Dr. Linda Jacobs, delivers a talk titled: “Creating Illusions: Arabs in America’s Fairs, 1876-189.” Her talk explores Arab participation in world exhibition and fairs (attended by nearly 50 million Americans) and the effects these experiences had on early Arab immigration and immigrants in nineteenth century America.

so dr. Jacobs is a new york-based scholar and author she's an archaeologist by training she earned her PhD in Near Eastern archaeology and anthropology from the University of Oregon and spent many years working on archaeological excavations and economic development projects in the Middle East she is director and Marana of Jacobs engineering group a global engineering construction firm that had been involved development work in the Middle East for 30 years she is a past president of Manley's technology assistance member of the board of directors of the year is Foundation founder of the village bara Charitable Trusts which is dedicated to improving the lives of people and developing countries in the Middle East and to fostering greater understanding of Middle East and culture in the United States she also sits on the board of the Moi's hennala Center and also the American University of Beirut all right in 2011 she founded Colima press for those of you not familiar with Arabic Kalima means word Kelly ma press she is the author of a memoir or for three years in Iran digging in an American archaeological archeologist uncovers the path of the real Iran and a series of articles about the 19th century Syrian colony in New York in 2013 she was part of a project called little Syria lower Manhattan before the World Trade Center her most recent publication is strangers in the West the Syrian colony of New York City from 1880 to 1900 all fara four of her grandparents were members of New York Syrian colony please join me in welcoming dr. Jacobs thank you so this is technology that I'm not sure I understand and I'm actually standing right in front of the screen right so I'll try not to do that first I want to thank you uh come and your team for having me here it's really wonderful to be in this beautiful place I think Roley is just gorgeous really gorgeous it's and it's wonderful that the head of the center is doing this work on Lebanese diaspora studies because we are the Forgotten definitely the Forgotten and so it's fantastic that there's a Institute a center dedicated to this work so it's really a pleasure and an honor to be here historians of the Syrian diaspora in the United States credit the Centennial Exposition in Philadelphia in 1876 with jump-starting Syrian immigration to the United States it did not it was however the first of more than a dozen and in fact I've now counted about eighteen American fairs in which Syrians participated and their cumulative impact was indeed important Americans had fair fever at the end of the 19th century and Syrians caught the disease the lists affairs with Syrian participation is large but the number of fairs that actually took place is much larger ah see it does go backwards no let's see okay you'll be my remote ok go back one please yep okay thank you I'm not gonna touch this actually okay the fairs had the fairs as a group had two main impacts on Syrian immigration to this country I'm sorry I'm standing in front of you they attracted Syrians who might not have otherwise come to the United States and they promoted Syrian commercial interests in the United States by putting Syrian merchants and goods in front of large numbers of potential and actual customers more than 50 million 50 500 million people attend one or more fairs when the population of the United States was a total of 65 million but the fair experience was not one of an unalloyed success for one thing almost none of the fairs made money or ended up in the black investors and participants usually lost money yet they continued to Sage the fairs Syrian merchants themselves Venice expended a substantial amount of money to transport goods to the fair to buy the stock to pay duty to travel to the venue to pay rent and the other fees that were required by the fair organizers and to live far from home for the duration of the fair they did not often make a profit and sometimes ended up in depth even if the fair as a whole was successful Syrians who worked for others at the fair were at the mercy of the other of their employers fortunes and if the venture failed the the employees usually suffered more than the employer and even if the merchant came away with a profit the fair was by definition temporary and so the profit was not the money earned was not sustainable and by definition fairs were outside time and outside reality so they did not necessarily impart lessons that could be used in the world although presented as high-toned elevating experiences the true purpose of the fairs was evident to everyone they promoted the commercial interests of the host city and the participating companies this purpose never changed what did change was the increasingly explicit emphasis on commercialism and entertainment which liven them up or cheapen them depending on your point of view under the guise of the new and I use air quotes here science of eugenics and race hierarchy organizers added ethnographic exhibits from other countries as well as our own because there were Native American exhibits as well including the display of living people privileges the exotic and the primitive the three strands amusement park fun commerce and the exotic meshed in the oriental villages at every fair and Syrians became expert and sophisticated exploiters of these of these opportunities okay let us begin where every historian begins and that's with a centennial Fair of 1876 in Philadelphia I'm not going to give you backgrounds on these fairs because they're all on Wikipedia you can find them very easily through that opened in 1876 in Fairmount Park in Philadelphia three countries Turkey Egypt and Tunis represented the Middle East nobody called Turkey at that time in America nobody called Turkey the Ottoman Empire so just think of it as Turkey although it was it represented all of the Ottoman Empire the exposition as its name suggests exposed a large swath of the American public nearly ten million people attended the 1876 fair to the people and wares of the Middle East for the first time this may have been the first display of belly dancing in the United States as well as there were three male musicians and two female dancers that performed in the Turkish theater but no one remarked on it either in the fare documents or in the newspapers so it's not clear what the women were doing or what the men were doing it's also not clear how many of the exhibitors at the Centennial Fair were Syrian in fact none of the names that are listed in the official catalogues are Arab names at all they are Turkish names but mostly European names the official catalog states that 1632 exhibitors showed goods in the turkey pavilion a number surpassed only by the United States and England this is difficult to credit both because the Turkish exhibition was very small in the exhibit hall and because the description of the Turkish exhibit was about the size of the description of the Egyptian exhibit so it's very hard to imagine that there were almost 2,000 exhibitors at the Turkish exhibit but that is what the official catalog said they were the majority of the exhibit showed luxury textiles which won a number of awards medals but also included Turkish tobacco Damascene weapons and bottles of Attar of roses which they say was sold Matata of roses was exactly the same value as gold at that fear and many of the items on display even though it was meant to be a patriotic display of products from the Ottoman Empire many of the items were for sale Adel Yunus mentions in her book that many of the goods were from Aleppo Damascus and Beirut implying that the that the merchants whether or not they were at the fair were Syrian but we don't know that for a fact but scattered around the fairgrounds of the Centennial fair were Turkish algerian tunisian and palestine bazaars these booths were set up by foreign merchants and they were not government supported they were set up by entrepreneurs their location outside the main buildings presage the practice brought to its apotheosis of the Chicago Fair of 1893 of separating the entertainment section of the fair from the educational section of the fair of a distinction that was completely and utterly worthless and meaningless but they continued to do it to try to preserve the high mindedness of the fair's although the bazaars were given almost no coverage in the official documents these were apparently so popular that Americans started setting up booths all over the fairgrounds