Lebanese community club organizes trip back to homeland
10 de julho de 2016
São Paulo – Rachaia, a social club from São Paulo, will organize a trip for its members to go back to their origins in Lebanon in September. The club is named after the Arab city of Rachaya Al Wadi and its members are mainly from the Lebanese community in São Paulo. The visit to the country will be a celebration of the club`s 80 years, according to photographer Mila Maluhy, one of the trip`s organizers along the club`s president, Reinaldo Batah, vice-president William Daud and former president Sérgio Saad.
The trip to Lebanon will last two weeks with departure scheduled to September 1 from São Paulo. The members of the group will stay at Lancaster Raouche Hotel, in Beirut, and from there they will take tours to different places in the Lebanese capital and other cities in the country. According to Maluhy, a Portuguese-speaking local guide will travel with the Brazilians.
The tour will start with a talk by the guide on Lebanon and will continue with visits to the cedars region, in Northern Lebanon, the Gibran Museum, the Saint Lourdes Grotto and then lunch in the Kadisha Valley, in the city of Becharre. The group will also visit Southern Lebanon, where they will be able to see a castle from the Crusades period, sacred places and archaeological sites. Visits to the Bekaa Valley, to a winery and to the city of Rachaya Al Wadi are also included in the tour.
It will be eight days with a long list of places, including visits to other museums, historical sites, castles, palaces, monastery, natural attractions, mosques and churches. Resorts, concerts, lunches and dinners in tourist sites are also planned for. The group will have free days and a farewell dinner on September 14. The return to São Paulo will be on September 15.
For the trip to take place, a minimum of 20 people are needed. The cost of the trip, not including air tickets, is USD 1,600 per person with a double room. From this total, USD 300 needs to be paid upfront during registration, with the rest being paid upon arrival at the hotel. The package includes 13 nights at the hotel, breakfast, eight-day tour, farewell dinner and tour guide services. Airline tickets are to be charged separately.
According to Maluhy, the idea for the trip came at the club`s 2015 annual party, when she found out that the club`s 80 years would be celebrated in 2016. She says that she always wanted to know her family`s home country and so, in sync with other members of the club, she organized the initiative. The idea is for the Lebanese to visit their homeland again and for the descendants that never visited Lebanon to get to know the land of their ancestors. The trip, however, is open to everyone and not only to members and Arab descendants.
Rachaia club is located at Rua Tangará, Vila Clementino, where it organizes meetings with games, snacks, dinner and parties. Initially, the club`s headquarters used to be at Rua Rodrigues Alves, Vila Mariana, but twenty years ago it moved to a smaller place. Both neighborhoods are in the Southern part of São Paulo.
Trip to Lebanon
Organization: Rachaia Club
From September 1 to 15, 2016
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*Translated by Sérgio Kakitani