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Top World Banker Riad Salamé on a Brief USA Visit to Silicon Valley
and deliver Keynote Address at Lebanese American Association 20th Anniversary Banquet
view Photo album and see how many you recognize from Shweir. 

A more detailed Press Release below:

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                                    

Top World Banker Riad Salamé
on brief USA visit to Silicon Valley

BURLINGAME, CA (November 5, 2009) — The man The LA Times refers to as the banker who “got it right” will deliver the keynote address at the Lebanese American Association’s annual banquet in Silicon Valley on Saturday, November 14.  

Riad Toufic Salamé, Governor of the Central Bank of Lebanon, led his country safely through the most recent global financial crisis to its current position of stability and economic growth. Mr. Salamé understood the perils of investing in mortgage-backed securities, and took the necessary preemptive measures by instituting policies that not only prevented economic downturn but resulted in record-breaking profits for the country’s banks last year.

Salamé is widely acknowledged as one of the world’s top bankers, and has received many prestigious international banking and economic awards, including Euromoney Award as the best Central Bank Governor in the world.  As governor of Banque du Liban for the past 16 years, he has been lauded by domestic and foreign observers for his steady hand during periods of political and financial instability.

Journalists and bankers from around the world are extremely interested in learning from Mr. Salamé.  “We are very proud and honored to welcome governor Salamé to commemorate our 20th anniversary.  He will share insights of his past successes and future financial stability in the face of global economic crisis” said Lebanese American Association president, Anwar George Kenicer.  The event will take place at the Hyatt Regency Grand Ballroom in Burlingame. It begins at 6:30 p.m. Tickets:  Online at or by calling (650) 274-8119.

Select Media excerpts:

·         The Economist (April 23, 2009):  “A surprising economic success amid the usual political gridlock”.  Lebanon has proven itself a surprising economic success, as described by The Economist, which stated, “LIKE shame-faced bankers the world over, managers at the Banque du Liban, Lebanons central bank, have had to admit that their initial figures for last year were wrong. But while number crunchers elsewhere toil to trim over-optimistic estimates into punier real results, statisticians at the Banque du Liban are revising theirs sharply upwards. Lebanons GDP grew during 2008, not at an annual rate of 7.5%, it seems, but at 9% or better. Yet even that trend-bucking number looks modest compared to other milestones scored by this small, almost comically turbulent country. Last year the value of deposits in Lebanese commercial banks rose by 15% to an impressive $94 billion, equal to 327% of GDP.  Industrial exports surged 24%. Tax revenues, tourist arrivals, banking profits and the number of construction permits all soared by a third or more. A giant 46% leap in net capital inflows helped Lebanon post a record $3.5 billion surplus in its balance of payments, and boosted the Banque du Libans own reserves to a cozy $26 billion, more than double its holdings a year ago. This is in a country of only 4 million people!  

·         The LA Times (February 21, 2009, by Borzou Daragahi): “Lebanon central bank chief got it right. Riad Toufic Salame bucked pressure in 2005 and kept Lebanese banks from investing in mortgage-backed securities. Now the sector is prospering amid the global downturn.
“Reporting from Beirut — Throughout history, men braved the odds to perform great feats. Outmatched generals snatched victory from the jaws of defeat. Titans of industry gambled on bold innovations to reap jackpots. Athletes tested the limits of human endurance in quests for glory. 
Riad Toufic Salame, the governor of Lebanon 's central bank, is not one of those men.  
Instead, the silver-haired banker became a hero by playing it very, very safe. In 2005, he defied pressure from the Lebanese business community and bucked international trends to issue what now looks like a prophetic decree: a blanket order barring any bank in his country from investing in mortgage-backed securities, which contributed to the most dramatic collapse of financial institutions since the Great Depression. 
So as major banks in America and Europe were shuttered or partly nationalized and thousands of people in the U.S. financial sector were laid off, Lebanon 's banks had one of their best years ever.  
Billions in cash continue to pour in to the relative safety of Lebanese savings accounts, with comfy but not extravagant yields of 6%.  A nation shunned for years as the quintessential failed state has become a pretty safe bet, or as safe a bet as investors are likely to find in this climate.  
"Being able to survive and to do well in this crisis," Salame said, savoring a deep sigh. "I can tell you I was proud of this achievement."

