Did you know that there were 154 Lebanese on board the Titanic and that 125 perished? They were third class passengers leaving their Ottoman controlled villages in Mount Lebanon to better their circumstances. They had heard the success stories of returning immigrants from America who told that the “streets were paved in gold” and they were seeking freedom in the New World. Instead, they became prisoners of fate.
If you would like to learn more about the Lebanese on the Titanic, click on the maroon-colored link above, which is a pdf of a presentation given on April 17, 2015 at the Vancouver Public Library, hosted by the Lebanese Canadian Society of British Columbia and sponsored by the International Lebanese Titanic Committee and the World Lebanese Cultural Union.
The year 2012 was a Titanic year in both the literal and figurative sense.
Factually, on April 12 of this year, the world commemorated the 100th year anniversary of the sinking of the famed ship. The unabated fascination with Titanic was buttressed by the release of James Cameron’s epic movie Titanic in 3D on April 4, 2012. There were several ensuing centennial celebrations throughout the world including the event-packed Titanic 100, which I had the privilege of attending in Halifax, Nova Scotia. An iconic museum was inaugurated in the heart of Belfast, on the slipways where RMS Titanic was built. The Southampton Sea City Museum also opened in April 2012 with two permanent exhibits about the Titanic story and the city’s role as a major port from which the ship set sail.
During my visit to Halifax, Nova Scotia on April 14-15th, for the Titanic 100 commemoration, I met numerous people, young and old, from different ethnic backgrounds and without necessarily a direct relationship to any Titanic victims or survivors, who flocked from all corners of the globe, to be part of this special remembrance. Some were die-hard Titanic fans, fondly known as “Titaniomaniacs” and some were novices just like me. Notwithstanding their knowledge base disparity, both groups share even one hundred years later, an unrelenting fascination with Titanic.