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Beirut, Lebanon
Local Time: 14:21
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Readers' Letters
Written by Administrator   
Wednesday, 29 July 2009 10:31
[quote name="Mira Games"]this is truly a awesome blog site discussed on some very important topics...the articles are really nice and informative...i enjoyed your articles while reading and get to know more about this things...the images are beautiful...your blog site has impressed me a lot..i would love to visit it again..thanx for your work...[/quote]


Sun, Aug 9, 2009

Sender: Jim Hanlon

Hello, I was wondering if you could help me. I joined a couple of facebook groups about Kaftoun but haven't received any information back. My grandfather was born in Kaftoun in 1905. His name was Najib Sarkis. He emigrated to the US in 1920. I am trying to do some genealogy regarding our family and find out as far as cousins, extended family remaining there of which I'm sure there is a lot. He went back to kaftoun in 1971 and I have some pictures of his visit if you like. Any contact info or if someone would like to contact me that would be terrific.

Thank you.

Jim Hanlon


Sun, Aug 9, 2009

Sender: Jim Hanlon

Hello, I was wondering if you could help me. I joined a couple of facebook groups about Kaftoun but haven't received any information back. My grandfather was born in Kaftoun in 1905. His name was Najib Sarkis. He emigrated to the US in 1920. I am trying to do some genealogy regarding our family and find out as far as cousins, extended family remaining there of which I'm sure there is a lot. He went back to kaftoun in 1971 and I have some pictures of his visit if you like. Any contact info or if someone would like to contact me that would be terrific.

Thank you.

Jim Hanlon

My Lebanese Family

July 28, 2009

Sender: James Shaheen

Hi.I'm James Shaheen.I'm 44 y.o.My father is Rafic Shaheen (Chahine).He lives in San Francisco.My uncles are Adel and Michael.My aunts are Souhad and Nawal. My mother Grace was french and me and my sister Linda always lived in France but we remember very well our summer holidays in Kaftoun with our cousins Sam,Charley and Lina. I didn't have any relationship with my Lebanese family since I was a child and if anybody in Kaftoun remembers me I'd very please to communicate.

A modest Thank You!

July 18, 2009

Sender: Jamil Hanna Sarkis

Hello Jay, A pleasure it is to browse through and get all the updates. Sincerely, what you have done and are still doing is of high value to all Kaftounians, even to those who are not aware of its importance. The interviews you are posting, the pictures you are downloading and the journalism you are conducting are all very very interesting! Please keep it up, and if you need any support of whatever kind, drop me an email. May health be generously bestowed on you and your beloved ones! JHS

To Wemaster

July 6, 2009

Sender: Sebastien Droulers

Hello, I had the chance to read your article about your pilgrimage to Syria in this link: I'm a young French pilgrim and had myself the chance to walk from home to the Holy Land (ie Syria / Libano) on foot for one year. This has been a "gift from the sky" (typical french expression, I 'm not sure you can translate) to meet those lifefull communities over Middle East. I had been welcomed in Daraa, Syria, by a young married priest whom I would like to thank with a letter for his warm reception. I unfortunatly lost his adress. Would you have by any chance the adress of the Orthodox Parish of Dar'a? I thank you very much for this kind service. In Christ, Sebastien Droulers

Son of Fawzi Sarkis

January 5, 2009

Sender: Andre Sarkis

Thank you for the Katoun site. I noted my mothers photo "Amal Sarkis" You named her "Mayla Sarkis" Fawzi wife. You have no photos of my Farther.

My Grandmother Saada and Uncle Edward were in one of the photos.

I would be happy to send some photos of the family. We live in Australia. Fawzi and Amal are still well and I have two Brothers Bassem married with three kids and Saleem. I am married with three kids also.

Sincerely Andre

Kaftoun: Site design

September 11, 2008

Sender: Nicolas Choueiri

I am very impressed with your Kaftoun site. I do not remember visiting the old site in order to rate it. Will you please contact me as I need some advice from you about our Kfarhata site?

Congratulation and thank you.

Nicolas Choueiri

Contact of Jay's ceramic

April 22, 2008

Sender: Dana Hassan

Dear sir,

It has been a while, I have been looking for somebody who can teach me the art of ceramics. I am an illustrator who draws and paint and I would really like to share my experience with somebody performing the art of ceramics. I fell down on this website, I really liked Jay's ceramics and would like to know if he gives ceramic classes and he sells his own producs.

