One son became an NYPD officer and the other an FDNY firefighter. They still speak Bengali; it’s helpful to have an extra language in their line of work.

Cireen + Lara

In our culture the best thing that parents could do was to get their daughters married off and pass the responsibility to someone else. As Arab Christians, divorce was not in our vocabulary.


My parents weren’t required to give a dowry, but my mom had jewelry that she gave to all the daughters and daughters-in-law anyway, and there were 9 of us children.


We lived in Washington, D.C. during the War. We’d drive in to the city because Lionel Hampton or Frank Sinatra were at the Loews. Then we'd drive back in the middle of the night. But it was too much fun, so we got divorced.


It had been illegal for soldiers to steal things from Germany after the War, so you can see that the maker’s mark was rubbed off in order for it to have been smuggled out and brought to the Soviet Union.