Shades of L.A. is an archive of photographs representing the contemporary and historic diversity of families in Los Angeles. Images were chosen from family albums and include daily life, social organizations, work, personal and holiday celebrations, and migration and immigration activities. Made possible and accessible through the generous support of the Security Pacific National Bank, Sunlaw Cogeneration Partners, Photo Friends, California Council for the Humanities, the Ralph M. Parsons Foundation, and the John Randolph Haynes and Dora Haynes Foundation
Images available for reproduction and educational use. Please see the Ordering & Use page at http://tessa.lapl.org/orderinguse.html for additional information. The contents of this collection are restricted to personal, research, and non-commercial use. The Library cannot share the personal and/or contact information of the donors, their descendants, or associates who contributed photographs and oral histories to the collection.
Ruth and Habib Alajaji emigrated from Lebanon to Southern California in 1979. Ruth (Pashgian) was born in 1942 in Lebanon, while Habib Alajaji was born in 1937 in Aleppo, Syria, then moved to Lebanon in the early 1950s. Habib was called to the ministry, finishing Bible school in 1960. In the late 1960s he met and married Ruth Pashgian. In September 1970, he was ordained by the Church of the Nazarene of Beirut where he served as pastor, later becoming District Superintendant of the Lebanon, Syria and Jordan District. Due to the danger of the Lebanese Civil War, Habib, Ruth and their four children left Beirut in 1979 for the United States. They intended to stay only six months but after stops in San Luis Obispo and Pasadena, ended up settling permanently in Glendale. Here, Habib and Ruth established the first Armenian Church of the Nazarene in the United States. Both became naturalized citizens of the United States in the 1980s: Ruth in October 1985, and Habib in March of 1986. Habib passed away in October 2018.; Ruth Alajaji's ancestors had established roots in the Southern California area in the early 1900s. For example, Mouses (M.S.) Pashgian, a prominent rug dealer in Pasadena, was selected as grand marshal of the 1915 Rose Parade, and as marshal of the civic entries in the 1924 Rose Parade. Pashgian participated in the Rose Parade for many years in the equestrian division. He became a fan favorite, riding his Arabian black horse Hobo, who was decorated with sterling silver trappings Makhmale Aghajian (at left) holding carpet and dolls she made.