Merege, aka...  Merhege, Merhej, Mirhege, Mirhej...

We named this new web page "Merege" in recognition of the sons of Deeb & Saada Merhege who emigrated from Shweir to Brazil and used the "Merege" spelling. 

To see info on original page of Family Tree, Click here

Also see

Another cousin makes headlines
announcement of the show's Provisório Band.
The pointed guy is Pedro Humberto Merege Choeire.

Visiting Family, Shweirys, Choueires & Friends May 2007

Sao Paulo

I was happy to welcome my cousin Tony Heshmeh who flew in from NY to join me.

Since we had many cousins to visit and meet, we decided that it would most efficient to meet as many at a popular restaurant  -  Charascuria.

Great to see cousins Mario, Miguel and George and to meet more members
of the family including Helena and Maria Helena and respective families.

It was so wonderful to
spend quality time w/family
& that Iskandar and Senator
Garib were able to join us.

We regret that we did not have enough time to meet with other friends and family members
including Ique and Tais and their families and Rosalie Sawaya and her family.
Hopefully next visit we will have more time.


Then Sunday morning, off to the airport to Curitiba where cousins Pedro and Wagner and their families live.
Pedro picked us up and drove us to Wagner's home to meet many new cousins who were waiting for us and
were preparing a great BBQ.  Wagner lives on top of a high-rise with a beautiful view of the city. 
Top floor had a social room for gatherings which was ideal for our reunion.

Tony, Pedro, João (disabilited), Juliana (João's sister), Camila (Pedro's daughter),
Elvira (Pedro's sister in law), Tânia (Julio's wife) and Wagner. Seated on the floor: 
Anwar, Maria (Paulo's wife), Julio (Wagner's older nephew) and beside him Paulo (his bro).

Next day, Pedro gave a
nice tour in the morning
and Wagner took us in the afternoon. 
Curitiba is a beautiful city of
about 2 million people. 
Very nice, clean & safe.
The University facing
a park adjacent to our hotel.

We spent one day in Curitiba and the next morning, Wagner took us on a 5 hour drive to Jaboti...

On the way, we saw people selling something by the roadside.  It was the largest pine nuts I ever saw.
We stopped and bought two bags.  Each pine nut was about 10-15 times the size of the typical Lebanese pine nuts.
We steamed some... they tasted like a cross between pine nuts and chestnuts.


The statue of the savior above is at the entrance to


Here we will meet more descendants of Antonio Merege Choeire

A warm welcome at Wagner's home. 
His mom Mariana (Noni) and Edina Choueire, Roberto's wife had delicious lunch waiting for us

Visiting the grave of Jamil and Antonio (Naamatallah) Merege Choeire
Wagner's dad and grand dad and other departed family.

There is a street named after a Chueire

Possibly Antonio went to Jaboti because he knew Ahyd Chueire

And then off to visit Antonio's daughter, Afifi, and her family

with Afifi and her son Waldir Merege and daughter Adije Marege

First time we visit and touch coffee plants

Off to visit Wagner's brother Roberto's farm - We see him driving in other direction, stop and meet.
Later we visit Wagner's brother Pedro at his beautiful estate...


Road and then Driveway to Pedro & Ivete Choueire's Estate

Pedro w/ his painting

Wife's art work
Largest tangerines
I ever ate.

Around town Jaboti

V  L:  Two Pedro Mereges   Meet again after many years  
V  R:   At Valdomir's home - Showing grandfather's family home in Shweir

Cousin Pedro took an overnite bus for about 9 hours from Curitiba to be with us.

Cousin Diva
has one of the most functional and exquisite antique collection I ever seen in a home.

She has a radio and a sewing machine and kerosene lamps from as far back as 1930's that still work.
Here cooking on a wood stove.

  It was the coldest day in decades - Night temperatures went below freezing.
With these Great Smiles and Warm Hearts melted the chill in the air.

< < Here Noni showing
Diva's extensive
collection of pots -
Some more than 100 years old

Thank you cousin for hosting us.  We enjoyed meeting you, sharing bread and our sleepover.

The last four cigarettes that Antonio Merege rolled and lighter
A gift from Valdomir
100 year old silverware that Antonio used.
A gift from Diva
These gifts are priceless - We appointed cousin Tony to begin a family Museum in NY starting with these fine artifacts.

