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  • Rethinking Africa: The staff of the African Advocacy Network includes Joe Sciarrillo, pictured here with Jean Elias Xavier, Director Aboudou Traore, Charles Jackson and Clementine Ntshaykolo outside their office in the Dolores Street Community Services building. They help a growing number of African immigrants to the Bay Area who may number as many as 50,000.
  • Retiring Pillars: SI’s faculty surprised Fr. Sauer in May with applause and flowers after the announcement of his reassignment.
  • The SI boys’ lacrosse team enjoyed what may have been best year since its founding nearly a quarter century ago. The lacrosse press ranked the team among the top 15 in the nation as SI turned in another undefeated season in league play – its fourth undefeated season since it joined the WCAL in 2010.
  • Richard Driscoll ’06, a performance engineer for Oracle Team USA that will defend the America’s Cup in September, is among the few locals hunkering down in Pier 80 off Marin Street, where they work 65-hour weeks to make sure that Ellison’s boat sails twice as fast as the wind and maneuvers with precision and power as it takes on challengers from around the world.
  • Retiring Pillars: Since the 1970s, Mary McCarty made sure Latin was a living language for students in her classes.
  • Rethinking Africa: Ira Shaughnessy ’00 spent two years in Ghana from 2007 to 2009 working with the Bormase helping with the cultivation of the Moringa tree, whose leaves are rich in vitamins.

We Are SI

 

Noel with the Nasrah's

Sam Bernstein '14
Associate Editor 

“Flamboyant. The best house I’ve ever seen.” That’s how Tristan Wentworth ’14 describes the house of Jessica Nasrah ’14 during the Yuletide season. If you haven’t driven by her home on Gellert Drive (across from Lake Merced,) I highly recommend it, but there’s more to the Nasrah’s than just their decorations— they happen to be one of SI’s largest and most festive families. I sat down with Jessica and her cousins Michael Dudam ’14, Tarik Siniora ’15, Daniella Siniora ’17, and Nadia Nasrah ’16 to talk about what the holidays mean to them.

Just how big is this family? “There are 21 kids!” exclaims Daniella. Tarik adds, “We try to coordinate a family picture every year, but it never works.” Hey, I can’t blame them. Most families of four, let alone forty or more, struggle to gather for a picture! If this big of a family would overwhelm you, you’re not alone. “His family sat at one small table,” explains Daniella of her sister’s husband, “but we have people everywhere. Inside, outside, there’s no room. It was a little much for him.” Their family also adds a few unique twists to Christmas season due to their Arab lineage. In Jessica’s words, “We eat a lot of lamb [during the holidays]. Like extra lamb, more than usual.” Sounds like my type of crowd!

Now, picture that family in a house dressed to the nines, and we have an image straight out of a cheesy Hallmark Christmas special. “It takes about a full day to put up [the decorations],” concludes Jessica. “The men in the family pull everything out, and my mom coordinates the decorating.” To start, “There’s a life size manger in the front yard,” tells Tarik. But don’t worry— they all assured me baby Jesus doesn’t arrive until Christmas, where he’s met by “an older cousin who dresses as Santa and passes out the presents” says Nadia. That’s right, they don’t go to the mall for Santa; Santa comes to them.

I won’t ruin all the decorations before you check it out for yourselves, but I did get Jessica, between fits of laughter, to reveal her favorite decoration-related story. “Someone stole a penguin from [their] front yard and [her] mother filed a police report. Don’t ask me how, but somehow it magically appeared a few days later.” So don’t get any ideas, folks. If you want a tuxedo-clad penguin for your house, you’re going to have to look elsewhere. For the Nasrah’s holiday merriment is no laughing matter.

 

Posted by on Sunday December, 15, 2013

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