It was a family reconnection that was many years in the making.
Last month, the owner of The Shack Cafe Group, Steve Ajami, orchestrated the family reunion which saw the reuniting his father and his uncles and their sons after various branches of the family migrated to Australia and others to Europe in the early 1960's from Lebanon.
The reunion was held at The Shack outlet on Barton Street, Monterey.
Steve’s grandfather Sammy Ajami, who raised Steve, had always asked him to promise to 'keep the family together'.
In particular, he wanted to keep Steve's father and the nine brothers close.
Sammy Ajami passed in 2001 but last month Steve was able to fulfil his grandfather’s wish.
He reunited most of the brothers. Sadly, one of them, Hassan Ajami, has also passed.
“Since migrating, the Ajamis have become prominent businessmen, community activists and respected local members in the health department,” Steve said.
“They have always set out to achieve a good example in the local communities and represent an example of what can be achieved when given the opportunity to make a life in Australia and be respected citizens.”
Migrating in the early 60's on his own first, was uncle Gazzi who set the platform for the families and eventually brought Steve’s father Eddy to Australia.
“Over the years the various branches of the family expanded locally and abroad in Europe and have been busy in their own lives that the years had slipped away and now the Ajamis have grown to 174 family members since.”
Last month’s reunion was a moment that was a long time coming, Steve said.
“Now that the reconnection has started, there will be many more reunions to come,” he said.
The planning is already starting for a big family event at the end of the year.