A short history of the Syriac Orthodox community in North America between 1895, the year of the First Sayfo that triggered the first wave of immigration to North America, and 1995, marking the passing away of Metropolitan Mor Athanasius Yeshue Samuel, the first and only Archbishop of the Syriac Orthodox Archdiocese of the United States and Canada.
Black with Color Inserts
5.5 x 8.5
The one hundred years between 1895 and 1995 witnessed the birth of a brand new American cultural identity created by Middle Eastern immigrants belonging to the Syriac Orthodox Church. Beginning with the first refugees to arrive on the shores of the United States after the horrors of the 1895 Sayfo massacres, George A. Kiraz carefully lays out the history of the Syriac Orthodox American communities in this new book, drawing from Syriac-language newspapers, archived photos, and oral histories collected in personal interviews.
The narrative examines both the broad contours of Syriac Orthodox history and the individual experiences of the families who moved to North America during this critical century, moving back and forth between geopolitical context, social history, and personal stories. In the process, it depicts the construction of a culture: despite the fact that these Syriac Orthodox did not even have their own church in North America for roughly thirty years, they worked slowly to build church infrastructure, to develop social organizations and associations, and to print newspapers and publications that documented community and religious life. As these families were knitting together to build cohesive communities, they were also navigating their relationship with church leadership in the Middle East, negotiating their identity, and creating new models for participation in Syriac Orthodox structures.
This book is a critical record of these communities' history, documenting the fruits of a hundred-year project and preserving details and accounts that otherwise stand in danger of being lost to the passage of time.
A co-publication between Gorgias Press and Beth Antioch Press.