My father was from Damascus. But he was an Ottoman officer in the Turkish Empire. So, he had already a wife and three children at the beginning of World War I when he met my mother. He was 20 years older than she was. By the way he was still young, but — so they got married, not at the end, at the beginning of World War I. And then at the end of that war, the Arab world separated itself from the Turkish Empire, the Empire disappeared. And he came to Beirut, not wanting his new wife, she was a Greek from Smyrna, from Turkey. And so, he didn’t want his new wife to be in Damascus next to his first wife and children.

 

So, they stayed in Beirut, and then I was born there.1 So, this is how — and there was socializing between the different communities, but there were no — each community didn’t want its children to marry outside the community; neither the Muslims, nor the Greeks, not the Armenians and so on.

  1. Two Mixed Kinds
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