Notre Dame University



LERC participates at the National Day of Mexico

Tuesday 15th September 2009, Byblos
Reported by Basma Abdul Khalek, LERC Project Manager

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 199th Anniversary of Mexico’s Independence, which took place at the Old Port of Byblos on September 15, 2009.

LERC was represented by Director Ms. Guita Hourani, LERC Consultant Mr. Amin Nehme, LERC’s Liaison Officer for Latin America Mr. Roberto Khatlab, and LERC Project Manager Ms. Basma Abdul Khalek.

Lebanese officials at the ceremony included Minister of State Jean Oghassapian representing the President of the Republic Michel Sleiman, MP Robert Ghanem representing Speaker Nabih Berri, and Minister of Environment Tony Karam representing Prime Minister Fouad Siniora.

Also present at the event were the ambassadors of several Latin American countries as well as a large number of members of the Mexican community in Lebanon, and Lebanese-Mexicans attending with their families.

H.E. Jorge Alvarez delivering his speech in the presence of the representatives of the Lebanese State (Sept 2009).

Celebrating Mexico’s National Day in front of a painting portraying the Grito de Independencia (from left to right): Mr. Richar Araujo, Ms. Basma Abdul Khalek, Ms. Guita Hourani, and Mr. Roberto Khatlab (Sept 2009)

The event was a celebration of the 199th 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 (Sept 2009).

The Mexican band, Mariachis (Sept 2009).

In his welcoming speech, H.E 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 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 the Lebanese and Mexican peoples 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 pronounced by Father Idalgo during the period of foreign occupation and conflicts in the country.

El Grito de Independencia by H.E. Jorge Alvarez. (Sept 2009).

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