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METRO DETROIT CHALDEAN COMMUNITY VOL. 20 ISSUE IX <strong>OCTOBER</strong> <strong>2023</strong><br />

Verdict<br />

in Iraq<br />







BEHIND<br />

Featuring:<br />

Fighting for the Underserved<br />

Sureth in Schools<br />

In the Beginning There Was Beer

248-643-6600<br />

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www.lincolnoftroy.com<br />

| 1950 W Maple Rd. Troy, MI 48084<br />



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and Chaldean law firm.<br />

أكبر مكتب محاماة عربي وكلداني في<br />

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Getting You Back to You.<br />

it’s Why We Care.<br />

نعيدك الى ماكنت عليه<br />

هذا هو سبب اهتمامنا<br />

Lawrence Kajy<br />

Attorney at Law<br />

املحامي لورنس قاجي<br />

877-KAJY-CARES / kajylaw.com<br />

<strong>OCTOBER</strong> <strong>2023</strong> CHALDEAN NEWS 3

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4 CHALDEAN NEWS <strong>OCTOBER</strong> <strong>2023</strong>

<strong>OCTOBER</strong> <strong>2023</strong> CHALDEAN NEWS 5

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6 CHALDEAN NEWS <strong>OCTOBER</strong> <strong>2023</strong>

METRO DETROIT CHALDEAN COMMUNITY | <strong>OCTOBER</strong> <strong>2023</strong> | VOL. 20 ISSUE IX<br />


20 Verdict in Iraq<br />

Alcohol ban in Iraq leaves<br />

minorities behind<br />

By Cal Abbo<br />


22 Rights of Religious<br />

Minorities in Iraq<br />

By Weam Namou<br />

24 Changing Education<br />

Chaldeans have changed<br />

how Michigan learns<br />

By Cal Abbo<br />

20<br />

28 Sureth in Schools<br />

Keeping the language alive<br />

By Cal Abbo<br />

32 The Great School Initiative<br />

Parents organizing for change<br />

By Weam Namou<br />


8 From the Editor<br />

Falling Back<br />

By Sarah Kittle<br />

10 Guest Column<br />

Dating While Chaldean<br />

By Beshar Shukri<br />

12 Foundation Update<br />

Scholarships, Little Scholars,<br />

New Americans<br />

14 Noteworthy<br />

Commander Jason Abro, Rana<br />

Roumayah, Samantha Jarbou<br />

16 Chaldean Digest<br />

Cardinal seeks Vatican support,<br />

Gumma Family update, Tamara Mechael<br />

18 In Memoriam<br />

19 Obituary<br />

Dr. Salim Mansoor<br />

42 Chaldean Kitchen<br />

Aida Yousif’s “Mommy’s Salad”<br />

By Z.Z. Dawod<br />

44 New Americans<br />

Bushra Hormis<br />

46 Family Time<br />

Nontraditional Halloween<br />

By Valene Ayar<br />

48 Event<br />

Chaldean Community Foundation Gala<br />

Photos by Wilson Sarkis<br />

50 Chaldean Scene<br />

Back to School Photos<br />

Submitted by Readers<br />

34 Brand Love<br />

Lydia Michael’s new book<br />

By Sarah Kittle<br />

36 Fall Color Tour<br />

Where to go to see the blaze of color<br />

By Sarah Kittle<br />

40 Culture & History<br />

In the Beginning: Mesopotamian Beer<br />

By Dr. Adhid Miri<br />

16<br />

<strong>OCTOBER</strong> <strong>2023</strong> CHALDEAN NEWS 7



Chaldean News, LLC<br />

Chaldean Community Foundation<br />

Martin Manna<br />



Sarah Kittle<br />


Cal Abbo<br />

Valene Ayar<br />

ZZ Dawod<br />

Dr. Adhid Miri<br />

Weam Namou<br />

Beshar Shukri<br />



Alex Lumelsky with SKY Creative<br />


Zina Lumelsky with SKY Creative<br />


Alex Lumelsky<br />

Wilson Sarkis<br />

SALES<br />

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Subscriptions: $35 per year<br />


Story ideas: edit@chaldeannews.com<br />

Advertisements: ads@chaldeannews.com<br />

Subscription and all other inquiries:<br />

info@chaldeannews.com<br />

Chaldean News<br />

30095 Northwestern Hwy, Suite 101<br />

Farmington Hills, MI 48334<br />

www.chaldeannews.com<br />

Phone: (248) 851-8600<br />

Publication: The Chaldean News (P-6);<br />

Published monthly; Issue Date: October <strong>2023</strong><br />

Subscriptions: 12 months, $35.<br />

Publication Address:<br />

30095 Northwestern Hwy., Suite 101,<br />

Farmington Hills, MI 48334;<br />

Permit to mail at periodicals postage rates<br />

is on file at Farmington Hills Post Office<br />

Postmaster: Send address changes to<br />

“The Chaldean News 30095 Northwestern<br />

Hwy., Suite 101, Farmington Hills, MI 48334”<br />

Falling Back<br />

Autumn is a time of contemplation; it is<br />

when we take stock of where we are and<br />

perhaps re-evaluate and adjust our trajectory<br />

for the future. For many, it seems like an end –<br />

the end of summer, the end of the season, the end<br />

of the year drawing to a close. Early next month,<br />

on the 5th of November to be exact, our clocks will<br />

turn back for perhaps the last time, if opponents of<br />

Daylight Savings Time (DST) have their wish.<br />

But “falling back” is not necessarily a bad<br />

thing. Sometimes, falling back means taking extra<br />

time to enjoy the sights, sounds, and smells<br />

along the way. Here in Michigan, the spectacular<br />

colors of the trees’ changing hue is<br />

unmatched, save for a few New England<br />

states. Fall produce like apples and cranberries<br />

grace our orchards before they grace<br />

our tables. You can literally smell the earth<br />

in the fall in Michigan. How lucky we are to<br />

live here!<br />

You may know that we are advocating for the return of<br />

property to Christians from Iraq who have been displaced<br />

and their lands and homes confiscated. Weam Namou writes<br />

about a Chaldean political activist named Diya Butros Sliwa,<br />

who recently gave a talk hosted by the Iraqi Human Rights<br />

Society in the US. Sliwa has been fighting for the rights of<br />

religious minorities in Iraq for more than two decades and<br />

takes the ruling government in Iraq to task for neither protecting<br />

them nor the women and children who live in the<br />

community.<br />

Our cover story this month tells the sad story of an alcohol<br />

ban in Iraq that will stifle the productivity and livelihood<br />

of many Christians still living there. For some, this is seen as<br />

another way to oust them from the country and take what is<br />

theirs. Add the fact that the Chaldean Patriarch has removed<br />

himself to Erbil and you have another recipe for disaster.<br />

Speaking of recipes, Chaldean Kitchen returns this<br />

month with a special dish. Aida Yousif invited CN staff into<br />

her home and shared with them the recipe for “Mommy’s<br />


EDITOR<br />

IN CHIEF<br />

We are advocating for the return of<br />

property to Christians from Iraq who have<br />

been displaced and their lands and homes<br />

confiscated.<br />

Salad.” It is fresh, healthy, and fulfilling – but don’t<br />

tell the kids!<br />

And of course, October means Halloween and<br />

trick-or-treating for some. Our Family Time article<br />

focuses on the hocus-pocus of it all but in nontraditional<br />

ways, like hosting scary movie nights or<br />

making your own haunted house. If you don’t want<br />

your kids trick-or-treating, we have options.<br />

Parents having options is what the article about<br />

the Great School Initiative (GSI) is about. Parents<br />

had issues with certain school mandates and organized<br />

to make their protests known. The GSI was born and<br />

is gaining momentum. Educational content and curriculum<br />

can be changed, it just takes time and perseverance. Which<br />

is what the champions of Sureth in schools have demonstrated<br />

in their push to include the language in the local<br />

school system. It happened in Illinois and may be happening<br />

here soon.<br />

Fall is also a great time to fall in love, although the road<br />

to happily ever after may have some potholes. Beshar Shukri<br />

(first-time writer!) shares his tale of speed dating in a guest<br />

column. Lydia Michael’s new book, Brand Love, just came<br />

out and it is a great read.<br />

Turn the page for more, fall back into the cushions and<br />

enjoy!<br />

Sarah Kittle<br />

Editor in Chief<br />




8 CHALDEAN NEWS <strong>OCTOBER</strong> <strong>2023</strong>


Join the<br />

Publishers Circle<br />

As the publication of record for Michigan’s<br />

Chaldean community, the mission of the<br />

Chaldean News is to preserve and archive<br />

Chaldean heritage and history, and to tell the<br />

ongoing story of Chaldean contributions to the<br />

communities in which we live and work — in Michigan<br />

and around the world.<br />

Since being acquired by the Chaldean Community<br />

Foundation in 2019, the Chaldean News has substantially<br />

increased its readership and social media following,<br />

introduced new digital and website content, and expanded<br />

storytelling with the help of small grant funding.<br />

The Publisher’s Circle initiative empowers community members<br />

to provide major support for the Chaldean News and its<br />

important mission. With the generous help of individuals and<br />

organizations, together, we can ensure that this vital resource<br />

continues to educate and connect the community, while<br />

evolving to meet the needs of future generations.<br />

The Chaldean News has ambitious plans which include<br />

launching a CN app and continuing to expand into new<br />

media such as radio and TV, all with the goal of preserving<br />

our culture and telling the story of our people. You<br />

can take part in helping to preserve your Chaldean<br />

heritage by joining the Publisher’s Circle today.<br />

Jibran “Jim” Manna<br />

Martin and Tamara Manna<br />

Sylvester and Rita Sandiha<br />

We are grateful for the generous and<br />

continuing support of our community.<br />

To learn more, visit chaldeannews.com<br />

or contact us at 248-851-8600<br />

Let’s grow the circle.<br />

SEPTEMBER <strong>OCTOBER</strong> <strong>2023</strong> CHALDEAN NEWS 97


Dating While Chaldean<br />


The topic of dating is<br />

highly debated and<br />

ever changing; this<br />

comes as no surprise because<br />

it is a universal experience.<br />

Most of us have dated, will<br />

date, or are currently dating.<br />

However, this idea of dating<br />

is rather new to the Chaldean<br />

community, when compared<br />

to the “courting” our parents<br />

experienced.<br />

An outdated and antiquated<br />

practice was once the<br />

common way of winning the approval<br />

of your desired mate. However, “dating”<br />

in its current definition is getting<br />

to know someone without making<br />

commitments. This viewpoint and<br />

technology have led us to the hook-up<br />

culture we see in the West. What was<br />

once deemed uncouth has now become<br />

the norm.<br />

As Chaldeans began to immigrate<br />

to America, we were an insulated community;<br />

it took time for the culture<br />

to seep into our lives. Nevertheless,<br />

within a few generations we have seen<br />

the same issues that plague other communities,<br />

such as divorce, infidelity,<br />

and miscegenation (a fancy word for<br />

marrying outside of your ethnicity).<br />

Miscegenation is not as negative as<br />

the other examples I used; however,<br />

every example was, and still in some<br />

way is, a foreign idea to the Chaldean<br />

community.<br />

It is expected that we stay faithful,<br />

never divorce, and marry a fellow<br />

Chaldean—even better, someone from<br />

the same village as our ancestors. To<br />

demonstrate how quickly our ways<br />

have changed, just two to three generations<br />

ago, our grandparents or greatgrandparents<br />

had arranged marriages.<br />

In our parents’ generation, that<br />

quickly changed to recommendations<br />

and approval from the family. Now,<br />

mine and younger generations have<br />

the choice to marry whom we please,<br />

though it is more advantageous if our<br />

family approves. I believe it is more<br />

challenging to find a suitable partner<br />

precisely because we have more freedom<br />

to choose. As the saying goes,<br />

BESHAR<br />

SHUKRI<br />


TO THE<br />


NEWS<br />

“Freedom comes at a price.”<br />

In my experience of dating,<br />

I had many misconceptions<br />

about our community.<br />

For Chaldean men, I thought<br />

you were meant to have your<br />

fun dating but then marry a<br />

Chaldean girl. For Chaldean<br />

women, I thought they were<br />

to remain pure and find a<br />

successful Chaldean man to<br />

wed. I did not think that I<br />

would find a Chaldean woman<br />

who was interested unless<br />

I was well-off and could provide a certain<br />

lifestyle.<br />

Considering how much money we<br />

spend on weddings, I figured I wasn’t<br />

too far off. I looked elsewhere for some<br />

time then started to engage with our<br />

community more. I realized I was projecting<br />

my concerns onto the entire<br />

community instead of seeing individual<br />

Chaldeans.<br />

Recently, on the recommendation<br />

of my coworkers, I decided to try<br />

Chaldean speed dating. It seemed odd<br />

and very new culturally, but I asked<br />

myself, “What’s the worst that could<br />

happen?” Much to my surprise, it went<br />

well.<br />

The interactions were fun and<br />

lively and I was floored how many of<br />

my preconceived notions were shattered.<br />

I saw a different side of my community<br />

that I thought never existed,<br />

one where income was not the focus.<br />

Though I am still single, I have new<br />

hope that courting, and the old ways<br />

of our culture will not be relegated by<br />

expectations and the pressures of our<br />

families. I rather hope that it will be<br />

the wisdom we carry and the love we<br />

have for one another that will bring us<br />

successful marriages.<br />

To summarize which way is best,<br />

I leave that to you—the reader—to decide.<br />

Whether it is to return to the villages<br />

to find a wife like our ancestors<br />

did, or work within the Western dating<br />

construct and find a wife among the<br />

masses. Either way, “The man who<br />

finds a wife finds a treasure and he receives<br />

favor from the LORD.” (Proverbs<br />

18:22).<br />

10 CHALDEAN NEWS <strong>OCTOBER</strong> <strong>2023</strong>

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teach your teenager<br />

to drive.<br />

But we can help you<br />

save for college.<br />


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Version: 9.06.23<br />

<strong>OCTOBER</strong> <strong>2023</strong> CHALDEAN NEWS 11


Falling into the<br />

School Year<br />

To meet the needs of the community, the CCF’s Early<br />

Childhood Development program has expanded its<br />

class offerings to include Preschool and Pre-Kindergarten.<br />

Additionally, GED classes have doubled in<br />

class size due to increasing enrollment in the program.<br />

There is still time to register for classes including:<br />

GED, ESL, and Citizenship Preparation classes. For<br />

more information on the classes, contact Rachel Hall<br />

by calling 586-722-7253 or emailing to rachel.hall@<br />

chaldeanfoundation.org.<br />

Congratulations to the CCF’s <strong>2023</strong> Scholarship Winners.<br />

Honoring Chaldean Scholars<br />

The CCF experienced a recordbreaking<br />

year, awarding 33 scholarship<br />

recipients with a total of<br />

$103,500 in scholarships at our<br />

Scholarship Award Reception on<br />

August 24.<br />

The CCF has a large donor<br />

based of donor families and<br />

businesses including: w3r Consulting,<br />

Yvonne Nona Memorial<br />

Scholarship Fund, Drs. Nathima<br />

and Peter Atchoo Family Foundation<br />

Scholarship Fund, the<br />

Abdul Karim and Jameela Sesi<br />

Memorial Scholarship Fund,<br />

Derek Dickow and the Children’s<br />

Health Fund at the Children’s<br />

Foundation, DA Advisory Group,<br />

and Alline Salon Group.<br />

For more information on our<br />

scholarship program and how to<br />

contribute to our Karim and Bernadette<br />

Sarafa General Scholarship<br />

fund, visit chaldeanfoundation.org<br />

and search Scholarship<br />

Program.<br />

Scholarship donors left to right: Nona Family, Patrick Tomina,<br />

Andrew Dakki, Matthew Abbo and Derek Dickow.<br />

The CCF Little Scholars program.<br />

What it Means<br />

to be Chaldean<br />

CCF President Martin Manna was interviewed on<br />

Sunday Edition with Alisa Zee to discuss the Chaldean<br />

community and the triumphs and trials the<br />

community has faced.<br />

In the 20-minute, 2-part interview, Martin Manna<br />

also discusses the origins of the Chaldean American<br />

Chamber of Commerce and the Chaldean Community<br />

Foundation, what it means to be Chaldean, and the<br />

current state of the Chaldean community in Iraq and<br />

other areas.<br />

You can watch the interview on the Chaldean<br />

Community Foundation’s YouTube page.<br />

Celebrating<br />

New Americans<br />

The newly designated American citizens received<br />

certificates of the Citizenship class completion and<br />

had the opportunity to meet with and speak to Sterling<br />

Heights Mayor Michael Taylor. Then they began<br />

the process of becoming registered voters with help<br />

from the Sterling Heights City Clerk’s office. Attendees<br />

also had the ability to fill out sample ballots and<br />

use a tabulator to get familiar with how voting works<br />

during election cycles.<br />

This year, the Chaldean Community Foundation<br />

helped to file 1,654 immigration applications for prospective<br />

new Americans.<br />

34 new American citizens were celebrated in front of friends and family for achieving their citizenship on<br />

