Syriac Therapists of American Jewelry Buyers


In New Jersey and around it, regardless of which ‘Jewelry Exchange’ branch you go to, you would definitely encounter a jewelry salesperson with Syriac background. Jewelry Exchange on 47th Street in New York and in Wayne, Totowa and Paramus in New Jersey are some of them. And, the one in Woodbridge, NJ is one of the earliest jewelry exchange shops where the Syrian migrants in the USA started operating in the sector. The building in Woodbridge has 36 booths and 90 of the businesses there are ran by Syriacs. 

‘Kadir Baba’ of Paterson

Afyonkarahisar is a Turkish city with one of the largest migration rates in the country. In Emirdağ, the city’s most populated district, migration to foreign countries mostly began in the 1960’s. It is estimated that the number of migrants from Emirdağ, who mainly moved to European countries, especially to Belgium, as laborers, has now reached almost 150,000. And, the population of migrants from Emirdağ living in Belgium is believed to be around 120,000. One of the migrants from Emirdağ whose migration route led to USA is Kadir Taşkın. Now a resident of Paterson, Taşkın is referred to, by many, as ‘baba’, meaning, ‘father.’ In 1989, just like his countryfolk, Taşkın had also left his town to migrate to Europe. He had a visa both from Germany and the USA. A friend of his suggested he would first move to the USA, and leave he wouldn’t like it. Following along with his friend’s advice, Taşkın moved to Paterson, NJ in 1989. “I have been here since the first day I migrated and I haven’t left at all,” he says.

Heart-warming & Inspirational Story of Esendemir Sisters


Füsun, Gonca and Arzu Esendemir sisters started the Flatbread Grill® concept back in 2007 when their father was diagnosed with congestive heart failure. They grew up in poverty, so the family never had health insurance. The father immigrated to American in 1975 in pursuit of a better education and to follow his own dream of entrepreneurship. The restaurant concept was started after Füsun was laid off from her corporate job so they could take care of her parents. Arzu had just graduated college and was trying to decide between a career on Wall Street or law school. The sisters developed the restaurant concept completely on their own: branding, operations, menu, etc. They created a special bread called Thumb Bread®, which played a significant role in the concept's success. The New York Times wrote about their restaurant and their bread two months after they had their grand opening. Fast forward to the present, after opening multiple stores, hand making millions of pieces of bread, and being in the restaurant business for over a decade plus years, they now sell the bread as a CPG product.

Passion, Brotherhood, Love and Cigar 

Fouad Kashouty has been a member of Masonic Lodge for 27 years. He is a Freemasons and founders of Hiram & Solomon Cigars. Everything started in 2014, when he decided to roll 1000 cigars to raise some money for a scholarship for the Masonic Lodge that he belongs to. That was an immediate success among Masonic Brethren that grew amazingly fast and caught the attention of non-Freemason smokers. Now he is selling about 1 million sticks across the world. This was the passion...  It took them about four or five years to get the rights of the Square and Compass (masonic symbols) for a cigar, he created a premium cigar. After a few years spent going back and forth with the lab and convincing the more conservative members that it is OK to do this and working with all the masonic charities. That’s how Hiram & Solomon Cigars have expanded. They grew faster than other companies because of the help and support of his masonic brothers in the market. That was the brotherhood...  

First Syriac Immigrants in the United States


(Dr Abraham K. Yoosuf, and other Syriacs from Mardin, Kharput and Diyarbakır in Worcester, Massachusetts. 1922, July 4. American Independence Day.)

George Anton Kiraz has published extensively in the fields of computational linguistics, Syriac studies, and the digital humanities. He wrote several books, journals, research papers and articles about Syriacs. He is the founder and director of Beth Mardutho: The Syriac Institute, the Editor-in-Chief of Gorgias Press, and a Senior Research Associate at the Institute for Advanced Study, Princeton. He earned an M.St. degree in Syriac Studies from the University of Oxford (1991) and an M.Phil. and a Ph.D. from the University of Cambridge (1992, 1996). His latest books include The Syriac Orthodox in North America (1895–1995): A Short History (2019) and Syriac-English New Testament (2020).

Police Officer, First Responder’s Favorite Watchmaker 


Next to the Harley Davidson store in Rochelle Park, New Jersey, there is a watch and jewelry store where you can always see police cars in front of it. You can't help but ask, "Did something happen?" Local town polices, State polices, sheriff, first responders' vehicles enter and the other leaves. In fact, there is no crime situation. Eli Adams Jewelers, the watch and jewelry shop run by Sait Dar and his sons Erol (Adam) and İlyas (Elijah), is the store that sells the most watches to the police in the U.S.  

