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October 14th, 2014 was a historic day for the Lebanese diaspora community

Akram Khater picture 2By Dr. Akram Khater
Director, Moise A. Khayrallah Center for Lebanese Diaspora Studies

October 24, 2014
Raleigh, NC – USA
October 14th, 2014 was a historic day for the Lebanese diaspora community.
The Chancellor of North Carolina State University (Raleigh, NC, US), announced to over 300 guests at the Park Alumni Center the launch of the Moise A. Khayrallah Center for Lebanese Diaspora Studies at the university. This is the only major center—outside Lebanon—dedicated to research about the Lebanese Diaspora in the US and throughout the world, and to the dissemination of this knowledge to the scholarly community and general public.
This center is only possible because of the selfless generosity of Dr. Moise Khayrallah who donated $8.1 Million dollars to endow the center, which is named after him. His altruistic vision for a center of knowledge and enlightenment will help build bridges in a world where there are too many 
divisions, and will create a legacy of mutual understanding and tolerance for years, decades and centuries to come.
The Khayrallah Center is built upon the foundations of a pilot project conducted in North Carolina over the past 4 years, where we have collected oral histories of Lebanese-Americans in North Carolina that we subsequently used to produce a PBS television documentary and a museum exhibit that is touring the state. Now we can research, preserve and publicize the stories of all the Lebanese who have journeyed and toiled to make a life for themselves outside Lebanon, and who have left a deep mark on world history and on practically every country in the world.
The gift will fund the Khayrallah Center as well as the Moise A. Khayrallah Distinguished Professorship in Lebanese Diaspora Studies at NC State University. It will build an online digital research archive chronicling the Lebanese diaspora in America and beyond; host conferences and workshops on the Lebanese diaspora which bring together top scholars in the field; provide university students with engagement and research opportunities; publish an online journal, with both scholarly articles and artistic expressions, dedicated to the Lebanese diaspora; and produce public history projects from documentaries to museum exhibits that disseminate this knowledge to the general public and engage them in the conversation about migration and its impact on our societies and world. Funding will also support a post-doctoral fellow in Lebanese Diaspora Studies for research. 
In our efforts to accomplish the mission of the center, and the vision of Dr. Khayrallah, we will reach out to Lebanese communities throughout North America and beyond, to conduct local projects and use these to build national events. Amongst our immediate goals is the training of volunteers in the collection and preservation of oral histories and archival material that will preserve the stories of our communities for years to come. We also aim to provide internships for undergraduate and graduate students of Lebanese heritage to prepare the next generation of scholars and archivist, and a national prize for the best artistic expression of the experience of being Lebanese-American. At a different level, we will be producing a multi-part PBS documentary on the history of the Lebanese in the US, as well as a national exhibit on the same subject that will tour the country.
Thus, while carrying out own research and projects is an essential element of the Khayrallah Center, we strongly believe that the best way to develop knowledge and learning about the Lebanese Diaspora is through collaborative projects with individuals, organizations and other research institutes. In that spirit, we look forward to working together with each and every one of you in preserving and celebrating our common heritage in new ways that only build on, and augment, you own selfless and worthy efforts.
Dr. Akram Khater
Director, Moise A. Khayrallah Center for Lebanese Diaspora Studies

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