About the Lebanese American Association:

The LAA is a non-profit, non-political and non-sectarian organization dedicated to providing cultural, social and community services located in Burlingame, CA.  Founded in 1989, it has provided funds for universities, wheelchairs and medical supplies to clinics and hospitals in Lebanon, as well as scholarships for Lebanese American students in Northern California.


There were over two dozen articles published based on above or abridged version of the above press release.
Here is a sample from Yahoo Finance:

Check out Shweir Storm on YouTube:
Courtesy of Samih B.   Do you know how they got Shweir Name?  Great Song. 


Hana Roustom Moujaes Archbold Crowned "Queen of Tabbouli" 
At the Annual Spring picnic of the Lebanese American Association - May 31, 2009
She won 2 of 3 Tabbouli Awards, and graciously relinquished one to share w/other contestants
Also word spread fast about Hana's Delicious Kibbeh Nayeh , many enjoyed tasting till she ran out...
Next year:  Tabbouli & Kibbeh Fest & Contest... 

The Setting

Shweiry Families represented:
Archbold, Baaklini, Roustom, Housheimy, Khenaisser, Mapar, Matar, Moujaes, Tabsharani & Walsh
Huge cake above courtesy of George Tabsharani

Carole Samaha w/ "Stars On Tour" of  7 U.S. Cities.

On her San Francisco stop, Carole Samaha was warmly welcomed by the Arab and Lebanese American Communities

During her concert, she got her rapidly growing fans jumping to dance by their seats and in corridors even high in the theatre balconies as per above photo. 
They chanted encores & crescendos of  "Carole... Carole... Carole..."
Lebanese American Association president Anwar George Kenicer Presented symbolic Key to San Francisco - and a surprise... postcards of Carole's special towns: Khinshara and Shweir & Mount Sunneen in snow.
Anwar's grandma was a Samaha - now Carole has distant family in SF
At a special reception at the Arab Cultural & Community Center, (ACCC), she was welcomed by leaders and representatives of Arab Countries and the Lebanese and Shweir contingencies.  She spoke so eloquently and was gracious spending quality time w/hosts and guests.  After the visit to the Center, ACCC president, Sana Saoudi and her family, held a special dinner to welcome Carole and her group at her home overlooking San Francisco and the Bay.  

Carole is beautiful, multi talented artist, very bright and a class act.  She is on her way to becoming a Mega Star. 
Carole, you make us proud... your fans, country & town's people and distant cousins in SF love you... Come back soon.

Carole, on your next visit to San Francisco, you have an open invitation from the Lebanese and Shweiry community to welcome you and enjoy Sahra jabalieh, kibbeh Naieh and Tabbouli made by the Queen of Tabbouli

There are dozens groups and profiles for Carole Samaha on Face Book, Official and popular are:
Carole Samaha on Face Book  and Carole Samaha popular group on Face Book
and her website:



Happy 51st Anniversary George & Georgette Roustom Moujaes Feb 2009 -
Happy Birthdays to Toufic & Lillian

Family Triple Celebration in California

Issam Sawaya says Hello from San Francisco - Dec 5-08



Reunion of three siblings of  Adeeb Touma Sawaya Family
was held
on Novemeber 2, 2008, At a WaterFront Restaurant in Foster City, CA

To welcome Rosalie, All the Way from Brazil
And to celebrate the Recovery to good health of  Joe
and to acknowledge the dedication and loving care of Laila


Palm Sunday 08 - Greek Orthodox - in CA - 4 Shweiry families happen to be there by chance... 
See how many you know.

Mona, Victoria & daughter, William, Maya, Hana, John, Lilian & Souleima

OK, we have Victoria Moujaes Mapar family, Souleima Houcheime family, Carole Baaklini & Nicolas Haddad family, the Lilian Roustom family, & Hana Roustom & John Arhchbald family

Wonderful BBQ at Laila Sawaya's home in Fremont, CA

    Thank you Laila and family for a great evening...


