My Grandfather Came from Lebanon and Moved to the U.S. at the Turn of the Century

MY GRANDFATHER CAME FROM LEBANON AND MOVED TO THE U.S. AT THE TURN OF THE CENTURY

Giddo is what we called my grandfather. Sitto, my grandmother was born in the U.S. but her mother, Sitto Miriam came from “the old country,” as they used to say. They brought with them a tale of beautiful gardens and wonderful ethnology. My grandparent brought with them the food I grew loving. Our meals were as “normal” as anyone else’s who lives in the U.S. While my friends ate meat and potatoes, my sister and I were eating dolmas, kibbee, tabouli, hummus, umzhudra, to name a few. I’m not sure the spelling of some of these dishes but my taste buds blossom at the mere mention of each.  We’d been told that Giddo was run out when the authorities “acquired” his land right out from under him. It was told that Giddo’s family was as close to royalty as one can get without being royalty. So, that’s something.

TRYING NOT TO GET POLITICAL AND FAILING

I have never visited Lebanon although I would love to one day. Now, is not the time. Not with the advent of Trump’s announcement this week that Jerusalem will be named the capitol of Israel, an act he has no right to proffer. I may never get to my heritage homeland because of this one misguided act by a man who couldn’t be further from presidential, with all his blatant lies and corruption. So, if I sound angry about this, I am. Trump is one more barrier to my going to the land of my ancestors, a place rich in diversity and culture.

GETTING AWAY FROM POLITICS, THIS TIME NOT FAILING

But I don’t want this posting to be a political one. I’m writing it because there is a great sense of grief that I may not ever visit Lebanon. Right now, I’m blaming the current White House administration but, honestly, I could blame a number of other situations over the years for having never visited, never having even planned a trip to the Middle East. I’m a Christian and would love to walk the land where Jesus walked, where Paul the Apostle walked, where Moses led his people.

And I do have a sense of ennui, one that expresses sadness so deeply because I may never get to see the land where Giddo and Sitto Miriam grew up in. All I can say is, maybe one day…

Peace. Out.


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2 Comments

  1. Barbara Wynn on March 11, 2019 at 12:54 am

    I was looking up the spelling of my Jiddo. When i came across your story, very similar. I am writing a eulogy for my moms last surviving sisters. Us lebenese girls all have fond memories of our culture.

    • Susan Wingate on March 14, 2019 at 2:53 pm

      Hi Barbara!
      I never know which way to spell Giddo. Is it Jidde or with a G! LOL. Your story sounds compelling. Congratulations on a tough job writing about loved ones who have passed. God bless you. And yes. We DO need to stick together. Preferably with some tabbouleh and hummus on hand. 😉

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