We first met Mr. Bassel M. Abdallah at a Cleveland Council of World Affairs program about the Middle East at the Union Club on January 23rd. He told us that he had immigrated to the United States from Lebanon over 10 years ago and that he was now practicing law, having passed the bar examination in Ohio. Bassel seemed like a very engaging person, so we arranged to share a
iForeignBorn educates, informs and inspires people from around the world. You may live in a country you weren’t born in, or travel across the world. We promote respect for all differences of all peoples of the world. These iForeignBorn stories are interviews with people from around the world who have come to live in the United States of America.
Mark Owens first came to the United States from Derry City in Northern Ireland in 1998 as a beneficiary of the Business Education Initiative program created by the Northern Irish government. At the time, Mark was in his junior year at Belfast Metropolitan College studying production management in the fashion/textile industry. He had never planned on leaving his home of Derry, never mind Ireland, but the opportunity arose, and he decided that he wanted
On Saturday, January 12, we interviewed Ms. Chansy Siboura at the Thai 999 Express, an authentic Thai restaurant on Johnnycake Ridge Road in Concord. The restaurant was established about two years ago by her husband, Bamrung, who is a very respected chef specializing in Thai cuisine. Although Chansy mostly performs management duties, she is no stranger to cooking; in fact, she had spent most of the previous evening preparing spring rolls. Coming
So much has already been written about our friend, Mr. Asim Datta, that we when we sat down to interview him for “I, Foreign Born,” we wondered if we could add anything more! Asim smiled and said that if we wanted to, we could just have a pleasant conversation between friends and see what came out of it. Indeed, we wanted to visit with him because, over the years, we
When Akron City Councilperson Zack Milkovich immigrated to the United States from Croatia with his family in 1967, Zack was only two old. He recalled being told by his family that when they first arrived in New York City, having disembarked from the cargo ship they spent the previous 18 days on, they had no idea what to do next. His mother approached a taxi driver and, knowing no other
Dr. Sanjay Garg was born in 1959 in the small town of Modinagar in the State of Uttar Pradesh in northern India. His family included a sister, a brother and, fortunately for them all, a father who really believed in the value of education. His father, Mr. Garg, earned a Master’s from Lucknow University and went on to become an executive at Modi Enterprises, an important industrial house in India
Recently, our good friend Mr. Pierre Bejjani, the Executive Editor of Profile News, suggested that we sit down and talk with Mr. Husein Rabah, a respected member of the Middle Eastern community here in Northeast Ohio. We had honestly never heard of Mr. Rabah before Pierre told us about him but we were excited to meed him. Pierre agreed to arrange an interview with Mr. Rabah at his home in Westlake and
Ms. Shirien Muntaser describes herself as a lifelong learner and hopes to become an even better person with each passing day. Along these lines, she thoughtfully contends that all of her experiences, even those that were negative at the time, contributed to fashioning her into the person she is today. In our opinion, this is truly exceptional as she is not afraid to step out of her comfort zone and pursue her own
We looked forward to interviewing our good friend, Mr. Pierre Bejjani for “I, Foreign Born” because we have known Pierre, who first came to the United States from Lebanon in the early-1980’s, for years and cannot think of anyone else who better embodies the immigrant experience of coming to the United States from a place of unrest and making the most of its opportunities. “The United States is beyond question
Meet Nabeel Athar. A foreign born from Pakistan, Nabeel first visited the United States as a Merchant Marine cadet back in early January of 1980. A cargo ship took him to such places as Mobile, Alabama; Charleston, South Carolina; and Yonkers, New York. His ship had just traveled here from Brazil, where weather had been beautiful and quite a contrast to the cold climate in the United States. Nevertheless he
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