and having things what they call in the in the newspapers quote trinkets from the Orient being made by the bushel in West Philadelphia so they were selling a very early example of America co-opting Arab orientalists objects and selling them at this fair okay next slide thank you we know that a Syrian company called Nakhla and brothers Jerusalem erected the Palestine bazaar the brothers knuckly Abraham Jacob and John Abdul nor court and a man named David Jamal five Syrians came from Jerusalem and landed in Philadelphia on April 3rd 1876 four months later they filed their intention papers for naturalizations this is three of them this is David Jamal on the Left Abraham of them they're Kurt on the bottom and not Lee whose name is on the Palestine bazaar on the top on the the right next slide please this is the only photograph I've ever found of the Palestine bazaar no one took pictures of these bazaars because they were kind of informal but you can see that they probably rented space from the Brazile cafe and it says Jerusalem Bethlehem and Palestine the five Syrians dressed quote in the peculiar costume of their country unquote sold only one line of products olive wood crucifixes rosaries card and cigar cases match boxes and geegaws all made said the Syrians of wood from those spots in the Holy Land which are so dear to Christians since not only went on to become a cabinet maker in Boston and then New York he may have been the Carver of these objects one reporter had apparently spent time in Palestine because he attested to the genuine quality of the goods in contrast to the cheap quote cheap jewelry manufactured in Paris that was for sale in the Tunisian Bazaar nearby and when asked about their faith the reporter asked them about their faith they said apparently in unison Christians we are Orthodox everyone of us unfortunately in this picture the men were moving when it was taken and so even when you zoom in you cannot see their faces or what they're wearing but a question that comes to my mind is whether they dress up for the fair or whether they were wearing what they were at war at home we don't know in spite of the tiny number of Syrians at the fair Eunice claimed that it was here that quote Syrian entrepreneurs discovered new markets giving Syrian emigration a new impetus it is true that trade in Holy Land goods was a point of entry for many peddlers and early on near early Syrian entrepreneurs who discovered very quickly that Holy Land Goods could be manufactured in New York City but did the idea come from the fair where the prizes awarded to the Turkish goods a signal that there was a large market for these fancy goods in the United States it's hard to make this case for the Centennial fair because it's hard to see how this was communicated back to potential entrepreneurs in Syria but as we will see as the fares accumulate the case gets stronger I want to interject a little no date tie and date note here because it's it's in so this fair was in 1876 in 1878 the first Syrian immigrant family arrived in the United States so two years after the fair was over and on their way from Beirut they stopped at the exposition universelle in Paris so they were they were very early fair goers as well okay the world's Industrial and cotton Centennial Exhibition was scheduled to open in New Orleans in December of 1884 John Abdul nor who had been in America since 1880 went to New Orleans a full year in advance that is in 1883 and told the managers that he and his some of his country one men would be making a fine display of Turkish and Syrian goods including textiles jewelry inlaid furniture rugs wines and tobacco and array not dissimilar from the things that won prizes at the Centennial fair this was the first time those luxury goods were in the hands of independent entrepreneurs rather than in the hands of the state government traders who represented the state government and you will note the eight year gap between 1884 which is the New Orleans fair and 1876 the Centennial fair in which no and there were fairs that went on during that time but no Syrians participated which kind of bolsters my argument I think – – that the the Centennial fair did not really spur Syrian emigration or even Syrian participation in fairs but rather it was the RB Lee's coming in 1878 and then the beginning of real Syrian immigration in 1880 which allowed the Syrians to participate regularly in these fairs ok the gigantic southern exposition that opened in Louisville in the fall of 1883 was a hundred days long the first year it had three subsequent shorter seasons in 1884 1885 and 1887 the main exposition building which you see here had 13 acres under one roof and Thomas Edison himself came down to Louisville to install 1800 of his newly invented incandescent light bulbs it was the first fair to be open at night the a million visitors attended the first year and among those visitors was the RB Lee family the first Syrian immigrant family they went to Louisville for the fair and the our bellies began to they they lectured in Louisville and Lexington Kentucky on the Holy Land and on Palestine so it was something that they had been doing since 1881 but they came down for the fair and then entertained in in Louisville and Lexington in in 1885 there was a single Syrian that we know of selling Holy Land goods in Louisville but no other middle-eastern presence is recorded the third season however in 1885 saw the presence of four syrian entrepreneurs John Alden or who all we saw was in New Orleans feriss ferriss Abraham saw Samaha and AF Khatami probably the same foursome who brought goods to New Orleans although we don't have their names recorded for New Orleans the reason we know their names and this is so typical and so lovely I think is that they called they they organised a picnic on the fairgrounds behind the roller coaster the roller coasters not in this picture because it wasn't invented until 1885 but it was the first appearance of a roller coaster at this fair and they said they arranged a picnic on the fairgrounds and they invited an American reporter to come so he the M Jonathan or as as he always did when a reporter was in his sight he gave a long a long speech about Syrian customs the perfidy of the muhammadans the exotic way that the Syrians lived and he knew that it was a really good way to attract attention both himself and his and his countrymen and to his goods which he wanted to sell all had him all of four men had immigrated to the United States years before Abdul Noir from Damascus fares on from Sookie Michel Samaha from Beirut in Catania I think from Solly although I'm not sure and they were the first Syrians already living in the United States to participate in an American fair all of the early Syrians knew that exoticism is what sold goods and when you could overlay the sanctity of the Christian religion and the Holy Land that's that was even better the reporter reckoned Abdul nor quote a very cultivated man deeply read in history and literature and speaking several languages fluently in addition to selling goods at this fair Abdul never had another agenda which was that he was an expert in silk cultivation he had apparently managed the plantations of the Sur family in Beirut and he wanted to bring the most up-to-date silk cultivation technology to the United States as well as set up to importing of raw silk to the United States he had already in 1882 been in California to visit the recently established silk culture Association which was interestingly enough a women's association set up in California in 1882 but he found their techniques primitive and inefficient and he thought that he could teach them something about silk cultivation so at this fair he set out to demonstrate a modern silkworm factory farm with a model representing 15,000 mulberry trees and five million worms presumably as an advertisement to promote his importing aspirations he was on his way to a meeting with the secretary of state of the United States to promote his scheme and I also should add that while in Louisville Abraham Samaha one of the four men fell in love with a American teacher and married her and stayed in Louisville maybe showing goods at the 1887 fair because they had their first child who died in infancy in Louisville in 1887 okay the the third person in the foursome was fat especially this is just a picture but what he did was he said I'll show you a picture of in a minute in a minute what he did in at the fair was set up a booth called the pride of Damascus and he set up a loom which he demonstrated and then and he sold Turkish luxury textiles and he delivered a set speech and you can read this speech in newspaper accounts all over the country through the next two decades it's