FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
October 01, 2017
Mary Ann Hatchitt
(Santa Fe, NM)— In conjunction with the current exhibition, “Syria: Cultural Patrimony Under Threat,” on exhibit at the New Mexico History Museum through November 3, 2017, author Claudette Sutton will give a lecture exploring her family’s Syrian roots on Saturday, October 14, from 2:00-3:30PM.
Claudette Sutton will take you back to a lost place and time: Aleppo, Syria, in the early twentieth century, when her father was growing up in one of the world’s oldest Jewish communities. Her grandfather was a textile merchant with roots in Syria as deep as anyone could trace. Her father attended school in Aleppo with Jewish, Christian and Muslim families who still lived alongside one another with respect as they had for centuries, until rising anti-Semitism in the years before World War II forced the family to find a new home. Through stories and slides, you’ll experience Mike Sutton’s journey from his childhood home in Aleppo, to Shanghai, to skyscraper post-war America. “Sharing my father’s experience of displacement and re-identification in a new country feels especially poignant at this time when we are seeing staggering numbers of people forced to leave their homes,” Sutton says, “and it provides surprising points of inspiration and resonance with today’s events.”
Shared with a journalist’s eye and a daughter’s love, this is a story that will expand your understanding of Syria’s current war and humanitarian crisis. Following a talk with photos and excerpts from her book, Farewell, Aleppo, Sutton will be joined in conversation by Ron Duncan Hart, author of several books including, most recently, Sephardic Jews, published by Gaon Books.
Claudette Sutton, author of Farewell, Aleppo: My Father, My People, and Their Long Journey Home (Terra Nova Books, 2014), has spoken around the country about Syria’s Jewish history and her family’s emigration from Aleppo to America. She lives with her husband and son in Santa Fe, where she publishes “Tumbleweeds,” Santa Fe’s quarterly parenting newspaper.
Photo caption: AuthorClaudette Sutton’s grandparents and their children, on the patio outside their home in Aleppo, around 1946. Courtesy: NM History Museum
About the New Mexico History Museum and Palace of the Governors National Historic Landmark: http://www.nmhistorymuseum.org.
Opened in May 2009, as the state system’s newest museum, the New Mexico History Museum is attached to the Palace of the Governors National Historic Landmark, a distinctive emblem of U.S. history and the original seat of New Mexico government. The History Museum serves as an anchor of the campus that includes Palace of the Governors, the Palace Press, the Fray Angelico Chavez History Library, and Photo Archives. The Museum presents exhibitions and public programs that interpret historical events and reflect on the wide range of New Mexico historical experiences and serves as a history center for research, education and lifelong learning, delivering quality programs that encourage knowledge, understanding and appreciation of New Mexico’s diverse cultures. A division of the New Mexico Department of Cultural Affairs. 113 Lincoln Ave. in Santa Fe, NM 87501. (505) 476-5200. Hours: 10 am to 5 pm daily, May through October; closed Mondays November through April. Events, news releases and images about activities at the History Museum and other divisions in the Department of Cultural Affairs can be accessed at media.newmexicoculture.org.