821 Covell NW
Grand Rapids, MI 49504
Letter from your chairperson
Dear Family and Friends:
I would like to introduce myself to everyone. My name is Mary Shaheen and I live in Grand Rapids, Michigan. I have worked for the State of Michigan Department of Human Services as a Child Welfare Specialist for 28 years with a Master's Degree in Social Work. In my free time, I enjoy volunteer work at John Ball Zoo, hiking, dancing, and travel. One of my most memorable trips was a 6 month visit to Saidnaya.
I am the daughter of John Shaheen and Hannah Corey(Yacoub). My four grandparents came from Saidnaya - paternal grandparents are Albert Shaheen and Handoma Maria and my maternal grandparents are Mike Corey(Yacoub) and Selma Saba. My great-grandfather John Corey was first to come in the 1800's and then later returned for his wife Husan and child Mike.
I learned about Saidnaya from the stories my grandparents would tell. Their journey to the United States required months of travel and seemed daring, brave, and adventurous. I don't know if I would have the courage to make such a perilous journey into the unknown. I think it was their upbringing, faith, and strong character building of growing up in Saidnaya that gave them their strength. I believe they never left Saidnaya behind but brought her with them and made their American Saidnaya, instilling those precious values in their children and grandchildren.
Although, I was not born in Saidnaya, I feel a closeness to the people of Saidnaya and I am very excited to be the hostess for the 2012 Saidnaya Reunion. We are who we are today because of Saidnaya.
I was fortunate to find a reasonably priced hotel with a ballroom for our use for the entire weekend of June 29th. I welcome you to come to the reunion as an expression of our pride and commitment to keep Saidnaya alive.