the same speech word-for-word the looms the dyes the designs the methods the materials have all descended unaltered unchanged from father to son for hundreds of years the loom he claimed had never before been seen outside of Damascus he showed the reporter a textile for which he had quote refused 750 dollars unquote sometimes he says 1500 dollars sometimes he says you know but you get the idea it's what so precious that he refused $750 and he showed them an Arabian carpet 600 years old unlikely very unlikely he came well supplied with business cards that read Ferriss affairs on sukma KL Mount Lebanon Syria okay fares on made a living this is like my favorite slide and I'll show cuz I love this guy there's on made a living on the fair circuit he went from do you want to come up and sit there are lots of chairs go ahead coming in please sorry I'm I left a mess here but great thanks he made a living on the fair circuit setting up right of Damascus booths wherever he went complete with native costume loom speech and goods for sale when no fair was in the offing he opened pop-up shops selling Turkish fancy goods in various cities in 1886 alone after Louisville closed he set up shop in Kansas City where he gave the same interview to report to a reporter he had given in New Orleans and Louisville and handed out his card he went to the industrial exposition in Minneapolis participated in the Cincinnati industrial exposition and then set up a stall inside Watson's department store in Cincinnati before leaving for Jacksonville Florida he traveled more than 2,000 miles in 1886 going from fair to fair when he got to Jacksonville he Anna's recently arrived brother Elias opened a Turkish fancy goods store in Jacksonville and in April of 1887 he wrote to a group of men in Pittsburgh who were planning an exposition it's Pittsburgh asking them to reserve a space for him and his loom it's not clear whether he went to that but he did open a pop-up shop in Atlanta soon after and at some point along the way maybe in the same year maybe about 1887 he sold a splendid woollen Syrian coat to the Smithsonian Institution it has never been on display and retains its brilliant color to this day so here he is modeling the coat front and back he's splendid isn't he he's got a great face great moustache the gut the rifle and the dagger and the sword are all possessions of the Smithsonian that were given to them by they're all Ottomans so they're genuine and that's I took that picture of the coat it's just I think just gorgeous Abraham Samaha and his wife that he had married in Louisville joined the fair's on brothers in Jacksonville Florida and he also opened a Turkish goods store next please in 1889 the floor moved to the boardwalk in Atlantic City New Jersey the fairs on the opening you know we don't have a picture of it but I'm just giving you a sense of the boardwalk the fairs ons opening fairs ons bizarre Turkish goods and Samaha selling Egyptian curios the carnival atmosphere of the boardwalk was not much different than the fairs and Jeddah sathi Brothers actually is a Syrian firm and the Jeddah Saudi brothers did also they were also fair participants and they went from place to place and this is where they ended up on the boardwalk as well leaving their shops in Atlantic City and other people's hands fetish fetish on and Abraham Samaha exhibited in the Pittsburgh exhibition of 1892 and then went on to the Chicago Fair next one and a couple of years later I don't know if this is clear or not but this is my terrible photograph of samaa house collection of Egyptian jewelry which he sold to the Smithsonian and yeah I mean it's great it's just great okay so John Abdul nor the fourth the sort of spokesman of the team could I have the next slide yeah took a different path than the others rather than going from fair to fair he went right back after Louisville to New York set up a Turkish goods importing business he claimed that his store was the oldest oldest Syrian store in the United States 1885 and he remained in New York for the rest of his life pretty much he it's not that he was a model of stability at he entered into and dissolved more than a dozen partnerships in his lifetime he had a very tumultuous personal life but he didn't leave New York instead he married a Syrian woman from zolly and she traveled for him selling his Turkish Goods around the country you find her in Seattle Washington you find her in Detroit you find her all over very early as well and she was apparently his I don't know if this is the right term his beard because she was arrested for smuggling several times smuggling goods trying not to pay duty and taxes on the goods she never spent time in jail because it was always just a matter of settling financially paying the duties and paying her lawyers and getting out he never got arrested only she did okay next please we know I'm doing this in chronological order so we know this is a two of the members of the first Syrian immigrant family the RB Lea Joseph the father's on the right and Abraham the oldest son is on the Left Abraham was a doctor he hasn't had a degree from what was then Syrian Protestant college it's now a UB one of the earliest doctors to come out of the school and also degree from Constantinople so he was doubly qualified and he was practicing medicine in Los Angeles very early and in in 1885 he so he showed antiquities at the California State Fair and the only reason we know about it is because he won a prize for the quality of the goods which he later sold to the Smithsonian as well it just brings up the idea that we don't yet know how many Syrians participated in this these smaller state fairs which went on everywhere in every state every year and we don't know how many Syrians participated because the documentation for them is quite poor okay so several members of the RB Lea family were living in Atlanta when the first three seasons of the Piedmont exposition and this is the first season and this is the building that they built I mean these fair constructions were incredibly ornate and huge there were three seasons in 1887 1889 and 1890 and we and I we know that they went to at least the first season the RB leaves we don't know about the other seasons and we don't know whether there was Syrian participations in those first three but in 1891 standing out among the very drab exhibits of agricultural machinery cotton pickin machinery and and dry goods was Ibrahim rockin the a merchant from Damascus who was showing dazzling Turkish embroideries and oriental luxuries as well as a model of and I have to say this in the way it was said in the paper a Muhammad mosque so he made a Muslim mosque or someone built one and he brought it with him and he wore quote-unquote the rich garb of the Bedouin of the desert and was by no means the least attractive feature of the exhibit so you can see you know the the Syrians they knew how to sell goods he was an Orthodox Christian from Damascus and related to the rbailey family so nasi Marbley the youngest son was his assistant in the in the Piedmont fair market went on to make a name for himself in on paper only because he told everyone that he was going to build a replica of the street called straight I don't know it's a you know it's a biblical something I'm not sure it's some something in the Bible at the Colombian Fair he never did it but he was in all the newspapers all over the country because this was such an amazing idea they thought so that brings us to the Colombia fair next please yep I'm not gonna tell you a lot there's a lot about the Colombian fair in my book there's a lot on my blog people know about it I just want to show you pictures and kind of give you the the highlights for the Syrians the themes of technological progress education patriotism so trumpeted in earlier fairs took a back seat finally took a back seat at the Colombian fair to the Midway Plaisance and you can see the mile-long Midway Plaisance is running perpendicular to the fair but this Midway Plaisance was peopled by American hucksters Egyptian belly dancers Japanese samurai de homine tribesman and Austrian dairymaids to name only a few the 27 million attendees to the Colombian fair had to walk through the Midway Plaisance to get to what was called the white city because many of the buildings were white and the white City which is this thing along Lake Michigan was all the educational and country exhibits and state exhibits well many people walked through the Midway Plaisance and never made it to the White City no not very many people were interested in the education they wanted to have the fun good next slide please the Middle East dominated the Midway Plaisance by far they were them the the largest number of people the