Thursday, May 26, 2022
Latest News & Information

Current Articles | Archives | Search

Entries for 'Rita Abro'

Chaldean Scholar Awarded Catholic Woman of the Year
By Rita Abro :: 164287 Views :: Article Rating :: Career & Education, Community & Culture, World News & Odds 'N' Ends, Chaldean Churches

London, UK – Chaldean scholar, author, entrepreneur, and philanthropist Dr. Suha Rassam was named as one of the four Catholic Women of the Year at a reception in London this past week.  The founder of the charity Iraqi Christians in Need (ICIN) was honored among an assembly of some of the world’s most notable leaders and in the presence of the Papal Nuncio Archbishop Faustino Munoz.

Dr Rassam is originally from Mosul in northern Iraq. She is a medical doctor and professor of Medicine in the University of Baghdad. Arriving to England in 1990 she worked in London hospitals until her retirement when she took an MA in Eastern Christianity at the school of Oriental and African Studies in the University of London.

Dr. Rassam, author of the book 'Christianity in Iraq' set up ICIN  last year with a group of fellow Iraqis, to provide financial and spiritual support to Iraqi Christians both in Iraq and in countries such as Syria and Jordan, where many are now refugees.

Earlier this year, she visited Iraqi refugee families in Syria to assess how best ICIN could help them. In Aleppo, she met with Bishop Antoine Audo of Aleppo of the Chaldean Catholic Church and Bishop Yuhanna Ibrahim of the Syrian Orthodox Church.  Since then her impact in helping Iraqi refugee families has been remarkable. 

Read More..
Only 27 out of 140 Chaldean Iraqis Receive Visas for WYD
By Rita Abro :: 116890 Views :: Article Rating :: Religion & Spirituality, World News & Odds 'N' Ends, Chaldean Churches

Catholic News Agency reports that the Australian Embassy in Amman, Jordan has issued 27 visas which will allow some young Iraqis to participate in World Youth Day.  Initially 170 Chaldeans applied for Visas to participate in the largest gathering of world youth Christians in history.  True to their faith, the Chaldeans still expressed their gratitude and appreciation to the Australian government for allowing 27 delegates.

“I would like to thank the Australian government for everything they have been able to do and also the Australian embassy to the Holy See which has contributed to this positive ending,” Father Philip Najim, Chaldean Prosecutor to the Holy See, said.  “Many in Iraq were waiting for this.  It is a symbolic number of visas but our youngsters will be in Sydney too and that’s what counts.”

Read More..
Chaldean Bishop Says Education in Democracy Key to Enduring Peace in Iraq
By Rita Abro :: 59348 Views :: Article Rating :: Government & Society, World News & Odds 'N' Ends

Washington DC, USA - While Iraq’s most dreadful year of 2006 is still comparably safer than some of America’s most popular cities the Democratic leaders in congress still wish to surrender the conflict.   Petraeus demonstrated a significant drop in violence since 2006 and still the Democratic leaders remained unconvinced of the need to stay in Iraq. 

Mgr Rabban al-Qas, Chaldean bishop of Ahmadiya, in Northern Iraq, speaking a day after the US commander in Iraq, General David Petraeus, began presenting his report to the Armed Services and Foreign Affairs committees of the US Congress on the impact of the recent surge of US troops in Iraq says progress has been made, but “A concrete solution to the Iraqi crisis must come from the people themselves, not from the barrel of the gun.”

Read More..
Chaldean Patriarch Encourages French World Leaders to Guide Peace Efforts
By Rita Abro :: 12 Views :: Article Rating :: Government & Society, World News & Odds 'N' Ends

Paris, FRANCE - After years of shunning involvement in a war it said was wrong, France now says it may help to bring peace in Iraq, proposing itself as an "honest broker" between the Sunni, Shi'ite, and Kurdish factions.

After meeting with the influential Chaldean Patriarch, Emmanuel III Delly, French world leaders talk of more active role in bringing peace to the war torn region.  The persuasive and passionate Patriarch urged world leaders to assist in ending the ongoing violence in Iraq.

The world renowned Catholic leader is known for his diplomacy in Islamic and Christian affairs, as well as his understanding and leadership in Middle Eastern and Western cultural differences. 

Read More..
Chaldeans Forced to Flee Ancient Roots
By Rita Abro :: 107048 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.

Read More..
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.

Read More..
Minority Rights Group International Ranks Iraq Second in Persecution
By Rita Abro :: 76359 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.
Read More..
Chaldean Refugees Trapped in Mexico & U.N. Calling for Aid
By Rita Abro :: 21 Views :: Article Rating :: Government & Society, World News & Odds 'N' Ends
Monterrey, MEXICO – Chaldeans forced to leave Iraq have few choices.  As Christians in a country that continues to embrace radical Islam Chaldeans are fleeing by the hundred thousands.  Rafid Bedou, frustrated and angry says, “What choices do we have?  If we stay in Iraq they rape and torture our daughters and kill our sons.  Iraq is turning into a living hell.” 
Read More..
Tariq Aziz Begs To Live in Rome
By Rita Abro :: 24 Views :: Article Rating :: World News & Odds 'N' Ends

Rome, ITALY - Tariq Aziz, who served as deputy prime minister of Iraq under Saddam Hussein, has issued a plea to the Italian government and the Vatican for permission to live in Rome while he awaits trial on human-rights charges.

