Maguy Chammas – Lebanon

Maguy came to America from Lebanon in 2008. She and her husband and 3 children moved to the Mahoning Valley because her husband’s family had been living here for 10 years. Maguy’s family continues to live in Lebanon. Maguy makes sure that she stays in touch with family, and she looks forward to going home to be with them again.

In Lebanon, Maguy and her family lived in a village surrounded by nature. When Maguy talks about her home, she describes the beautiful summers, the mountains, and the beach.  Going on a picnic in her town required no picnic basket.  Nature is very generous, and as you are walking on your way to the picnic, you pick the fruit and vegetables, mint, olives, almonds and grapes along the way.

Maguy learned English while she was in Lebanon.  She also speaks Arabic and French. Keeping her language is a very important way for Maguy to remember her roots and never forget her country. Her older children, 17 and 18, speak and write Arabic, and Maguy’s younger daughter is also learning to speak and write Arabic.

Maguy and her children miss everyone in Lebanon.  They stay in touch through Facebook where they share pictures.  When Maguy sees pictures of her family, she feels happy, yet she misses them, especially her mother.

Maguy’s father passed away when she was 14 years old and her mother worked hard to take care of her 5 children.  Maguy describes her mother as very strong, patient, and as a person who has faith in God.

Remembering the wars in Lebanon, Maguy talks about the many wars they had and the terrible times when there was fear and instability every day. She recalls being at school when something would happen, causing her parents to worry. She feels more secure in America and appreciates the opportunities her children have in this country.

A message Maguy would send back to her family would say, “Mom, I miss you so much, and I miss my brother and sister and I love you.  We are happy here with my family.”

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