Sunday, July 24th, 2016

Brazilian Stamp Honoring Lebanese

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See this site for a wonderful backgrounder to this stamp.

Robert Moser: The Lebanese Diaspora in Brazil

… Well, you could say that there is a subtle but palpable presence of Lebanese culture in Brazil. If you pay attention and you look for the details, some of the manifestations of Lebanese culture that you might notice range from politics to the food you eat in a corner luncheonette in just about any city in Brazil. It is very common to walk into one of these corner restaurants and order a kibbe or a sfiha, one of these meat pies. They very frequently serve steak sandwiches called beirutes, as in “from Beirut.” One of the most popular fast food chains, Habib, sells Arab food and you can get your hummus and kibbe there. This is one of the largest fast food chains in Brazil, in fact.

If you were to go into some of the cities where the Lebanese population is greater, for example Sao Paulo or Rio de Janeiro, you can find entire blocks of textile and clothing stores that have been run by generations of Lebanese families selling their wares. Then you might turn a corner and come across bakeries and restaurants selling very traditional Lebanese food. There is the Casas Pedro Bakery in downtown Rio. And nearby, there is a hundred-year-old tobacco shop called the Cedar of Lebanon. If you go into the Paraiso district—the Paradise district—of Sao Paulo, there is a Malachite Greek Catholic church that has a distinctly Near-Eastern feel.