When there's a war going on overseas, such as the ongoing and potentially escalating civil conflict in Syria that threatens to draw in international forces, it's easy to feel disconnected from a place you've never been and a people you've never really known.But the United States is a melting pot. Syria as a country may be foreign and far away, but there are some famous Americans of Syrian ancestry who would be familiar to anyone in this country.
Tech visionary Steve Jobs was raised by an American couple in California, but his biological father was Abdulfattah "John" Jandali. Although Jobs initially sought out Jandali in his youth, he later decided against meeting the man.
Singer, dancer, choreographer and former American Idol judge Paula Abdul has a father of Syrian-Jewish descent hailing from Aleppo, Syria. He later emigrated to Brazil and then the United States.
Actress and American Pie star Shannon Elizabeth has a father of Syrian-Lebanese descent. She even appeared in a public service announcement with other celebrities to prevent hate crimes against Arabs, according to an ABC News story.
Actress Teri Hatcher, famous for her work most recently in Desperate Housewives and earlier in Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman, has a mother who is half-Syrian.
Mitch Daniels, current president of Purdue University, has served as the governor of the state of Indiana and the director of the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for two years under the Bush administration. Daniels is a second-generation Syrian-American.
Singer and songwriter Paul Anka was born in Canada and found fame in the United States in the 1950s. His family is of Syrian-Lebanese descent.
Like many Americans, Prison Break actor Wentworth Miller is of multi-ethnic heritage. One of those ethnicities is Syrian.
The mother of legendary comedian and '90s sitcom icon Jerry Seinfeld is of Syrian-Jewish ancestry. According to a New York Times story on Seinfeld's ancestry, the family identified themselves as Turkish when they arrived on Ellis Island in 1909, however.