Cultural Glimpse

Enjoying diversity

Tag: Christian Iraqis

ISIS Cannot Destroy our Stories

The Feminine Art

Chaldeans are an ancient people who trace their roots to Prophet Abraham as he was from Ur, land of the Chaldees. These are my ancestors and, for thousands of years, they have contributed a great deal to the birth of civilization. They were builders then and they are still builders today, despite the hundreds of years of oppression and violence they keep enduring.

After the Islamic State attacked the Christian villages of Iraq, the birthplace of my parents and grandparents, Christian Iraqis in the United States were outraged.  They helplessly watched family, friends and relatives being forced out of their homes in the most inhumane way possible. Chaldeans, Assyrians, Yazidis and other minorities were kidnapped for ransom, or killed, and others were threatened to convert or die. Women and girls were captured, like slaves, and those who survived had nothing to their name but their identification cards. They left their homes and all their belongings and became refugees.

The leaders in our community immediately reached out to political figures in Washington to help the minorities during this dire situation. As ISIS destroyed historical sites and artifacts, artists took up their brush and rebuilt these monuments on canvas, more determined than ever to bring their history back to life. Myself, I picked up the pen and I wrote and wrote and wrote.

Aside from wanting to give our community a voice, I wanted to preserve our stories. I’ve always wanted to do that, but more today than ever. We have magnificent stories that are unheard and these stories are not necessarily about war, religion, or politics. They are about love, culture, courage, and triumph.

This weekend, my three novels are for the promotional price of $0.99 (eBook), so that they reach more readers, so that more people have the opportunity to learn about an ancient people that are not victims over their lives, but victors!

My Amazon page to order these books:

The Feminine Art

The Mismatched Braid

The Flavor of Cultures




Having Great Powers


I covered a story a few weeks ago about the genocide in Iraq. The event was organized by Assyrian activist Nahren Anweya and other influential group of people who are of Christian Iraqi decent. I later followed up with Nahren with questions for the article I had to write, and in the process, met with her briefly.

During this time, she mentioned, “Oh, I forgot to share my experience of helping to save 400 Yazedis from a sinking ship last week.”

What? I thought.

She told me the incredible story.

“A Yazedi man called me on Facebook thinking I have great powers not knowing I’m an ordinary individual, and he claimed that there were four ships filled with Yazedis. One of them had 400 passengers and it was stranded in the open water between Greece and Italy. He was hysterical and pleaded for help. I called my brother-in-law who is in the navy and informed Fox News and we were able to save all of them and bring them to Greece. They were very thankful and they were crying.”

The man knew that she was a woman with great powers, not an ordinary individual. And yet the beauty of people with great powers is that they are usually humble, and consider themselves ordinary individuals because they know that within everyone lie those same great powers – if only they were to tap into them.


The French Again Come to the Aid of Iraqis

My Beloved Enemy (2)

When in October 2010, Al Qaeda members laid siege to Our Lady of Deliverance Church in Baghdad, killing 58 and wounding 78 in a bloodbath, French leaders immediately opened their doors to the Christian Iraqis.

Now they’re doing it again. French leaders announced they are adopting added measures to help Iraqi Christians.

I thought about the French filmmakers who came all the way from France to do a documentary about Iraqi-Americans.

Our leaders – whether artists or politicians – have the responsibility of doing more than the French to help the country they went in to liberate.


“The last 10 years have been the worst for Iraqi Christians because they bore witness to the biggest exodus and migration in the history of Iraq.”

– William Warda, Hammurabi Human Rights Organization


Mommy and Daughter at Work

Like many of the women in my family, my cousin Amy is very creative.  Her twelve year old daughter has been following in that creative path since she was five or maybe younger. So when my kids and I went to their home yesterday to get a pedicure and a manicure for myself, I found the mommy and daughter team hard at work on yet another project (my cousin does umpteen creative things).

To the backbeat of Arabic music, she and her daughter were making jewelry for a women’s show she is involved in at St. Marino’s coming up on April 9th. Some of their stuff is really unique – such as the custom made rosaries that can be worn as a necklace or placed anywhere, like the car’s rear mirror, which Chaldeans are famous for doing. Each rosary is specialized with an entire family’s individual names. I love that!

As my cousin’s orange winged Amazon, Parker, gets to sit in a cage overlooking the attraction, it’s not difficult for him to announce his needs. Hey, orange winged Amazons have to eat too!