Celebration of Lebanon

Each March, Alliance Française Mpls/St Paul joins more than 33 million others around the world in celebrating Le Mois de la Francophonie, an initiative to highlight the French-speaking world and its cultural diversity. This year, our celebration takes us to Lebanon.

Lebanon’s French roots date back to the mandate which assigned Ottoman Syria, including modern day Lebanon, to France after the First World War in 1923.  France played an active role in the reconstruction of Lebanon following their civil war in 1990, and also their 2006 war with Israel.  French influence remains prevalent in Lebanon’s schools, in the architecture of its cities, in its system of governance, and in its language.

Beginning March 5 with a series of 8 events, Alliance Française will bring the diversity of Lebanon to the Twin Cities.

Join us for these events:



7afli Fête
March 5 from 5 to 7 pm

Cedars Hall

The inaugural 7afli Fête will be a celebration of Lebanese food, history, music and dance.  Discover Lebanon and Lebanese traditions with Dabke dancing, Lebanese cuisine, a historical and cultural overview by the University of Minnesota’s Carol Hakim and Hamzé Haidar Ahmad, and of course, délicieuse Lebanese food.


A Conversation with Rawi Hage
March 8 at 6:30 pm

Alliance Française

Visiting author Rawi Hage will present his work and personal experience in Minneapolis on Tuesday, March 8.

Visiting author Rawi Hage will present his work and personal experience in Minneapolis on Tuesday, March 8.


Award-winning author Rawi Hage will present at Alliance Française. Gaining fame for his novels, including Deniro’s Game, Cockroach, and Carnival, Hage  speaks French and Arabic and chooses to write in English. All his novels, including his most recent, Carnival(2013), are published in French by Alto in Quebec and Denoël in France. On his tour through the Midwest, Hage’s evening in Minneapolis will feature an interview with UMN professor Joseph R. Farag.

The visit of this esteemed Montreal-based author has been generously supported by the Consulate General of Canada in Minneapolis, by the University of Minnesota’s Department of Asian Languages & Literature, and by Mizna, which publishes the world’s only journal of Arab American literature and has featured Hage’s work in past issues. A reception with food and drinks will be included.


A Taste of Lebanon with Château Belle-Vue Jill and Naji Chateau bellevue
March 10 at 6 pm

Alliance Française

The finest wines tell a story–of heritage, passion, or perhaps the quest for that “perfect vintage”.  But only rarely does a wine seek to express our deeply human connection to each other and to the land. You have found it here at Chateau Belle-Vue–wines of exceptional character and the story of a village you’ll find hard to forget.  Meet Jill, one of the owners of Château Belle-Vue as she tells us about her vineyards, wines and life in the mountains of Lebanon.  For more information on Château Belle-Vue, click here.



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Héritages, a documentary by Philippe Aractingi on his family’s departure from Lebanon, is playing at St Anthony Main Theater on Friday, March 11 at 7 pm.

Héritages – Mirath
Friday, March 11
St Anthony Main

Of his latest film, Lebanese director Philippe Aractingi says, “I’ve always thought that seeing ourselves grow could help us understand our choices.” Aractingi is the director of the hit Lebanese film Bosta, which came out in 2005.

Mixing home movies and photographs with reenactments of his ancestors played by members of his family, as well as interviews with other relatives and friends, Héritages is a moving and powerful meditation on identity, choice, origins, and the strong bonds of family.

A discussion will follow the film with a chance for audience interaction.




Flag_of_LebanonpngLebanese Heritage
Tuesday, March 15
Alliance Française

The event on Tuesday, March 15 explores the state of French heritage in Lebanon and of Lebanese Heritage in Minnesota today, nearly 75 years after Lebanon gained its independence.

Lebanese community members George Ghreichi and Antoine Mefleh as well as visiting Humphreys fellow Tarek Assaad Mkanna will each offer their perspectives. Lebanese food and drinks will be served.


Voix FémininesLes Voix Féminines du Liban
Tuesday, March 22 at 7 pm

Alliance Française

In an evening of literature, music, and poetry, three female artists will present their original works. Evlyne Accad has focused her research at the University of Illinois on Arab feminist writing, gender, war and non-violent alternatives to war. She is also an accomplished song writer and musician, and has performed at numerous venues throughout the United States.

Ezza Agha Malak’s has written numerous novels, short stories and several collections of poetry. Her works stand out against the injustice and violence of war and criticize the role of women in the Muslim world while examining the sociological aspects of the male-female partnership.She is an active writer, spending her time between the north of Lebanon and Burgundy.

Through her writing, Lebanese-American author Kathryn Haddad explores contemporary events in the Arab/Muslim American community (racial profiling, immigration, violence, identity issues). Kathy was a Many Voices Fellow at the Playwrights’ Center (three times), was the co-founder and Executive Director of Mizna Arab American Arts Organization for 12 years.

Plus, don’t miss Evelyne Accad in a special conference at Macalester College’s Neill Hall on Wednesday, March 23 at 4 pm.


Et maintenant on va où

A still from Where Do We Go Now, Nadine Labaki’s latest film, screening at St Anthony Main Theater on Friday, March 25 at 7 pm.

Et maintenant on va où?
Friday, March 25

St Anthony Main

For a second Lebanese-French film screening, the film on Friday, March 25 comes from the director of Caramel. Nadine Labaki’s stunning film, Et maintenant on va où?, recounts the unwavering determination of a group of women, from every religious background, to protect their family and villages from exterior threats.

The film will be followed by a discussion led by UMN Professor Katrien Vanpee.

Lebanon: the way forward
Monday, March 28 at 6:30 pm

Alliance Française

In a panel addressing issues of human rights, international law, and domestic crises relating to the garbage crisis and the ongoing Syrian refugee crisis, panelists Marie-Christine Ghreichi, Jessy Belt, and Anthony Winer will help Place des Martyrsconceptualize the major obstacles, major initiatives, and potential ways forward for the people of Lebanon. The round-table discussion should also serve as an opportunity for audience members to discuss their perspectives in a respectful, constructive manner. Alliance Française hopes to open up a space for this pertinent discussion to take place.





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Alliance Française Mpls/St Paul
227 Colfax Avenue North
Minneapolis, MN 55405

Tel: 612 332 0436

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