Thank you again from the bottom of my heart

In this second year of my book signing tour of How Many Times… I Told You – Reflections, Memories and Hope for Lebanon and after a year and ten months since its birth my book is still making the rounds. I am so delighted to have met so many people from around the world at each of my book signing stops. Meeting Lebanese immigrants, listening to their stories, learning about their experiences, hearing what they want for Lebanon and sharing their ideas has been exceptional.

Thank you to the Lebanese American Association of San Francisco for organizing my book signing and having me as the keynote speaker at their annual gala dinner on March 1st, in particular its founder Fouad Malouf and Mr. Anwar Kneisar who was instrumental in working the details of my trip. Also in San Francisco, I want to thank Khalil Hanna Curi and Jihad Abi Ramia for the book signing that the World Lebanese Cultural Union (WLCU) in Collaboration with the Lebanese Information Center of San Francisco organized at the Feyrouz restaurant on the following day. In March also I had the privilege to sign my book at the American Task Force for Lebanon (ATFL) annual gala dinner in Washington, DC many thanks to its executive director George Cody and its distinguish board and members. From all Lebanese immigrant organizations the WLCU has been my hero. They are the only Lebanese grassroots organization that supported several of my book tours without any hesitation or conditions. In London the WLCU organized a book signing reception for which I should thank Said Yazbeck, Rita Helou, Jihad Sleiman and my dear and good friend George Abi Raad the Secretary General of WLCU for making this trip possible. Back in the States, in the city of Atlanta and among the largest Lebanese immigrant concentration from my ancestral home town of Kfarkatra I had a successful book signing and my thanks goes to Pierre Maalouf and Shibly Mounzer for organizing the events (even though my flight was delayed six hours and I was three hours late people still waited for me). I am so grateful and thankful to the Atlanta Lebanese American Community for their patience and perseverance and in particular to Mr. Kenaan Dagher for his kind introduction of me. Many thanks to the Triangle Lebanese Association of Raleigh North Carolina for inviting me to sign my book and be the keynote speaker for their Lebanese National Day celebration, thanks to Nouha Nasrallah and Doumit Ishak for organizing my trip and appearance at their event. I must also thank Mr. Danny Ghanem of Miami, Florida and Mr. Pierre Fattouch of Zahleh, Lebanon for their in kind donation to further the marketing of my book.

The tip of the iceberg in 2008 was Beirut. I was extremely honored by the distinguished panel that introduced my book at the Lebanese National Press “Naqabet Al-Sahafah” at its headquarters in Raouche. Many thanks to the master of ceremony Dr. Ursula Risk, the Dean of the Lebanese National Press “Al-Naqeeb” Mohamad Balbacky, Mr. Wael Kheir and Poet Henri Zougeib for their kind and thorough introductions of my book and the work I labored for Lebanon in the United States of America. The event was well attended and organized, thanks to the Walid Maalouf Foundation and its board of directors for putting together this first class act.

Thanks to the media who visited with me or invited me to their shows to talk about my book in particular Joel Jabbour, Elie Ahwash and Marie Therese Maalouf of the Future TV at the “Sabah El-Keir” program, the LBC satellite TV and Mr. Marwan Matni, “Al-Wekalet Al-Watanieh Leleanbaak” and Annahar newspaper for covering the Beirut event as well as Mr. George Eid of The An-Nour newspaper and its editor Habib Osta, which covered my book signing in Atlanta. The Arab media in London including Hamid Ghoriafi of Al-Syassy, Kamil Tawil of Al-Hayat, Dr. Fatme Al-Issawi of Al-Sharq Al-Awsat and Dr. Moussa Serour of ANN TV for interviewing me. Many thanks to the Arab media in France especially Ghaby Lteif of radio Monte Carlo and Tony Chamieh of Al-Shark Al-Qataria newspaper and last but not least to Wally Jordan and Nada Shararah from the Detroit based MBN TV for interviewing me.

Thank you to every individual who acquired a copy of my book in Beirut, London, Atlanta, San Francisco, Washington DC, Raleigh and through my website in Tennessee, Florida, Minnesota and North Carolina. Last but not least to my family in Lebanon, France and the US for keeping up with me and my heavy schedule, for their wonderful support and counseling.

I send you all my best wishes for a blessed Christmas and Happy New Year.

Walid Maalouf