Thank you

Thanks, and corrections

February 4, 2008

Sender: Linda Simon

Hi Jay,

Thanks so much for creating this site. I love it.

As I perused the gallery, I saw photos of Maya Dagher's wedding, which I attended. There is a correction to be made, whenever you have time: the photo captioned "proud father" is not Maya's father Samir, but her uncle Nabil Dagher. This year the family will have photos to add of the wedding of Maya's younger sister Mira.

Warm regards,

Linda Simon

Guest book entry

January 1, 2008

Sender: Habib Elias Rizk


First, Let me command you on the wonderful effort in putting such a small but large village on the world map.

I was born in kaftoun, grew up amongst all the people you have posted on the site. It is overwhelming to be able to rekindle the old memories through this web.

I left my beautiful kaftoun in 1975, but the memories are as fresh as yesterdays.

I would love to make contact with as many kaftouni people as possible. Please drop me an email on This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

Keep up the wonderful work.

My home Ph No. is 612 9594-0911, Mobile. 61 412 275 611
Our Address is 114 Stuart St, Blakehurst Sydney NSW 2221 AUSTRALIA.

Below are my office details.


52 B, Beach street,

Ph: (02) 9587 7422
Fax: (02) 9587 7433

Mobile: 0412 275 611


June 12, 2007

Sender: Guest

Nice site - it looks like a pile of shit!


I'm New To Your Site

December 7, 2006

Sender: Mark Rashid

Hi Jay:

My name is Mark Rashid. My wife's maiden name is Hilda Sarkis. She is Moussa and Isabel Sarkis' daughter.

I could hardly believe that I found this website and am so happy to. I even Google Earthed Kaftoun and placed a landmark on Moussa's house before finding your website. I appreciate your effort in putting this website together. I can tell, you are proud of your heritage.

We have three children (Lewis, Theresa and Charlie) and visited Kaftoun in 2000, when it was safer to travel. We are waiting for a window of time to come back. I love Hilda's parents and family and miss seeing them very much.

Even though I was born in the US I'm Lebanese. My family name is actually Zarka and my family is from Derdghaiya. It's about 20 miles due east of Tyre - in the south. In fact all four of my grandparents came from within 10 miles of Derdghaiya. They moved to the US around 1918.

When you see hilda's parents, please say hello for me.

God bless you.

- Mark Rashid

Thank you; we are paying attention

July 30, 2006

Sender: Bethany Chaney

Hi Jay:

I am the great-grandchild of a Kaftouni man who immigrated to the US just after the turn of the 20th century. I have never been able to visit Lebanon and know little of our family, but am learning. One way I learn is by visiting your site, and I cannot thank you enough for hosting it.

Today I was very glad to see the messaging board, the listing of charitable relief agencies, and the Robert Fisk article. As you know, the media here only gives us soundbites, palatable photos, and the tsk tsking that Fisk refers to. But some of us do pay attention. We host rallies at our state houses, write letters to congressional delegations, talk about the issues with others as a means of spreading information, write letters to editors, and pray, pray, pray. There is not much else we can do -- those of us who care feel quite helpless. Bush et. al. lacks leadership, integrity and the guts to do what is right and good, and obviously the US is not the only country experiencing such vacancy.

Again, thank you for keeping your site current and relevant. It is important to me and my family, even if we don't know a single Kaftouni personally. It is just one of the small connections we can maintain and hold dear.

bethany chaney
carrboro, north carolina
great-granddaughter, John Semaan (kaftoun) and Annie Nosser (el Munsif)


September 19, 2006

Sender: Marcia Dib

Hola soy de Argentina y estoy tratando de localizar a unos familiares que viven en kaftoun con quienes perdí contacto. La página está muy buena.

Hi I'm from Argentina and I am trying to locate some relatives living in kaftoun with whom I lost contact. The site is very good.


September 10, 2006

Sender: Yehia Sabri

wonderful site , keep up the good work and all...

makes one proud to ever been a part of Kaftoun's community at one time or another

God bless all

Thank you!

September 1, 2006

Sender: Tarik Dahir

My name is Tarik Dahir, son of Abdallah Dahir. And I wanted to thank you for making this website! I just found it yesterday and have shared it with all of my family living here in the US. It was really nice for me to read about the history of Kaftoun and the various families and family names. If you know the history of the Dahir family or the origins of the name…. I would be grateful if you could share it with me.

