|Chaldeans vs. Assyrians in Iraq and in the USA|
- Friday, July 18 2014, 3:36:57 (UTC)|
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Over the years I have had the pleasure to meet several Chaldeans that really opened my eyes to the possibilities that they had in "the old country" of Iraq.
One Chaldean woman told me she was the president of an Iraqi Oil Company, and she lived and worked in France for many years. She did not face discrimination for being a woman in Iraq, and as you can see she was promoted.
Another Chaldean man who I met during college told me he studied Physics, and that he developed solar panels in Iraq (the main problem being that sand would blow onto the panels, which was not so good for photovoltaic efficiency), and added that each year scientists from around the world would go there for symposia on many topics.
My grandfather's cousin (another Chaldean) taught Chemistry at Saddam University, and when he came to Michigan (of course) had difficulty finding a job.
My old neighbor, a Chaldean man, worked at an Iraqi bank for 35 years. He saved up 1.2 million dinars (which, at that time, were worth about $3 per dinar) and he had planned on retiring in the west. When the various wars took place, his life savings dwindled to the equivalent of $30,000 USD. One really interesting thing he shared with me, which I found utterly fascinating, was not that he was the manager of the loan department for this bank (being a member of the "Chaldean minority"), but that they did not have one single case in 35 years of a loan not being repaid. Talk about an honorable people.
Last year somebody told me that my great-grandfather and his grandfather owned a very successful hotel together in Baghadad.
Finally, I've been told over the years that the Chaldeans owned most of the liquor stores in Iraq. Talk about your religion not keeping you down; it was their religion that allowed for them to own liquor stores, which Muslims were forbidden from owning!
This is all, of course, anecdotal, but rarely if ever did I hear Chaldeans complaining to me about discrimination during the 60s and 70s in Iraq.
My final thought would be as follows: one of my old co-workers in the non profit world (who you had the unfortunate pleasure of dealing with, a two-faced weasel if there ever was one) told me the following after going to his first (and only) Assyrian convention: "Jeff, they are 30 years or at least 1-2 generations behind us."
>...what is the basic difference between Chaldeans and Assyrians...of course neither are what they claim they are...but, however they came to believe what they do, what accounts for the differences between what are essentially two Christian sects in Iraq?
>...back in Iraq the Chaldeans produced more successful individuals than did the Assyrians....mainly because they felt no hatred or loathing for Muslims...Chaldeans were successful businessmen while Assyrians huddled in villages calling on Ashurbanipal and demanding the return of "Assyria"....Chaldeans never asked for a "Chaldea"...but were content to be loyal and productive Iraqis...that is probably the biggest most significant difference between the two groups....Chaldeans got out there, they engaged, they learned how to deal in politics and business and what really matters from what is window-dressing, they learned and practiced what it took to "get ahead"...the Assyrians meantime were only good at asking the West to come "save us" and "give us back etc."...
>Assyrians behaved as if contact with the larger Muslim society would contaminate them, dilute their purity...anyone cooperating or getting along was instantly branded a traitor and drummed out of the community....Assyrians distrusted government schools and sent their children instead to be taught by ignorant priests in church basements... and any history or civics those children learned was heavily weighted with Christian martyr stories and tales of loss at the hand of the "usurping Arabs"...and forget every marrying a Muslim and swimming out into the world; that was treason AND heresy.
>When both groups came to the West the Chaldeans continued their quest for worldly and community success while the Assyrians believed that NOW "someone will do something for us"....and headed straight for the Welfare Lines, in every sense of the phrase...on top of which they split into ever smaller groups each convinced it had the right answer to "getting Assyria back", a useless quest if ever there was one.
>Chaldeans already knew how to gain political muscle, Assyrians didn't have a clue....Chaldeans ran the most successful businesses in Iraq and plunged right in putting their skills to good use so that in time they commanded the respect and had the ear of serious politicians who would prove helpful. Assyrians made donations here and there expected the world in return, so clueless had they remained.
>When the war against Iraq started it wasn't long before Chaldeans in the West were bringing out their brethtren from the war zone and setting them and their families up, to the betterment of the entire community...Assyrians instead insisted that any help they would send would be conditioned on Assyrians STAYING in the war zone, because Assyrians wanted to maintain an "Assyrian presence" in Iraq, even if it was to be mostly in the graveyards.
>Assyrians in the West, safely in the West, wanted their counterparts to remain so they might still claim "our Assyria"....Chaldeans, never wanting a Chaldea, went where life was possible, Assyrians remained where it was under constant threat...money was sent back to build schools so "our language" would not die...except it did, as the people who spoke it died...the Assyrian numbers dwindled...while we in the West wouldn't help them leave, they took themselves away, in great poverty, to neighboring countries...and when they left Iraq, we lost interest in them because they could no longer serve our "nationalistic purposes". It all smacked of martyrdom, the one thing we do REALLY well.
>All the resources, all the building programs, all the wells dug, all the schools built, all the clinics, and all for Assyrians, is so much wasted money and effort plus which we got them used to receiving handouts from us while Chaldeans came to the West and began their social climb...had we been wise and sensible we too would have used all our resources to get Assyrian families out and settled with a chance to prosper in the West....the hell with "our presence" and "Assyria"...enough with the fantasy in favor of reality.....you think?
>It's never a good idea to stick your finger in a dyke.
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