Lebanese Paraguayans

Lebanese Paraguayans
اللبنانيين في باراغواي
Total population
200,000 descendants[1]
Regions with significant populations
Ciudad del Este, Asunción
Spanish, Arabic
Majority: Christianity;
Minorities: Islam

The arrival of immigrants of Lebanese origin to Paraguay consisted of many people who have settled in this country, bringing their customs and way of life. Many were the reasons which prompted these people to leave their native Lebanon and migrate to several Latin American countries, with the aim to seek a better quality of life after the World War I and the Second World War. In modern day, the large amount of Lebanese immigrants to Paraguay reside in Ciudad del Este, alongside neighbor city Foz do Iguaçu in Brazil, which has a large population of Lebanese immigrants.[2] Lebanon has an embassy in the city of Asunción,[3] whilst Paraguay has an embassy in the city of Beirut.[4]



Lebanese in Paraguay

After the First World War it passed to the hands of the French, from which it gained its independence on October 22, 1943, even though it declared its independence, the actions of the Second World War did not allow that this were fully effective until 1946. The intervention of Lebanon in the Arab-Israeli War 1948, its moral support to the Arabs in the Arab-Israeli War of Six Days (1967) and the arrival in the country of many Palestinians, have meant a constant hostility with neighboring Israel, first in 1970 and then in 1982, triggering the latter occasion in a bout in Beirut, which did not cease until the departure from Lebanon of Palestinian guerrillas. This situation resulted from immigration of many Lebanese in the late nineteenth century and the beginning of the century in search of a better perspective of life. With effort they managed to succeed in a different society from their culture. The immigration of the Lebanese to Paraguay can be divided into two eras: ancient and modern. Among the reasons which prompted the uprooting are included both the political reason, and also the economic one. The political reason responds to the need to escape the troubled relations that have emerged during the Ottoman Empire in the region. The economic reason lies in the many disappointments and poverty, the consequences of World War I. The strategic position of Lebanon in the Mediterranean Sea has meant ongoing invasions. It was part of Syria and the Ottoman Empire until 1918. In a second term after the Second World War, where thousands of people, mostly men, took the decision to leave the mother homeland because of the havoc that the war had caused. In this journey towards finding a better future, they had to undertake long voyages in boats, often without knowing where they embark and disembark where it was even worse. In these trips they had to deal with many troubles, diseases and nostalgia. They were forced to withstand natural disasters of all kinds in the middle of the sea.

Arrival to Paraguay (1960–1970)

Group of Lebanese immigrants

Their first destination was the harbour of Buenos Aires Argentina where they arrived without even speaking Spanish and without knowing its customs. But they did not take much to adapt and strive to rebuild a decent life, forming households and having children without forgetting their roots. They were organized in groups and communities, in order to find the best place to settle. Following trips by rivers or on trains until they came to Paraguay and then distributed in various places of the country where trade could be a prominent occupation. They settle in Asuncion, the country's capital, and also in Concepcion, Puerto Rosario, Villarrica, Itacurubi del Rosario, Encarnacion, San Estanislao, Pedro Juan Caballero, Caraguatay and other cities. Mixing with Paraguayan society and after much effort and work they could open shops, factories or cultivate the land. They dedicated not only learn the Castilian but also the Guaraní, they fought in the Chaco War, participated with their civilization and helped build the country. They joined their lives in marriage to men and women of Paraguay and respected the cultural identity of the country that hosted them. They taught their children the values of love for the two cultures, which created clubs and associations that still preserve their traditions. The last major contingent of immigrants arrived in Paraguay in the late 60s and early 70s.


The majority of Lebanese-Paraguayans are Christians who belong to the Maronite Church, Roman Catholic, Eastern Orthodox and Melkite Catholic. A scant number are Muslims. In addition to being of Lebanese descent, there are Paraguayans of Syrian and Palestinian origin as well.[5] From the 1970s, Sunni Muslim Arabs moved to the Ciudad del Este. This changed in the 1980s to Shia Muslim Arabs from South Lebanon.

In 2010, Ciudad del Este's INTERPOL office had captured a Lebanese man of 37 years, Moussa Ali Hamdan, accused of terrorism in the city centre of Ciudad del Este. He was under an order of capture by the United States of America.[6] It was also suspected that Hamdan financed terrorism.[7][8][9]

In 2011, a Lebanese man was arrested at the regional office of Interpol in Ciudad del Este because of identification problems, having been expelled from France. The man said that his name was Toufic Harb but his real identity is Zidane Khaleb.[10] He was captured at the Guaraní International Airport.[11]

In a 2012 article published on terrorists in Paraguay, Al Jazeera reported that Hezbollah "remained especially active" in the tri-border area of Argentina–Paraguay–Brazil. José Almada, a superior officer in the Paraguayan Special Operations Group (GEO) said that they had not uncovered any evidence of terrorist cells in Ciudad del Este.[12]

In 2014, ABC Color published an article in which the Lebanese community question the utilization of students of the Lebanese Educational Centre of Paraguay in Ciudad del Este, in acts of political movements linked to terrorist group Hezbolá. Members of the Lebanese community in the region expressed their disagreement with the way the institute is run.[13]

On 10 November 2015, International Islamic News Agency announced Paraguay's president Horacio Cartes inaugurated the largest mosque, which was built in Ciudad del Este. The opening ceremony of the mosque saw the involvement of a large amount of political officials, as well as diplomats. The mosque itself costed US$1 million.[14][15]


Many Arabic surnames from Lebanon today stand out in Paraguayan society as political leaders, national authorities, businessmen, writers and people dedicated to the arts in general. Some of these surnames were modified to improve their pronunciation in Spanish but many retain their original identity.