August 2007

Jamil bou Saab and Family in California...


Congrats on Baptism of Elissa Mapar 

Happy Baptism Elissa Mapar

The Matars, Nacols and Moujaes flew all the way from Texas to California for this special occasion...
Look at all these precious smiles - at the Antiochian Orthodox Church of the Redeemer in Los Altos, CA

How many people from Shweir you can spot???  will make it easy... there is a group picture of them below.  :)

V V Here w/ father Samer Yousef and Deacon Habeeb Nacol and Godparents David Mapar and Soulaima Houcheime

Elisa paved the way to celebrate four Birthdays for Salim, Sami and Zack Moujaes and Maya Houcheime

and to celebrate surprise 50th wedding anniversary for proud grandparents Salim and Nora

Laughing our hearts >>

See more pixs at these Photo albums: 

More pictures w/slide shows at:
And another album from George's camera:


What a nice surprise to get a call from Al Mukhtar tipping me that Alfred and Maria Moujaes were heading to SF...

So, we made a quick tour of SF by night... and an encore by day. 

We feel so blessed to be in such wonderful company and anxiously look forward to the arrival of the
Mukhtar and the Matar family next weekend.

Abouna Elie visiting Shweirieh in California

visiting our cousins Joseph, Fouad and Fred Tabsharani in Berkeley

In San Jose
Sawaya Welcome

Joe, James, Chantale
and their two kids.

Did you know
Chantale Bitbasser?

Dinner at Elias

with the family...

San Francisco
Bay Area



Congrats to Ghada Victoria & Kamal Mapar on birth of

daughter Elissa Sepideh Mapar On June 19th, 2006

From: Victoria Mapar [mailto in code: gigi50793 at yahoo {dot} com]
Sent: Friday, June 23, 2006 8:12 AM
Subject: Elissa Sepideh Mapar

On June 19th, 2006 Demoiselle Elissa Sepideh Mapar was born at 6:48 pm.

Elissa Weighs 9.2 lbs and is 21 inches tall.

Demoiselle Elissa Sepideh Mapar is the Sixth Grand Daughter of Nora & Salim Moujaes.

The Proud Parents Ghada & Kamal Mapar.



Double Celebration:  Mother-Daughter Graduations - 2006

Congrats to Soulaima and Maya Houcheime on their Graduations
Soulaima graduated with an Associate's Degree in Math from San Jose City College on May 25
Maya graduated with a BFA in graphic design with Cum Laude honors at San Jose State University on May 26

Congratulations to Soulaima and Maya...

For related information and pixs, see the two articles below...

Pictures from a recent Picnic in Los Gatos California on May 20, 2006

This was a joint effort between the Lebanese American Association and
the World Lebanese Cultural Union...

Here Maya Houcheime early at the registration table to welcome guests to the Picnic

Click here > to View LAA WLCU Picnic May 20-06 Los Gatos

From: Anwar
Sent: Wednesday, May 24, 2006 10:06 PM
Subject: LAA WLCU picnic Great Success - picnic pics

 Yes, the LAA/ WLCU picnic was a great success. This was the first joint effort and in spite of the questionable weather forecast, it went better than anyone expected.  It was great to see the positive feedback acknowledgements.  

 I took a bit more time to edit the pictures so that you would enjoy them along with this email.  See below. The picnic is a family affair.  And yes there was fun things to do for all ages from grandparents to grandchildren.   Most kids were having so much fun that they preferred to stay and play when it came time to leave.

 Personally, I wish to acknowledge a few persons who helped make this a great success…

Tom Makdissy, LAA president and Los Gatos resident, reserved the park for us and brought tables and other supplies including a very handy hand truck.  
Elie Dagher, LAA picnic committee chairperson, who worked tirelessly to address as many of the details and taking a very positive outlook about weather forecast.
Ziad Habayeb, prepared food and was chef extra ordinaire.  Ziad and Elie were the first on the scene on Saturday setting up. 

