Stories My Father Told Me

Memories of a Childhood in Syria and Lebanon


Meet The Author

In a world driven by power, money, and the pursuit of personal success, Helen and her father Elia have given us a glimpse of an intact society stretched to the limit, yet surviving with all the strands of its fabric securely in place. Their deceptively simple work carries a profound message for our time.

24 full color plates of original artwork by the established Arab American artist Helen Zughaib accompany her father Elia Zughaib’s family stories of his childhood in Syria and Lebanon in the 1930s.

Helen’s art in review: “Like dreaming in color.” “Her perfectly patterned visual images create a path of radiance.” “Her images magically carry us into distant places of beauty, joy, devotion, and love.”

In counterpoint to Helen’s art work, Elia Zughaib’s stories portray with rich cultural detail the traditions and lifestyle of a previous era. Evocative, full of wisdom and humor, they offer fascinating glimpses into Syrian and Lebanese Christian traditions, folk culture, and daily life.

Winner of the Evelyn Shakir Non-Fiction Award from the Arab American National Museum 2021 Arab American Book Awards.

True “stories involve three generations . . . and provide a valuable record of the ways of the old world.”
—Aramco World




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