From: David Freeman [mailto: freeman at] in code to minimize spam
Sent: Wednesday, February 06, 2008 8:21 PM
Subject: Australian descendant Youth of the Year

 Please find attached two photos of
Chris Ayoub who is a Dhour Shweir descendant being named Young Citizen of the Year in the local Australia Day Awards - 

It is a great honour.


David Freeman

Congrats Chris.  We are very proud of your achievements and thank you David Freeman for sending the info. 

Chris and David, do not be a stranger now... Please visit and interact with folks of your ancestors town. 

click on photo to expand.


February 2001



They say there is something in the water of the Ains (springs), some say it is in their blood, others say it is a feeling in the heart and soul that makes them yearn for Shweir, their hometown, their forefathers birth place.   

There is no better example of these sayings than our February Shweiry Honoree.  

You see, Dr. Klee Benveniste never lived or even visited Shweir, yet she knows more about Shweir and its history than many people who lived there.  From the moment that Dr. Klee logged on to in early February, she has been like a beacon of light.  Just take a look at the Shweir Bulletin Boards (old and new), you cannot help but see many meaningful and profound entries by Dr. Klee.  Her love for Shweir and its people radiates through the web pages like her smile and it is contagious.  


Bio:  Dr. Klee is a qualified psychologist with a Ph.D. in Public Health living in Australia. Her grandmother was born in Australia to Lebanese parents who came from Shweir around 1890. Klee married at 38 and her son was born when she was 41. She worked and studied in the field of community medicine research for over twenty years before leaving the workforce when her son was born. Klee was awarded her Ph.D. from Flinders University School of Medicine when she was 43. She has been doing voluntary work as an archivist since. Her son started school last year so she has been applying for part-time postdoctoral research fellowships. Klee and her husband love to travel and have visited Hong Kong, China, Israel, Egypt, England and Rome before their son was born. Together with their son, they have travelled to each of the mainland states of Australia. Her favourite places overseas are the Corniche (beachfront) of Alexandria and the old cities of Jaffa and Jerusalem. She even visited Metulla ("the Good Fence") on the border of Lebanon, gazing emotionally into Lebanon during the civil war in 1989. Family history research has been her hobby for many years

Click on the photos to enlarge

Dr Klee Aroose.JPG (33188 bytes) 
Klee the bride
Dr Klee Diploma.JPG (31390 bytes) 
Klee the Doctor
DK Amin Abotomey.JPG (21528 bytes) 
Amin Abotomey, 
her great-grandfather
DK Kamilie Abotomey.JPG (14841 bytes)  
Kammilie Abotomey, 
her great-grandmother
DK Abotomey Family.JPG (61783 bytes) Amin and Kammilie with their 4 sons and 3 daughters in South Australia around 1895; Klee's grandmother is about two years old, sitting in her mother's lap. The oldest son Samir, standing, was the first to arrive in 1887 DK Elizabeth Kitty 1910.JPG (13919 bytes) 
Klee's grandmother Elizabeth ("Kitty") as a young woman, around 1910
DK Abotomey Store Australia.JPG (26852 bytes) 
Amin Abotomey and Sons, General Store, Fruiterer and Confectioner  - Peterborough, South Australia, 1897
DK Abotomey clothes Manuf.JPG (36707 bytes) 
A. Abotomey and Sons, Clothing Manufacturers  -  Adelaide, South Australia, around 1915 

"DK_w-chain.JPG (24089 bytes)I have mentioned on the Bulletin Board about displaying items of cultural heritage and encouraging the redevelopment of craftsmanship. Attached is a scan of my great grandfather's 19th century watch chain from Lebanon, possibly even from Shweir. It belonged to Amin Abou Taameh and has been handed down, generation after generation to me. It has silver-plated metal links, and the green stones are decorated with a leaf design and channel-set into the post-and-rail links. It would have been made pre-1890. I think others would be interested to see it".


Author Topic:   We are like guardian spirits
posted 03-15-2001 06:39 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Klee      Reply w/Quote
We are like guardian spirits watching over the village
That spreads over the mountain close to heaven
Drawn down by elderly knights performing a sword and shield dance
And women spreading their scarves in a giant circle in holy places
Praying "Remember us".

We whisper in electric voices amongst ourselves "Can they hear us?"
"When will they answer?" says one of us
"How can we gain their attention" says another
"We will visit them" says a third, "for they know that whoever leaves this place, something of him stays here forever, and draws him back again".

So the knight prances with Saif oo Terse
The dance of the spirits of Shweir:
"Return, return, o guardians,
Your people need you"
And from every direction we are drawn home.


Congratulations Dr. Klee, it is our privilege to know you. 

We would like to present to you with the symbolic keys to Shweir,  

since it not feasible yet, may we present you with symbolic keys to 



To go to new web page of New Zealand