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11/07/2017 - 12:00hs

Beirut to host lecture on Brazil-Lebanon relations

Professor Roberto Khatlab will speak to a group of tourists at an event on Wednesday (12). The address will be open to the general public and delivered in Portuguese. Admission is free.

São Paulo – The historical, cultural and commercial ties that bind the Brazilian and Lebanese peoples will be covered in the lecture Líbano, panorama geral e amizade com o Brasil (Lebanon, overview and friendship with Brazil), at the Brazil-Lebanon Cultural Center in Beirut next Wednesday (12).

The lecture will be delivered in Portuguese by Roberto Khatlab, director of the Latin American Studies and Cultures Center (LASCC) of the Holy Spirit University of Kaslik (USEK). The event is organized by a group of 90 Brazilian tourists visiting the country. It will be open to all Portuguese-speakers who are interested in the subject.

“I will discuss the history of Lebanon from the Phoenicians to the great Lebanese immigration to Brazil in 1880, as well as [Portuguese-born Brazilian emperor] D. Pedro II’s trip to Lebanon, which happened four years prior to that,” says Khatlab.

“Brazil needed labor hands and it regarded the Arabs as the ideal group of people to make goods circulate in Brazil. That led many Lebanese citizens to settle in Brazil,” the professor explains.

Khatlab will also address the fact that many of these Lebanese citizens returned to their home country from 1920 onwards. “As the Ottoman Empire ended and the French rule began, many Lebanese returned to Lebanon [with their families] to start a Brazilbanese colony,” he says.

According to the professor, there are 15,000 ‘Brazilbanese’ people in Lebanon today – Lebanese nationals of Brazilian descent or ones who have lived in Brazil. “The Brazil-Lebanon connection is more of a humane connection, since we are farther apart geographically and politically speaking,” he points out.

Khatlab also notes that many of these Brazilbanese people are prominent citizens, such as politicians, artists, writers and traders. Trade will be a key topic in the professor’s lecture.

“I will speak of Brazilbanese companies that work with Brazil. Super Brasil, for instance, is the leading player on the coffee market.” Khatlab explains that the Super Brasil brand was established by Lebanon’s Chucri Makari in the 1970s. It currently imports over 150 containers’ worth of coffee a year from Brazil. Makari, a former resident of Brazil, served as honorary consul of Brazil in the Lebanese city of Tripoli from 1993 to 2012.

The lecture will also cover the successful careers of Brazilian women who relocated to Lebanon, as well as book on Brazilian immigration to Lebanon which Khatlab is currently writing.

Quick facts
Lecture: Líbano, panorama geral e amizade com o Brasil
July 12, 6pm to 8pm
Brazil-Lebanon Cultural Center
Mar Mitr street, Trad Building, Achrafieh, Beirut
Free admission
Seats are limited. Please call 01-322-905 to register

*Translated by Gabriel Pomerancblum

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