History has shown us that the movement of people has always happened and it can result in some amazing things, like the child of this Syrian man below.

Abdul Fattah Jandali.

Jandali was born in 1931 in Homs, Syria to a wealthy landowner. His father was a self-made millionaire who owned “several entire villages”, according to his son. He father held complete authority over his children.

His mother was a traditional Muslim woman who “took care of the house and me and my four sisters, but she was conservative, obedient, and a housewife”.

He had wanted to study law at Damascus University to become a lawyer, but his authoritarian father disagreed, saying that there were “too many lawyers in Syria”.

At 18 Jandali left Syria for Lebanon to continue his studies at the American University of Beirut. He described Beirut as the city “where I spent the best days of my life”.

At the university he was an activist for Arab nationalism, and demonstrated for the independence of Algeria and even spent three days in prison.

Protests from 1952-54 forced him to flee Beirut. The protests demanded the resignation of then Lebanese president, Bechara El Khoury, who later became the first Arab president to step down under the pressure of popular demonstrations in the streets.

Unlike many of the Syrian migrants now fleeing to Europe Jandali moved to New York, where he lived with a relative, Najm Eddin al-Rifai, who was the Syrian ambassador to the United Nations.

Jandali studied at Colombia University and Wisconsin University where he received a scholarship that enabled him to obtain a Ph.D. in Economics and Political Sciences.

While studying in Wisconsin Jandali met and dated a German-Swiss Catholic called Joanne Carol Schieble, who was soon pregnant with his child.

Her conservative Catholic father refused to allow her to marry Jandali because he was a Muslim.

Jandali then left Schieble not long before the baby’s birth on 24 February 1955.



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