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SMART is not so Smart - Chaldean awarded half-million dollars
By Rita Abro :: 82270 Views :: Article Rating :: Law & Order, Chaldean Justice League
Michigan, Detroit — A case brought to you by CHALDEAN.org back in early 2000 is reaching its conclusion.  For Chaldean Mazyn  Barash the nightmare is over and justice is finally being served.  For over eight years Barash has been fighting the Suburban Mobility Authority for Regional Transportation for infringing his Civil Rights.  This week the Michigan Civil Rights Commission has awarded nearly half a million dollars to Mr. Barash, a former Chaldean employee who was the victim of ongoing harassment and abuse by managers and co-worker of SMART because of his Iraqi descent.  

“He went through hell and he stood courageously for his rights,” says Amar Bahri, who has been watching the case closely.  “He may not know it, but he has helped the Chaldean community a great deal.  He has helped stand against such injustice that Chaldeans face every day in schools, at work, and when trying to find jobs in Michigan.  God bless him and I hope other Chaldeans are able to stand as strong as he has.”

“Nothing can replace the years of torment my client has suffered at the hands of his employer,” said Attorney and Michigan Advisory Board Chairman Shereef Akeel in a statement. “But Mazyn has been a champion in his efforts to rid discrimination in the workplace.”
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Victors of War Go the Spoils Angers Chaldeans
By Rita Abro :: 154240 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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Chaldean Refugees in Lebanon Find First Communion Therapeutic
By Rita Abro :: 72102 Views :: Article Rating :: Law & Order, Government & Society

Beirut, LEBANON  – Little has been discussed about the Chaldean Iraqi children who have been forced to deal with the challenging situations of persecution in Iraq.  Christian families under siege in the war-torn country are faced with few choices.  For those that flee, Children are often in tow having to endure the trauma of the journey.  Pain, hunger, anxiety, confusion, and fear are just some of the issue these young kids face. 

Last September, Sondrine and Raymond Khamo lived with their parents in a two-floor house in Mosul, Iraq. Their uncle had been shot in the head when he was driving, and their mother, Haifa Khamo, was afraid to let her children go outside.  Until the night they decided to flee Iraq to save their lives. 

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Chaldean Loses Millions in Store Fire
By Rita Abro :: 68665 Views :: Article Rating :: Law & Order, Business & Finance

California, USA – “Everything I have worked so hard for over the past four years, I have lost in one night,” said owner Andy Kakoz.

A crowd of about 50 people gathered across the street to watch firefighters douse the flames of a million dollar discount store in Downtown El Cajon, California. At one point, water from three ladder trucks was being poured on the roof while firefighters on the ground busted windows to pour water on the flames. Firefighters from four agencies fought to bring the fire under control. Even two hours after it started, some flames were still coming of the roof.

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Chaldeans Forced to Flee Ancient Roots
By Rita Abro :: 117948 Views :: Article Rating :: Law & Order, Community & Culture, Government & Society, World News & Odds 'N' Ends

Jdeide, LEBANON- One-way exodus for Iraqi Christian families resigned to never returning to land of their ancestors.

Reduced to sneaking in the night across borders to escape and then moonlighting to survive, most Iraqi Christian families are resigned to never returning to the land of their ancestors.

"Under Saddam we lived in safety. At least we had our dignity and a decent life," said Duleir Nuri Sleiman, father of three girls, referring to Iraq's executed leader Saddam Hussein who ruled with an iron fist.

With his eyes on Europe or the United States for resettlement, Sleiman has reached the transit stop of Lebanon, filled with worries about health care, schooling and avoiding detention by immigration authorities.

The Chaldean family lives five to a spartan room above a barber's shop in the Christian suburb of Jdeide on the outskirts of Beirut, relying on his modest income as a painter and decorator.

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Chaldean Exodus Remains Unnoticed and Ignored
By Rita Abro :: 18 Views :: Article Rating :: Law & Order, Government & Society, World News & Odds 'N' Ends

Goettingen, Gergmany — While Iraq is constantly in world news reports the plight of Iraqi Christians goes mostly unnoticed. According to the Society for Threatened People in Goettingen, Germany, Iraq currently experiences the biggest persecution of Christians of our time.

In fear of murders, bomb-attacks, kidnappings, and torture  Christians have been fleeing the country by the thousands.

Approximately 75 percent of the 650,000 Christians in Iraq have been driven from their homes. They have fled mainly to neighboring Syria or Lebanon.

A Christian community with a history of 2,000 years is in danger of becoming extinct, according to the human rights organization.

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Minority Rights Group International Ranks Iraq Second in Persecution
By Rita Abro :: 82368 Views :: Article Rating :: Law & Order, Government & Society, World News & Odds 'N' Ends
Baghdad, IRAQ - Minority Rights Group International (MRG) releases their State of the World’s Minority’s 2007 report was released last week.  The report highlights  minority groups in Iraq, including Christians and women, as among the most vulnerable in the world.

Iraq is home to a shrinking indigenous population of Christian groups with Chaldeans composing only three percent of the 26 million people in the country.

The minority report cited the September-October UNAMI (United Nations Assistance Mission for Iraq) report that noted a spike in violence against all Christians in Iraq, including churches and convents being attacked by rocket and gunfire and religious leaders being kidnapped and beheaded in October.
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Some 500 People Attend Funeral of Beheaded Iraqi Priest
By Rita Abro :: 73 Views :: Article Rating :: Religion & Spirituality, Law & Order, Government & Society
 Baghdad, Iraq -Relatives confirm that US$ 350,000 ransom was demanded. Sunni Ulema Council condemns the killing: “a cowardly murder [. . .] committed by people who want [. . .] to start a religious war”. 
 
