Lebanese Legacy of Georgetown County

In the late 1800s and early 1900s, a number of Lebanese immigrants settled in Georgetown, where they raised large families, attended St. Mary’s Catholic Church, and eventually opened grocery stores, cafes, and dentist offices. Although they became an integral part of the fabric of Georgetown, they also retained a rich practice of Lebanese traditions, still celebrated by local descendants today. Georgetown County Library will honor this facet of local history with the Lebanese Legacy Symposium, a two-day event on October 26 – 27 at the Waccamaw Library, 41 St. Paul Place, Pawleys Island. SC Humanities helped support this program with a Major Grant.

On Friday, October 26, the library will premiere an original documentary featuring interviews with members of the local Lebanese-American community and rare photos from the families themselves. The documentary will be introduced by Dr. Akram Khater, Director of the Moise A. Khayrallah Center for Lebanese Diaspora Studies at North Carolina State University.

On Saturday, a daylong roster of presentations will address ways that persons with Lebanese ancestry have contributed for generations to the civic and cultural richness of the county.

Confirmed speakers include the following scholars:

  • Dr. Reem Bailony – Agnes Scott College, Assistant Professor of History (General History)
  • Marjorie Stevens – North Carolina State University, Senior Researcher at the Moise A. Khayrallah Center for Lebanese Diaspora Studies (Local History)
  • Dr. Caroline Nagel – University of South Carolina, Chair of the Geography Department (Geography and Politics)
  • Dr. Matthew Stiffler – Arab American National Museum, Research Manager (Food)
  • Dr. Elizabeth Saylor – Middlebury College, Assistant Professor of Arabic (Literature)
  • Dr. Anne Rasmussen – The College of William and Mary, Professor of Music and Ethnomusicology (Music)

All events at the symposium are free and open to the public, but space is limited. Please contact the library to make a reservation: (843) 545-3316 or jwarren@gtcounty.org.

The mission of SC Humanities is to enrich the cultural and intellectual lives of all South Carolinians. Established in 1973, this 501(c) 3 organization is governed by a volunteer 21-member Board of Directors comprised of community leaders from throughout the state. It presents and/or supports literary initiatives, lectures, exhibits, festivals, publications, oral history projects, videos and other humanities-based experiences that directly or indirectly reach more than 250,000 citizens annually.

Image courtesy of Georgetown County Library