Common surnames are:

Aboud, Aid, Armel, Arar, Rossi, Atat, Ayala, Azar, Barchini, Buzarquis, Canan/Kanan, Nader, Cofure, Curi/Kuri/Juri, Daher, Damus, Diaz, Dibb, Elias, Esgaib/Zgaib, Esquef/Skef, Fadlala, Fadul, Farah, Garcia, Ghobril, Giral, Gosen/Gosn/Ghosn/Hosen, Haddad, Haitter/Haidar, Harare, Host, Ismael/Ysmail, Kalfat, Mohur, Maluff, Mancos, Mende, Musi, Ouchana, Rahi, Resck/Risk, Rosas, Sabag, Safua, Sardi, Seif din, Serrano, Yambay/Yampey, Yanho, Yauhari, Yore, Yunis.

Notable people

Oscar Safuán (1943–2007) Paraguayan–Lebanese music composer


  1. ^ Más de 10 millones de libaneses empujan el crecimiento social y económico de América Latina. Infobae, 24 Juny 2014. Retrieved 23 December 2019.
  2. ^ http://www.viajeabrasil.com/foz-de-iguazu/mezquita-musulmana-en-foz-de-iguazu.php
  3. ^ http://www.mre.gov.py/v2/Contenido/327/embajada-de-la-republica-libanesa
  4. ^ http://www.mre.gov.py/v2/Noticia/2812/embajada-de-paraguay-en-libano-ofrecio-una-recepcion-por-los-204-anos-de-la-independencia-patria
  5. ^ John Tofik Karam, "On the Trail and Trial of a Palestinian Diaspora: Mapping South America in the Arab-Israeli Conflict, 1967-1972" http://journals.cambridge.org/action/displayAbstract?fromPage=online&aid=9070730
  6. ^ http://aquiagora.net/noticias/ver/8500/
  7. ^ http://www.abc.com.py/articulos/la-interpol-detuvo-en-ciudad-del-este-al-libanes-moussa-hamdan-supuesto-financista-del-terrorismo-117366.html
  8. ^ http://www.emol.com/noticias/internacional/2010/06/15/419150/libanes-reclamado-por-eeuu-fue-detenido-en-paraguay.html
  9. ^ http://americaeconomia.com/politica-sociedad/sociedad/paraguay-detiene-libanes-buscado-por-eeuu
  10. ^ http://www.ultimahora.com/libanes-doble-identidad-esta-preso-interpol-n409867.html
  11. ^ http://www.ultimahora.com/libanes-doble-identidad-esta-preso-interpol-n409867.html
  12. ^ http://www.aljazeera.com/indepth/opinion/2013/05/2013512105822488194.html
  13. ^ http://www.abc.com.py/edicion-impresa/interior/consideran-que-colegio-libanes-aplica-un-regimen-tipo-taliban-1218878.html
  14. ^ http://www.iinanews.com/page/public/news_details.aspx?id=104424#
  15. ^ http://www.beautifulmosque.com/Ibrahim-Mosque-in-Ciudad-del-Este-Paraguay
  16. ^ http://www.national-football-teams.com/player/29190/Angel_Antar.html
  17. ^ HighBeam
  18. ^ http://www.abc.com.py/edicion-impresa/politica/serios-indicios-de-abuso-de-poder-politico-en-demanda-promovida-por-un-diputado-1361776.html
  19. ^ http://www.hoy.com.py/politica/bader-la-anr-hoy-parece-un-nakyra-pire
  20. ^ http://www.abc.com.py/tag/enrique-salyn-buzarquis-9933.html
  21. ^ http://www.mre.gov.py/v2/Contenido/327/embajada-de-la-republica-libanesa
  22. ^ http://www.abc.com.py/edicion-impresa/interior/hilos-del-poder-en-el-jurado-1427362.html
  23. ^ http://www.abc.com.py/nacionales/santa-cruz-revela-amenazas-de-osvaldo-dominguez-dibb-225165.html
  24. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2016-08-14. Retrieved 2016-01-04.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  25. ^ http://www.musicaparaguaya.org.py/nelson_safuan.html
  26. ^ http://www.portalguarani.com/1476_oscar_nelson_safuan.html
  27. ^ http://www.scoresway.com/?sport=soccer&page=player&id=395
  28. ^ https://www.fifa.com/tournaments/archive/mensolympic/athens2004/matches/round=8695/match=37194/index.html
  29. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2016-11-02. Retrieved 2016-01-04.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  30. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2016-11-02. Retrieved 2016-01-04.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  31. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2016-02-10. Retrieved 2016-01-04.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  32. ^ http://www.schvivo.com/pedro-fadul-el-candidato-a-la-presidencia-de-paraguay-que-llego-a-la-politica-por-schoenstatt/prontus_tv/2009-02-03/035500.html
  33. ^ http://www.portalguarani.com/1407_quemil_yambay.html
  34. ^ http://www.abc.com.py/tag/juan-jose-zapag-3445.html

External links

This page was last updated at 2021-06-22 23:10, update this pageView original page

All information on this site, including but not limited to text, pictures, etc., are reproduced on Wikipedia (wikipedia.org), following the . Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License


If the math, chemistry, physics and other formulas on this page are not displayed correctly, please useFirefox or Safari