David Boushy, a former Member of Provincial Parliament for the area and now a City/County Councillor, is heading to Lebanon next week for a three-day conference of former Lebanese nationals.
The retired Imperial Oil lab technician, who is paying his own way to the Lebanese Diaspora Energy conference, says he is honoured by having received the invitation.
He came to Canada in 1951 as a teenager, the result of an invitation by family already in Canada, and stayed. He met his wife on a return trip to Lebanon and the couple now have five adult children.
This is the third year Lebanon’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Emigrants has hosted the conference, which is a way for the nation to showcase the success stories of expatriates. Organizers hope the conference will be an ongoing opportunity for those who attend to stay connected.
Some 12 million people who were born in Lebanon now live overseas. About 4.5 million people live in the nation.
Boushy says it is likely the Lebanese Embassy in Canada was responsible for his being invited, quite possibly due to his having served as a politician.
It has been 30 years since he last visited the nation.
About 1,000 people are expected to attend the three-day event, which is being held at the Hilton Beirut Habtoor Grand Hotel.
Boushy will stay beyond the three-day event, possibly visiting the place where he was born. He said he also plans to visit the Canadian Embassy in Beirut and see the world-famous Cedars of Lebanon.