largest number of concessions and this was the most important part of the fair front in terms of the Middle East which was the street of Cairo this is a and by the way the ferris wheel made its debut at the Colombian fair and there it is that it was right next to a mosque a replica of a mosque and this is an actual photograph of the street of Cairo you can see there's a man who's dressed in a bear suit you can see people on camels every people dressed up yeah so this is so they built a full-scale but kind of cheap replica of a street in Cairo in addition there was a Turkish village Moroccan too and Algerian installations a Persian palace and the Turkish building inside the fair proper which was the only middle-eastern installation inside the White City yes and this is another one of my favorites each of the concessions each of the middle-eastern concessions had a middle-eastern manager and these are the three most important ones so this is George pal Colo on the left he's a Greek from Smyrna who was living in Alexandria a Joseph Oh sunny Chaldean from Iraq and who acronym has his diary when he was traveling to the Columbian fair actually went by horse from Baghdad to Marseilles with 40 trunks of goods and 1212 irani ins because he was in charge of the Persian palace and robertlevi who was born in Constantinople but at immigrated to the United States many years before but look at the way he's dressed for the fair okay hundreds and hundreds of people Syrians and other Middle Easterners came to the Columbian fair these are just two sheets of multi sheet ship ship manifests which landed two weeks apart in New York City every single person on each of these sheets is going to the fair and I don't know if you can read it from here but a lot of them say artiste performer servant you know that kind of thing and it there were 230 that came on the gilt Hall 200 that came on the Cynthiana but in addition to those hundreds came on their own got onto ships and came eighty eight's just at the Presbyterian minister in in missionary in Beirut laments the number of people who are leaving for the Columbian fair this kind of fair fever that he sees all of the Protestants that he's trained are all leaving for the fair okay so next yeah so they were required by the terms of the contract with the exposition committee to live on the grounds the fairgrounds we're native costume and work in the concession of the country from which they came and only the Syrians broke all of those rules because the Syrians were completely transnational and I think the reason that they were able to do that is because I think the fair managers didn't really know what Syrians were didn't really know who was the native of what country and so they just so-so they worked in the Egyptian the Ottoman the Tunisian and the Persian sections they appear in fair photographs costumes as costumed as European eyes European eyes Turks Asiatic Turks veterans Persians belly dancers sheiks and it goes on and on and these are just some of the Middle Easterners and you see you know you if you get to know these guys and women you can see them in photograph after photograph after photograph all in you know these are all studio photographs all in the same studio all with different clothes all described differently usually with a different name as well okay next please so we know that 26 Syrian merchants many of whom had formed temporary companies to come to the fair sold goods in the Turkish section and eight companies sold goods in the Turkish section which may or may not have been owned by Syrians say they didn't it's not clear three Syrian merchants had booths in Cairo Street and three more were selling in the Tunisian section and this is a Damascus merchants house that's in the Turkish village on the Midway Plaisance and even I mean I thought for a long time when I looked at this that these were mannequins but they're they're actually people okay and next and this is one of the great pictures this is the sedullus tsunami Cedella company a syrian from constantinople they were actually he was actually an investor in the Turkish concession selling goods so this is a mannequin and this is a real person and you see her everywhere and this old guy was in the previous picture as an old Sheikh yeah okay next please and this is the us on e who owned the Persian palace but also sold goods and believe it or not some of their trinkets still exists in the home of their great of his great not his but they were signing great-granddaughter and they sold as well as running the Persian palace they they sold tobacco and this is a little packages later but the photograph of yakoo Sonny was taken at the fair yep and Abraham Samaha John Abdullah Nora and fetis fetish on the three of the four from the earlier fairs were all there and this is Abraham Samaha booth in front of Persian palace and you'll see that they've already started showing oriental dancing girls in the Persian palace so they've they're beginning to decide that they have to compete with the Egyptian and Syrian ballet dancers so Hassan II brought dancers from Paris and dressed them up in Oriental clothes on they dance the can-can okay so a full year before the Colombian fairness vaalu was writing from Shenandoah Pennsylvania had written a long letter to the newspaper Cal Cobb America warning readers of the heavy expenses that they would incur in setting up a booth of the Columbian fair but few people paid attention but he was right to warn them when the fair closed in November many merchants blaming a variety of the bad actors and circumstances beyond their control came away disappointed if not in debt there were even stories of some suicides Cal Cobbs list of the merchants who had actually made a profit was very short the most spectacular success was the street of Cairo thanks to the belly dancers who some said saved the entire fare from bankruptcy the street of Cairo was the largest contributor contributor to the fare coffers of any other concession they contributed a hundred and eighty five thousand dollars to the farik offers and that was larger than any other concession Bar None and the most spectacular failure was the Turkish village owned by the Sultan and by three Syrian investors the company ended in debt and many of its employees were stranded in Chicago and there was there's a great quote from a newspaper the city is now said to be full of thieves and robbers and hundreds of foreigners Turks Arab Syrians Persians and Eskimo who made the Midway so lively during the fair are still there peddling their wares and unable to get away Chicago is now paying for her fun yeah 28 firms that won prizes in Chicago participated in New York's month-long World's Fair prize winners exposition which opened in the new 300,000 square foot Grand Central Palace on December 1st 1893 it was on 43rd in Lexington for those of you who know New York they were selling Turkish goods all of them were selling Turkish goods except for now mo gob gob who became a travelling Minister and he was showing panoramic photographs of the Holy Land the prizewinners fair or out at an Egyptian theater so they could bring the belly dancers from Chicago because they needed to boost their income but even with that the Syrians wrote a letter to the mayor of New York begging him to help them bring in visitors because they were losing money it was not a success next when the science of San Francisco decided it was time to boost their City they planned the California midwinter International Exposition it opened in Golden Gate Park on January 27th 1894 only about three weeks after the prizewinners Fair in New York closed so people really had to hustle to get their stuff together and get out there next please the managers had invited those attractions and merchants at the Chicago fair to replicate theirs cesses and that meant of course the Middle Easterners came so next please Cairo Street by the way the name of the consent the name of the attraction at the Chicago Fair was the streets of Cairo and it became known as Cairo Street and everyone called a Cairo Street because and everyone knew about it so it became shorthand so every other concession that was built was called Cairo Street so Cairo Street with its belly dancers and Turkish cafe was a show in this is the Turkish theatre and if you look closely at the faces you will know immediately that at least half the performers were Americans and so you can see that already the Arab performances were being co-opted by Americans and part of the reason is that a lot of the people had gone home after the Chicago fair so they were no longer enough people to staff a theater next please and this is one of my favorite photographs of the midwinter Fair this is the Turkish