The Annual General Meeting of the Australian Lebanese Historical Society Inc. will be held at 11.30 sharp on 2 March 2019 at the Lavalla Centre, 58 Fernberg Rd, Paddington, Brisbane, Queensland.
The AGM will be followed by a light lunch and then a guest speaker, Cecile Yazbek. Cecile, the author of four books, grew up in a Lebanese family in apartheid South Africa. See more about Cecile below.
Words about my worlds by Cecile Yazbek
I have lived in Australia for 32 years – I was born in South Africa to South African born parents whose parents left Hadeth, Beirut and Beit Meri, Lebanon between 1894 and 1910 to settle in South Africa.
What am I? What are we?
Teasing out the threads of identity began in my memoir, Olive trees around my Table – Growing up Lebanese in the old South Africa, 2007. Revealing how we carried our culture across centuries in a strange place through food I wrote Mezze to Milk tart – From the Middle East to Africa in my vegetarian kitchen.2011
Voices on the Wind is the story of those early migrants, with a contemporary Australian narrator. Faces in the Forest is set in Cape Town in the 1970s at the height of apartheid among the descendants of those early migrants – how ordinary people coped in extraordinary times.
I have always written – it is my way of trying to understand the world, to make a place for myself in the world living as I do in a country where the history doesn’t belong to me. My interest in people and our ways of being in the world led me to study social science at university. I worked as a voluntary community worker in Cape Town and then I worked as a manager of volunteer services in Sydney. At this time, I read, write, garden, cook and gather support for literacy projects in Africa.
Photo: Yazbek Family Beirut 1910 shortly before departure to South Africa. Used with permission from Cecile Yazbek.