Who Are the Lebanese-Americans?
Contributions to U.S. Culture
Lebanese Americans continue to make lasting cultural contributions. the Lebanese-born poet-artist Kalil Gibran is perhaps the most widely read and appreciated by American readers . Another prominent writer is children's author Naomi Shihab Nye. In Public affairs, Dean of the White House press corps Helen Thomas and consumer advocate Ralph Nader present prominent figures.In entertainment, Lebanese American stars include the comedian Danny Thomas, actress Kathy Najimy, and Tony Shalhoub, singer Paul Anka and Casey Kasem of ‘America's Top 40’. Paul Orfalea, the founder of Kinko's photocopy stores, are also among the many Lebanese who have made their mark in America ( for Full List)
Lebanese Americans are involved in politics with Republicans, Democrats and independents, and have a high ratio of voting among American citizens. Democratic and Republican parties sponsors and Presidential candidates appeal to Lebanese voters in key states.Lebanese Americans hold public office at all levels. Some served in the U.S. Senate, such as George Mitchell of Maine (1980-1995), while many serve in the U.S. House of Representatives. Lebanese Americans have served in the cabinets, military and other high offices oadministrations, including Chief of Staff John H. Sununu under President George Bush, Health and Human Services Secretary Donna Shalala under President Bill Clinton, Energy Secretary Spencer Abraham under President George W. Bush and the US Army Central Commander Gen. John Abizaid. Lebanese Americans have been governors and mayors of American States and cities.(for Full List)
Americans have played a great role in the history of the United States, with
major achievements in medicine, business, law, government and the arts....Through
your dedication to the principles of constitutional democracy and your faith
in America’s future, you have made the Lebanese-American community a vital
force in our society and an aspiration to all Americans.” (President
Bill Clinton, 1992 - Full text)
The Americans descending from Lebanese origins have been coherently mixing with the American community since the past two centuries. There are many prominent figures in our community that we would recognize for their achievements without knowing that they carry Lebanese blood. Click here to go to the full list.
Prominent Lebanese-Spanish Figures
The Lebanese seem to have inherited the traveling spirit of their Phoenician ancestors. More than 80% of the Lebanese (up to the last 5 generations) live outside Lebanon around the globe. Many Lebanese had successful achievements and became prominent figures in the countries they ended in. In Business there is Nicholas Hayek or "Mr. Swatch” was credited with revamping the Swiss watch-making industry in the 1980s and Carlos Ghosn the President of Nissan Motor Company. Wajdi Mouawad is one of Canada's most prominent young writers. In fashion, Elie Saab is most famous for designing the dress Halle Berry wore when she won the best actress Oscar in 2002. Brian Peter Medawar is the Lebanese-Brazilian who won the Nobel Laureate in Medicine in 1960 for discovery of acquired immunological tolerance.
In Politics and Public affairs there is Ellias Serrano the Former President of Guatemala and Bucaram the Former Ecuador President. Around 20% of the Brazilian parliament are of Lebanese descent. Many other presidents, primers, governors, ministers and PM’s around the world are/were from Lebanese origin. (Click for full list)
- Assyrian American National Federation website
- Coalition of American Assyrians and Maronites (CAAM) letter, October, 2001
- Assyrian Academic Society website
- World Maronite Union website
- World Lebanese Organization website
- AMALID http://www.amalid.com
- World Lebanese Cultural Union web site