Lebanon 2: Diasporas

As the Ottoman Empire waned in the late 19th century, there was scarcity, economic stress, and political oppression in Lebanon. The once lucrative silk industry died. Factories closed. Families in search of better lives emigrated, or sent children abroad. Today, diaspora communities of Lebanese and Lebanese descendants far outnumber the 4-million people who actually live in the country. This program surveys the legacy of Lebanese diaspora in two surprising location: Brazil and Ghana. Brazil, home to Lebanon’s largest diaspora population, became an important center for immigrant literature, music and film from the Eastern Mediterranean. And in Ghana, Lebanese descendants played important roles in the development of Afro-rock and highlife in the 1960s and 70s. This Hip Deep edition of our program tell these stories with a rich array of music, and the insights of three scholars, AJ Racy, Robert Moser, and John Collins.