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Can A Difference Be Made By Chaldeans Calling for Action?
By Mary Esho :: Tuesday, October 28, 2008 :: 105486 Views :: Article Rating :: Sports, Art, and Entertainment, Government & Society, World News & Odds 'N' Ends

California, USA – An unlikely duo seem to breaking through the information blackout of Iraq’s desperate situation.  Contrary to news coverage that Iraq is healing, few if any major media outlets are covering Iraq’s minority persecution. 

Chaldean Catholic Cardinal Emmanuel-Karim Delly of Baghdad, Iraq, expressed sadness over what he viewed as a chronic lack of concern and concrete action to stop the violence and protect all of Iraq's citizens.  Greater attention and pressure are needed so that the Iraqi government can "be just and fulfill its duty toward its citizens," he said.

Echoing the Cardinal’s call urging everyone to help call attention to the injustice, Chaldean star rapper Timz, winner of the Hollywood Film Festival's "Video of the Year" and nominee for the MTV Video Music Awards' "Video of the Year," releases another hip-hop masterpiece titled “Do Something.”  A powerful call to action that begins with a hypnotic beat mixed with middle eastern flair beginning with a message from Timz himself to “Change the world, not the channel.”

“We have a Cardinal appealing to world leaders and we have a creative musical genius speaking to the young.  It brings me real hope.  When Chaldeans work together nothing is impossible,” says Nancy Bashi of San Diego.  “There is so much that so many people can do.  God uses the most unlikely of people to change the world.  Anyone who can help, should go their local Chaldean church and share their ideas, get involved, help end the massacre of Christians in Iraq.”

The newest effort from Timz serves as a wake up call to those who have grown numb to the reality of life, and replaced it with the 'reality' of television.  Timz's inspirational message to the public during these difficult times is simple - Change the world, not the channel.

"Do Something" picks up where Timz's previous video, "Iraq," left off. "Iraq," which was the  winner of the Hollywood Film Festival's "Video of the Year" and nominee for the MTV Video Music Awards' "Video of the Year," got right in our faces and exposed the shocking and ugly truth of the Iraq war.

Media outlets across the world covered Timz and the video, but not all of the attention was how Timz would have liked it. "My new video touches on a lot of the negative and unfair press I received following the release of the Iraq, many of which questioned my patriotism. But it's the opposite. It's my love for America that inspires me to continue to speak out and ask for change," says Timz.

“The media has been coloring so much of reality.  Everyone talks about the failure on Wall Street.  They should also add the colossal failure of the media to fairly and accurately cover real issues in the world.  Instead they force opinions and propaganda down your throat, rather than just reporting the facts.” says Bashi.

Cardinal Delly, an elderly spiritual leader, who considers himself a foot soldier for Christ has been traveling all over the world urging world leaders to act.  The Chaldean Catholic patriarch, who was attending the Oct. 5-26 Synod of Bishops on the Bible, said he was thankful for the increased attention and concern for the plight of his country's Christians.  "But I would have liked this (concern) to be shown before the last minute," he said in an Oct. 23 interview with Catholic News Service.

Cardinal Emmanuel-Karim Delly of Baghdad, Iraq, said he hoped the tragedy of violence and threats against Christians in Mosul finally would spur world leaders to work together to bring peace to his country.

Saying he was referring to "not just the Americans, but the whole international community," the cardinal said, "Up to now you have been silent and you have not spoken about us despite all of the sufferings we have had to bear the past three or four years and more than half a century."

Iraq is one of the poorest countries in the Middle East, he said, despite being rich in natural resources such as water and petroleum.

The cardinal called on people not to be "greedy toward their brothers and sisters who live in a foreign country like Iraq," but for politicians and people of good will to band together for the good of all humanity.

The patriarch said what Iraq needs is not just material aid, but the concerted "moral support" of all world leaders to ensure peace and normality return as soon as possible.

Greater attention and pressure are needed so that the Iraqi government can "be just and fulfill its duty toward its citizens," he said.

The rights of all Iraqis, including those of the Christian minority, must be protected, he said. "We Christians don't want privileges; we want our rights in full, and our rights are to live in peace and tranquility," and to have the same rights as "our fellow Muslim, Arab, Kurdish brothers and sisters," he said.

The Iraqi government "wants to do the right thing," but it is weak and unable to carry out its promises, said Cardinal Delly. The government "must be supported," not just by the United States, but by the whole world; even the smallest or poorest nation could do something, he said.

