Why we gave to Lebanon relief: a reflection
October 15, 2020
Hello Americanos! Denise here. Jeff and I are often reflective here at Americano. We hope to make the world just a little bit better so giving being a part of our mission was a no brainer.
A personal note
Being third generation Lebanese Americans gives us a sense of disconnected ache to the explosions that occurred in August of 2020 amidst a global pandemic. To have this feeling at all, I think, is a testament to the richness of the culture and the Lebanese’s initiatives in preserving it. We grew up with first generation families whose parents left Lebanon during their Civil War …we were surrounded always by a strong pride for the Lebanon where Beirut was considered the Paris of the Middle East. Every other Sunday we attended Maronite Catholic mass, Lebanese hymns still ring through my mind and Cedar tree chips floated about my house.
Lebanon had a mystical feel; pictures of rolling hills resembling that of the central coast of California where you could ski in the mountains in the morning and be on the beach in the evening. I don’t speak Arabic but Lebanese songs are still music to my ears. In college we both participated in collegiate network conventions where despite never setting foot in Lebanon, our peers welcomed me with wide arms.
Our parents and grandparents met through the intimacy of the American Lebanese community and I had always talked of visiting. Finally in 2014 my dad and I flew into the country’s capital and began retracing my great grandparents journey, driving through the mountain towns my ancestors immigrated from, the downtown streets of Beirut, to the historic ruins of Baalbek older than that of the Colosseum. For a country 2/3rds the size of Connecticut it’s astonishing how much natural beauty it contains, but most significant of these was the hospitality extended by families I had never met; invitations into living rooms... hour long chats..a dinner table full of food and talks of current events. No matter the geographic location, it seemed, the Lebanese culture feels welcoming, strong, and best shared over a meal ️
For the whole month of September 100% of proceeds and direct donations from eatamericano.com were doubled by First Bank and contributed to The Children’s Cancer Center of Lebanon. This Saint Jude affiliated hospital provided free care to all children displaced by the Beirut explosion.
In total we gave $8,125. View full video and press on our giving campaign here.