Evelyn Catherine Shakir grew up in West Roxbury, Massachusetts. She is the daughter of first generation Lebanese Americans Hannah and Wadie Shakir and grew up in a community largely comprised of Lebanese immigrants. As a result, she held a special fondness for those that shared her family’s culture. She had a passion for writing and received a master’s from Harvard and a doctorate from Boston University. In the 1970s, Dr. Shakir began collecting and telling the stories of the Lebanese women in her community. She published these collected stories in 1997 with Bint Arab and in 2007 with Remember Me to Lebanon, giving a voice to Arab American women.
This collection primarily documents social organizations in Boston – the Syrian American Club, the Syrian Ladies Aid Society, and the New Syria National League. There is a significant amount of correspondence by these groups, largely civic in nature, as well as bank statements, a blank naturalization form(Box 1, Folder 8) and Massachusetts civil service form (Box 1, Folder 8). There is a collection of bank statements and business transactions of the Sabbagh Bros. company and a Sabbagh family tree put together by Evelyn in 1983 for a family reunion. Evelyn also typed the minutes of nearly all the Syrian Ladies Aid Society meetings (Box 1, Folders 14-35) and collected various ephemera, program booklets, accounting ledgers, and some photographs.
The digitization of this collection is still in process. Refer to the finding aid for full collection details.
Evelyn Shakir Collection Finding Aid
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