Arabic Studies Institute of Cleveland
2587 West Fourteenth Street
Cleveland, Ohio




Robert Abboud - First National Chicago - International banker listed in 200 Americans for 2000 AD

James Abdnor - House of Representatives - South Dakota

James Abourezk - Senator from South Dakota

Paul Anka - Singer and Composer

Michael Ansara - Movie Star

William Peter Blatty - Author of "The Exorcist"

George Bowab - New York producer of "Sweet Charity"

Lois and Selma De Bakey - Professors in scientific communitcation Baylor - Med. - Specialize in simplifying medical jargon

Michael De Bakey - Heart Surgeon - Baylor University - Texas

George Doumani - Geologist - Oceanographer - Explorer of Antartica

Dr. Farouk El-Baz - Space age geologist - Directed Ronald Evans Appollo 17 on moon

Halim El-Dabh - Ethnomusicalogist - Composer - Son et Lumiere at Pyramid and Sphinx - Presently teaching at Kent State University

Rosalind Elias - Metrop. Opera

Farah Brothers - manufacturers of trousers and jeans

Philip Gabriel - Author - "Tomorrow" "The Executive" "Citizen from Lebanon" "I Found America"

Abe Gibran - Formerly with Cleveland Browns

J. M. Haggar - Dallas, Texas, Manufacturer of Haggar slacks and jeans

Najeeb Halaby ("Jeep") - Former chairman of Pan Am World Airways - Father of Queen Noor of Jordan

Ramzi Hanna - Hanna Barbara Productions - Cartoonist and artist -Designed new currency for Egyptian treasury

Dr. George Hatem - "Dr. Ma Hai Teh" (Virtuous One from Overseas) -Dermatology - eradicated VD in Peoples Republic of China Away from U.S. since 1929 - still retains his passport -Marched with Mao in Long March in 1935

Philip Hitti - noted historian "History of the Arabs" et al. - Princeton University, deceased




Colonel James Jabara - First jet ace

George Kassem - California House of Representatives

Abraham Kazan, Jr. - House of Representatives

Emile Kuri - Motion picture set decorator - 1949 Oscar for "The Heiress"

Toby Moffett - House of Representatives

George Nader - Movie Star

Laura Nader - Anthopologist - Berkeley, California

Ralph Nader - Consumer Advocate

Nafey Brothers - Movie magnets

Michael Nafey - Chairman of Board United Artists

Mary Rose Oakar - House of Representatives

Nick Rahall - House of Representatives

Joe Robbie - Owner of Miami Dolphins

Major General Walter Safi on Pattons staff

A. Saidy - Producer "Finians Rainbow"

Lt. Commander John Shaheen - Naval hero participated in surrender of Italian fleet - World War II and Korea

Donna Shalala - Undersecretary HUD

Joseph Sheban * - Biographer of Kahlil Gibran - Auther and lecturer

Frank Skaff - Former manager Detroit Tigers

Brig. Gen. Elias Stevens - First Arab American grad of West Point -Staff officer for Gen. Eisenhower

Danny Thomas - TV and movies (Amos Jacobs)

Helen Thomas - Senior UPI corres. While House - Auther of "Dateline -White House"


* Deceased, 1979




Meet Helen Thomas: "First Lady" of White House Correspondents





This data was compiled from general surveys. Census Bureau data, and the U.S. Almanac on Arab Americans.
Total number of Arab Americans: 1,662,000 since 1970, numbers increased but there is no reliable information on percentage increases.
Largest concentration of Arab Americans is in the state of California with 258,000.
The state of Ohio has 117,000 Arab Americans with heavier concentration in the larger cities: Cleveland Columbus, Cincinnati, and Youngstown.
The Arab American community of greater Cleveland has a total population ranging between 20,000 to 25,000 people.





