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Author Releases New Fictional Book on the Plight of A Chaldean Family
By Sam Yousif :: Tuesday, December 2, 2008 :: 40415 Views :: Sports, Art, and Entertainment

Michigan, USA – Publisher, author, and journalist Donna Gundle-Krieg releases “From Desert to Detroit.”  The book is an award winning educational story about a young Detroit Chaldean named Nadia Sefro and her family leaving a country in turmoil to a country of dreams.  However, the Sefro family find themselves facing a new set of challenges in Detroit. 

This story takes place during the time of the 911 disaster from the point of view of the child Nadia.  The book is filled with interesting characters of all ages.  The book is recommended for ages 8 to adult, with particular appeal for those in 3rd through 6th grade, and contains valuable social studies lessons.

The book’s back cover explains, when Nadia Sefro and her family come to Detroit from Iraq, they hope to improve their life and get away from the many problems of the “old country.” 

However, life in Detroit presents the family with a new set of challenges.  Nadia’s older siblings Mark and Maryam have a terrible time adjusting o their new schools, and neither can seem to make friends.  Nadia makes many new friends, but never gets to play with them because she has to work at the family store.

Then the real problems begin.  Maryam is held up by armed robbers one night as she is working the cash register.  Nadia’s friends all turn against her when they associate her family with terrorists who kill many people in New York City.  Then the unthinkable happens: someone who is angry at all Middle Eastern people sets fire to the family store, destroying everything they own.

As the fire ravages their home and business, Nadia and her sister Maryam are the only hope to save their family members.  Will all seven Sefros escape?  How will they manage to survive after they lose everything they own?  Will their friends and neighbors support hem, or will they continue to associate the Sefros with terrorists?

“From Desert to Detroit” is a story of hope and new beginnings, of forgiveness and love our so-called enemies.  Hopefully this will forever change the perception of children and adults who believe that all Middle Eastern people are inherently evil. 

To order an author signed copy of the book, please e-mail and copy to receive a discount.  

St. Joseph, MI USA

St. Joseph Chaldean Catholic Church
2442 E. Big Beaver Rd.
Troy, MI 48083
Tel: (248) 528-3676
Fax: (248) 524-1957

Congregation Organizer:
Rev. Michael J. Bazzi

Church Constructing Pastor:
Rev. Sarhad Y. Jammo

Current Pastor:
Msgr. Zouhair Toma

Parochial Vicar:
Rev. Ayad Hanna

 Current Pastor: Msgr. Zouhair Toma

Msgr. Zouhair Toma (Kejbou) was born in Telkaif, Iraq in 1947.  He was ordained a priest in Baghdad, Iraq in 1968, and accepted his first assignment to serve the community of Baquba.  The Monsignor’s leadership skills and organizational talents along with his mastery of theology were immediately evident.  He later assisted Sts. Peter and Paul in Al-Salehia, and St. George in New Baghdad.

In August, 1978 Monsignor Toma was called to serve the growing community of persecuted Chaldeans finding refuge in Australia.   Being the fist Chaldean priest to arrive in Australia he quickly established a parish for the Chaldeans in Sydney to serve their social and spiritual needs.  The parish was named after St. Thomas the Apostle and built a rectory. 

In 1989, for his incredible work he was granted the title of Monsignor, Chaldean Patriarchal Vicar for Australia and New Zealand.  Continuing his passionate work to serve the Chaldean community the Monsignor moved the Parish Center to a more accessible location and built a large church campus featuring a modern community center, residence quarters, and administrative offices in 1995. 

In 2003, Monsignor Toma added a magnificent church to replace the previous one in order to serve the fast growing community and also opened two other centers.  The first was Our Lady Guardian of Plants in Melbourne, and the second was Mar Addai the Apostle in Auckland, New Zealand.  Mar Addai in New Zealand included two very large churches along with rectories and community centers.  Overseeing the Patriarchal Vicariate for 28 years, he managed to inspire six more priests to help minister to the fast growing Chaldean community. 

In August 2006, Monsignor chose to assist the St. Thomas the Apostle Diocese in the U.S. as more Catholic churches were being built in America and address the growing need.  On October 2006, Monsignor was incardinated and appointed Pastor of St. Joseph Parish in Troy.