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More Iraqi Christians Killed by Religious Fundamentalists
By Amer Hedow :: 94243 Views :: Article Rating :: Law & Order, Government & Society, World News & Odds 'N' Ends

Mosul, IRAQ - The Chaldean community in Iraq remain vulnerable victims of kidnap, torture, and murder by  Islamic fundamentalists twisted by hatred.  News of the torturous death of a 65-year-old doctor, Tariq Qattan, kidnapped recently by a terrorist group is being released by AsiaNews.   “The family paid a $20,000 ransom, but it was not enough to free Tariq,” say sources. 

Tariq Qattan is one of the many Iraqi Christians kidnapped by fundamentalists for extortion.  For the family of Nafi Haddad the outcome is just as unbearable.  Haddad was also kidnapped and killed.

Despite assurances by the Iraqi government Christians remain vulnerable targets.  “Iraqi police continue to ignore investigating or prosecuting those involved,” says relatives of the Haddad family close to the matter.  

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Chaldean Debbie Kassa Help Uncover Hidden Liabilities
By David Najor :: 75482 Views :: Article Rating :: Law & Order, Business & Finance

There are many things involved in establishing a new business. “One of the important steps is to protect yourself from hidden liabilities,” says tax clearance expert Debbie Kassa.   When buying or establishing a new business in Michigan, Taxpayers are required to meet certain obligations under Michigan law, including filing tax returns on time and with the correct payment when required.

Kassa is a decade long veteran of the Michigan Department of Treasury where she was in charge of reviewing Tax Returns from 1040's to the SBT & SUW returns. She also worked 7 years in the Tax Clearance Division reviewing Business accounts for Businesses & Corporations seeking a Tax Clearance.

Kassa advises every business owner on Successor Liability and how to best prepare or avoid such situations.  “When any Chaldean buys a business, even a portion of a business (including stock of goods or even the transfer of a liquor license), they may be held responsible for the previous owner's liabilities, regardless of any contractual language to the contrary.“

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Chaldeans Consider The Impact of Detroit's Jailed Mayor
By Ray Yono :: 98940 Views :: Article Rating :: Law & Order, Business & Finance, Government & Society

Michigan, USA – Detroit’s government tail spin has the entire nation talking about the once great city.  Residents and business owners are commenting that Detroit’s legacy of automobile and manufacturing innovation, entertainment, and education has crumpled to corruption, incompetence, and theft.  Detroit resident and and manager of Party City Beer and Wine in downtown Detroit, Martin Kouza says, “This City has challenges, but this can be a good chance for the city to change for the good.” 

The city’s mounting problems seem only to get worse.  Detroit’s embroiled Democratic Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick has been sentenced to jail time.  Once again across the nation the city has come under scrutiny, costing city business owners and residents considerably. 

The state of Michigan remains a battle ground for the presidential campaign and the city’s issues is casting a very dark cloud.  Democratic Presidential candidate Barrak Obama’s campaign made it clear that the Detroit mayor was not to attend any of Obama’s events, fearing negative attention. 

 “What is wrong with the Democratic party,” says Julie Yono, a member of the Downriver Young Democrats.  “We had a president, a New York and New Jersey governor, and now the mayor of Detroit, all disgraced over their lack of respect for women and the law.  This entire party is falling apart because of sex.  This is getting way out of control; I think it is time to leave the city and the party.”

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Chaldean Voters Ready for Michigan Primary Election Tuesday, August 5
By Sam Yousif :: 135588 Views :: Article Rating :: Law & Order, Government & Society, Opinion and Editorials, Chaldean Caucus

Michigan, USA - The Chaldean Caucus has sent out over 6,000 e-mails and mailed out over 2,000 letters to likely Chaldean voters reminding them that tomorrow, Tuesday, August 5 are the primary elections.  “We want to keep the Chaldean community informed and excited about local races as much as the upcoming presidential race,” says Lauren George, western district Chaldean Caucus representative. 

Politicians have come to realize the importance of winning the Chaldean vote says George.  “The community values democracy.  Coming from a country that would kill your entire family should you dare consider thinking and acting in democratic ways, we are hungry to participate.  Our community is active in campaigns, involved in running for politics, and we get out the vote.”

The largest population of Chaldeans in the United States lives in Oakland County, Michigan.  George says that political candidates in that county wisely court the Chaldean constituency knowing that Chaldeans can make all the difference. 

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Cell Phone Early Contract Termination Fees Illegal
By David Najor :: 102713 Views :: Article Rating :: Law & Order, Business & Finance, Government & Society

California, USA - For many Chaldeans, the cell phone is a life-line to the family.  “Long hours at work, family members pulled in hundreds of different directions, constantly on the run; that’s the life of a Chaldean,” says Joseph Jirjis, store manager of Shop Cellular in El Cajon California.  “We have to stay in touch with one another.  That is how we are able to help one another and make sure everyone is safe.  Even my grandmother has a cell phone.”

Chaldeans often complained about the additional fees cell phone companies would add to a plan.  “They nickel and dime a customer to death,” Jirjis adds.  “Based on the company, we have to follow their plan, and they have all sorts of fees.  Many of our customers get shocked to see all the fees.”