September 14 at the Chaldean Community Foundation.<br />

12 CHALDEAN NEWS <strong>OCTOBER</strong> <strong>2023</strong>

<strong>OCTOBER</strong> <strong>2023</strong> CHALDEAN NEWS 13


Jason Abro<br />

Named<br />

Supervisor<br />

of the Year<br />

On September 10,<br />

members of local<br />

law enforcement<br />

were honored during<br />

the Brighter<br />

Michigan PAC’s<br />

America Safety First<br />

event held at Jimmy<br />

John’s Field. The political action<br />

committee honored Macomb County<br />

Sheriff Anthony Wickersham as Law<br />

Enforcement Administrator of the<br />

Year and Macomb County Sheriff Commander<br />

Jason Abro as Law Enforcement<br />

Supervisor of the Year.<br />

Commander Jason Abro was the<br />

first Chaldean-American hired by the<br />

Macomb County Sheriff’s Office and<br />

has stood out as an exemplary officer.<br />

He has been cited several times for<br />

going above and beyond and was involved<br />

with saving the life of a nearly<br />

drowned toddler earlier this year.<br />

Rana Sadek<br />

Roumayah<br />

Joins<br />

Honigman<br />

Honigman LLP announced<br />

that Rana<br />

Sadek Roumayah has<br />

joined its Labor and<br />

Employment Department<br />

as a partner in<br />

the firm’s Detroit office.<br />

Roumayah joins<br />

Honigman after working for the National<br />

Labor Relations Board (NLRB) for 23<br />

years. At the NLRB, she developed an expertise<br />

in traditional labor law and other<br />

aspects of employment law. Specializing<br />

in case analysis, strategic planning, negotiations,<br />

and compliance, Roumayah<br />

has litigated, negotiated, and tried hundreds<br />

of cases.<br />

“We are delighted to welcome Rana<br />

as a partner to our firm,” said Sean<br />

Crotty, Chair of Honigman’s Labor<br />

and Employment Department. “Her<br />

vast experience in traditional labor<br />

law and her perspective in counseling<br />

employers will add tremendous value<br />

to the team, further strengthening our<br />

ability to provide the highest level of<br />

service to our clients.”<br />

Samantha<br />

Jarbou Shines<br />

Samantha Jarbou<br />

graduated salutatorian<br />

of her class at<br />

Clio High School,<br />

where her family<br />

are the only Chaldeans.<br />

She was<br />

vice president of<br />

Student Council and the National<br />

Honor Society and the president of<br />

Clio High School’s Youth Entrepreneurship<br />

Club for 4 years. Samantha<br />

is active in the National Foundation<br />

for Teaching Entrepreneurship, also<br />

known as NFTE. She invented the<br />

“Vest Pack” and the “Handy Ottoman”<br />

which took her to win the local,<br />

state, and national competitions<br />

in New York City, the first student<br />

from Michigan to get that far. She<br />

participates in HOSA (Future Health<br />

Professionals of America), a global<br />

student-led organization that enhances<br />

students’ leadership, development,<br />

and communication skills.<br />

Samantha’s talents and skills have<br />

earned her many merits and attention;<br />

she was named “Best and the Brightest”<br />

on the news station WNEM and<br />

marched in the Rose Bowl Parade on<br />

New Years Day. She is majoring in<br />

Biology with a concentration in Pre-<br />

Medicine this coming fall and plans to<br />

become an orthopedic surgeon.<br />

14 CHALDEAN NEWS <strong>OCTOBER</strong> <strong>2023</strong>

The Hey U Vote<br />

Campaign was<br />

launched in 2017<br />

by the Chaldean<br />

Community<br />

Foundation (CCF)<br />

to aid individuals<br />

with non-partisan<br />

voter registration.<br />

The goal of the Hey<br />

U Vote campaign<br />

is to encourage the<br />

Chaldean community to<br />

get out and vote. The CCF<br />

also offers the service of<br />

registering individuals to<br />

vote in our office daily.<br />

U<br />

TE<br />



• A U.S. Citizen<br />

• At least 18 years old by Election Day<br />

• A resident of Michigan<br />

• A resident of the city or township where<br />

you are applying to register to vote<br />


• It is your fundamental right<br />

• Vote on issues that matter to you and your family<br />

• Voting ensures that your opinion is taken into account<br />

• Participate in the decisions that shape our future<br />

• Personal empowerment<br />

• Strengthen your social ties<br />



<strong>OCTOBER</strong> <strong>2023</strong> CHALDEAN NEWS 15


In this Sunday, April 14, 2019, file photo, Cardinal Louis Raphael I Sako addresses the faithful during the Palm Sunday<br />

service at Mar Youssif Church in Baghdad, Iraq.<br />

Cardinal seeks Vatican support to<br />

regain recognition in Iraq<br />

Iraq’s Chaldean Catholic Cardinal<br />

Louis Sako said he would like more<br />

Vatican support as he tries to regain<br />

formal recognition as the Chaldean<br />

patriarch in the country. As reported<br />

in an earlier edition of the Chaldean<br />

News, Iraqi President Abdul Latif<br />

Rashid revoked Cardinal Sako’s decree<br />

as head of the Chaldean Catholic<br />

Church in Iraq in July. This action has<br />

been viewed as a usurpation of the<br />

clergyman’s position as the officially<br />

recognized head of Iraq’s Catholic<br />

Chaldean Church as well of his position<br />

and powers to administer the<br />

Chaldean religious endowment, including<br />

church properties.<br />

Both the Cardinal and media in<br />

Iraq say the action was likely instigated<br />

by Rayan al-Kildani, a leader of<br />

a nominally Chaldean Catholic militia<br />

Sterling Heights family speaks out about tragic fatal<br />

accident and road to recovery moving forward<br />

in Iraq, the Babylon Brigades, closely<br />

tied to Iran. Its political wing holds<br />

four seats in parliament out of five reserved<br />

for Christian candidates.<br />

“I want the Vatican also to take a<br />

strong position,” Cardinal Sako remarked<br />

on an online press conference<br />

September 19, referring to the fact that<br />

al-Kildani posted a photo of himself<br />

with the Pope on social media, intending<br />

to show they are aligned.<br />

“There was a very brief note to<br />

say that the pope did not see him privately,”<br />

Cardinal Sako commented,<br />

referring to a mid-September communique<br />

to journalists, in which Matteo<br />

Bruni, Vatican’s spokesman, is quoted<br />

as responding to journalists’ questions<br />

that, “His Holiness Pope Francis<br />

greeted some of the people present, as<br />

is customary” during the September 6<br />

Faith Gumma was killed on August 12<br />

in Sterling Heights when the car she<br />

was in with her family was struck by<br />

a teen driver fleeing police. Her son,<br />

Elijah, survived largely unscathed but<br />

her husband Norman has been in intensive<br />

care ever since.<br />

Patrick Rabban is Norman Gumma’s<br />

cousin. He remembers receiving<br />

the call in August when Norman’s dad<br />

called him with the news. “He called<br />

me crying and he said, uh, he said,<br />

‘Norman and Faith got into an accident.<br />

Faith is gone.’”<br />

Patrick and Norman are the same<br />

age and the two of them grew up together.<br />

Patrick says life has not been<br />

easy for Norman. “He’s making progress,”<br />

said Patrick, referring to Norman’s<br />

recovery in the hospital. “I<br />

mean, that’s really all you can ask. He<br />

continues to trend in the right direction.<br />

Little by little, he’s getting stronger<br />

every day,” said Rabban.<br />

The family recently got the good<br />

news Norman had been accepted at the<br />

audience. “Among them was a group<br />

of Iraqis, which included Mr. Rayan Al-<br />

Kildani, with whom some brief words<br />

were exchanged.”<br />

Analyst Michael Knights of the<br />

Washington Institute for Near East<br />

Policy commended the Vatican for not<br />

falling into a trap al-Kildani tried to<br />

make with his photo op with the pope.<br />

“It was important to see the way<br />

the Vatican responded. They put out<br />

the press release in English, Arabic and<br />

Italian. They made sure that they covered<br />

all their bases because they don’t<br />

want al-Kildani to claim that he has<br />

been given an audience with the pope<br />

knowing who he is,” Knights said.<br />

For Cardinal Sako, the situation<br />

has made him worried. “I’m ready to<br />

resign,” he said.<br />

– OSV News<br />

Mary Free Bed Rehabilitation Hospital<br />

in Grand Rapids. “You know it’s going<br />

to be a long road back, for sure, based<br />

on the pace that we’ve seen. But we feel<br />

confident once we get him to this rehab<br />

facility that progress will start accelerating<br />

faster and he’ll start making some<br />

better progress,” said Rabban.<br />

The community is supporting this<br />

family as much as possible. The Go-<br />

FundMe started on their behalf has<br />

reached nearly $280,000.<br />

– WXYZ Detroit<br />

Songwriter and<br />

poet Tamara<br />

Mechael talks<br />

about her career<br />

in the arts<br />

First generation Assyrian-Chaldean<br />

songwriter and poet Tamara Mechael<br />

talks about what it’s like being a faithful<br />

Catholic in an industry that likes to<br />

take the easy way. She was born in Detroit,<br />

but Mechael was not cut out to be<br />

a mechanic or work in science like her<br />

highly educated parents. Tamara and<br />

her sister Farrah were born to be artists.<br />

Mechael is a songwriter and poet<br />

Songwriter, author and poet Tamara<br />

Mechael.<br />

who had her first book of poetry published<br />

at 15. With her mom and her<br />

sister, she created an independent record<br />

label. FanBoyNation spoke with<br />

Mechael about what it is like being a<br />

first generation American, remaining<br />

true to her faith and maybe one day<br />

turning some of her father’s Arabic<br />

and Aramaic poems into songs for her<br />

and her sister to sing.<br />

As well as being a published author,<br />

Tamara is an accomplished songwriter<br />

whose songs have been performed at<br />

events such as Los Angeles KIIS FM’s<br />

Wango Tango and Detroit’s 107.5 Summer<br />

Jamz. She has worked with international<br />

producers and songwriters,<br />

culminating in a sixteen-city United<br />

States’ tour where she showcased her<br />

first book, “Utopia Poetry.”<br />

Tamara honors her Middle Eastern<br />

heritage by incorporating its language,<br />

sound, energy, and values into<br />

her writings. For more information on<br />

Tamara, visit her official website at<br />

www.tamaramechael.com<br />

– FanBoyNation<br />

16 CHALDEAN NEWS <strong>OCTOBER</strong> <strong>2023</strong>



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<strong>OCTOBER</strong> <strong>2023</strong> CHALDEAN NEWS 17


Akram Oraha<br />

Esho<br />

Jul 1, 1950 –<br />

Aug 15, <strong>2023</strong><br />

Ban Asso Farida<br />

Sep 5, 1971 –<br />

Aug 15, <strong>2023</strong><br />

Salam Noori<br />

Yaldoo<br />

Aug 8, 1958 –<br />

Aug 15, <strong>2023</strong><br />

Faisal Michael<br />

Arabo<br />

Apr 7, 1930 –<br />

Aug 16, <strong>2023</strong><br />

Bakiza Marqus<br />

Feb 1, 1933 –<br />

Aug 16, <strong>2023</strong><br />

Huda Brikho<br />

Nov 11, 1960 –<br />

Aug 17, <strong>2023</strong><br />

Latifa Karana<br />

Manni<br />

Jul 1, 1936 –<br />

Aug 18, <strong>2023</strong><br />

Nagiba Rafo Dado<br />

Yaldo<br />

Jul 1, 1932 –<br />

Aug 19, <strong>2023</strong><br />

Crystal Ikhlas Zara<br />

May 9, 1961 –<br />

Aug 20, <strong>2023</strong><br />

Madleen Bahoo<br />

Imseh<br />

Jul 1, 1933 –<br />

Aug 20, <strong>2023</strong><br />

Raad Naimi<br />

Apr 16, 1956 –<br />

Aug 20, <strong>2023</strong><br />

Khalid Tobia<br />

Alkasmikha<br />

Jul 1, 1940 –<br />

Aug 21, <strong>2023</strong><br />

Shamon Brikho<br />

Nov 1, 1932 –<br />

Aug 21, <strong>2023</strong><br />

Badria Mikho<br />

Shallal Dallo<br />

Jul 1, 1932 –<br />

Aug 21, <strong>2023</strong><br />

Layla Francis<br />

Markis<br />

Oct 4, 1944 –<br />

Aug 23, <strong>2023</strong><br />

Sameer Odeesh<br />

Jul 1, 1956 –<br />

Aug 24, <strong>2023</strong><br />

Wissam<br />

Constantine<br />

Oct 22, 1968 –<br />

Aug 25, <strong>2023</strong><br />

Magid Meram<br />

Jan 6, 1949 –<br />

Aug 26, <strong>2023</strong><br />

Easter Dawood<br />

Kannu<br />

Jul 1, 1944 –<br />

Aug 27, <strong>2023</strong><br />

Mansour<br />

(Mike) Delly<br />

Jan 7, 1945 –<br />

Aug 28, <strong>2023</strong><br />

Abdulahad Saco<br />

Jul 1, 1945 –<br />

Aug 28, <strong>2023</strong><br />

Estiklal Zia<br />

Sheena<br />

Oct 11, 1932 –<br />

Aug 29, <strong>2023</strong><br />

Farj Jabraeel<br />

Abdullahed<br />

Jul 1, 1968 –<br />

Aug 29, <strong>2023</strong><br />

Zexad Sameer<br />

Denha<br />

Nov 10, 1972 –<br />

Aug 31, <strong>2023</strong><br />

Kurjeau Abosh<br />

Ibrahim<br />

Apr 5, 1936 –<br />

Aug 31, <strong>2023</strong><br />

Adeeb Fawzi<br />

Shmoni<br />

Jul 1, 1943 –<br />

Aug 31, <strong>2023</strong><br />

Amanoiel Hanna<br />

Khami<br />

Jul 1, 1942 –<br />

Sep 1, <strong>2023</strong><br />

Farid Elias Jamil<br />

Jul 1, 1939 –<br />

Sep 2, <strong>2023</strong><br />

Maskoni Hermiz<br />

Shabo<br />

Sep 2, <strong>2023</strong><br />

Jalila Yousif<br />

Zaitouna<br />

Jul 1, 1931 –<br />

Sep 3, <strong>2023</strong><br />

Norma Nayef<br />

Shammas Toma<br />

Nov 6, 1938 –<br />

Sep 5, <strong>2023</strong><br />

Georgette Kashat<br />

May 7, 1939 –<br />

Sep 6, <strong>2023</strong><br />

Layla Kajy<br />

Jun 15, 1950 –<br />

Sep 7, <strong>2023</strong><br />

Maher Lateef Bibi<br />

Aug 25, 1964 –<br />

Sep 8, <strong>2023</strong><br />

Esam Shamoon<br />

Kachi<br />

Nov 21, 1952 –<br />

Sep 9, <strong>2023</strong><br />

Lateef Hanna<br />

Dalaly<br />

Jun 21, 1929 –<br />

Sep 10, <strong>2023</strong><br />

Aida Azo<br />

Apr 15, 1950 –<br />

Sep 11, <strong>2023</strong><br />

Latif Yousif Markoz<br />

Kasha<br />

Aug 10, 1961 –<br />

Sep 11, <strong>2023</strong><br />

Madeleine Jadan<br />

Haisha<br />

Jul 9, 1931 –<br />

Sep 15, <strong>2023</strong><br />

Mariamo Yousif<br />

Kassab<br />

Jun 16, 1933 –<br />

Sep 16, <strong>2023</strong><br />

18 CHALDEAN NEWS <strong>OCTOBER</strong> <strong>2023</strong>


Dr. Salim Yusuf Mansoor<br />

Dr. Salim Yusuf Mansoor, a renowned physiatrist,<br />

statesman, and former diplomat was born on October<br />

2, 1938, and passed away on September 3, <strong>2023</strong>. Salim,<br />

who practiced as a Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation<br />

doctor, was the former Director of PHMR at Southern Maryland Hospital.<br />

He served his native country, Iraq, in the diplomatic corps as Consul General,<br />