Catholic IRA cafe and they're you know they're obviously a Syrian and ottoman man sitting playing backgammon smoking Nike lei and when I looked at it and looked at it again I realized that they're performing you see the plate-glass window you see the people peeking in so they have this plate glass window separating them so the two women on the left there for their Middle Easterners but the man on the right in his Derby hat is watching them do these things watching them play backgammon smoke nargile a drink tea whatever they're doing inside and they are you know they're in there are clothes and they they are performance performers only a month into the midwinter fair Cal Cobb America reported that the Syrian merchants were being undercut by the cheaper prices of Japanese and Chinese silk and they hadn't had to compete with so much Japanese and Chinese stuff but this was on the west coast right and worse the managers of the Oriental village imposed an extra admission price cutting down on foot traffic which led to fistfights in the Oriental village until the Syrian merchants through the ticket takers physically out the police came they closed down all of the booths and that was an you know that was a zero-sum game because then no one was making any money they finally reopened but did very badly and they were very disappointed the only saving grace was that 15 firms won medals one award for the quality of their goods and so that gave them bragging rights following on the heels of the midwinter fair came the Northwest interstate fair in Tacoma Washington it opened between August 15th and November 1st 1894 the organizers had gone to San Francisco and contracted directly with the concessionaires at the midwinter fair to bring the leading attractions to Tacoma and this time at this fair for the first time a Syrian rashida sati remember the Jeddah Saudi Brothers booth at the Atlantic City Rashid Jeddah sathi took the concession for the entire oriental village which meant that he had to rent out the booths to other Syrians and other Middle Easterners to bring goods but he was on the hook for the whole concession and in world and fair language a concession is called a privilege so you get this language all the time of taking on a privilege once again the Turkish village at the Tacoma fair was anchored by the by Cairo Street which included a theatre with quote for genuine Turkish dancing girls sword fighters fortune tellers bazaars camels Nubian camel drivers Egyptian bakers and quote other features of a Street in Old Cairo the innovations of the Chicago Fair had hardened into a formula and Michael and the only we only know that too besides Rashid Rosati we only know names of two Syrians who were there Michael and Gabriel justice because Michael justice fell in love with a Tacoma heiress and married her and she was killed tragically on their honeymoon he was accused of murdering her for her money was never charged because it was completely untrue but it's the only part of the fair that got publicity there was a noticeable lack of enthusiasm and the newspaper accounts nobody talked about it the public was lukewarm they have the admission price to try to get more people in it did not work it closed in November nobody even noticed when it closed and although we don't know for sure we imagine that the Syrians were it went away disappointed the cotton states an international exposition to be held in Atlanta's Piedmont Park in 1895 presented another opportunity to a Syrian this time to Najib RB Lee who is the editor of Calca America who took on the privilege for the Turkish village the oriental section of the fair he leased out space to companies or individual merchants for an Arabic restaurant a coffee room a Bedouin show camel and donkey rides yada yada yada all the same things and promised a theater for oriental dancing he admitted that the midwinter Fair in California had not been a success but he hoped this one would be better he advertised for a Bedouin tent with all the accessories and five trained camels that he could take to this fair he and George Bangalow who had run the street of Cairo in at the Columbia fair got the concession for the street of Cairo at the Atlanta fair we know the names of five Syrians at the fair because they were involved in a brawl and all got arrested and were fined and one was next slide please one was called Sayyad holy Moses so the Americans had named one of the camels at the Colombian fair holy Moses and I think it's because when Americans got on you know they'd be so frightened when the camel up and they'd say holy Moses so they named it camp so now that we have a man a Syrian man named say it holy Moses and reportedly and this is something I'm gonna write about someday he knew three words in English and went so when a child would get on a camel he could say those three words which are lean way back and he'd say lean way back because you can imagine right the rear legs go up first and you have to lean way back to stay in the saddle and the other thing he knew were all the verses to this song which had just come out and was a big hit in the United States and he would sing it to the children on the camels as they rode around I mean I think it's just so great 100 algerians Nubians and mores took part in this fair and Syrian merchants shared space with the usual belly dancers but this time around Baelish and jaha won the only prize and I don't know whether it was because Syrian Goods and Turkish fancy goods were already going out of fashion or because the the quality of goods were deteriorating because they they were they were no longer importing them okay so several more several more major fairs occurred after Atlanta including the trans-mississippi and International Exposition in Omaha in 1898 with its street of all nations the pan-american exposition in Buffalo in 1901 with its one hundred Orientals and the Louisiana Purchase exposition in st. Louis in 1904 with its old Cairo Street and it's spectacular believe this or not full-scale replica of Jerusalem for which they imported one thousand people to to live and live in Jerusalem take the people on camel rides sell their goods and Syrians participated in all three of these fairs between 1876 and 1904 Syrians sold goods at at least eighteen and probably many more we don't know about at least not yet but why why did they keep going back time and again after so many of their efforts seemed to lead if not to losses then at least to only modest returns we know from there later careers that none of these men were stupid or naive in fact just the opposite so what did fair participation do for them fair's presented an opportunity to satisfy the Orientalist fantasies of the American public on a large scale and as we have seen every sale involved performance whether it meant dressing a native costume beguiling the customer with stories about the exotic East or telling made-up stories about the goods themselves that continued to be true even if you had a shop on Main Street USA Syrians learn to sell to Americans and learn to sell hard there are as many accounts of Syrians fleecing Americans as there are of Americans fleecing the innocent foreigners the concentrated quality of the fares taught them quickly what sold and what didn't and what I find most interesting is that these fare going merchants became a model for all Turkish good salesmen all Syrian and Armenian really Turkish good salesmen who moved around the country constantly changing venues as soon as their market was saturated their pop-up shops or temporary booths were ubiquitous until Turkish goods went out of vogue permanent Syrian and Armenian rug stores which began to open in the first decade of the 20th century were and are the only survivors of this flourishing itinerant trade in Turkish fancy goods and finally for the Syrians having to deal with thousands sometimes tens of thousands of Americans every day was a crash course in American culture conversely the fair's introduced 50 million Americans to goods and people's people they had never seen before at the Centennial Fair in 1876 fire tailor who's a very famous travel writer had written about the visitors first glimpse of Japanese Turks Greeks or Moors he said the agreeable surprise in most cases as if the spectator had found an unexpected likeness to his own stock and recognized if unconsciously to himself that the ends of the earth are not so very far apart after all as pollyannish as this might sound from the 21st century and in hindsight it is true that this exposure not only expanded the American market for exotic goods but also expanded the American mind making it easier to accept these exotic strangers more than one story about Syrian Assyrian merchants settling in an