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26/07/2010 - 17:22hs
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Children experience Brazilian culture in Lebanon

Last Saturday, the Council of Brazilian Citizens to Beirut hosted the inaugural meeting of Grupo Alecrim, whose objective is to encourage Brazilian customs among children living abroad.



São Paulo – Since last Saturday (24th), Brazilian children living in Lebanon have a space to better interact with and experience Brazilian customs. The Dari Centre, which means “my house” in Arabic, located in Baalbeck, at the Bekaa Valley, will be the local headquarters of children’s cultural project Grupo Alecrim (Rosemary Group), established by Brazilian volunteers living abroad.

The group, whose objective is to encourage Brazilian customs among children who live abroad, already operates in two cities in Belgium and one city in Singapore. The project is coordinated by Katcha Osório. In Lebanon, the project is also coordinated by Roberto Khatlab, executive secretary of the Council of Brazilian Citizens to Beirut, and Marcela Zaim, a gymnastics teacher.

The first meeting of the group, in Baalbeck, brought together over 100 people, mostly children aged 03 to 08 accompanied by their mothers. The children engaged in activities and games, sang, watched movies, and ate typical Brazilian dishes cooked by their mothers.

According to Khatlab, all of those attending the meetings must speak Portuguese. The activities developed are based on Brazilian themes that pique the children’s curiosity, and include nursery rhymes, stories, theatre, geography, science and cuisine.

Grupo Alecrim intends to bring its activities to other regions of Lebanon by means of voluntary mothers. The meetings are held twice a month. The group is supported by the Council of Brazilian Citizens to Beirut, the Brazilian Embassy and Consulate, and the Centre for Latin American Studies and Cultures of the Université Saint-Esprit de Kaslik.

The Dari Centre granted Grupo Alecrim the facilities, which were formerly the house of couple Toufic El-Hosn and Fátima Mourtada, who immigrated to Brazilian in the 1920s. The couple did not have children, so after returning to Lebanon and before passing away, they donated the property to the Baalbeck orphanage.

Since 2006

Grupo Alecrim was established in 2006 by the Brazilian Carla Freericks, in Brussels. Presently, the group operates in Brussels and Gent, in Belgium, and in Singapore. The group is apolitical, secular, not-for-profit and open to all Brazilians and foreigners who are somehow connected to Brazil.

Contact

Grupo Alecrim
Website: www.alecrimbrasil.org
In Lebanon: alecrim.beirute@googlemail.com

*Translated by Gabriel Pomerancblum

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