and Sharon Holbrook
contributed to the
compilation and editing
of these stories.
lmost without exception, the people featured in
this issue – on the following pages and in subsequent
articles – came from abroad to the Cleveland area
for career-related reasons, and chose Shaker as their
home for its schools, its housing and architecture, its
natural beauty, and its proximity to the high culture
of University Circle.
But these people also talk about intangibles.
Mahmoud Ghannoum, a Lebanese immigrant from
Kuwait and an eminent scientist at Case School of
Medicine, movingly tells of a travel agent who reached
into his own pocket to help Ghannoum when he was
stranded penniless early in his career in Washington D.C.
(See Brilliant Careers). And Anastasia Lakhtikova, a recent
arrival from Ukraine, writes of her Shaker neighbors –
Finns, Poles, Serbians, Germans, Catalans: “We feel that
even though we came here from all over the world…we
are now of the same place, sharing the same values, and
raising children to be worthy American citizens.”
What began a century ago as an enclave that
excluded so many through restrictive covenants
has become a vibrant, welcoming international
community. Immigrants are now fully woven into the
fabric of the community, as reflected in the Schools
at every level, in the Shaker Library, and most
especially in our neighborhoods. This is Shaker
Heights in the 2 1 csetntury.