Motor City Wives cast member sparks national conversation about Chaldeans

By Natasha Dado
Suzanne Lossia, a cast member from the new highly anticipated reality television show Motor City Wives is getting people around the country interested in learning about who Chaldeans are.

Lossia, a Chaldean American isn’t missing any opportunity she gets to introduce the community to Americans. “No one really knows who the Chaldeans are, now I’m going to show them,” Lossia said.

Speaking to The Arab American News, Lossia said after she appeared as a guest on a radio show discussing Motor City Wives, listeners called in afterwards asking about Chaldeans, and where they’re from. The show is expected to debut this Fall. It’s still uncertain which network will pick it up; according to reports VH1 will.

Lossia’s appearance on the show is significant, considering no Chaldean has knowningly ever starred on a national television show, and the community is still very much un-heard of throughout the country. In the United States only three states including California, Arizona and Michigan are known to have large and established Chaldean communities.

Chaldeans are Catholics from Iraq, and widely known as the indigenous people of the country; one reason they don’t identify as Arabs.

Lossia offers insight and a glimpse into the community on the show. “I love everything about being Chaldean. I love the food, our people and language,” she said.

Lossia grew up in West Bloomfield, where she attended West Bloomfield High School. She’s the only cast member on the show from Oakland County.

There are still many unanswered questions surrounding the show and its cast members who are rumored to be Detroit native and rape singer Eminem’s ex-wife Kim Mathers, Flavor of Love 2 winner Deelishis, Sara Stokes of Making the Band, and former Detroit mayor Kwame Kilpatrick’s relative Ayanna Kilpatrick Ferguson. “There are a lot of rumors going on. You’ll just have to wait and see.”

There’s much negative national attention surfacing over Detroit. Its image has been tarnished by damaging media portrayals.

Lossia says the show will help dismantle some of the negative stereotypes about Detroit. She praised the city, and has hope for its future. “Detroit is beautiful. We’re going to bring it back,” she said.

Motor City Wives was filmed in metro-Detroit for seven months, and shooting is now complete. Scenes were filmed in downtown Detroit and local malls.

Lossia is divorced, and has two children ages 14 and 16.

Divorce isn’t easily accepted in the Chaldean community, but today it has become more common among the younger generation.

Responding to critics the show will attract Lossia said, “Everyone who knows me, knows what type of person I am. I’m a phenomenal mother,” she said.

One of her sons maintained a 4.0 GPA at Brother Rice High School, another is expected to begin school there. Lossia is very family oriented. “I’m all about family,” she said.

She was initially skeptical about appearing on the show, but her family was very supportive of it, and eventually convinced her to.

“My family is so supportive and they pushed me to do this.” She still maintains a good relationship with her ex-husband and children’s father Tony who owns hotels in Indiana and Kentucky.

Lossia says being on the show has given her the opportunity to step outside her own community and interact with people from different backgrounds.

She enjoyed working with the show’s cast members, and says she’s being herself and not acting on the show.

Lossia has also received positive feedback and encouraging messages from the Chaldean community. The show could prompt other Chaldeans who are interested in television careers to persue their passions.

While the show could lead to different career opportunities, for now Lossia says she would never consider leaving metro-Detroit because her family, and children who attend school in the region. Lossia was asked to be on the show after being spotted by one of the show’s producers, she also says she knew one of the cast members on the show.