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Posted by: Nelson Jorge Date: May 29, 2001 at 07:55:22
In Reply to: YIRIS>CUBA WW2 by Tony Yiris of 3600


It sounds like you're referring to the arab version of "George", which can come in many forms: Jerjes,Yerjes, Yiris, Jeres, Jurjis, Gerios, etc., depending on who's doing the writing (in Spanish, English, French, etc.) and the accent of the individual in question! The closest you could get with an English spelling is "Jurjis". It has different forms, even when written in Arabic but the most common form is "jrjs". The vowels are not written and usually supplied by the speaker and that's how things get tricky and you can get different interpretations...

Sometimes, as in my case, the name is translated outright: Jorge (in Spanish).

In fact, Jurjis is a first name and almost always used by a Christian Arab (maronite, orthodox, catholic, etc.) from Lebanon or Syria.

You should try to contact some older relatives to find out the real last name of your family. Usually, the arab names consist of:
1. a first name
2. a patronimic (the father's name)
3. a "real" surname

In the hurry to get into the new world, many translated the first two and just dropped number 3 (which was usually the hardest to translate). Without knowing all three names, you will find searching in Arab countries very difficult as there could hundreds of people with the same combination of the first two names.

In fact, my grandfather was Tanous Jurjis (Antonio Jorge in Spanish or Anthony George in English), probably the same as you. His real family name was al-Hosni and it took me years to find out from a relative who still remembered it. Once I knew what to look for, I found many versions of it in documents pertaining to other relatives!

Hope this helps,

Nelson Jorge

P.S. Incidentally, some of my grandfather's relatives went to Cuba in the 1920's so we could be related after all...

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