Here w/Antonio's son Valdomir and his Family

Our cousins are so talented
Whether painting, inventions, etc. 
Here > > our cousin invented a
functional mechanical clock.

Then off to Itapeva - a 3 to 4 hours ride where Aunts Adelia and Jamileh and their respective families are waiting. 
We were a bit behind schedule.  Temptations were great to spend more time with our cousins.


So on the way, Wagner said that in the next town, Tomazina, there is a store of artifacts that shows a sign with Choeire name.  I asked Wagner if we can take a quick detour to drop or drive by and take a pciture.  He said sure. 

We could not find the store.  By now we were in a residential neighborhood.  Wagner asked an elder if he knows of a store that has a Choueire sign or name.  The store was far away, then the elder pointed to three homes within 200 meters from where he was standing saying that Choueiri families live in them.
Wagner communicated with the occupant of the first house while we waited in the car. 
He came back with Carlos Chueire. 

I asked Carlos via translation courtesy of my cousin Wagner, how is he and his family related to Shweir. 
He said his distant cousin is Sylvia Choueire.  That did not ring a bell.  Try again...  Need More info. 
"Family has a meat market in Shweir..."  Could it be of Kiame family?  No
Our volunteers took pictures of major businesses in Shweir in 2005 including meat markets.
We are getting close... Is there another family name? 
As we were walking into the house, he said:  " Abou Zaid" 
And then I look up at large posters high on the living room wall of Silva and George Bou Zaid and their daughter Vanessa.

Yes, of course I know them.  I watched Vanessa grow via because
her pictures are posted every year at Easter Sunday.  What a pleasant surprise.

We walked out onto the balcony on back of their home to this fantastic view

Ok, now we acknowledge that Tomazina has a river much bigger than Nahr Abou Dawoude of Shweir :)

So here  was cousin Wagner Choueire meeting Carlos Chueire for the first time. 
One from Merege family and the other from Abou Zaid family, both of Shweir origin.

Imagine possibly our great great grandfathers knew each other in Shweir, perhaps played and went to school together. 

Carlos told us that two hours earlier there were over 100 persons of Shweir origin in the Tomazina Church for funeral of a 96 year old matriarch.  If my memory serves me, her name was Zariffe Choueire.
Darn, we missed meeting that many of the Choueire contingency :(

Then Carlos said that his son Luiz visited Shweir two years ago. 
I said of course I saw pictures of Family Reunion on that Silva sent.
Carlos called his son Luiz on the phone and we chatted for few minutes.

(Note:  After my return to California, Luiz sent to me a follow up email with more info about the lady who passed away:
"One more information: the matriarch who passed away, to which funeral many Chueire were in Tomazina, was Zaine Oliveira Chueire, daughter of Khattar and sister of my grandfather Salim. She was 97. There are two daughters and two sons of Khattar still alive.")

Upon saying good by to Carlos, and heading to our car,
Carlos' other son Jorge and his family just arrived and were walking to their home next door.

Jorge is an agricultural engineer.  We took a picture with Jorge & his family and
after we got back in the car to leave, cousin Tony pointed out the name "Dhour Shweir" written in
Arabic on the car in front of us...  I had to take a picture of that car and its owner.

Yes, it was Jorge's.  I felt like I were at Shweir among family and friends. 

Note that Jorge and Carlos Choueire never been to Shweir -
Their love for their heritage and roots is quite evident. 
BTW, they discovered their cousins via two years ago
and they send their love to their cousins in Shweir

See original inquiry and communications by Luiz Choeire & Silva Bou Zaid - click here

Imagine the incredible coincidence that in a country of 180 Million, we knocked on the door of Choeire who communicated with us two years earlier!

Here are these two towns of Jaboti and Tomazina in a remote part of Brazil with many people of Shweir origin.

Amazing similarities: 
Distance between Dhour and Shweir is similar to those between Jaboti and Tomazina
Topography:  Jaboti is more like Shweir and Tomazina is more like Dhour 
Tomazina and Dhour are on higher elevation and Shweir and Jaboti have valley orientation
There are great churches in all these towns. 
Possibly that is why so many Shweirys / Choeire s live in these towns.
they are reminded of their original towns of Dhour Shweir

We hope that these new discoveries will open up more communications among the Shweiry/Choueire communities in brazil.
I bet, if we continue to link the missing dots, we would discover many more connections and distant cousins.

