“I love talking to people! Love it,” shares Linda Shamieh. It’s a good thing since, as the central operator for GIA, she fields calls for all three locations to get callers where they need to go. She’s been the operator for more than two decades, recently celebrating 23 years with GIA.
“GIA is a wonderful place to be,” Linda says. “I enjoy my job and my coworkers, and the doctors are fantastic. If there is a problem and you need to see someone for gastrointestinal issues, this is the best place to come. Seriously. I’ve seen and heard a lot from patients – this is the right place.”
Born in Ramallah, a Palestinian city in the West Bank, she came to the United States with her family 55 years ago.
“We left when I was 5 years old,” she shares. Linda’s heritage remains with her to this day: “I speak Arabic, and on the weekends, I clean and watch Arabic movies on YouTube.”
“Every Sunday, I prepare a traditional Arabic meal for me and my son, Kenny. I can cook any Arabic dish you can imagine, baba ghanoush, grape leaves, hummus, maqluba (makloubeh), kafta, grape leaves – any kind. If there are leftovers, I’ll bring it to work and share with my friends.”
Since her husband passed away in 1986 at age 37, she chose to remain single and prioritizes family time, taking care of her mother in the evenings, traveling with her sister, visiting another sister in California and spending time with her son. She also attends Sacred Heart Cathedral.