

comfortable and felt welcomed, so the

import/export dealer provided special

furniture for the historic Mass out of

his own pocket.

“Akram is really a servant of the

Church,” said Jacob Bacall more than

ten years ago when Akram was recognized

by the Chaldean American

Chamber of Commerce for his

humanitarian efforts. “He believes

in something, and he

does what he believes in,” Bacall


“Akram and Bernadette Kareem

were close friends of my

parents, Karim and Bernadette

Sarafa,” remembers Anmar

Sarafa. “I have vivid memories

of their family’s visits to our

home whenever they were in

Jordan…(they) would always

come bearing some sort of

gift(s) for my parents, as well as

spices and other native foods

that my Mom would use to cook

her authentic Chaldean dishes.

“Akram was instrumental

in having Pope Francis accept

an invitation to travel to Iraq

for his historic trip in March

2021 to show support for the

Christians there,” said Sarafa.

“What stands out the most is

whenever we would see Akram,

Bernadette, and their children,

they were always exceptionally kind

and humble, and so deeply respectful

of my parents…if they were here today,

they would certainly be happy and

excited to acknowledge that Akram

is truly deserving of being honored

for the CCF’s Lifetime Humanitarian


Akram has a chapel in his Jordan

home, which has seen Mass celebrated

by the first Chaldean cardinal, Mar

Delly. He has been recognized for his

charitable work by no less than three

popes — Pope (Saint) John Paul II,

Pope Benedict XVI, and Pope Francis.

As you may be able to conclude,

Akram Kareem

the Catholic Church is important to

Akram. St. George Chaldean Church

in Shelby Township holds a special

place in his heart because it reminds

him of Mar Gorgis Monastery in Iraq.

When you find comfort in a church,

that church may be located anywhere.

“I love the Church,” says Akram, “It is

the parent, educator, teacher.”

Akram is an educator, too, although

he may not see himself that way. “He is

very humble,” it has been said about

him. “He does everything quietly.”

Including publishing books; currently,

Akram is working on the eighth

edition of his prayer book, originally

printed in 2002. With each new edition,

Akram adds more prayers. The

newest has writings from Pope Francis,

who called the prayer book, “a

blessed work.” His plan is to distribute

the eighth edition prayer book in Iraq,

Jordan, and parts of Europe as well as

here in the US.

Akram has also published books

on Pope Francis’ visit to Iraq and one

called “Ur of the Chaldees,” which was

just published in 2021.

For his assistance in restoring The

Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem,

Akram and his wife Bernadette

were awarded the medal of Knight

Commander of the Holy Sepulchre

on March 14, 2010. “Our feeling is indescribable,”

said Akram, “to be servants

of the Lord Jesus and faithful

guards of the Holy Sepulchre.”

The site had been the target

of multiple conquests over

the centuries. In fact, the Holy

Crusades were undertaken to

liberate and regain control of

this and other holy sites in that

holiest of lands. Wars waged left

battle scars. Full restoration of

the church began in 1962. Akram

was only too happy to lend his

pocketbook in those efforts.

As far as Akram’s contributions

to the Chaldean community

in Michigan, they come

from a place of pride and love.

“It is everyone’s duty to preserve

our heritage, our language,

and our history,” said

Akram. “I encourage, support,

and commend what the

churches are doing here.”

Teaching the Chaldean language,

customs, and rites to

first-, second-, and now even

third-generation Chaldean

Americans keeps the culture

alive. It also helps “introduce the

world to the Chaldean community,”

says Akram, through visits to the Chaldean

Community Foundation, community

activities, and outreach and

events through the Chaldean American

Chamber of Commerce.

“Our mission,” says Akram, “is to

set a good example to others that will

reflect our dedication to work, devotion

to the country in which we live,

and to be a source of pride for others

with our love, humility, and service.”

He divides his time between his

business in Jordan and his family in

Sterling Heights, Michigan.




On the Run in America

The continuing story of an Iraqi Christian’s struggle

to stay one step ahead of ICE


Originally printed in The Delacorte

Review August 15, 2022.

Part II

In January 2017, the Trump administration

announced its so-called Muslim

ban, which was challenged by the

ACLU and was revised and reissued

a few times before being finalized in

March 2017. Iraq was on the initial list

and then was dropped from the final

declaration, after confidential negotiations

that Secretary of State Rex Tillerson

called an example of “close cooperation”

between the two governments.

In return for being dropped from the

travel ban, Iraq’s government agreed to

repatriate Iraqis that the United States

wanted to deport. Suddenly, the decades-old

mutual understanding about

Iraqi deportation was over.

Then, weeks after the travel ban

went into effect, the U.S. government

launched a coordinated effort to arrest

and deport any Iraqis with final orders

of deportation. Before dawn on June

11, 2017, ICE vans were joined by state

police from Michigan and Ohio, SWAT

teams, and what appeared to be the

fullest possible complement of law enforcement

personnel and vehicles, for

a completely unanticipated storm into

hundreds of Detroit-area homes.

By early afternoon, people began

protesting at the Detroit ICE office.

Family members, activists, and lawyers

tried to understand what the sudden

change in policy meant. There was

a rumor that the government planned

to immediately deport all three hundred

of the people arrested that day,

which seemed a logistical impossibility.

No one had ID with them, and

certainly no one had Iraqi paperwork

or passports. On a human level, it was

confounding to think that these hundreds

of men with Michigan accents

and habits could ever slip into Iraq unnoticed.

Tattoos, verboten in Iraq and

common among Detroiters, were an instant

giveaway, and would put almost

all of these men in immediate danger.

Muslim men may have fared slightly

better than Chaldeans, but they would

still face the suspicion that they were

involved in spying for the U.S. There

was no assurance that the Iraqi government

would shield deportees from

violence once they were repatriated.

No one arrested that day had much

chance of surviving in Iraq.

The ACLU of Michigan quickly

went to work. In days, the organization

built a class-action lawsuit centered

on Sam Hamama, a Bloomfield Hills,

Michigan grocer who had lived in the

U.S. since his family fled Iraq in the

late 70s. In the early 80s, while driving

late at night in Detroit, Hamama got

into a dispute with another driver and,

to intimidate him, showed his gun—

unloaded but also unlicensed—out the

window. He had been charged with

three felonies.

Many of the men arrested in 2017,

in fact, were party store workers or

owners who had felonies related to unregistered

firearms. Any transaction at

a party store in Detroit takes place on

either side of bulletproof plexiglass,

and guns are endemic in Detroit’s culture.