Dr. Emile N. Habiby
28740 Forest Road
Willowick, OH 44094
Telephone: 944-7819 (home)

943-4200 Ext. 505 (work)



Juliet Deir
Lillian Deir
Emile Habiby
Najib Habiby

Reema Habiby (substitute)
Norma Meena
George Shakkour

History: The Institute was incorporated in April, 1974, and an adult program in spoken and in modern standard Arabic was begun in June of the same year. Lack of suitable curriculum materials and trained teachers delayed starting a class for children until September, 1975. The children's class was started with an equal mix of monolingual and bilingual students. Another beginners' class was added in 1976. The quality of teaching and of the curriculum improved through 1976-1977 as a result of the teachers' participation in the EHALS training and exchange project. By the end of the school year a steady enrollment was reached, with students reflecting the motivating influence of program and teaching developments.

Current Program. The Arabic school will continue to provide learning opportunities in the Arabic language to bilingual children and to some adults. A shift to monolingual children is expected. New well-conceived curriculum materials, utilizing audio-visual media will be introduced in September, 1977. Thanks to the financial support of the community, the school will be able to purchase and use modern teaching aids and develop its own model programs.

Beginning monolingual children at age six and older will be trained in speaking a vernacular Arabic, covering simple home and school




situations. They will learn to associate sounds with Arabic letter-pictures. New consonants that tax their speech organs will be intro­duced with tutorial and card reader help to those who have difficulties. Word power will be developed by association with pictures, while con­versation will follow patterns learned illustrations and from sound and slide programs. The use of songs, puppets and action games motivate the students to learn and wish to return for more.

Second and third year students will continue in the same learning pattern, but will add reading and writing of modern standard Arabic to their skills. They will also learn to relate the spoken to the written language. Departing students will have learned enough Arabic to be able to enhance their skills by associating with other Arabic speakers. Specialized history and culture courses should eventually find their place in the program. An additional four grades will be introduced in later years.




Miss Juliet Deir teaches "conversational Arabic" to "monolingual" first year students.

Reem Hamadan, 7, studies Arabic in a class at the Islamic Center, 9400 Detroit Avenue, N.W. (The Plain Dealer, Sunday Magazine, 8/10/75)



Dr. Emile N. Habiby uses this chart to teach the alphabet sounds of the Arabic language while his son, Najib looks on. (Cleveland Press, 8/17/77)




Islamic Weekend Madrassa
9400 Detroit Avenue
Cleveland, Ohio 44102
(216) 281-2595



Suhait Banister



Taha Al-Doss
Khalid Azzam
Hameeda Mannsur
Ibrahim Ragab
Shamsa Sibbiqui
Safiyyah Tiraq

History: Even though the school was operating informally for a number of years, it was formally structured in September, 1979. Students are meeting on Sundays from 9:30 to 12:30. Classes are divided into three levels. Level one includes children between the ages of 5 and 7, the second level has classes for children who are between the ages of 8 and 12, and level three is for teenagers and older.

Current Program: The Islamic Weekend Madrassa teaches children Arabic with special emphasis on the Qur-an, fundamentals of Islamic beliefs and worships, and various aspects of the Islamic history and geography of the world. At the present time, there are 50 students enrolled. However, the Islamic Weekend Madrassa will be expanding to teaching on Saturdays in the near future. Another classroom wilt be added to accommodate more people. Most of the students are American born, therefore, bilingual. In addition, there are some youngsters whose parents immigrated during the recent years. The school is financially supported by the Islamic Center.







Some Clevelanders of Arab American Descent prominent in business and professions in the Greater Cleveland area:


Marilyn Anter Cardello - concert
Elizabeth Unis Chesko - concert and opera - teaches at Cleveland State University
Corrinne Haddad Khouri - concert and operetta
Evelyn Naffah - concert and opera



Dennis Nahat - dancer and choreographer, Cleveland Ballet



Larry Morrow - talk show and music



Anter Bros. Wholesale
Haddad Construction
Kassouf Construction
Dave Kassouf - Broadview Motors
Admiral Khoury - U.S. Steel



Sister Judith A. Karam, C.S.A., Pharmacist and administrator
Phillip Khairallah - Assistant - St. Elias Church
Sister M. Myron - Educator
Sister Kathy Thomas, C.S.J. - Educator



