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09/05/2017 - 18:46hs

Lebanese descendants to travel back to their roots

The ‘I love Lebanon’ group in Brazil is arranging a trip to the Arab country from July 9 to 25. They will visit historic sites, with free days to get in touch with family. Seats are still available.

Press Release

The trip in 2015: visiting Biblos, Lebanon

São Paulo – A 58-strong group of Brazilian-based Lebanese natives and descendants will take a trip to their homeland next July. The initiative is from Facebook group “Eu amo o Líbano” (Portuguese for ‘I love Lebanon’), which is run by people who have ties with the Arab country, including doctors, lawyers, clergymen and business executives.

Seats are still available for the tour. The group’s founder and one of its managers, attorney Luciano Aschkar, explains that non-members can also join up. Past trips also involved family and friends, according to him.

This is the fourth such trip. The first edition, in 2013, had 21 travelers; the second one, in 2015, had 27; and the third one, in 2016, had eight. Aschkar believes that the financial crisis in Brazil was the reason the number dropped last year. This year, with roughly two months to go, registrations reached an all-time high.

Registration ends on June 10. The trip will happen from July 9 to 25. They will spend ten days going to Lebanon’s main tourist spots. They will also have free days to meet up with family. The Brazilians will stay in a hotel in Beirut, from where they will travel to spots locally and in other cities.

Press Release

Aschkar will travel to Lebanon for the fourth time

The plans include a visit to the historic city of Baalbek, to see the Saidat Haula Mosque, the Stone of the Pregnant Woman, known as the world’s biggest single stone, and an archaeological site containing Roman ruins. The group will also go to the municipality of Zahle, in Beqaa, to visit a vineyard, a religious monument, and a cultural and gastronomic center.

They will visit the cities of Batroun, Biblos, Tannourine, Jounieh etc., where they will see churches, markets, ports, museums, ruins, monasteries, mosques, religious sites that Jesus Christ went to, lakes, cedar plantations, castles, palaces, and commercial hubs. The visits will include portuguese-speaking tour guides.

“This isn’t your traditional tourist trip; it transcends that,” says Aschkar regarding the spiritual character that the tour has for some of the travelers. He tells of a 75-year old man who’s travelling with the group. A native of Lebanon, he moved to Brazil at age five. This will be his first trip back to Lebanon, and the fulfilment of a dream, according to Aschkar.

According to the group’s administrator, the trip is more viable from a financial standpoint than strictly commercial ones. The cost of land travel with lodging in a double apartment is USD 1,900 per person. The single apartment goes for USD 2.800. Airline tickets can be purchased by the organizers at the traveler’s request. Prices vary.

The “I love Lebanon” group was created on Facebook in 2011. Its members had their first meeting the following year in São Paulo. Since then, they met in several cities, and the idea for the trip to Lebanon came up. “I run this group in a very affectionate way,” says Aschkar. The attorney resides in Novo Horizonte, São Paulo, and this will be his first trip to Lebanon. Aschkar is the grandson of Lebanese grandparents.

Quick facts:

Trip to Lebanon
July 9 to 25, 2017
Registrations open until July 10, 2017
Organizers: “I love Lebanon” group (Luciano Aschkar)
Email: luciano.aschkar@hotmail.com

*Translated by Gabriel Pomerancblum

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