Manar's Family

Manar's mother is Seham Mohammad, a graduate of Teshreen University in Latakia, with an M.A. in Arabic Language, who taught Arabic for many years.

Her father, Sha'aban Kachour, was Admiral of the Syrian Navy for 10 years.

Manar has two sisters, Dima and Maha, and a brother Firas.

Dima is married to Mohamed El-Kohen, and they have a son, Hicham Badreddin (age 6 months). Dima has a Master's degree from the University of London and is a professor at Teshreen University; Mohamed has a Ph.D. from the University of Nice and is the Representative of the UN World Food Program in Syria. They live in Damascus.

Manar's sister Maha is a physician and works for the UN High Commissioner of Refugees in Aden, Yemen.

Her brother Firas is an agricultural engineer working for the Ministry of Agriculture in Latakia. His son is Ali (age 6).

(Learn what an Alawite is -- the religious community that Manar belongs to.)

Joshua's Family

Joshua's mother is Joan Hutton Landis, who has just retired from her position as a Professor of English and Chair of the Liberal Arts Dept. at the Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia.

His father is Kendall Landis, who retired as Vice President of Swarthmore College a number of years ago. He also worked for City Bank for 18 years - ten of which were in the Middle East, where his children were raised.

His brothers are Ethan and Chris, who work together at Landis Construction Corporation in Washington DC.

Ethan is married to Jude, who works for FNMA (Fannie Mae). They have two sons, Jake (age 9) and Stuart (age 5).

Chris is married to Tomi, who is Executive Director of the Discovery Channel. Their sons are Kyle (age 8) and Ryan (age 7)