Montreal, and established the Iraqi Embassy in Ottawa, Canada in 1972. When<br />

Iraq invaded Kuwait, Salim was given the “blessings and consent” of President<br />

George H.W. Bush to lead a delegation to meet with Saddam Hussein and thereby<br />

obtained the release of 14 American hostages. He is survived by his wife Inaam,<br />

children Sammid (Darlene) Mansoor, Ramiz (Mary Elizabeth) Mansoor, and<br />

Deana (Robert) Glista, brother Thamer Mansoor, and grandchildren Alexandra,<br />

Abigail, Daniel, Madeline, Amelia, Nora, and Daniel. He is also survived by a loving<br />

extended family, who will always cherish Salim as its patriarch.<br />

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<strong>OCTOBER</strong> <strong>2023</strong> CHALDEAN NEWS 19


Leaving Minorities Behind<br />

Iraqi Supreme Federal Court upholds alcohol ban<br />



Ministers of the new Iraqi government are sworn in during the parliamentary session to vote on the new government<br />

in Baghdad, Iraq, Thursday, Oct. 27, 2022.<br />

In the blistering heat of summer,<br />

Iraq’s infrastructure and institutions<br />

have managed to stay intact<br />

through another year. Its struggles<br />

with water, climate, electricity, and<br />

sectarianism preclude the country<br />

from making a significant economic<br />

recovery 20 years after the United<br />

States invaded its borders.<br />

Christian minorities often bear the<br />

brunt of Iraq’s various crises, which<br />

seem to compound rather than resolve.<br />

In late August, Iraq’s Federal<br />

Supreme Court heaved another hardship<br />

on its Christian communities by<br />

officially upholding a ban on the importation,<br />

manufacturing, and sale of<br />

alcoholic beverages.<br />

When the law was first implemented<br />

earlier this year, Chaldeans made an<br />

uproar in protest, their echoes reaching<br />

all corners of the world where our people<br />

live. For many centuries, Christians<br />

have taken on the role of selling alcohol<br />

in Muslim-majority society, entrenching<br />

themselves and their families in<br />

the retail business. This fact will sound<br />

familiar to Chaldeans in Detroit, as we<br />

have carried in the tradition from the<br />

old country. The new ban will demolish<br />

stores’ legitimate sales and make the<br />

alcohol industry much more dangerous<br />

and unregulated.<br />

While it’s impossible to tell the exact<br />

intention of the law, in practice, it<br />

severely handicaps the economic outlook<br />

for Iraq’s minorities. Christians are<br />

often outcast from good-paying government<br />

jobs, professional positions,<br />

or academia. If they do manage to get<br />

in, they are looked over for promotions<br />

and supervisor positions. Over the<br />

years, the community began to focus<br />

on where it could thrive and provide<br />

for its families. Owning your own small<br />

business, like a convenience store or<br />

grocery store, is a reliable and independent<br />

way to earn a living. With the alcohol<br />

ban, much of that revenue is now<br />

illegal or has been lost completely.<br />

Iraq has not been kind to its Christian<br />

minorities in the 21st century. For<br />

decades, Chaldeans have dealt with<br />

land confiscations, both public and<br />

private, in their villages and fertile territories<br />

in the North. The land thieves<br />

forge documents that show false ownership<br />

and lay claim to the lands. Oftentimes,<br />

Iraqi courts side with the<br />

fake deeds, and land which Chaldeans<br />

have used for centuries is gone forever.<br />

Of course, Christians have suffered<br />

serious tragedies and genocide under<br />

the rule of ISIS. Even now, after the<br />

terrorist organization is pretty much<br />

defunct, our villages have not been rebuilt<br />

or repaired. Mosul, on the other<br />

hand, which is a key city for the country,<br />

has seen hefty contributions to aid<br />

and repair it, which has brought signs<br />

of life and flourishing back to the city<br />

that was the site of all-out war just a<br />

few years ago.<br />

Countries around the world have<br />

recognized the genocide and devastation<br />

against the Chaldean community,<br />

but Iraq has done little to aid the situation<br />

or repair the villages. Many of the<br />

houses and shops are unusable, which<br />

prevents displaced refugees from returning<br />

and increases the chance<br />

these villages will never recover and<br />

will fade from our collective memories.<br />

Many Christians in Iraq feel targeted<br />

by the government on a regular basis.<br />

Cardinal Louis Sako, who serves as<br />

the Chaldean patriarch, recently moved<br />

out of Baghdad after a presidential decree<br />

revoked some of his ability to manage<br />

the church’s assets. After a feud<br />

with the Babylon Movement and Rayan<br />

al-Kildani escalated, the prime minister<br />

got involved and moved against Cardinal<br />

Sako with this decree.<br />

For now, Christians are far from<br />

feeling safe and secure going about<br />

life in many areas of Iraq. But even<br />

this is a small thing to ask. Iraq’s minorities<br />

must be given space to prosper<br />

without overbearing religious laws restricting<br />

their business and hampering<br />

their welfare.<br />

20 CHALDEAN NEWS <strong>OCTOBER</strong> <strong>2023</strong>

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<strong>OCTOBER</strong> <strong>2023</strong> CHALDEAN NEWS 21


Fighting for the Underserved<br />

The Rights of Religious and National Minorities in Iraq<br />


Diya Butros Sliwa, a Chaldean<br />

political activist, lives in Erbil,<br />

Iraq, but he gives talks around<br />

the world on human rights. He visited<br />

North America recently where he gave<br />

talks and interviews in Michigan, in<br />

Canada, and he also plans to travel to<br />

Washington, DC. His goal is to bring<br />

awareness to the status of the rights<br />

of religious and national minorities in<br />

Iraq and Kurdistan.<br />

On Saturday, September 2, <strong>2023</strong>, he<br />

lectured at the Mandaean Association<br />

of Michigan in Warren. The Iraqi Human<br />

Rights Society in the US, established<br />

in 1994, hosted the lecture.<br />

“Today Nineveh is in danger,” said<br />

Sliwa. “It’s in a terrible dire state. I say<br />

this with honesty and confidence.”<br />

Sliwa is the president of the Civil<br />

Rights and Citizenry Organization; for<br />

over 20 years, he has watched the situation<br />

for Christians and other minorities<br />

in Iraq go from “worse to worser.”<br />

After the American-led coalition forces<br />

ousted Saddam Hussein on March 19,<br />

2003, attempts to create a new constitution<br />

began. In October 2005, a<br />

national referendum approved a new<br />

constitution.<br />

“Regrettably, the new and current<br />

constitution that was adopted in 2005<br />

had many glitches,” Sliwa said. Then<br />

he brought forth several examples.<br />

The constitution establishes Islam<br />

as the official religion and states that<br />

no law may be enacted contradicting<br />

the established provisions of Islam.<br />

Freedom of Religion or Belief Article<br />

18 of the Universal Declaration of Human<br />

Rights (UDHR) says we all have<br />

the right to our own beliefs, to have a<br />

religion, have no religion, or to change<br />

it. Yet in Iraq, if someone changes from<br />

Islam to another religion, they face the<br />

death penalty. Furthermore, if either<br />

parent of a child is Muslim and the<br />

child is under 18 years of age, the child<br />

must be Muslim.<br />

“So where is the freedom of the<br />

child?” asked Sliwa.<br />

Diya Butros Sliwa (left) and Hamid Murad (right), president of the Iraqi<br />

Human Rights Society in the US.<br />

He’s also concerned about the<br />

rights of women. According to Amnesty<br />

International, the Iraqi parliament<br />

continues to fail to criminalize<br />

domestic violence despite an increase<br />

in “honor killings” and other forms of<br />

gender-based violence documented<br />

by national NGOs. Recently, a bill was<br />

The Iraqi parliament<br />

continues to fail to<br />

criminalize domestic<br />

violence despite an<br />

increase in “honor<br />

killings” and other<br />

forms of genderbased<br />

violence.<br />

drafted that, if it passes, will cause<br />

Iraqi citizens to face death or life in<br />

prison for same-sex relations, a minimum<br />

of seven years in prison for promoting<br />

sexuality, and up to three years<br />

for imitating women.<br />

Sliwa said that in addition to these<br />

violations, Iraqis are deprived of basic<br />

human rights such as education,<br />

healthcare, economy, housing, and<br />

others. “They are deprived of life,”<br />

he opines. “The situation, however, is<br />

worse for minorities since they are less<br />

in number. They don’t have armed militias<br />

and their lands have been stolen<br />

from them.”<br />

He adds that the number of Christians<br />

in Iraq has gone down from 1.5<br />

million in 2003 to currently “a number<br />

that’s too little to count.”<br />

“There’s no real census to document<br />

that population,” he said, although<br />

the U.S. State Department 2022<br />

Report claims the number is estimated<br />

at 150,000.<br />

“We seek a democratic framework<br />

for Iraq, one that would uphold human<br />

rights for everyone, especially<br />

minorities,” he said. “Iraqis deserve<br />

stability, including relief from political<br />

violence.”<br />

Sliwa reminded listeners that ISIS<br />

controlled the Nineveh Plain region<br />

from 2014 to 2016, causing the inner<br />

displacement of more than one million<br />

Iraqi citizens within their own land.<br />

“It’s a painful situation,” he said.<br />

“Imagine that, in your own country,<br />

you are displaced, living in tents. You<br />

are abandoned and forgotten.”<br />


When the region was liberated<br />

from ISIS in 2016, the government<br />

asked people to return to their homes.<br />

“But ISIS is still present there and has<br />

sleeping cells. The government is playing<br />

a political game. They are currently<br />

taking the possessions and assets of<br />

the Christians.”<br />

While the constitution promotes<br />

minority rights and protection of Iraq’s<br />

ethnic and religious diversity, intolerance<br />

and discrimination have caused<br />

the number of Christians to decline to<br />

the point where, “One day we will end<br />

up like the Jews.” Currently, there are<br />

said to be three Jews left in Iraq. “If you<br />

can’t protect your own home, then you<br />

will consider escaping from it,” he said.<br />

Why should the world care? “Human<br />

rights and terrorism are not a local<br />

or national issue,” he said. “It’s a global<br />

topic and everyone is responsible for<br />

the protection against terrorism and the<br />

protection of minorities in Iraq.”<br />

He pointed out that the United Nations<br />

did not do its duty for the minorities<br />

in Iraq the way they had for Kosova,<br />

Bosnia, or other wars that took<br />

place in other parts of the world. “The<br />

reason for that needs to be studied and<br />

addressed,” he said.<br />

During the question-and-answer<br />

portion of the event on September 2,<br />

one woman commented, “I don’t like<br />

the word ‘minority’ for us. Who chose<br />

me to be a minority? Why am I considered<br />

a minority in my own country?<br />

I’m a minority by number, but not by<br />

my history and essence. That word<br />

does not suit us.”<br />

“We shouldn’t be embarrassed by<br />

the word ‘minority’,” responded Sliwa.<br />

“Still, we should be considered a<br />

majority and get the same rights as the<br />

majority,” she countered.<br />

“No one is getting their rights in<br />

the Arab world,” was Sliwa’s reply.<br />

“So, by being a minority, we have more<br />

rights.”<br />

That’s the kind of logic that suits<br />

Iraq right now.<br />

22 CHALDEAN NEWS <strong>OCTOBER</strong> <strong>2023</strong>

Beth Nahrain<br />









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<strong>OCTOBER</strong> <strong>2023</strong> CHALDEAN NEWS 23


Changing Education<br />

Chaldeans have changed how Michigan learns<br />


Chaldeans have lived and learned<br />

in Michigan for over 100 years.<br />

During that time, they have<br />

brought with them and transmitted<br />

their culture and traditions, including<br />

how knowledge is passed down and<br />

inherited.<br />

The defining characteristics of Chaldeans<br />

as it relates to education are family<br />

and community. Much of what one<br />

learns, contrary to the popular culture<br />

and system, is borne out of an informal<br />

education within the household or<br />

workplace. This understanding helps<br />

to frame the system through which new<br />

and ancient knowledge is conveyed.<br />

The most important consideration,<br />

however, is the speed with which these<br />

systems are changing and how Chaldeans<br />

have integrated into a traditional<br />

public/private school system.<br />

In Chaldean culture, men and women<br />

play vastly different roles within the<br />

family unit, which affects how knowledge<br />

is shared with them. Men and<br />

women tend to congregate with one<br />

another and learn from members of the<br />

same group, which perpetuates and accentuates<br />

gender roles and differences.<br />

In ancient Chaldean society, for<br />

example, young women learned from<br />

their elders how to run a household or<br />

raise children. They also learned crafts<br />

and technical skills as it relates to<br />

cooking food or making clothes. Men,<br />

on the other hand, often shadowed<br />

their father’s work or took an apprenticeship<br />

with another family member.<br />

There, they learned the ins and outs of<br />

productive work that could earn some<br />

money and support the family.<br />

This system shows vast differences<br />

from the American one that we<br />

are used to. Most importantly, there is<br />

little barrier to entry. One only has to<br />

be a part of a family or the community,<br />

and they are rewarded with access<br />

to knowledge, rather than buying it<br />

through tuition or offering their time in<br />

unpaid internships. This educational<br />

practice was crucial to the first Chaldeans<br />

who arrived in Michigan and the<br />

generations since.<br />

The ribbon cutting for St. Thomas Montessori School in West Bloomfield last<br />

December.<br />

A traditional education in the United<br />

States relies on public or private schooling<br />

that keeps even our smallest children<br />

as busy as a full-time job would.<br />

This process, however, offers only a<br />

small portion of the knowledge a teenager<br />

has when receiving their diploma.<br />

Learning occurs in all parts of our lives<br />

and throughout the day, not just during<br />

the time we spend in traditional school;<br />

and even then, we learn from our peers<br />

just as much as our teachers.<br />

While the very first Chaldeans<br />

came to Detroit for jobs in the auto<br />

industry, they quickly opened stalls<br />

at farmers markets and eventually<br />

full-blown grocery stores. By sharing<br />

knowledge and educating one another<br />

in this business, Chaldeans were able<br />

to replicate this model many times<br />

over and achieve community success.<br />

Fathers passed on their hard-earned<br />

knowledge to their sons, who took<br />

over and innovated the family store.<br />


STORY<br />

At the same time, women passed<br />

around their traditions to one another<br />

and their daughters. As they adjusted<br />

to life in Michigan, Chaldean women<br />

took up various professions and duties<br />

and taught each other new strategies<br />

for going about life. They relied on<br />

one another to raise children and feed<br />

their families and recreate life that resembles<br />

the village, at least as close as<br />

they could in the great urban Detroit of<br />

the early 1900s, while their husbands<br />

and brothers earned a wage.<br />

As soon as the first Chaldean<br />

stepped foot in Detroit, however, the<br />

slow advance of assimilation began.<br />

The traditional roles played by men<br />

and women began to fade and merge,<br />

as did the memories of life in Iraq. The<br />

cultural identity of Chaldeans blended<br />

with that of other American immigrants<br />

and Americans in general; no longer<br />

were they endangered indigenous people,<br />

but a flourishing immigrant community<br />

that grew in power and wealth<br />

with each passing year. As such, Chaldeans<br />

began to enter the professions<br />

via colleges and universities. While<br />

these aspects of society were not entirely<br />

foreign to the community, as they<br />

had similar institutions in Iraq, they<br />

were previously reserved for wealthy<br />

and noble members of society.<br />

The all-important church, which<br />

was the center of village life, was transplanted<br />

to Michigan, but not without<br />

change. For the earliest Chaldeans, the<br />

institution maintained its lofty importance.<br />

In Iraq, the church served as a<br />

gathering place and pillar of the community.<br />

This is where children learned<br />

the customs of the community, how to<br />

act among their peers and elders, as<br />

well as how to participate in its traditions<br />

and religious beliefs through<br />

structured educational courses. In its<br />

early days in America, the church was<br />

essential and served a similar role, but<br />

its importance has since faded and its<br />

role in education has become similar<br />

to other Catholic churches in America.<br />

As a result, to reestablish their<br />

cultural influence and rectify imperfections<br />

in Michigan’s educational<br />

system, the Chaldean Church has<br />

begun to establish its own parallel<br />

educational system. Since the advent<br />

of COVID-19 and the subsequent pandemic,<br />

homeschooling and other nontraditional<br />

learning options became<br />

popular after public schools ceased inperson<br />

instruction. In January of this<br />

year, the Chaldean Church opened its<br />

very own Montessori school, which is<br />

open to children up to 6 years old.<br />

The Montessori method, named after<br />

Italian physician Maria Montessori,<br />

emphasizes each child’s individual and<br />

natural desire for knowledge. It uses an<br />

open style of learning rather than structured<br />

instruction and assignments,<br />

encouraging its students to engage in<br />

activities that interest them. The Montessori<br />

method as used in the St. Thomas<br />

school encourages empathy, social<br />

This report is made possible with generous support from<br />

Michigan Stories, a Michigan Humanities Grants initiative. EDUCATION continued on page 26<br />

