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Ziyad N. Samara - Immigrant Stories

Ziyad Samara, a Palestinian from the West Bank, grew up in Palestine and Kuwait in the late 1950’s and 1960’s, and met his future wife, Souad, while living in Kuwait. His older brother emigrated to the U.S in 1969 and in 1971 Ziyad’s father borrowed money to take the rest of the family to the U.S., initially settling in Chicago Heights, Illinois. Ziyad attended Prairie State College while working as a busboy and dishwasher. Continuing to work in the restaurant business, he became a restaurant manager in Springfield, Illinois, working at Lum’s Restaurant from 1978 to about 1996. In 1999 he became the owner of Sgt. Pepper’s Café.

Interview Links

Feature Excerpt

'Ziyad's Thanksgiving promise'

Abstract

Inteterview Session 01

Life in the West Bank and Kuwait, and immigration to U.S.

Interview Session 02

Photos

Caption

Ziyad Samara in 2013. He is the owner of Sgt. Peppers Café, in Springfield, Illinois, ‘home of the Horseshoe.’

Where:

Unknown

When:

2013

Ownership:

Narrator’s photo

Caption

Taken about 1939, this is a picture of Nimer Samara, Ziyad’s father, on the far right, grandfather, Araf Samara in the middle, and Adeb Samara, an uncle, on the left.

Where:

Unknown

When:

Circa 1939

Ownership:

Narrator’s photo

Caption

Ziyad Samara attended a daycare center in Tulkarem, Palestine in the mid 1950’s. This class picture shows the children’s drawings displayed in the front row. Ziyad is the second child from the left in the last row.

Where:

Tulkarem, Palestine

When:

Mid 1950’s

Ownership:

Narrator’s photo

Caption

Ziyad Samara, 11 years old, is sitting on the second floor porch of the family apartment in Tulkarem, Palestine. He is shown with the family radio, unusual to own at that time in Palestine.

Where:

Tulkarem, Palestine

When:

May, 1962

Ownership:

Narrator’s photo

Caption

Ziyad is pictured using the family’s rotary phone in 1962, in Tulkarem, Palestine where the family lived. He remembers his phone number as simply being, “61.”

Where:

Tulkarem, Palestine

When:

1962

Ownership:

Narrator’s photo

Caption

A formal portrait of Ziyad’s future mother-in-law, Raja Al Hussein, taken in 1964. At the time of the interview Raja was 78 and lived in Ahmad, Jordan.

Where:

Unknown

When:

1964

Ownership:

May be restricted. Patrons desiring to use this photograph should contact the ALPL Audio-Visual Curator.

Caption

Ziyad dances with a friend at a high school dance in Kuwait, about 1968. He attended Abudla Al Salem High School.

Where:

Kuwait

When:

1968

Ownership:

Narrator’s photo

Caption

Ziyad is on vacation in Syria, circa 1969 with the whole family. Pictured counter-clockwise around the table are Ziyad’s father Nimer, mother Afaf, brother Eyad, brother Majdi, sister JuoJuo, and Ziyad.

Where:

Syria

When:

Circa 1969

Ownership:

Narrator’s photo

Caption

This picture shows the family on vacation sometime in the 1970’s. From the left are Nimer, Joujou, Imad , Afaf, Majdi, Eyad, and Ziyad.

Where:

Unknown

When:

1970's

Ownership:

Narrator’s photo

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Caption

Souad Samara’s family is pictured in Kuwait in the 1970’s. From the left are Shokri, Ramsey, Raja, Hussein, and Hanan.

Where:

Kuwait

When:

1970’s

Ownership:

Narrator’s photo

Caption

Ziyad Samara’s future wife, Souad Al Hussein, was a junior in high school in Kuwait when this photo was taken in 1976.

Where:

Kuwait

When:

1976

Ownership:

Narrator’s photo

Caption

Souad and Ziyad Samara are shown in a wedding day photo on January 31, 1979. The wedding was held at a hotel on.

Where:

Misela Beach, Kuwait

When:

January 31, 1979

Ownership:

Narrator’s photo

Caption

The wedding party for Ziyad and Souad Samara. Also pictured are Mazoz and his wife who stood up with them for the wedding.

Where:

Misela Beach, Kuwait

When:

January 31, 1979

Ownership:

Narrator’s photo

Caption

Where:

Unknown

When:

Unknown

Ownership:

Unknown

Caption

Ziyad Samara is photographed with his family and brother outside Lums Restaurant in Springfield in 1982. Pictured are Eyad, son, Tarek, Souad, and Ziyad.

Where:

Springfield, Illinois

When:

1982

Ownership:

Narrator’s photo

Caption

Ziyad Samara working in the kitchen of Lums Restaurant in Springfield, Illinois with his brother, Eyad, in 1984.

Where:

Springfield, Illinois

When:

1984

Ownership:

Narrator’s photo

Caption

Afaf Samara, Ziyad’s mother, immigrated with her family to the United States in 1968. This formal photo was taken in Springfield, Illinois, 1999.

Where:

Springfield, Illinois

When:

1999

Ownership:

May be restricted. Patrons desiring to use this photograph should contact the ALPL Audio-Visual Curator.

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