We only spent about 20 minutes in Tomazina since we had large family waiting for us in Itapeva. 
Aside from the fact that Tony's new love, Ariana, was waiting for him.  in his eyes, we were getting close yet far away. :)

I am sure that we would have noted more similarities if we had more time. 
Hopefully, Next visit we will set aside more time.
There is no doubt that similarities will include the beauty, warm hearts and loving nature of these towns' people and their Shweiry spirit.



Sao Paulo




Merege &
Bou Zaid





Bou Zaid Choeire


& Jamileh








Visiting Merege Family August 2006



Adelia's headquarters:  The House of Kibe

Making best Kibe and Sfiha in town

Above Middle from Left:  Euridice (Adelia's assistant), Ricardo's son and two daughters, Thais & Giovana
Then Tony, Ariana, Adelia and Anwar


Above: An article about Nicolau Merege
Below Left:  At Jamileh's (center) home


One happy family - All smiles -  Can you spot the love birds?  :)



It was nice to visit Rezende home again
here AnaMaria proudly displaying the Lebanese flag

It was wonderful to meet their sons Enio & Joaquim
Below:  Tony, Joaquim & Enio
Enio lives in SP, and Joaquim a few hours drive away.

Joaquim is known for his great BBQs -
And yes, he lives up to his reputation

Wagner and Pedro had to say good by to return to Curitiba
Enio drove us back to Itapeva

Tony spent the next day in Itapeva and returned w/Enio to SP airport


Anwar took the 7:00 a.m. bus and arrived just before noon in Sorocaba

It was so nice to see Nejla, Antonetta and my new cousin Flavia waiting to pick me up.

We had two hours with the family before we had to take the 3 p.m. bus to SP and then to airport.

We enjoyed nice visit at Jorge and Rosalie's home where I showed them pictures of my trip on the laptop.
We acknowledged Birthdays of Nejla and Bruno's, (Flavia's friend).
And then we went to a great Charrascuria for a nice lunch where we took a group picture before heading to the bus depot.

Flavia already had bus tickets reserved and accompanied me to SP where she also had events to attend. 


Thank you...

I can write on and on about the many wonderful family members, cousins and friends that we met along the way.

A sincere Thank You from the heart to each and everyone who welcomed us and facilitated our travels and made our visit so memorable.

 With Love & Joy

Anwar and Tony


Congratulations to proud parents
Mariana and Jorge Henrique Ribeiro Ramires
(Great Great Grandson of Deeb Merhege)
on the birth of their daughter,
Rafaela Fernandes Ramires

Proud Parents Grandpa Jorge Rafaela the Thinker Great Grandma Najla Family in
bint Mikhayel Merege
high resolution

-----Original Message-----
From: Jorge Henrique Ribeiro Ramires   -  mail in code:  jhrramires at hotmail
Sent: Saturday, November 11, 2006 6:23 PM
Subject: RE: Hello Cousins

Everyone is just fine.                                                

My baby is a girl, Rafaela. She is under full just like her dad. I'm changed my work, now I'm working in the Wal-Mart (American best Supercenter), Commercial Logistic National Manager.

My father and mom are great. We still missing you and telling everybody the great time we had here.

I'm sending some pictures for you, I hope you enjoy it.

 Best regards


Jorge Henrique Ribeiro Ramires



Posted in 2002

The Deeb & Saada Merhege Family Tree  Deeb & Saada Mirhej Tree.JPG (229795 bytes)

In the early 1900's, Deeb Mirhej was a policeman for the Baladieh "Municipality".  He and his wife Saada (Yazbeck) were called Abou Mikhayel and Imm Mikhayel after their oldest son Mikhayel.  They had three sons: Mikhayel, Naamatallah & Sabeh and three daughters: Alia, Afifi and Mariam.  

(Please click on the chart on right to enlarge it and see the total picture > >) 

(Photo on left is of Sabeh Deeb Mirhej). 

The sons  emigrated to Brazil and are believed to have settled in or near Sao Paolo, Brazil.  We do not know much about their families and would very much love to add them to this family tree.  