24 CHALDEAN NEWS <strong>OCTOBER</strong> <strong>2023</strong>

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EDUCATION continued from page 24<br />

justice, and lifelong learning, according<br />

to a January article in the Chaldean<br />

News. “By God’s grace and with the<br />

community’s support, we hope to offer<br />

Pre-K thru 8th grade Chaldean Catholic<br />

education very soon,” said Fr. Pierre<br />

Konja in the same article.<br />

In our own right, Chaldeans have<br />

had a profound mark on Michigan’s<br />

education system. Members of our<br />

community have become teachers and<br />

administrators, and some have started<br />

their own educational ventures to add<br />

to Michigan’s trove of schooling.<br />

The Chaldean community in Detroit,<br />

following similar diaspora communities<br />

in the United States, has made attempts<br />

to incorporate its native language directly<br />

into the public or private school<br />

system. In Oakland County Schools,<br />

where many Chaldean students attend,<br />

a Sureth language exam is being introduced.<br />

If a student passes the exam,<br />

they can get high-school credit for<br />

knowing a second language, making it<br />

easier for recently migrated Chaldean<br />

students to succeed in graduating.<br />

At the University of Detroit Mercy,<br />

there is a full-blown Aramaic course<br />

that students can take for credit. Mahir<br />

Awrahem, a teacher who is active in<br />

the movement to restore and revive the<br />

dying language, instructs this official<br />

college course as well as other, unofficial<br />

courses, including some hosted by<br />

the Chaldean Cultural Center.<br />

St. Thomas Chaldean Catholic<br />

Church also holds its own classes to<br />

teach Sureth to those in Detroit who were<br />

not taught at home. Shamasha<br />

Khairy Foumia and Lina Yaldo<br />

developed a curriculum intended<br />

for younger children,<br />

but it can also be used as an<br />

introductory course for people<br />

of all ages who want to learn<br />

the language, according to Michael<br />

Antoon, who helps lead<br />

the program at St. Thomas.<br />

Chaldeans have contributed<br />

as much to the traditional<br />

education infrastructure as<br />

they have to a parallel one they created.<br />

Many Chaldean teachers are employed<br />

by public and private schools in our<br />

community. In many of these schools,<br />

Chaldeans dominate the student population<br />

and have a heavy influence on<br />

their school’s culture.<br />

Crystal Jabiro<br />

Around the state of Michigan,<br />

universities, high schools, and even<br />

middle schools have loosely affiliated<br />

Chaldean American Student Association<br />

groups, better recognized by its<br />

acronym CASA.<br />

Crystal Jabiro is an educator at West<br />

Bloomfield Schools. She tries<br />

to incorporate what she sees<br />

as Chaldean values, such as<br />

charity, kindness, and empathy,<br />

in the school. In addition,<br />

Crystal started the firstever<br />

CASA for middle school,<br />

bringing Chaldean culture<br />

to a variety of students at a<br />

younger age.<br />

In her U.S. history classes,<br />

where it’s relevant, Crystal<br />

teaches about immigration and acculturation.<br />

“I point out all the things<br />

that Chaldean people own here in West<br />

Bloomfield and metro Detroit,” she said.<br />

In her ancient history class, she teaches<br />

about Mesopotamia and has her students<br />

make their very own clay tablets.<br />

At Marian High School, a top private<br />

school for young women in and<br />

around Bloomfield Hills, the group<br />

has a significant influence on the rest<br />

of its school. Teachers and faculty estimate<br />

that Chaldeans comprise 30% of<br />

the student population.<br />

Claudine Denha Tella, who has<br />

taught at Marian for more than<br />

15 years and leads the CASA<br />

group, offered her insights<br />

into the Chaldean influence at<br />

the school. According to her,<br />

Chaldeans bring a lot of culture<br />

and life to the school.<br />

Since she began her work<br />

there, the number of Chaldean<br />

students rose gradually from a<br />

few students in her first year<br />

to where it is now. A lot of the<br />

change is attributed to Chaldean<br />

enrollment in feeder schools as<br />

well as the congregation factor – where<br />

Chaldeans are, others tend to follow.<br />

The students and Claudine have<br />

influenced the school in many ways.<br />

Chaldeans are well-known for their<br />

prevalence in serving in school masses.<br />

Claudine Denha<br />

Tella<br />

Above: Michael Antoon’s Chaldean<br />

class in elementary school.<br />

Left: Marian High School<br />

CASA with Claudine Denha.<br />

In the spring, Marian put on a Chaldean<br />

Mass which helped show different traditions<br />

of Catholicism to its students.<br />

“If you have no Chaldeans here,” Claudine<br />

said, “there’s no Baghiya, no Mediterranean<br />

bar, among other things.”<br />

Claudine is referring to an instance<br />

when a group of Chaldean students<br />

taught some of their teachers how to<br />

dance Baghiya. Claudine got married<br />

last year and invited some of her fellow<br />

teachers to the occasion. Those teachers<br />

implored Chaldean students to teach<br />

them the dances and other cultural traditions,<br />

like what to wear, that would be<br />

good to know for the wedding.<br />

In the past, according to Claudine,<br />

students from other minority<br />

backgrounds, like African American<br />

students or Mexican immigrants,<br />

have found a home at CASA among<br />

the Chaldeans. “Chaldeans serve as a<br />

welcoming place for other minorities,”<br />

Claudine said.<br />

Claudine also tries hard<br />

to educate her peers on Chaldeans<br />

so they can be culturally<br />

informed and know how to<br />

handle certain situations. She<br />

gave a presentation last year,<br />

with the help of the Chaldean<br />

Community Foundation, to<br />

members of Marian’s faculty.<br />

According to her, the presentation<br />

was well attended, and<br />

the school gained a lot from it.<br />

Stories like these are common, with<br />

Chaldean teachers around the state<br />

exposing others to our heritage. Without<br />

Chaldeans, education in Michigan<br />

would look very different, and many<br />

schools would lose a significant aspect<br />

of our culture.<br />

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<strong>OCTOBER</strong> <strong>2023</strong> CHALDEAN NEWS 27



company that develops standardized<br />

language exams, with the Chaldean<br />

Community Foundation, which will<br />

pay the up-front cost for Avant’s services.<br />

In addition, the CCF will identify<br />

five target language experts that<br />

are fluent in English and Chaldean<br />

who will help develop, rate, and<br />

score the assessments. The development<br />

of this exam could pave the<br />

way for similar efforts in other communities.<br />

Sponsors and members of the Assyrian Club at Niles North High School in Skokie, Illinois.<br />

Sureth in Schools<br />

Keeping the language alive<br />


The people sitting in the audience<br />

of the Niles Township High<br />

School board meeting focused<br />

all of their energy on the event that<br />

would take place in just a few minutes.<br />

They were adorned with joleh<br />

d’khomala, a traditional Assyrian outfit<br />

that shows off bright colors, embroidered<br />

patterns, and feathers coming<br />

out of the headdress.<br />

After a roll call vote by the school<br />

board confirmed the historic proposal,<br />

the room erupted in claps and celebrations.<br />

For the first time in the history<br />

of the United States, after this board<br />

meeting in late 2022, Sureth will be<br />

offered to students as a full-curriculum<br />

language option in a public high<br />

school starting in this academic year.<br />

This is one small step in a worldwide<br />

effort to maintain our native language<br />

that is often lost on first-generation immigrants<br />

and beyond.<br />

D219 Suraye is the name for a group<br />

of parents of Assyrian students in Niles,<br />

a suburb of Chicago, and the surrounding<br />

towns. Last year, the group estimated<br />

that 25-30% of students enrolled in<br />

the district are Assyrian.<br />

In metro Detroit, similar efforts<br />

have not yet been engaged, but some<br />

residents are hopeful that a proposal<br />

matching the one in Niles can find<br />

its way into our education system. In<br />

some specific schools, Chaldeans represent<br />

more than half of all students.<br />

While there is no language class on<br />

the table, Oakland County Schools is<br />

currently working to add an examination<br />

for Sureth that would allow students<br />

to test out of the language requirement<br />

in school and receive the Michigan<br />

Seal of Biliteracy upon graduation.<br />

For some Chaldean students, English<br />

is a second language, and they are<br />

required to learn it during their school<br />

tenure. Requiring a third language,<br />

especially when it is taught based on<br />

the very English that the student is still<br />

mastering, can hamper their development<br />

in more important areas. Instead,<br />

this exemption will afford students the<br />

opportunity to take other, more relevant<br />

classes that will help them master<br />

the topics of their choosing.<br />

Tina Kozlowski, an English Learner<br />

Consultant, and Jennifer Howe, a Heritage<br />

and World Languages Consultant,<br />

both work in Oakland Schools. They<br />

have been leading efforts to establish a<br />

Sureth test that would allow Chaldean<br />

teenagers to pursue opportunities outside<br />

of learning another language if<br />

they so desire.<br />

While working in the school system,<br />

they noticed the immense number<br />

of Chaldean students in the system,<br />

many of whom had a difficult<br />

time achieving the requirement to<br />

learn yet another language. It was this<br />

realization that led to the idea of an exemption<br />

exam.<br />

Kozlowski and Howe presented<br />

the case for a speaking-only Chaldean<br />

language assessment to the Michigan<br />

Seal of Biliteracy and World Language<br />

Council. The council was excited to<br />

hear about an opportunity to reach the<br />

Chaldean community.<br />

The two Oakland Schools consultants<br />

also connected Avant, a private<br />

The Sounds of History<br />

The United Nations Educational, Scientific,<br />

and Cultural Organization,<br />

otherwise known as UNESCO, lists<br />

the language as “definitely endangered.”<br />

Sureth, which has many dialects<br />

and is referred to colloquially<br />

by many names, including Chaldean,<br />

Assyrian, and Syriac, has evolved<br />

from a long history that traces back<br />

to ancient Mesopotamia and the Semitic<br />

language family.<br />

Modern Sureth is often referred to<br />

as Neo-Aramaic because of its ancestry<br />

in the Aramaic language family;<br />

however, it is heavily influenced by<br />

other languages like Akkadian, which<br />

has roots in ancient Mesopotamia.<br />

Akkadian shared an ancient form of<br />

writing called cuneiform with a few<br />

other ancient languages, like Sumerian.<br />

Cuneiform is commonly regarded<br />

as the earliest-known writing system.<br />

Around 3,000 years ago, Aramaic<br />

speakers became more prevalent in<br />

the region belonging to the Assyrian<br />

Empire. The language began to take<br />

over from Akkadian because of its easy<br />

writing system, which had 22 letters,<br />

compared to Akkadian’s cuneiform<br />

which had more than 600 distinct<br />

symbols. Although the writing was replaced,<br />

the spoken languages almost<br />

certainly blended with one another.<br />

During the Mongol invasions, the<br />

language experienced its most rapid<br />

decline as Arabic replaced it officially<br />

almost everywhere besides Northern<br />

Mesopotamia and a large pocket of<br />

speakers in Kerala, India. Even many<br />

liturgies during this time were translated<br />

to Arabic.<br />

Since globalization and the dawn<br />

of modernity, most minority languages<br />

have declined sharply. Government attempts<br />

to standardize schooling and<br />

SURETH continued on page 30<br />

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SURETH continued from page 28<br />

language further contribute to this effect.<br />

Some action, however, has been<br />

taken to preserve the rich history and<br />

function of Sureth.<br />

In 1972, the Ba’athist government<br />

in Iraq granted cultural rights to<br />

Sureth speakers and other Christians<br />

and more autonomy in their own communities.<br />

This allowed us to use our<br />

own language in schools and pass it<br />

down officially.<br />

When Saddam Hussein came to<br />

power, however, these rights were<br />

revoked. Many community schools<br />

ditched teaching the native language<br />

in favor of Arabic, leading to a substantial<br />

decline in fluency. This reality<br />

was furthered by the ongoing wars<br />

and terroristic campaigns that have<br />

destroyed our communities in Iraq.<br />

In 2004 and 2005, respectively, the<br />

Constitution of the Iraqi Kurdistan<br />

Region stated that Sureth will be the<br />

language of education and culture for<br />

those who speak it, and the Constitution<br />

of Iraq gave it the status of an official<br />

language, “in the administrative<br />

units in which they constitute density<br />

of population.”<br />


involved in this historic realization,<br />

including the parents that comprise<br />

D219 Suraye. In 2019, Atour Sargon,<br />

who is vice chair of the Assyrian Policy<br />

Institute (API), was elected to the Lincolnwood<br />

Board of Trustees as the first<br />

ethnic Assyrian in the city’s government.<br />

Lincolnwood is part of the Niles<br />

school district that implemented the<br />

language changes.<br />

“The D219 team hit a roadblock last<br />

year when it was made clear that in order<br />

for the proposed course to proceed<br />

at the local level, it required state-level<br />

approval,” Sargon said. That’s when<br />

API stepped in. At the same time as<br />

this issue came up, API was forming<br />

the Illinois Assyrian Caucus in the<br />

the longer term. Assyrian children who<br />

learn their language, she said, are able<br />

to maintain critical ties to their culture,<br />

affirm their identity, and preserve important<br />

connections with their elders<br />

and their homeland. “If Assyrian children<br />

can be exposed to their language<br />

early enough, thoroughly enough, and<br />

long enough, it can be hoped that the<br />

community’s shift away from the language<br />

can be reversed.”<br />

Ramina Samuel is an Assyrian<br />

school counselor in the Niles High<br />

School District 219 as well as the Vice<br />

President of an organization called<br />

BET KANU, which produces digital<br />

content in Sureth that is geared toward<br />

language-learning.<br />

a serious interest in learning the language.<br />

“We already have non-Assyrians<br />

who have elected to take the course next<br />

year,” Samuel said. “We need to remind<br />

ourselves that we do and can have a<br />

positive impact in the larger American<br />

community. Those students grew up<br />

in the area with Assyrian friends and<br />

would love to learn the language.”<br />

Naema Abraham was the President<br />

of the School Board when the course<br />

was approved. She originally immigrated<br />

to the U.S. in 1974 and settled in<br />

Niles in 1979. Abraham said when she<br />

first arrived in the town, there were very<br />

few Assyrians who lived there. In her<br />

own words, she became Americanized.<br />

While she doesn’t see this as a bad<br />

An Ancient Language<br />

in Modern Times<br />

Many Chaldeans in diaspora communities<br />

have launched programs locally<br />

to teach Sureth to Chaldeans who<br />

don’t speak it fluently, like the newest<br />

program at St. Thomas Church, or<br />

the Aramaic classes offered through<br />

the Chaldean Cultural Center. Others<br />

make it a point to teach their children.<br />

Yet more start programs online, like<br />

the comprehensive course created by<br />

the Chaldean Community Foundation<br />

and hosted by Mango Languages. In<br />

Detroit, the University of Detroit Mercy<br />

offers an official Aramaic course, and<br />

these credits transfer to several other<br />

universities in the area.<br />

Some organizations try to impart<br />

the language’s treasures into the<br />

public school system. In the world of<br />

school board elections and grassroots<br />

organizing, these campaigns can take<br />

years to bear fruit. But that only makes<br />

the accomplishment all the sweeter<br />

once it passes.<br />

Chaldean communities around the<br />

world can use the example from Niles<br />

for inspiration. Many people were<br />

The first D219 Suraye meeting for the school year.<br />

state legislature. Her political relationships<br />

helped get a meeting with the Illinois<br />

State Board of Education, which<br />

eventually accepted the curriculum<br />

and added it to the state catalog.<br />

In addition to its behind-thescenes<br />

work, API also organized a<br />

grassroots letter-writing campaign<br />

that saw more than 800 local residents<br />

write to the D219 school board to show<br />

their support for the course, according<br />

to Sargon.<br />

“This effort serves a growing interest<br />

and need among Assyrian-American<br />

students,” Sargon said. “Schools<br />

are major venues for language-learning.<br />

Assyrian language courses at the<br />

high school level can provide a natural<br />

context for language-learning and<br />

help establish Assyrian locally as a<br />

language spoken on a daily basis.”<br />

Sargon thinks this new course will<br />

help address the language problem in<br />

“My biggest concern is our approach<br />

as a community regarding our<br />

beloved language,” she said. “We need<br />

to get past discussions, disagreements,<br />

and focus on taking action. We have<br />

to see our language for its value and<br />

the richness that it brings to the world<br />

while shifting our mindset away from<br />

the idea that it is a dying language.”<br />

Samuel’s organization is designing<br />

the curriculum for the course. “The<br />

curriculum is being built following<br />

U.S. World Language Standards with<br />

the guidance and collaboration of experts<br />

in the field,” she said, adding<br />

that the course will be taught in a nontraditional<br />

way. “There is a great focus<br />

on attaining language skills needed<br />

for everyday function.”<br />

Another interesting factor has<br />

sprung up since the school district announced<br />

the addition of the course.<br />

Many regular Americans have shown<br />

thing, she also thinks it’s important to<br />

maintain a strong connection with her<br />

ancestral language and culture. Once<br />

more Assyrians moved to the Niles<br />

area, Abraham began to use her native<br />

language again and reengaged with<br />

the culture she grew up with.<br />

Despite this great progress, she<br />

is still concerned for the next generations.<br />

Her daughter, for example,<br />

speaks broken Sureth. Many parents<br />

in the diaspora try to avoid speaking<br />

Sureth in their own household so that<br />

their children will become fluent in<br />

English. On the other hand, this way<br />

of thinking contributes to the decline<br />

of the language overall.<br />

Abraham said she is beyond excited<br />

that the course was approved and<br />

will be initiated this school year. She<br />

also wants the accomplishments of Assyrian<br />

community in Niles to provide a<br />

model for others around the world.<br />

30 CHALDEAN NEWS <strong>OCTOBER</strong> <strong>2023</strong>


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<strong>OCTOBER</strong> <strong>2023</strong> CHALDEAN NEWS 31


The Great School Initiative<br />


In 2020, Nathan Pawl’s son, an<br />

honor-roll student, felt attacked<br />

because he wouldn’t wear a mask<br />

in school. This was in Walled Lake<br />

School District, and when Pawl, the<br />

father, tried to resolve the situation,<br />

he felt frustrated that he wasn’t being<br />

heard.<br />

Pawl then decided to act. He<br />

teamed up with Monica Yatooma, a<br />

former Oakland County Commissioner<br />

candidate, and Matthew Nelson, a<br />

Walled Lake parent, and they founded<br />

the Great Schools Initiative (GSI), a<br />

non-profit organization based in Michigan<br />

and dedicated to advocating for<br />

premium public education.<br />

Later other parents jumped on<br />

board, and the number increased to<br />

today include over 5,600 parents. GSI<br />

also quickly gained the support of<br />

several organizations, legislators, and<br />

legal institutions. “We’re now a super<br />

team,” said Maron Yousif, Organizing<br />

Director. “We go from community to<br />

community to teach parents what their<br />

rights are.”<br />

In this ongoing initiative, the<br />

group plans to host discussions at different<br />

places including churches and<br />

schools. The Chaldean Diocese has<br />

supported this initiative, and in August,<br />

they hosted a talk at St. George<br />

Chaldean Church in Troy, led by Bishop<br />

Francis.<br />

“There’s an ongoing attack on family,”<br />

said Bishop Francis. “We want<br />

to protect children’s innocence and<br />

to prevent a mental health crisis.” He<br />

discussed the laws that have been<br />

implemented, and others that the<br />

government is attempting to implement,<br />

regarding LGBTQ issues – and<br />

outlined how harmful he felt some of<br />

them are and how they affect the rights<br />

of other groups.<br />

“How did we get there?” asked the<br />

Bishop. “God’s death! The death of<br />

God in society, in the schools, in the<br />

government. It’s no longer a separation<br />

of Church and State. It’s the abolishment<br />

of the Church so that the State<br />

can become small G, god.”<br />

The Bishop encouraged people<br />

to fight back for what they believe in<br />

Bishop Francis Kalabat addressing the Great Schools Initiative.<br />

while simultaneously respecting and<br />

loving those with different viewpoints<br />

and lifestyles.<br />

“This fight is for public education,”<br />

said Yatooma, a wife and mother of<br />

three school aged children, whose<br />

public address followed the Bishop’s<br />

talk. “When someone was telling me<br />

how to live and what I could do or<br />

couldn’t do, and that I had to put a<br />

mask on my kids that they weren’t<br />

comfortable with, I wasn’t comfortable<br />

with that.”<br />

She went to the Oakland County<br />

Board of Commissioners meeting with<br />

approximately 1,500 other parents to<br />

learn what was going on and to express<br />

their views. Deciding that their<br />

commissioner was “not being the<br />

voice that she was elected to be,” Yatooma<br />

ended up running for Oakland<br />

County Commissioner.<br />

She didn’t win, but she knew she<br />

wasn’t done yet, so she prayed for<br />

what steps to take next. That’s when<br />

the door for the Great School Initiative<br />

opened. Pawl approached her about<br />

becoming one of the directors and after<br />

some thought and consideration,<br />

she accepted.<br />

One of the things they did was<br />

pursue a lawsuit for the mask mandate.<br />

They partnered with Thomas<br />

More Society, a premier not-for-profit<br />

public interest law firm championing<br />

life, family, and freedom. As a result,<br />

that mandate was dropped. From<br />

there, they went on to pursue their<br />

next initiative.<br />

“We asked Thomas More Society to<br />

support GSI, and thank God they said<br />

yes,” said Yatooma. “They pledged the<br />

first million dollars, and pledged to<br />

be our legal resource so parents like<br />

all of you can have the legal support<br />

behind them that they needed if they<br />

had issues in their schools or if the<br />

schools were violating Michigan’s MCL<br />

380.1507.”<br />

Through research, the GSI learned<br />

about a law in Michigan (MCL 380.1507)<br />

where no public school district can<br />

teach or talk about sex education in<br />

any classroom setting other than in a<br />

sex education classroom with a certified<br />

sex education instructor. Pride<br />

flags or other sex related information<br />

can’t be placed in the school anywhere<br />

outside that classroom. They also<br />

must have a sex education advisory<br />

board that must include in it a clergy<br />

member, parents, school staff, and at<br />

least one student.<br />

“If schools are not already doing<br />

this, they’re in violation of this law,”<br />

Yatooma said.<br />

The other part of the law is that all<br />

parents have the right to opt out of this<br />

classroom, partially or entirely. The<br />

schools provide an opt-out form that’s<br />

very basic and generic, claims Yatooma,<br />

whereas GSI has one available<br />

on their website that is more specific<br />

to what the parents want to opt-out of.<br />

“When we were in school, we talked<br />

about traditional reproductive health,”<br />

said Yatooma. “Now, it’s called Comprehensive<br />

Sex Education. It’s backed<br />

and funded by Planned Parenthood.”<br />

Every school has a sex education<br />

advisory board and a school board.<br />

The sex education advisory board<br />

makes the recommendations to the<br />

school board as to what the children<br />

should be taught in the classrooms.<br />

Ultimately, the school board makes<br />

the final approval. “That decision is<br />

set for seven years until the curriculum<br />

is visited again,” she said.<br />

That’s why, Yatooma emphasizes,<br />

it’s important to get involved with the<br />

sex education advisory board or for<br />

parents to have their voices heard.<br />

GSI had a follow-up meeting at Mother<br />

of God Church on September 23 to<br />

further educate the public. Parents<br />

shared their concerns.<br />

“As an adult, I’m confused by all<br />

this,” said one parent. “Then imagine<br />

what it’s doing for my children.”<br />

Another parent complained that her<br />

children were taught to accuse her of<br />

being a homophobe if she disagreed<br />

with the LGBTQ ideology. She also<br />

said that as someone who wasn’t born<br />

in the United States and is multi-lingual,<br />

it’s difficult for her to use different<br />

pronouns than what she learned<br />

when she came to the country.<br />

Pawl has been married for over 25<br />

years. He and his wife are the parents<br />

of two biological children and two godchildren<br />

from Rwanda (rescued from<br />

the genocide). He assured attendees<br />

that, “If we organize, we can be powerful<br />

for really good change.”<br />

More information on GSI may be found<br />

at greatschoolsinitiative.org.<br />

32 CHALDEAN NEWS <strong>OCTOBER</strong> <strong>2023</strong>


LIGHT<br />


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In therapy your therapist will help you to establish person<br />

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<strong>OCTOBER</strong> <strong>2023</strong> CHALDEAN NEWS 33


Lydia Michael and “Brand Love”<br />

Unveiling the Secrets of Customer Loyalty<br />


In today’s rapidly evolving world,<br />

establishing and nurturing a brand<br />

that captures the hearts and minds<br />

of consumers is an art form. One individual<br />

who has masterfully embraced<br />

this challenge is Lydia Michael, an<br />

author and brand strategist whose<br />

groundbreaking book, “Brand Love –<br />

Building Strong Consumer-Brand Connections,”<br />

released on July 25, <strong>2023</strong>,<br />

by Kogan Page, a leading independent<br />

publisher of business books, has taken<br />

the marketing world by storm.<br />

However, Lydia is more than an author;<br />

she is also the visionary founder<br />

behind Blended Collective, an awardwinning,<br />

multicultural marketing and<br />

brand consultancy based in Detroit,<br />

offering a range of services designed to<br />

help businesses thrive in the modern<br />

multicultural landscape. At the core of<br />

the company’s beliefs is the view that<br />

consumers connect with brands the<br />

same way they connect with people.<br />

Anytime people come to Lydia<br />

asking for a logo, thinking that is<br />

“branding;” she and her staff educate<br />

their clients that “branding” is about<br />

identifying the entire brand-consumer<br />

experience beyond the visual identity.<br />

“To help people understand that<br />

a brand is more than a logo,” explains<br />

Michael, “it’s essential to highlight<br />

the experiences, emotional connections<br />

and values a brand represents.”<br />

One of the ways in which products sell<br />

is to have the customer identify with<br />

them and see themselves as sharing<br />

the same values as the brand. It’s that<br />

easy — and that difficult.<br />

The company’s mission is simple<br />

yet powerful: to enrich brands and organizations<br />

with culture and emotion<br />

through marketing efforts. Blended<br />

Collective works closely with clients,<br />

harnessing the principles explained in<br />

“Brand Love” to create brand experiences<br />

and marketing efforts that resonate<br />

deeply with customers.<br />

Lydia’s journey to becoming a<br />

prominent figure in the world of marketing<br />

and branding began with a fervent<br />

interest in consumer psychology<br />

and a determination to comprehend<br />

why people form deep connections<br />

with certain brands. She was born<br />

and raised in Germany and is of Chaldean<br />

heritage, but Lydia refuses to fit<br />

in any cultural box. She sees the trait<br />

of adaptability as quite an asset in the<br />

current changing marketplace. Navigating<br />

three cultures for the better part<br />

of her life has equipped her in the right<br />

way to do business in any cultural setting<br />

she walks into.<br />

Armed with a B.S. degree in marketing<br />

and an MBA in International Management,<br />

she embarked on a mission to<br />

unravel the mysteries of brand loyalty<br />

after spending several years developing<br />

and marketing brands of jazz and hiphop<br />

recording artists internationally.<br />

Her relentless curiosity and unwavering<br />

dedication to the field led her to work<br />

with some of the world’s most iconic<br />

companies such as L’Oréal in Germany.<br />

“As customers,” says Michael, “many of<br />

our choices are based on our values and<br />

the cultures we grow up in.”<br />

“Brand Love” stands as a monumental<br />

work that distills Lydia Michael’s<br />

decades of experience and<br />

research into a comprehensive guide<br />

for marketers, brand managers, and<br />

anyone in consumer-facing roles.<br />

The book serves as a revelation, offering<br />

fresh perspectives on how to<br />

construct and foster brand loyalty in<br />

the hyper-competitive landscape of<br />

today’s market with an intersection<br />

of culture and emotion, all while realizing<br />

the importance of the human<br />

behind the brand.<br />

“The Eight Brand Love Stages”<br />

Brand love is a powerful concept in<br />

marketing that represents the deep<br />

emotional connection consumers can<br />

form with certain brands. While there<br />

isn’t a universally agreed-upon framework<br />

for the stages of brand love,<br />

many experts have identified various<br />

phases in this process. Lydia’s “Brand<br />

Love Drivers” and “The Eight Brand<br />

Love Stages” model illustrate how<br />

consumers’ relationships with brands<br />

can develop and evolve over time using<br />

both rational and emotional elements<br />

in the journey.<br />

Awareness: The journey toward<br />

brand love often begins with simple<br />

awareness. At this stage, consumers<br />

become familiar with a brand’s existence<br />

and may recognize its name<br />

or logo. This basic recognition is the<br />

foundation upon which all subsequent<br />

stages are built.<br />

Familiarity: After becoming aware<br />

of a brand, consumers may start to<br />

develop a sense of familiarity. They’ve<br />

seen the brand’s products or advertisements<br />

more than once, and they might<br />

34 CHALDEAN NEWS <strong>OCTOBER</strong> <strong>2023</strong>





have some knowledge of what the<br />

brand represents or offers.<br />

Interest: In this stage, consumers<br />

actively evaluate the brand as a potential<br />

choice. They weigh the brand’s attributes,<br />

benefits, and values against their<br />

own needs and preferences. It is the<br />

time for brands to listen to the consumer<br />

and ensure their needs are being met. A<br />

brand centers around your audience.<br />

Likeness: Once consumers have<br />

considered a brand and its offerings,<br />

they may develop a preference for it.<br />

This means that the brand stands out<br />

as a favored choice among the options<br />

available, and consumers are more<br />

likely to choose it when making a purchase<br />

decision.<br />

Lydia’s “Brand<br />

Love Drivers” and<br />

“The Eight Brand<br />

Love Stages”<br />

model illustrate<br />

how consumers’<br />

relationships with<br />

brands can develop<br />

and evolve over time<br />

using both rational<br />

and emotional<br />

elements in the<br />

journey.<br />

Trust: This is the stage where brand<br />

intimacy begins to form. Consistency<br />

is key at this point. Once trust is broken,<br />

it is very difficult to rebuild.<br />

Attachment: Beyond satisfaction,<br />

some consumers form deep emotional<br />

connections with a brand. They develop<br />

a sense of attachment, feeling a<br />

genuine fondness and affection for the<br />

brand. This emotional bond often extends<br />

beyond mere product usage and<br />

can lead to advocacy and loyalty.<br />

Love: The ultimate stage in the<br />

brand love journey is, of course, brand<br />

love itself. At this point, consumers<br />

have a passionate, enduring affection<br />

for the brand.<br />

Loyalty and Advocacy: At this point,<br />

consumers are not only loyal customers<br />

but also vocal advocates who enthusiastically<br />

promote the brand to others.<br />

Brand love is a testament to the brand’s<br />

ability to inspire deep emotional connections<br />

and long-lasting relationships<br />

with its customers.<br />

Understanding these stages of<br />

brand love can help marketers develop<br />

strategies to nurture and strengthen<br />

these connections, leading to greater<br />

customer loyalty, advocacy, brand success<br />

and profit.<br />

Key Themes<br />

Emotional Connection: Lydia posits that<br />

successful brands transcend the realm<br />

of mere utility by forging profound emotional<br />

connections with their customers.<br />

Through captivating case studies, she<br />

demonstrates how brands such as Toyota,<br />

LEGO and Huda Beauty have mastered<br />

the art of establishing emotional<br />

bonds that go beyond transactions, resulting<br />

in loyalty that lasts a lifetime.<br />

Authenticity: In a world where authenticity<br />

is highly treasured, Lydia underscores<br />

the importance of a brand’s<br />

genuine voice and values. She explores<br />

how brands can effectively communicate<br />

their authenticity and resonate<br />

with consumers who are in search of<br />

authentic connections. One of the ways<br />

that her company, Blended Collective,<br />

demonstrates authenticity is that they<br />

only use their own original photos for<br />

marketing. No stock photos here.<br />

Community Building: The creation<br />

of communities centered around<br />

a brand is a potent strategy, as Michael<br />

illustrates with examples from<br />

streetwear brands like The Hundreds.<br />

She provides actionable insights on<br />

how to foster brand communities that<br />

not only thrive but also actively support<br />

and engage with one another.<br />

Humanization: Being human is<br />

a brand’s biggest asset as customers<br />

look for companies that go beyond<br />

transactional value and know how<br />

to laugh and cry with you, building<br />

meaningful connections. The truth<br />

is consumers want brands who think<br />

and act like them. People connect with<br />

the human side of brands.<br />

Culture: Humans look at the world<br />

based on the way they perceive it. For<br />

customers, many choices are based on<br />

their values. It is also true that customers<br />

view the world based on the<br />

cultures they grow up in and the cultures<br />

that surround them. This has an<br />

BRAND LOVE continued on page 49<br />

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<strong>OCTOBER</strong> <strong>2023</strong> CHALDEAN NEWS 35


Michigan’s Upper Peninsula at the height of the Fall color season.<br />

Finding Fall Color<br />

in the Mitten<br />

Few places match Michigan’s natural Autumn beauty<br />


Michigan is such a beautiful<br />

state. We are surrounded on<br />

three sides by water – fresh,<br />

glorious water – and have the advantage<br />

of experiencing all four seasons of<br />

the year, sometimes in the same week!<br />

(You may have seen memes on social<br />

media that say, “Everyone: “You can’t<br />

have all four seasons in one week.”<br />

Michigan: “Hold my Faygo.”)<br />

Now that summer has wound to a<br />

close, it’s time to get in our cars and<br />

make the drive to see the fall colors.<br />

Our Upper Peninsula (UP) was named<br />

the “#1 Destination for Fall Foliage” by<br />

USA Today. It’s not just about the color<br />

either; autumn smells and sounds<br />

abound across the Great Lake State.<br />

The crisp autumn air and gentle postsummer<br />

wind rustling through the<br />

trees are experiences to savor. With<br />

nature trails to hike and delicious aromatic<br />

apples to munch, Pure Michigan<br />

has it all for fall.<br />

Higher elevations in the Lower<br />

Peninsula are experiencing peak color<br />

right now, and areas closest to the Great<br />

Lakes will peak mid to late October, according<br />

to the state website. It is the<br />

best time of year for a regional road trip!<br />

Leaf-peepers are encouraged to keep in<br />

mind that there are always exceptions<br />

to the rule, and that some areas have<br />

been stressed by summer weather.<br />

When you’re in Michigan, they say<br />

you are never more than six miles from<br />

a body of water, so add some sparkling<br />

turquoise water to your tour. The setting<br />

sun reflecting off a clear blue<br />

lake is an iconic scene but imagine<br />

seeing the fall color tour from the air.<br />

The highest point in the Midwest, a<br />

ski jump at Copper Peak in Ironwood<br />

accessible by an 800-foor chairlift,<br />

promises a spectacular 360-degree<br />

view called the Copper Peak Adventure<br />

Ride. Their marketing claims that<br />

on a clear day, you can see three states<br />

plus Canada at the same time.<br />

Or try the Lake of the Clouds in the<br />

UP’s Porcupine Mountains Wilderness<br />

State Park. There’s a hiking trail<br />

to match anyone’s ability, and when<br />

you reach your destination, there are<br />

views for days! There’s a reason why<br />

the Lake of the Clouds Overlook is one<br />

of the most photographed spots in the<br />

UP. The view reflected in the pristine<br />

lake is unmatched.<br />

Stay in your car and take a look<br />

at Lake Michigan from the Cut River<br />

Bridge Overlook, which is located about<br />

50 miles west of the Mackinac Bridge.<br />

The bridge stands 150 feet above the Cut<br />

River and, if you do want to venture out<br />

of your vehicle, it has access trails to<br />

both the river and the lake.<br />

In fact, Michigan has many points<br />

providing panoramic views of fall<br />

beauty, from Sunset Park in Petoskey<br />

FALL COLOR continued on page 38<br />

36 CHALDEAN NEWS <strong>OCTOBER</strong> <strong>2023</strong>


STORY<br />

Made possible with generous support from Michigan<br />

Stories, a Michigan Humanities Grants initiative.<br />

<strong>OCTOBER</strong> <strong>2023</strong> CHALDEAN NEWS 37


FALL COLOR continued from page 36<br />

to Pyramid Point in Maple City near<br />

Glen Arbor. Take a scenic drive along<br />

the shores or rent a kayak or paddleboard<br />

to get up close and personal<br />

with the vibrant hues.<br />

For a day trip, Whiting Overlook<br />

Park in Midland is just down the road<br />

from the Chippewa Nature Center and<br />

its trails. Its wide-open spaces allow<br />

visitors the opportunity to relax and<br />

enjoy the wildlife. The park is known<br />

to bird watchers across the state because<br />

rare species of waterfowl visit<br />

during migration season. Additionally,<br />

the park features an extension of the<br />

Chippewa Trail, allowing bikers, hikers,<br />

and joggers to loop through Overlook<br />

Park and connect to it.<br />

From Grand Rapids to Port Sanilac,<br />

Belleville to Belle Isle, Michigan has<br />

the most when it comes to fall color.<br />

Horizon Park is a gem you may never<br />

have heard of. Located on the shore<br />

of Belleville Lake, the site is home to<br />

the Belleville War Memorial and offers<br />

lovely lake views. Abundant trees give<br />

gorgeous fall color and with a picnic<br />

pavilion, arbor, benches, tables, and<br />

restrooms, it is a nice place to spend an<br />

autumn afternoon. The Horizon Park<br />

Waterfront offers a lakeside boardwalk,<br />

courtesy boat docks and an ADA accessible<br />

canoe/kayak launch. A favorite<br />

activity of area residents is watching<br />

the sun set over the lake.<br />

Trees are not the only thing showing<br />

color in nature at this time of year.<br />

Sunsets and sunrises are spectacular<br />

at Belle Isle’s Sunset Point. Brilliant<br />

reds, oranges and purples blend to<br />

give a showstopping scene everywhere<br />

you look at sundown; the park is surrounded<br />

by water that reflects the<br />

view, effectively doubling its glory. As<br />

a bonus, the aquarium and conservatory<br />

are now open to enjoy as well.<br />

But of course, trees and leaves are<br />

what we want to see in Michigan in fall,<br />

and there are distinct routes planned<br />

out to take advantage of the fall color.<br />

In the Petoskey area, you have the Tunnel<br />

of Trees. Closer to home, we have<br />

Addison Oaks Park in Leonard, where<br />

the beauty of the trees is reflected in the<br />

water. The park boasts a 20-mile trail<br />

system to hike, bike, or ride on horseback.<br />

What a way to see the trees!<br />

Bald Mountain Recreation Area in<br />

NOW ON SALE!<br />




©Disney<br />

38 CHALDEAN NEWS <strong>OCTOBER</strong> <strong>2023</strong>

Lake Orion gives you a chance to get up<br />

close to fall color. With a beach, streams,<br />

lakes, and 15 miles of marked trails, you<br />

can spend all day here. It has some of<br />

the most rugged terrain in southeastern<br />

Michigan if you’re up for it.<br />

Brighton Recreation Area in Howell<br />

offers a shoreline of oaks and maples for<br />

color and grassy shrub marches for wildlife,<br />

such as sandhill cranes and herons.<br />

20 miles of trails to bike and hike plus<br />

picnic shelters and modern bathrooms<br />

make this site a hit for family fun.<br />

If a local color drive is what you’re<br />

looking for, there’s a 150-mile loop<br />

from Flint, through Brighton and<br />

Bloomfield Hills. Be sure to circle<br />

through Cranbrook, a historic landmark<br />

with gorgeous grounds (and<br />

attractions like an art museum and<br />

science center). Beyond fall-prime<br />

cider mills and orchards, swing by<br />

other beautiful parks including Seven<br />

Lakes State Park in Holly, Ortonville<br />

Recreation Area, and For-Mar Nature<br />

Preserve and Arboretum near Flint —<br />

and even more in Brighton, Commerce<br />

Township and White Lake.<br />

Cranbrook House and Gardens in<br />

Bloomfield Hills are beautiful all year<br />

‘round, but they are spectacular in<br />

the fall. There are 40 acres of gardens<br />

to see on a self-guided tour, and you<br />

can even bring your dog, provided you<br />

also bring (and use) a leash!<br />

Michigan is known for its breathtaking<br />

fall foliage, and there is no<br />

better way to experience it than with<br />

a scenic drive. As the leaves turn brilliant<br />

shades of red, orange, and gold,<br />

the many bodies of water around the<br />

area reflect the stunning autumn colors,<br />

creating a picturesque landscape<br />

that is sure to take your breath away.<br />

On Pure Michigan’s site, you’ll find<br />

tips for leaf spotting and planning a<br />

fall color tour.<br />

Take a leisurely drive through the<br />

winding roads and enjoy the stunning<br />

views of the forests and lakes.<br />

Don’t forget to bring your camera and<br />

capture the beauty of fall in Michigan.<br />

Whether you’re a nature enthusiast or<br />

just looking for a relaxing weekend<br />

getaway, a scenic drive through Michigan’s<br />

fall foliage is an experience you<br />

won’t want to miss.<br />

With 19 million acres of forest, the<br />

state motto rings true: “If you seek a<br />

pleasant peninsula, look about you.”<br />

DECEMBER 2-3<br />





<strong>OCTOBER</strong> <strong>2023</strong> CHALDEAN NEWS 39


In the Beginning:<br />

Mesopotamian Beer<br />


Martin Luther is credited with<br />

saying, “Whoever drinks<br />

beer, he is quick to sleep;<br />

whoever sleeps long, does not sin;<br />

whoever does not sin, enters Heaven.<br />

Thus, let us drink beer!”<br />

Beer is one of the oldest drinks<br />

known to man.<br />

Before Adolphus Busch, Arthur<br />

Amstel, and Samuel Adams – before<br />

Budweiser, Miller Lite, Coors, Michelob,<br />

the English Newcastle Brown<br />

Ale, the Irish Guinness, the Dutch<br />

Heineken, the Mexican Corona, the<br />

Belgian Stella Artois, and the Australian<br />

Fosters, there was Mesopotamian<br />

beer from Sumer.<br />

In the writings of the ancient Sumerians,<br />

beer was considered a magical<br />

brew from the gods endowing the<br />

drinker with health, peace of mind,<br />

and happiness. They even had a goddess<br />

of beer named Ninkasi.<br />

In Babylon, beer was considered a<br />

divine drink, a true gift from the Gods.<br />

It was also a sign of wealth. The Code<br />

of Hammurabi, the ancient Babylonian<br />

set of laws, decreed a daily beer<br />

ration to citizens. Every citizen had<br />

his daily dose of beer, depending on<br />

his wealth. The drink was so respected<br />

that people were sometimes paid for<br />

work in beer, instead of money.<br />

History<br />

Beer was invented in Mesopotamia by<br />

hunter-gatherers who learned to ferment<br />

wild grains. They soon settled in<br />

villages to cultivate and brew.<br />

The ruins of Mesopotamian civilizations<br />

are full of hundreds of clay<br />

tablets and artifacts that record the<br />

methods and means of making and<br />

drinking beer; they even depict drink<br />

councils. Cups and vessels for drinking<br />

and manufacturing wine were also<br />

found. Archeologists discovered and<br />

deciphered an ode to Ninkasi, the patron<br />

goddess of brewing. This poem<br />

contained the oldest known recipe for<br />

making beer, using barley from bread.<br />

The most ancient depiction of beer<br />

drinking is found on a 6,000-year-old<br />

clay tablet showing people sipping the<br />

beverage through straws from a large<br />

communal bowl. There was no way of<br />

filtering beer back then, so their beer<br />

was thick, like porridge, and hard to<br />

drink; however, the ancients considered<br />

beer a safer alternative to water,<br />

as nearby rivers and canals often became<br />

contaminated by animal waste.<br />

Also, since alcohol is a chemical<br />

preservative, the process of fermentation<br />

boiled out harmful microorganisms<br />

while preserving nutrients<br />

absent from other drinks. Thus, it is<br />

unsurprising that, besides its use in<br />

religious ceremonies and rituals, beer<br />

was associated with the gods.<br />

Brewing Methods<br />

Every beer that you have been served<br />

at your local brewery, bar, or restaurant<br />

can be broken down into two basic<br />

types: ales and lagers. The main<br />

differences between an ale and a lager<br />

are the type of yeast used to ferment<br />

the beer and fermentation time. The<br />

four main ingredients in beer are water,<br />

malt, hops, and yeast.<br />

The ancient brewing process was<br />

quite labor-intensive and began with<br />

the malting of grains. The grains were<br />

soaked in water for several days, then<br />

dried in the sun or on hot stones. The<br />

malted grains were then ground into a<br />

coarse powder which was mixed with<br />

water to form a mash.<br />

The mash was boiled, then strained<br />

to remove the husks and other solids.<br />

The resulting liquid, known as wort,<br />

was then boiled again and flavored with<br />

herbs and spices. Finally, the wort was<br />

fermented with yeast, resulting in beer.<br />

For centuries, the basic way to<br />

make beer was to boil malted barley<br />

with water and let it ferment. Sometimes,<br />

natural yeast did the vital work,<br />

but generally, the brewers would add<br />

yeast to speed up the process. The<br />

resulting mix would then be flavored<br />

with a mixture of various herbs. Adding<br />

hops improved the chances that<br />

the beer would not spoil, but the large<br />

variety of recipes continued to make<br />

beer-making difficult.<br />

The ancient brewing process was<br />

quite different from modern brewing,<br />

as it was more of an art than a science.<br />

Ancient brewers had to rely on their<br />

senses to determine when the beer was<br />

ready to drink; they did not have access<br />

to the sophisticated technologies<br />

used in modern brewing. As a result,<br />

ancient beer was often sour or bitter<br />

and could be quite strong.<br />

The Industrial Revolution brought<br />

the mechanization of brewing. Better<br />

control over the process, with the use<br />

of the thermometer and saccharometer,<br />

was developed in Britain and transferred<br />

to the continent, where the development<br />

of ice-making and refrigeration equipment<br />

in the late 19th century enabled<br />

lager beers to be brewed in the summer.<br />

The origin of the word “beer” is<br />

somewhat unclear, but it likely comes<br />

from an ancient Germanic word meaning<br />

“barley.” This makes sense, as barley<br />

was one of the main ingredients<br />

used in early beer production. Another<br />

theory is that the word “beer” comes<br />

from the Latin word “bibere,” which<br />

means “to drink.”<br />

Iraqi Beer<br />

European style beer was introduced to<br />

Iraq shortly after World War II, when<br />

Iraq was ruled by the British-backed<br />

monarchy. Madhaf Khedairi, a wealthy<br />

Muslim businessman, bought a small<br />

brewery from a British naval vessel. He<br />

founded The Iraq Brewery Co. in 1950<br />

and began making stout. It was not<br />

profitable, so he invested more money<br />

and switched to making lager.<br />

In 1956, Khadhuri Khadhuri, a Christian,<br />

established the Eastern Brewery<br />

Company and made Farida, a nutty<br />

brew which became a symbol of Iraq.<br />

The plant was in the Zaafaraniya industrial<br />

area near Baghdad. The street leading<br />

to is still called “Bottle Road.”<br />

These two firms flourished. British<br />

colonial servants and, later, prosperous<br />

Iraqi businessmen gathered<br />

to quench their thirsts at the elegant<br />

teak bar of the Alwiya Club off Firdus<br />

Square in central Baghdad. The<br />

40 CHALDEAN NEWS <strong>OCTOBER</strong> <strong>2023</strong>

1958 revolution swept away the king<br />

and the British, but not the beer – although<br />

the deeply suspicious officers<br />

who took power considered the Alwiya<br />

Club a subversive organization.<br />

Beer not only survived the seizure<br />

of power by the secular pan-Arab socialistic<br />

Baath party in 1968, but breweries<br />

proliferated. The party nationalized<br />

the Khedairi firm in 1973-74 and<br />

in 1975-76, the government established<br />

two breweries; one in the city of Mosul<br />

and the other at Amara, an extremely<br />

strict Muslim city where workers had<br />

to be brought from China.<br />

Farida achieved peak production of<br />

thirty million bottles a year during the<br />

1980-88 Iran-Iraq war. Their slogan?<br />

“Always in bottles, never in cans.”<br />

There was another major twist of<br />

events during the sanction years of the<br />

1990s, when Saddam Hussein’s oldest<br />

son Uday started harassing the private<br />

sector companies and successful brewery<br />

owners. Uday, a sadist with a taste<br />

for cruelty, sports cars, women, and<br />

alcohol, had a complex, dark character<br />

and carried a grudge against the elite.<br />