Cash flowed through the party

store ecosystem, making the stores targets

for robberies. Working in a party

store in the 80s and 90s without a gun

would have been naïve.

The attorneys on the case pulled

off a near-miracle that summer. The

rumors had been correct: The Trump

administration had indeed chartered

two planes and planned to fly several

hundred Iraqi-born Michiganders

back to Baghdad without identification,

money, or plans for their landing.

Federal judge Mark Goldsmith issued

an emergency order June 27, 2017, to

halt the planes’ departure. The detained

Iraqis would remain detained

while the ACLU and U.S. Department

of Homeland Security sorted out their

differences in court.

Most of the Iraqis who had been detained

sought lawyers to help with their

individual cases, which included minor

drug offenses, decades-old nonviolent

infractions, immigration matters, and a

few violent crimes. Their thinking was

that if they could resolve the pending

issues on their records, they could be

removed from the final deportation list.

In more than a few cases, languishing

paperwork was the real issue.

Immigration lawyers and criminal

lawyers were hired, as hundreds of

Iraqi-born men were sent to county

jails and private prisons from Battle

Creek to Youngstown to Port Huron to

Sault Ste. Marie. Few were near their

families in metro Detroit. Sometimes,

inmates were shifted between facilities

without notice.

After he was detained in June 2017,

Peter hired Ed Bajoka, a Chaldean

criminal and immigration lawyer who

took on dozens of clients that summer.

Peter and Bajoka worked together on a

strategy to address Peter’s unresolved

criminal record and set him free.

Then came bad news: In August,

while Peter was in Youngstown, Mimi

learned she had breast cancer. He

couldn’t be with her. Visiting him would

be costly in gas and tolls, and in any

case, she wasn’t feeling well enough

for such a long drive. Their nineteenth

wedding anniversary approached.

They’d spent eight months apart.

Finally, they heard news in the

ACLU case: Given the long-term detention

of so many still sorting out their

legal situations, the ACLU argued that

at six months, incarceration met the

threshold for “indefinite,” and that indefinite

detention is not legal. The law

allows the government to detain someone

when there is a timeline for their

day in court or for their deportation,

but it’s not permissible to keep people

on hold indefinitely. Judge Goldsmith’s

second crucial order in this case arrived

on the second day of 2018, and

Homeland Security had forty-five days


to offer all the detained a hearing for

immediate release. The few people

who’d been arrested with active pending

criminal cases, or with recent

violent crimes, were likely to remain

locked up longer. Those deemed an

imminent danger to society would be

held, but from a legal perspective that

applied to only a small number of the

Iraqis arrested in June. Most everyone

would be out in mid-February, to fight

their individual cases from home. This

meant that Peter would soon see Mimi,

so long as his hearing was successful.

Peter’s day in court came via video

conference. Instead of being transported

seventy-eight miles to Cleveland

Immigration Court, Peter saw Judge

Christopher R. Seppanen, appointed

in August 2017 by Attorney General

Jeff Sessions, via video. Video was

already on the rise in the U.S. court

system in the 2010s, as it saves money

on such things as prisoner transportation

and staff time, but it diminishes

the humanity of the process. There is

no eye contact. No sense of how a person

might walk through the room with

deference to the judge, no chance to

whisper with their attorney for quick

assurance or change of plan or to better

understand a legal maneuver.

For this group, the hearings occurred

mostly in either Detroit or

Cleveland’s immigration court systems

and were heard by several different

judges. The results varied widely.

Sympathetic judges allowed people

out on minimal or no bond; others

pushed for high bonds.

Bajoka and Peter had pulled together

an impressive dossier for their

hearing, including letters from Mimi,

evidence about his past cases, and

the glowing letter from his boss at the

restoration company. The file was two

inches thick. It felt like a physical embodiment

of Peter’s bid for freedom.

When the video feed clicked on to

Northeast Ohio Correctional Center, a

camera had been centered on Peter’s

face, so he was visible to the judge and

spectators. The camera in Cleveland,

in turn, meant to give Peter a view of

the courtroom and the judge, was not

positioned to allow Peter to see the

people in the courtroom. For the duration

of his hearing the camera was

turned down and focused on Judge

Seppanen’s desk. Peter could see the

sheaf of papers he’d worked so hard

on with Bajoka, and he could see Seppanen’s

hands gesturing as he spoke.

He never saw the judge’s face.

But he could see this: The judge

never opened the thick file with evidence

about his virtues, and the hearing

concluded with a ruling that Peter

was denied the chance for bond at any

price. No reason was provided.

“I’m not a jihadist,” Peter said afterward,

dumbfounded. “I’m not MS-

13. Why can’t he see who I am?”

Peter remained in Youngstown for

four more months before being moved

to a Michigan county jail in Port Huron.

Through 2018, he and Bajoka

soldiered on with the case. The ACLU

of Michigan pursued their own class

action case, making incremental wins

and experiencing little losses along

the way.

In early 2018, I tried to contact

Peter after he was moved out of

Youngstown, but he was under more

restrictive communication measures

at the St. Clair County Jail, where they

charged inmates an exorbitant fee to

make calls. Meanwhile, Mimi’s expensive

treatment had them in a financial

emergency. And the visiting system

was difficult to navigate, too, even for

someone like me with more resources

than the typical family. I couldn’t manage

to see him, but I was sure he was

there. A detainee I interviewed there

confirmed it. “The redhead, right?”

The good news for the detainees:

by the summer of 2018, very few

people arrested two years earlier had

actually gone back to Iraq. I heard

about only two individuals who opted

to return voluntarily, rather than await

their fate in a detention center. After

allegations that ICE officers at Steward,

Georgia detention center were

coercing inmates into stating in writing

their desire to return to Iraq, the

ACLU of Michigan filed a motion that

appeared to stop such interference.

Most of those detained in June

2017 had eventually been successful

in reopening their old criminal and

immigration cases, which were being

resolved in their favor. The ACLU

might not have won an overwhelming

absolution for everyone, but they did

put the brakes on the Iraqi deportation

process. Even Peter was finally

released, with Bajoka’s help.

In a video Mimi took that December

2018 day, Peter walks out of the St.

Clair County Jail with two plastic garbage

bags of his belongings. Behind

the camera, Mimi is ebullient. Peter

drops the bags mid-stride and puts

his right hand on his heart, beaming,

walking directly toward the camera.

Peter reached me on Facebook in

early 2019 and let me know he was

home, with Mimi.