Now what we know more about are the families of the daughters who stayed in or in close proximity to Shweir.    

The following is a bit of information of what we know so far...

Afifi married Jibran Halabi.  They had no kids. 

During WWI, the family needed to escape to safer areas.  Afifi and Alia were in their teens when they were loaded onto a camel, inserted one in each pouch on the side of a camel and made the long and arduous journey to Syria (either Damascus or Souweida).  The friction from the uncomfortable camel ride with each step rubbed their skin raw.  After they recovered in Syria, Alia met Abdo Hishmeh and they got married.  

In the 1930's, after their parents died, the three sisters sold their house which was located above Mar Jeryes for 300 L.L. to Najib Shalleeta, aka Da3week. 

Photo on left is of Alia Merhej Hishmeh.

When things calmed in Lebanon and Shweir, Alia visited her family in Shweir often.  Her oldest son Elias and daughter Antoinette were born in Shweir.  Alia's family grew up in Damascus.  Her sons became some of the top photographers in Damascus.  Shortly after WWII, her daughter Antoinette married George Shaya Khnaisser and returned to Shweir.  Most of the Hishmeh family now live in or near Brooklyn, NY. USA.  

After Antoinette's husband, George,  died, she and her family emigrated to California, USA

Mariam married Saeed Bou Nakhleh and lived in a home directly above the St. Georges Church, (Mar Jeryes) and close to her sons, Jeryes & Shehadeh's homes.  Miriam's husband was autocratic, macho and overly demanding of his wife and family.  She had many cows and when my mom used to visit, she would go to the barn, milk some fresh milk and offer it to my mom still warm.  (Now that gives a whole new meaning to fresh milk).  
The family home was sold to Daaweek & Najha Shallita for 300 Lebanese Liras, each of the sisters got 100 L.L.

My Grandmother Alia used to refer to the mother of Edmon Halabi, owner of ABC, (I believe her name was Maheeba) as her cousin.  Another of Alia's cousins were Mariam Min3em, wife of Ignatious Halabi, John Mirhej, Edward Bou Azar Mirhej.    

Any one who knows more in formation to connect the missing branches, please contact webmaster, Anwar Kenicer, at the following email address:  in code to avoid spam:   anwar2 (at) shweir  (dot) com


 Imagine my surprise that after returning from a wonderful summer vacation in Shweir in 2005, I got this email and a posting in the Guest Book:


Pedro Merege |
I appreciate to contact members of Mirhej family, I'm grandson of Nicolau Merege (Naamatallah Mirhej), and I have found the Shweir's site at the Google search. Today I have sended the family tree of my grandfather by e-mail
30 August 2005 - Curitiba - PR, Brazil
----- Original Message -----
From:  Email in code:   datum (at) onda (dot) com (dot) br
Sent: Tuesday, August 30, 2005 12:32 PM
Subject: Deeb & Saada Mirhej Tree

Dear Sir,  My apologies by my poor english. I'm from Curitiba, Pr, Brazil,.I am looking for my relatives in Lebanon, throug the Google I have located the official Shweir's site.
My name is Pedro Merege, son of Pedro. My grandfather was Nicolau Merege (Sabeh Mirhej), son of Deeb and Saada Mirhej.
Mikhayel, Sabeh & Naamatallah Mirhej, had their names translated here to Miguel, Nicolau an Antonio Merege, respectively. Miguel and Nicolau lived in Itapeva, (São Paulo state), and Antonio lived in Jabuti (Paraná state), but no so far of his brothers in Itapeva. The three brothers get maried with brasilian wifes and had a lot of sons... descendants. Today the descendants are living in some cities of  São Paulo and Paraná states at south of Brazil. Someones of my relatives are assembling the trees of  Miguel an Antonio families. I have attached the tree of Nicolau. As soon as possible, we will send some photos of family (I think that we have a photo of Deeb, Saada, Alia and Afife.
In my search, I've encountered anothers Merege, here in Brasil, some Mirhej in Colorado USA, and some Mehrige in Brooklyn NY, USA, can they to be descendants of Alia or Mariam, and relatives too?
Thank you by the opportunity of meet Shweir and part of our origins.  Best Regards
Pedro Merege

----- Original Message -----

From:     Anwar2 at shweir
Sent: Tuesday, August 30, 2005 5:10 PM
Subject: Re: Deeb & Saada Mirhej Tree

