Tulsa Musician Describes Terrifying Brush With Crime
TULSA, Oklahoma - This Christmas story - about the making of a new CD full of Christmas music - has new music, old music and even an armed robbery.
Symon Hajjar, a Syrian American, is a singer songwriter. One night his friend Garth Bjorklund stopped by with some lyrics to a Christmas song. They pieced together a song and hatched the idea of a whole album full of Christmas tunes.
For the next six or seven years they - and a couple of dozen other people - worked on the album. They told me it's hard to work on Christmas music in July.
"I've got a gift that's worth giving 'cause hope is supposed to be shared," the men sang. "I want the world to hear, it's finally Christmas."
"We recorded this record here in the church actually," Bjorklund said of St. Antony's in Tulsa.
In a terrifying twist, last month - on the last night of recording - Symon had locked up the church and headed to his car.
"A couple of seconds later a guy came around the corner of the church with a mask and a gun in his hand," he said. "Told me to go to the ground."
Symon gave them, there were two of them, what little money he had, then he turned and looked them in the eye and said: "I just had a son; his name is Isaac, and I really want to get home to him tonight."
They said get on the ground, then they ran off. He can't explain his reaction or theirs - but it did happen outside his church.
"I felt looked after and watched over," he said.
Perhaps that's the greatest gift.
A portion of the proceeds from the sale of "It's Finally Christmas" will go to support the work of St. Antony's sister church in Syria.