(ANN ARBOR, MI) — Dr. Akram Khater, director of the Moise A. Khayrallah Center for Lebanese Diaspora Studies, said Lebanese-Americans have a responsibility to preserve their history of immigration to the United States.
“We have to build a place for ourselves here,” said Khater, during a keynote address at the Lebanese Collegiate Network student convention in Ann Arbor, Mich. on Apr. 11. “We have to carve out a place in American history for the Lebanese and for the Arabs in general.”
Khater said Lebanese-Americans have established an influential role in American immigration history.
“We belong in (the USA) because our values are American values, and American values are ours,” he said. “We didn’t just assimilate.”
The Khayrallah Center was launched in 2014 at North Carolina State University after receiving an $8.1 million endowment from Lebanese-American businessman Moise Khayrallah.
The center aims to study Lebanese history in the United States, and to preserve stories of early Lebanese settlers.
LISTEN to Dr. Khater’s remarks: