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Rebuilding of Iraq Offers Hope and Peace
By Sabah Hajjar :: Monday, March 5, 2007 :: 61097 Views :: Government & Society, World News & Odds 'N' Ends

Fallujah, IRAQ - Chaldeans are taking an active role in rebuilding Iraq.  Although Chaldeans have been shut-out of the Iraqi government, that hasn’t stopped courageous Chaldeans from finding ways to rebuild the land they love.  “This land is our father and mother.  We were born from this ground.  We have a bond with this land.  We are the native people of this land for nearly ten thousand years,” says Ibtissam Halibu. 

Halibu’s husband currently serves in the Iraqi government as a field engineer and is one of the nearly thousands of Chaldeans serving Iraq.  Chaldeans are helping the U.S. Military and the Iraqi police bring peace to a nation torn by insurgents bent on creating instability and chaos.

Even though the U.S. Military receives little recognition for the redevelopment effort in Iraq, American Soldiers and Marines continue to risk their lives improving the quality of life for all Iraqi’s.  “I have seen first hand of new schools, health clinics, and police stations being built everyday,” says Walid Poules, an engineer and construction contractor.

Fallujah was the once hotbed of violence but, now grows with job opportunities and reconstruction efforts.  A $28 million project to build a new sewerage system is just one of the recent projects that has given hundred’s of Iraqi’s new jobs.   Sattar Saed, the engineer managing the project is thrilled that insurgent activities have decreased.

In last November's U.S.-led offensive in Fallujah, hundreds of insurgents were killed. The Iraqi police have enforced curfews, checkpoints and other stringent security measures to prevent the city from falling back into insurgent hands.

The promising seeds of stability are starting to return as Fallujah has a 21-person city council.  Meanwhile, insurgents have not given up on Fallujah. American and Iraqi personnel still remain on alert as they work to rebuild.  The insurgent danger continues to loom in the shadows as as democracy takes hold. 

Col. Charles M. Gurganus, commander of the 8th Marine Regiment, which oversees the region that includes Fallujah, said the security measures have ensured that "Fallujah probably is the safest place in al-Anbar province. . . . We keep a pretty tight clampdown on this place."  Many people here say they do feel safer and are excited about the rebuilding efforts.

In an effort to generate work in Fallujah, Iraqi officials have identified over$100 million worth of projects, including a $30 million electricity distribution system, $7 million in water system upgrades and the sewerage project. New schools, police stations, clinics and water treatment plants are underway.

The Taleb Janabi Hospital, a privately-owned facility, will receive $150,000.  "This is truly a collaborative effort here. It was great creative problem solving to address the immediate needs of Fallujah," U.S. Army Col. Terry Parker. 

In addition to the renovations at Janabi, the following are ongoing and upcoming medical projects in Fallujah:

  • Fallujah General Hospital is slated to receive a new x-ray machine and a CT scan, diagnostic equipment used to generate anatomy imaging, in the next couple of weeks from the Iraqi Ministry of Health.
  • Three medical clinics have been rehabilitated and opened and five new clinics are scheduled to be built, according to the ministry. 
  •  A total of $6.2 million, which was supplied by the ministry, has been earmarked for the Fallujah General Hospital and medical clinic renovations in and around the city. 
  • The Ministry of Health has also recently allocated $40 million for a new general hospital in Fallujah.

Halibu’s wife receives monthly letters from her husband writing about the wonderful changes.  “I love receiving his letters.  There is hope and a renewed energy.  I don’t know why all these wonderful things in Iraq are not being covered in the American news.”  In his latest letter Halibu’s husband writes about how a group U.S. Marine were acting out children stories, doing magic, and handing out school supplies.  Halibu keeps all her husbands letter in a protected photo album. Halibu lifts up the photo album patting the soft protective cover saying, “This is the truth of what is happening in Iraq.  Our hope grows.” 

Sabah Hajjar is the Iraqi Foreign Correspondent for www.CHALDEAN.org.  Mr. Hajjar has served as diplomatic attaché and is currently writing a book titled “The Birthpains of a Great Nation.  The Marriage of Iraq and America.”  Mr. Hajjar lives in California with his wife and three children.  To leave comments or contact Mr. Hajjar please e-mail info@chaldean.org

Mother of God Church, MI USA


Mother of God Chaldean Catholic Church
25585 Berg Road
Southfield, MI 48033
Tel: (248) 356-0565
Fax: (248) 356-5235

Founding Pastor:
Msgr. Geroge Garmo in 1972
The current church building
was completed in 1980.

Rev.  Manuel Yousif Boji

Parochial Vicar:
Rev. Wisam Matti

Daily:  10:00 AM Chaldean
Tuesdays:  5:30 PM Chaldean/English 
Saturdays:  Ramsha 4:45-5:20 PM; Mass 5:30 PM Chaldean   
Sundays:  8:30 AM Arabic, 10:00 AM English, 12:00 PM Chaldean

 1st Friday, Sodality Prayers 11 AM – 12 PM
1st Saturday, Immaculate Heart Sodality Prayers 4:00 PM

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 Rev. Manuel Yousif Boji

Fr. Manuel was born in Telkaif in the suburbs of Nineveh, Iraq in 1946.   Reverend Manuel Boji entered the Chaldean Seminary in Mousl in 1958 and was ordained a priest in Baghdad in 1968.  His first assignment was in Telkaif where he served for 19 years.  In July 1987, Fr. Manuel was assigned  to the United States  where he assisted Mar Addai Parish in Oak Park, Michigan for six months.  From March 1988 until April 1990, he was administrator of Sacred Heart Parish in Detroit, Michigan.  Fr. Manuel completed his Masters and Doctorate work from both U of D Mercy and Wayne State University while assigned to the United States.  In May 1990, Fr. Manuel was assigned to Mother of God Parish and is currently serving there as Rector of the Cathedral. 

Parochial Vicar: Rev. Wisam Matti

Fr. Wisam was born in Basrah, Iraq on October 30, 1971. Completing his education in Iraq and serving in the military Fr. Wisam then entered the Chaldean Seminary in Baghdad in 1984.  He was ordained a priest in Karemlees a suburb of Nineveh on July 4th 1997.  His first assignment was in Mosul where he served for five years.  On January 21, 2002, Fr. Wisam was transferred to the Unites States and was assigned to Mother of God Parish where he is currently serving as parochial vicar.  Fr. Wisam, earned his Master in Pastoral Theology on April 28, 2007 from Sacred Heart Major Seminary in Detroit, Michigan.