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Government & Society

Chaldeans Offer Stability and Growth to Michigan's Economy
By Ray Yono :: 10003 Views :: Government & Society
Fewer immigrants are choosing to make Michigan their new home, according to figures released by the Department of Homeland Security.  Only Michigan and Wisconsin are experiencing a drop while other Midwest states show a steady growth.  The nearly 5% decline is attributed to the poor job outlook, poor educational environment, and highly regulated and prohibitive sole proprietorship business environment in both states.
 
A saving grace to Michigan’s challenges in growing a contributing population base are the Chaldeans.   “Michigan is just second to California in terms of its attraction of Iraqi immigrants,” said Kurt Metzger, director emeritus of Data Driven Detroit.
“Primarily the Chaldean community... established itself in metropolitan Detroit,” Metzger said. Studies from Data Driven Detroit reveals that the metro Detroit’s Chaldean population hovers well over 100,000 with a strong majority being entrepreneurs and professionals.  

The hard working and highly professional base is helping Michigan considerably.  Metzger emphasizes that maintaining, and attracting immigrants to the state is critical for revitalizing Michigan’s cities.
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Chaldeans Rally Community to Vote for Santorum
By Huda Metti :: 24904 Views :: Community & Culture, Government & Society

Rick Santorum greets the crowd at the St. William Dad Club 23rd Annual Lenter Fish Fry at St. William Catholic Parish in Walled Lake on Friday, February 24, 2012

Michigan, USA – U.S. Presidential candidates see Michigan as a game changer as they try to persuade voters for their support.  “Mitt Romney, a former teen resident of Michigan, thought he all but had Michigan in his wallet.  Quite an elitist and entitled mentality if you ask me,” says Calvin Denha.  “Romney is in the pocket of politicians and really not for the people,” Denha adds.
 
Chaldeans are overwhelmingly turning towards Rick Santorum as their favored candidate.  Chaldean community leaders and Chaldeans politically knowledgeable favor Santorum’s consistency, ability to work with both parties, and experience in government.  Chaldean conservatives love Santorum for his values and integrity.  Chaldean independents and entrepreneurs appreciate Santorum’s understanding of small business challenges and government overreach.  The minority of Chaldean liberals even like Santorum for his fairness, statesmanship, and willingness to listen.

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Card Playing Chaldeans Question American Freedoms
By Paul Gori :: 29556 Views :: Community & Culture, Government & Society, Chaldean Justice League

California, USA – “Chaldeans fortunate enough to make it to the land of milk and honey are getting a genuine swig of sour milk and crusty honey,” says Joseph Badoun.  California, El Cajon officials have been in debate on how to deal with Chaldean senior citizens gathering to play cards.  “This whole ordeal is a joke.  These are men in their final years, many of who are church elders, and community fathers playing cards in a community center.”

Badoun may laugh-off the ordeal, but to Chaldean seniors the issue has been unsettling and stressful.  El Cajon officials have launched aggressive crackdowns targeting Chaldeans and there gathering places.   Calls to the Mayor’s office initially went unanswered as to the reason or motive behind the crackdowns. 

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Chaldean Leaders around the World Gather in California
By Sam Yousif :: 28976 Views :: Government & Society, Chaldean American Professionals

Californai, USA - Chaldean leaders from around the world recently met in Rancho San Diego, California to discuss the ongoing challenges the Christians of Iraq continue to face.  Frustrated over the lack of support and reluctance to support Christians of the Middle East, the representatives gathered to discuss options.  Chaldean leaders from as far as Australia, Canada, UK, Syria, Jordon, Iraq, Lebanon, Egypt, Mexico, Norway, and the US made up over 15 countries of delegates.  A historic gathering they called it. The first of its kind -- at least in modern memory, they said.

More than 300 people attended the local conference, which took place March 30 and April 1.  Including Ambassador Peter Bodde, assistant chief with the U.S. Embassy in Iraq, spoke at the conference.  Bodde told the group that the U.S. government is working to safeguard Chaldeans and other minority communities in Iraq. A U.S. deputy assistant secretary of state also attended, telling the group that the Obama administration has requested funds from Congress to promote the safety of Christians in Iraq.

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Massacre of Martyrs
By Amer Hedow :: 36997 Views :: Law & Order, Government & Society, World News & Odds 'N' Ends

Baghdad, IRAQ – The massacre of Iraqi Christians by Muslim fanatics sent cold shivers of shock across the Western world.  “The heinous killing of women and infants shows what Islam is turning into,” says Fathel Barto, a Chaldean ambulance driver in Iraq through a translator.  “They have become the poison of a snake killing helpless and defenseless women and babies for no reason.  These people do not fight and they do not harm anyone.  These ignorant and barbaric men have sinned against Islam.  Any true believer of Mohammed would be just as mad and openly condemn them and who they are.”

