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BAGHDAD — Fatin may have fallen in love with her soldier the very first time she saw him.

Iraqi dating culture video

Like many ethnic groups, Chaldeans began immigrating to the Metropolitan Detroit area in the 1920s in search of better economic, religious and political freedom and opportunities.

While some were lured by Henry Ford’s famous $5-a-day working wage, in true Chaldean fashion entrepreneurial endeavors quickly took hold – particularly mom and pop food markets. Chaldeans differ from the majority of Iraqi in three major aspects: first, they are Christian rather than Muslim; second, their ancestral language is Aramaic rather than Arabic; and third, most prefer to identify themselves as Chaldeans rather than Arabs or Iraqis.

She was part of the desperate line of Iraqis trying to get into the hotel where foreign journalists were staying.

He was manning the checkpoint, a figure of authority and strength clad in military camouflage.

“He was not like the other soldiers; he was trying to help people, to solve their problems,” said Fatin, an Iraqi Kurd who speaks perfect English. It took a long time to get inside, but I just watched him at work.” In the weeks after the fighting subsided in Baghdad, Fatin and her soldier had the only kind of relationship possible under the circumstances: discrete, delicious and chaste.

He would scan the morning crowd to find the dark-haired translator with the dancing eyes.Metro Detroit has the world’s largest population outside of Iraq, with an estimated 121,000 people.An estimated 200,000 more Chaldeans/Assyrians reside throughout the United States, particularly in Arizona, California, Illinois and other states.She would hide love notes in the handbag he was obliged to search. But it was like we were all alone when we were together.“We would talk and talk, in the Palestine [Hotel] lobby or the coffee shop,” said Fatin, 32. He is my first love, so you see how painful this is.” John — she doesn’t know his last name, his rank nor his military unit — was ordered by an irate captain to stop seeing Fatin. “I was saving my dollars to fly to Georgia,” she confided miserably.They mainly resided in Northern Iraq as mountain dwellers and farmers, in villages dating back to before Christ.