Elder Brother of the Syriac Society: Gabriel Akyön  



The Mor Gabriel community is extremely tight-knit, and most socialization happens within the community. In addition to weekly church services, there are also many social events throughout the year. The families within the community are not only friends, but most are also related to each other. Even the children, who attend public and private schools in English, do not (usually) become as good of with those who are outside of the community, as those friends would be seen as temporary, while friends from the community are seen as lifelong friends. The young people usually marry within the larger Syriac community. * The Syriac community in the U.S. is small and where everyone knows each other in some way. The majority of them are from the Midyat district of Mardin. (Gebrail) Cebrail Akyön is one of the most loved and respected names of the Syriac community. He is one of well-known names who representing the Syriac community at the official receptions of the Consulate General of the Republic of Turkey in New York.   

Rev. Father Aziz Who Teaches the Tongue Jesus Spoke

Rev. Father Aziz Hadodo has served as pastor of St. Gabriel Syrian Orthodox Church in New Jersey since 1994. One of the rare names to have a chance to know his family roots back 400 years. Due to a disagreement between cousins, a group flees from Diyarbakır, the largest Kurdish-majority city in Turkey to Midyat, a town in the Mardin province of Türkiye. Others follow them. They reconcile with the intervention of the clergy. As a result of this event, the family migrated from Diyarbakır to Midyat in 400 years ago. A Syriac patriarch from the family drew up a family tree for the first time 200 years ago. Another relative, who was a member of parliament in Syria, worked on the family tree about 60 years ago and brought it up to date.

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Experiencing Europe and America through Restaurant Business

Most of the Syriac community who left Mardin for several reasons came to Europe and some to the United States. Aziz Gürbüz is one of the names who have both European and American experience.
Originally from Altıntaş village of Midyat district of Mardin province. He still has not broken his ties with his village. Last summer, he sent his wife and son Gabriel to Mor Gabriel Church in Midyat for summer camp, so that he could get to know the Syriac culture and understand the religious values. 

Former Intel Vice President Ildeniz to Turkish Entrepreneurs : Try to solve globally scalable problems and focus on the problems of 8 billion people!

Turk of America Journalist Ali Cinar interviewed a prominent pioneer of technology Aysegul Ildeniz regarding the latest developments in the U.S Technology industry

Ayşegül Ildeniz, who worked as a Vice President at Intel, said that the chip issue is an essential strategic matter between the US and China. Ildeniz mentioned that due to a global shortage of semiconductors in 2021 caused by the pandemic, the U.S. economy suffered a loss of $240 million. Ildeniz stated that some Americans could not have cars and computers due to this shortage. She also said that another critical issue in the future would be China threatening Taiwan with its expansionist rhetoric.

In a Bloomberg HT interview, Ayşegül Ildeniz emphasized that "approximately two-thirds of the global semiconductor production is located in South Korea and Taiwan. The U.S. successfully designed chips, but U.S. could not lead the manufacturing position in this industry" Ildeniz added, "Ultimately, the U.S. Congress had to approve a crucial billion-dollar economic package to solve the problem of a lack of semiconductors and the supply chain issues." She emphasized that China invested roughly $600 billion into subtitles, education, R&D, and science.

Ildeniz said there were periodic layoffs in the tech sector and recalled the layoffs in 2001, 2008, and the early 2010s. Ayşegül Ildeniz stated that the number of people employed in the tech sector was 4.7 million before the COVID-19 pandemic, and this number has grown to 5.2 million today. She said that Amazon hired half a million people last year. She indicated that tech firms strive to engage the brightest minds and become competitive. She also said that with the danger of a recession looming in the near future, the firms put great importance on balancing. She reminded us that when there were layoffs, people who lost their jobs went into the business of start-ups to create a brand-new future for themselves. "Cutting-edge technologies have emerged in the previous fluctuations," Ildeniz said.

Ayşegül Ildeniz listed her suggestions to Turkish and Turkish American entrepreneurs: Try to solve globally scalable problems; focus on the problems of 8 billion people and on products and services that everyone can use; and prioritize macro-issues like health, the climate crisis, and energy. She also emphasized that AI and robotics studies are important, and it would be valuable to prioritize services and products related to these fields.

About Aysegul Ildeniz: She is a pioneer in innovation, technology transformation and future vision in Silicon Valley and Istanbul, Turkey. She serves on the boards of Eczacibasi Holding and Zorlu Holding companies: Vestel Electronics, Vestel White Goods and Zorlu Enerji. She served as the Chief Operating Officer for Silver Spring Networks, a publicly owned worldwide leading technology company focused on internet of things and smart energy. Ayse had a successful career at Intel Corporation; last job being the Vice President for New Devices Group she is the chair of TUSIAD Silicon Valley Network and serves on the boards of Turkish Philanthropy Funds and American Turkish Society.

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