He’d gone back to work at the restoration

company. ICE had issued him an

electronic tether as a condition of his

release. It was worn on his ankle, and

he didn’t feel it was a great impediment

physically, though it was a constant reminder

of the in-between place where

he found himself. Mimi was in cancer

recovery, and Peter’s son was a dad,

too. Peter, fifty now, was a grandfather.

But quietly, over the summer of

2019, Iraqis began to be deported.

If 2017’s fears had been of a shockand-awe

style mass deportation, 2019’s

fears were about something more calculated,

like a cat burglar heist. ICE

seemed to individually select people for

deportation who had little or spotty legal

representation or whose cases were

complicated to argue. One of these was

a man named Jimmy Aldaoud.

Jimmy was forty-one when he was

deported. Records are unclear about

whether he had come to Detroit as

an infant—as the U.S. government

claims—or whether he was born in a

Michigan hospital in 1978, as Jimmy

told me. He has also said to other Iraqi

inmates that he was born in Greece, in

a refugee camp. In any event, his parents,

and any record of his birth, are

ON THE RUN continued on page 34



ON THE RUN continued from page 32

gone. Most of his life, Jimmy suffered

from paranoid schizophrenia, as well

as diabetes, and was homeless. When

I spoke to him by phone in 2018, he

was strident about some parts of his

criminal case, confused about others.

His criminal case was for a nonviolent

suburban Detroit garage break-in. As

far as I could tell, his primary struggle

was his mental health.

ICE picked him up in June 2019,

and days later Jimmy landed in the

Najaf airport, in central Iraq—no money,

no passport, no Arabic language

skills, no family in Iraq. He didn’t have

food or access to it. He didn’t have

any of the medications he took for his

mental and physical conditions. Najaf,

100 miles from Baghdad, is one of two

most holy cities for Shiite Muslims and

is home to thousands of pilgrims at

any given time. Objectively, it’s one of

the least safe places for Christians on

the planet. Jimmy was Chaldean and

had a cross tattooed on his forearm.

Jimmy lived on the streets of Baghdad

in the summer, and someone

there posted a video of him on Facebook

looking desperate and hungry.

“I’m here now,” he says in the video.

“I don’t understand the language. I’ve

been sleeping in the street. I’m diabetic.

I take insulin shots. … I’ve been

throwing up, throwing up, sleeping in

the streets, trying to find something to

eat. I got nothing over here, as you can

see. I was kicked in the back a couple

days ago. I was sleeping on the ground.

He claimed it’s his property. I begged

him. I said, please sir, I’ve never seen

this country.” About seven weeks after

he was deported, Jimmy was dead. Bajoka

posted about the death on Facebook

on August 7, 2019, including this

final line: “Rest In Peace Jimmy. Your

blood is on the hands of ICE and this

administration.” After working to return

Jimmy’s remains to Michigan’s

ninth district, Rep. Andy Levin attributed

the death to a “diabetic crisis.”

The Chaldean Community Foundation

held a vigil and press conference

for Jimmy in mid-August 2019. Attorneys

present encouraged anyone in the

room eligible for deportation to keep

an international SIM card with them at

all times so that if they were deported,

they could insert the card into an Iraqi

cell phone and try to get a message back

to the U.S. I bumped into Peter at the

vigil. I was in a folding chair up front,

and he stood with his arms crossed over

his chest in the rear. He wore all white

athletic clothes and shoes. He looked

antsy, ready to move at a moment’s notice.

I asked if he was okay.

“Canada, I’m thinking,” is all he

said. His tone was friendly, but he

walked away quickly.

Peter went dark on Facebook, and

by that time, early fall 2019, his lawyer,

Bajoka, hadn’t heard a word from him.

More Iraqis had been deported. I assumed

Peter had been, too.

The young adults of Detroit have

long known Windsor, Ontario, as a

special destination. The legal drinking

age in the province, a few minutes

from Detroit, is nineteen. It’s a short

trip, and an easy one. Up until just

before Covid-19 restrictions began,

crossing the border cost $5 each way

and could take as little as ten minutes,

including a visit with the U.S. Customs

and Border Patrol.

In the fall of 2019 Peter had continued

to make his ICE visits, upped

to once a week instead of twice a year.

They were not pleasant. “Certain immigration

officers had issues with

certain people, so they would pick

on them a lot,” Peter said. “There’s

me and a couple other guys they had

reporting every week. Literally insulting

us, belittling us, pushing us into

where we can blow up and say something

wrong so they can have reason

to detain us.”

“You know, I’ve watched these

movies from the 30s and the 40s about

how the Germans would treat people,

the Jewish community and the minorities,”

he said. “It’s almost there. It’s almost…

there was certain ones who are

almost there, honest to God.”

In February 2020, two years after

I first met him, Peter and I agreed to

meet at a branch of the Windsor, Ontario

public library. I drove across the

Ambassador Bridge. It was freezing

and gray outside, and I found Peter

in a big parka, sitting in the library’s

reading room. He was placid and

hopeful, different than I had ever seen

him. He was living in Canada.

Peter had met at 7 a.m. on November

6, 2019, with the Canadian immigration


“I was talking to this attorney over

here for three months before I made

this move,” he said. He hadn’t warned

Bajoka, his Detroit lawyer. “I didn’t

want him to be involved in whatever.

Because I knew that my immigration

officer was going to find a way to punish

him, too.”

He felt certain he could be deported

to Iraq if he stayed in the U.S., even under

a Democratic successor to Trump.

And he was certain he wouldn’t survive

deportation. Peter is one of many

people who told me their greatest fear

about returning is that they’d be beheaded,

a common form of religiously

motivated violence.

Sitting across a wooden library

table from me in 2020, he told me how

he had dealt with his security ankle

bracelet, “I waited until the battery

was dead. It had a three-hour battery

life. So, I didn’t charge it, and I waited

until midnight, and at five o’clock I

made the decision to go,” he said. “I

stayed up all night, then I cut it. It’s

like hard plastic rubber. I cut it with

scissors. I threw it out, and I just went

straight to the border.”

Just before cutting the bracelet

he had made one final stop— his old

neighborhood, Chaldean Town. “And

I cut it right in front of the house where

we lived, where I grew up. I was over

there in the Seven Mile area, like

Woodward area. That’s where I grew

up, and I knew that I’m never going to

see that area again. I just wanted to see

it one last time. Then I went straight to

the bridge, with my wife in my car,” he

said. He told Border Patrol he had an

appointment with Canadian Immigration.