out-of-the-way town and wherever Wyoming would include the statement he won a silver medal at the World's Fair which instantly placed him in a context that everyone could understand such a recommendation did not make him less other in fact it might have made him more exotic in some people's eyes but it did established his bona fides in the town in general the acceptance and assimilation of Syrian immigrants in the United States in the 19th century must be reckoned as success the 20th century is another story and this success can be attributed at least in part to their frequent and persistent one might say stubborn participation in America's Fair's thank you a mess okay thank you so much Linda we'll take questions and as I said earlier if you could speak out loud I will try to repeat your question and then Linda will answer it so we have about half an hour so the floor is open yes rich Americans going over to see for example the holy land right how much of these fairs were buying into maybe some of the stereotypes for people that visited the Fair that never had the chance to go over and see kind of the real or what was imagined that's that's exactly exactly what oh do you want to repeat the question I'm sorry sorry go ahead so the question for the record is basically this whole idea of exotics ISM and authoring of how Americans imagined the world and how much of a role this performers these performances played in emphasizing and changing or whatever Americans imaginary of the other you know it's it had the two things right it would the exotic and the sanctified the holy side so the the and they mesh in the Middle East where they don't mesh in China or Japan so there was Orientalist craze for Chinese goods you know chinoiserie and for Japanese goods as well but for though for the Middle Easterners there was this there was this conjunction with the Holy Land as well what what I you know and it that what I find so fascinating is that the Syrians understood from the very beginning what that meshing meant and took advantage in every way that they could so in the 1876 fair saying that this wood comes from the places that are dear to the hearts of Christians knowing to say that in the very first time that they appeared at one of these fairs so yeah definitely and the fact that you know 50 million people came to the fairs and only the wealthy could go on a trip but 50 million people and so the the idea of Orientalism had been an upper-class preoccupation all of these mansions on Fifth Avenue in New York had Turkish smoking rooms earlier than the Columbian fair but now everyone could indulge so the cigarette package you saw you know that cigarettes everyone was buying cigarettes they were now buying Turkish tobacco cigarettes and there's this exotic guy dressed up on the front with the Sultan or whoever it was some some guy in his Fez on on the other side so yeah it was just a democratization of this orientalist face but it went out of style quite quickly because by the first decade of the 20th century nobody was selling Turkish goods anymore nobody it was gone you know John this past summer I was in France for a short time and in north of the city or the remnants it's now a botanical park of a I believe it was 1896 World's Fair of which a substantial portion was devoted to Indochina but I'm sure there were many other representations and where what city you only own okay okay uh-huh so my question is with Syrians in America going from X position to x position there were certainly gaps were these were the same people ever involved just go over to France and do an exposition there okay so go ahead so the question is about the the question is about the journeys of these performers and America's affairs and whether they actually went beyond the boundaries of the United States to places like France Leone where they perform the same thing but in a different environment so right after the Columbian fair the Antwerp fair opened and the coke AB gives you a list of the Syrians who went to the Antwerp fair but no information about what happened to them there if one would have to go to Antwerp and look at the record since and see what happened because they weren't reported on one was my my great-uncle who went to the aunts were fair to show to show silk Goods again yeah they didn't you know there there were Syrians that came from Syria to go to these European fairs and then would go back to Syria but the American Syrian merchants that the Antwerp fair is the only one I know about that where they went out of the country yeah but the our bellies went to the the Exposition Universelle in 1878 and then the street of Cairo at the Colombian fair was modelled almost exactly on the Buddha care of the 1889 Exposition in Paris and George Bangalow who was the organizer had spent a lot of time at he wasn't in charge but it spent a lot of time at the French fair to get ideas before we're next question I actually want to just do some clarifications because Linda is using a term and the title of the talk is another term so we have Syrians Arabs Middle Easterners Lebanese so I just want to clarify for those of you who may not be familiar with this so we use the term Assyrian not in the modern national sense of where Syria is but rather in the notion of Greater Syria which was a province of the Ottoman Empire that includes today's Lebanon Syria Palestine Israel and these are the sort of the the main area for where you see the early Arabic speakers immigrants so we see a lot of we use the term Arab not because they ever identified those Arab they wouldn't because the term Arab was used for bed ones usually but in essence they use it as a way of identifying you know we use it as a way of what they spoke the language so there's a lot of fluidity to all of these things and the majority of the people come here from graders here tend to come from what we know today as Lebanon so this is kind of all rounded by way of kind of exploring the complexity of these ethnicities anyway I just wanted to clarify that okay in case we really got all of you so we got will and then Noah part of the exotic would be being Muslim Turkey or someplace and then part of their cleverness was we're all worth the knocks Christians so how often do we have Christians portraying Muslims at the fair and Muslims pretending to be Christians for the Holy Land market can I answer that or you get the question is about this fluidity of representation and what will is asking is how often do we have people who are really in terms of their religion a Christian pretending to be Muslims and vice-versa this kind of cross just in order to sort of you know perform and to make money obviously so I wrote a blog which you and well there's also on your own in your journal called playing East so the Syrian Christians were experts at being Muslims right so they went around and performed on stages on vaudeville stages in church halls in community halls they dressed up like either like veterans or like Muslims whatever that meant to whoever they were performing for either charged admission and did the Mohammedan call to prayer or the you know what they said Muslim a Muslim wedding or sword fighting or any of the things that they that people in America think that Muslims do I don't know why they think that but you know start fighting and probably not there no daily and they would either charge admission or they would sell goods at the end of their lecture and so I have and and it's it's all of a piece you know all of this enter this lecturing there's this like spectrum of entertainment for the Syrians so it starts out with the let's see the most popular which is the belly dancing and the vaudeville performances and it goes to these these fair performances because the Turkish village for example they had horse races they had sword fights they had showed you a lemonade seller they had how does you know those things have fit on top of camels where people could ride inside the thing that you know they had a lot of this kind of manly display of what people consider to be Arab and we don't we don't know how many because the names on the ship manifests are very difficult to understand but probably a majority of the people who came were Christians not all for sure not all but a majority so there's that and then there's the entertainers who went or entertainer I call them entertainers / lecturers who went around the country dressing up charging admission or selling goods and performing these acts the our beliefs started at the first Syrian immigrant family started it in 1881 they would dress up I have lots of pictures of them dressed in these clothes you know like a shake or like a sometimes in women's clothes as well for pretending to be a Muslim family