I never thought when we launched the Chaldean News in February 2004 that we would cover so many stories about Iraq and I certainly never thought that we would be so heavily engrossed in a story about Chaldeans being detained to be deported.
What I have always loved about being a reporter and being part of this publication is that I am always learning.
When I struggled in college to figure out a major, a deciding factor came after reading a book that featured a story about a person who chose journalism as a career because he was constantly learning new things and meeting new people. It clicked right there for me. Even though my industry has changed so much, and not in a good way, the learning part remains.
I research, read and learn every day.
In this issue, we dedicated our cover piece to the on-going story about the detainees.
The big misconception with the Chaldean detainees is that we are Dreamers or DACA recipients. Chaldeans are not the Dreamers. Our story is different. These Chaldeans who have been detained came to the United States under legal channels. They unfortunately committed crimes which made them ineligible to gain citizenship. However, most paid time for those crimes.
We are now telling the next part of the story. Our own writer Ashourina Slewo has not only been engaged in this story as our lead reporter on it, she has been fighting to get her father legal help. He has been in a correctional facility in Ohio since June of 2017 among other detainees. Like many, he has been awarded bond but at $15,000 with no collateral, he remains behind bars. She started a
GoFundMe account to raise money to release him.
Her cover story doesn’t tell her personal story but it does explain how detainees are not just fighting for freedom but for clarity on these bond hearings. What does this all mean and what is next?
What Ashourina learned about the process is what she shares with all of us.
One main argument not to send these people back to Iraq is that it is unsafe for minorities. We have other stories in this issue that explain just that issue. Weam Namou has penned a piece about the suffering of the Yazidis and how our own Chaldean community here in Michigan is trying to help. Stephen Jones shares new developments with the ongoing efforts of Help Iraq.
Seminarian Marcus Shammami takes on our One-on-One this month as a follow up to a piece he wrote last year about Fr. Fadi’s mission trips to Iraq.
There is no shortage of stories from our homeland and there is so much to learn.
The only way we can teach and share with others is by learning ourselves. It’s not just true about what is going on in Iraq but that is the truth about our faith and so many other stories and issues in the world today.
This magazine has always served as a tool to educate others and keep people abreast of what is going on in and outside our community that other news outlets are not telling.
This month we also share a story about spring break safety written by Lisa Cipriano and how parents today are traveling with their kids on these senior trips to ensure nothing goes wrong.
We also learn about a rare treatment for a very deadly cancer from a woman brave enough to share her experience. Thanks, Venis Asmar for the photos and information.
None of us will ever live long enough to know all that we need to know. There should never be a day that you don’t learn something.
I hope after you read this issue, you have learned much about what is going on in the immediate world around you and abroad.
Alaha Imid Koullen
(God Be With Us All)
Vanessa Denha Garmo
Follow her on Twitter @vanessadenha
Follow Chaldean News on Twitter @chaldeannews