He said that, unfortunately, there are people in Iraq who do not have the country's best interests at heart, but perhaps that would change "when they see the whole world loves Iraq and then they, too, will love their fellow brother and sisters with whom they have lived for many years."

The violent massacres and mass emigration of Christians from Mosul was considered deplorable, but few world leaders bothered to act.  Iraqi prime minister promised the Christian delegation "he would do whatever was possible because he himself said Iraq cannot live without its Christians," the cardinal said.

While the Patriarch of Chaldeans meets with world leaders, he also calls each and every individual to take action in whatever way, talent, or effort they can muster to help end injustice, in Iraq and the areas where they live. 

American born, Bashi feels the media is washing America’s heritage of defending the innocent, helping the meek, and being the world’s moral leader.  “The media pressures you and makes you out to be bad, if you take a stand against immorality.  They label you unpatriotic, judgmental, and hateful.” 

Bashi excitedly adds that she loves the end of Timz video, “because it is the essence of how you are treated by the media when you take a moral stand.  They cut you off, they silence you, and refuse to report the issues they know will bring to light the immorality and decadence that plaques America.”

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St. Thomas, MI USA

St. Thomas Chaldean Catholic Church
6900 Maple Rd.
West Bloomfield, MI 48322
Tel: (248) 788-2460
Fax: (248) 788-2153

Founding Pastor:
Rev. Hanna Cheikho

Current Pastor:
Rev. Frank Kalabat

Parochial Vicar:
Rev. Jirjis Abrahim

Rev. Emmanuel Rayes, Retired  


Rev. Frank Kalabat
 

Rev. Frank Kalabat was born in 1970 in San Diego, California and entered St. Francis Seminary of San Diego, California.  The admission to the Catholic seminary made him the first born U.S. Chaldean to enter an American seminary.  In 1992, Fr. Kalabat continued his studies at Sacred Heart Major Seminary in Detroit, Michigan.  In July 1995, shortly after graduation he was ordained as priest by His Excellency Bishop Ibrahim N. Ibrahim.  

Fr. Frank chose Mother of God Parish in Southfield, MI. as his first assignment serving the Chaldean community as an associate pastor for half a decade.  In 2001, Fr. Kalabat was elected to serve as Pastor of St. Tomas Parish in West Bloomfield, Michigan where he remains today.   

Rev. Jirjis Abrahim

Rev. Jirjis Abrahim was born in Telkaif, Iraq in 1942. Upon graduation Fr. Abrahim was admitted to St. Peter Chaldean Seminary in Baghdad, Iraq.  After a decade of studies and numerous degrees, Fr. Abrhim was ordained a priest in 1967.  He chose to continue ministering in Baghdad, Iraq.  There he was appointed the headmaster of the catechism at Mother of Sorrows Cathedral.  Fr. Abrahim also assisted St. Therese Church in Baghdad until 1978.  Afterward he was asked to assist St. Joseph Church in Baghdad and was appointed Parochial Vicar from 1978-1992. 

In 1992, Fr. Abrahim was called upon to assist the growing Chaldean population in Michigan.  Upon his arrival he was assigned to St. Joseph Church in Tory, Michigan.  Two years later Fr. Abrahim was asked to become the pastor of a Parish community in Windsor, Canada  where he remained the parish pastor until 2001.

Continuing demographic changes in Michigan required Fr. Abrahim to return to St. Joseph Parish in Tory as a Parochial Vicar, where he remained until 2006.  In 2006 he was elected to St. Thomas Parish as Parochial Vicar in West Bloomfield, MI. where he currently serves the Chaldean community.

 

Rev. Emmanuel Rayes

Rev. Emmanuel Rays was born in Araden, Iraq in 1930.  He studied at St. John Dominican Seminary and was ordained to the priesthood in 1954.  The Chaldean catholic ambassador ministered in northern Iraq from 1954-1963, in Syria and Lebanon from 1963-1980, and in the United Stated from 1980 to the present day.
 
Form 1980-1983, he was appointed associate pastor at Mother of God Parish in Southfield, Michigan.  From 1983-1989 he served as pastor at Sacred Heart Parish in Detroit, Michigan.  During the early 1990’s he ministered to the Chaldean community in Farmington Hills and was at St. Joseph Parish in Tory where he was Parochial Vicar until 2000.

Although Fr. Rayes retired in 2001, he remains active in serving the community.  He is the author of many articles in Arabic and is the editor-in-chief of the Al Mishal and Al-Tariq magazine.  He has translated and continues to translate many books from French and English into Arabic.