Hello Cousin!  :) 
What a wonderful surprise...  We have been looking for you for years. 
 Thank you for your email -  Your English is Great... At least it is far better than our Portuguese. 
Thank you for the family tree info.  I am copying it here and sharing it with some family members in USA, France, and Middle East.  I and all who are copied above (except one) are grandsons of Alia, sister of Afifi and Naamatallah... 
The other person copied is Bishara Abou Nakhle, son of Jeryes and Evelyn, Grandson of Mariam Mirhej.
To get a better picture, review the Deeb & Saada Mirhej Family Tree, on Family Tree Web page of
I just came back from Lebanon and spent a good part of the time with descendants of Mariam Mirhej family...
 I am anxious to share this w/all and look forward to your communication and learn more about as many of you.
With best wishes to you and the entire family,
Pedro included the
following pictures in
his second email

Thank you Pedro



From: Datum      Email in code:   datum (at) onda (dot) com (dot) br
Sent: Sunday, September 25, 2005 2:23 PM
To: Anwar2
Subject: Some Photos

Dear Cousins Anwar,  Here some photos that my grandfather received of his sister Alia, your grandmother, someone at foto 6 are your father. In future mails I send some old letters.

Abraços (like we speak in Brazil)


So Pedro, here are some pictures of some of the descendants: 

Elias, Thereze & Violette Heshmeh,
 Affif Merhege w/ Alia's daughter, Antoinette and her 3 sons:  Anwar, Souheil and Sami
Alia Merhej Family: 

Malak, Antone, Joseph,
Samir & John Hechme
& Antoinette Khnaisser
Only living son of
Mariam Merhej Bou Nakhle

Jeryes w/ wife Evelyn
Grandson of Mariam

Saeed Shehadeh Bou Nakhle
at his daughter's engagement
of Mariam

Sonia, Amal,
Salwa & Loudy

Above, 1st pix:  Afifi who was married to Gibran Halabi w/ Elias Hechme & daughter Therez, Violette Oke &
Antoinette, wife of George Shaya Khnaisser, w/ sons: Anwar, Souheil and Sami infront of Khnaisser house in Shweir.


Pedro, I tried to post the family tree you sent in Word doc attachment, but the format did not show well on web.
Please sent to me your address via email so that I can send to you one of the best Family Tree software.

While you are at it, send me your phone # so that possibly we speak in English and/or Arabic.
We will even try to learn some Portuguese. 

Thank you cousin Pedro for helping make a dream to many family members come true.

And yes, we communicated by email, phone and even snail mail with our cousin Pedro... making more and more discoveries...  then it happened

Pedro, Thank you, thank you...


In August 2006, almost a Century after Mikhayel, Sabeh and Naamatallah Merhege emigrated from Shweir, Lebanon to Brazil and after almost half a Century after contact was lost, the descendants of Deeb and Saada Merhege, (Merege) reunite.

See Visiting Brazil - August 2006 for intro and visiting Sao Paulo...

I, Anwar, flew in from San Francisco and my uncle John Heshme flew in from New York and we met in Sao Paulo.  After a couple of days, we spent a couple of days in Rio and returned to meet with uncle John's son, Tony, and my cousin Maurice and uncle John's brother in law, Albert Dekki all flew in from New York. 

Our first contact with our Merege Brazillian Cousins...

 It was Mario Merege Antunes, who lived in Sao Paulo, son of Jamileh Merege who is daughter of Sabeh (Nicolau) Merege.


A few evenings later, we met Col Miguel Merege Ramires, son of Najla who is daughter of Mikhayel, (Miguel Merege) and Tais, great grand daughter of Mikhayel Merege.  Tais is daughter to Jorge Merege Ramires who is son of Najla.  See Family Tree chart below...

And what a pleasant surprise to discover that evening that Sami Tabsharani, who is a cousin
of my cousin Foaud Tabsharani in California, is actually my cousin on my father's side too...

I learned that Maddool was his grandmother... I was so pleasantly surprised to come face to face with a long lost cousin...  Sami's grandma Maddool and my grandma Amelia, on my father's side, were sisters. 

