, , , , , , ,


Pretty cute, right?

This photo was taken around 1938 in Beirut.

My mum is torturing her big brother (sorry he’s missing from the photo) with my grandmother, Elsie (Mills) Oliver, looking on, and sister, Alison, on the left. A moment of silly, spontaneous kid-ness.

My mother’s British/American family lived in Lebanon for three generations. My great grandmother, Emily Wright, traveled from England to Lebanon with her Quaker missionary father, Alfred, in the early 1890s.There she met and married Daniel Oliver, a strong-willed, stubbornly independent Scotsman from the farthest reaches of the Highlands. They spent the rest of their lives in Lebanon (more in later posts!)

My grandfather, Kenneth Stuart Oliver (I always like the sound of his full name), and his two brothers were sent to Pennsylvania as children to be safe from unrest in the Middle East and be educated. While his brothers, Douglas and Hugh, stayed in the U.S., my grandfather returned to Lebanon in the 1920s after finishing medical school and marrying my Baltimore-born-and-bred grandmother. He was a physician and faculty member at the American University of Beirut.

My mum and her siblings lived in Beirut and spent summers in the mountains of Lebanon until they left for the U.S. in 1945. This photo must have been taken soon before the outbreak of World War II disrupted their lives dramatically, and eventually led them to leave the country.