Ranna Abro

Ranna’s parents settled in the United States after her father fled the mandatory draft by Saddam Hussein for the Iran-Iraq war. Both of parents trace their more recent roots from the town of Tel Keppe in the Nineveh Plains. Her father’s ancestors settled there after fleeing persecution in Ashita, Tiyari, but she doesn’t know exactly when. Ranna yearns to know more about her family’s history and is deeply disheartened by the lack of information known.

At 15 years old, she volunteered for the first time with the catechism and communion programs at the St. Joseph Chaldean Catholic Church located in the state of Michigan. That was the beginning of a lifetime of volunteer and NGO/nonprofit work. After several years of general community service within Michigan serving the local community, she shifted her focus to serving refugee families.

An influx of refugees had been admitted to the United States due to the Iraq War in 2003. For the next 10 years, Ranna was committed to supporting their resettlement and acclimation into American society, helping organize tutoring, mentoring, employment, home furnishing, as well as coordination between servicing organizations. During this time, she co-founded E'rootha, the Chaldean Assyrian Syriac Youth Union, primarily established to preserve the threatened culture in diaspora. 

On October 31, 2010, the horrifying massacre at the Sayidat al-Nejat (Our Lady of Salvation) Church altered Ranna’s reality forever. Six suicide attackers from the Islamic State of Iraq, a pre-curser to ISIS, exploded their selves after intruding on a Sunday mass and shook the Assyrian Chaldean Syriac community around the world at their core. Ranna became involved in an international effort of protests and advocacy called "The Black Marches". After this, she became connected to an international network and developed a greater understanding of our community in the diaspora and  in the homeland.


By August, 2014, almost all of Nineveh had been emptied of Christians through forced evacuations, kidnappings and killings by ISIS. After a rally in downtown Detroit, Ranna was in a meeting with four other leaders, Noor Matti, John David, Evette Kassab and Christopher Sesi, where they realized that the only person who can help us is ourselves. Believing in our community’s generosity, they all agreed that the most important thing needed to gain support at such a time would be transparency, and Shlama was founded upon those principles on August 4, 2014.

Ranna's personal interests include fitness/health, mixed martial arts, film, science fiction/fantasy novels, great food and travel.

The Shlama Foundation is based in Ankawa-Erbil, Iraq. It is registered in the KRG as a Non-Governmental Organization (NGO). It is registered in the United States as a federal nonprofit with 501(c)3 status. EIN No: 47-1942727

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