This is a short blog post written by Amanda Forbes of the Khayrallah Center. If you would like to read the letters on our digital archive please click here. If you would like to read more about this family’s story and how it relates to the greater story of Lebanese immigration, check out Dr. Akram Khater’s article.
The Reverend Tobia Attallah Letter Collection is a collection of letters written to Reverend Tobia Attallah who was located in Beit Chabeb, Lebanon. The letters span from 1896 through 1936 and the bulk of the letters are written by Rev. Attallah’s children who are living and working in various places including Argentina, Brazil, Guinea, Mali, and Ghana.
The collection comprises over 200 letters and the Attallah children write to their father about money, their businesses, relationships, inquiring about their family and friends in Lebanon, and are often sending money back home.
It is clear that the relationships are often strained and it seems that Rev. Tobia does not often reply to their letters, causing them anguish as they continue to yearn for the connection to their family and friends. The collection tells an amazing story about immigration and how it affected relations in a time when communication was not easy or fast.