Matthew Petti is a junior at Columbia University majoring in Middle East studies. He is an example of northern New Jersey’s cultural melting pot, coming from an Iranian and Italian background.

Mass for Iraqi Christian refugees at Our Lady of Peace Center on the outskirts of the Jordanian capital, Amman, in January 2016. (CNS photo/Dale Gavlak) 
Politics & Society Dispatches
Matthew PettiJuly 06, 2018
Few of the refugees are interested in returning to Iraq. “Return to what?” asks one Chaldean-Assyrian refugee. He says that “Iraq is a Frankenstein, not a state” because of the persistent ethnic and sectarian divisions.
Faith Features
Matthew PettiJanuary 26, 2018
The language spoken by Jesus and kept alive by Syriac Christians finds an unlikely haven in Paramus, New Jersey.