Richard Anter - Mayor of Fairview Park
Richard Ganim - Former Mayor of Seven Hills
Joseph Nahra, Judge - Probate Court
Mary Rose Oakar - Congress-20th District
George Sadd - Assistant County Prosecutor
Joseph Tegreene - Former Cabinet member - City of Cleveland



George Khoury - Cleveland Board of Education
Dr. Evelyn Maroon - Cleveland Board of Education



Fred F. Hillow
Laurice M. Koury
Ernest P. Mansour
Eli T. Naffah
James L. Oakar
Edward N. Salim
Edna C. Shalala
Allan J. Zambie



Louis J. Kourey



Bolivar Albainy
Victor Albainy
Nabil Angley
Carl F. Asseff
George Awais
Nabila Rizk-Awais






Benjamin Farah
Michael G. Farah
Maurice Gindi
Haifa Hanna
Michael Hanna
Elias A. Husni
Sayed M. Hussny
John Jacob
Phillip Khairallah
Jack Lorenzo
Nabil S. Malek
Edward G. Mansour
William Mourad
M. S. Mustafa
Anthony J. Nakhle
Jerome Y. Nakhle
Elwood G. Nader
Anthony Nassif
Nezar Rahim
F. A. Salwan
Ahmed H. Shatila
Alan A. Tambe
Joseph G. Yared
Charles G. Zegiob



Hafiz Abood
James E. Abood, Jr.
Richard E. Betor
Edward Jacob







Lebanon-Syrian Women’s League

The Union of Arab Women

The Syrian American Club

Arabian Nights

St. Elias Melkite Byzantine Church

St. George Syrian Antiochian Church

St. Maron Church

St. Michael Coptic Church

The Islamic Center of Cleveland

The Arab Social Club

Federated Lebanese-Syrian Clubs

Aiteneet Brotherhood

Stars of Lebanon

Kirby Club

Greater Cleveland Association of Arab Americans

The Aramoon Club

Ramallah Club

United Holy Land Fund

Organization of Arab Students

ALSAC - American Lebanese Syrian Associated Charities





He was young, a struggling entertainer down on his luck. The church was quiet and dark as he made his promise.

Years later Danny Thomas was invited by a childhood Toledo friend, Beulah Geha Macron, to be the guest speaker before a Melkite Convention sponsored by her parish, St. Elias in Cleveland.

To a group of hundreds of Cleveland Syrian-Lebanese, Danny Thomas talked about the promise and laid out his plans.

There were skeptics who thought it couldn't be done, but there were others who were inspired by the vision of an "American Lebanese-Syrian Associated Charities" which would be the catalyst in building a hospital and research center for children with catastrophic diseases.

That was the promise which had been made in the darkened little church in 1940 by a man looking for a break. Now he was asking the Arabic-speaking people all over the country to help him fulfill it.

The promise had been made to St. Jude Thaddeus, the patron of the despairing and hopeless. What better return for favors granted than a hospital to aid children who heretofore had been doomed to certain death by their vicious diseases.

In this way, ALSAC came into being. Of all Arabic oriented organi­zations, ALSAC is the only associated charities group with a singular purpose -- to raise funds to support the children's hospital in Memphis, Tennessee.




ALSAC has a double name -- the second being "Aiding Leukemia Stricken American Children," a phrase used for many years, although the hospital today treats patients with other catastrophic illnesses as well, many of the children coming from other countries.

Thomas found friends throughout the United States to share his dream. Not all were Lebanese or Syrian. Hollywood entertainers, broad-way performers, people of all persuasions, and in all walks of life were drawn to the dream.

There was, among these, Edward Barry, a Memphis businessman and full time humanitarian who was devoting his efforts to a dozen health, welfare and educational agencies, when Danny Thomas put his ideas before him long before the hospital was built.

Mr. Barry guided the dream into a reality and has served as chair­man of the Board of Governors of St. Jude Hospital since it was opened in 1962.

