Inspired by his friend Danny Thomas’s call that “he who does not honor his heritage has no heritage,” Sandy Simon devoted more than three years of extensive research into the ancestry of his parents’ families, immigrants to the United States. It is interesting to note that all his forebears date back to Phoenicia and early Christianity.
Mr. Simon’s maternal families, Thomé and Zaine, lived in Phoenicia then
Damascus, Syria until they sought freedom and opportunity in the Americas. His mother’s maternal family (Thomé) relocated to Brazil in 1910 and her paternal family (Zaine) to the United States in 1905.
Mr. Simon’s paternal families, Chalhoub and Azar, lived in Phoenicia then Douma and Beirut, Lebanon whence his grandfather and father emigrated to South
Florida in 1912 and 1920, respectively.
Today the Simon family is in its fifth generation in Delray Beach, Florida.
As a first generation Lebanese/Syrian American, Sandy Simon aka Alexander Simon Eassa Chalhoub-ThoméZaine-Azar, has lived his life infused with a blending of the contrasting cultures of America and the Middle East. Mr. Simon is a graduate of the School of Architecture, Georgia Institute of Technology, and received his MBA from the Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania. Mr. Simon has served on the Board of Governors of St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, and is a member of the American Task Force for Lebanon. He also served for fourteen years as Senior Vice President of the National Association of Arab Americans (NAAA). Mr. Simon, inspired by his parents and interest in his heritage, has often traveled to visit his extended families in Damascus, Beirut, Douma and Sao Paulo, Brazil, learning of their culture, their warmth and their courage. He found that most knowledge of his ancestry came by way of family legends passed on orally since the earliest of times; multiple memorable family stories that were confirmed by various relatives of different bloodlines living in different parts of the world. Indeed, Sandy Simon lovingly honors his heritage and wrote this book to memorialize his ancestry for the benefit of his extended family and for the generations to come.