The trip, like all Detroit-Windsor

crossings, was easy.

The next day, Peter’s immigration

officer called him. Peter told the man

he was out of the country. “He basically

cussed me out and told me, ‘Good

riddance,’ and he hopes everybody

like me is gonna be back either locked

up or in Iraq.”

The same officer called Bajoka that

day, too, accusing him of encouraging

Peter to cut his tether and flee. “Of

course, I did no such thing,” Bajoka

told me.

By the time I met with him in February

2020 in Windsor, Peter was working

his way, successfully, through the

Canadian immigration system. He’d

picked up a driving job that supported

him and helped him pay the mortgage

on his house in Michigan. Mimi’s final

reconstructive surgery in her cancer

treatment was scheduled for March.

The plan was for her to finish her treatment,

then sell the house. She would

move to Canada when the loose ends

of their lives in Detroit were tied. In

the meantime, the trip to visit him was

short and easy. She’d go once a week.

Peter and I sat at the library for a

few hours, catching up. I was audio recording

our conversation, but we were

near a restroom and every time someone

used the thunderous hand dryer

our words were swallowed up. People

interrupted us several times, usually

to ask him for directions. I told him

he apparently looked Canadian now,

just before a blind man using a white

cane approached and asked Peter if he

would mind helping him to the men’s

room. He leapt up to assist, almost tipping

the library chair backward as he


When they returned, we walked

outside for a bit in the light sleet

and monotone gray of February. We

thought the next month, March of

2020, would bring better weather and

we could chat outside. He expected

to have furthered his job search and

his Canadian immigration process by

then, too.

I haven’t seen him since.

On March 18, 2020, Donald Trump

and Canadian Prime Minister Justin

Trudeau announced their mutual decision

to close the land border between

their nations, an unprecedented agreement

that affected the 5,500 miles

shared between the U.S. and Canada.

Essential healthcare workers, students

and commercial drivers were exempt.

Spousal visits were not. Meanwhile,

due to Covid-19, Mimi’s surgery in Detroit

was postponed.

There was nothing Mimi or Peter

could do to reunite. Even if Mimi were

able to make it to Canada, she would

be walking away from her health treatments,

as well as their mortgage and

home. Peter will never be able to return.

On Valentine’s Day 2021, when

they had been separated just short of

one year, he posted a picture of them

together on social media, “I appreciate

and love you for all you did and give

day after day…This is the last picture

we took before the border was closed.”

ON THE RUN continued on page 45










Basic English reading

and comprehension.


Workbook, practice tests,

and GED tests.


Math, science, reading/language

arts, and social studies.


Schedule your pre-test by calling 586-722-7253 or email Rachel.Rose@chaldeanfoundation.org



Our Cousins, the Mandaeans

A look at the followers of John the Baptist


The Mandaeans are one of the

world’s oldest and smallest religious

communities. They are

also known as Sabaeans (“conversion

by submersion”) because of the importance

of baptism to their teachings.

They have lived for over 2,000 years in

southern Iraq and Iran, alongside the

rivers that play such an important role

in their religious life.

Sabaeans (Subbi) share some similarities

with both Muslims and Christians.

Their beliefs are similar to Islam

in describing God as one and indivisible,

and like Christians, they believe

in the power of baptism. However,

differences seem to outweigh the similarities.


The Mandaeans may have originally

come from Palestine, though there are

different opinions on this question.

Sabean-Mandaeans claim ancestry

from Mesopotamia and are confined

to lower Iraq, except for minuscule

communities in Khorramshahr and

Ahwaz, in southwestern Iran, and a

community of silversmiths and their

families in Baghdad.

Today, the principal centers of

the Subba are in southern Iraq, in

the marsh districts and on the lower

reaches of the Euphrates and Tigris.

Groups of them are found in the more

northerly towns of Iraq.

From the 1960s onwards, the Mandaeans

began to leave their traditional

villages, settling in some of the larger

cities such as Baghdad, Basra, and

Ahvaz, where many Mandaeans found

prosperity and success in the larger society

of Iraq and Iran.

After the Islamic revolution of 1978-

1979 in Iran, their status was unclear.

Despite reports of persecution, the

community survived. The Iran-Iraq

war separated the two communities,

and worse was to follow for the Iraqi

Mandaeans; after 2003, the escalation

of sectarian violence caused huge

Mandeans practicing the rite of baptism in the United States.

numbers to flee the country. Despite

its dhimmi (“protected persons”) status,

Shi’a and Sunni Islamic militants

targeted the group. Making them a

target was made easier by the fact that

Sabean-Mandaeans are prohibited by

their beliefs from armed self-defense.

Hundreds of killings, abductions

and incidents of torture were accompanied

by rhetoric accusing Sabean-

Mandaeans of witchcraft, impurity,

and systematic adultery. Sabean-Mandaean

women were targeted for not

covering their heads. In Baghdad,

Sabean-Mandaean goldsmiths, silversmiths,

and jewelers were targeted for

theft and murder at much higher rates

than their Muslim colleagues.

Faced with systematic pressure to

convert, leave, or die, many Sabean-

Mandaeans choose to leave Iraq.


The Mandaeans classify existence into

two main categories: light and dark.

They have a dualistic view of life that

encompasses both good and evil; all

good is thought to have come from the

World of Light and all evil from the

World of Darkness.

Sabaeans consider their religion to

be one of the oldest in the world and

hold themselves to be the followers

of the message given to Adam. Mandaeans

revere Adam, Seth (Adam and

Eve’s third son), Noah, Shem, Enos,

and especially John the Baptist. They

believe that at the beginning of creation

there was fire, followed by light,

then the living heat, the living water,

and finally the World of Light that others

call the kingdom of God or Heaven.

According to the creation myth of

the Abrahamic religions, God created

the first man, Adam, and from his rib

created the first woman, Eve. This story

is different among the Mandeans.

They believe that Eve was created from

mud as an equal to Adam.

Similar to Christians, Mandaeans

have their own temples and rituals.

They acknowledge 17 deadly sins and

believe salvation can be achieved

through knowledge of truth and worship.

Sabaeans are a lonely, peaceful,

and reclusive community. The only

one way to become a Sabaean is to be

born to parents who both belong to

the faith, which bans interreligious

marriage. Sabaean Mandeans fast and

pray three times a day to God in Aramaic,

a language they share with Chaldeans.

