Fadwa SalehFESTIVAL COMMITTEE (Youth)

    Fadwa was a child of war. As a teenager, her family escaped to the States in 1984. She never saw Lebanon in the eyes of her parents (beautiful, peaceful, and loveable). All she remembers is the dust from the missiles, the pitch-black nights, the days with minimum food, and the constant tension between the different religions. However, even with all the chaos, she couldn’t help but love her homeland. When she got married and had her three girls, Fadwa couldn’t bear the thought of them not experiencing the love she felt for the place she was born and raised in. She wanted them to not see Lebanon for what it was, but what it is in the eyes of her parents: the Paris of the Middle East. She began her mission by taking them every summer to Lebanon to experience the wonders of the country and not just the rubble. It is important for her to keep memories alive and allow her girls to have an idea of who they are and where they come from. Fadwa admits that she struggled at first, since her girls just couldn’t connect to Lebanon and the people in it the way she first did, until she was introduced to the ALCC by Rita. She immediately became an active member and had her two girls, Zeena and Dema, become part of the youth festival performances.  ALCC gave them a great exposure to people like them, who are born in the States but share similar values. It was as if they finally discovered themselves and were suddenly proud to be Lebanese. As for Fadwa, it brought her closer to her kids and allowed her to enjoy her home away from home with a feeling of security and confidence in the way the ALCC has shaped them.

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