Eid Mughtribeen 2002

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Eid Al Mughtaribeen scheduled for August 2 - August 14, 2002


Sat. 10th there will be a concert in the Saha (Town Square) 9:00 PM, many
artists including Sammy Clark...

Sunday, 11th Paper Rally all day, followed by a dance in the evening

Wednesday the 14th a dance for Teenagers

Friday 16th the Miss Emigrants pageant (9 PM) held at the Casino de Liban.
In Jounieh (bay City 15 miles north of Beirut)

Sat 17th activities in the old town in Shweir starting around 6 PM

Sunday 18th, the festival Final in the Saha (Town square)

Program in Arabic

What a great Festival...   Where do we begin...  this may take several months to set up, sort, edit and post as many pictures, reports and discussions about this great festival...

There are so many people to acknowledge... from our esteemed Mayor Nabil Ghosn and his Counsel Members to as many of tireless volunteers in Shweir, in Lebanon, the Middle East and oversees who dedicated a great deal of their time to make this a success... take for example Nabil Matar from Texas, USA who took about a thousand pictures... he told me some time ago that he was a lousy picture taker... but you know what.... as they say, practice makes perfect... well you are going to see some fantastic pictures taken by Nabil...

Many thanks to Riad and Omar Khuneisser for sending us periodic reports, scanning and emailing photos and compiling Nabils pictures into folders copied onto a CD which is now in webmaster possession... Thanks to Sandy Moujaes and Oula Aoun for their periodic reports and a special thanks to Salim Sawaya for his tireless efforts to bring excitement to and energize our town with his creative programs...  Last but not least, Great Many thanks to as many volunteers who worked so hard behind the scenes... Yes, your team effort made this festival a great success...

OK, on with the show... we will have a report from Sandy Moujaes, then the pictures....


 -----Original Message-----
From: shweir municipality [mailto:baladiet-shweir@idm.net.lb]
Sent: Thursday, August 22, 2002 1:49 AM
Hello everyone, the following is a brief summary about each night of the Emigrant Festival.  It might be useful to you when you especially when you see the pictures, lots of them, as 3amo Nabil took millions of pictures.
Friday night, the opening night started with the scouts show followed by the Mousica el Shweir, as you all know this has become a tradition to the festival. Then the Mousica al Jaish played for half an hour and we won't forget the seif and teress! Nicolas al costa perfomed along with mousica al jaish and the singer oula al sharik performed as well . Fianlly we had the dabke with Fourkat Kamel Jaber who came from the south to be with us on our opening night.
As for Sunday the 4th of August, This night was amazing. First we had Nisrin silla, everybody loved her voice, then the big hit was with Toni Kiwan.  People were really happy about the real Lebanese night that was presented. this night was really nice.
Monday we had an honering night for DR KHALIL SAADE with Tajamou3 Al nahda AL nissaiya, and wednesday the 7th of august we had another honoring night for AL Oustaz Farid Abou AL Kheir. During this night we had The Nahawand Band, they were great and we had jiddo Nassib Touma who told us stories from the past.
Friday the 9th of august, the night was for Mousica AL Shweir. The songs were Rahbaniyat, but during this night too there was the shweir.com honoring night where Shweir.com team presented  awards for the elected people. All the pictures are with 3amo Nabil. Also during this night there was an amazing wedding, a play directed by Zeina Khneisser and performed by Shweirieh shabab and sabaya+ we had dabke.
Saturday the 10th of August the night was great, Sammy Clark and his Group, lighted up Shweiriehs night with great songs. Also we had Dance de salon with Donia Salame and Ziad Ghazal. Finally there was dabke with the group of Youssef Al Mou3akar.
Sunday the 11 th of august we had rally paper that was really a nice day full of action. At night all the contestants and shabab and sabaya Shweir were at the Sky Dome's Cafe in dhour celebrating the end of the day.
Wednesday the 14th of august Miss Teenagers night was a successful one. Miss Teenagers  Rihab Challita is from Shweir. Mabrouk Rihab. The evening took place at Hotel el Dhour.
Friday the 16th of August was the big night, the night where Rima Mattar was elected Miss Emigrants 2002 . I can't tell you Much about the night except that it was a really successful one. SABAH WAS THERE but she didn't sing only one Mouwal, The main singer was Zein  Oumor. you have to See the pictures to know what I am talking about. Farid Soubagh directed the evenning. At the end there was a song especially made for this night, the song was sang by Zein al oumor and lyrics and music : Sabagh Brothers.
The night I personally liked best was the night in Shweir, it was a great night. People were all gathered at the old souk in shweir were we had great paintings hanging on the walls of the old souk and near the Ain Al Abou, Then a  talented Girl  Micha sang songs for Fairuz , Micha has a great
Finally, KHITAMOUHA MISK with the cars night each representing a different country along with the beautiful dances performed by the participants.
This is all I can say, there are too many things more but the pictures will make my ideas clearer, i just wish you were all here after all this is The EID AL MOUGHTARIBEEN.    
Love from Shweir
Sandy Moujaes




Emigrant Festival 2002
First Night

Thank you Nabil Matar for taking the pictures...

Thank you Omar Khneisser for editing and sending them...



Festival 2002 - 2nd Night




Shweir.Com Night

SHWEIR.COM Awards Night

By Ghassan Zghaib, Canada 

The night started with a parade from Shweir Musical Band (Nowbeh), after all it was their night too; they were going to play Fayrouz Songs. 

The presenter was the talented George Rahbani.  He did a nice job in describing the awards and introducing the people to receive them.

 What were the awards after all?

 LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT AWARD presented to Mrs. Rida Hammam in grateful appreciation for her tireless effort, persistence, tenacity and her many civic leadership roles to improve the quality of life in Shweir.

 LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT AWARD presented to Sheikh Jamil Houbeika, in grateful appreciation, esteem and respect for his tireless effort and dedication for more than fifty years as Shweir’s beloved mayor.

 CIVIC PRIDE AWARD presented to Mr. Jamil Eid Khoneisser, in grateful appreciation for his efforts in perpetuating the rich tradition of Shweir folkloric heritage of Sword & Shield art, his writings and his magnificent performance of Saif oo Tirse.

 CIVIL SERVICE AWARD presented to Al Isaaf wal Khadamat al Ahliah – Shweir (Shweir Social Services & rescue (SSSR), in grateful appreciation for it’s unselfish efforts of providing the people of Shweir and neighboring towns humanitarian and emergency fire, medical civil assistance and for being the cofounder of the senior citizen center BAYTNA.

 BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT AWARD presented to Raymond and Hanna Abdel Ahad, in grateful appreciation in their loyalty, courage, trust and faith in the future of Dhour el Shweir and for the building of the Magnificent edifice that graces the Saha “Dhour Choueir Hotel”.

 ENTREPRENEURIAL SPIRIT AWARD presented to Khalil S. Moujaes, Grandson of Fares Gebrail Moujaes Founder of Modern Dhour, in grateful appreciation for his effort in upholding the family tradition and by creating new and innovative businesses that not only provided local job opportunities, but also contributed to the culture, sports and entertainment canvas of Dhour El Shweir.

 Dr. Nabil Ghosn pronounced a speech in which he mentioned the following facts:

Dr. Ghosn also gave a description of “Shweir.com” and mentioned the achievements of “Shweir.com” family: PCs donated to the school, stretchers, etc…).

He also mentioned that the people and organizations to be awarded were selected the “SHWEIR.COM” way (voted within the family).

 Mr. Khalil Moujaes was the first to receive the award. Mr. Raymond Abdel Ahad followed him.

Mr. Elie Corban received the Civil Service Award on behalf of the SSSR.

Mr. Emile Khoneiser received the Civic Pride Award on behalf of his brother Jamil. He also delighted the audience with a Sword & Shield dance when Mr. Fouad Sawaya showed up on the stage and gave him his own sword and shield.