Giovanni DiStefano, an Italian lawyer for the former Iraqi official, explained that his client would like the Italian government and/or the Vatican to guarantee that he will appear to appear when his case is ready for trial. DiStefano said that he is asking the Iraqi court to release Aziz on bail.

Read More..
US Criticized for Continuing to Abandon Iraqi Refugees
By Rita Abro :: 19 Views :: Article Rating :: Government & Society, World News & Odds 'N' Ends

Michigan, USA - The United States continues to come under criticism by humanitarian groups for ignoring their responsibility in providing for up to 3 million Iraqis displaced from their homes.  American reputation and leadership continues to plummet among international leaders after continuing allegations of an illegal war against Iraq and ignoring the humanitarian crisis aftermath. 

Echoing former US president Fords implication that the US may be liable for taking unfounded preemptive military action against Iraq, calls for a war tribunal against the US increases across the globe

Aid organizations report a rapidly mounting crisis of refugees inside Iraq and in neighboring countries as thousands flee sectarian violence every day. The United Nations estimates that there are more than 1.5 million Iraqis displaced within the country and a similar number living as refugees in Jordan, Syria and elsewhere.

The Michigan based Chaldean Federation of America (CFA) has been working tirelessly with US legislators to bring to light the crisis and need for support.  The CFA has expressed positive working relations with legislatures like Democrat Senator Carl Levin but continues to run into obstacle after obstacle dealing with the State Department or White House administration. 

Read More..
Red Cross Emblem Proliferation Becomes A Concern
By Rita Abro :: 8 Views :: Article Rating :: Government & Society, World News & Odds 'N' Ends

Baghadad, Iraq - Former medical volunteer in Iraq, Ramy Bakko shrugs and nods his head in confusion over the proliferation of the Red Cross emblem.   “Evil works in small ways.  Evil works to divide and conquer.  These new Muslim Iraqi people want to take over our country.”   Ramy Bakko was attacked for using Red Cross equipment in a Muslim country.  “They say I should be a Red Crescent. I tell them I am, I show them my shirt and badge, they call me a spy and that I am to be killed.  If not by God’s grace I would have been killed if one of the men did not recognize me for helping his child.  They let me go free and say if I use a Red Cross they will spill my red blood.”

The Chaldean medical doctor serves for the international aid society that provides humanitarian aid during times of war.  Often protected under the Red Cross or Red Crescent societies volunteers are called to help the injured.  “I have no job so I try to help those who are hurt.  I don’t care if they are Christian, Muslim, or Jew.  I try to save a life.  Because as you can see, my reward is one day my life will be saved.”

Read More..
Freedom of Expression in Turkey Spared This Time
By Rita Abro :: 10 Views :: Article Rating :: Government & Society, World News & Odds 'N' Ends

ISTANBUL, Turkey - A Turkish court has acquitted a prize-winning author of charges of insulting the nation in a book about the massacres of Armenians, Assyrians, and Chaldeans during World War I, saving the government from a fresh embarrassment in its bid to join the European Union.

 The acquittal of Elif Shafak came in the opening hearing of her trial Thursday, held in a cramped courtroom in central Istanbul under tight security in case of violence by nationalist protestors.

The judges based their decision on a lack of evidence to prove that Shafak, 35, "denigrated the Turkish national identity" in remarks by fictional Armenian characters in her best-selling novel "The Bastard of Istanbul" or "Baba ve Pic" (The Father and the Bastard) in Turkish.

Read More..
Chaldean Leaders Call For Calm and Reason
By Rita Abro :: 15 Views :: Article Rating :: Religion & Spirituality, Government & Society, World News & Odds 'N' Ends

Michigan, USA  -- "Poor uneducated Muslims are led blindly into ongoing violence and outrage is coached by irresponsible leaders," says Bashar Sitto.  “Moderate and modern Muslims seem to have lost control to the radical fundamentalists who have hijacked Islam.” 

For the oppressed minority Christians in the Muslim dominated governments, like the Chaldeans of Iraq, fear runs high as they remain vulnerable to potential acts of violence of fanatical Muslims stirred to act with hatred.

Supported by irresponsible media bent on sensationalizing the news and highlighting a Muslim-Christian divide even where one does not exist, only contribute to the grave state of sectarian relations in Iraq today.

The world remains stunned at the easy manipulation and hypersensitivity of Muslims, who refuse to accept the Pope’s academic discussion and focus on a quote taken out of context.  Iraqi religious scholar Abdel Hussam Hussain feels the Islamic governments are at risk as more fanatical elements gain control of interpreting Islam.  Hussain feels the threat of an eventual overthrow of current Islamic are in grave danger.

