The Beqaa is a vast open valley nestled in-between Lebanon’s two mountain ranges. It has long been known as the bread basket of Lebanon and a corridor of civilizations. Since ancient times, the valley has been the source of the region’s agricultural heritage and a thoroughfare for commerce.
A regional relationship between the Beqaa Valley in Lebanon and the 9th U.S. Congressional District in Northwest Ohio was signed in October 1998. Persons instrumental in the development of the sister region relationship were Congresswoman Marcy Kaptur; Yehia (John) Shousher, President of the Lebanese-American Association of Toledo and Genevieve Geha-Kirkbride, Chairperson of the Toledo Sister Cities Lebanese Regional Committee.
The support for this endeavor flowed from the strong Lebanese-American community in the Toledo area and the desire to foster appreciation, education and enjoyment of the Lebanese culture. Projects have included a shipment of wheat and medical equipment to Lebanon with the aid of the U.S. Department of Agriculture and through the efforts of John Shousher and his committee. The committee has also lent its support to Lebanese students at the University of Toledo, particularly with student exchanges.
Distance to Toledo: 5,958 Miles
Currency: Lebanese Pound
Benefit: Scholarship from The University of Toledo
Beqaa Valley projects are on going and continue to be supported by the Toledo area Lebanese-American community – both Christian and Muslim in Northwest Ohio. Despite the political difficulties in the Middle East, the connection between the Lebanese people in Northwest Ohio and the Middle East remains strong and active. Through these efforts, it is hoped that friendly person-to-person and institution-to-institution interaction will promote better understanding and acceptance of all peoples.