Isam al-Zaem interview, 04 April 2019

Isam al-Zaem is a Syrian. He arrived in Cleveland in 1974 and worked for many years as a pharmacist. Now he is retired. He is married and has one daughter. He is now active in CAIR (Council on American Islamic Relations) and the Islamic center in Parma. He is involved in interfaith dialogues to promote mutual understanding and build cultural and religious bridges between people. He urges fellow Americans to not rely only on media to learn about Islam, rather through close and direct connection to Muslims by visiting mosques and getting to know Muslims better. He believes that the story of the Arabs in the US in general and Cleveland in particular is a story of great success.

Participants: al-Zaem, Isam (interviewee) / Tayyara, Abedelraman (interviewer)
Collection: Arab Community in Cleveland
Institutional Repository: Cleveland Regional Oral History Collection

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Arab Community in Cleveland

These interviews comprise stories from the Arab American community in Cleveland. The educational, political, religious, and socio-economic backgrounds of the interviewees are diverse in scope and shed light into the unique contributions Arabs have made to their local communities since immigrating to Cleveland dating from the 1950s onward. Interviews were conducted by Dr. Abed Tayyara, associate professor of Arabic and Middle Eastern Studies and director of Middle Eastern Studies at CSU and Ms.…