NC State’s Khayrallah Program for Lebanese-American Studies is holding a premiere of a new film Wednesday, March 28, at the North Carolina Museum of History that tells the story of Lebanese immigration to North Carolina. Cedars in the Pines marks the first project in a series that the program, which NC State magazine highlighted in the Summer 2011 issue, is using to research, document, preserve and publicize the history of the state’s Lebanese-American community.
The film traces the origin of Lebanese immigration to the 1890s, when Lebanese immigrants arrived in America’s eastern and southern ports. It also focuses on Lebanon’s civil war, which started in 1975 and served as a catalyst for another wave of immigration that would occur over the next 35 years. Many of the 16,000 who came to North Carolina contributed to the state’s history and cultural life.
“The Lebanese community in North Carolina embodies a resilient and unique identity that is both Middle Eastern and Southern,” says Akram Khater, director of the Khayrallah Program at NC State University. “They cherish the history of their ancestors as a vibrant connection to the past even as they embrace and enrich their new homeland.”
The film is directed by Danica Cullinan, who graduated in 2008 from CHASS with a master’s degree, and it is a collaborative effort with the Khayrallah Program, NC State’s Department of History and Department of English’s Language and Life Project.