Lebanon is considered relatively small in comparison with other countries. We have an area size of 10,452 km², a length of 139.8 miles, and an average width of 56 kilometers. Sounds very small, right? However, our nation isn't at all. Ironic when you think that, small as our country size is, its nation has been populating many cities in the world.
Many of these cities are even known by the number of Lebanese people who made them their homes. That is the case of a small yet important city in Brazil called Foz do Iguaçu.
Foz do Iguaçu is located in the Parana's state, south of Brazil, on a triple frontier bordering Argentina and Paraguay. That small Brazilian city is known as "Parana's most picturesque city that is constantly growing." It is home to around 253,962 people and, according to statistics, 90% of its Middle Eastern community is Lebanese.
The diaspora of Lebanese people in that city is based on work, meaning that the majority of them has built their lives there according to their jobs. Among them, some even generate their incomes through employment in Paraguay and Argentina; both these two countries being just a 10-minute drive from Foz do Iguaçu.
The city of Foz do Iguaçu is an active city with an international airport and many amenities, schools, beach resorts, and entertainment venues, including a Dinosaur Park and... plenty of Lebanese restaurants. It also boasts one of the 7 World Wonders: The Foz do Iguaçu Falls, one of the largest waterfalls in the world!
Whether you get to see the falls in person or in photos, it resembles something only dreams can imagine. That impressive waterfalls granted the city the nickname of Terra das Cataratas or the Land of the Waterfalls.
Foz do Iguaçu is home to many Lebanese people, where these people shed their light on one of the most festive countries in the world. We got to say, our people do take our joie de vivre characteristic wherever they go, and also their business acumen and ambition.
Fact is that no matter the size of our homeland, our people do place their marks in whatever of the multiple countries in the world they settle in and prosper. That being said, we always prove our value wherever we go.
On that subject, it is worth mentioning that the country of Brazil is home to millions of Lebanese. Both the Brazilian and the Lebanese governments have estimated that there are 7 million Brazilians of Lebanese descent in the South American country alone.
Lebanese immigration to Brazil started in the late 19th century and expanded further in the 20th century with a significant concentration in the state of São Paulo.
By 2014, descendants of Lebanese immigrants occupied 10% of the parliament seats, as per Joe Dyke, author of "How the Lebanese Conquered Brazil." That percentage decreased a little to 8% in 2015 as per the Brazilian researcher Bercito Diogo, author of "Our Congress, 8% of the parliamentarians are of Lebanese Origin."