Barto’s assumptions seem to have fallen on deaf ears as Muslim leaders and politicos remain silent and apathetic to what has come to be known as the Massacre of Martyrs.  The attack on the congregation of Our Lady of Salvation Catholic Church was the bloodiest single attack on an Iraqi Christian church in recent history. The latest toll now reached nearly a hundred dead and 78 tragically wounded.  Many of the dead and dreadfully wounded were women, toddlers, and small babies attending Sunday services. 

American Chaldeans who have been calling on Washington DC have been turned away with sympathetic nods and comments of condolence.  “They are snakes with forked tongues these politicians.  All they do is talk and write letters showing they share our concern, but do nothing of substantial,” says David Kuza of Rochester, Michigan.  “I voted for Gary Peters and Carl Levin.  People in our community said these politicians can help us.  Instead all they do is write hallmark letters.  If they are serious about helping us let them take a stand by not voting or blocking any new legislation unless serious action is taken to protect Iraqi citizens.”

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Chaldean Grocers Troubled by Democrat Pelosi’s Push for Mail Order Shipments of Alcohol
By David Najor :: 26629 Views :: Business & Finance, Government & Society

Washington DC, USA - House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., is championing her home state’s wine industry in an effort to defeat bill that would give states greater control over how Alcohol is distributed.   The move is causing a battle on Capitol Hill as California winemakers are pitted against beer wholesalers and distributors.   Pelosi and her wine caucus is working to stop the Comprehensive Alcohol Regulatory Effectiveness and by doing so, open the flood gate of out-of-state alcohol distribution via direct shipment.

Direct shipments of alcohol cut out the distributors and middlemen, allowing wineries to sell straight to customers who may have visited in person or browsed via the Internet.  Wineries, in particular, have considered direct shipping across state lines a retail boon.

Many states enacted laws that either prohibited direct shipping or severely restricted it.  “This legislation is urgently needed to help states defend against lawsuits that are motivated by economic gain … and are not in the best interest of the health, safety and welfare of the public,” Nida Samona, the chairwoman of the Michigan Liquor Control Commission, told a House panel recently.  (
To read Nida Samona's Testimony before the House CLICK HERE.)

The fight pits One hundred and seven lawmakers......

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US State Department to Address Chaldeans on Refugee and Resettlement Issues
By Amer Hedow :: 37128 Views :: Career & Education, Government & Society, Chaldean Caucus

Michigan, USA – “I hope the State Department is prepared to defend its position with hard facts.  We are tired of hallow promises.  Chaldeans have not seen any serious action from the U.S. about protecting the rights of minority in Iraq or helping the hundreds of thousands of refugees scattered across the world,” says Anthony Aboud of Sterling Heights, Michigan.  “I pray every Chaldean concerned about what is happening in Iraq and what is happening to Chaldean refugees around the world joins me on June first.”

On Tuesday, June 1, 2010, from 6:30 – 8:30 p.m., Michael Corbin, Deputy Assistant Secretary of State, Bureau of Near Eastern Affairs, Special Coordinator for Iraq's Minority Communities will be speaking at the American Polish Cultural Center located on 2975 E. Maple Road (corner of 15 Mile & Dequindre), Troy, MI 48083.

عامة

 وزارة الخارجية الأمريكية

نائب مساعد وزيرة الخارجية

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Killing of Chaldeans Continue Despite Promises of Added Security
By Amer Hedow :: 43165 Views :: Law & Order, Government & Society, World News & Odds 'N' Ends, Chaldean Justice League

Chaldeans grip the cross bars as the roller coaster of their existence takes another steep and deadly plummet.

Baghdad, IRAQ – Yet another targeted religious execution of Iraqi Christians takes place in northern Iraq.   An armed commando storms the neighborhood of al Saa, near the monastery of the Domincan fathers on a killing rampage killing 55 year old Chaldean businessman, Sabah Yacoub Gurgis.  The well known entrepreneur owned an eyeglass factory, employing many Arabs and minorities in the city near the Tigris River. 

Neighboring Christians are terrified that the killings will continue.   The shooting is just the latest in a long trail of blood that has forced hundreds of Chaldean families to flee the city toward the plain of Nineveh or abroad. A spiral of violence that grew in the months preceding the parliamentary elections of  March 7, so much so that Msgr. Emil Shimoun Nona, Chaldean archbishop of Mosul, spoke of an "Endless Via Crucis".

