Cedars in the Pines: Documenting the Lebanese Community in North Carolina

North Carolina Museum of HistoryRALEIGH, NC – A new documentary, Cedars in the Pines: The Lebanese in North Carolina, chronicles the story of Lebanese immigration to North Carolina from 1890 to today. The one-hour film will premiere on Wednesday, March 28, at the North Carolina Museum of History, which is co-hosting the event with NC State University’s Khayrallah Program for Lebanese-American Studies. A reception at 7:00 pm will precede the screening. A brief QA session will follow. The event is free and open to the public.

“The Lebanese community in North Carolina embodies a resilient and unique identity that is both Middle Eastern and Southern,” says Professor of History Akram Khater, director of the Khayrallah Program at NC State University. “They cherish the history of their ancestors as a vibrant connection to the past even as they embrace and enrich their new homeland.”

Cedars in the Pines represents the first in a series of cultural projects undertaken by the Khayrallah Program for Lebanese-American Studies to research, document, preserve and publicize the history of the Lebanese-American community in North Carolina. The film is a joint project with the Khayrallah Program, the NC State Department of History and the NC State Department of English’s Language and Life Project. Cedars in the Pines is directed by Danica Cullinan.

RSVP for the March 28 event at http://lac.chass.ncsu.edu, or by calling NC State’s Department of History: 919-515-2483.

The Museum of History is located in downtown Raleigh, between the Capitol and the Legislative Building, at 5 East Edenton Street.

Visit lac.chass.ncsu.edu for details about the Khayrallah Program for Lebanese-American Studies.

Visit ncmuseumofhistory.org for parking and other information about the NC Museum of History.

Background on Cedars in the Pines:
Beginning in the 1890s, Lebanese immigrants arrived in America’s eastern and southern port cities. They traveled by the hundreds by train to various regions of North Carolina, where they left a lasting impression on the state’s civic, social, political, religious and cultural life.

In 1975, another wave of Lebanese immigrants began to arrive in the state. The civil war in Lebanon, which started that year, prompted over 1.2 million Lebanese to emigrate over the next  35 years. Many of those who left Lebanon moved to North Carolina and made it their home, increasing the Lebanese population in North Carolina to more than 16,000 and enriching the state culturally as well economically.

Cedars in the Pines combines interviews with first-, second- and third-generation Lebanese-Americans in NC, along with records found in the US Census, historical societies, churches, and research libraries as well as in family albums.  Capturing oral histories of the Lebanese community, this documentary weaves an intimate narrative of immigration, family and memory.

Cedars in the Pines is made possible by the Khayrallah Program for Lebanese-American Studies, North Carolina State University Linguistics Department, the North Carolina Museum of History, and the generosity of many volunteers.

Michael "Beach Mick" Hudson

About the Author:

Michael "Beach Mick" Hudson is the founder and Editor of Beach Carolina Magazine. Living along the coast of North Carolina, Mike has a passion for the beach and loves to bring news and events of the Carolinas to others around the world.

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