Mr. Johnny Hobeika received the lifetime achievement award on behalf of his father Sheikh Jamil who couldn’t make it due to sickness.

Last, Mr. Riad Khoneiser presented the Lifetime Achievement Award to Mrs. Rida Hammam.

 Then came the time for Mr. Nabil Matar to present the “Drum Sticks” he brought over with him from the US to Mr. Wissam Sawaya, the drums teacher in the Shweir Band.

The evening proceeded as scheduled, with the Shweir Musical Band playing songs from Fayrouz repertoire.

 The “SHWEIR.COM” family was represented by:

Nabil Matar (United States of America)
Ghassan Zghaib (Canada)
Mike Sawaya (The Golf Region)
Riad Khoneiser (Shweir)
Rouba Khairallah (Shweir)
Sandy Moujaes (Shweir)

 A special thanks goes to Rouba Khayrallah and Sandy Moujaes for helping prepare the awards and organize the “Shweir.Com” evening. 

Thank you Ghassan Zghaib for your informative report.





Emigrant Festival
Miss Teenager 2002
Rihab Shallita

Thank you Najib Shallita for sending the above picture.

1st Runner Up: Maisa Abou Antoun
2nd Runner Up: Rana Halaby
Miss Elegance: Magally Wakim
Miss Photogenic" Aida Rahbany

To see more pictures of Miss Teenage Beauty Pageant 2002:  http://www.shweir.com/miss_teen_02_fotos.htm

The following report is by a fellow teenager, 14 year young Lama Katoul.  She lives in UAE.  She comes back each summer with her family to visit her hometown and attend the Emigrant Festival and the many festivities.

----- Original Message -----
From: lamloom katul
To: anwar@shweir.com
Sent: Friday, September 06, 2002 12:19 PM
Subject: Miss Teenz
"Good Evening" "Masa El Kheir" is how our two presenters started the show! That's when they also started presenting 13 teenage contestants that were here for a contest that isn't all about beauty but also about art, fun, personality, camaraderie and sportsmanship!
They began by introducing the judges which were:
-Philip Merhej
-Joseline Baaklini
-Samar Saliba
-Salim Sawaya
-Hisham Aai
-Madame Haroun

Then the contestants appeared for the first time that night in casual clothes and they presented a dance for us then presented by their names...

-Jihan Halaby                            -Magally Wakim
-Oula Abboud                          -Rosario El Hajj
-Samar Abi Kheir                     -Allison Azzam
-Mary-Rose Libous                  -Elissar Azzam
-Rana Halaby                           -Aida Rahbany
-Maisa Abou Antoun               -Rihab Shalita
-Rana Hawchar

After the dance the contestants "disappeared" to get ready again for the next appearance among the audience and of course the judges! Meanwhile the first performance for tonight was a young "Shakira" who performed two songs of hers one of the songs was "Objection" following the amazing performance was mix of music by DJ Gaby and DJ Mooni where everyone got up to dance!

The contestants appeared again with white tops and white skirts. Then we were shown a profile of every contestant on a projector introducing themselves.  By telling us their names, age, hobbies and future goals!

Girls passed by the judges one last time before they went to get ready for their evening dresses.
Then a new act appeared another young act that was imitating Holly Valance with the song "Kiss Kiss" .
The contestants appeared in their night dresses each girl performed a catwalk infront of the audience and judges...Then each were asked a question to test their inner beauty...
After that the girls were picked and these were the results...
Miss Teenagers 2002: Rihab Shallita
1st Runner Upl: Maisa Abou Antoun
2nd Runner Up: Rana Halaby
Miss Elegance: Magally Wakim
Miss Photogenic" Aida Rahbany

Thank you Lama Katoul for such an excellent report. 

