Celayirs, Diary of an Immigrant Family

Celayirs, Diary of an Immigrant Family

by Sirman Celayir


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This is the unusual and epic story of an ethnic Laz (of Eastern Black Sea) family of a medical doctor, his American-educated wife and three children from Turkey to the United States, of how a well-established radiologist with 20 years of experience living a jet set lifestyle in Turkey had to restart from scratch as a middle-age intern at a second rate hospital in New Jersey, the circumstances that prompted the rest of the family to migrate to Germany for 2 years to allow him to prepare for medical examinations in a language he barely spoke, how they finally reached middle-class status 5 years later, and how 12 years after their arrival, isolation and loneliness of American life exacerbated their homesickness so as to persuade them to build a summer villa at a resort in Istanbul, causing the family spent a small fortune traveling to and from Turkey every summer for 23 years, just to recapture the warm Turkish ambiance and friendships they yearned for . . . their trials, tribulations and alienation while assimilating to American life . . . and how they finally became Americanized, curiously not in the U.S.A. but in Tuzla, Istanbul in 1992, 34 years after their migration, when they finally and permanently departed from Turkey. The story is as captivating and romantic as Dr. Zhivago-here Cavit & Zekiye-with its stage unfolding from the eastern Black Sea coast of Turkey and Eastern Anatolia, to Germany, and to all over the USA.

Our life and initial disaffection in the U.S.A. is delineated in Volume 1; Volume 2 gives a detailed description of our history, background and lifestyle in Turkey, so as to offer a focussed impression of the contrasts we faced upon arrival in America, and the variety of hurdles we had to overcome to make sense of our lives. Volume 3 digresses attention to our intimate relationships in U.S.A., as a way of focusing on how our modified personalities coalesced with native Americans and American lifestyle. Along the way, I offer a sensible and coherent discussion of religion and how we became a spellbound audience to the way (the very advanced) America practiced religion. My 8-year intense bond with my "Christian Delight" Sharon is worthy of a fine movie say by Ned Benson. The 68 pages of photos in 4 photo albums between the volumes-in addition to the historical photos embedded into the text of Volume 2--add faces and places to the many names who have crossed our paths and provide glimpses to our ultimately very blessed lives despite enormous obstacles and inner conflicts. The Celayirs who have hence been born in this country are now the ones who will continue to enrich and be enriched by this wonderful country with its inherent problems.

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781500892357
Publisher: CreateSpace Publishing
Publication date: 09/21/2014
Pages: 618
Product dimensions: 8.50(w) x 11.00(h) x 1.25(d)

About the Author

The father of Sirman's second ex-wife used to say "Sirman, they made you and then threw away the pattern." These words probably describe Sirman as well as any other. Bestowed by a romantic and adventure-seeking personality, Sirman nevertheless took time to complete 4 degrees at West Virginia University, while working as a computer programmer to finance his 2 Master's.

He combined his degrees in Math, Engr., Petroleum Engr., and Economics to work as a consultant in Washington, D.C., then 5 years in Saudi Arabia, at first with the Saudi Fund for Development (SFD) in the financing of development projects around the world, and later as adviser analyzing the financial feasibility of large petrochemical joint ventures in Saudi Arabia for the Saudi Basic industries Corp. (SABIC). After he acquired enough funds to pursue his freedom, he retired at age 38, 8 years after leaving the university, to enjoy life in Southern California, New York City, Washington, D.C. and Miami Beach, while also traveling all over the United States, visiting all major national and state parks in all states.

In 1992, after the family left Turkey permanently, he began scanning all family photos and documents for his web site at http://sirman.net, and, for this comprehensive book, simultaneously interviewed his parents for family history, important dates and other details, including the spoken-only Laz language of the Eastern Black Sea of Turkey. After the death of his father in Miami Beach in 1998, he continued his world travels, encompassing some 316 places in 130 countries, for the experience of it, and perhaps in his quest to become a citizen of the world. Photos from these journeys are also included as part of the 15,000 images and 648 pages at his web site.

In 2006, he purchased a condo in Fernandina, FL to establish a base for his mother and his daughter too, after her mother's unexpected death from cancer. As Sirman was print-proofing his book in Sep. 2014, which he had intended as an epitaph to the family, celebrating their unusual life together, mother, age 97, whom he and his sisters had presumed would be always around to take care of them when they got older, passed away. Our one consolation was that she had the pleasure of holding the book in her hands, to give it her happy blessing. Sirman is now making plans to leave his condo to his daughter and move to Southeast Asia to pursue a nomadic lifestyle, possibly even trace the Silk Route from China to Turkey.

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