From the article in the previous post, but this time we will concentrate on his points about Mexico
By Habeeb Salloum.
I spoke with Michel Jacabo Eljure, whose father emigrated from the district of Qura, located in present-day Lebanon. He is a retired businessman who owned a ranch in the Yucatán. He spoke Arabic well and was familiar with the history of the Arabs in Mérida. According to him, even though the Lebanese were only 1 percent of the city’s 1.5 million population, they controlled 30 percent of the commercial and industrial establishments. As for religion, he explained that the Lebanese were originally evenly divided between Maronite and Orthodox Christians. Today, they are all Roman Catholics with only about 20 families still practicing the Orthodox rites. From time to time, a priest travels from Mexico City to administer to these few families’ needs.
With the tolerance of peoples to others in mind, I asked Michel, “Why is it that in countries like Canada, multicultural societies are encouraged and here in Mexico it’s total assimilation?” He replied, “Our society is montholitic. We want everyone to be Roman Catholic and speak Spanish. In our community only about 20 people still read Arabic.”
He continued, “As for our food, it’s another matter. Even a great number of the non- Lebanese in Mérida cook in their homes our kubbah, grape leaves and other Arabic foods. At least we contributed some of our heritage to Mexico – now our beloved homeland.”
This essay appeared in Al Jadid, Vol. 6, no. 30 (Winter 2000)
I am not saying Mexico’s way is best, but notice the total assimilation of the Arab community. Notice also that these Lebanese are not commercial and industrial elites.
Note: Sweet 15 (Quince años) is the Latin equivalent to our Sweet 16
Apparently, this is a new establishment. Their site (Click Here) is still under construction.
It seems to be built like a mosque. I do not know if they are merely mimicking a Mid-Eastern style, or this reflects the personal beliefs of the owners.
But notice the name: Palestino-Libanés (Lebanese Palestinian)
There is a Lebanese aspect to this. Most Lebanese in Mexico are (Maronite) Catholic. However, those Catholics would be more assimilated and Western.
So I cannot say if the owner(s) is/are Muslim Christian; but two Arab ethnicities are involved, Whether by two owners, two styles of food, or one person of two ancestries, I do not know.
What I can say is that is it looks like a classy joint. Arabs tend to have a high station in Latin America. This may be one example.