John Paul David
John’s parents were born in Iraq. His father is from Mosul and his mother is from Dohuk. His parents were forced to leave Iraq due to threatened political prosecution from the Ba’ath regime. His parents immigrated to the United States in 1980 but ensured that their children, John included, would not lose their culture. Forbidden from speaking any language except sureth in his childhood home, John grew up learning to love his native language and culture. He is able to speak, read and write in sureth thanks to the discipline of his parents and church.
Growing up, John and his family were devoted to the Assyrian Church of the East. Each member of his family serves the church through volunteer work or by serving on the clergy. In fact, his father, a civil engineer, was instrumental in the building of St. Mary’s Assyrian Parish in Warren, Michigan – a keystone of the Michigan diaspora.
Concerned that the diaspora was losing their culture, John began his philanthropic work by raising money to preserve the Assyrian culture. He joined a local organization that focused on cultural preservation. After devoting so many years to the community in diaspora, John realized that the key to cultural preservation is by rebuilding the homeland. He has a deep passion for helping people rebuild their lives in the homeland, in hopes to see it thriving again. After ISIS inflicted a heavy hit on the Nineveh Plains, causing almost complete evacuation, John co-founded the Shlama Foundation.
John is a mechanical engineer with an automotive manufacturer in Michigan, and his wife, from Telkeppe, is an attorney. They are committed to teaching their children about their culture and history.