To see grandma's family tree on my father's side and learn more about that side of the family click here to visit the bottom of the Family Tree web page and click on the Family tree to view the Saadallah Samaha family chart.  after you expand the chart, you will note in green boxes, Amelia is # 32 and Maddoul is #33. 

Also, to read the story of how their mom, Grandma Mary came to America and brought the female contingency of the family with her click here to read about Grandma Mary, a true pioneer.     

Amazing the parallels... on my father's side, it was the women who emigrated to N America and the men stayed in Shweir.

On my mother's side, the men emigrated to S America and the women stayed behind.

We enjoyed meeting Mario and Miguel and Tais.  It felt so natural as if we knew them for long time.  I was so happy to see how well my Merege cousins enjoyed meeting my Tabsharani cousins.  Uncle John began to note so many similarities, traits and characteristics that he noticed about them that reminded him of his mom, Alia.  Uncle John was on cloud nine... he even as sensed the presence of his mom's spirit close by.   Uncle John could not wait to meet the rest of the family.  That day, was soon approaching.  His dreams became more vivid. 

  Visiting air force base where cousin Miguel is stationed and new discovered cousin Beatriz, uncle John and Iskandar
Sfiha & Kibbeh

The day came when we all chartered a mini bus and took of to Sorocaba, a town of about 650,000 people, two hours drive from Sao Paulo. 

Jorge, Tais brother, came to the hotel to also take us to Sorocaba.  I had the pleasure to ride with him while the others went in the mini bus.

So we came to Jorge's parents home, Jorge & Roseli Merege Ramires.  They have a beautiful home in a very nice residential area of Sorocaba.  They saved every picture and letter that my grandma Alia sent to them. 


We sensed as if our elders who passed on like my grandma Alia, and her brothers Miguel, Nicolau and Antonio, were watching from above and very happy to see this reunion. 

Najla stood and announced to everyone that she was so happy that evening that this has been a life time dream for her to meet and know her father's family before she died.  She told us that ever since she was a little girl, she prayed often that one day, she will meet her father's family.  That night has arrived and she was thankful. There was so much sense of family and love in the room.  The way she spoke was so touching that there were not even one dry eye in the place.  Even macho man Iskandar, who was translating for us, was teary eyed.

Many more cousins, younger generation, came by to meet us.  Words can not describe the excitement and gratitude and emotion and discovery and sharing that was taking place that evening.  We enjoyed a wonderful family dinner. 

We learned that Jorge ibn Najla has an office equivalent to recorder's office that handles property deeds, title, escrow and credit reporting.  While in USA the records are publicly maintained, in Brazil, it is granted to highly regarded citizens like Jorge. 

Jorge's wife Roseli is a prolific artist.  All art work in the home were painted by her.  We saw dozens of other paintings set aside to be displayed elsewhere. 

Nest morning after a wonderful breakfast, we got into another mini bus and headed to Ipateva. 

About 10 km before reaching Ipateva, cousin Pedro Merege and Anamaria's husband Antonio Rezende were waiting for us where they led us to the Rezend's home...   We drove for about 2 km or well graded dirt road to reach their beautiful country home or should I say, estate..

First picture I see of my great grand parents
Najla dancing to
Lebanese Music
Amazing Brazilian
Ant hills
Arriving at Anamaria's and Antonio Rezende's country Home
Reviewing old pictures
Anamaria is Jamileh
 Merege daughter - Sampling of her homemade jams at right. > >
>  The white dish I am
holding belonged to
 her grandfather and
 is part of a set that
 is apx 100 years old. >

  For the first time, I saw old pictures of my family that I never saw before. . .

I asked permission to photograph those pixs.  So, I photographed the old pictures that Najla brought as well as those that Anamaria had.  She told us that the pictures she had she salvaged from one of the aunts who was in a rest home and aafter the aunt passed on, the maid was throwing the pictures and other items away when Amnamaria salvaged a good portion of them.  Thank you Anamaria. 

< < Letter from
grandma Alia about
loss of her brother Nicolau in 1959


Thank you Anamaria and Antonio for your warm hospitality and for a great lunch and for sharing family pictures, history and opening your home and your hearts.

As we were climbing back the dirt road that overlooks Anamaria and Antonio's estate, we saw a large white object waving goodby at us... it was Anamaria using a white sheet or towel waving good by, we were so touched and felt so welcome.