Maroun Fram
:  obtained about eight worthwhile prizes and helped in many aspects.
Maya Houcheimy wore many hats including greeter, registration and did face painting to raise funds for an orphanage in Lebanon.  Even adults had their faces painted.   
Maureen Morley, my friend who prepared many fun games just in case the opportunity presented itself.  She also helped to set up and direct guests from entrance to our designated picnic area.  

The Medicine Man who performed a Sunshine ritual to send rain further north and bring in more sunshine.   J

 Many thanks to all the volunteers and participants who made this a very special and memorable event.  

Several of you expressed desire to plan an encore in the fall.  Most suitable would be mid to late September. If that is the case, some things need to be secured as far in advance.  Such as reserving choice picnic areas.  So far, the two picnic areas of Meadowbrook and Creekside are available (each hold 100 persons).  Also the Circle picnic area which is along the lake front is also available and holds 150 persons.  It would be prudent to reserve Meadow Brook and Creekside together or Circle ASAP.

 We can apply many of the things we learned from last weekend effort.  Such as we can advertise about the great many amenities including train rides, merry go round/carousel.   That there are biking and hiking trails and boat and bike rentals, etc. Also, we can do a talent presentations as a warm up and scouting to the talent show for next spring.  

 Now relax, click on the link below to view the picnic pictures.  

Once you see the thumbnails of the album, Click on “view slide show” to see consecutive enlargements every few seconds.


LAA WLCU Picnic May 20-06 Los Gatos

Click here > to View LAA WLCU Picnic May 20-06 Los Gatos


"Terweeaa" hosted by WLCU in San Francisco
People from Shweir were very well represented...

Above, Souleima, Ghada Victoria, & Maya
of the Shweir Moujaes - Matar Connection and
Rima Mattar, Miss Lebanese Emigrants & her friend Fadi

<<  Mona, Ghada Victoria,
Maya and Souleima Houcheimy

>> Rima Mattar & Maya Choueiri -
Her Grandfather from Shweir

World Lebanese 
Cultural Union
At another Terweeaa,
at the monthly meeting
of WLCU by the
Waterfront >>>
WLCU at a presentation
by Walid Maalouf - of Public Diplomacy of
Middle Eastern Affairs >>


Lebanese Independence Day 2005 - San Francisco Style

Members of the World Lebanese Council Union, WLCU, invited the Lebanese community to celebrate Lebanon independence day... here are a few pictures:

Maya Houcheimy whose mom is 200% Shweiry and is Al Mukhtar's neice,
and Maya Choueiry were two instrumental organizers.
Two other key organizers from our region are: 
Nader Shehayed , son of Georgette Abi Nader Khnaisser, who passed away in Shweir last August
and Khalil Khoury from Baskinta...

Yes, here in al Ghourbeh, we from Baskinta and Shweir co-operate together as teams to dispel the notion of: 
"Laula Baskinta wil Shweir, kanet an dinee be alf khayr"
Trasnlation:  If it were not for Baskinta and Shweir, the world would be in a thousand peace".   

The party was
at Sinbad
in San Mateo, CA > >
Here Maya doing the
honors of cutting the cake.  V
Angie, Maureen
& Anwar V
R > Maya
whooping it up... > >
R. >  Maya in black was champion
in bringing 20 guests to the event
w/ Angie and Nader > >

Lady on left I do not know her name.


Sawaya Weekend

By chance three Sawayas meet at a church picnic near San Francisco.  L-R: 
Rindala Sawaya, daughter of  Alfred Sawaya of Hotel Sawaya, wife of Jalal Wihbe
Alex Sawaya, Son of Dr. Jaber Iskandar Sawaya and
Josiane, wife of Adel Sawaya from Douma

The above picnic was on Sunday, June 13, 2004 at a park halfway between San Francisco and Silicone Valley.  Our Lady of Lebanon Maronite Church held its annual picnic.  After mass, there was BBQ, music, volleyball, football, face painting, etc. .  Rindala told me that there is a large Sawaya contingency in Florida and another in Salt Lake City where they do annual reunions.   Imagine, if it were not for our friend, Mazen Skaff from Shreen, who spent many summers in Dhour, they would not have met. 

