Detroit Today

Metro Detroit Chaldeans Lead the Charge to Protect Iraqi Christians

August 12, 2014

Photo courtesy

"Isis has taken it to another level with the mentality that they have. (Chaldeans) really fear if something is not done right now this could be the end."

-Niraj Warikoo

Niraj Warikoo of The Detroit Free Press and Auday Arabo, President and CEO of the Associated Food and Petroleum Dealers join Detroit Today to discuss the situation in Iraq as it relates to the Christian minority with WSU lecturer Saeed Kahn and Laura Weber Davis.

Arabo was among the Chaldeans who visited the White House to discuss the plight of Iraqi Christians who are being displaced and persecuted in Iraq. The Chaldean Community of metro Detroit has been instrumental in drawing attention to the ongoing humanitarian crisis in that region. And Plans are being made for local advocates to visit the United Nations.

Chaldeans are generally located in central northern Iraq and easter Syria. There are about 64,000 Iraqi Americans and at least half of them are Chaldeans.

The population started moving to metro Detroit in the 1950s, originally settling in the Seven Mile area, just east of the State Fair grounds. While some of the Chaldean population still remains in that area, the bulk of it has since moved north into Oakland and Macomb counties.