To see more pictures of Miss Teenage Beauty Pageant 2002:  http://www.shweir.com/miss_teen_02_fotos.htm

Miss Emigrant Beauty Pageant 2002 at Casino Du Liban

Thank you Salim Sawaya for sending these wonderful pictures



An Interview with Rima Mattar
By: Angie Atik - October, 2002

Visiting Rima Matar in her family’s restaurant in Fremont, you get overwhelmed by the warmth of their welcome, by the generosity of their hearts and their traditional Lebanese family values.  Behind the cash register, Rima is simply a 17 years old Lebanese-American female, who is thriving to succeed in her school and help out in her family’s newly opened business.  She is the daughter of Farouk and Joumana Matar and the sister of two brothers, Jamie and Ramy. Yet distinguishing Rima is her new title of Miss Immigrants, which she earned last August 2002 in Casino Du Liban- Beirut.  She’s certainly beautiful, intelligent and has a gorgeous smile to charm you with.

 Learning that she lives around the Bay Area, the LAA decided to grasp this opportunity and interview her to get a closer look at her life and find out who Rima Matar really is.

 Our beauty queen was born on April 19th, 1986 in Freemont- CA and has lived there ever since.  She’s a dedicated High School senior and a dynamic member of her community, being currently active in fashion and sports clubs.  She enjoys playing basketball, swimming, working out and modeling.   One of Rima’s main goals is to pursue a degree either in the States -Stanford is her 1st choice! - Or finish up her studies in the American University of Beirut (AUB).  She also plans on participating in more beauty pageants and is inspired to follow the footsteps of Christina Sawaya, currently Miss Lebanon, who just won the Miss International’s title in Tokyo.

 Although she’s only visited Lebanon a couple of times, she seem to be fascinated by the country of her origin and well connected to her roots.  She continuously spoke with passion about her love for her homeland and especially her home village, Allay, where she’d like to live in the future.  Her last experience in Lebanon has taught her many things, she says, such as becoming more familiar with the Lebanese culture, giving more respect to others and treating everybody on equal basis.  With this humble attitude, Rima was also elected Miss Friendship by the majority votes of her fellow contestants.  “I never expected to win the competition, I was completely shocked when they announced my name,” she says with an innocent smile on her face.

After becoming Miss Immigrants, Rima got the chance to meet with President Lahoud at the Emigrant Festival in Dhour el Shweir.  He congratulated and wished her the best in life.  She was interviewed by the Lebanese Media including magazines, newspapers, radio and television.  She has definitely learned a lot about Lebanon and her heritage and is anxious to tell everyone about it, encouraging them to go back and visit.  She will tour Greece during this fall and return to Lebanon during the summer time to hand back her crown to the succeeding Miss Immigrant.

 To Rima we say: Good luck to you in every step you make and you can always count on our support for you as your friends in the Lebanese community in the Bay Area.

To the world we say: Watch out, here comes another astonishing, beautiful and successful Lebanese, whose limit is the sky.

Thank you Angie for a great report. 
Angie, at 18 years young, is the youngest member of the Board of Directors of the Lebanese American Association (LAA) -
www.laa.org .  She is the Chairperson for the LAA Youth Committee.  Angie is also co-founder and administrator of the Bay Area Lebanese Club.  You can see their activities at www.gharam.com .  She attends San Mateo College and lives with her family in Belmont, California.


Here are some pictures from Nabil Matar of the Casino Du Liban Miss Emigrant Beauty Pageant...


 Now, is that beautiful or what? ... What an Elegant evening... just looking at those pictures make you proud.

Many thanks to Shweir Mayor, Nabil Ghosn, Master of Ceremony (MC) Rita Rahbany, Shweir Council members, the Miss Emigrant Beauty Pageant committee, judges and organizers, Sponsors, Miss Lebanon 2002, Christina Sawaya, Miss Lebanon Pageant Committee, the eternally beautiful Sabah, Salim Sawaya, Farid Sabbagh, Sabbagh brothers, Zein al Oumor, and the nameless others who made this event a great success. 

Congratulations to Rima Mattar.  and Congratulations to all the contestants... by your participation, you are all winners. 


Closing Night - Emigrant Festival 2002



Join us
 August 2003, for
Emigrant Festival 2003

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