The termination fee in particular upset many customers.  Cellular phone companies would sell contracts to customers and if a customer terminated their contract early an additional fee was added.    However, a Superior Court judge in California has ruled that the practice of charging consumers a fee for ending their cell phone contract early is illegal and violates state law.

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Chaldean Pilgrims Question Carey, Ohio Safety
By Sam Yousif :: 78704 Views :: Article Rating :: Law & Order, Government & Society

Michigan, USA - Faithful Chaldean pilgrims are concerned over Carey, Ohio’s Feast of the Assumption gathering at Our Lady of Consolation Shrine this year.  For years a radical evangelical group, by the name of The Street Preachers Fellowship congregate to disrupt the Assumption procession of Catholics.  One confrontation practically ended up as a riot in 2006 raising the attention of the federal government. 

“With numerous eye witness accounts of the evangelical’s group intimidating, threatening, and ruckus behavior Carey’s Chief of Police, Dennis Yingling turns a blind eye,” says attorney Bobby Kassab.  “We have spoken with the federal authorities who have hinted that the FBI might be present since the intimidation and threats can be construed as hate crimes.”

Chief Yingling is on record blaming young Chaldeans.  Fr. Hadnagy of Our Lady of Consolation Shrine is shocked at the Chief’s stance.  “Was he even there?   I find it incredible that a police chief doesn't understand that when a band of people [The Street Preachers Fellowship], who admit they want trouble, start trouble that they're not to blame," said Father Hadnagy.

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Keeping Legal Costs Down
By David Najor :: 74406 Views :: Article Rating :: Law & Order, Business & Finance

For many Chaldean entrepreneurs, the idea of consulting a lawyer conjures up frightening visions of skyrocketing legal bills. While there's no denying that lawyers are unnecessarily expensive Chaldeans can employ these cost saving tips to keep cost down. 

First and foremost find an attorney you are comfortable talking with and can comfortably share how you feel.  The lawyer works for you and if they are intimidating or unwilling to make you comfortable don’t even begin discussing the case with them.  Lawyers are a dime a dozen, but each is betting on the fact that you will not do your research or spend the time to clarify the working arrangement, especially when it comes to billing. 

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Hands-Free Cell Phone Law Goes Into Effect
By Ray Yono :: 45250 Views :: Article Rating :: Law & Order

California, USA - Chaldeans in California prepare as new hands-free cell phone law goes into effect tomorrow.  “Anyone over 18 using a handheld cell phone while driving is going to get stopped and ticketed,” says Jason Shunia, manager of World Wireless in San Diego.

Violations result in a first-offense fine of $97 in San Diego County and $211 for a second offense.  The new state law requires adult drivers to use an earpiece, headset or speaker with their cell phones; drivers younger than 18 are not allowed to use any wireless devices – for speaking or text messaging. All drivers in California, even from other states and countries, are expected to comply.

Chaldean wireless businesses are doing their part in helping to educate consumers.  “We are passing out fliers about the new law and offering customers upgrades or earpiece options,” says Shunia.  “We want to help keep our customers safe and free from paying unnecessary fines.”

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Hidden Tax and Free Labor Claims in Michigan Bottle Return Law
By David Najor :: 136284 Views :: Article Rating :: Law & Order, Business & Finance, Government & Society, Chaldean Justice League

Michigan, USA - “Chaldean convenient and grocery market retailers are unhappy about this,” says Jalal Rayes, a prominent consultant to Chaldean food retailers in southeast Michigan.  “You can’t keep kicking small businesses.  We are tired of it.  The state already has added more taxes, more regulation, more fees for permits, more taxes for equipment, and now is considering turning our businesses into recycle centers.  They just can’t afford it.  It hurts customers, employees, and businesses that are keeping Michigan alive.”


The Michigan United Conservation Clubs (MUCC) kicked off an initiative today to convince the legislature to add a 10-cent deposit for water bottles.   This is the same group that originally pushed for Michigan to become the first state to require deposits on pop bottles.

The idea has come under harsh criticism from Chaldeans and many others in the business community, mainly those that would be responsible for handling all the new empty containers. 

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Chaldean Travel Spot Under Threat Because of Christian Cross
By Sam Yousif :: 67211 Views :: Article Rating :: Law & Order, Government & Society


Michigan, USA – Many would say it is a rite of passage for Michigan Chaldeans to visit Frankenmuth.  The Bavarian village, dubbed “Michigan’s Little Bavaria” has rich cultural and historical significance and is one of the largest tourist attractions in Michigan.  The small town is now facing legal pressure to strip all religious symbols from their village.  The legal threats hope to end the all-year Christmas displays, removal of the Cross from the town shield, and the destruction of the Cross in the city park.

Americans United for the Separation of Church and State has taken steps to challenge the city for its use of religions symbols. In response, the City Council of Frankenmuth unanimously voted to retain the Thomas More Law Center to defend its unique historical and cultural heritage.  

Christian persecution in America is not necessarily physical abuse says David Haddad, a student of world history.  He asserts that it is more psychological and systematic intimidation that will eventually lead to physical abuse.  “When a Chaldean thinks of ‘persecution’ our minds turn to the humiliating and horrible conditions we faced as a people or the holocaust our people suffered during World War I,” Haddad adds. 

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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.