Opening the doors to the past

By VANESSA DENHA GARMO

Last month, more than 100 people attended the soft opening of the Chaldean Cultural Center Museum housed inside Shenandoah Country Club in West Bloomfield. 

The Cultural Center and Museum is a place people can step into ancient Babylon and into an early Christian church.  It’s a museum and Cultural Center where they can visit an Iraqi Chaldean village, then journey to America with pioneering immigrants.  They can discover the diverse, dynamic lives of Chaldeans today.

Among the guests at the launch party were three bishops: Bishop Francis Kalabat, Bishop Ibrahim Ibrahim, and Bishop Jibrael Kassab.  Fr. Manuel Boji also attended the event. The clergy led the guests in an Aramaic prayer while Bishop Francis blessed the Museum with holy water.

The Chaldean Cultural Center Museum is the first of its kind in the world. It’s an educational resource that has been a decade in the making. The Chaldean Cultural Center Museum covers thousands of years of Chaldean history.  

It is now open three days a week: Tuesdays, Fridays, and Saturdays.  Special arrangements can also be made for tour groups, school field trips, or for people who may want a specific day and time.

The Chaldean Cultural Center celebrates and explores the extraordinary history, arts, traditions, and contributions of the Chaldean people from ancient times to the present, serving as a repository of collected history and stories.  By forging relationships with other educational and cultural institutions, it not only nurtures pride within the Chaldean community, but also promotes greater understanding between communities as part of cultural diversity.

The Cultural Center paints a portrait of a people, exploring the history that shaped us, the faith that sustains us and the lives that Chaldeans lead today.  At its heart is an exhibition that takes visitors from the court of Nebuchadnezzar to an immigrant grocery store in Detroit and beyond.

“We received many compliments as to how professional and beautiful the Museum is and many want to come back and take their time going through the Museum to take it all in,” said Mary Romaya, executive director. “We plan to host a gala grand opening in September for a more formal opening.”

To find out more, go to: www.chaldeanculturalcenter.org