Yasef Romano Dancing with Sima

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I was born on August 6th, 1938. I did not go to preschool. My mother took care of me. My first education was in the Ismet Pasha elementary school where I was president for 30 years. The name of the school was later changed to Shehit Asim school. I finished junior high and highschool in Edirne highschool. All were public schools. I loved social studies, history and geography most. I hated physics. I did my national service in Denizli during 1959-60. While I was in the military, I got engaged on May 27th, 1960. I returned to Edirne in 1962. Before I left for the military, I was working in my father's business. I got married and started working. I took over the business which was the sale of auto tires in 1962 completely. I still do this work. We also had a franchise for Mobil. Later my father retired. I started in the Rotary in 1977 to be of service and I am still continuing to serve. I became the founder of Edirne Rotary club. We started it with 20-25 people. When the Rotary was going to be founded in Edirne in 1977, I did not know what Rotary was. I had an older mentor, he is a lawyer. The attorney Altinel, my dear Yasef, we will take you into the Rotary, they said. We are creating it, we will take you into the founders, he said. I said let me read about its philosophy. Don't read at all, he said, let's make you a member first, you will read later. I entered without knowing, after starting it I read about its philosophy, I was really very happy. I became a secretary after it was established. I served as secretary for 13 years which can be a world record. After becoming president, I became assistant to the governor. And I am still continuing. I have been working actively since I started. This year, 2005-2006, I see as my "Golden Year". I will serve not only Edirne but all of Thrace. The biggest project in my life is establishing a center for disabled children. It was established with the name "Edirne Therapy Center for Mentally and Physically Disabled Children". You might say, what relationship do you have with disabled people. I am very socially active in Edirne. My younger daughter Sima is born in 1974. She was born in Istanbul. She finished elementary school in Edirne. She attended junior high, highschool and university in Istanbul. She finished Beshiktash Anadolu Lisesi. She studied sociology in Mimar Sinan University. Currently she is a teacher in Marmaris. She is married to Tansel Chetin. She has a daughter named Melis. They live in Marmaris. She is married and has a daughter. My older daughter Ines was born in 1964, and in 1973, my younger daughter Sima. My wife struggled in Edirne for their education. She won entrance to Beshiktash Anadolu Lisesi (Besiktas Anatolia highschool) after finishing elementary school. We were obliged to come to Istanbul so my younger daughter could get a better education. My wife had to cut her ties to Edirne. We did not want to leave her alone in Istanbul. We helped her so she could study here. Then my older daughter got married. We came and went for her too. Our life was spent on the roads.

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Interviewee: Yasef Romano
Alberto Modiano
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Istanbul, Turkey


Yasef Romano
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School Administrator
after WW II:

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Sima Cetin
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