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Iraqi National Museum Reopens With Christian Art Hidden Away
By Neda Ayar :: 105273 Views :: Article Rating :: Sports, Art, and Entertainment, Community & Culture, Government & Society

Baghdad, IRAQ - Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al Maliki attended the inaugural re-opening of Iraq’s National Museum.  “The opening is another sign of Iraq’s stabilization,” says Thair Yatooma, of the Iraqi Citizen Council of Art, an advisory group of the National Museum.  “The opening of the National Museum in Baghdad is a message from the government to foreign tourists: you are welcome." 

The Prime Minister cut the ribbon at the official reopening saying, "We have ended the black wind (of violence) and have started the reconstruction process." This morning, the first tourists entered the museum: for now, only guided tours for groups are allowed; it will take time to reopen the museum to private citizens.

However, some say the Museum must bring the Christian history of Iraq back into the light.  The National Museum had a long standing policy of prohibiting any display of Christian art to the general public.  The section dedicated to the Christian community could be visited only by foreign tourists; it was not accessible to Arab Iraqis. “The Christian presence is profound, deeply grounded, setting down roots over centuries; Saddam Hussein may have protected it, he always concealed it from the eyes of ordinary citizens" says Yatooma.

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Chaldean Basketball Grows With Talent and Time
By Ray Yono :: 55329 Views :: Article Rating :: Sports, Art, and Entertainment

Illinois, USA – Chaldeans and basketball may become as natural as American and apple pie.  The sport is taking hold of the community as some of the most dedicated fans show their support.  However,   becoming fans and sitting on the sidelines is rarely enough for the ambitious community. 

Adel Meram a former basketball coach in Baghdad Iraq taught fundamental basketball in the early 60’s to Iraqi students.  Meram says it seems basketball is returning to its historic roots when dealing with the Chaldean community.  Today the Chaldean Basketball League and the Chaldean Church Sports League boast one of the largest and most competitive and action packed youth leagues in the community. 

Meram says the natural competitive drive of Chaldeans soon pushed them on the court to take on their school peers and friends in parking lots and playgrounds.  Meram goes on to share that basketball was invented in 1891. The inventor of the game was a Canadian clergyman, James Naismith.  Fr. Naismith invented basketball as an alternative to the calisthenics and marching of his faith filled students to keep fit in the winters.  

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Chaldean Cashes in on Obama Inaugural Frenzy
By Sam Yousif :: 48357 Views :: Article Rating :: Sports, Art, and Entertainment

Washington DC, USA – Chaldean businessman Andy Shallal looks to capture and convert that energy into capital.  Not the type of energy that turns on your lights or moves your car.  The energy of millions of people pouring into the Washington DC to participate in Obama’s Inauguration is prime for celebration and prime for businesses. 

Although Andy Shallal, a native of Virginia has never been to an inaugural ball he sure plans to make the best of this one.  Shallal owns a number of restaurants around the DC area and is known in private circles as a peace proponent. 

So in celebrating the excitement and capturing the energy of the crowds, Shallal is hosting is own star-studded inaugural ball that just might capture the new president’s attention. 

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After Attacking Armenians with Stereotypes, NBC Goes After Chaldeans and Jews
By Rita Abro :: 84196 Views :: Article Rating :: Sports, Art, and Entertainment, Government & Society

California, USA – “They think they can bring back their ratings by fanning stereotypes and prejudices.  They are purposely picking on Chaldeans and Jews hoping to get better ratings.  NBC is using a strategy that is harmful and sick,” says Jenna Bittis of California. 

The Chaldean woman is upset over NBC’s new pseudo-reality show.  “They deliberately place outspoken and flamboyant mothers against insecure bimboes craving attention in their latest whorish hook-up show,” says Bittis.  “NBC is dead and desperately reaching at anything to try and make a come-back.”

Momma's Boys, the NBC dating-show-with-a-twist from Ryan Seacrest seems to have both Jewish and Chaldean viewers upset.  The show attempts to make a statement about prejudice using two middle aged overprotective mothers of implied Jewish and Chaldean descent unintelligently defending their wishes.  Obviously the shows producers are orchestrating outbursts for ratings in a Jerry Springer like fashion simply for ratings.  

"The sparks soon fly!" as the ad promotes when Khalood Bojanowski, a Michigan Iraqi Catholic mom says she needs her son to end up with a white Catholic girl: no black, Asian, Muslim or Jewish bachelorettes need apply. Another bachelor's mom, Esther, is a stereotypical smothering-Jewish mom, right down to the Yiddishisms, the kvelling over her "mensch" son and the Coffee Talk accent.  This rubs many of the girls the wrong way and with contestants encouraged to put on a good show for the reality cameras – the Jerry Springer like attacks begin. 

The aftermath is a viewer conditioned to believe the over-the-top Chaldean and Jewish stereotypes.

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Victors of War Go the Spoils Angers Chaldeans
By Rita Abro :: 140668 Views :: Article Rating :: Sports, Art, and Entertainment, Law & Order, Business & Finance, Government & Society

New York, USA – Chaldeans and Assyrians in American are appalled at Christie’s Auction House of New York.  “They are war profiteers moving the spoils of war,” says Chaldean art collector Enas Namoo from his downtown Chicago office.  The Chaldean art collector, well known for his Mediterranean art collection, was furious for what he saw in the catalog of the ancient art and antiquities auction at Christie's next week.  Among the collection was a pair of neo-Assyrian earrings established as artifacts of Mesopotamia.  “This belongs in the museum, not on an auction block,” said a angered Namoo. 

