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Posted by: Jack Keilo (ID *****1880) Date: July 08, 2002 at 15:17:13
In Reply to: Re: HADAD by ARIEL BARRERA of 3600

Dear Ariel:
The name "Anthony"(Antonio in Spanish), is originally a Latin name which means priceless, but Saint Anthony the Great was from Egypt, many Christians in Syria and Lebanon name their children after him as their patron saint, without necessity of being from Roman or Greek origin. As you say many Christian families in Syria and Lebanon are from Roman or Greek or Crusader origin, but they were syrianized long time ago and dissolved in Semitic Christian community of Syria and Lebanon.
Dear Ariel, before Islam all the Arab nobilities were Christians: Ghassanids, Kindas, Lekhmids, Taghlebids… and many others. After the Islamic invasion most of the Arabs became Muslims but some of them refused to become Muslims and fled from Arabia to Europe and to the mountains of Lebanon, so it's possible to be an Arab and Christian ( although it's rare), Christian Arabs are the most noble and royal Arabs. So you can see many Christian families in Syria and Lebanon who are from Arab origin.
The main ethnic root of Christians in the East is Semitic (Aramaic or Arab), but there are many other roots: Greek, Armenian, Crusader, Roman, Persian...
The Semitic languages are very similar in names and old Hebrew was from Aramaic language, The Lord spoke Aramaic! (Aramaic is the same with Syriac).
It's not necessary to be originated in Hebrews to have a Hebrew name, even many Muslims name after the Hebrews (names like Moses, Jacob and David are popular among Muslims). In the history Hebrews were part of Syrian people even they had many special traditions (Like circumcision for example, which was not known by other Syrians at that time).
I am Syrian! I live in Syria but not in Damascus, I always go to Damascus, I think that Hafat Devian and Susa are quarters or environs of Damascus, I will ask the next time .for Ophelia and Katherine it's difficult to determine because they are popular among Christians here.
Try to get more information if you can.
Best wishes

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