My Lebanese roots are what have carried me throughout my life. I still have in my mind fresh memories of my grandfather that was born in Lebanon and migrated to Nicaragua.
He taught us to be proud of our heritage. I grew up in the Dominican Republic, but my father made it a purpose for us to feel close to our Lebanese roots. The tastes and aromas of Lebanese food dominated our long Sunday family lunches: dolmas of cabbage and grape leaves, yogurt, tabbouleh, Hummus, Lamb, rice, and of course baklava! Our table conversations were inspired by the strong Lebanese merits of honesty, hard work, education and elegance, traits that kept us in a special spot within our own Latin community.
As my admiration for my father is great, I have to say that one of his qualities is to do what he preaches. From very early on I always heard him say, “always be a noble person, allow this to lead the way as you live your life.” I went to the dictionary to read the definition about this not-so-common adjective. Being noble is defined as “having or showing qualities of high moral character, such as courage, generosity, or honor: a noble spirit.” This is just another part of the rich heritage of being Lebanese.
It is a paradox that although I have not visited Lebanon yet, and irrespective of the fact that I am a 3rd generation Lebanese expatriate, I feel very strongly about my roots. Being a citizen of the world I am always enchanted by the elegance and high educational level of the Lebanese community. These characteristics magnetize people and make it easy to spot and identify them across the globe. Wherever I go I easily connect with them immediately and feel the strong family union that they carry forward for generations. The importance of the family union and the perseverance of always succeeding through honest, hard work is a common denominator that I find among the Lebanese of the global community.
My strong Lebanese nostalgia and the proud feeling of my heritage are what have driven me to be what I am today. As I am writing these words I get motivated to keep transmitting my Lebanese heritage and values to my own family. In addition, I’ve made a promise to myself to visit our beautiful and inspiring country within the next year in order to satisfy my curiosity and complete the circle of my strong connection to glorious Lebanon.