you know and somebody in the person who's dressed up as a woman is embroidering on the you know that kind of thing and then there's the next level which is the kind of more refined lecture which is maybe you dress up in something but you don't perform you give a lecture about the Holy Land or you give a lecture about the you know Syrians or the Muslim world or whatever and then that the top would be the religious lectures so those lectures that had been done by American missionaries are now being done by Syrians and they're there always in the same sort of guys we're raising the reason that we're asking you to give a donation is because we're raising money to convert our fellow Syrians but you know they could they didn't they never converted anyone to anything really but they it was a way of making a living so there's this whole spectrum and the fares are kind of in the middle I'll get to your question in a second no but there's also so between the notion of Christians and Muslims is another community that we rarely ever talk about the Druze community and in fact the jurors which is a heterodox sect of Islam were fairly significant percentage of the early immigrants we have a very hard time distinguishing Linda and I had a long conversation about this about the percentages and there's all sorts of arguments how many were Catholic and when you are Greek Orthodox the names really don't tell the story so there's probably a higher percentage of Druze and Muslims that we actually ever account for and so we really cannot tell that and the second part is about performances because many of you eat at Jasmine's which is called Lebanese a Mediterranean cuisine the owners are Palestinian the workers are from North Africa they never would call themselves Palestinian because obviously that immediately evokes at different images and when this is Jasmin sits right across the street it's a very popular show at my place okay and then if you go downtown there's a place called Cynthia restaurant which is authentic Lebanese and all the cooks are Mexican so I mean right I think this whole notion of performances is it just goes on so anyway no are you guys very good connection between this this phenomenon of the fares to the American context especially in the context of race this is reconstruction error right this is post-civil war with this with these this investment in whiteness either I mean whether we're talking about like the south or we're talking about the so-called frontier and I'm just I'm just wondering how these especially those who migrated the stage how are the you know Syrian sin sin scene accepted how they how did they fit into this yeah so the question is about how do these immigrants whether they are temporary coming to the fares or the more permanent ones on the sort of a racialized landscape and post Civil War and reconstruction area United States where do they fit on this you know spectrum of whiteness how are they seen from outside beyond exotic are they seen as white as none white and so on and so forth yeah so there's a terrific book about it by this woman named Sarah Gualtieri so she's the expert and I'm not the expert I can only tell you what I see which is they were white until they weren't white anymore they ever no one occasionally you would get someone saying they're swarthy that that would be the closest they would come to a racial comment in the early days so in the nineteenth century nobody and and as you know I'm sure on the census data they're invariably called white in all of the census data I've looked at there is one person of the 14,000 that I've looked at so far whose denoted as black now they often lived in African American neighborhoods because those were where poor people lived they were poor but they were not seen as brown they were not seen as black they were seen as white then in the 20th century that changed when there it became incumbent on people who wanted to become citizens that they be white and so the Syrians had to prove that they were white and that it's in Gualtieri there are a series of cases and every one was decided differently because the judge would look at somebody and if they had light skin sometimes they'd say oh yes you're white you can be a citizen if they had dark skin they'd say no you're not white you can't be a citizen and sometimes they do it on the basis and this is what the this is what the Syrians themselves would say we are Semites Jesus was a Semite how could Jesus be black right yeah it's very very very racialized and very weird but that's what they felt was the best way for them to defend their right to be citizens and sometimes that worked and sometimes it didn't work so but I really I mean I may be a Pollyanna about this and I perfectly admit that it's possible because I'm in love with this research and I'm in love with all these nineteenth-century people but I really sincerely believe that the acceptance of Syrians in the 19th century context was really quite amazing and wonderful for the exotic I mean you look at the Arbela in this small town in Tennessee they've never seen a Syrian in their lives before and they were they had friends true friends in this town they a guide defended them in print when someone criticized one of their entertainments one of their friends have defended them in print then went with their some Quakers to the white house together on a long trip to DC I mean they really and it's true they spoke English quite well so that helped and they were well educated that also helped but kind of it's also important to keep in mind in small communities you can remain exotic but when you become a large community you become a threat and the nineteenth-century communities I mean even you know with with let's say there were 20,000 people in the whole United the Syrians and the whole United States the communities were small but anyway and in New York you know let's say 2,000 people in 1900 compared to the population of New York but but they weren't ignored they were noticed I mean people did notice them either because they were exotic or because they weren't exotic and they there are a lot of articles about them and nobody they treated them pretty well I mean – I'm not Pollyanna so much because subsequently to the 90s we see a series of all sorts of things that begin to blow up and here are all sorts of from US senators it's kind of harkens to today's world obviously to local newspapers are beginning to attack these populations but what it's really saying about what Linda said in terms of the legal cases and the argument that they made about Jesus being a Semite and therefore you know since there's so much therefore by extension their white which is their mapping their religion onto a racial space but the same argument was made in the South African Supreme Court in the Australian Supreme Court and and yes and in a district court here in in South Carolina actually I think it was in South Carolina the dull case I think that was in South Carolina and so all three made exactly the same argument and in that regard the two lawyers who are defending the dull case the South Carolina case were both Jewish lawyers who were also hired for you know I don't know why this hearing community specifically hardened but they themselves later on argue that if the Syrians are deemed to be as non-white then the Jews are going to be next right because the semi so there was that argument that was sort of kind of for the Semites banding together at least for five seconds before we go on from there right right right very good yeah other questions yes I'm Sun Creek and with us an hour so we basically have kind of watered down on a culture to make it more appealing to the American public and with the Greek Festival is in the food and everything I was just gonna ask if they were doing the same thing like watering it down making it seem more appealing and less of a culture shock so not in the 19th century but you can answer the 20th century because you're the one who goes to city which is 21st century yeah no because because they were still selling the exotic in the 19th century and so they you know people would come down to the colony in New York and they would write these little articles about this strange food that was being sold in these restaurants they thought it was fascinating and also hysterical you know they thought it was just very funny the Syrians knew that they were doing that they knew that and they wouldn't have changed anything because that's what they wanted they wanted that kind of attention and of course they were eating the food that they wanted to eat as well but the but you know this is there's this great quote in a in a newspaper shortened his paper filler of this woman who's selling a