SALMA JURDAK

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2 entries
  • "Sorry to hear of her passing. She will be greatly missed..."
    - Katherine Rittner
  • "May God give you strength in this moment of deep sorrow and..."
    - Samira Nawas
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JURDAK SALMA MANSUR JURDAK Born: February 28, 1920 Died: March 20, 2017 Salma Mansur Jurdak passed away on March 20, 2017 at Sibley Hospital in Washington, DC after a short illness. She was 97 years of age. Born in Beirut, Lebanon on February 28, 1920, Salma was the fourth of six children of Professor Mansur Hanna Jurdak and his wife, Leah Abs Jurdak. Salma grew up in a house on the campus of the American University of Beirut, where her father was an eminent professor of mathematics and astronomy, and later at her parents' new residence on Sadat Street, two blocks from the university. Salma attended the American School for Girls through high school and then spent two years at the Beirut College for Women before enrolling at the American University of Beirut from which she graduated in 1942 with a B.S. degree and diploma in Nursing. She was one of the first women in Lebanon to drive a car. After World War II, Salma moved to Washington where she served as a secretary at the recently opened Legation of Lebanon in Washington, DC. Her older sister, Angela, was at the time a diplomatic representative of Lebanon to the United States. In those years Salma enjoyed traveling widely across the United States, joined by friends from the Lebanese community in Washington. In 1955, Salma was part of the Lebanese delegation to the Bandung Conference in Indonesia where she would meet Gamal Abdel Nasser, Jawaharlal Nehru, Zhou Enlai, Kwame Nkrumah, Marshall Tito and other founders of the emerging non-aligned movement. She spent the remainder of her career in Beirut as the personal assistant and secretary to Emile Bustani, the founder of the Contracting & Trading Company (CAT Co), which was widely considered to be the leading constructing and contracting company in the Middle East at the time. After Mr. Bustani's untimely death in 1963, she continued to work at the CAT Co as the personal assistant to his widow and her daughter. After she retired from CAT, Salma continued to live a in her flat in the Jurdak Building on Sadat Street in Beirut and at her family's summer residence in Dhour el-Choueir before leaving Lebanon permanently in the late 1980s to live with her sister, Angela in Washington, DC. She became a U.S. citizen in later years. Salma Mansur Jurdak was unmarried and survived her five siblings. She was very loving and generous to her nine nephews and nieces, Amine Abs of Torrance, CA and Lea Abs of Rome, Italy, Nadi Jurdak of Montreal, Canada and Roy Jurdak of Atlanta, GA, Philip S. Khoury of Somerville, MA and George S. Khoury of Darien, CT, Soli Nawas, Samira Nawas and Sami Nawas, all of Atherton, CA. She will be interred at the Rock Creek Cemetery in Washington, DC. A memorial service will follow later in spring.Salma Mansur Jurdak was unmarried and survived her five siblings. She was very loving and generous to her nine nephews and nieces, Amine Abs of Torrance, CA and Lea Abs of Rome, Italy, Nadi Jurdak of Montreal, Canada and Roy Jurdak of Atlanta, GA, Philip S. Khoury of Somerville, MA and George S. Khoury of Darien, CT, Soli Nawas, Samira Nawas and Sami Nawas, all of Atherton, CA. She will be interred at the Rock Creek Cemetery in Washington, DC. A memorial service will follow later in spring.
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Published in The Washington Post on Mar. 24, 2017
Arrangements under the direction of:
Joseph Gawler's Sons, LLC
5130 Wisconsin Ave NW | Washington, DC 20016 | (202) 966-6400
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