We are all very sad about what’s happened over the last two months, but we are thankful that the fighting has stopped. And we hope and pray for a quick recovery. It’s been eight years since I’ve been able to visit Lebanon and I am looking forward to coming back as soon as I can.

If you happen to run into any of the Daher family, my Aunt Mounira, Aunt Sana, & Uncle George Karam; or any of my cousins, Bassam, Antoine, and Hani and their families, please send them our love!

Best Regards,

Tarik Dahir


July 27, 2006

Sender: Guest

My heart cries for the innocent men, women and children of Lebanon who are being systematically slaughtered at the hands of the Israelis. I am continually sickened at the obvious bias for Israel by the American press. No one who understands what it means to be humane can find justification in the bloodshed that is being perpetrated on the body of Lebanon.

Only when we stop the sanctified murder of innocent people, our brothers and sisters, in the name of God will we know what it means to be to be human.

Thank you

July 23, 2006

Sender: Radi Awartani

Thank you for putting this web site together. It speaks of the truth at a time when the world stood silent to the atrocities that are committed daily against Lebanon and Palestine. Our thought and prayers for our Lebanese brothers and sisters. We have survived thousands of years and we will be in this blessed lands for thousands more.

God Bless you and Leabon now and forever


April 4, 2006

Sender: Yola Sarkis


We were just browsing the Kaftoun site and we really enjoyed looking through the pictures of the families of Kaftoun. Me and my husband Elias Mikhael Sarkis were wondering why there were no pictures of Mikhael Sarkis and his family. If you don't have any, please inform us so we can maybe download some into the web site.

Thank you,

Elias & Yola Sarkis
Las Vegas, Nevada USA

About Kaftoun, Lebanon

January 27, 2006

Sender: Lilly Martin

Dear Mr. Fares,

I am Lilly Martin, I live in Lattakia, Syria. I am an American, I have been here for 14 years, my husband is Nezar Sahiounie, he is the owner of Phoenicia Restaurant, in Lattakia.

I have been working on Family History for 4 years, during this time I started a few years ago to reply to people who were Americans, Canadians, and South Americans, who were looking for their Syrian ancestors.

Because Syria and Lebanon were one country, many of the immigration records for these people state: Beirut, Syria, or Beirut, Turkey. Then people who are looking ask me to help them since I live here. I have explained that since about 1920 the 2 countries are separate and I know more about Syria, because I live here. I only get to Lebanon once per year, usually to either shop in Trablus, or Beirut, or to visit our friends the Audi family in Sidon. Other than that, I don't know anything about Lebanon except what I can read of study. I don't even have a proper map of Lebanon, I use a Syrian map of Homs which was produced by the Syrian Ministry of Tourism, and it shows fairly good details of the NORTH section of Lebanon and the Syrian border areas.

I do have Encarta 2005, encyclopedia, which is CD and has a very good map, but not all villages are shown.

Recently, I have been helping Cheryl A. Harper with her family in Wilkes Barre, Pennsylvania. They are the Solomon family in USA, but a grave stone there in Arabic said the family name was N'Koola, which I thought must go back to a form of Nicola.

I was online looking for US immigration records for her, and I was searching the files of Ellis Island, the New York City immigration place, and I was looking for Hanna Nakhoul who immigrated to USA in 1909. The ship manifest said he was on his way to Khanallah Obrians, who lived with Joseph L. Faris at 81 Hickory st, Wilkes Barre, PA. This makes me feel this is a definate connection to the same family that Cheyl is looking for.

Hanna was traveling with a female, who I think is his sister, her name is Frossin Nakhoul, she was 25 years old, and Hanna was 20 years old. They both said their home was Bou Esmaya, Syria. On the same ship with them is Mefid Youssef who is 20 years old and he says he is from Busmaia, Syria, which is obviously the same village name as Bou Esmaya. This Mefid Youssef is a male, single, and he is going to Hanna Sleman at the exact same address in Wilkes Barre, PA, obviously these 3 people are all either relatives or closely connected, all from the same village, all going to the same address in USA, and all on the same ship together.

I noticed that the name Nakhoul was also ver similar to Makhoul. On the same ship with Hanna, Frossin and Mefid are: Cabita Makhoul and Hanoun Makhoul, and they are from Coula, Syria.

