Most immigrants in this book have achieved and earned the honor of being listed in their corresponding cities.
This golden page is dedicated to those Lebanese emigrants who have superior achievement in their newly found countries, and truly earned a distinct appreciations.
Obviously, we can never know all these distinguished achievers, but we invite our dear readers to forward to rdib @ yahoo . com the names, and biographies of those we missed, and we shall add them to this page of honor.
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The youngest of four children of Lebanese immigrants Nathra and Rose, Ralph Nader was born in Winsted, Connecticut, on February 27, 1934. His father had fled penniless in 1912 to escape Turkish oppression. "My father took the Statue of Liberty seriously.", Nader says.
His sister Laura, now a professor at UC Berkeley, says that Nathra taught the children activism as well as critical thinking: "We couldn't just complain. If we didn't like something, we were told to do something about it.". Ralph's older brother, Shafik, had pushed the townsfolk into creating a community college.
Ralph graduated from the Gilbert School in his hometown in 1951 and entered Princeton University. In 1955 he graduated magna cum laude and went on to Harvard Law School for three years. In 1959 Ralph set up his law practice in Hartford and published his first article on auto safety in "The Nation" . He became a consultant on this subject for Assistant Secretary of Labor Daniel Patrick Moynihan in 1964, and the next year his book "Unsafe at Any Speed" was published. Nader's agitation bore fruit when Congress finally passed and President Lyndon Johnson signed the Vehicle Safety and Highway Safety Acts on Sept. 9, 1966.
A list of the reforms Nader is credited with initiating includes the Environmental Protection Agency, the Consumer Product Safety Commission, the Freedom of Information Act, the Safe Drinking Water Act, the Meat and Poultry Inspection Laws, the Occupational Health and Safety Administration, the Coal Mine Health and Safety Act and many others.
He is currently a U.S. Presidential candidate for the Green Party.
Naify, Robert Allen and Marshall Movie theaters. San Francisco.
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Members of The 1996 Forbes Four Hundred, since 1987, with an estimated worth of $650 million, the two sons of Lebanese immigrant who opened Atlantic City movie theater 1912. Founded California Theaters 1920s; later purchased 50% United Artists Theater Circuit. Early pioneer cable television 1950s. Young Robert and Marshall started in movie business as ushers, projectionists in father's theaters; gained control after UCT-UATC merger 1963. Brothers eventually sold out to Tele-Communications, Inc. 1986 for stock, convertible notes, cash. Brothers low-key, but older brother Marshall making noise investing in Canadian gold stocks
Orfalea, Paul Founder of Kinko’s 24-Hour Copy and Printing Chain
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Kinko’s founder Paul Orfalea is famously eccentric, but he is as shrewd as he is oddball. This is a guy who is worth a quarter of a billion dollars and runs a billion-dollar-a-year business. He not only enjoys boasting about all the Cs and Ds he got in school, but he also likes to add that he came out of school basically unemployable.
In grade school he was mistakenly placed in a class for kids who were mentally slow. His Lebanese parents, who ran their own store in the Los Angeles garment district, encouraged his interest in business.
From a copy shop he ran as a college student near Santa Barbara in 1970, he has built Kinko’s to over 860 stores. The company has set a goal of expanding to 2,000 locations by the year 2000. Instead of franchises, Orfalea formed partnerships and took his cut in the form of a majority interest in each store.
Rahall, Nick J. United States Congressman
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Strong defender of the territorial integrity, unity and sovereignty of Lebanon and firm supporter of a just peace in the Middle East, Rahall is a third-generation Lebanese American. His grandfather and namesake, Nicholas, came to the U.S. from Kfier, Lebanon, in 1903, settling in Beckley, WV, where he began a pack-peddling business. Since then, the family has remained in Beckley, where Nick Rahall was born and raised, and has branched out into the retail, real estate, and broadcasting fields. Nick received his B.A. degree from Duke University and worked as a staff assistant to Senator Robert Byrd before his own successful run for Congress in 1976.
Asked whether he had ever been targeted by the Israeli lobby because of his voting record against foreign aid and his reputation for promoting U.S. interests over those of Israel, He replies that he couldn't really say that he had. "For the most part, they recognize that I am of Lebanese descent and that I am proud of it", he explains.