They are forbidden to kill, lie,

commit adultery or theft, or consume

alcohol. They must fast 36 days a year,

abstaining from eating meat, eggs,

and fish.

They are also forbidden to mourn

the dead. In Mandaean beliefs, a person

is born three times. First from the

mother at the physical birth, second

after the first baptism (usually during

the first month after birth) and third

upon death and ascension of the soul

to the world of lights. Every living

person has a body (Baghra) on earth

and an equivalent half in the ethereal

world of lights.

Mandaeism is an esoteric religion

whose literature remains mostly

in the hands of priestly families. Their

sacred texts are written in a distinctive

alphabet used only for that purpose.

The contents and meaning of these

works are largely unknown even to

CULTURE continued on page 38








Our preschool day focuses on student centered education with support from our bilingual staff. Students will

experience hands on lessons with a focus on play and social interaction.



9:00 A.M. - 1:00 P.M.


• 3 yr. - Will attend 2 days a week.

• 4-5 yr. - Will attend 3 days a week.




2:00 P.M. — 4:30 P.M.

Katie Geekie


Anni Frangulian

Teaching Assistant

For more information, please contact Katie Geekie at katie.geekie@chaldeanfoundation.org

or call 586-722-7253.


CULTURE continued from page 36

most Mandeans, never mind people

outside the community.

But the Mandeans’ alternative

view has periodically attracted popular

interest. In the 19th century, their

most important sacred text, the Great

Treasure, or Ginza Rba, was translated

to Latin. That is believed to have

contributed to the heightened interest

in esoteric mysticism and spirituality

in that era, although contrary

to popular belief, Mandaeans do not

practice magic of any form.

The Mandaean religion entrusts

priests with the responsibility of keeping

religious knowledge and performing

extremely complex rituals which

help souls through this life and into

the next. Few lay Mandaeans have

any religious knowledge and there is

a shortage of priests, whose number is

believed to be fewer than 50 worldwide.

John the Baptist

The Mandaean community reveres

John the Baptist, whom they call Yehyea

or Yohanna, along with water’s

purifying force. Baptism, or Masbuta,

is the key ritual of this gnostic faith.

Unlike Christians who receive the

sacrament of Baptism once, the Mandaeans

may be baptized hundreds of

times over their lifetime.

John the Baptist, who was born in

the 1st century BC and died between

28-36 AD, was a Jewish prophet of the

Jordan River region, celebrated by the

Christian Church as the forerunner

to Jesus Christ. He emerged from the

wilderness preaching a message of

repentance for the forgiveness of sins

and offered a water baptism to confirm

the repentant person’s commitment to

a new life cleansed from sin.

John the Baptist is one of the most

significant and well-known figures in

the Bible, described to be a “lone voice

in the wilderness” as he proclaimed

the coming of the Messiah to a people

who desperately needed a Savior.


The Mandaeans’ central ritual is baptism:

immersion in flowing water,

which is referred to in Mandaic as “living

water,” a phrase that appears in

the Bible’s New Testament as well.

Baptism in the Mandaean faith is

not a one-time action denoting conversion

as in Christianity. Instead, it is

a repeated rite of seeking forgiveness

and cleansing from wrongdoing in

preparation for afterlife. The purpose

of the baptism is to contact the healing

powers of the World of Light and

to purify believers from sin. Without

baptism, there is no hope of ascending

to the Great Life.

Unlike Christian baptism, which is

only done once, Mandaeans are baptized

when they are born, before marriage,

after marriage and frequently

in between, but always in fresh water.

The fresh and flowing water symbolizes

that life is always flowing. This is also

the reason why many Mandaean temples

are built next to rivers. Most temples

also have a pool in their courtyard.

Baptisms take place every Sunday

and the performing priests are dressed

in special white garments like those

worn by the Levite priests. The ritual

includes prayers, triple self-immersion,

triple immersion by the priest, triple

signing of the forehead with water, triple

drinking of water, investiture with

a myrtle-wreath, blessing by the priest

laying his right hand on the head of the

initiate, hymns, and formulas.

Mandaean priests are dressed completely

in white, considered pure and

representing faith and the cleansing of

the soul. After the ceremony, Mandaeans

return to their homes for 36 hours,

marking the time it took for God to create

the world and the first man, Adam.

Within those hours they teach Adam’s

stories and continue in his path.

Fasting is also key to this experience,

but the word means more than abstention

from food. Fasting does not mean

fasting food and water, but real fasting

is the great fast that includes fasting of

the mouths (“shall not lie”), fasting of

the eyes (“shall not see the wrongdoing”),

and fasting of the legs (“we shall

not walk into the wrong path”).

An archived photo of a Mandaean man from the Library of Congress.


Since the outbreak of Iraq’s violence

in 2003, most Sabean-Mandaeans

have either fled the country or been

killed. Today, there are fewer than

5,000 remaining in Iraq. As their small

community is scattered throughout

the world, the Sabean-Mandaeans’

ancient language, culture and religion

face the threat of extinction, much like

the Chaldeans’.

In 2006, UNESCO listed the Sabean-Mandaean

language in its Atlas

of the World’s Languages in Danger of

Disappearing. The departure of many

Sabean-Mandaean religious leaders

from Iraq also threatens the ability of

the remaining community to retain

their rituals.

Sabean-Mandaean families have

also been affected by the rise of ISIS in

Iraq since 2014. In Baghdad, they were

targets for attacks and kidnappings.

They also experience discrimination

and negative stereotyping in all aspects

of public life, with some reporting that

other Iraqis will refuse to share food or

drink from the same glass as a Sabean-

Mandaean. These factors, combined

with the effects of the ISIS advance,

continue to drive them to leave Iraq.

Like Chaldeans, Mandaeans nowadays

live all around the world. It’s estimated

there are between 60,000 to

70,000 Mandaeans worldwide. Australia

is home to 10,000, around half of

whom live in or near Sydney’s western

suburbs. The UK, the community is tiny

and has no priest to serve it. In Europe

and the United States, they number in

the thousands but in the Middle East,

especially Syria, they now face a highly

uncertain future in a context of civil war.

This scattering, combined with

Mandaeans’ dwindling numbers, has

made it much harder for them to preserve

their identity and pass their traditions

along to the next generation.

My desire to write about our Mandaean

cousins and brethren is driven

by a need to communicate, to stimulate,

to comfort ourselves in the dark

and to reflect on what it means to exist.

