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CHRISTIAN HOMES MARKED, FAMILIES KILLED: EAST COUNTY RESIDENTS RALLY FOR HELP TO SAVE IRAQI CHRISTIANS

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Hear our  radio special report on the Save Iraq Christians rally, plus our interview with East County Chaldean-American Chamber of Commerce president Ben Kalasho on the worsening crisis in Iraq:  http://kiwi6.com/file/iw4izsdhq7

By Miriam Raftery

July 21, 2014 (El Cajon) –They carried an American flag, proud to be in a country where they are free. But their hearts ache for loved one endangered in their homeland: Iraq.  They are Iraqi-American Christians who rallied Friday in El Cajon's Promenade Park, pleading for political leaders to save Iraqi Christians from massacre by terrorists invaders who have declared an Islamic state, or caliph.

Farouk Georges shared the latest chilling news. Just one day earlier, he revealed, sources inside Iraq told him that the terrorist group ISIS “issued a decree against the Christians of Nineva…They are asking them to leave, or to convert to Islam, or be killed.”   

A million and a half Christians in Iraq have been displaced, said Ben Kalasho, president of the Chaldean-American Chamber of Commerce and organizer of the rally. “We’ve counted 120 churches that have been bombarded and destroyed.” Thousands of Iraqi Christians have been killed, hundreds have been kidnapped and as of a few days ago, he revealed, “ISIS has spray-painted the letter N on Christian homes, letting everyone know where the Christians live.”  The N is for Nasrani, an Arabic word meaning Christian.

(caution: graphic photos)

RALLY TO SAVE IRAQI CHRISTIANS: FRIDAY, JULY 18

 

 

July 18, 2014 (El Cajon) – East County is home to an estimated 40,000 Iraqi Chaldean Christians as well as many Assyrians and Syriacs. 

Local Iraqis including the Chaldean-American Chamber of Commerce, churches and other groups, ask the community to join them in a rally today, July 18 at El Cajon City Hall , 200 Civic Center Way, to urge protection and humanitarian help for those now fleeing Iraq, where a terrorist group has declared an Islamic caliph and is slaughtering Christians and other minorities.

A petition has also been launched calling on U.S. representatives to consider creating a safe haven for Assyrians and other minorities in the Nineveh Plains.

MARK ARABO DISCUSSES GENOCIDE IN IRAQ, INTERNATIONAL EFFORTS TO CREATE A MORE INCLUSIVE GOVERNMENT

 

July 1, 2014 (San Diego's East County)--This week, the extremist group ISIS declared an Islamic caliphate stretching from Syria across Iraq following weeks of mounting violence. On June 25, prior to the declaration, we aired a second interview with San Diego Chaldean-American leader Mark Arabo following his meetings with the State Department, members of Congress and high-level U.S. officials. We discussed international efforts to bring peace to the region, form a more inclusive government and protect Iraqi Christians.

Hear our interview here:  http://kiwi6.com/file/jj6adf49ou

(Note: We apologize for being late posting podcasts from last week, due to our editor's daughter having surgery. She is recovering fine, and thanks to those who sent good wishes.)

IRAQI ELECTIONS APRIL 30; LOCAL VOTING APRIL 27 & 28 IN EL CAJON

 

By Miriam Raftery

April 25, 2014 (El Cajon) – Iraq will hold elections for parliamentary offices including Prime Minister on April 30.  All Iraqi-born people living in the U.S. are eligible to vote, the Chaldean American Chamber of Commerce announced today.  Locally, eligible voters can cast their ballots on April 27-28 at the Crystal Ballroom, 414 North Magnolia Avenue in El Cajon from 12-2 p.m.

“This is arguably the biggest election since the fall of Saddam Hussein due to the unique circumstance of post-troop withdraw and immense violence,” said Ben Kalasho, president of the Chamber.

REP. HUNTER BACKS USE OF NUCLEAR WEAPONS IF AIR STRIKE IS LAUNCHED AGAINST IRAN

 

East County Rep also calls Middle Easterners liars, draws fire for remarks

By Miriam Raftery

December 8, 2013 (San Diego’s East County) Updated 8:40 p.m. – Congressman Duncan D. Hunter (R-El Cajon), a member of the House Armed Services Committee, has long been known as a hawk on military matters.   But in an interview on CSPAN’s Washington Journal this week, the former Marine went further, voicing support for use of "tactical nuclear devices" if the U.S. launches an air strike against Iran. He backed use of tactical, or non-strategic nuclear weapons to set Iran's reported effort at developing a nuclear weapon "back a decade, or two or three."

Hunter, whose San Diego region district includes over 80,000 Middle Eastern immigrants, also ignited controversy when he stated,”In the Middle Eastern culture, it is looked upon with very high regard to get the best deal possible, no matter what it takes. That includes lying.”  (View video of full interview.)

EL CAJON'S MAYOR LEWIS RESIGNS

 

October 25, 2013 (El Cajon) – El Cajon Mayor Mark Lewis has resigned, effective immediately.  In his resignation letter, the Mayor  cited health reasons, including cancer, a dislocated shoulder and a minor stroke in 2010. “Unfortunately at times, this has caused me some difficulties in clearly communication my thoughts, including during the recent interviews  that have caused understandable concern,” he wrote, adding that he is stepping down to avoid further concerns by citizens and to “allow our City Council and community o move forward in their work to make this City the finest place it can be.”

He added, “I deeply love our town and have given a major portion of my adult life to its wellbeing and, so, this is a bittersweet moment for me."