Along with Namoo, Iraqi authorities have also appealed to have the pair of neo-Assyrian earrings returned.  The 9,000–10,000-year-old earrings are expected to bring in up to $65,000, but Iraqi officials say they are part of the treasures of Nimrud and thus rightfully the property of Iraq.

Chaldean archeologist, art curator, antiquity expert, and former director of the Iraq Museum Donny George says, “I am 100 percent sure they are from the same tombs from Nimrud. I witnessed the excavation."

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Author Releases New Fictional Book on the Plight of A Chaldean Family
By Sam Yousif :: 48505 Views :: Article Rating :: 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.

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Chaldean Soccer Superstar Justin Meram Storms To Nationals
By Tommy Hanna :: 83772 Views :: Article Rating :: Sports, Art, and Entertainment

Arizona, USA – Justin Meram, the greatest offensive player in the history of the ACCAC takes his team to victory once more.  Chaldeans are known for their incredible soccer skills and the hot dry desert air must have made Justin Meram’s DNA tingle.  

The Yavapai College sophomore star dominated the conference and helped advance the undefeated Roughriders to another Soccer Nationals. 

Meram, a 6-foot-1 attacker who arrived in Prescott by way of Eisenhower High School in Shelby Township, Mich., mesmerized the team his soccer ability.

The soccer sensation sets a record of 49 goals in a career. This year alone he has 28 goals and 17 assists, tied for the single-season program record.  Meram led the conference in assists and tied for the lead in goals in conference play with teammate Francis Khamis with 21. The unstoppable Meram received the ACCAC and Region 1 Player of the Year awards. He's one of only five players in the nation with over 28 goals in 2008, and his 20 assists are the most among the top five scorers.

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Can A Difference Be Made By Chaldeans Calling for Action?
By Mary Esho :: 99655 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.”

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A Catholic Woman Returns to the Church
By Cheryl Dickow :: 120717 Views :: Article Rating :: Living & Lifestyle, Sports, Art, and Entertainment, Religion & Spirituality

Archbishop Charles Chaput of Denver Colorado recently addressed a group gathered in a in Sydney, Australia. The topic was, “Mission Possible: This Double Life Will Self-Destruct.” In a chillingly honest fashion, Archbishop Chaput shares his thoughts on our lives today, as Catholics, and how we ought to realize our need to live wholly and completely for Christ.

We can't live a half-way Christianity. The organizers of tonight's event were right [those who named it ‘Mission Possible: This Double Life Will Self-Destruct’]. Every double life will inevitably self-destruct. The question then becomes: How are we going to live in this world? How can we lead a Christian life in a secular age? We can't really answer that question until we get some things straight about what it means to be a Christian. And that means first getting some things straight about Jesus Christ.

This is another one of the by-products of our secular age: we don't really quite know what to think about Jesus anymore. A few years before he became Pope Benedict XVI, then-Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger wrote something that is unfortunately very true. He wrote: "Today in broad circles, even among believers, an image has prevailed of a Jesus who demands nothing, never scolds, who accepts everyone and everything, who no longer does anything but affirm us. . . . The figure is transformed from the 'Lord' (a word that is avoided) into a man who is nothing more than the advocate of all men." 

We all know people -- friends or family members or both -- who think about Jesus in these terms. It's hard to avoid. Our culture has given Jesus a make-over. We've remade him in the image and likeness of secular compassion. Today He's not the Lord, the Son of God, but more like an enlightened humanist nice guy.

This is, very much, the message in Catholic radio host, author, and speaker Teresa Tomeo’s new book, “Newsflash! My Surprising Journey from Secular Anchor to Media Evangelist.” Teresa did her best to live a half-way Christianity and found the great many ways in which such a life will self-destruct.

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Internationally Famous Singer Invited to Encore Chaldean Concert Performance
By Sam Yousif :: 130971 Views :: Article Rating :: Sports, Art, and Entertainment, ECRC, Chaldean Churches

Michigan, USA – “The man is an inspiration to the whole world.  The Pope climbed down the stage to kiss him,” says Gabby Kajy.  “I didn’t know much about him until I saw him at the ECRC festival at St. Thomas.  I bought all his CD’s which he signed with his feet.  He was incredible and I have been a fan ever since.” 

Kajy is talking about the famous Tony Melendez.  It was on September 15, 1987, he played his guitar for Pope John Paul II in Los Angeles. Born without arms, he performed a touching song entitled Never Be The Same. When the Pope approached him from the stage to kiss him in appreciation, it seemed to reflect the sentiments of the entire country.

Never Be the Same was an appropriate song Melendez sang for the Holy Father, for those few moments changed Tony Melendez' life and brought his unrestrained abilities as a guitarist into national attention. It seems to be a fitting place for a man who has spent his life putting personal confidence above his handicap.   The international marvel has been featured on Life On A Rock, The 700 Club, Good Morning America, The Today Show, CBS This Morning, NBC Nightly News with Tom Brokaw, Home Life Television, and Entertainment Tonight to name just a few of his countless television appearances. 

Melendez is being called back to an encore presentation for the ECRC festival to be held at St. Joseph Chaldean Church campus in Troy this Friday, September 26.   The concert is open to the public and tickets are being subsidized to the bargain of only $10 for a two-day concert pass. 

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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.