“Portraits of Sam Hallick: Modern Arab Presence in Early Twentieth-Century North America" by Salah D. Hassan
ECH's newest publication, Portraits of Sam Hallick: Modern Arab Presence in Twentieth-Century North America by Salah D. Hassan marks the Embassy Cultural House's seventh in-house publication, and the first publication to be written by a single ECH contributor.
This book examines photographs of Sam Hallick, an Arab immigrant who came to the United States during the early twentieth century—a period when photography was becoming more accessible to the general public. Arabic-speaking immigrants in the US had photographers take professional portraits in their shops, on the street, in offices, or in factories. Journalists and ethnographers also took photos documenting the presence of Arabic speakers in varied locations across the United States. The main focus is on photos of Sam Hallick, the author's maternal grandfather, who arrived in the US around 1900 and lived in South Dakota before returning to his home village in the Beqa'a Valley in 1920. Hassan pieces together the story of Sam Hallick from family photos and the public record, reading the family portraits in relation to modern forms of Arab self-representation.