This article is written by our friends of the Metrolina Phoenician Club, a social and philanthropic club located in Charlotte, NC.
The Metrolina Phoenician Club is pleased to have co-sponsored the Opening Reception of Cedars in the Pines: The Lebanese in North Carolina museum exhibit, held on Friday, March 6 at the Levine Museum of the New South. About 200 guests attended and were treated to a first look at the exhibit, which tells the 130-year history of the Lebanese presence in North Carolina.
The evening began at 5:30pm with a cocktail reception, where guests mingled and enjoyed a lavish spread of Lebanese food provided by co-sponsor Empire Eats, which is based in Raleigh and owns the famous Lebanese restaurant Sitte. Opening remarks began at 6:30pm with Emily Zimmern, President & CEO of Levine Museum, welcoming everyone and thanking the organizations that sponsored the reception. She added that the Levine Museum is honored to present the exhibit, which is on loan from the North Carolina Museum of History in Raleigh.
Speaking on behalf of the MPC was Tony Bikhazi, State Vice President of the Southern Federation of Syrian Lebanese American Clubs, who talked about the many achievements of Lebanese immigrants in this great state and nation. He was followed by Dr. Akram Khater, Director of the Moise A. Khayrallah Center for Lebanese Diaspora Studies. Dr. Khater thanked the sponsors and paid tribute to Dr. Moise A. Khayrallah, a Lebanese immigrant whose story epitomizes the American dream. Through hard work he achieved great financial success and decided to give back to his adopted country by donating $8.1 million to fund an academic program focused on documenting the Lebanese history in North Carolina and the United States. Last but not least, Dr. Khayrallah addresses the crowd and expressed his gratitude for the opportunities America provides for immigrants. He then welcomed guests to view the exhibit.
Cedars in the Pines is a multimedia exhibit featuring personal stories, family photographs, home movies, letters, artifacts, and audio recordings that bring to life the story of Lebanese immigration in North Carolina. The exhibit opens to the public March 7 and runs until August 2015.
We encourage our members to take their family and friends to see it and learn more about our history in this great state. Cedars in the Pines was researched and developed by the Moise A. Khayrallah Center for Lebanese Diaspora Studies at N.C. State University.
All photos in this article are courtesy of the Metrolina Phoenician Club especially Kelly Brais, who we thank for her generosity.