On the weekend of March 11—12, 1989, at Orlando Florida, a group of Lebanese American leaders from the South met to discuss the impact of recent developments both in the American community of Lebanese Americans, and in Lebanon itself, on the current effectiveness of their efforts, as well as on the future course of their activity in the United States taken on behalf of Lebanon.
Common agreement was found regarding the following:
That any organization operating in the United States must have at core a true American element.
That if any organization is to be effective nationally, that it must, at its foundation, have a strong organizational framework with a system of accountability ~and responsibility.
- That any organization which is expected to achieve longevity in pursuit of its long term goals, must be institution oriented, rather than personality oriented.
- That Lebanon and the Lebanese are at a modern day cross roads, regarding the survival of their State. That the Lebanese, if they need any assistance from members of the Diaspora living in America, then they need it from a well footed, well financed American—based institution that can stay the course.
- That the objectives of such an institutionalized effort must be as follows:
To assist the Resident Lebanese with material relief.
To provide leadership in educating and informing the American people and government regarding the sources of the Lebanese crisis and the means of a comprehensive resolution.
To assist in the procurement of funds and other resources necessary to the rebuilding the Nation’s infrastructure after 14 years of war.
To keep Lebanon high on the U.S. priority list in terms of economic assistance, cultural exchange and security.
To mobilize and organize the sleeping giant of 2.5 million Americans of Lebanese heritage to a heightened awareness of their cultural homeland so as to insure Lebanon’s future as a permanent Fixture of the U.S. agenda.
That such an institution must be open, it must be fair and it must respect the sincere efforts made by sincere people on the behalf of the vast majority of Resident Lebanese who want only to live in peace with each other, enjoying those same God given rights to liberty, freedom and security in their persons and property as shared by the rest of the members of the Free World.
Recognizing that any American organization that identifies too closely with any one of the communities of Lebanon, either actually or in appearance, looses the institutional leverage and independent identity needed to bring about change in a long followed but failed policy toward Lebanon, and to the community sought to be assisted.
THE PARTICIPANTS THEREBY ARE RESOLVED AND DECLARE, a common commitment to make common cause with the people of Lebanon and their government. The participants hereby declare their association with one another and any other like-minded person of good will, within the framework of the newly formed, National Alliance of Lebanese Americans, the creation of which is hereby also declared. It is the express purpose and intention in declaring this new association that it serve as an institution such as described herein, organized upon the broadest base possible and drawing upon the rich pool of untapped talent latent in the American community of sons and daughters of the world wide family of mother Lebanon.
DONE at Orlando Florida on this eleventh day of March, 1989.
Joseph L Boohaker
Joseph A. Boohaker