GERMANY: Syriac couple celebrates 70th wedding anniversary

GIESSEN, Germany – The Syriac couple Meryem and Semun Kartal this week celebrated their “Gnadenhochzeit”, that is their 70th anniversary a couple. The couple lives in Wieseck near Giessen in the German state of Hesse, but is originally from the Syriac homeland of Tur Abdin. Meryem and Semun Kartal grew up there in the city of Midyat, southeastern Turkey. At the time of marriage, Semun was 18 years old, Meryem 17.

In Tur Abdin, the Syriac couple had five children. In 1969 Semun came to Germany on a guest worker permit to work in the textile industry in Giessen. Their children followed in 1970. In the diaspora, the couple had two more children. The couple now has 25 grandchildren, 15 great-grandchildren and one great-great-grandson.

City councilor Astrid Eibelshäuser conveyed to the Syriac couple the congratulations of the city and district mayors of Giessen, and the Hessian prime minister.