peddler woman peddler who's selling laces in New York and I guess the reporter said you know I don't know what what are you selling or something and I can't remember what he asked her but she said of course I wear my kerchief why would anyone buy from me if I didn't wear my kerchief so she too was saying I am I'm selling the exotic I am selling the exotic and that is how I make a living and I'll do I mean you know mate there I'm sure there were limits but the those things they could do those things they could do so the landscape if you look at the south versus the Northeast again if you have a large community that is sitting in a place like Boston or New York where Linda has done a lot of her work I mean that's a large enough community to maintain an ethnic Enclave right but even then if you look at how they dressed including like as twin the the priest I mean if you look at his photograph he was photographed for like he's a Maronite priests and Brooklyn first in New York and then Brooke and the dress becomes very quickly change into what's considered you know western dress and in fact you know that happens in must say on the way here because if you look at pictures of them when they arrive in southern France on the way here the address and what would be village clothes I guess and then by the time they get to New York they've kind of changed a little bit of how they dress so there is a transformation but they remain privately very Syrian I mean to use that term but publicly there is an adjustment at some point that they have to make obviously again say that again the immigration policy important policy in later years so I I just wondered what you thought with the impact on broader American cultural maybe maybe those two issues or some other issue Wow I don't even have an answer to that because I don't know anything about I I don't know about our beliefs so um so one of the our beliefs sons was nominated and confirmed as the consul to Jerusalem and in 1885 and he went to Jerusalem but already before he went there was going to be some he knew there was going to be some trouble and the trouble took the form of the Ottoman government not wanting to approve him because for the Ottoman you were not you could not give up your Ottoman citizenship unless the Sultan or someone gave you express permission to give up your Ottoman citizenship so therefore he even though he was naturalized in the United States therefore he was still an ottoman citizen and could not represent the United States in the Ottoman Empire so they refused him but in the process of the refusal the the Secretary of State and the Envoy in Constantinople had a long exchange of letters about whether they should accept the Ottoman decision or not without a fight and it seems to me to have come down in a way to the idea that are Billy and I think to his eternal regret I think that they remembered his presentation of himself as exotic and I think they decided that he was not American in fact and that they would not fight for him so I mean that's not really answering your question because I don't really know do you have any insight into that I don't really know how this kind of this idea of Orientalism I'm you know the the the the guy who whose place he was supposed to take in in Jerusalem was kind of this standard anti-semite anti-muslim Christian can I say creep he seemed like a creep you know very you know a minister and an archaeologist and a really a racist guy and though and maybe he was representative of the kinds of people that they sent to the Holy Land I don't know do you know I have no idea why I think I honestly don't know the connection between the fares and what happens later on in terms of how either American public or the American foreign decision-makers really saw the Orient so to speak as they imagine the Middle East I really don't know that direct relation because I haven't looked at it but there is no doubt and there's a great book by Melanie McMaster called epic encounters that looks at that sweep long sweep of history she focuses on the 40s and to the 70s but even before that in which this idea of what the Middle East is which in many ways is inherited from European Orientalism plays out in American Orientalism I think the fair perhaps exhausts it but it certainly doesn't make them less uncivilized or less barbaric and less different enough that they would see them as equals by any means now the the relationship between the fares and then what happens later on is a bit difficult for me to sort of draw because I really honestly don't know right which realm is that right right yeah yeah yeah all right and by the way I mean just to follow up on the fair I mean the next job after the fair although the Fair dies out Hollywood picks up and in many ways Hollywood is of course continuing the fair tradition of the exotic and many of these guys some of these guys I don't know if they're same people but they actually go on to act as you know stock characters with in the early films why yeah and I don't know about the same people no no certainly the Middle Easterners right yeah and there's in fact it's sort of a very interesting composer music composer who is what is supposed to be a Middle Eastern music he actually is a pianist his name is Maloof he goes on to create this what you can imagine the world fair equivalent of music I mean you can see the kind of flight as the music goes this completely fantastical domes and things are rising up just to evoke this thing and of course at the 40s and 50s the films that you're talking about the B films well you know that tune maybe you're too young but when we were young we would sing it you know that's in tirana you know that's him so that was written for the Columbia fair and it was written by this guy named Saul bloom although that's in that's a little bit in dispute but so let's just say he wrote it and it became associated with the belly dancers well they never danced to that music ever but they that that minor-key or whatever it was became associated with belly dancing and so whenever you hear whenever I hear it that's what I think a lot of sword fighting at home yeah I've read a lot about this trade finances in one book that is part Travel Guide part like how to the new immigrant doctor at dues travels in the middle and I would be curious to just a lot of these elites were so would you repeat that for my benefit because Claire you were turning away so I couldn't really hear could you repeat that no okay yes yes I don't know if you can answer this or if anyone really can but kind of compared to other exotic sized groups at the fair did it the Syrians have more agency or mobility or like self-determination results so it depended on who you were of the Syrians right there were merchants there were concessionaires and there were workers and so you can you know that's kind of self-evident that was true of all the concessions it was true of the Japanese concession the Chinese concession there was a concessionaire in in the case of those three managers they didn't own the concessions because they were fun they were financed by other people but they were in charge on the ground and so they had agency and the merchants had some agency but as you saw from what I was telling you about throwing the ticket take herself there was a big controversy at the Columbia fair about whether to close the Fair on Sunday and had gone on before the fair started and then it had and then it was still being debated while the fair was on and they tried to close the fair down on Sunday for Christian reasons people went crazy and the Sirians went craziest of all and the Egyptian and the street of Cairo because it cut down because that was their big money-making day right yeah they went they went crazy and they reopened then they tried to close the belly dancing on Sunday because it was right because it was Indian decent and then the the income of the fair halved in one day when they closed the belly dancing on one day and they quickly reopened so it really depended on who you were so there were all these people for example in the Hamid II company the Turkish village who were stuck in Chicago and the this is sort of weird and I don't know much about it but the American government started a fund to return people to the Middle East I mean to the return people to the countries that they came from who whose companies or bosses went bankrupt at the Colombian fair and a Syrian was the first one to take advantage and he went back he went to Jerusalem yeah so there were lots of very unattended you know people without agency who were there I mean just the numbers show that thank you so much Lou no thank you the pleasure [Applause]

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