family photos

Group:

These are two photos of my dad's side of the family. The first one is of my grandparents and their families--it was taken in the 1950s, before my dad was born and they left Egypt for the United States. My grandparents are in the middle of the second row. The second photo is of my grandfather's family in the 1930s (he's the kid in the middle of the first row). They came to Los Angeles with their two young daughters as a result of the discrimination faced by Copts, the Orthodox Christian minority in Egypt, and their four youngest kids were born here. My grandpa was an engineer in Egypt who had risen as far as he could with that discrimination hanging over him, and in LA, he became a civil engineer for the transit system. My grandma got her degree in education and continued onto grad school in the US, working a few different jobs. Eventually, most people in the first photograph ended up in Southern California as well. I'm always struck by the difference in dress in the two photos over only 20 years--in the older photo, everyone is wearing primarily western clothes with traditional accessories, but by the 50s their outfits are fully Western. It's an interesting reflection of Egypt's changing culture and the cultural melding that would come to shape the rest of their lives as well as that of their children's and grandchildren's! 

Place(s): Egypt, Los Angeles
Year: 1968

– Evan Sawires

Relationship:  Grandchild of im/migrant Grandchild of im/migrant