Over the years many people have come from Lebanon to live in the United States, as well as in other countries. Like their well-traveled Phoenician ancestors, they bring their heritage with them wherever they are. They also have come together into Lebanese-American organizations which enable them to keep in touch, and and keep the memories of Lebanon fresh.
There are about 3 million people of Lebanese descent in America today. This is a significant number compared to the 3.5 million who still live in Lebanon. And even more live in Brazil and other countries around the world. That helps to explain the interest in all things Phoenician and Lebanese in the USA and all these other countries.
Among the notable people who share Lebanese ancestry are individuals who rose to fame in the entertainment world, such as Salma Hayek, Danny Thomas, Marlo Thomas, Jamie Farr, Shakira, Tony Shalhoub, Kathy Najimy, Frank Zappa, Mario Kassar, Casey Kasem, Paul Anka, Jack Hanna, Michael Nouri, Harold Ramis and Neil Sedaka.
Sports figures include John Elway and Doug Flutie in football, Bobby Rahal in racing, Pete Sarron in boxing, and Rony Seikaly in basketball.
In public service there are Charles Elachi (head of JPL space programs), Donna Shalala (Secretary of HUD), Joseph Aoun (President of Northeastern University), Michael DeBakey (ground-breaking heart surgeon), John Sununu (governor of New Hampshire), Victor Atiyeh (governor of Oregon), and Christa McAuliffe (astronaut, died in shuttle disaster).
Those in military service include Gen. John Abizaid, Gen.George Joulwan, Maj. Gen. Fred Safay and Brig. Gen Elias Stevens.
United States census information is very helpful in revealing where significant neighborhoods of Lebanese-Americans have formed over the years:
Top ten STATES where Lebanese-Americans have settled:
Michigan, California, New York, Massachusetts, Florida, Ohio, Texas, Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Virginia.
Top ten CITIES where Lebanese-Americans have settled:
New York, NY; Dearborn, MI; Los Angeles, CA; Chicago, IL; Houston, TX; Detroit, MI; San Diego, CA; Jersey City, NJ; Boston, MA; Jacksonville, FL.
Lebanon itself has experienced an exceptional amount of dramatic highs and lows in the course of its long history. Those many epic events constitute the heritage of all these Lebanese-Americans.
If you would like to experience more of the Phoenician world than you found in this article, the book Phoenicians: Lebanon’s Epic Heritage is recommended. It is deeply researched but also a highly readable exploration.
Going beyond the few traditionally-cited facts, this authoritative work also draws from interviews with leading archaeologists and historians on-site in the lands and islands where the Phoenicians lived and left clues regarding their secretive society.
You can take a look inside this book. See the first pages here.