On Lebanese Heritage and Francophone Lebanon

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03/15/2016 | 6:30 pm - 8:30 pm

Alliance Française Mpls/St Paul

What is today’s Francophone influence in Lebanon? Lebanese heritage in Minnesota? In this evening, Lebanese community members George Ghreichi and Antoine Mefleh as well as visiting Humphreys fellow Tarek Assaad Mkanna will speak on the state of Lebanese-French, Lebanese-American, and French-Lebanese heritage today.

Lebanese food and drinks will be served. RSVP online, or call our office at 612 332 0436.

Tarek Mkanna is a Humphrey fellow in the Humphrey School of Public Affairs; he is a captain in the Internal Security Forces (ISF) in Lebanon, where he serves as an officer in the Planning and Organization Department responsible for setting plans and initiating studies regarding the evolution of policing.

He is an instructor in a joint training program between police and a local NGO concerning police techniques and role in responding to domestic violence. He has a strong commitment to public service and has played a key role in establishing new initiatives, policies and regulations related to policing service.


Antoine Mefleh has taught Arabic at all levels at a number of institutions including Macalester College, the Berlitz Language School, and Mizna. He started the first Arabic program in the Minneapolis public school system in 1997 and taught there for 12 years. He continues to mentor Arabic instructors in the Minneapolis public schools. A native of Lebanon, he is the current president of the Lebanese club of Minnesota and holds degrees from Universities in Minnesota, Lebanon and France.


George Ghreichi is an active parishoner at St. Maron’s Maronite church in Minneapolis and a member of the Lebanese club of Minnesota.

To attend, please RSVP online, or call our office at 612 332 0436.


A propos du Mois de la Francophonie:

Le Mois de la Francophonie, organisé chaque année partout dans le monde, a pour but de promouvoir la langue française dans le contexte de la diversité culturelle ainsi que de soutenir le dialogue et rapprochement des personnes, groupes et communautés intéressés par la francophonie. 33 millions de personnes dans les Amériques font vivre et rayonner la langue française autour d’eux.

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. French remains the primary foreign language taught in public schools in Lebanon, and much of the French influence remains today. France played an active role in the reconstruction of Lebanon following their civil war in 1990, and also their 2006 war with Israel.  Through a month-long series of events, Alliance Française Mpls/St Paul will be highlighting Lebanon’s rich historical, cultural, and religious diversity, both in Lebanon and in the diaspora.

We hope you’ll join us. Venez nombreux!


from Call It Beyrouth: Beirut With a French Accent by Jay Cheshes

“I found a more organic sense of history, though, east of the city center, in the bourgeois neighborhood around the French embassy compound, home to the Université Saint-Joseph, Hôtel-Dieu de France Hospital and Grand Lycée Franco-Libanais — all French institutions active since the late 19th century.

Not far is the Residence des Pins, which served as France’s seat of power when the mandate began; the modern borders of Lebanon were officially announced on its steps in 1920. Today the stunning neo-Moorish building, fully restored after being ransacked during the civil war, is the full-time residence of the French ambassador, Patrice Paoli.

While cultural ties remain strong, clearly, between the two countries, these days the influence seems to flow back and forth — a state of things that was not lost on the ambassador. ‘We’ll always be here,’ Mr. Paoli said during an impromptu tour of his home. ‘But we’ll never again tell the Lebanese people what they must do.'”

Read more.




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

Tel: 612 332 0436

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