Exhibition | Out of Egypt

Lichaa Family Immigration


Found at: https://cdnc.ucr.edu/cgi-bin/jewishweekly?a=d&d=JW19920417.2.2&e=-------en--20--41--txt-txIN-%22Lichaa%22-------1
April 17, 1992 newspaper article from the local San Francisco Bay Area Jewish newspaper, then called Jewish Bulletin of Northern California, focusing on the the Lichaa and Pessah families, with the headline, "Why is this Seder Different from Others?" Fred Lichaa, seen in the image on page 52 of the Jewish Bulletin, is referred to as Farid Lichaa in the immigration documents found below (© J.).

Lichaa Family Immigration

Dated between 1964 and 1970, these documents chronicle the forced migration of three generations of Lichaas -- parents Joseph and Louna, their sons, Zaki and Farid, and Joseph’s mother Nazli -- from Cairo to Chicago by way of Paris. They include letters between HIAS, a resettlement agency then called the “Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society,” and Jewish Family Services, focusing on the details of the Lichaa’s family’s resettlement. (They were also assisted by the UNHCR).

The correspondence reveals “the unusual difficulties a former businessman [Joseph Lichaa] finds himself in with the Egyptian authorities when he wishes to leave the country,” referring to the government under President Gamal Abd Al-Nasser, which had nationalize the private property of countless Egyptians, including Jews.

The documents identify Joseph Lichaa’s two sisters in Chicago as the family’s sponsors. They also mention the Lichaas’ employment prospects, which were promising given Joseph’s background as an industrial chemist specializing in textiles and Zaki’s engineering background; the state of their health; the status of their immigration papers; and some of the logistics concerning their travel. The documents also contain a promissory note from HIAS to the family for their airfare. The final letter confirms that Nazli Lichaa, Joseph’s mother, had been granted permanent residency in the United States.

NOTE: For more information about each document found below, hover the pointer over the bottom left corner, and, once the grey circle with the white letter "i" appears, over that image.