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October 04, 2012 - Image 46

Resource type:
The Detroit Jewish News, 2012-10-04

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

Mission to Israel!

Saving Lives

Author examines native Iraqi history
to influence treatment back home.

Karen Schultz Tarnopol I Jewish News Special Writer

After 25 years of research and study,
local author Amer Hanna-Fatuhi has
self-published the Untold Story of Native
Iraqis. The book came out in Arabic
in 2004; an English edition, translated
with diligence and expertise by his wife,
Eman Elias, was issued this year.
Hanna-Fatuhi's goal is to use the book
to reach out to those with the resources
and desire to help restore the civil rights
and religious freedoms of the Chaldeans
— the native Iraqis — still living in Iraq.
A scholar of Mesopotamian history
Iraqi minorities and ethno-religious
groups in Iraq and the Middle East,
the author hopes the
detailed accounting
of historical events
outlined in the Untold

Chaldeans And Jews
In the book, Hanna-Fatuhi writes
about Iraqi Jews and their part in Iraq's
history. "We are one he said, recounting
similarities between Jews and Chaldeans
and the importance of sup-
porting one another.
"In the end, we are the
same people. Jews and
Story of Native Iraqis
Chaldeans share the same
will help U.S. and
roots, the same mother
European decision
tongue, the same culture,
makers and political
and the same faith that
leaders understand
founded and built the U.S.
the events leading up
We also share the same
to modern-day Iraq.
challenges and the same
Growing up in Iraq, Author Amer Hann a-Fatuhi, a
future as well:"
Hanna-Fatuhi had the Chaldean ambass ador
Historically, he says, Jews
good fortune to wit-
and Chaldeans in Iraq held
ness Iraq when it was thriving.
some of the most significant jobs in the
"People were up 24/7 at the local
country, including journalists, teachers,
shops, dining, enjoying the theater, the
scholars, engineers, bankers, lawyers,
opera and the symphony," he recalled.
doctors and merchants.
"The streets were packed even as late as
In addition, Iraqi Jews once used
2-3 in the morning."
Arabic as their official language, but they
Hanna-Fatuhi has lived in the United
spoke Chaldean in their homes.
States since 1995 and is currently a
"Iraqi Jews wrote the Babylonian
full-time artist. He also is a professional
Talmud and Midrash in Babylonian
writer. In 1985, he competed — and
Aramaic that was derived from our
won — against more than 1,000 people
mother tongue Proto-Kaldi 5300 BC:'
to design the Chaldean national flag.
Hanna-Fatuhi said.
His passion for his people is clearly
"In the late 1940s, Iraq lost one of the
evident. Sadly though, what he sees now most impressive groups of Iraqi Jews.
are the injustices taking place against
That loss continues to cripple Iraq today.
Chaldeans and other minorities in Iraq.
If Iraq loses the Chaldean population,
Chaldeans are facing "the darkest
Iraq will be damaged forever:' he said.
wave of persecution and discrimina-
Hanna-Fatuhi's commitment to the
tion in history while the whole world is
survival of the Chaldean population in
watching tongue-tied," he said.
Iraq is demonstrated by his dedication
He intends to educate Chaldeans
to researching, understanding and shar-
about their history so they can be proud
ing the true history of Iraq in the Untold
of their nation and potentially support
Story of Native Iraqis.
Chaldeans currently in Iraq.
He would tell you otherwise.
"This book is a must for anybody who
"I'm just a simple man trying to do
believes in understanding the Chaldean
his part:' he said. BC
identity This man has gone all out, he
has done his homework': said Sam Yono
The Untold Story of Native Iraqis can be
of Waterford, secretary general of the
purchased at www.NativeIraqis-Story.corn
Chaldean National Party and former
and at major bookstores and online sellers.

April 16 - 25, 2013

April 25-27, 2013

For the first 45 people registered

Complete Travel Package: $3,695 per person

Sponsored by


Chaldean News JN



Ya , Community
AA Relations

' Council


Chaldean/Jewish Israel Mission
Florence Atto and Jeannie Weiner

To reserve your spot on the trip or
for more information, contact
Robert Cohen at 248-642-2640
or at cohen@jfmd.org



October 4


chair of the Chaldean Federation.
Hanna-Fatuhi also hopes to educate
Chaldeans who remain in Iraq to help
them understand their rights.
"In order to defend your rights, you
have to understand who you are and
what your rights are. A revolution hap-
pens when people recognize that their
rights were violated:' he explained.

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