Some 500 people attended yesterday the funeral of Fr Paulos Eskandar at Mosul’s St Ephrem Church. Father Eskandar, who was abducted on Monday, was founded beheaded some time later.
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Chaldean Californians Concerned Over Car Pool Fees
By Rita Abro :: 12 Views :: Article Rating :: Law & Order, Government & Society

California, USA – A frequent road traveled by Chaldeans in California may see their cost of living and doing business take on another increase.  A transportation policy committee endorsed a plan to raise minimum fees that solo commuters pay to use the Interstate 15 car pool lanes in off-peak hours. 

Thomas Sitto is upset over the principle and not necessarily the fee.  “I don’t mind having to pay for using the road, of all fees and taxes, I love the pay-to-use type taxes, but the reason for this tax is what upsets me.  Government mismanagement is the cause and we have to pay for it.  Their ineffectiveness is what created a deficit.  Their solution is to make us, the people pay for their mistakes.  In the real world, businesses have to learn to be leaner and provide better services and find creative ways to do more with less.  With government it is just the opposite; their incompetence is rewarded by raising fees, taxes, and tolls.  That is not right.  Any official who votes for an increase in any tax or fee triggered by their incompetence should be tossed out on their rear.”

Interstate 15 serves as one of the major thoroughbass for many Chaldean travelers.  The minimum rate for using the express lanes would rise from 50 cents to $1.25 under the proposal, a 150% increase.  FasTrak users will also experience a huge jump in fees.

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Terror Campaign Targets Chaldean church in Iraq
By Rita Abro :: 20 Views :: Article Rating :: Religion & Spirituality, Law & Order, Government & Society

Mosul, Iraq – There were two new attacks against the parish of the Holy Spirit in Mosul in as many days. A convent of Dominican Sisters has also been struck. These are the most blatant signs of a campaign that aims to throw Christians out of Iraq. Then there is the problem of emigration, a problem afflicting also Shiites and Sunnis.
 
The Chaldean church of the Holy Spirit in Mosul appears to have become the target of a terror campaign. After attacks that took place at the end of September, a group of men opened fire on the place of worship on 4 and 5 October, injuring one of the guards who is currently in hospital.

The violence and continual attack on Christians have been ongoing.  The parish of the Holy Spirit has been attacked since August 2004. As many Iraqi church figures have already claimed, the attacks are part of a twofold strategy.

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Radical Muslims Prove the Pope’s comments by Attacking Chaldean Churches
By Rita Abro :: 17 Views :: Article Rating :: Religion & Spirituality, Law & Order, Government & Society
Baghadad, Iraq -- A Chaldean and Assyrian churche is attacked in Mosul and Baghdad by Muslim militias.  The fanatics have forced Christians to pin up posters condemning the words of Benedict XVI in Regensburg. But religious leaders, including al Sistani, have expressed their friendship with the Apostolic Nunciature. And the representative of the Iraqi Shiite leader would like to meet the pope.
 
The start of the month of Ramadan in Iraq was marked by violence but also by significant openness by al Sistani towards the Vatican. Yesterday, two churches, one in Baghdad and another in Mosul, were struck. Recently, the country has seen an escalation of attacks against Christians, thought by some to be the reaction of radical Muslims to the speech of the pope in Regensburg. However, religious leaders, among them al Sistani, have shown solidarity and understanding towards the Vatican. Moreover, the representative of the highest religious exponent of Iraqi Shiites has expressed the desire to be able to visit the Pope.
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Abductions of Iraqi Christians Hit Close to Home
By Rita Abro :: 21 Views :: Article Rating :: Law & Order, Government & Society, World News & Odds 'N' Ends

Guest reporter Kelly Thornton of the Union-Tribune reports:

 

California, USA -- B.E. was hoping for a call about a house-painting job. Instead, the Iraqi immigrant living in El Cajon heard his sister's voice, with terrible news from Baghdad.

A family member had been abducted by masked gunmen demanding a $30,000 ransom.

Kidnapping is nothing new in Iraq since the fall of Saddam Hussein's regime, but lately there's a new twist: Some of the targets are Iraqi Christians likely to have family members in the United States or Europe who can pay to save them.

B.E. – who insists on anonymity because of concern for his family – began frantically seeking help from relatives and friends in El Cajon. Family members in Chicago, Detroit and Europe did the same

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Chaldean Priest Kidnapped in Baghdad Released
By Rita Abro :: 25 Views :: Article Rating :: Law & Order, Government & Society, World News & Odds 'N' Ends

Baghdad, Iraq – Sources close to www.CHALDEAN.org have confirmed the release of a Chaldean priest Fr. Saad Sirop.    The priest was kidnapped nearly a month ago.  The Chaldean Patriarch had held recent meetings with the president of Iraq.  Rome had also sent numerous appeals to Iraq requesting increased efforts to free the priest.  

Fr Saad Hanna Sirop, 34 years, was kidnapped by a gang of criminals shortly after Vespers Mass on 15 August. The young priest, ordained in Rome in 2001, is in charge of the theological department of Babel College, the country’s only university of Christian religious studies, in Baghdad.

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Allan Mansoor Offers Two $10,000 Rewards
By Rita Abro :: 18 Views :: Article Rating :: Law & Order, Government & Society

California, USA -- Mayor Allan Mansoor and fellow City Council members hope two $10,000 rewards for information leading to the arrest of those responsible for last month's two drive-by shootings will help police solve the crimes.

This week, the council approved offering the rewards.

The shootings occurred about two weeks apart, within a half a mile of each other.

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