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Jed Hamoud

Jed Hamoud

Bedouin Immigrant and IT Specialist

Born: Lebanon
Heritage: Bedouin

The one who talks a lot, hears very little and the one who listens a lot, learns a lot. In other words, listen as much as you can so you can learn a lot.

Jed Hamoud

Bedouin Immigrant and IT Specialist

My name is Jed Hamoud. I do not know when I was born. I was born near the border of Lebanon and Syria. Due to a rare snowstorm at that time, we think the year I was born was 1950.

My family are Bedouins, or nomads. My father was blind, so I started taking care of our sheep, camels and goats when I was about four or five years old.

At about five years old, the chief of the tribe decided to take me to go and live with him. My parents had no choice in this matter. After living with the chief for about two years, we had visitors that came to the tribe. These people were missionaries with light skin and blonde hair. They had a boy and girl my age and they took me to live at their orphanage in Lebanon.

At the orphanage there were a lot of boys my age. We had a lot of fun and I got to go to school. I learned how to read and write. The first day at the orphanage I was cleaned up and given some clothes. My hair was cut and I received my first pair of shoes.

When I graduated from high school I was rewarded with a new suit—my first new clothes in my entire life! I enrolled in a college in Lebanon but was drafted into the Syrian army. Rich sponsors helped me to immigrate to the United States where I finished college and avoided the army.

When I decided to find a wife, I thought only of the young girl I met at the orphanage in Lebanon. She was the daughter of the missionaries there. Since she was now living at her relatives’ farm in Wisconsin, I was able to visit her and eventually asked her to marry me.

Today, my wife Becky and I have four children—two girls and two boys. They all attended Wilshire Park. My oldest boy, Brent, is now working at the very same orphanage where I grew up.

I have been fortunate to work at good jobs here in the United States. I worked for General Electric in their nuclear energy department and with Fairview Health Services working with computers. My degree is in Information Technology.

Notation: Download PDF

Praise, Praise, Praise

Honoring Jed Hamoud

Praise, Praise, Praise
(Honoring Jed Hamoud)

Praise, Praise
Hamoud is my name
Praise, praise, praise

Back home people do not keep track
Of when you were born, looking back
The weather was cold, this I know
When I was born there was fresh fallen snow

People were nomads with camels,
goats, and sheep
Wandered the desert
in tents we would sleep
When the grass was gone
on camels we did load
All that we had to start a new home

My father was blind. He could not see
Could not provide for the family and me
The chief of the tribe took me away
At five years of age
Mother cried on that day.

Visitors came with skin lighter than mine
With blond hair and blue eyes
They had a daughter and son my age
Who spoke a language that sounded strange

They took me away to start a new life
Then shaved my head to get rid of lice
In the orphanage they taught me to read
Burned my old clothes
gave me clothes that were clean

If we studied hard, we would succeed
On graduation day they gave to me
A brand new suit, which I then wore
To visit family, who were still poor

A sponsor gave me money, so I enrolled
In college to Lebanon I did go
Then I got drafted to join the army
I wanted to stay, but they said I must leave

Disappointed and sad, with no time to wait
A scholarship came from the United States
From a shepherd boy to a college degree
In Information Technology

Then I got lonely, decided to date
After finding work in the United States
Each girl I dated I found I compared
To that young girl with blue eyes
and blond hair

Her father and mother were those
who took me in
As a shepherd boy in the orphanage
They moved to the States, where I proposed
To dear Becky, in their farm home

We have four children who are grown
The third one Brent like me left home
To Lebanon where he volunteers
Where I grew up now for two years

One thing I’ve learned since I was small
The one who keeps talking learns little at all
My story is over. Now it’s my turn
To listen to you, so I might learn.

Music by Larry Long. Words by Larry Long with Ms. Haugerud’s Third Grade Class of Wilshire Park Elementary School. St. Anthony Village, Minnesota

© Larry Long 2008 / BMI