Atiyeh's father, George, and uncle, Aziz, emigrated to America sometime just before the turn of the 20th century. They first settled in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, but eventually moved to Portland because someone had advised them that it would be a good place to sell rugs.
In 2000, Atiyeh Bros., Inc. celebrated its 100th anniversary, and it remains a successful, family-run business.
The company has promoted its wares in a variety of avenues--from presenting at the 1905 Portland Exposition, to passing out brochures such as the one to the right, to the ads that may now be heard on Oregon Public Broadcasting programs.
Though Atiyeh's presidency ended when he resigned, in 1978, after winning the gubernatorial election, his ties to the family business continued, and his son Tom followed in the family footsteps with an international carpet export company.