Then off to Ipateva to meet Adelia and Jamileh and their families...
Above, L > R:   Jamileh, Adelia and Najla

< < More treasured
pictures of our family
inc. one of Mariam's son
Shehadeh. + pixs of Alia, Afifi

< Adelia holding a picture as a
newly wed.  Now Adelia in her 90's
and yes, she still drives her car. 

Adelia opened a restaurant
next to her home called "House
of Kibe" as you can see from the
sign at left.  They also serve Kibe
Nayyeh, or Kibe Cru.  Yes, we
enjoyed some kibe balls as was
served by this beautiful cousin.

Next day, we, Anwar, John, Jorge and Pedro visited cemetery where Mikhayel (Miguel) and Sabeh (Nicolau) were laid to rest.  Naamatallah (Antonio) was laid to rest in another town far away.

In the meantime, Iskandar was introducing the rest of the contingency to
Sao Paulo state's governor Claudio Lembo and the deputie Tere


In a very beautiful part of Ipateva, Mikhayel (Miguel) owned many buildings as pictured below. 
His home is now a Medical Clinic. 

and then we went to Jamileh's home which was about 200 meters away from Miguel's home where more treasured pictures awaited us... some that were sent to Brazil long ago and we no longer had copies.

Deeb & Saada Merhege w/perhaps daughter Affif or Mariam

George & Antoinette, family group while Afifi's home was being built,
Antone Heshme Elias & Nadia Heshme and Antonio

Cousin Wagner Antonio Chueiri
drove 4+ hours from Curiciba to share with us the family tree
 he prepared, a copy of which you will see at the bottom of this page.  He also brought these rare pictures above.

Thank you cousin Wagner...

We had planned to spend most of that Sunday afternoon with the family, and John and I even planned to spend a few extra days, but due to other logistics that came up and limiting bus schedule for our return to Sao Paulo we needed to regretfully leave at 1 p.m. to catch to catch the 1:30 p.m. bus. 

Jamileh had a delicious Lebanese Shweiry lunch waiting for us including Taboleh, kibeh, chicken and fasoulieh and rice like mom makes. It was such a festive occasion with each of us wanting to make every second of our short visit count. 

Here at Jamileh home, Wagner, Pedro, Maria Antonia, Nadima, Anwar, Najla, Mario, Jamileh and John.

If only we can capture that wonderful energy and excitement and savor it for a long time.

Even when we got in the car and pulling away, blowing kisses and waving goodby.

Jorge, Alberto, Mauricio, Wagner, John, Anwar, Mario, Tony and Iskandar

on our way to Sao Paulo


Next day we prepared to leave Brazil...

As we were riding in the chartered van to the airport, cousin Miguel called and arranged to meet us at the airport to introduce us to his family.  It worked out great... shortly after we finished waiting in line to check our bags and get our travel docs in order, Fabricio and his mom Dinah recognized us via the digi cam that Miguel took the week before.  A few minutes later, Miguel joined us and we spent a few minutes getting acquainted before uncle John and I had to go thru security...


Tony, Maurice and Albert had a later flight and spent another hour with them sharing pictures that were taken on Albert's digi cam.

Meeting our long lost family in Brazil was very precious and memorable experience.   The family bonding and love exchanged and family affinity, it is hard to describe... even when we warmly greeted one another, it felt so natural to share a warm hug and feel that loving energy of our ancestors.

Thank you, thank you to everyone that we met.
It was a pleasure and an honor to finally meet you.

We send you our Love


Also thanks to all who helped to provide us information to put this family tree together...


Below is what was posted on the home page...

Jamileh and Adelia, daughters of Sabeh (Nicolau) Merege and Najla, daughter of Mikhayel (Miguel) Merege in Ipateva, Brazil

John Heshme, son Alia Merege, with Najla and her family comparing historical pictures in Sorocaba, Brazil

Bonus Surprise Reunion in Sao Paulo, Brazil
Click on picture to read about it...

Below is the the Family Tree of the Deeb & Saada Merhege / Merege Family...
It is a work in progress and will update it periodically.
Most recent update:      September 18, 2006
Click on it to expand in a separate window.


Many Thanks to my distant cousin Wagner Jamil Antonio Merege Choeire for preparing this family tree information about his grandfather's family.