Where are you from?


What was it like growing up?

Graduated from Damascus University Medical School in 1975 and came to Cleveland. I was always involved in civic activities during medical school.

What brought you to Cleveland?

Cleveland is a renowned medical and cultural center and had a nice Syrian American medical community, so it appealed to me as the best choice to obtain residency and fellowship and to settle in it for practice. It became the new Home for our family.

What were your first thoughts about coming to America? Did those change?

Concerned about the unknown, and about leaving the family behind. The smooth transition made these concerns less stressful.

What challenges did you face as an immigrant transitioning here?

Mastering the language, immersing in civic and community activities, meeting the professional peer’s expectations and challenges, making new friends and being part of the American society with preservation of the heritage.

What is your occupation?


How have other Clevelanders made you feel welcomed?

Great hospitality on social and professional levels. Appreciation of skills and achievements.

What traditions or customs do you continue to practice?

Emphasizing strong family ties and ethics. Nurturing civic commitments to family members.

What do you love about Cleveland?

Cleveland is a medical and cultural power house, especially in the last few years. We take great pride in our city and work hard to contribute to its distinguished growth and success. We give to the city our best professional skills, our great spiritual and cultural spirits and pave the road for the new generations of immigrants to succeed.

What is your favorite thing to do in Cleveland?

Enjoy its natural beauty with parks and lakes. Enjoy the cultural centers, orchestra, museums, theaters, sports, civic organizations and its friendly people.

What is the best thing about living in Cleveland?

All of the above.

Why is Global Cleveland a great resource?

It is a wonderful idea to have a committed organization such as Global Cleveland to help assisting the new immigrants to settle in, address their needs and accommodate their skills so they can become successful and productive citizens.

Why is it so important to welcome immigrants and refugees?

Immigrants are the new blood supply that every city needs to assure its continued growth and to benefit from the high motivation and energy that immigrants bring to the society. Welcoming them and facilitating their path to success would make their experience and contribution even more fruitful and productive.

What suggestions do you have to make Cleveland a more welcoming community?

Keep exploring new venues to assist immigrants and refugees. Connecting them to the matching professional paths at an early stage and including them in positive civic and cultural activities, so they can transition and become more contributing communities at a faster pace.