More Sawayas:  The day before, On Saturday, after I attended a tradeshow in Santa Clara, I called Dr. Joseph ibn Adeeb Touma Sawaya to say hi.  He insisted that I stop by on my way home.  Well, James and Chantal were there as well as Dr. Nabil & Ginette Sawaya from Btighreen.  We took pictures the old fashioned way since I did not have my digi camera... when Joe sends me a copy, I will post it.

Someone brought to my attention that Joe Sawaya has two doctorate degrees...  PhD's ... So yes, those Sawayas are very smart people.  Perhaps the most Drs per capita of any family I know.   Three cheers for the Sawayas...


Dr. Jaber Sawaya in San Francisco...

It was wonderful to see Dr. Jaber Sawaya on March 12, 2004 in San Francisco where he was visiting his son Alexander who recently moved to SF.  Alex was at work, so we took Jaber on a tour of the city by the Bay...

We look forward to meet Alex soon and we will make sure that Alex will feel very much at home.



Lebanese American Association Annual Banquet
Miss Emigrants 2002 & 2003, Rima Mattar & Miriam Habib
made a great team, welcomed hundreds of guests, raised money
and they added excitement and energized the event.

Text to follow...



On Friday, November 14, 2003,
Miss Emigrants 2002 & 2003, Rima Mattar & Miriam Habib and their families
enjoyed a nice dinner in San Francisco and some fun afterwards...

Ghiradelli is famous in SF and the world as one of the Great chocolates and they still make chocolate the way they used to from the early 1900's ... Well, Mirriam was so taken by the chocolate aroma that she considered buying a T shirt that says:  "Will sell Husband for Chocolate", even though there was no husband, at least, not yet.  :) 


Maddool Tabsharani and Georgette Tabsharani Nuhra maiden visit to CA 

On  the way to Lisa Khnaisser Walsh's home, we had to slow down for some geese crossing the road.  And while we were enjoying some drinks and appetizers outdoors, the geese did a parade near the back yard and when we paused for a picture, they decided to take part in it as well.  I assure you, they were not paid or trained to do that.  They just wanted to welcome Maddool and Georgette our distinguished guests from New Zealand and Myrna Semaan, along with her husband Richard, are Lebanon's best hope to save the environment.  Well the ladies decided to chase the geese with their boat, and it was not long before they were a spec on the horizon.

And then we met at Hana Roustom Archbald's home, Geese apparently drank too much arak at Lisa, so they could not make it to Hana's.

And then there was a concert for Waael Kfoury near San Francisco the same night Fairuz had a concert in Los Angeles and the Tabsharani's were there dancing up a storm...

And then I had to make a delivery of some dried bameh to Clautield and Ghassan Khnaisser.  You will be amazed how well they planted their backyard with all types of fruit trees and herbs... I sampled some great figs and she had grapefruits that were as large almost as a volleyball.

And at another event, Fadi Khnaisser and his beautiful wife Mireille and her parents and Manal and Jennifer and Hana and Lilian and Elias and the rest of the family enjoyed a nice evening together.  Oh, yes, Antoinette now has a new companion, Randy, the cutest and well behaved dog.

and when Sami Andre flew in from Paris, it was nice to take a picture of the three brothers with our sister Lisa.


and while Andre was here, I took him to attend a flight demonstration of a new type of vehicle,
VTOL, (Vertical Take Off & Landing) which is built by a friend of mine, Paul Moller in Davis, CA


----- Original Message -----
Sent: Tuesday, September 02, 2003 1:14 PM
I am going to send you several pictures from:
Nora and Salim Moujaes 46th wedding anniversary and Mona Houcheime's Birthday.
Victoria Mapar

Happy Birthday Mona

Happy Anniversay Nora & Salim

June 2003

Roustoms and Khnaisser Get together in San Francisco Area


Rahbani, Tabsharani, Roustoms and Khnaisser Get together in San Francisco Area