Iraqi Christians continue to escape the country as killings and religious persecutions intensify.  “The election and Easter season has given the crazy killers motivation to wipe out all the Christians in Iraq,” says Husam Ashaki, who barely managed to survive the rampage killing in the city.  “We are all trying to figure out how we can leave.  We are not even safe in north.  They follow us here and are very thirsty for Christian blood.  No mater if it is a man, woman, or child.  They kill even small children and babies if they know they are Christian.”

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Iraqi Minority Remain Targets Despite Government Claims of Safety
By Sam Yousif :: 44587 Views :: Law & Order, Government & Society, World News & Odds 'N' Ends, Chaldean Justice League

Baghdad, IRAQ – Iraqi Christians march in Mosul and Baghdad and hold prayer vigils in Kirkuk to draw attention to unending murders of minorities in Iraq.   In recent weeks alone, minority men, women, and children have been abducted, killed, raped, harrased, and tortured.  Those surviving have returned with ominous messages that Christians are no longer allowed to be in Iraq. 

Mgr Emil Shimoun Nona of Mosul confirmed that hundreds of families have left Mosul in the last few days, about 600 in a community of some 4,000 people, according to a United Nations report.  The prelate said, “about 400 families have escaped.”

Chaldean Catholic Archbishop Basile Georges Casmoussa of Mosul led over 1,000 Iraqi Catholics in a silent protest on February 28 to demand that the government act to put a stop to violence against Christians there.

The United Nations estimated that 683 Christians fled Mosul between February 20 and February 27. Chaldean Catholic Bishop Emil Shimoun Nona of Mosul estimated that "about 400 families" had left the city's community of 4,000 Christians.

“The daily massacre suffered by the Christian community … is met with indifference from the authorities,” said Archbishop Casmoussa on the eve of the march. “We will be fasting and praying for peace and for the survival of Christians.”

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Iraq’s Holy Innocents
By Guest Reporter :: 36471 Views :: Government & Society, Opinion and Editorials, World News & Odds 'N' Ends

Iraq, Baghdad – National Review Online’s author, John F. Cullinan, calls into light the sorrowful predicament Chaldeans and other Iraqi Christian minorities have been forced to face.  In his compelling article Cullinan highlights how Chaldeans continue to remain a casualty of American foreign policy - both by and under the leadership of then President Bush and equally now by current American President Obama. 

Cullinan writes about how this small faithful group of Iraqi pacifist has greatly contributed to the tapestry of Iraq’s once great success in tolerance, understanding, and diplomacy is facing near extinction. 

The American-led war in Iraq has savaged the native Iraqis.  A group known for centuries as a root of hope for Iraq is being squashed with little or no sympathy or concern by America. 

Iraq’s Holy Innocents  by John F. Cullinan

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Dog Gone: Florida Health Dept. Tosses Cody Onto The Unemployment Line
By Britney Hermiz :: 37279 Views :: Health & Fitness, Business & Finance, Government & Society

Florida, USA - If you ask the Clearwater BP gas station owner Karim Mansour, he will say they had a bone to pick with Cody and they won.  Florida’s health department inspector says the dog will no longer be able to join his owner to work. 

“Successful Chaldean business owners are known to fight for their employees.  It is perhaps one of the biggest reasons as to why they are successful.  You treat your workers great, they are loyal and work hard to make the business a success,” says Angela Yousif, a member of Clearwater areas Chamber of Commerce. 

Mansour, received a warning from the Florida Department of Health on Thursday, informing him that Cody would have to go or all of the store's food - mostly bottled soda, candy and other snacks - would be declared unfit for consumption.

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Store Owners Faced Civil Lawsuit After Beating Store Robber
By Paul Gori :: 39556 Views :: Law & Order, Business & Finance, Government & Society

Michigan, USA – “It is hard enough to make a living in Michigan. Now we have to give up the right to protect ourselves when our lives are being threatened.  This state is getting way out of control,” says Andrew Gabara, of Clinton Township. 

Gabara’s comments are in light of the ongoing frustration Chaldeans in Clinton Township are feeling regarding the Nick’s Party Stop robbery.  “This state is backward.  They were protecting themselves form being robbed and now they are being sued.  Where is the justice?”

Scott Zielinski, who was found guilty and sentenced to prison for the November 2007 robbing Nick’s Party Stop in Clinton Township sued the store owner and employees from prison for beating him up during the robbery.  John Acho, and three employees including Acho's nephew Justin Kallo, who shot Zielinski twice were named in the suit. 