Once you came to Uday’s notice, he<br />

never left you alone. He also had an appetite<br />

for liquor and beer.<br />

Uday, also known as Al-Ustath, had<br />

his staff call Khadhuri’s son and managing<br />

partner<br />

of the Eastern<br />

Brewery Company<br />

for a meeting<br />

in his office. In that<br />

meeting, Uday claimed<br />

the company was best<br />

run by the state and offered<br />

to buy the company with Iraqi<br />

currency. The Iraqi dinar at that<br />

time was a worthless piece of paper<br />

printed by the government during<br />

the Iran-Iraq war.<br />

Khadhuri politely tried to decline<br />

the offer, stating that the brewery was<br />

the only family business, and many<br />

family members depend upon it for<br />

their living. Khadhuri’s request to decline<br />

the offer was denied; however, as<br />

a gesture of good will, Uday told the<br />

owner’s son that he would keep him<br />

on as a plant manager.<br />

Two years later, after the sanctions<br />

squeeze and a series of reversals,<br />

Uday summed Khadhuri again and<br />

asked him to buy the company back,<br />

this time with US dollars that the family<br />

must have stashed in the west. With<br />

his own survival instincts and some<br />

knowledge of Ustath Uday’s history of<br />

deceit, Khadhuri took his family and<br />

fled to Jordan the next day.<br />

Beer and Politics<br />

The ancient Iraqis made drinks from<br />

barley and wine extracted from palm<br />

dates. The wine from palm juice was<br />

made by cutting the top of the trunk<br />

of the palm tree, collecting the resulting<br />

juice, and fermenting it for two or<br />

three days. It became quite a strong<br />

intoxicant. The drink was intended for<br />

the people, distributed at a rate of more<br />

than a gallon per person; meanwhile,<br />

the Iraqi government of today prevents<br />

it, confiscates it, and forbids it.<br />

When sanctions were imposed by<br />

the UN in 1990 after Iraq invaded Kuwait,<br />

the government imposed a 50 per<br />

cent cut in production and banned money<br />

transfers abroad. Farida carried on by<br />

obtaining malt and hops from a supplier<br />

who did not mind flouting the decree. It<br />

is reported that a Farida spokesperson<br />

said, “How he paid was not our concern.<br />

He gave us one hundred tons of malt for<br />

30,000 cases of beer!”<br />

In 1998 Farida licensed a Jordanian<br />

company to make their beer in Amman,<br />

Jordan. Farida remained privately<br />

owned until 2001, when ousted President<br />

Saddam Hussein’s eldest son,<br />

Uday, and his friends took over the firm<br />

and made soft drinks as well as beer.<br />

In the weeks after the invasion of<br />

Iraq by the Bush administration, Farida<br />

was forced to compete with imports<br />

from Holland and Turkey. Popular<br />

name brands and imports such as Amstel,<br />

Heineken, Almaza, Corona, and<br />

Budweiser dominated the Iraqi market.<br />

Until Shia fundamentalists were<br />

installed in power in Iraq by the US<br />

occupation, brewing beer was a profitable<br />

business. In 2004, Shia fundamentalists<br />

halted beer production<br />

in all breweries. Smugglers hawking<br />

chilled beer appeared beneath the<br />

Jadriya Bridge alongside peddlers<br />

selling illegal drugs. The supplies<br />

of Farida vanished. Sadly, today the<br />

breweries and shops selling beer and<br />

other alcoholic drinks have shut down<br />

or been torched. Clubs, bars, and restaurants<br />

have closed.<br />

Carrying on the Tradition<br />

Beers that were brewed in Iraq have<br />

mostly female names. In addition to<br />

the most famous of all — Farida, meaning<br />

“unique”— there was Diana, “the<br />

golden lager;” Shahrazad; Loulou’a;<br />

Kahramana; and Sanabel.<br />

In the 1940s, King Farouk of Egypt<br />

married the Iranian princess Safinaz<br />

Zulfiqar, and then called her Princess<br />

Farida. Like most other nations, the<br />

Iraqi were obsessed with the ruling<br />

royal family, and so was the managing<br />

director of the Iraqi Eastern Beer Company,<br />

who bestowed upon their product<br />

the name “Farida.”<br />

Keeping up with the Mesopotamians,<br />

some Chaldean Americans<br />

dived into the micro-brew industry<br />

in the United States. The first Chaldean<br />

known to do so was the author<br />

of this article, Dr. Adhid Miri, who<br />

opened Copper Canyon Micro-Brewery<br />

in Southfield, Michigan in 1998. The<br />

Sarafa brothers, Anmar and Haithem,<br />

entered the industry and purchased<br />

Frankenmuth Brewery in Michigan in<br />

2009. They are still going strong today.<br />

Beer and friendship go back thousands<br />

of years. William Bostwick, the<br />

beer critic for the Wall Street Journal<br />

(plum job!) once said, “Humankind<br />

was built on beer. From the world’s<br />

first writing to its first laws, in rituals<br />

social, religious, and political, civilization<br />

is soaked in beer.”<br />

Some other favorite beer quotes include,<br />

“Friends bring happiness into<br />

your life; best friends bring beer,” and,<br />

“Life and beer are very similar, chill for<br />

best results.”<br />

Cheers!<br />

Sources: Wikipedia, Al-Gardinia.<br />

com, Andrea Fallibene, Brew Master,<br />

Yaqthan Chadirji, Naiem Abid Mhalhal<br />

<strong>OCTOBER</strong> <strong>2023</strong> CHALDEAN NEWS 41



“Mommy’s Salad”<br />

When is a salad not just a salad?<br />

BY Z.Z. DAWOD<br />

“<br />

Mommy’s Salad,” as it was named by her<br />

children, is not just a salad—it’s a meal.<br />

On most dinner menus, salads tend<br />

to play a supporting role, served in small portions at<br />

the start of a meal. However, West Bloomfield resident<br />

Aida Yousif has taken the concept of a salad to a<br />

new level by elevating it to a full meal. Among family<br />

and friends, “Mommy’s Salad” is a favorite and has<br />

been at the top of the request list for many years.<br />

Background<br />

While she was raising her children, Aida’s goal was<br />

to always incorporate salads into their diet, to get her<br />

family accustomed to eating fresh fruits and vegetables<br />

on a regular basis. On the day I visited her home,<br />

Aida made her priorities categorically clear, exclaiming,<br />

“Using fresh ingredients makes it healthy, and<br />

completing it with a protein makes it fulfilling.”<br />

As far back as she can remember, Aida has not<br />

used pre-mixed dressings to complete her salads. She<br />

never cared for what she calls that “fake taste” growing<br />

up. Instead, she appreciated the timeless simplicity<br />

of lemon, oil, and salt. A sprinkle of sumac was<br />

added to give the dish a traditional homemade flavor.<br />

Over the years, as her children were growing,<br />

Aida would experiment with a variety of vegetables<br />

and fruits, in search of the perfect combination. She<br />

also discovered that the order in which ingredients<br />

are added is a factor and, according to her, makes all<br />

the difference.<br />

History and Origin<br />

Why do we call it salad? The origin of the word is<br />

“sal,” which is Latin for “salt.” Provencal usage was<br />

salada and the old French term became salade. By<br />

the late Middle English period, the modern-day spelling<br />

salad was adopted.<br />

According to food historians, salads date back<br />

to ancient Greek and Roman societies. In classical<br />

times, a simple selection of raw vegetables came to<br />

be dressed with oil, vinegar and, most importantly,<br />

salt — the key ingredient which gave this dish its universal<br />

name. As more ingredients were added, salad<br />

recipes evolved based on availability of ingredients<br />

and varying local climates.<br />

Mommy’s Salad Preparation<br />

To prepare “Mommy’s Salad,” Aida always starts with<br />

a bed of washed and chopped romaine lettuce. Romaine<br />

is one of the most common varieties of lettuce<br />

used in Iraq and throughout the Middle East, where it<br />

also happens to be the base ingredient in the Fattoush<br />

— one of the most commonly-known Middle Eastern<br />

salads. However, that’s pretty much where the similarities<br />

end because, over the years, Aida has developed<br />

her own unique blend of ingredients for her recipe.<br />

English cucumbers are added next. Aida always<br />

uses this variety because, she says, “They often have<br />

little or no seeds, with a sweeter flavor. [They are]<br />

also less watery.”<br />

After the cucumbers come the vine tomatoes.<br />

“These are definitely the best variety to use because<br />

they have a longer harvest, which gives them that extra<br />

time on the vine, making them extra sweet and<br />

juicy,” she declares.<br />

The next three vegetables are red cabbage, celery,<br />

and radish. “These have been a favorite addition<br />

thanks to their extra crunchy texture, so the salad is<br />

not soggy,” she continues. Each ingredient is added<br />

42 CHALDEAN NEWS <strong>OCTOBER</strong> <strong>2023</strong>

on top of the last and Aida does not begin<br />

mixing until the very end.<br />

Her choice of onion is the green<br />

onion, which is the final vegetable to<br />

be added. After experimenting extensively,<br />

Aida has formed strong preferences<br />

for particular varieties. “I like<br />

the green onions; while they are milder<br />

than sweet onion, they have lots of<br />

flavor,” she says.<br />

With all vegetables and the tomatoes<br />

added, the fresh herbs are next on<br />

the chopping block. First, Aida adds<br />

the curly parsley. “I prefer the curly variety<br />

because, to my taste buds, it has<br />

more of a ‘green flavor.’ Also, it has a<br />

bit of a crunch, compared to the Italian<br />

flat-leaf parsley, which tends to, sometimes,<br />

have a bitter taste.” The next<br />

herb is fresh mint. “The mint gives the<br />

salad that extra burst of flavor,” Aida<br />

adds, excitedly.<br />

Chickpeas are added next, for that<br />

all-important protein, to complement<br />

the mix and to create a nice balance<br />

with the vegetables, fruit, and herbs.<br />

After a long day, “I don’t want to eat<br />

something heavy,” Aida says. If there<br />

is not much time to cook, she tops the<br />

salad with chickpeas for protein, to<br />

make a complete meal. Chickpeas are<br />

perfect as a meat alternative.<br />

It’s worth noting that chickpeas are<br />

also known as garbanzo beans. While<br />

the two names sound completely unrelated,<br />

they are in fact the same bean.<br />

“Chickpea” is the common English term,<br />

while “Garbanzo” is a Spanish word.<br />

Whatever you prefer to call them, these<br />

beans have been part of the Middle Eastern<br />

diet for almost 10,000 years, sharing<br />

different names across many cultures.<br />

With fresh ingredients like these<br />

it’s hard to go wrong, but dressing this<br />

mixture is what makes Aida’s salad so<br />

special. Her perfected blend begins by<br />

sprinkling the sumac and dry mint.<br />

That’s right—she adds dry mint in addition<br />

to the fresh mint because it helps to<br />

expand the flavor. While the fresh mint<br />

provides the initial blast of fragrance,<br />

dry mint helps the taste to linger until<br />

the end of each delicious bite.<br />

Aida tops that with a mixture of<br />

equal-part lemon and lime juice. Next,<br />

she adds the Greek olive oil, from a treasured<br />

bottle, gifted by her son after his<br />

honeymoon trip to Greece. And for the<br />

grand finale, the Himalayan sea salt.<br />

“This salt creates a perfect balance and<br />

highlights all the flavors,” she says.<br />

RECIPE<br />

Mommy’s<br />

Salad<br />

Recipe shared by Aida Yousif<br />

Ingredients:<br />

Romaine lettuce<br />

English cucumbers<br />

Vine ripe tomatoes<br />

Radish<br />

Red cabbage<br />

Celery<br />

Green onions<br />

Curly parsley<br />

Fresh mint<br />

Chickpeas<br />

Sumac + dry mint<br />

Lemon/lime juice mixture<br />

Greek olive oil<br />

Himalayan sea salt<br />

Mixing Instructions:<br />

Add the vegetables, fruit and herbs in the<br />

order listed above. Salt must be added last<br />

to capture the flavor of all the ingredients.<br />

When the salt is added, “you will taste the<br />

magic,” infused with sumac, dry mint,<br />

olive oil and lemon-lime mixture, bringing<br />

out a more intense flavorful taste of all the<br />

vegetables and chickpeas.<br />

<strong>OCTOBER</strong> <strong>2023</strong> CHALDEAN NEWS 43

STRONG<br />

OWNS HER<br />

future<br />


Coming to America<br />

Bushra Hormis finds the<br />

help she needs<br />


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Bushra Hormis is an Iraqi expatriate<br />

who came to America and<br />

faced many difficulties, including<br />

learning a new language, translating<br />

and filling out paperwork, and finding<br />

employment. Bushra thanked God<br />

when she heard about the Chaldean<br />

Community Foundation, which aids<br />

immigrants in general, and Iraqis in<br />

particular. Said Bushra, “I would like to<br />

extend my sincere thanks and gratitude<br />

to Him for this great idea of providing<br />

useful and beautiful assistance.”<br />

Bushra reported that when she<br />

came to the Foundation, she didn’t feel<br />

they had any problems or complicated<br />

treatment, because “they receive you<br />

with the best reception.” According<br />

to Bushra, all the CCF employees are<br />

likable and patient and provide advice<br />

with great openness. “No matter how<br />

much I talk about their good qualities,”<br />

she said, “I feel like I fall short.”<br />

Bushra is so completely grateful,<br />

and wishes the entire community to<br />

be grateful, too. Whenever she enters<br />

the Foundation building, she feels as if<br />

she has entered her home, in terms of<br />

reception and cleanliness. “We thank<br />

them very much,” she expressed, “and<br />

ask the Lord to give them strength and<br />

fulfill their wishes just as they fulfilled<br />

ours for us.” Bushra faces difficulty<br />

with the language, and says it is hard<br />

for her and those like her to learn the<br />

language easily.<br />

“If it were not for the Foundation’s<br />

help,” Bushra went on, “we would be<br />

even more lost than we are now.” She<br />

feels every immigrant who needs help<br />

should come to the Foundation. “They<br />

will welcome you from the bottom of<br />

their hearts,” she explained. “And when<br />

you come to this place, you will not feel<br />

that you are dealing with an employee,<br />

but rather with your sister, daughter,<br />

and brother. It is a great project.”<br />

The Chaldean Community Foundation<br />

provided Bushra with support<br />

and assistance and communicated<br />

with other parties on her behalf. She<br />

said the Foundation saved her from<br />

embarrassment and humiliation.<br />

“When you need someone to help you<br />

once or twice, the third time he will<br />

feel uncomfortable offering you help,”<br />

she explained. “But thanks to God,<br />

this Foundation was opened for us to<br />

visit whenever we needed them at any<br />

time and for any reason.”<br />

Bushra is currently enrolled as a student<br />

in the ESL classes at the CCF.<br />

44 CHALDEAN NEWS <strong>OCTOBER</strong> <strong>2023</strong>



3601 15 MILE RD., STERLING HEIGHTS, MI 48310<br />

Breaking Barriers provides services and advocacy to those with developmental and/or intellectual<br />

disabilities, older adults, and respite to caregivers.<br />


helps better equip those with visual impairments to live independent lives.<br />


LANGUAGE, LIFE SKILLS) PROJECT – helps better equip those with<br />

hearing impairments to live independent lives.<br />


supports the family caregiver in care provision and stress reduction.<br />

BB ACADEMY – Adults with intellectual and/or developmental disabilities gather to<br />

participate in group activities, meet new friends, learn new skills and have fun while their<br />

unpaid family caregivers enjoy some well-deserved respite time.<br />

RECREATIONAL FAMILY RESPITE – Year-round themed gatherings<br />

for individuals with intellectual and/or developmental disabilities and their families.<br />

Families enjoy a safe and familiar place to meet, break bread and to socialize.<br />

