Above is a “reblog” of one persons account of the importance of your last name in Beirut!
After reading a blog entry ”What do you know about your family name?” I began to think of the importance of your family name. In American your name has a personal connection to who you are. Knowing where you came from and the culture of your ancestors is important to many. There are websites, databases etc for a person to reconnect to the people in their families from the past.
Since the majority of Americans are considered “Caucasian” or “African American” this means that the majority of their ancestors are from another location in the world. This map by the U.S. Census in 2000 shows where the largest demographic of ethnicity lie, demonstrating a large range and variety of ethnicity in the United States. A surname is also linked (linguistically) to the place it originated from. Mine, Donaldson is Scottish.
Because most person’s families are from different countries this could be the reason for so much interest in genealogy, written and oral history of your name. There is a history behind your name that identifies and shapes who you are. Your name is your heritage. “Furthermore, our ancestral background affects not only how others see us but even how we experience ourselves. Indeed, knowing who our ancestors were is fundamental to our sense of who we are.”
quote taken from:
In Lebanon, your family name goes beyond identification. There’s usually history hidden behind a family name, that unfortunately most of us lose track of, or which fails to get passed down from generation to generation. And in some cases, it’s your grandmother’s maiden name (like in my case) that comes with an interesting story to tell.
I come from a mixed faith marriage, most people who know me know this about me already. (One of the first things you learn about people when you meet them in Lebanon is what faith they are). For most of my life, that was it; the story ended there. And that kind of attitude also translated into school where I never really cared about history because to me it was all about a bunch of names that I didn’t relate to anyway.
Come to find that my great grandfather (maternal side) was a Sheikh…
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