An Assyrian Christian born and raised in Iran, Juliana Taimoorazy is the founder and president of the Iraqi Christian Relief Council, an organization that raises awareness about the persecuted church in Iraq and helps Assyrian refugees resettle in the United States. Smuggled out of Iran in 1989 to avoid religious persecution, she sought asylum in America and obtained her master’s degree in instructional design from Northeastern Illinois University. Since then she has held numerous positions in media and the nonprofit world, and has advocated on human rights everywhere from television and radio to the halls of Capitol Hill. She enjoys reading nonfiction, listening to opera and classical music, and disrupting polite conversation with talk of religion and politics. She is fluent in Farsi and Assyrian.
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Shadi Khalloul, chairman of the Israeli Aramaic Christian Association, acts as a spokesperson for the Christian Israel Defense Forces Forum. Prior to his studies, Khalloul served as a lieutenant in a paratrooper division of the IDF. He is an entrepreneur and one of the community leaders involved in activities to revive Aramaic-Syriac as a spoken language among Maronites and other Christians in Israel. He is a staunch believer in the importance of nurturing a close relationship between Christian and Jews in Israel. He holds a degree in international business and finance from the University of Las Vegas.
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Luma Simms was born in Baghdad, Iraq, her parents and ancestors are from Mosul, and she speaks Arabic with a Moslawi dialect. Simms’ writing focuses on culture, family, philosophy, politics, religion and the life and thought of immigrants. Her work has appeared in First Things, Public Discourse, The Federalist and many others. Her educational background includes a Bachelor of Science Degree in physics from California State Polytechnic University Pomona. She studied law at Chapman University School of Law before leaving to become a stay-at-home mom. At Chapman Law, she worked for The Claremont Institute’s Center for Constitutional Jurisprudence as a research assistant to Dr. John Eastman. She has also clerked for Superior Court Judge James Gray of Orange County, Calif. Her greatest loves are political philosophy and theology. She longs for political and cultural peace in the land of her heritage, Iraq.
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Faydra Shapiro is an Orthodox Jew with a lifelong interest in Christianity. She is the founding director of the Israel Center for Jewish-Christian Relations, and holds a Ph.D. in Religious Studies. Faydra began her career as a university professor in Canada in a department of Religion and Culture, where she worked for 13 years. Her first book won a National Jewish Book Award in 2006. Faydra also writes regular academic articles and popular op-eds on Jewish-Christian relations, and is passionate about her mission of creating greater understanding between Jews and Christians. She has a special heart for growing greater consciousness in Israel of the region’s persecuted minorities. Her most recent book is Christian Zionism: Navigating the Jewish-Christian Border. Faydra was born in Canada, and proudly returned her family to their ancestral homeland of Israel in 2008. She lives happily with her husband and many children in a tiny hilltop community in the Galilee.
Uzay Bulut is a Turkish journalist and political analyst formerly based in Ankara. She graduated from Istanbul’s Bogazici University in 2007 with a BA in Translation and Interpreting Studies. She holds a master’s degree in Media and Cultural Studies at Ankara’s Middle East Technical University. She is a fellow at the Middle East Forum (MEF) and her writings have appeared in a variety of publications including Gatestone Institute, the Clarion Project, the Armenian Weekly, PJ Media, CBN News, the Algemeiner, the Kurdish newspaper Rudaw, International Business Times UK and the Voice of America. She has also contributed to several Israeli media outlets including the Jerusalem Post, Arutz Sheva (Israel National News), Israel Hayom and Jerusalem Online. Bulut’s journalistic work focuses mainly on Turkey’s ethnic and religious minorities, anti-Semitism, political Islam and the history of Turkey. She is currently based in Washington, D.C.
Follow her on twitter at @UzayBuzay@philosproject.org