Zielinski, 23, filed the lawsuit in April after he was shot while robbing the store on Cass Avenue, south of 19 Mile Road, near Chippewa Valley High School. Zielinski, wielding a knife and wearing a mask, entered the store about 7:30 p.m. Nov. 15, 2007, and demanded cash and cigarettes. As he fled out the front door carrying a bag of money and cigarettes, he was shot in the arm.

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Iraqi Police Unable or Unwilling to Stop Christian Attacks
By Amer Hedow :: 62600 Views :: Law & Order, Government & Society, World News & Odds 'N' Ends

Baghdad, IRAQ — Iraqi Chaldeans site that the Najaf local government are playing politics with their lives and livelihood.  “They are telling the people of Najaf that we are not worthy to live in the city, just to win votes,” says Dawood Abdel, a well known Chaldean political commentator in Iraq. 

Local Iraqi authorities have outlawed alcohol in the province of Najaf, home to the holiest Shiite city, saying it contradicts the principles of Islam.  The decision to ban the sale and consumption of alcohol highlights efforts by religious parties to win support with Shiite voters before crucial parliamentary elections this January are causing an alarming spike in attacks against Iraqi Christians.

Alcohol consumption is forbidden under Islam, and liquor stores have often been targeted by both Sunni and Shiite extremists in Iraq.  The stores are widely owned and operated by Iraqi Christians, and the move by the Najaf provincial council is seen as credible proof of the fears among the Christian minority and secular Muslims that religious extremism is growing in the country.

The Najaf provincial council's decision followed a similar measure taken in August by authorities in the southern port city of Basra.  Shortly after the measure in Basra, Christians were targeted and forced to leave the city. 

Khalid al-Jashaami, a Najaf provincial council member says, "In order to protect the holiness of the holy city of Najaf, the provincial council of Najaf decided unanimously to ban the selling and transit of all kinds of alcohol." Al-Jashaami adds that violators will face trial. 

The continual intimidation of Christians grow as Muslim extremist move into government roles, changing laws and justifying the seizure of Christian property.  “They do this slowly and try to hide what they are doing.  They attack any printing house that writes about the laws being written.  They have burned the warehouses and kidnapped the family members.  The police do nothing, but say we are investigating,” says Abdel.

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American CIA Director Goes on Sales Pitch
By Sam Yousif :: 16764 Views :: Government & Society

Michigan, USA -  “Chaldeans remain unsure about the sincerity and commitment of the current U.S. administration policies,” says Mathew Qashat, 26, of Wayne State University.  The part-time law student rejected an invitation to join other Chaldean Christians, as well as Muslim Arabs, to hear CIA Director Leon Panetta speak.  The outspoken law student has studied Middle Eastern affairs and plans on practicing international law.  Qashat is fluent in three languages and stands to be the type of candidate the U.S. would want to appeal to as a new chapter in Middle Eastern diplomacy is being built. 

“To me, it is a dog and pony show.  What this administration needs to make clear is that they can be trusted.  With each new administration we have promises being broken and backs being stabbed.  Obama’s administration needs to show real tangible support, both in America and abroad in areas of security, economic recovery, and accountability.” 

Panetta visited Dearborn in an effort to boost CIA recruitment efforts in Arab and Muslim communities, where the agency hopes to attract more applicants with Middle Eastern language and cultural expertise.

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Chaldean Dearborn Michigan Resident Freedom Stripped
By Sam Yousif :: 39300 Views :: Law & Order, Government & Society

Michigan, USA – Chaldeans are outraged at the city of Dearborn and the Dearborn police department.  “The police and city officials are cowards,” said a disgusted Yousif Salem.  “They are afraid to defend the rights of this great country and their weakness shames every real American.  I am an American citizen and my rights were stripped away because they are afraid.  The Dearborn police and city are cowards.  Arabs in Iraq and Iran are risking their lives for freedom and in Dearborn Michigan, American born wimps run and hide like cowards.”

Salem’s outrage comes on the heel of a court ruling prohibiting his friends from passing out Christian literature at the Dearborn Arab International festival.  The 14th annual Dearborn Arab International Festival is expected to draw tens of thousands of visitors Friday through Sunday to the city that has the Detroit area's greatest concentration of Arab-Americans.

“We are upset with festival organizers.  They have now tainted this once beautiful cultural festival as being un-American,” says Salem.  “They are hurting Islamic Arabs as well as Christian Arabs by having the group thrown out.  This is not good for Arab and American relations.  There is only so much more Americans will take from these radicals in their own country.” 

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