Read More..
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

Read More..
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.

Read More..
Destruction of Iraqi Antiquities Draws International Concern
By Rita Abro :: 9 Views :: Article Rating :: Community & Culture, Government & Society, World News & Odds 'N' Ends

Iraq, Baghdad  — There is mounting international concern among historical and antiquity scholars that Iraq ministers may try to change their history.  The “cradle of civilization” has been a fountain of information to the world, divulging archaeological secrets going as far back as ten thousand years. 

Scholars are worried that the appointment of religiously conservative Shiite Muslims throughout Iraq’s traditionally secular archaeological institutions will threaten the preservation of the country’s pre-Islamic history.

Sumerian, Akkadian, Chaldean, Assyrian, Babylonian, Parthian, Sassanian and a lineage of other civilizations are at threat to be lost forever. Ongoing looting, and what some fear to be intended efforts to remove pre-Islamic history, continues at archaeological sites throughout Iraq.

Dr. Donny George’s recent departure as chairman of the State Board of Antiquities and Heritage, and his flight to Syria with his family, is among the latest results of a transformation that began in December when a Shiite-dominated government was elected in Baghdad.

Indicative of the Taliban regime destroying historic antiquities in Afghanistan many scholars fear that Iraqi fundamentalist Islamists plan to do the same. “They are bringing their family and their tribes and giving them high jobs.  They are not qualified.  They are not trained or believe in what they do or what is right for Iraqi history,” says Selwa Marpouls, a Chaldean archeologist who has worked for the former ministry. “This is very bad.  Iraqi history will be changed forever if something is not done.”

Read More..
Chaldean Patriarch and Iraqi President Meet
By Rita Abro :: 13 Views :: Article Rating :: Government & Society, World News & Odds 'N' Ends

Baghdad, Iraq - “The Iraqi president, Jalal Talabani, welcomed Patriarch Emanuel Delly III and Bishop Afock Asardoryan on Wednesday, September 6, 2006 to discuss the recent kidnapping of Fr. Saad Sirop. 

Efforts by the Chaldean eparchy have been tireless in lobbying the Iraqi government to provide protection to the Christian minorities in Iraq.  The recent kidnapping of Fr. Saad has only underscored the contestant threat and vulnerability the native inhabitants of Iraq continue to face. 

Fr. Saad Sirop, a Catholic priest at St. Jacob in Dora, Baghdad was kidnapped, tortured, and is being held for ransom. 

Read More..
Pregnant Author Called to Stand Trial for Offending Turkishness
By Rita Abro :: 7 Views :: Article Rating :: Government & Society, World News & Odds 'N' Ends

ISTANBUL, Turkey – Chaldeans, Assyrians, and Armenians have long called for Turkey to accept responsibility for the slaughter of minorities.  Unprotected and left ravaged by the Turks over a million were murdered. 

Turkey has stubbornly refused to participate in any investigation or address concerns by the European Union regarding the genocide.  Turkey, a Western ally and NATO member has long moved counter to inherent democratic principals.  Now Turkey has turned to trample on the inherent freedoms of expression by putting on trial one of Turkey’s leading authors who boldly calls for the Turkish government to reveal the truth. 

Elif Shafak, one of Turkey's leading authors, is about to have a baby — and go on trial.  The reason for this strange conjunction of joy and foreboding is her new novel, which has exposed her to a charge of "insulting Turkishness" because it touches on one of the most disputed episodes of her country's history — the massacres of Chaldeans, Assyrians, and Armenians during the final years of the Ottoman Empire.

Read More..
Chaldeans Applaud Euro MPs New Turkey Demands
By Rita Abro :: 7 Views :: Article Rating :: Government & Society, World News & Odds 'N' Ends

London, UK - “Would Europe allow a country to join the union if it stubbornly denies the facts of a Jewish Holocaust,” says Suhala Yohannan, a Chaldean activist fighting to educate Europe of the atrocities and danger of Turkey’s denial.  “For healing to take place, for the sake of understanding, the EU must reject Turkey’s bid if they continue to hide and deceive.  They refuse to be true partners and embrace core democratic principals.” 

Turkey continues to snub Europe and their calls for reform.  European MPs have criticized Turkey's slow pace of reform and said it should recognize the massacre of Armenians, Assyrians, and Chaldeans in 1915 as genocide before joining the EU.

Read More..
The Hospital Killing Fields
By Rita Abro :: 38550 Views :: Article Rating :: World News & Odds 'N' Ends

Baghdad, Iraq - Chaldeans have long fought to bring attention to the chaos and vulnerability citizens face between warring groups of Muslim Imams fighting for dominance in Iraq.   In a city with few real refuges from sectarian violence -- not government offices, not military bases, not even mosques, and for sure not churches -- one place was considered a safe haven: hospitals.  Not anymore!

Chaldeans often relied on themselves for healthcare due to their third-class status in Iraq.  Now Muslim Neighbors are turning to their Christian neighbors for aid as Iraqi hospitals become battle grounds between Shiite and Sunni. 

Read More..