In 2005, a Lebanese photographer named Fadi Boukaram was clicking around on his computer one day, when he noticed something odd: when he typed in “Lebanon” on Google Maps, it didn’t show him his Lebanon, it should him Lebanon, Oregon (in the United States).
As he kept searching, he realised there were actually 47 towns named “Lebanon” scattered across the United States. Further intrigued, he kept doing research. He discovered that the reason there were so many Lebanons in the United States is because “Lebanon” is a Biblical reference, and as Christian missionaries first settled across the US they named their new towns after names that inspired them.
So naturally, Fadi decided he would road trip across America and visit every single Lebanon outside of his Lebanon.
Fadi’s road trip across 47 towns uncovers a surprising history that connects Lebanon, the country, with a string of small towns in the US. You can listen online to Fadi’s full journey on the latest Kerning Cultures podcast episode, “Lebanon, USA” or wherever you get your podcasts.
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Photo credit: Fadi Boukaram