Among the Arabic speaking Americans who caught the dream were Michael F. (Iron Mike) Tamer, an Indianapolis businessman who became the first National Executive Director of ALSAC, serving wholeheartedly in the ALSAC cause until his death seventeen years later.

Another charter member, Richard C. Shadyac, a prominent Washington attorney, of Irish-Lebanese ancestry served as interim director upon Tamer's death, lending his professional expertise to the effort. Dick Shadyac currently serves on the Board of Directors and Governors of ALSAC and of St. Jude Hospital.




A number of Clevelanders were among the first ALSAC Volunteers. Prominent among them were Msgr. Joseph Feghali, George Maloof, Emily Ganim, Edward Anter, Ida Morad Tolaro, Minor George, Edward Esber, Eli Naffah, James Oakar, Edward Aftoora, Danny Maloof and Phil Atol.

George Maloof, a Cleveland investor, has spearheaded ALSAC activ­ities in the Ohio area since the organization's earliest years. Today he serves on the Executive Board of Governors, and on the Scientific Advisory Board of St. Jude Hospital.

The American Lebanese Syrian Associated Charities, from the beginning, included people of all races and creeds.

Since its opening in 1962, St. Jude Children's Hospital has treated more than forty-five hundred children from thirty-five states and eight foreign countries. None of these patients or their families have ever received a bill from St. Jude's.

In 1966, Danny Thomas and Edward Barry burned the mortgage on St. Jude Hospital before ALSAC members’ meeting in convention.

Today, St. Jude Children's Research Hospital is the largest child­hood cancer research hospital in the world, in terms of numbers of patients and treatment successes.

Its clinical and research findings are shared with physicians and scientists throughout the world, thus extending the benefits of its own work to much of humanity.

Research at St. Jude extends beyond the study of leukemia and other blood related diseases. Virologists at St. Jude are studying the possible




St. Jude Research Hospital for Children Memphis, Tennessee




transmission of influenza from wild birds and barnyard animals. One of the most recent research projects is on the prevention of strokes in patients with sickle cell anemia.

It is only twenty-three years since Danny Thomas carried his dream to the people of his own heritage, and less than twenty since St. Jude opened its doors to the desperately sick children of the world.

Today, Americans of all nationalities keep the dream alive by their dedication to the goals of ALSAC and St. Jude's.

St. Jude Hospital is a living tribute to a man who kept his promise.





You have your Lebanon and its dilemma. I have my Lebanon and its beauty. Your Lebanon is an area for men from the West and men from the East. My Lebanon is a flock of birds fluttering in the early morning as sheperds lead their sheep into the meadow and rising in the evening as farmers return from their fields and vineyards.

You have your Lebanon and its people. I have my Lebanon and its people . . .

Let me tell you who are the children of my Lebanon. They are the farmers who would turn fallow field into garden and grove.

They are the shepherds who lead their flocks through the valleys to be fattened for your table meat and your woolens.

They are the vine-pressers who press the grape to wine and boil it to syrup.

They are the parents who tend the nurseries, the mothers who spin silen yarn.

They are the farmers who harvest the wheat and the wives who gather the sheaves.

They are the builders, the potters, the weavers and the bell-casters.

They are the poets who pour their souls in new cups.

They are those who migrate with nothing but courage in their hearts and strength in their arms but return with wealth in their hands and a wreath of glory upon their heads.

They are the victorious wherever they go and loved and respected wherever they settle.

They are the ones born in huts but who died in palaces of learning.




These are the children of Lebanon; they are the lamps that cannot be snuffed by the wind and the salt which remains unspoiled through the ages.

They are the ones who are steadily moving toward perfection, beauty and truth.

What will remain of your Lebanon after a century? . . . Except bragging, lying and stupidity? . . . I say to you, while the conscience of time listened to me that the songs of a maiden collecting herbs in the valleys of Lebanon will outlast all the uttering of the most exalted prattler among you . . .

You have your Lebanon and I have my Lebanon.


Kahlil Gibran . . . circa 1928 -
during Mandate of Lebanon


KAHLIL GIBRAN . . . prophetic words