This was a short summary of a people’s

struggle to survive loss and an outline

of the unfolding tragedy of an ancient

Mesopotamian community. It is part of

our sad and shared history in scope and

human scale. Many, including this author

consider the genocide of Iraqi minorities

to be the most significant event

of the twenty-first century.

You can help keep family and

friends informed by sharing this article.

There is a reasonable chance

that Mandaeans may be among your

neighbors, whether you live in Sterling

Heights, Warren, Rochester,

West Bloomfield, Oak Park, or Southfield.

Look for them, and you may

get a chance to do more than catch a

glimpse of living history.

Sources: Wikipedia, Saad Salloum,

Habib Hannona, Bashar Harbi, E. S.

Drower, Siobhan Hegarty, Matthew

Bell, James F. McGrath, Jimmy Joe,

Valentinas Mite, and The Monitor.

Special editing by Jacqueline Raxter

and Rand Isaq.






Tuesdays and Thursdays


9:30 am – 12:00 pm



5:00 pm – 7:30 pm


To register please call CCF at 586-722-7253

$40 registration fee



Authentic Italian style restaurant featuring cut to order steaks, fresh seafood, homemade pasta and pizzas and several salad options.

Spacious Banquet rooms available perfect for corporate events and meetings, family celebrations, weddings and showers.

Simply delicious food served

by the finest Professionals

Private banquet rooms for

groups from 20-150 people




News from the

World of Law



Authentic Italian style restaurant featuring cut

to order steaks, fresh seafood, homemade pasta

and pizzas and several salad options.

Spacious Banquet rooms available perfect

for corporate CASUAL events DINING and AT meetings, ITS BEST family

celebrations, weddings and showers.

Authentic Italian style restaurant featuring cut to order steaks, fresh seafood, homemade pasta and pizzas and several salad options.

Spacious Banquet rooms available perfect for corporate events and meetings, family celebrations, weddings and showers.

Simply delicious food served

by the finest Professionals


5600 Crooks Road, Troy, Michigan

248.813.0700 ◆ www.loccino.com

5600 Crooks Road, Troy, Michigan

248.813.0700 ◆ www.loccino.com

Cummings, McClorey, Davis & Acho, P.L.C.

Attorneys and Counselors at Law

Ronald G. Acho

Saif Kasmikha


CMDA is a premier, AV® rated law firm that provides

high quality representation.

CMDA handles a wide range of health care matters, specifically the

transactional aspects of health care. Our Firm represents physicians,

hospitals, clinics, and other health institutions. Areas of practice include:


• Stark Law and Anti-Kickback Statues

• Fraud and Abuse Claims

• Physician Recruitment

• Medicare and Medicaid Reimbursement

• Strategic Business Consultations of Hospitals and

Physician-Owned Practices


(734) 261-2400 • www.cmda-law.com • racho@cmda-law.com

We asked Nora Hanna, trial attorney

for Christensen Law, about changes

to the law that our CN readers should

know about.

Michigan Court

of Appeals



Imagine paying insurance premiums

for coverage and all of a sudden, the

insurance company does not want

to honor the contract. That is exactly

what the insurance company argued

in Andary v. USAA Insurance Company.

USAA Insurance argued to change

the terms of a contract that was paid

for and agreed to, based upon new

law that took effect after the contract.

The court ruled that No-Fault reform,

which took effect after the contract

was entered into, does not apply retroactively

to “those injured before the

effective date of the amendments” because

“the Legislature did not clearly

demonstrate an intent for the amendments

to apply retroactively to persons

injured in pre-amendment accidents.”

The Court applied contract law as well

and held that “imposing the new limits

would substantially impair no-fault insurance

contracts entered into before

the amendments’ effective date, and

therefore would violate the Contracts

Clause of the Michigan Constitution.”

Judge Douglas Shapiro and Judge

Sima Patel issued the opinion. Judge

Jane Markey issued a dissent claiming

that the change in the law should

apply to any claim after the change.

In regard to analyzing the case under

Michigan Contract Law, Judge Markey

argued that the Court had the power

to interpret the clauses of the contract.

Slip & Fall

Chief Justice


Justice Bridget Mary McCormack

announced her plans earlier this

month to retire. She will be pursuing

private ventures and working

for an international arbitration

company. Justice McCormack has

served on the Supreme Court since

2013. She worked hard and made

a name for herself by establishing

the Michigan’s Justice for all Commission,

which aids in providing

individuals access to an attorney.

Slip and fall claims in Michigan used

to be quite difficult to win. More and

more now we are seeing a change in

that trend. Recently, the Court of Appeals

upheld a case where someone

slipped and fell on black ice outside

of a coffee shop, causing him injuries.

The court found “indicia of a potentially

hazardous condition,” including

the “specific weather conditions present

at the time of the fall” to conclude

that the black ice he slipped on was an

open-and-obvious danger.

Again, in another opinion the Court

of Appeals held that when a landlord

fails to maintain the property so that

someone has to confront the condition

to get to their employment, they owe a

duty to the tenant.

Wins for the injured party is the

trend in the law when it comes to slip

and falls. Keep your business prepared

by putting out “wet floor” signs, warning

customers of the conditions, and hiring

companies to ensure that the snow

and ice have been removed from your

property. It pays to protect yourself.

Nora Hanna is a trial attorney who

joined Christensen Law Firm this year.

She was previously with Fieger Law for

7 years after serving as a legal clerk

at McKeen & Associates. Nora lives in

West Bloomfield with her husband and

two young children.




Do you possess a passion for bettering the lives of others?

Join our ever expanding team!

Behavioral Health Therapist • Career Services Case Worker

Case Worker • CCF Liaison to Ascension • Refugee Assimilation Coordinator

Quality and Accreditation Coordinator • Workforce Development Coordinator



Community Development

Cultural Preservation

For More Information






Glenlore Trails – An immersive

activity for the whole family


With autumn officially upon

us and Halloween right

around the corner, there is

no shortage of fun family activities in

which to partake. From cider mills and

pumpkin patches to Halloween parties

and haunted houses, this time of year

offers so many opportunities for some

quality family time.

And now you can add one more excursion

to that list — right here in our

own backyard!

Glenlore Trails in Commerce Township

began as a simple way to keep the

community entertained while keeping

an idle staff occupied during lockdown

and social distancing when nonessential

activities were disallowed.

What started out as an outdoor light

show on a wooded trail has morphed

into so much more.

I had an opportunity to speak with

the managing partner as he shared

with me the genesis of Glenlore Trails.

