The Souri and Salloom Family
Both sides of my family came to the United States at the
beginning of the first decade of the 20th century. My father's
parents were married at St. Nicholas Cathedral, Brooklyn, N.Y.,
in 1907 by Bishop Hawaweeny. My father was born in Jan. 30, 1908
in Georgetown, Washington, D.C.; my mother very likely in 1902.
She was delivered by a midwife in Philadelphia, and no birth certificate
was issued. All of my grandparents were village people from Turkey
and Ottoman Syria, now Lebanon. Jiddo Souri was from Trablous
( Tripoli) and Tita Souri was from Mersine, Turkey, a Mediterranean
sea port near Syria.

My mother's parents, The Very Reverend Ayoub Salloom and Khouria Debey (Phoebe)  were from Al Koura, Lebanon. Their pre-immigration histories are unknown, much to our loss. Jiddo Souri, Tita Souri, Uncle Nestoss Buttash and Uncle George Souri all have sketchy lives, so - wherever I could, and within reason -1 have tried to fill out their lives with common sense introspection, which in no way is meant to alter their lives, but rather to see them more clearly in the context of strangers to the West. There is sparse record of their being in touch with family left behind, some few postcards and photos, no anecdotes.

These people could not have been happy all of the time, without regrets for coming, without resentment for their current lives. I have tried to understand other immigrants observed from the 3rd world, and use what I know about them to understand my predecessors, who are so important to our identity. All of the Souri's are buried at Glenwood Cemetery in Washington D.C., except for Uncle George Souri, who is at Cedar Hill, MD. My maternal grandparents are also at Glenwood.

April 1944

Tita Souri, whose first name was Karimeh, was an unhappy woman. She was a Bottash; she lived with us in her house purchased by her husband, Elias Nicholas Souri, my namesake.

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