Rahall rarely fails to quote the Lebanese American for whom he had the greatest respect, Danny Thomas, the patron saint of St. Jude's Children's Research Hospital: "He who denies his heritage has no heritage."
Rahall has traveled frequently to Lebanon as well as to Israel and several other countries in the Middle East. Most recently he traveled with congressional delegations to Israel in June 1995, and separately to Lebanon in August 1995. In Lebanon, the high point of his trip was a visit with his son to their ancestral village of Kfier, where he received a hero's welcome.
A Democrat, Rahall is unopposed in the 1996 elections, and will return for an 11th term representing West Virginia's third congressional district.
Rahi, Yamila Diaz Supermodel
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Yamila Diaz-Rahi was born in Argentina, to an Argentinian doctor father and Lebanese nurse mother. Yamila and her two sisters, Maria and Yael, were raised in Argentina. Yamila is currently living in New York City.
At only 24 years of age, the young Lebanese Argentinean supermodel has gone from an unknown frolicking on an Uruguayan beach in 1996 to one of Victoria's Secret's anchor models and a regular in the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue for 1999 and 2000. She has already graced the covers of Marie Claire, Harper's Bazaar, Elle (US and Spain), the European editions of Max, GQ and Shape magazines.
She is the new spokesperson for Cover Girl, and is a regular in the most recent Victoria's Secret catalog. Yamila Diaz-Rahi studied Economics and can hammer you to a wall when it comes to discussing South American politics.
Rihani, Ameen F Writer, Philosopher, Political Thinker
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Born in Freike, Lebanon, on November 24, 1876, Ameen Rihani was one of six children and the oldest son of a Lebanese Maronite raw silk manufacturer, then a flourishing local industry. In the early twentieth century, Rihani was recognized as the founding father of Arab-American literature.
He is the first Lebanese and Arab to write English essays, poetry, novels, short stories, art critiques, and travel chronicles. He published his works in the U. S. during the first three decades of this century. In this sense, he is the forerunner of American literature written by well-known Middle Eastern writers.
As part of his dedication to convey his literary and political message, Ameen Rihani met with a number of personalities of international reputation in literature, art and politics like Edwin Markham, Michael Monahan, Kahlil Gibran, Henri Matisse, President Theodore Roosevelt, Rabindranath Tagore, William Oberhardt, Ahmad Shawqi, King Abdul-Aziz Al Saud, King Faisal of Iraq, Ferris Al-Khoury, President Herbert Hoover, Henry Stimson, Sir Ramsey MacDonald, Patriarch Antoun Arida, and First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt, to name a few. He befriended and corresponded with these distinguished individuals and wrote about some of them.
Rihani, spending most of his life in New York and Freike, was influenced by the American poet Walt Whitman, and has subsequently introduced free verse to Arab poetry. His new style of poetry was published as early as 1905. This new concept flourished in the Arab world and continued to lead modern Arab poetry after Rihani's death in 1940 and throughout the second half of the 20th century and into the 21st century.
To promote and disseminate Rihani's legacy, the Ameen Rihani Institute and the Ameen Rihani Organization are two of the main institutions located in the United States that dedicate their activities towards that goal.
Rizk, Khalil Founder of The Chinese Porcelain Company
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The Chinese Porcelain Company opened its doors in 1984 on New York's Park Avenue, anticipating the resurgence of interest in the Asian art market, some would say Rizk almost single-handedly revitalized it, and establishing himself as one of the world's preeminent dealers in the field.
Rizk began training his eye when as a young boy he started collecting stamps, Roman glass and earthenware. He credits his mother as the inspiration for his interest but also acknowledges that growing up in privileged surroundings in Lebanon contributed equally to his early aesthetic awareness. "That's why I like Chinese export ware, which was made for markets in the West. After all, I was born in Lebanon, the fulcrum of East in the West, and West in the East."
His family left Lebanon in 1975 and eventually settled in New York where, in the family tradition, in 1980 he became a real estate developer. However, after the stock market crashed he decided to go into the antiques trade where, thanks to his connoisseurship and social connections, his gallery quickly became a success.
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