Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History

Interview with Salim Natour, February 11, 2008

Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History, University of Kentucky Libraries
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00:00:00 - Immigration to the United States from Palestine

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Partial Transcript: The stories about being in Palestine and Lawrence of Arabia, and all these sorts of things. So when did you come over? When did you come?

Segment Synopsis: Salim Natour explains when he came over to the United States and his family ties in America, as well as where he moved when he first immigrated.

Keywords: 1956; Aunts; Emigration; Family; Immigration; Jobs; Kentucky:Ramallah; Move; Palestine; Uncles; United States of America; Washington

Subjects: Emigration and Immigration--United States.; Immigrants--Kentucky--Lexington; Palestinian Americans

00:01:55 - Ties to Ramallah / childhood and family

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Partial Transcript: Do you still have a home and family in Ramallah?

Segment Synopsis: Natour provides a brief description of his family in and out of Ramallah, as well as a quick description of his childhood and present life.

Keywords: Arabic; Big city; Born and raised; Brother; English; English Language; Family; Growing up; Home; Jerusalem; Language; Moved to Ramallah; Newspaper; Radio; School; Sister

Subjects: Immigrants--Kentucky--Lexington; Palestinian Americans; Rām Allāh

00:03:53 - Discussion of marriages and immediate family

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Partial Transcript: '60...'65 I went back home. See I had been to a trip o-overseas. After 1960, I met a girl over there, and we, we stayed about there a year a few months, after we get divorced.

Segment Synopsis: Description of family, father and mother, as well as how he met his ex and current wife, both of with which he had children.

Keywords: 1960; 1963; 1965; 1967; Arab Americans; British Government; Court; Death; Decent living; Divorce; Family; Father; Grandchildren; Love; Marriage; Mother; Read Arabic; Speak Arabic

Subjects: Immigrants--Kentucky--Lexington; Palestinian Americans; Rām Allāh

00:08:34 - Working in America with family

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Partial Transcript: And so, when--did you open a business as soon as you came to Lexington?

Segment Synopsis: Salim Natour describes his business ventures once reaching the United States.

Keywords: 1967; American; Business; Candle House; Daughter in Law; Downtown Lexington; Family; Grocery Store; Happy Cafe; Restaurant; Retirement; Son; Uncle; Work

Subjects: Emigration and Immigration--United States.; Immigrants--Kentucky--Lexington; Palestinian Americans; Rām Allāh

00:16:21 - Importance of education

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Partial Transcript: Did you want your kids to go into the business here?

Segment Synopsis: Natour discusses the importance of education and his feelings regarding receiving a high school diploma and hopes that his grandchildren will reach for a college diploma.

Keywords: Bank; Children; Demand Education; Education; Fathers; Jobs; Lafayette High School; School; Work

Subjects: Families; Immigrants--Kentucky--Lexington; Palestinian Americans

00:18:42 - Life in Lexington and cultural influences

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Partial Transcript: How is it then, being in the inner city?

Segment Synopsis: Living in Lexington is discussed as well as the types of foods Natour usually eats at home (some "Arabic foods" and some "American foods").

Keywords: American Food; Arabic Foods; Black Neighborhoods; Business; Chili; Falafel,Lamb Meat; Fish; Food; Fried Chicken; Friendship; Good People and Bad People; Happy Cafe; Inner City; Open heart Surgery; Spaghetti; Squash; Vegetation; Work with public

Subjects: Cooking, Palestinian Arab.; Immigrants--Kentucky--Lexington; Palestinian Americans

00:23:00 - Religion / involvement in the Lexington community

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Partial Transcript: Are you religious? Do you--do you practice a religion?

Segment Synopsis: Natour provides a quick explanation of his religious practices. He describes his relationship with his community and family and how he is involved with each.

Keywords: Chicago; Community; Elderly; Family; Florida; Friends; Movies; Nicholasville Road; Ramallah Conventions; Religion; St. Andrews Church; Travel; Traveling; Visit relatives; Work

Subjects: Immigrants--Kentucky--Lexington; Palestinian Americans

00:28:58 - Desire to visit Ramallah

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Partial Transcript: Really I would love to go to Ramallah and just visit, me and my wife. But in my situation, I can't.

Segment Synopsis: Natour describes Ramallah and the discusses the differences between America and Ramallah. Natour's son, Victor, speaks briefly about his trip to Ramallah. The trouble of traveling overseas is discussed, from personal experiences and personal opinions and feelings on being Arabic.

Keywords: 9/11; Bananas; Checkpoints; Child; Dates; Discrimination; Dream; Family; Fruit; Fruit trees; Language; Meat; Politics; Ramallah; Searches; Security; September 11; Smells; Streets; Terrorism; Terrorists; Travel; Vegetables; Visit; Weather; Young

Subjects: Discrimination.; Immigrants--Kentucky--Lexington; International travel; Palestinian Americans; Rām Allāh

00:39:16 - Identity

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Partial Transcript: Do your kids have an Arab-American identity?

Segment Synopsis: Identity is discussed between Natour and his son Victor, based on their families and values, and how they choose to identify themselves with their mixed culture.

Keywords: American; Arab American; Arabic Language; Children; Danger; Identity; Overseas; Visit

Subjects: Group identity.; Immigrants--Kentucky--Lexington; Palestinian Americans

00:44:49 - Natour's aunt's decision to move to Kentucky

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Partial Transcript: No, but I mean, like your aunts, why did they come to Kentucky?

Segment Synopsis: Natour discusses the reasons for initial immigration by his aunt. He talks about where he has lived in Lexington.

Keywords: Army; Aunt; Con Terr Road; Emigration; Family; Fontaine; Happy; Houses; Husband; Immigration; Lexington; Moving; Moving to Kentucky; Rose Lane; Wife

Subjects: Emigration and Immigration--United States.; Immigrants--Kentucky--Lexington; Palestinian Americans

00:49:26 - More on traveling discrimination and family

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Partial Transcript: The rest of the story, I know there's more to--how would you go, when you would go back to--in the 60's, did you fly? You flew.

Segment Synopsis: Salim and Victor Natour describe the troubles of visiting their family and friends in Ramallah, as well talking more about family life in the United States. The interview is concluded.

Keywords: Airport; Arabic language; Brothers; Cousins; Denied entry; Discriminatino; Family; Fathers; Grow up; Harassment; Israel; Kids; Lebanese War; Lexington, Kentucky; Life; Mothers; Neighbors; Original Arabic; Passport; Prejudice; Racism; Refugee; Refugee status; School; Security; Segregation; Sisters; Travel by boat; U.S. citizen; Visa; Visiting; Wars

Subjects: Discrimination.; Immigrants--Kentucky--Lexington; International travel; Palestinian Americans; Rām Allāh