SUPERCUTS BARBER SHOP – Licensed cosmetologists provide complimentary<br />

salon services for individuals with developmental and/or intellectual disabilities by appointment.<br />

M.O.B. – Matter of Balance is an evidence based cognitive restructuring group class<br />

for older adults with mobility challenges to reduce the risk of Falling.<br />

BINGOCIZE- Older adults meet and enjoy group Bingo and light exercise to<br />

socialize and improve their overall health.<br />

<strong>OCTOBER</strong> <strong>2023</strong> CHALDEAN NEWS 45


“Non-Traditional” Family-Fun<br />

Halloween Activities<br />


Every year, it seems as if Halloween<br />

is arriving earlier and earlier<br />

in the year….and I don’t know<br />

about you guys, but I don’t hate it.<br />

Halloween is such a fun way to<br />

bond with your children and get creative<br />

while you do it. While you can<br />

go the traditional “trick-or-treating”<br />

route, (an oldie but a goodie), why not<br />

put a fun spin on it and start branching<br />

out to create new ghoulie traditions<br />

you and your kids will love and<br />

remember for years to come?<br />

Here are a few ideas, many of<br />

which already exist locally. All you<br />

have to do is show up —preferably, in<br />

costume!<br />

Metro-Detroit Local Activities<br />

Classic Halloween fun for little ones is<br />

available at the Zoo Boo in Royal Oak<br />

weekends from October 7 until October<br />

22. Explore the Detroit Zoo and<br />

experience festive pumpkin displays<br />

and strolling entertainment from jugglers<br />

and magicians. Capture memories<br />

with themed photo opportunities<br />

all while visiting each of the trick-ortreating<br />

spots scattered throughout<br />

the Zoo.<br />

The entire Zoo will be open, allowing<br />

you to visit your favorite animals<br />

and watch them enjoy a treat of their<br />

own. Special Halloween-themed enrichment<br />

activities will be taking place<br />

each day at various animal habitats.<br />

For fairy tales and folklore, look<br />

no further than Troy. On Friday, October<br />

20, in Troy’s Historic Village, their<br />

annual trick-or-treating event brings<br />

the theme to life. Grab your glass slippers<br />

and hop in the pumpkin-carriage<br />

for enchanting decorations, fantastic<br />

games and crafts, and bewitchingly<br />

good trick-or-treating. As always, Village<br />

trick-or-treating is friendly, not<br />

scary, and will have teal pumpkin options<br />

available. Register in advance for<br />

reduced admission.<br />

In Sterling Heights, enjoy “Sterling<br />

Frights” Halloween on Saturday, October<br />

21 in Dodge Park. The 9th annual<br />

celebration runs from 10am until 1pm<br />

A scary movie night can keep little ghosts and goblins happy.<br />

and includes live music, hayrides, a<br />

straw maze, cider and donuts, candy<br />

for the kiddos, photo opportunities,<br />

inflatable activities, rides and more!<br />

For a Spooktacular magic show,<br />

visit Shelby Township Public Library<br />

on Saturday, October 28.<br />

Magical Halloween adventures<br />

await in this exciting, not-scary show<br />

performed by magician, comedian,<br />

and juggler Joel Tacey.<br />

There are a couple of local Boo<br />

Bashes on the same weekend so make<br />

it a “Boo Bash” weekend! The first, in<br />

Southfield Pavilion on Saturday, October<br />

28, will have ghoulish games,<br />

creepy crafts, live entertainment, and<br />

trick or treating. The event is for children<br />

ages 2-12, but everyone must purchase<br />

a ticket to enter.<br />

The second Boo Bash takes place<br />

Sunday, October 29 in Heritage Park.<br />

Dress up in your favorite costume<br />

and enjoy a hayride, making s’mores<br />

and crafts, a creepy crawly creature<br />

display, and a trick-or-treat trail. The<br />

event runs from 11am until 3pm. When<br />

registering, make sure you select your<br />

hayride time; they run every 15 minutes.<br />

Registration is required for both<br />

adults and children, and a paid adult<br />

must accompany children on hayrides.<br />

The Trick or Treat Trail in West<br />

Bloomfield happens Sunday, October<br />

29 in Marshbank Park.<br />

Get more treats than tricks this fall<br />

by walking along the safe and friendly<br />

½ mile-paved trail with your neighbors,<br />

friends, and family. Put on your<br />

costume and head out to collect goodies<br />

from costumed characters and local<br />

businesses and organizations.<br />

Halloween Fun at Home<br />

The above activities are wonderful alternatives<br />

(or additions) to more traditional<br />

Halloween activities, but if you<br />

would like to implement your own, or<br />

better yet, mix it up and do multiple<br />

activities, here are a few you can do on<br />

your own.<br />

Create a “House of Horrors.” One<br />

of the best parts of Halloween is not<br />

the candy and treats, but the creative<br />

spirit of the holiday. And one of the<br />

best ways to showcase your creativity<br />

is by turning your home into a haunted<br />

house that everyone in the neighborhood<br />

can visit and enjoy! Even if<br />

you do not consider yourself creative,<br />

with the help of YouTube, TikTok, and<br />

Google, you can find an endless slew<br />

of ideas to adapt or to build off and<br />

make your own.<br />

Boo your family, friends, and<br />

neighbors. This is a great alternative<br />

to trick-or-treating. It also allows you<br />

the opportunity to show your children<br />

that giving is more important than<br />

receiving. Put together some treats<br />

and goodies (stickers and small toys<br />

are always a fun option), drop them<br />

off on porches, ring the doorbell, and<br />

run! Think of it as trick-or-treating in<br />

reverse. You can put them in little bags<br />

and attach a fun note letting people<br />

know who is responsible for the yummy<br />

surprise. Your kids will also get an<br />

adrenaline rush from the sleuthing of<br />

it all. And we can all use a nice, fun,<br />

and harmless “sense of danger” occasionally.<br />

Happy Booing!<br />

Host a scary movie marathon.<br />

Growing up in the 80s and 90s, I<br />

couldn’t get enough of movies like Hocus<br />

Pocus and Beetlejuice. As I entered<br />

my teen years, my tastes changed and<br />

I enjoyed the likes of The Sixth Sense,<br />

Scream, and I Know What You Did<br />

Last Summer. Now as a full-grown<br />

woman in her late 30s, it is back to Hocus<br />

Pocus, The Harry Potter series, and<br />

Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find<br />

Them series. What does that mean? It<br />

means this can be a tradition for both<br />

kids and adults that will never get<br />

old. You can even do it outside with a<br />

large projector screen (check Amazon)<br />

while you sit by a campfire and make<br />

s’mores!<br />

While Halloween was traditionally<br />

enjoyed mostly by children hopped<br />

up on sugar in the past, it does not<br />

have to be that way anymore. There<br />

are so many new and exciting ways to<br />

celebrate that everyone in the family<br />

can (and will) absolutely love! Check<br />

out some of these activities yourself.<br />

When you do, be sure to take pics, post<br />

them on social media, and be sure to<br />

tag @TheChaldeanNews so we can<br />

celebrate with you! Happy Halloween,<br />

ghouls and goblins!<br />

Editor’s Note: Information and<br />

some excerpts were pulled from<br />

littleguidedetroit.com.<br />

46 CHALDEAN NEWS <strong>OCTOBER</strong> <strong>2023</strong>



<strong>OCTOBER</strong> 3 – DECEMBER 14<br />

Tuesdays and Thursdays<br />


9:30 am – 12:00 pm<br />

OR<br />


5:00 pm – 7:30 pm<br />

REGISTRATION WILL BEGIN ON SEPTEMBER 25, <strong>2023</strong><br />

To register please call CCF at 586-722-7253<br />

$40 registration fee<br />


<strong>OCTOBER</strong> <strong>2023</strong> NEWS 47

EVENT<br />

2<br />

4 5<br />

1<br />

3<br />

1. CCF’s Honoree Karam<br />

Banham with his wife<br />

Reem and family.<br />

2. Karam and Reem<br />

with Saber Ammori.<br />

3. Capturing footage<br />

of the event was<br />

Wilson Sarkis’ team.<br />

4. Left to right: Dr.<br />

Nahid Elyas, Salam<br />

Aboona, Fr. Ameer<br />

Brikha, and Tom Niami.<br />

5. Saber Ammori with<br />

family and Wireless<br />

Vison staff.<br />

6. It was a packed<br />

house at the Gala.<br />

5th Annual CCF Gala<br />


The Chaldean Community Foundation hosted<br />

its 5th Annual Awards Gala on Friday, September<br />

22. More than 700 people attended,<br />

including dignitaries from across the state of<br />

Michigan and special guests from Iraq. During the<br />

program, the CCF honored Karam Bahnam with<br />

the Servant Leadership Award. Karam, one of the<br />

founding members of the Eastern Catholic Re-Evangelization<br />

Center (ECRC) and REVIV3, is a successful<br />

entrepreneur who has dedicated much of his<br />

time to helping others deepen their faith.<br />

The CCF raised nearly $550,000 from the event.<br />

The funds raised will go towards many new and<br />

upcoming projects that include affordable housing<br />

efforts, the development of the Oakland County<br />

Campus and ongoing workforce training programs.<br />

5<br />

48 CHALDEAN NEWS <strong>OCTOBER</strong> <strong>2023</strong>


Angela Kakos<br />

Producing Branch Manager - VP of Mortgage Lending<br />

o: (248) 622-0704<br />

rate.com/angelakakos<br />

angela.kakos@rate.com<br />

2456 Metropolitan Parkway, Sterling Heights, MI 48310<br />

Guaranteed Rate Inc.; NMLS #2611; For licensing information visit<br />

nmlsconsumeraccess.org. Equal Housing Lender. Conditions may apply • Angela Kakos<br />

NMLS ID: 166374<br />

Phone: (248) 851-2227<br />

(248) 851-BCBS<br />

Fax: (248) 851-2215<br />

rockyhpip1@aol.com<br />


Professional Insurance Planners<br />

Individual & Group Health Plans<br />

Medicare Supplement Plans<br />

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Experience • Knowledge • Personal Service<br />


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Proudly servingHOUR Birmingham, MEDIA<br />

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Proudly serving Birmingham,<br />

Owned Owned and Operated and Operated Brian S. Yaldoo and surrounding Lakes and areas. surrounding areas.<br />

Bloomfield, Farmington Hills,<br />

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Each office is independently<br />

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Office (248)737-6800 Brian • S. Mobile Yaldoo<br />

Owned and Operated<br />

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Email: brianyaldoo@remax.com Associated Websites: Broker www.brianyaldoo.com<br />

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Office 737-6800 (248)737-6800 • Mobile (248)752-4010 (248) 752-4010<br />

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Email: brianyaldoo@remax.com www.BuyingOrSellingRealEstate.com<br />

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www.BuyingOrSellingRealEstate.com<br />

Advertise<br />




in our business directory section!<br />

for As little As $ 85<br />

to place your ad, contact us today! 3601 15 Mile Road<br />

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TEL: (586) 722-7253<br />

FAX: (586) 722-7257<br />

phone: 248-851-8600 fax: 248-851-1348<br />

jacqueline.raxter@chaldeanfoundation.org<br />

30095 Northwestern Highway, Suite 101<br />

www.chaldeanfoundation.org<br />

Farmington Hills, MI 48334<br />

Jaguar Land Rover Troy<br />

Sammi A. Naoum<br />

1815 Maplelawn Drive<br />

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30095 Northwestern Highway, Suite 101<br />

Farmington Hills, MI 48334<br />

CELL (248) 925-7773<br />

TEL (248) 851-1200<br />

FAX (248) 851-1348<br />

snavarrette@chaldeanchamber.com<br />

www.chaldeanchamber.com<br />

www.chaldeanfoundation.org<br />



3601 15 Mile Road<br />

Sterling Heights, MI 48310<br />

TEL: (586) 722-7253<br />

FAX: (586) 722-7257<br />

elias.kattoula@chaldeanfoundation.org<br />

www.chaldeanfoundation.org<br />




3601 3601 15 15 Mile Mile Road Road<br />

Sterling Sterling Heights, Heights, MI MI 48310 48310<br />

TEL:<br />

TEL: (586) (586) 722-7253 722-7253<br />

FAX:<br />

FAX: (586) (586) 722-7257 722-7257<br />

mariam.abdalla@chaldeanfoundation.org<br />

stacy.bahri@chaldeanfoundation.org<br />

www.chaldeanfoundation.org<br />

www.chaldeanfoundation.org<br />

BRAND LOVE continued from page 35<br />

impact on their consumer behavior, attitudes,<br />

and lifestyle.<br />

Impact and Reception<br />

“Brand Love” has garnered widespread<br />

acclaim from industry experts,<br />

marketers, and thought leaders globally.<br />

It features over one hundred<br />

brands, case studies and interviews<br />

from multicultural brands and has<br />

become a cornerstone resource for<br />

those seeking to fathom the intricacies<br />

of brand loyalty and consumer<br />

devotion. Michael’s insights have been<br />

instrumental in guiding businesses to<br />

30850 TELEGRAPH ROAD, SUITE 200<br />

BINGHAM FARMS, MI 48025<br />

TEL: (248) 996-8340 CELL: (248) 925-7773<br />

FAX: (248) 996-8342<br />

snavarrette@chaldeanchamber.com<br />

www.chaldeanchamber.com<br />

reevaluate their www.chaldeanfoundation.org<br />

brand and marketing<br />

Twitter: @ChaldeanChamber<br />

strategies, enabling them to connect<br />

Instagram: @ChaldeanAmericanChamber<br />

with consumers on a deeper and more<br />

meaningful level.<br />

“Customers, especially the younger<br />

demographic like Gen Z, care about<br />

what brands think and say, as much as<br />

they care about the product or service<br />

they buy,” explains Michael. “They don’t<br />

want to just support a company anymore;<br />

they want a company that reflects<br />

who they are and what they believe.<br />

With that said, whenever we go<br />

through moments of social change,<br />

brands should understand that they<br />

can be replaced at any given moment if<br />

their approach isn’t mindful and genuine,”<br />

she further asserts. “During sensitive<br />

times, it’s important to continue<br />

to build trust and an ongoing, healthy<br />

relationship with customers.”<br />

In this current world of uber scrutiny,<br />

one must be careful about what<br />

they say online. “All in all, companies<br />

shouldn’t be too quick to voice<br />

their opinion on social issues just to<br />

check the box,” warns Michael. “They<br />

should know what to say and when to<br />

say it, displaying a good sense of their<br />

emotional intelligence in a crowded<br />

marketplace.” Good advice for a medium<br />

that is known for its quick response<br />

time, one that requires “a balance<br />

of logic and emotion.”<br />

As we navigate the ever-evolving<br />

landscape of consumer behavior, Michael’s<br />

visionary work remains a beacon,<br />

illuminating the path toward creating<br />

brands that resonate deeply and<br />

stand the test of time. In an era where<br />

consumers are inundated with choices,<br />

“Brand Love” is a reminder that,<br />

above all, it is the human and emotional<br />

bond between a brand and its<br />

customers that truly sets it apart.<br />

“Brand Love” is available for purchase<br />

on Amazon and anywhere books<br />

are available. Connect with Lydia<br />

Michael at BlendedCollective.com and<br />

LydiaMichael.com.<br />

<strong>OCTOBER</strong> <strong>2023</strong> CHALDEAN NEWS 49


Sibling Shots<br />

Pictured immediately<br />

on the right is a photo<br />

submitted by Amanda<br />

Kajy of her children on<br />

the first day of school;<br />

next to that is Zayna,<br />

Zara and little Alexander,<br />

submitted by Wassem<br />

and Christina Ayar.<br />

All Dressed Up<br />

From left: Photo<br />

(submitted by) Jasmine<br />

Bakkal; Jennifer Konja<br />

submitted a photo of<br />

her son Cameron; and<br />

Krystal Dickow sent<br />

in photos of Matthew,<br />

Lauren, and Ava Hermiz.<br />

Back to School Celebrations!<br />

Smile for<br />

the Camera<br />

Linda Abbo sent in<br />

smiling photos of<br />

Amelia, Isaac, and<br />

Noah. The littlest one<br />

looks the happiest!<br />

Say “Cheese!”<br />

Little Ella’s photo<br />

was submitted by<br />

Sulviah Alsaigh;<br />

Annabelle and<br />

Angelo were sent<br />

in by Rita Bameko.<br />

50 CHALDEAN NEWS <strong>OCTOBER</strong> <strong>2023</strong>

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