Venezuela is in turmoil, and many Venezuelans of Lebanese descent are coming back to Lebanon. With the political and economic crisis going on in the South American country, some Lebanese-Venezuelans considered Lebanon to be a better alternative even though it is largely affected by the war in neighboring Syria. Lost somewhere between Lebanon and Venezuela, repats are adding a Latino touch to Lebanon! Many of them are offering catering businesses where they are giving the Lebanese food scene the unique opportunity to get the spicy Latino taste. Raghida Naim has a small catering business called
Doña Arepa Raghiba
. She prepares authentic Venezuelan food like arepas, empanadas, and tequeños.
is an organization that gathers Lebanese-Venezuelans in Lebanon. It organizes gatherings where repats can meet each other and feel like they’re back in Venezuela. This organization also held a 5K marathon in Lebanon to raise awareness of the crisis in Venezuela. As for Venezuelan students, there are many of them in universities, especially the American University of Beirut (AUB) where they opened a Venezuelan club called
(Latin Blood). Other than creating a space where Lebanese-Venezuelans can interact with each other and feel like they’re home, they also offer Spanish classes to their Lebanese peers and introduce them to the Venezuelan culture.
Migration of Lebanese people to Venezuela
While most migrations from Lebanon to other countries happened during the
, the migration to this Latin country started in the late 19th century where Lebanese people were fleeing the civil wars that occurred between Maronite Christians and the Druze. Later, another wave of immigration occurred. However, this time it was due to the Great Famine of Mount Lebanon during World War I. Next, Venezuela witnessed another wave of Lebanese people that were fleeing the Lebanese civil war. Even though Lebanese migrants were facing hardships when they first settled in the South American country, they found success thanks to their hard work.
Lebanese success in Venezuela
There are approximately 350,000 Lebanese people living in Venezuela, and many of them are successful there! One of them is Tarek Saab, a Lebanese politician in Venezuela who has been elected as an ombudsman by the National Assembly for 2014-2021. Let’s warmly welcome our fellow compatriots! Bienvenido!