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“To complete together …
… addressing and maintaining the independence of the decision”
– Someone asked why I like to write. My response was because I can move the human conscience.
From the moment he walks in the room, you sense you’re in the presence of greatness, a man who’s accomplished more than what his age warrants. Born Imad Youkhanna Yako in the province of Nohadra (Dohuk), Iraq in 1966, Imad graduated from the University of Baghdad with a Bachelor’s Degree in Agricultural Engineering in 1990 and pursued joining the Assyrian Democratic Movement, progressing into the Central Committee from where his rock star achievements placed him directly in Iraq’s Federal Parliament since 2010, making him one of the most sought after heavyweight politicians, in and out of his Assyrian nation in Iraq.

It was at the onset of his career as a member of Iraq’s Parliament that his people would face some of the harshest waves of uncertainties, leaving their future bleak in their birth country, starting with the massacre of Our Lady of Salvation (Sayedat Al-Najat) Syriac Catholic Church in Baghdad, and what earmarked a series of terrorist attacks on the Christian minorities that mainstream media introduced to the world as Da’esh, who later procreated into ISIS, responsible for the dismemberment of a historical people from their ancestral land in the Nineveh Plain, marking homes and businesses with the ? symbol, pronounced ”noon” in Arabic, causing unrest, and, thereby, an outburst of sudden demographic changes in both, Baghdad and the Northern region, where the citizens became displaced almost overnight, and began fleeing to neighboring countries as the final resort for safety It was then that Youkhanna would press upon the Parliament to begin securing the very livelihood of his people who had been reluctantly pushed out of Baghdad into the north, where further unpredictable circumstances awaited them.

Following the securing of shelter in the Northern region in 2014, it was under Youkhanna’s administration that Baghdeda would realize the first ever graduate educational institution, the University of Al-Hamdaniya, in the heart of the Nineveh Plain. It was also during this time that due to demographic mapping the proposal for the Nineveh Plain as an administrative province with a municipality sections to include the Shabaks and the Yezidis would take place.

A man, who, himself, along with his wife and three children, has been the subject of terrorist attacks, including car bombings in 2013 and 2014, as well as detonating a bomb in his personal residence in Kirkuk some years ago and bullet spraying his car earlier this year has, nonetheless, obliged himself past the endless threat letters against his life and that of his family’s to secure $10M from Iraq’s central government to transition his displaced people in the Nineveh Plain from tents into caravans, while proving that neither the Iraqi army, nor the Kurdish Peshmergas, who insisted on disarming the people in the disputed area of the Nineveh Plain alleging that weapons would fall in the hands of ISIS could protect the Assyrian people, and, as a result the Assyrian Democratic Movement was spot on right in the creation of an independent militia that would serve to protect its people at a starting size of only 200 willful men that later grew into 500 committed soldiers who trained to protect the land of Ashur. And, so, in 2016, the Nineveh Plain Protection Units (“NPU”) was officially born and proudly moved to partake in the liberation of Mosul and the Nineveh Plain, alongside the Iraqi army. It was during this time that civilians finally felt safe to return to their homes, including from neighboring countries like Jordan, where some returned from.

During the current term, MP Youkhanna has initiated the passing of a legislative law that has allowed for the reversal of the loss of wages for thousands who were displaced from Baghdad to be reimbursed and whose salaries have been paid through the central government despite the people’s forced exodus into the north, and that all confiscated homes to be returned to their rightful owners, nullifying all proceeding home sales without the consent of the original owners. “In fact, it has become very difficult to sell Assyrian homes without the consent of the original owners because of stringent laws that are now in place,” continued Comrade Imad during our discussion. Also, most recently, this administration has secured the voiding of three years of billable utilities tallying in millions for families during which time they were displaced.

In 2017, the continued escalating unemployment rate that swept with it countless Assyrian families who, at the time, considered life outside of Iraq as an option in order to earn a living prompted MP Imad Youkhanna to personally secure vacant positions of retired Assyrian government employees to be replaced, at par, by forthcoming Assyrian college and university graduates, throughout Iraq, where jobs are currently not only promised, but guaranteed.

Moving mountains for his people was on his to-do list because most recently in Baghdeda (“Hamdaniya”), MP Youkhanna earnestly worked on creating a safe haven of a social security office, comprised of several retirement units for the elders, where even the processing of their compensation applications can be safely made in their hometown, without the need to travel elsewhere.

So, just what has caused this Parliamentalist’s popularity to mushroom throughout Iraq and to spike overseas that has turned heads in different continents? I’d personally have to say after meeting him that it’s his progressive mentality, his fighting spirit for justice and his engaging nature that leaves no question unanswered, satisfying all doubts, winning hearts and earning votes.

MP Imad Youkhanna will be completing his twofold campaign tour in United States – Chicago and Phoenix, where he has been received by thousands of supporters in both cities before heading back to Iraq, where he’s up for re-election by an overwhelmingly strong demand under the Al-Rafidain Slate #144, candidate #5.

To learn more about MP Imad Youkhanna and the upcoming Iraqi elections, visit his pages on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube.

Helen Talia, MBA, CPA, FCC
Chicago, Phoenix and New York
April 27, 2018