THOUSANDS CELEBRATE AKITU, CHALDEAN NEW YEAR TRADITION, IN EL CAJON

 

 

By Miriam Raftery

April 8, 2013 (El Cajon ) – In Babylon 7,313 years ago, Chaldea became the first nation to celebrate Akitu, a New Year Festival heralding the arrival of spring and the renewal of life.   Yesterday the tradition continued in El Cajon’s Prescott Promenade Park, where thousands of local Chaldeans turned out to celebrate the ancient tradition.   View a video: http://youtu.be/YfeKE22-wXw

“We are doing it to celebrate and have some fun with other, and to keep remembering,” Wissam Gello, a local Iraqi Chaldean told ECM.  “Our children will keep doing this every year, to remember and tell the truth.”

EAST COUNTY ROUNDUP: TOP LOCAL AND STATE NEWS

 
January 18, 2012 --  (San Diego’s East County)--East County Roundup highlights top stories of interest to East County and San Diego’s inland regions, published in other media.  This week’s top “Roundup” headlines include:
   

 
 
 
 
STATE
  • California lawmakers take another crack at single payer healthcare bill (Sacramento Bee)
  • Jerry Brown’s budget demands would strip demands, payments from local governments (Sacramento Bee)
  • Education magazine gives California a “C” for its students (Sacramento Bee)
  • California in eye of Internet piracy storm (San Francisco Chronicle)
 
LOCAL

  • Can $20 a head “cash mobs” save local shops? (U-T San Diego)
  • E. County leaders like their politics unbuttoned (U-T San Diego)
  • Parents protest, but are told school attendance boundaries won’t change (La Mesa Patch)
  • San Diego County Water Authority challenges rate (KPBS)
  • Stuck in traffic, long awaited Park Place project awaits fifth study (La Mesa Patch)
  • Chaldeans launch community newspaper (U-T San Diego)
  • Chickens finally okayed in Santee (U-T San Diego)
  • 5 involved in Sweetwater District probe plead not guilty (10 News)
  • Sweetwater says workers stole from cafeterias (U-T San Diego)
  • Campaign limits proposed for Southwestern and San Diego Schools (U-T San Diego)

 Scroll down for excerpts and links to full stories.

2ND ANNUAL CHALDEAN FESTIVAL SEPT. 3-4 AT RANCHO SAN DIEGO YMCA

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

September 3, 2011 (El Cajon) – The Chaldean American Institute present its Second Annual Chaldean Festival this weekend.  The event showcases authentic Chaldean food, traditional folk music, arts, dancing, sports tournaments and a fashion show. A special musical performance by TIMZ, a nationally awarded American-born rapper of Chaldean descent,  is scheduled for Sunday. Festival proceeds will be used to fund community development programs in San Diego County.

CHALDEAN CHRISTMAS CELEBRATION DEC. 18 IN EL CAJON

 

December 18, 2010 (El Cajon) – Christmas on Prescott, a unique Chaldean Christmas Celebration, will be held Saturday, December 18 from 1-5 p.m. on Prescott Promeande in downtown El Cajon. The event will feature Christian Arabic carols and music, English carols and music, skits, Santa Claus, face painting, balloons, and more. In addition, downtown stores and restaurants are open while you enjoy the free Holly Jolly Trolley around downtown, strolling Christmas carolers, and merchant specials.

IRAQI CHRISTIANS IN EAST COUNTY TO HOLD PRAYER GATHERING TONIGHT IN REMEMBRANCE OF THOSE KILLED BY AL QAEDA IN NOV. 1 ATTACK DURING MASS SERVICE IN IRAQ

 

November 3, 2010 (San Diego's East County) – East County’s Iraqi Christians will hold a prayer gathering tonight from 5-6:30 p.m. in the Prescott Promenade at 201 East Main Street, El Cajon.

 

A crowd of 500 or more is expected to attend the gathering, which is held in remembrance of Iraqi Christians massacred November 1st in an Al Qaeda attack on a Catholic church in Iraq.

SUMMIT SEEKS HELP FOR GROWING REFUGEE POPULATION IN EAST COUNTY

Nearly 85% of local refugees are from war-torn Iraq, straining resources on schools and social services; local leaders call for major changes in treatment of refugees

 

"We can create a national model," -- Sunny Cooke, president, Grossmont College

 

November 12, 2009 (El Cajon) – Impacts of the Iraq War are hitting home in East County, where so many Iraqi refugees have settled that El Cajon's mayor has dubbed a section of his community "Little Baghdad."  From Oct. 1, 2008 to October 1, 2009, the U.S. admitted almost 75,000 refugees—including 18,333 from Iraq.*  Since October 2008, San Diego has been taking in 400 refugee families a month.  Nearly 85% are from Iraq.  Almost 75% of all area refugees have settled in the Grossmont-Cuyamaca Community College District (GCCCD), straining resources beyond capacity in social services, education, and healthcare.

 

“Social Services predicts that 200 to 300 new families will be entering East County each month for the next two or three years,” Mike Lewis, PhD, assistant superintendent of education for the Grossmont Union High School District said at a November 6 summit at Cuyamaca College titled Spotlight on Refugee Education and Employment.  Some have spent weeks or even years in refugee camps.  Many don’t speak English and have not been able to receive an education.  Many refugees are also physically maimed by war or suffer post-traumatic stress.  Often they receive misinformation and find steep barriers to getting the help that they need.

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