Contact: Brian Wagner
Major TCA Grant Supports Iraqi Christian Refugees in Turkey
June 22, 2011, Washington, DC–This summer, the Turkish Coalition of America (TCA) is contributing $40,000 in humanitarian aid to help Iraqi Chaldean Christian refugees in Turkey.
The aid represents the final installments of a $100,000 TCA grant being administered through the Chaldean Federation of America (CFA) and the Chaldean-Assyrian Solidarity Association (KADER) in Turkey.
By August, one thousand Christian refugee families in Turkey will have received assistance—in the form of food coupons—through the grant program.
"The project arose from our belief that humanitarianism is a global endeavor," said G. Lincoln McCurdy, TCA President. "Historically, Turkey has been very welcoming to persecuted peoples of all religions and ethnic backgrounds, including Jews from Spain and Europe, as well as people fleeing violence from all over the Balkans, Crimea and Caucasus when the Ottoman Empire contracted. Modern Turkey has continued to provide food and shelter to hundreds of thousands of refugees, including Bulgarian Turks, Bosniaks, Iraqi Kurds and, most recently, thousands of Syrians fleeing violence in Syria.
"Turkish Americans are helping to continue and strengthen Turkey’s legacy of providing aid to peoples in desperate need," McCurdy explained. "The Chaldean/Assyrian community of Turkey, as well as the Chaldean Federation of America, have been wonderful allies for TCA in implementing this project. We are all proud to be leading the way in fostering solidarity and building new ties between the Chaldean and Turkish communities in the U.S. and in Turkey."
Turkey has become a major stopping point for Iraqi Christian refugees as they try to emigrate, primarily to Europe and North America where many have families. The refugees began leaving Iraq to escape persecution under Saddam Hussein, and have continued to view Turkey as a safe harbor since the fall of Hussein's regime. There are currently an estimated8,000Iraqi Christians refugees in Turkey seeking support from the Turkish government and civil society organizations such as KADER.
"The CFA is grateful for TCA's interest and generosity in supporting Iraqi Chaldean refugees. We are creating a wonderful relationship and partnership here in the U.S.," said Joseph Kassab, CFA Executive Director. "But this is only the beginning; neither we, TCA nor the Turkish government can fully support all the Chaldean refugees, and we sincerely hope that by raising awareness of our work, we can encourage other organizations and individuals to step up and help those refugees rediscover the lives they lost when they fled to Turkey to escape persecution."
About the Turkish Coalition of America:The Turkish Coalition of America (TCA) is an educational, charitable organization incorporated in February 2007. Based in the nation's capital, TCA's objective is to educate the general public about Turkey and Turkish Americans and voice their opinion on critical issues to interested parties; engage and cultivate a new generation of young Turkish American leaders; promote and advance the interests of the Turkish American community and Turks; foster friendship, understanding and cooperation between the United States and Turkey; protect the character and ensure a realistic portrayal of Turkey and Turkish Americans in the media and the arts; serve as a think tank of expertise and a clearinghouse of information on Turkey and Americans of Turkish descent. For more information please visit http://www.tc-america.org.
Chaldeans Urge U.S. Officials to Help Iraqi Christians
Washington DC, June 10, 2010
For three days starting from June 7, 2010 leaders from the Chaldean Federation of America (CFA) and the Chaldean-Middle Eastern Social Services (C-MSS) met with several U.S. officials and their representatives urging them to provide quick assistance to Christians in and outside Iraq and to refugee arrivals in the U.S. The following issues were thoroughly discussed:
Members of the delegation met with Mr. Darron Paul Monteiro, Associate Director, White House Office of Public Engagement and Intergovernmental Affairs, to inform him on the plight of Iraqi Christians and to seek assistance.
Also, the Chaldean delegation participated in a two-day National Consultation Conference held by the U.S. Office of Refugee Resettlement (ORR) in order to learn more on how to strategize and to provide better services for Iraqi refugees.
Separately, the delegation met with the Honorable Samir Sumaidaie, Ambassador, Embassy of the Republic of Iraq and staff. Discussion focused on services provided by the Iraqi consulates in the U.S. and how Iraqi documents are issued for Iraqi citizens.
The Chaldean delegation was represented by: Joseph T. Kassab, CFA Executive Director, Zina Asmar-Salem, Ph.D., CEO and Basma Coda, COO of CMSS.
CFA Advocate for the Plight of Iraqi Christians May 6-9 2010 Vienna Forum
Congressman Peters calling on the US Administration to assist Iraqi Christian Refugees
For Translation in Arabic please click here.
The Chaldean Federation of America is an active member of CASCA.
11/22/09: CFA as a member of Building Respect In Diverse Groups To Enhance Sensitivity (BRIDGES) attend it's quarterly meeting to discuss domestic and regional civil right issues. CFA Leadership met with Jannah Scott, deputy director, DHS center for faith based and community initiatives to discuss with her community related issues. Dearborn, MI.
11/22/09: CFA participate as speaker to the annual new Detroit Multicultural Conference, held by the Chaldean Culture Center. West Bloomfield, MI.
11/5/09: CFA participate in Panel on Affirmatively Furthering Fairness in Housing, held by Legal Aid and Defender Association. Mount Pleasant, MI.
11/2/09: CFA participate in Michigan health care solution-strategy to assists local needy Chaldean families in affiliation and support of the Heinz Family Philianthropies Foundation, Jewish Family services, Chaldean American Health Care Professionals, and Chaldean American Ladies of Charity. West Bloomfield, MI.
10/25/09: CFA arranged a breakfast meeting for community leadership to meet with it's guest visitor Ninveha Province-Iraq Governor Athelalnujaifi to discuss the plight of Christians in Northern Iraq. Farmington Hills, MI.