i o n u ț

g î t a n



București, România

The regime of Nicolae Ceaușescu issues Decree 770, restricting abortion and contraception. The decreței succeeds in increasing population. However, the mortality rate in pregnant women reaches highest in Europe. Infant mortality and orphan rates also rise.

Dolj, România
Marín Gîtan and Elena Jalba marry on 28 February 1984. Elena, the daughter of farmers in the rural commune Amărăștii de Jos of Dolj County, moves to the city Craiova, România to join Marín for a manufacturing job at industrial parts factory Electroputere after training at trade school.

Craiova, România

Oana Gîtan is born to Marín and Elena Gîtan on 15 November 1985. The birth prompts Marín Gîtan to attempt an escape of the communist country to seek economic opportunity abroad. He is captured at the border and imprisoned from December 1985 to May 1988 on charges of trecerea de frontiera, or illegal border crossing. Elena Gîtan works to support their newborn daughter alone. 

Negotin, Yugoslavia

On 16 June 1988, Marín and Elena Gîtan attempt a second illegal border crossing from Gruia, România to Negotin, Yugoslavia. They embark on two boats across the Danube River with a party of seven men and three women total. By foot and board train, Marín and Elena Gîtan trek south across Yugoslavia to Greece. They arrive in Greece on 11 June 1988 and are granted asylum by Greek authorities. They are placed in a refugee camp in Athens. During their application process for asylum to United States of America at the American Embassy in Athens, the two work odd jobs.

Timișoara, România

Public protests begin against the communist regime on 16 December 1989. Uprisings spread to București. The children of Decree 770 depose Nicolae Ceaușescu on 24 December 1989. Nicolae and Elena Ceaușescu die by firing squad 25 December. The revolution claims 1,104 casualties.  

Athens, Greece

Ionuț Gîtan is born to Marín and Elena Gîtan on 12 January 1990 at Hospital Elena in Athens, Greece. The babe weighs 3.75 kg.

New York, USA

Marín and Elena Gîtan secure asylum in the United States of America, arriving in New York City on 31 March 1990. With support from Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Church, the Gîtan family settles in Grand Rapids, Michigan.

Detroit, USA

On 18 June 1996, Marín and Elena Gîtan are naturalized as American citizens, including the children Oana and Ionuț. 

Ann Arbor, USA

Ionuț Gîtan begins Bachelor of Arts undergraduate studies in the Residential College at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor.

Tōhoku, Japan

On 11 Mach 2011, an earthquake occurs off the Northeast Tōhoku coast of Japan. It is the most powerful earthquake recorded to hit Japan. The quake and resulting tsunami claims 15,894 casualties, 6,152 injuries, and 2,562 persons missing. Studying in Tokyo at the University of Tokyo during the quake, the disaster influences Ionuț Gîtan to pursue Japan-US relations as business profession.

New York, USA

In April 2012, Ionuț Gîtan is the first in his family to graduate with a Bachelor of Arts degree. He relocates to New York City, and begins work at the Japanese conglomerate Harajuku Project France Group (HP France Group).  

Tokyo, Japan

Ionuț Gîtan returns to Tokyo for a position at PR01 public relations agency. His work with clients Japan Ministry of Economy, Trade & Industry, Japan External Trade Organization,  and the Embassy of Italy awakens a professional interest in government and international relations.

Athens, Greece

On 5 July 2015, the Greek government-debt crisis reaches a fever pitch with a referendum vote on bailout conditions. The result is όχι. Concurrently, the Syrian Civil War claims more than 200,000 casualties with refugees dying en route to Athens, Greece. Reckoned by the shared history, Ionuț Gîtan begins volunteer work at an immigration services non-profit in Queens, New York. 

New York, USA

In September 2016, Ionuț Gîtan pivots his professional business experience to a Master of Arts degree program in International Politics and International Business at New York University Graduate School of Arts & Science and Stern Business School. He starts work a non-profit that helps refugees in Syria and begins freelance writing on immigration & design topics.