Notre Dame University



LERC attends the National Day of Mexico

Monday 15th September 2008
Reported by Basma Abdul Khalek, LERC Research Assistant

At the invitation of H.E Mr. Jorge Alvarez, Ambassador of Mexico, the Lebanese Emigration Research Center at Notre Dame University attended the celebrations of the 198th Anniversary of Mexico’s Independence, which took place at the Club Marina in Dbaye on September 15, 2008. LERC was represented by Dr. Edward Alam and his wife Jinane, Mr. Amin Nehme, LERC Consultant, Mr. Roberto Khatlab, LERC’s Liaison Officer for Latin America, and Ms. Basma Abdul Khalek, LERC Research Assistant.

Lebanese officials at the ceremony included representatives of President Michel Suleiman, Prime Minister Fouad Siniora and President of the National Assembly Nabih Berri. The event was also attended by ambassadors of several South American countries including H.E. Mrs. Georgina El-Chaer Mallat, the Ambassador of Colombia, and H.E Mrs. Zoed Duaji Karam, the Ambassador of Venezuela. The Ambassador of Nigeria H.E Mr. Hameed Opeloyeru was also present along with other personalities from the Nigerian Embassy.

Celebrating Mexico’s national Day, from left to right: Ms. Basma Abdul Khalek, LERC Research Assistant, H.E the Ambassador of Mexico Jorge Alvarez, and NDU Professor, Dr. Edward Alam (September 2008).

From left to right: Ms. Husseini, Mr. Nehme, Mr. Khatlab, and Mr. de Araujo (September 2008)

The event was a celebration of the 198th Anniversary of the Mexican Independence that was initiated by the armed revolution in 1810 of the Catholic monk Miguel Idalguay Costia, who fought the Spanish occupation that had controlled many parts of the Northern and Southern American regions since 1521.

Honoring the presence of the Mexican community in Lebanon, Lebanese-Mexicans and the Ambassador’s guests, the Lebanese Internal Security Forces’ Orchestra played the National Anthems of both Lebanon and Mexico. This was followed by a cultural performance of Mexican Mariachis playing their music and songs.

The National Anthems played by the Lebanese Internal Security Forces’ Orchestra (September 2008).

The Mexican band, Mariachis (September 2008).

In his welcoming speech, H.E Jorge Alvarez thanked Lebanon and its people for the reception received once he was appointed as Ambassador of Mexico to Lebanon. He also expressed his gratitude to all Lebanese-Mexicans who endeavored to build up the relationship between the two countries and especially the Lebanese migrants who successfully integrated into Mexico’s economic and social life.

H.E Jorge Alvarez then dealt with the meanings and implications behind Mexico’s arduous fight for sovereignty and independence. He talked about the need to bring together the efforts of both the Lebanese and Mexican people in order to maintain and strengthen the relations between Lebanon and Mexico.

Traditionally, Mexicans all over the world celebrate the independence of their country, a few minutes before midnight, by shouting out “El Grito de Independencia”, which has now become a popular part of Mexican culture ever since it was introduced by Father Idalgo during the period of foreign occupation and conflicts in the country.

El Grito de Independencia by H.E. Jorge Alvarez. (September 2008).

The Ambassador concluded his discourse by thanking the Embassy’s staff for organizing the independence celebration and stated his great appreciation to Mexico’s friends for attending and participating in El Grito de Independencia.

His Excellency then eagerly waved the Mexican flag, proclaiming “el Grito” over and over with the crowd replying “Mexicanos, Viva Mexico!” each time.