Congresswoman issues statement in support of detained Iraqi Nationals

In response to Judge Mark Goldsmith’s ruling on January 2 – in which he ordered federal authorities to release Iraqi nationals that have been held for six months or more or grant them individual bond hearings by February 2 – Congresswoman Brenda Lawrence (MI-14) issued the following statement on January 3. 

“In America, due process is not a privilege, but an inalienable right for all. It is unacceptable, unjust and un-American for our government to simply lock up these individuals and hold them without proper cause and without full access to our judicial system and process. The Iraqi detainees and their families have suffered months of uncertainty and denial of basic rights. This court ruling is a step in the right direction. We must continue to demand a fair and transparent judicial process and adherence to the right of due process.” 

The following is an excerpt from Judge Goldsmith’s ruling. “Our legal tradition rejects warehousing human beings while their legal rights are being determined, without an opportunity to persuade a judge that the norm of monitored freedom should be followed. This principle is familiar to all in the context of the criminal law, where even a heinous criminal — whether a citizen or not — enjoys the right to seek pre-trial release.” 

Tune In

Songwriter and vocalist Steve Acho just signed an agreement to have his songs in commercials and movies in Europe.

Liberated and Celebrating

Holy Mass was celebrated on Sunday, January 20 in the town of Telkaif one year after being liberated from ISIS. Telkaif was primarily Chaldean Catholic before its people were forced out.

AFPD Partners with Convenience Stores Against Trafficking to take a stand against human trafficking

Recognizing the pivotal role that convenience stores can play in combatting the growing issue of human trafficking, the Associated Food and Petroleum Dealers (AFPD) have teamed up with Convenience Stores Against Trafficking to take a stand against the crime. Using a brief video and printed reference cards for in-store use, CSAT will provide training so that employees can understand the indicators of human trafficking and employee appropriate response protocols. These items were mailed to AFPD members, along with an informational packet.

Through this partnership, AFPD is hoping to educate convenience store owners and their staff of the warning signs of human trafficking and how to effectively deal with it.

Human trafficking is a form of modern slavery that occurs in every state, including Michigan.  “We are asking store owners to work with us by displaying hotlines in their stores,” said Auday Arabo, president and CEO of AFPD. “We want victims to find the help they are seeking.” 

CSAT provides training, victim outreach, and public awareness of human trafficking through convenience store partners. CSAT reaches out to victims through their Freedom Stickers. These stickers contain a message of hope and a phone number for the National Human Trafficking hotline - a nongovernmental agency with local networks of victim-centered responders.

Belting the Tunes

Shelbi Jouni played the role of Molly Pitt and a huntress in the Opera Martha by Friedrich Von Flowtow through the School of Music, Theater and Dance at Oakland University. Shelbi is a third-year vocal performance major at OU.


On December 20, 2017, protesters once again gathered outside of the Theodore Levin United States Courthouse in support of community members facing deportation. The majority of detainees were picked up in raids conducted by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) on June 11, 2017. Since the raids, detainees have been dispersed between facilities in Michigan and Ohio, with the majority in Ohio. Protesters gathered as Judge Mark Goldsmith was set to hear pending motions from the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU). 

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New Home for a Local Law Firm

Cummings, McClorey, Davis & Acho, P.L.C. (CMDA) has relocated their Livonia office to Livonia’s College Park Development. This move comes as CMDA has outgrown their previous office, in which CMDA occupied all three levels of the building. While this building holds a special place in the lives of the attorneys that occupy it, it also serves as a testament to their hard work.

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Steve Acho, Author

Steve Acho has made great strides as both a musician and now author. Acho wrote a technology driven book titled, “Why Technology Recruiting is Broken and What To Do About It.” Acho’s book is one of many top-rated books on Amazon. Most recently, Acho has reached a major milestone in his music career as his music has been downloaded and streamed more than 10 million times. Acho has performed across the U.S. and the world as an independent musician, including national TV and radio appearances in the U.S. and Japan. Acho has also performed with celebrities and has sung the national anthem for Detroit sports teams.  


Family Feud Time

On March 26, 2017, Theresa Sitto and her children, Jacinta, Brent, Olivia, and Spencer appeared on Family Feud.  This began with an audition at Cobo in Detroit then a second audition in Atlanta, where they were chosen to appear. The episode filmed for more than an hour. “It was an overall amazing and fun family experience; the Family Feud production staff were wonderful and very professional and impressive.  All details were handled with precision and the entire crew was welcoming and kind.  Steve Harvey told stories and had everyone laughing.  He even did the halhole during the segment, and although that part didn’t air, it was a lot of fun,” said Theresa.


UHC Baby Shower

On October 4, 2017, UnitedHealthcare Community Plan hosted a Community Baby Shower and partnered with United Community Family Services/CALC, and St. John Providence Ascension Health System. This was their third annual successful event with more than 100 expectant and new moms in attendance. This collaboration provided a unique opportunity to work jointly to educate new and expectant mothers with valuable health information exclusively presented in Arabic to promote healthy living and healthier communities. The event was once again a great success, with excellent turnout and lively participation.


University of Detroit Students Volunteer

Roughly 950 of University of Detroit Jesuit High School and Academy’s young men provided much-needed services to nine agencies throughout the city of Detroit.  From site beautification to providing meals for the less-fortunate. The school has this event every year where they split up the kids and tackle clean up at various Detroit locations. These boys were at Historic Fort Wayne in Detroit. It was the Academy (7th and 8th grade) and Freshman. They cleaned bushes and trees along the river.


Building Bridges

On Wednesday, October 4, members of the Chaldean community came together with members of the Jewish community for the Chaldean/Jewish Building Bridges event. This event was hosted at the Shenandoah Country Club, where event goers were given a tour of the Chaldean Cultural Museum. The Building Bridges event was sponsored by the Chaldean News and the Detroit Jewish News.


First Lady Visits Orchard Lake Middle School

Melody Arabo, Lead Ambassador Teacher Fellow for the US Department of Education, and Crystal Jabiro, English and Social Studies teacher at Orchard Lake Middle School in West Bloomfield, coordinated efforts to show First Lady Melania Trump and Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos the Orchard Lake Middle School’s anti-bullying initiatives, like No One Eats Alone. The First Lady and Secretary kicked off the “Week of Inclusion,” part of National Bullying Prevention Month, by visiting during lunch and participating in a lesson about inclusion during “Viking Huddle,” an advisory class.



OU School of Music, Theatre and Dance Approved

The Oakland University Board of Trustees voted at its August formal meeting to approve the creation of a School of Music, Theatre and Dance. This move follows a consistent expansion and transformation of programs offered by the Department of Music, Theatre and Dance over the past 32 years. Theatre and Dance began as extra-curricular programs at Oakland University. Then, in 1985, the theatre and dance programs joined the existing music department, forming a Department of Music, Theatre and Dance. The department has flourished since that time, leading up to the announcement of the formation of the School of Music, Theatre and Dance.

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D-Man Foundation Cruise Woodward

For the Sixth year in a row, the D-Man Foundation helped to give life to the dreams of wheelchair patients as they organized their annual Dreams Come True on Woodward, in conjunction with the Woodward Dream Cruise. This year’s event took place on Friday August 18 at the back-parking lot of Hands on Auto Detailing. 

Each year, The D-MAN Foundation transfers more wheelchair-bound individuals into convertibles to participate in the world’s largest one-day auto event. Making the experience even more memorable is the music that the passengers will be listening to is music they’ve produced themselves in D-Man’s unique “barrier free” music therapy studio.


Search for New Recruits Heats Up

The Oakland Fire Training Institute at Oakland Community College is seeking new recruits. The Oakland Fire Training Institute at Oakland Community College is the only nationally and internationally ProBoard accredited fire academy in the State of Michigan. Oakland Fire Training Institute’s Fire Academy is currently accepting applications. A free orientation for the Fire Academy will be on August 16, 2017.


Putting Detroit on the Map

Gabrielle George, vice president of cultural strategy at Doner in Detroit, has been featured by The Drum in their 30 under 30 from the Midwest. This honor comes from George’s work as a woman, putting herself and Detroit on the map through her “creativity, achievements and dedication to an industry that is changing at a fast clip.”


Dress for Assumption of Mary

Samira Binna, once again, made the dress for Carey, Ohio Assumption of Mary prayer service held on August 14, 2017. She made and donated this dress in honor of all cancer patients and peace in the world. “Please gather and pray for peace and protection! God bless you all,” posted Binna on Facebook.


St. Fabian and St. Monica students reach new heights

St. Fabian Catholic School of Farmington Hills has partnered with St. Monica Catholic School of Kalamazoo to help their students reach new heights and actively participate in conducting scientific research. St. Fabian’s implementation program was recently accepted by the Students Spaceflight Experiments Program, giving students in grades 4-8 the opportunity to participate in a program with NASA.

This program will allow for students to create zero-gravity experiments. One experiment from each school will be chosen to be sent to the International Space Station in which astronauts will conduct research for students. Once the data has been sent back to students, they will have a chance to present their research at a conference in Washington D.C.


First Jonna Construction Home on Sale

The first home ever built by Jimmy Jonna and Jonna Construction is on the market for the first time since being built more than 50 years ago. Marcine Karmo is selling her parent’s home in Southfield. It was Built in 1966 and the family moved in July of that same year. Her father, Najib lived there for five decades before he passed away on November 16, 2016.


West Bloomfield Named Safest City in Michigan

Known for being a safe community, West Bloomfield Township has officially been recognized as one of the 10 safest communities in the country by the National Council for Home Safety and Security. West Bloomfield Township takes ninth place on the overall list, but takes first place as the safest community in Michigan.


Brother Faris Najor took his first vows as a Capuchin on Friday July 21. Community members are asking all to continue to pray for him as he is a blessing to our community. Bishop Francis was in attendance and they allowed him to make his vows in Aramaic!

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JULY 2017

Rabir is a 26-year-old Syrian refugee who escaped ISIS and is now in the U.S. He never had access to money or good healthcare but now will have his first powered wheelchair. His chair was modified by the same man who modified Danny Kassab’s wheelchair, which the D-MAN Charity was named. Rabir has been wheel-chair bound since he was 15-years-old due to an unknown infection.  You can learn more about his story and help with his medical costs by going to https://www.gofundme.com/powerwheelchair-disabled-refuge

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JUNE 2017

Walk for Israel celebrated Israel on Sunday May, 7th at the Temple Shir Shalom in West Bloomfield.  The event featured both a walk and a 5k family fun run, and helped raise awareness of the modern Jewish State of Israel .  The event has grown each year in size and prominence and works to unite the metro Detroit community to celebrate Israel.

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