He also shed some light (no pun intended)

on the metamorphosis of the

park and what we can expect this fall.

Problem begets opportunity

Bluewater Technologies is a live event

company that often coordinates corporate

events. They are responsible for

much of the visual and auditory magic

at events like Electric Forest and other

corporate-sponsored events looking

for a little “oomph.”

In 2020, when businesses were

struggling to pay the bills, the company

was taking a financial beating

as their business depended solely on

other companies and non-essential


When I spoke to the managing

partner, Scott Schoeneberger, he related

how it all began. “We had the

equipment and a staff with nothing to

do, so we thought about how we can

use those two factors while still keeping

things safe for everyone.”

Using what they had, they took to

the outdoors. And what better than an

Neon colors light up the woods in Commerce Township’s Glenlore Trails.

outdoor trail with plenty of space to

comply with social distancing protocols?

Hence, Glenlore Trails was born.

What is Glenlore Trails?

Located in Commerce Township, on

a nature trail that spans many cities,

Glenlore Trails is a mile-long stretch

that is a fully immersive and interactive

experience. In the words of Scott,

“It is like walking through a movie.”

Now that social distancing protocols

have been lifted, Scott spoke to me

about how the experience has evolved

into so much more than what it was

originally. What started out as mostly

just a visual and auditory experience

has become much more interactive and

tactile. Visitors can now partake in different

games and activities that involve

all the senses and that resemble what

you would find at a fair or carnival.

Some nights, they even have live

music with an electric violinist which

adds even more to an already spectacular


Haunted forest

When I asked Scott what they had

planned for Halloween, he spoke with

enthusiasm and excitement as he

told me about the theme. He said we

can expect an incredibly exciting and

fully advanced technological experience

with a “fortune and tarot theme.”

He told me about one of the activities

which involves standing in front of a

machine and receiving a print-out of

your fortune. Immediately my mind

went to the movie “Big” starring Tom

Hanks. He chuckled and said “Yea.

Something like that.”

While Glenlore Trails is an activity

for people of all ages, he said that

the Haunted Trail was targeted toward

those 14 years and older and that they

also had specific nights targeted towards

adults on dates.

What else can we expect?

The partners and staff show no signs

of stopping or slowing down any time

soon. Although their original intent

and vision for Glenlore Trails morphed

into something beyond anything they

could have ever anticipated, they have

decided to expand that vision and create

even more.

They have recently also partnered

with Emagine Entertainment and

are creating a new Haunted House in

downtown Birmingham where the old

Birmingham 8 movie theater was.

When I asked Scott what we can

expect from this new Haunted House,

he compared it to the Erebus Haunted

House in Pontiac. He said they would

also be implementing all of their best

technology and tools to add to the experience

while still employing actors

and customary jump-scares that we

find at traditional haunted houses.

We can’t wait!

Check out glenloretrails.com to learn

more and purchase tickets to this new

and exciting adventure the whole

family can enjoy. Glenlore Trails is

wheelchair/stroller compatible.





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.




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




1 3



Chamber’s Industry

Outlook on Economic



On September 8, the Chaldean American Chamber

of Commerce partnered with Card Network, ATM of

America, and Horizon Bank to host an Industry Outlook

event focused on economic development in our

region. On the panel were Troy and Sterling Heights

mayors Ethan Baker and Michael Taylor, plus Commerce

Township supervisor Larry Gray and Downtown

Detroit Partnership CEO Eric Larson. The panel discussion

and audience Q&A were moderated by Venessa

Denha Garmo of Epiphany Communications.

1. Downtown Detroit Partnership (DDP) CEO Eric Larson answers a question from the audience.

2. Sterling Heights mayor Michael Taylor answers a question while Troy mayor Ethan Baker looks on.

3. CACC president Martin Manna introduces Janet Pasco, Market President for Horizon Bank and

presenting sponsor for the event.

4. From left to right: Mayor Ethan Baker (Troy), Supervisor Larry Gray (Commerce), Vanessa Denha

Garmo, CEO Eric Larson (DDP), and Mayor Michael Taylor (Sterling Heights).

5. Attendees enjoyed the relaxed and fun atmosphere at the Card Network office suites.

6. ATM of America president and CEO Sabah Ammouri greets the audience.








Safaa Macany

VP of Mortgage


o: (248) 216-1255

c: (248) 229-4422



30600 Northwestern Hwy

Suite 410

Farmington Hills, MI 48334

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

Phone: (248) 851-2227

(248) 851-BCBS

Fax: (248) 851-2215



Professional Insurance Planners

Individual & Group Health Plans

Medicare Supplement Plans

31000 Northwestern Hwy. • Suite 110

Farmington Hills, Ml 48334

Over 40 years of experience.

Experience • Knowledge • Personal Service

Experience • Knowledge • Personal Service






2015 2021 REAL ESTATE

COUNTY 1993 – 2015




COUNTY 1993 – 2015

Proudly servingHOUR Birmingham,


Bloomfield, Proudly Farmington serving Birmingham, Hills, Bloomfield,

Each office Each office is independently

is independently

West Bloomfield, Farmington the Hills, Lakes West Bloomfield, the

Proudly serving Birmingham,

Owned Owned and Operated and Operated Brian S. Yaldoo and surrounding Lakes and areas. surrounding areas.

Bloomfield, Farmington Hills,

Associated Broker

Each office is independently

West Bloomfield, the Lakes

Office (248)737-6800 Brian • Mobile S. Yaldoo

Owned and Operated


Toll Associated Brian Free (866) S. 762-3960 Yaldoo and surrounding areas.


