Lebanese in the USA… so Who Are We?
Lebanon… Lebanon… It sounded so common to many of us, but not all of us. It lingered in my mind the very first day I landed in the Land of the Free and Home of the Brave and as people were walking in droves, I was interrupted and questioned. That’s when I was bemused by the much more interestingly phrased response that simply framed Lebanon to being a war-torn land- a small country on the eastern edge of the Mediterranean Sea. It ignited me so much that I had to set out to the matter in full… So Who Are We?
Lebanese people are cross-cultural, multi-task and their high level of skills is proxied by their educational attainment that sets them apart from everybody. They even have spill-over effects on academic and socio-economic achievements of American people collaborating hence together for a great nation as a whole. In a wake of sputtering culture, we can hence name a few: the author and philosopher “Gibran Khalil Gibran”; the fashion designer “Elie Saab” and the actress “Salma Hayek”. Against the looming threats and the dozens of attacks nationwide, Lebanese people acknowledged that the war was nothing but a double-edged sword and that education was the only peaceful weapon to bode well for their future.
Furthermore, Lebanese people are known for their tradition of hospitality to which they are plausibly proud of. Not only do we strive to be hospitable, but we engage in a plethora of welcoming actions far beyond out range. Lebanese people are gracious and generous hosts. For instance, one of our good manners dictates offering a wide array of Lebanese food - and such offers cannot be rejected by the guest! It is also customary to put on the table flowers, sweets and pastries. Sure thing, exchanging social pleasantries and warm greetings where Lebanese people mix at least three languages between French, English, and Arabic are parcel of our Lebanese culture. Giving firm handshakes along with three kisses on the cheek is another cornerstone of body language taking part of a flawless communication.
Apart from being overwhelmingly emotional and sentimental, Lebanese people have always emboldened trust and loyalty when intertwining with the society. One credit of the war that indeed brought many wars into one was to empower solidarity among Lebanese people in order to re-build infrastructure and business that were taken down- in short, to build Lebanon again and again…
Not having the chance of strumming out the discussion any further, I pledged that our interaction with the society is not set in stones and we are constantly cued to grow and engaged in on-going sets of exchanges in an aim to expand both at a local and international level. We are proud to be Lebanese whose ethics and passion are unique.
-God bless Lebanon and the beloved country- The United States of America!
--By Christel C. Nassif