Then I looked for people named Makhoul who also said they were coming from Bou Esmaya, and I found: Francis Ossad, Set el Beit Ossad, Salma Canous, Maemay Darnish, and Labiba Kyrillos.

I also found there were some people named Makhoul who said they were from : Mehrouge; Coula; Hadehile; Haehile; Oyoun;Cobbat; Kaftoune.

I looked at my map and I see in the extreme North East Section of Lebanon, coming to the Syrian border, I see the following villages, which could be the same names as used by these Makhoul families:

Kafrtoun (I guess this is your Kaftoun)
Qbayyat ( this could be Cobbat)
Ein Moun (this could be Oyoun)
Hdaideh (could be Hadehile, or Haehile)

I counld not find anything close to COULA, where is that?

I found a man Morvad Makhool, who arrived in USA in 1909, he said he was from Maten Arouf, Turkey. Does he mean the METN area near Beirut?

Rahme Makhoul, she was 40 years old, a female, she was widow, her husband had died, she was traveling with her sons namned Jabra Barhoun, they arrived in USA in 1906, and they were going to live with her sons named Aboud Barhoun in Wilkes Barre, PA. She said she was from Beirut, but she might have meant she was leaving from Beirut. A lot of immigrants gave answers about what place they left from, but did not give their village name. My question is the Barhoun name common to Kaftoun areas/ Bou Kosmaya?

I appreciate your willingness to help Cheryl, and I thank you for your time and expertise. Please tell me what you need from Lattakia.

Best regards,

Lilly Martin

Geography in Syria/Lebanon

January 26, 2006

Sender: Cheryl (Solomon) Harper

Mr. Fares,

I am an American researching my Arabic heritage. My great-grandfather John Solomon (Hanna Sulayman N'Koola, born 1894, d. August, 21, 1934) came from Metn and/or Bou Esmaya (Boxmaya) in Turkey/Syria in 1909. He settled in the Wilkes Barre, Luzerne County, Pennsylvania area. Others on the ship with him came from Kaftoun. I wondered if you know the Metn and/or Bou Esmaya areas? John was married to Martha Broody.

Thank you in advance for your time and your wonderful site. It has allowed me to see what my heritage is.

Hello and thank you

June 22, 2005

Sender: Randa Sowda


I cannot thank you enough for the beatiful website you have for Kaftoun. I logged on to the site the minute Mounir told me about it last Saturday.

Hope you are doing well with your family. I will be in Katoun this summer, July 16-August 19. I made sure I will be there with my children for "EID-SAIDAH". Hope to see you then and best of luck to you and your family. Ihave the site as my home page at work. I showed to almost everybody I work with and to management.

See you soon.


Guest book entry

June 2, 2005

Sender: Guest

Hello Admin,

I am a Dutchman (no, I do not wear wooden shoes).


I looked at the slideshow and I did not know that Lebanon had so much beautiful nature. So many trees; I always thought it was only desert and sand but I was wrong.

greetings from the Netherlands
(No, I do not live in a windmill)


May 23, 2005

Sender: John

Stop puttin pictures of syrian dogs and there flag on this web site it is disgusting to see these animals on a lebanese village webpage. We are lebanese not syrians i don't want to browse the internet and see such ridiculous pictures get them off


April 18, 2005

Sender: Merry Harb

It would be nice if you include others in photos for example Dalel Anwour fares and her family.

It has become apparent that you only have repetitive phots on your web.

yours kindly,

Merry (her granddaughter).

Icons from Church

April 14, 2005

Sender: Fr. Bassam Nassif

Dear Jay:

I hope you arrrived safely. I would like to congratulate you on the article.

Not just that, I think you are putting Kaftoun on the Internet map. You are really giving the best picture of your village. In the name of all Kaftounians, THANK YOU!

Fr. Bassam

Great Compliment

January 27, 2005

Sender: Wilbert Kruijsen

May I make you a great compliment for the excelent web site Kaftoun, I admire your tast and culture.....

greetings from holland.

I wanted to comment on your site..

December 26, 2004

Sender: John Bray

I happened to be searching through and was made aware of your website.

I had to take a moment and stop to write you. I love what you have done with your site and congratulate you on your great use of Mambo.

I wish you the happiest and healthiest of New Years.



Thats a kewl website

October 31, 2004

Sender: Charles Sarkis

hey this is charles from canada , i have to to say that its a really nice website well designed ... keep it on

thats a kewl website

Last Updated on Wednesday, 29 July 2009 10:35

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