The Dream and then the Nightmare

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Joseph Elias

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I have no doubt that the book has a great value from the middle-eastern point of view but I am very puzzled the fact that the author has ignored the geopraphy and history before and after the Ottoman occupation and insisted to call Lebanon as Syria.To Leila, I wish you were more accurate from this aspect, you would have no doubt won my support and many of the Lebanese citizens because this is the last thing they would like to hear, is to be called by incorrect country name. With all respect, Syria is our neigbour country but not our country. But also Leila is contradicting herself by saying sometime Lebanese and Syrian passengers and in the mean time the Syrian village Hardin. I can't immagine how Hardin can be a Syrian village.If only the brief introduction has this contradiction in it, so how the full book is going to read?My view is the book needs to be corrected to reflect the fact of the geagraphy.Many thanks.Joseph Elias - Hardinian citizen.
 
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Alex Khalil

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To Mr. Joseph Elias, Lebanon, as precious as it is, is and has always been a name of a mountain: Mount Lebanon, for as far as you want to go back in history. The fact that the French mandate (and the British mandate as well) decided to formulate an entity and call it Lebanon and separate it from its main land does not mean - and should not mean - that Lebanese are not indeed Syrians. If you prefer, you can call the Syrians: Lebanese, if this would make you feel better, but I don't think it would. During the times of the Titanic trip, people from cities of current Lebanon, current Jordan, or current "Israel"/Palestine, as well from current Syria; I'm saying these people from any of these cities used to call themselves Syrians. Now, many might not like this, but it is a fact that no one can deny.
 
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Saba Barghout

Member
Well said Alex and Thank You! I am Arab American and my family immigrated from Damascus at the turn of the century about the same time the Titanic set sail. They could have been on that ship. This is an important part of our history!!!
 
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gerald korey

Member
Greetings. My grandparents (last names Dagher/Decker/Korey/Deeb) were from Hardine, and in fact had cousins (Yazbeck; Deeb) who were on the TItanic. Some survived - most perished. They were on their wway to Wilkes-Barre, PA, USA. They identified as Lebanese, not Syrians. Correctly or not, they considered Syrians to be people from outside their "area", although it was never clear what the area definition was. In some cases the word "Syrian" seemed to refer to Muslims.
 
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Mtkishbaugh

Member
Hello, Gerald. Many of my relatives were on the Titanic as well. My sitto's sister Thelma survived the Titanic, but my Ghiddo's brother Charles did not.
When your brother George and I were at Kutztown, we tried to figure out if we were related as we were both related to Uncle Ike and Aunt Sadie Decker. [I was very sorry to learn (from Linda Friel) that George has passed away.]
I'd love to talk to you. Perhaps you might help me with our family tree.
 
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Leila Salloum Elias

Member
Joseph, historically and specifically in 1912, the country of 'Lebanon' did not exist. Lebanon was created as a result of Sykes-Picot and San Remo (1920). Official papers and all government issued documents refer to all the villages, towns, etc as in Syria. History cannot be changed - all of the passengers were listed as Syrian, and thus were. Lebanon was a created as a result of Britain and France's design on the Middle East to 'carve it up' in order to control it.
 
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Leila Salloum Elias

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All of the Syrian passengers were in fact Syrian. There was no country of Lebanon - despite that many hailed from Mount Lebanon, this was not a country - their villages and towns, including Hardin were part of 'Suriiya al-Kubr' - Greater Syria which would eventually be carved out by the colonial powers of France and Britain.
 
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Leila Salloum Elias

Member
After 'Lebanon' was created, the descendants of these passengers would come to be identified as 'Lebanese', the designation as a result of the creation of the country out of Greater Syria. Syrians and Lebanese are one and the same people.
 
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