Really unique headstone I just had to share!

+15 votes

I found a really interesting headstone in my photo journey. He has a rather Anglo name - Joseph Side - but his headstone appears to have an Arabic type script in it. And at the time of his death in 1913 on the Canadian Prairies I don’t think there were many folks from far off places around. I’d love to learn this gentleman’s story!


WikiTree profile: Joseph Side
in Photos by Robin Helstrom G2G6 Mach 1 (13.7k points)
edited by David Selman
Might it be Hebrew?
Not Hebrew, that's definitely Arabic, Persian, or Turkish written in the Ottoman script.
Thanks everyone for the comments, and Jessica for finding a translation. This is super exciting.

Now I’m just dying to know what this man is doing in my small prairie city at the turn of the century.
This is really intriguing. There would have had to be another Arabic speaker to have ordered the epitaph, and a competent stone cutter to cut all those unfamiliar characters.When I worked in a bakery, I once took an order for a wedding cake decorated with a lot of Vietnamese good wishes. Cutting strange symbols into stone would have been even more difficult than writing them on a wedding cake.

Here's an interesting article about Syrians in the prairie provinces.

That’s fascinating! Thanks so much for sharing. Certainly a part of Canadian history I knew nothing about. Very cool!

2 Answers

+10 votes

Wish I knew what the Arabic type scrip meant! Anyone know?

by David Selman G2G Astronaut (1.1m points)

I asked on another forum for a translation and here's what it says:

In the name of Allah the most merciful, We will all come back to Allah someday This is the tomb of the deceased. He lived for 31 years and Allah took his soul on July 27. May Allah encase him in His mercy and allow him to enter heaven. Amen.

Thank you, Jessica, for the translation!
+8 votes

Cemetery says born in Damascus 

by Marion Poole G2G Astronaut (1.2m points)

I think his surname Side was probably originally Sa'id (سعيد‎).

Just coming back to say that Jessica smiley

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