Email: brianyaldoo@remax.com Associated Websites: Broker www.brianyaldoo.com

Office (248) www.BuyingOrSellingRealEstate.com

Office 737-6800 (248)737-6800 • Mobile (248)752-4010 (248) 752-4010

Email: Toll brianyaldoo@remax.net

Free (866) 762-3960

Email: brianyaldoo@remax.com www.BuyingOrSellingRealEstate.com

Websites: www.brianyaldoo.com




Jaguar Land Rover Troy

Sammi A. Naoum

1815 Maplelawn Drive

Troy, MI 48084

TEL 248-537-7467

MOBILE 248-219-5525








3601 15 Mile Road

Sterling Heights, MI 48310

TEL: (586) 722-7253

FAX: (586) 722-7257






Diane E. Hunt

Immigration Attorney

Eleanor J. Sintjago

Immigration Attorney





30095 Northwestern Highway, Suite 101

Farmington Hills, MI 48334

CELL (248) 925-7773

TEL (248) 851-1200

FAX (248) 851-1348




Angela Kakos

Producing Branch Manager - VP of Mortgage Lending

o: (248) 622-0704



2456 Metropolitan Parkway, Sterling Heights, MI 48310

(2448) 4406-4400 | laaw@aanntoonne.coom | www. aanntoonne.coom

33311555555555W. 11444 Miiiilllee Rooaad | Suiiiitee 11 | Faarmiiiinngtoonn Hiiiilllllls, Miiii§Íiiiigaann4448333333444



Guaranteed Rate Inc.; NMLS #2611; For licensing information visit

nmlsconsumeraccess.org. Equal Housing Lender. Conditions may apply • Angela Kakos

NMLS ID: 166374



ON THE RUN continued from page 36



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

FAX: (248) 996-8342




Twitter: @ChaldeanChamber

They were separated indefinitely, by

eleven miles. In August 2021, Canada

opened its borders to fully vaccinated

travelers, and the U.S. reciprocated in

November of the same year.

Had he stayed in Detroit, Peter

would still be vulnerable, even under

the Joe Biden administration. Though

deportations of Iraqis seem to be near

zero under the current president,

there’s been no policy change regarding

Iraqi deportation in the years

since the June 11, 2017 arrests under

Trump’s Homeland Security Department.


Instagram: @ChaldeanAmericanChamber

aimed to correct the

situation has sputtered. Co-sponsored

by U.S. Representative Andy Levin and

John Moolenaar in 2019, The Deferred

Removal for Iraqi Nationals Including

Minorities Act aims to provide a

twenty-four-month respite from deportation

to Iraqis still navigating

their cases. But the bill hasn’t moved

past the Judiciary Committee. Iraqis

with unresolved cases remain in one

kind of purgatory or another. ACLU

of Michigan attorneys have estimated

that about a thousand people are still

at risk.

Lately, I’m having trouble reaching

Peter again. I presume that Mimi joined

him in Canada late in 2021, though

I can’t confirm it. Bajoka tells me Peter

is doing what several of his Iraqi

clients have done—gone completely

silent and trying to move on with life.

I’m still Facebook friends with Peter,

though his posts are few and far between,

and they all seem to speak to

his sense of displacement. He most

often posts photos and videos taken at

Windsor’s Reaume Park, which overlooks

the Detroit River and a view of

the United States, about four tenths of

a mile away. Most have no narration or

caption, just a phone camera panning

across the choppy blue gray water and

Detroit’s skyscrapers. The Ambassador

Bridge looms.

One was different, however: A

May 2021 photo he posted was taken

at the same park, at sunset. Peter, in

his trademark white athletic clothes,

stands between two men in Detroit

Lions and Adidas gear who have Chaldean

names. The caption reads, “We’re

starting from the bottom & We’re

gonna work our way up again in our

new Country.” It’s punctuated with a

sunglasses emoji and a Canadian flag.

Detroit is behind them, and they’re all




Celebrating First Communion

The First Holy Communion is a ceremonial rite of passage in the Catholic

Church. It happens when a child reaches a certain age of reason

and understanding that the Eucharist is the body of Christ.

Traditions surrounding First Communion often include large family

gatherings and a feast in honor of the occasion, usually with special attire

for the new communicant, typically white in color to symbolize purity. Girls

often wear fancy dresses and a veil or wreath on the head.

The Holy Communion leads to a new life of faith,

stressing the need for continuous communion with the

Church, whose prosperity and continuity depends on the

new generation.



We invite readers to share their family heritage

and submit pictures for us to publish in this new

feature, From the Archives. It is our hope that

through historic photos, we might preserve and

continue our sacred traditions and enlighten a

new generation of Chaldean Americans.







1. Patriarch Paulus Shiekho at 1st Communion

2. Basrah Communion, 1955

3. First Communion, Telkeppe 1959

4. Adhid Miri (age 9) 1st Communion on St. Joseph’s Day, March 29, 1959

at Mother of Sorrows church in Baghdad, Iraq

5. Communion group picture – March 29, 1959

6. Chaldean family from a Telkeppe village

7. Qaraqoosh Communion, 2020


Pain, Numbness,

Burning in the

Hands or Feet?



• Sharp or throbbing pain

• Tingling • Numbness

• Muscle cramping/twitching

• Hot and/or cold sensations

• Foot

RealWave uses a specially tuned ultrasound device to heal peripheral

neuropathy (nerve pain, tingling, burning or numbness in their hands,

arms, legs or feet). Most patients begin to experience symptom relief

after the first 2-3 appointments. Each treatment takes just 30 minutes

and focuses on normalizing sensation, restoring blood flow to the area,

preventing nerve damage, and, when possible, regenerating nerves.

88% of all treated patients see an improvement within 12 weeks.




نحن نتحدث العربية!‏

ويغطى تأمني مديكري ومعظم خطط التأمني األخرى هذه الطريقة العالجية

تستخدم خاصية العالج )REALWAVE( جهازا خاصا يعمل مبوجات فوق صوتية ‏)سونار(،‏ لعالج

التهاب األعصاب ‏)أمل األعصاب أو الشعور بالوخز أو الحرارة أو الخدر يف اليدين أو الذراعني أو

الساقني أو القدمني(.‏ ولوحظ أن معظم املرىض يشعرون بتحسن األعراض بعد جلستني أو ثالث

جلسات.‏ تستغرق كل جلسة ٣٠ دقيقة فقط،‏ يكون الرتكيز فيها عىل إعادة اإلحساس الطبيعي،‏

واستعادة تدفق الدم إىل املنطقة املصابة،‏ ومنع تلف األعصاب،‏ ويف بعض األحيان تجديد األعصاب.‏

وقد شعر ٨٨٪ من املرىض الذين تم عالجهم،‏ بتحسن يف غضون ١٢ أسبوعًا.‏

Open in Dearborn and Livonia!

DEARBORN 2142 Monroe Street

LIVONIA 14600 Farmington Rd., Suite 105

ROCHESTER 1000 West University Dr, Suite 314

SOUTHFIELD 29877 Telegraph Road, Suite LL-12

WARREN 11270 East 13 Mile Road, Suite 3

We treat Peripheral Neuropathy. That is all we do, and we do it well.

R E A L W A V E C E N T E R S . C O M



Hooray! Your file is uploaded and ready to be published.

Saved successfully!

Ooh no, something went wrong!